The Golden Turtle: A Sino-Tibetan divination manuscript

early Tibet

goldentortoise

Astrology was, and surely still is, an important part of life in Tibet. As in most other Asian countries, astrology played the vital role of deciding whether to carry out an important activity – a journey, a marriage, a funeral, a battle – and which days were best for embarking on such activities. Tibetan astrology is often said to be a combination of Chinese and Indian astrologies. According to one history, it was the tsenpo Tridé Tsugtsen who introduced Chinese astrology to Tibet in the 8th century. The influence of Indian astrology comes mainly through the Kālacakra tantra I believe, from the 11th century onwards.

There is an old saying, going back to the time of the Tibetan empire, that characterises Tibet’s neighbours according to their special talents (at least in Tibetan eyes):

  • To the south is India, the land of religion
  • To the north is Turkestan, the land of…

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