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Dragon Bones

regardie

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Hello!

Did someone buy this book and read it. I don't know its author but, looking after what he wrote, it feels like he's a generalist of all and a specialist of nothing :)


avaloniabooks.co.uk



Dragon Bones

DRAGON BONES
Ritual, Myth and Oracle in Shang Period China
By Jan Fries

“Those who do not forget the past are the masters of the future” ~ Sima Qian, Historian, 1st century BCE

——-

Dragon Bones is a masterly and insightful exploration of ritual, myth and oracles in Shang Period China (16th-11th century BCE). Combining wide-ranging scholarship with pragmatic practicality, the author shines a light on one of the most obscure and least-known areas of ritual practice in the ancient world, demonstrating its value and connection to the development of magical practices in China over a period of many centuries.

Combining historical accounts, myths, practical meditation and the oracle bone inscriptions themselves, Dragon Bones elucidates an arcane system of divination and offers its wisdom to the modern world. To provide a relevant context for the dragon bone oracle, the reader is guided through a wealth of material by Chinese philosophers including Kongzi (Confucius) and Laozi, exploring philosophies such as Daoism and its cosmology.

The offerings, sacrifices and rituals which form the mystical matrix from which Chinese magic developed are considered with an elegant perspective which explores both the practices and their use and relevance, considering their development from early shamanic practices into more stylised forms of social and cultural ceremonies which contributed to the evolution of formal rites to serve communities.

As well as its detailed discussion of the historical and mythical figures, gods, spirits, ancestors, mountains, rivers, animals, types of weather and implements which provide the context and provenance of the development of the dragon bone oracle, Dragon Bones includes a dictionary of over three thousand inscriptions, the most comprehensive of its kind created. As the earliest recorded Chinese texts, the dragon bones reveal unique glimpses of a period where history and myth merge, shaped by philosophy, political power and magic, and whose lessons are as relevant today as they have ever been.


http://www.amazon.fr/Dragon-Bones-Ritual-Oracle-Period/dp/1905297629/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1380788963&sr=8-9&keywords=dragon+bones

Have a good day!

Regardie
 
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hilary

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Hm - this Jan Fries? You have a point; he doesn't sound like a specialist scholar of ancient China. A shame, as any book with a 'dictionary of over 3000 [oracle bone] inscriptions' sounds interesting.

Has anyone had a look at it?
 

peterg

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Bu shu 卜書 (text on divination)

I found this on the divination page at Academia.edu
https://www.academia.edu/5017068/Bu_shu_A_recently_published_Shanghai_Museum_bamboo_manuscript_on_divination
''It contains the earliest known methodological treatment of turtle shell divination and crack interpretation and represents therefore a new fundamental piece of evidence in the history of Chinese divinatory practices. "
Its due to be published soon and meantime a draft version seems to be available on request.
Not sure how or when to follow up but I will report any developments.
 

Brendon

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is it a mythological book or does it have anything to do with astrology.
 

cjgait

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Looks like the author is an occultist with associations with at least one current I know of (Thelema) and several others (new agey Norse oracle stuff). So if I had the cash to spare I'd add it to my 'curiosities and fringe' section of my collection.

But it definitely doesn't look like something with academic credibility, at least on the face of it. You never know, though. I'm a self-taught student of Chinese myself. Maybe the author did some proper research and the book just looks like a New Age curio on the outside. There's no sample on Amazon to delve into it.

The best books on the oracle bones in English are by David Keightley, by the way.

Regards,
Chris Gait
 

Brendon

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what is dragon bones is it related with an ancient mythology of china or is it just another form of chinese astrology
 

cjgait

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Dragon bones is a term used for 'oracle bones'. these are the oldest form of Chinese writing, inscribed on turtle plastrons and the shoulder blades of large animals (oxen, sheep, pigs, deer). The bones were inscribed, then cracked with heat and the cracks interpreted as answers from the ancestral spirits. When they were first discovered by a scholar it was in an apothecary's, not a a dig site. The peasants brought in bones they had dug up and called them 'dragon bones'. They were ground up for use in traditional Chinese medicine. The scholar noticed some characters carved into the bones and tracked them down to their source in Anyang, the old capital of the Shang Dynasty (the dynasty that was ended by King Wen and Wu and the Duke of Zhou, the traditional authors of the Yi Jing, in 1046 BCE). The bones were discovered in 1899, but not all the characters have been deciphered yet. Many are similar to existing characters, but about 1/3 remain unknown.
 

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