Dongba time divination part 2: text

[The continuation of part 1; while that was an interpretation of the original text, what follows is a translation of the Chinese (itself a translation of the original Dongba script by Wang Shiying 王世英, published in Naxi Dongba Zhanbu Dianji Yanjiu 纳西东巴占卜典籍研究, Kunming 2008, pp 358-359). I have replaced the Chinese transliteration of the names of finger bones in Naxi with their IPA readings, complete with tone marks. See part 1 for how to perform the divination.]

If ta55 ua33 is reckoned, a hundred thousand [ie. a great many] things are all propitious, searching for gold and silver will also have favourable results. If valuables have been lost, they have not gone far. There will be no quarrels. If a long journey is made, nothing will befall the traveller. Someone in the family will fall ill. If one goes to act as a headman, they will be transferred home.

If ly55 le33 is reckoned, an appeal to justice will be successful. An early search for something lost will mostly likely prove fruitless. Do not become involved in the business of others. If a long journey is made, it will be difficult to return home. If valuables have been lost, they can be seen to the south and your heart will soon be at ease. Your words will provoke trouble. The family will be safe and healthy.

If sɪ21 ɕi21 is reckoned, luck will come to the family. Go south to find silver and gold. Lost objects can be found again during the time of the horse, ram or monkey [11am - 5pm, see chart below]. You will meet with a good person and learn news. You will be able to win a legal petition. If there is illness, do not become worried. The signs are auspicious for belongings, food, gold and silver; they will not be lost. If a long journey is made, you will come across good news.

If tʂ’i33 k’u33 is reckoned, an argument will happen at home, and may lead to a legal case, so beware. If something is lost, go to find it as soon as is possible. If a long journey is made, there will be a frightening encounter. Dogs and chickens will show inauspicious abnormal phenomena. If there is an illness, this is not propitious, and it seems there will be a mournful event (*lit. something that makes one cry, an analogy for passing away). Go and perform a large-scale ceremony to seek blessing, and perform a sacrificial offering to avert calamity.

If nɣ dze33 is reckoned, a good person will be met on a journey, and you will be blessed and protected by the ancestors. If valuables are lost, they will be found right before your eyes. Long journeys will be successful. Petitions to justice will be a hundred thousand times propitious. Illnesses will be overcome with ease.

If to33 ɣ33 is reckoned, nothing will be successful. Demons will bring pain and illness to the home. If you go to do business, gold and silver will not fall into your hands. Illness will befall you if a long journey is made. Items lost will never be recovered. It will be hard to win a legal case, and gold and silver will be lost. If you fall ill, this is not propitious, and will lead to death. A large-scale religious ceremony should be performed.


Time divisions table:

Animal sign Time of day
Rat 11pm-1am 子时
Ox 1am – 3am 丑时
Tiger 3am – 5am 寅时
Rabbit 5am – 7am 卯时
Dragon 7am – 9am
Snake 9am – 11am巳时
Horse 11am – 1pm 午时
Ram 1pm – 3pm 未时
Monkey 3pm – 5pm 申时
Rooster 5pm – 7pm 酉时
Dog 7pm – 9pm 戌时
Pig 9pm – 11pm 亥时

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