Please help me identify this diagram.
August 21, 2008 8:44 PM   Subscribe

Please help me identify this diagram. It is a Chinese or Taoist diagram for change.

I copied this out of a book a few years ago, but for some reason didn't note the source. It may have been called/captioned "Chinese (or maybe Taoist) Diagram for Change". I was reading a lot of Alan Watts and Fritjof Capra at the time, but neither of those leads have turned anything up.
posted by OlivesAndTurkishCoffee to Religion & Philosophy (5 answers total)
That doesn't look reproducible from memory. That is, while it might be engraved as an adornment for a Chinese (or maybe Taoist) token for change, I can't imagine that it carries semantic meaning in and of itself. Perhaps as a meditational device... that is, the act of drawing it is the "symbol of change".
posted by Netzapper at 9:54 PM on August 21, 2008

The book I have, The I Ching Workbook has something of the sort and is captioned "Diagram of change" done during the sung (song) dynasty. Google has turned up no other results. But it has to do with taosim and the I Ching, for sure.
posted by saxamo at 11:54 PM on August 21, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks so much. That's exactly what I was looking for saxamo!
posted by OlivesAndTurkishCoffee at 5:07 AM on August 22, 2008

If you're interested in similar examples rather than the exact source you copied from, there's this one from the Prolegomena to the Five Talismans of the Numinous Treasure. I've seen paper folk magic charms that use similar designs but can't seem to locate any illustrations online.
posted by Abiezer at 8:30 AM on August 22, 2008

Chiming in late to agree with Abiezer -- looks to me like one of the talisman/spirit-writing charms used in some forms of folk-Daoism, though I'm not sure the colors are right. In these cases, though, the "writing" is done in a trance and doesn't correspond to a set pattern.
posted by bokane at 3:56 AM on September 3, 2008

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