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Notes on Antique Textiles, Folk Art & Timeless Traditions – Jaina Mishra

Astrological Calendars – 8 – Tibetan Calendar

The Tibetan calendar begins at Losar and has either 12 or 13 months each beginning and ending with the new moon. Every two or three years a 13th month is added so that an average Tibetan year is equal to the solar year.

Tibetans observe the usage of two sixty-year cycles – the first rabjyung introduced from India and the other Drukchu kor from China.

In a sub-cycle of 12 years, as per the drukchu kor each year is associated with an animal – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig and the association is repeated every 12 years.

For example 2017 is the year of the Rooster and so 2017+12 – 2029 will once again be the year of the Rooster.

As in every other culture the innate desire of mankind to be able to at least predict (if not control) the future led to a study of factors that could be correlated to events in the surroundings. This resulted in the science of astronomy which when used to make predictions relevant to human day-to-day-life – came to be known as astrology. Tedious calculations and charts seem to have been a part of such systems across cultures.

And here I present a document from the 18th century – a calendar based on the astrological belief system in Tibet.

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Studying this artwork is a dazzling soul-consuming exercise and I wish I had some senior Lamaji around to explain and decipher this for me….part by part…one concept at a time!

Do you know someone who might be willing to tutor an ignoramus?

***

This is the last of the series on astrological calendars. 

 

jm

May 2017

More images of Asset 1116 on wovensouls.com in the personal collection .

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