Category Archives: Natural World

Major Cold dà hán 大寒 Jan 20th

January 2oth will begin the period of Major or Greater Cold. It is supposed to be the coldest time of the year. In fact we had extremely cold weather a few weeks earlier and now we are having what might … Continue reading

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Winter Solstice dōng zhì 冬至 Dec 21st

Today is the winter solstice. Where I live in Virginia it comes at 11:19 PM EST. In the modern west the solstices are said to be the first day of winter and summer. Yet an older tradition marks the solstices … Continue reading

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Capricorn Dec 22nd 4:20 AM

In astronomy, Capricornus is one of the 88 modern constellations, and was also one of the 48  listed by the 2nd century astronomer Ptolemy. Its name is Latin for “horned goat” or “goat horn” or “having horns like a goat’s”, … Continue reading

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Major Snow dà xuě 大雪 Dec 6th

On December 6th we move into the solar term of 大雪Dàxuě (Chinese), Taisetsu (Japanese) 대설 Daeseol Korean and Đại tuyết (Vietnamese). It is literally translated as major snow and is the 21st solar term. It snows heavily for the first time in the year, … Continue reading

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Sagittarius Nov 22nd 9:59 AM

An arrow is a pointed projectile that is shot with a bow and penetrates a distant target. Sagitta is the constellation of the arrow, and Sagittarius is the constellation of the bow or Archer. The constellation of Aquila separates these … Continue reading

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Minor Snow xiǎo xuě 小雪 Nov 22nd

On November 22nd we will pass into the period of Minor Snow (xiǎo xuě 小雪). My friend who runs the cat rescue had flurries as early as the evening of the 9th. The weather has been colder earlier than the … Continue reading

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Winter Commences lì dōng 立冬 Nov 08

Today we passed into the period called Winter Commences. It will run until November 22nd. This is true in northern China, but winter comes later in the south and thankfully here as well. The pentads are ‘Water begins to freeze’ … Continue reading

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