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Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Origins of the Magi Part I


22) "Schafer (1951:154) compares the Shang Dynasty oracle graphs for wu and nong 弄 "play with; cause" (written with 玉 "jade" over 廾 "two hands") that shows "hands (of a shaman?) elevating a piece of jade (the rain-compelling mineral) inside an enclosure, possibly a tent."
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23) "The Seal and modern form 巫 may well derive from this original, the hands becoming two figures, a convergence towards the dancer-type graph."
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24) Tu Baikui 塗白奎 suggests that the wu oracle character "was composed of two pieces of jade and originally designated a tool of divination."[3] Citing Li Xiaoding 李孝定 that gong 工 originally pictured a "carpenter's square",
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25) Allan (1991:77) argues that oracle inscriptions used wu 巫 interchangeably with fang 方 "square; side; place" for sacrifices to the sifang 四方 "four directions". This {{lang|zh|巫 component is semantically significant in several characters:
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26) wu 誣 (with the "speech radical" 言) "deceive; slander; falsely accuse" shi 筮 (with the "bamboo radical" 竹) "Achillea millefolium (used for divination)" xi 覡 (with the "vision radical" 見) "male shaman; male sorcerer"
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27) ling 靈 (with the "cloud radical" 雨 and three 口 "mouths" or "raindrops") "spirit; divine; clever" yi {{linktext|lang=zh|毉]] "doctor", which is an old "shaman" variant character for yi 醫 (with the "wine radical" 酉)
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28) We can see that in addition to astrology, divination, and magic, the earliest form of the symbol pertained to rain-making, the four directions, jade, and the carpenter's square. We will return to the carpenter's square and its associations after a brief study of etymology.
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29) "Coblin (1986:107) puts forward a Sino-Tibetan root *mjaɣ "magician; sorcerer" for Chinese wū < mju < *mjag 巫 "magician; shaman" and Written Tibetan 'ba'-po "sorcerer" and 'ba'-mo "sorcereress" (of the Bön religion)." mjay, mju, mjag all sound very similar to magi or magus
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30)Schuessler (2007:516) notes Chinese xian < sjän < *sen 仙 "transcendent; immortal; alchemist" was probably borrowed as Written Tibetan gšen "shaman" and Thai [mɔɔ] < Proto-Tai *hmɔ "doctor; sorcerer".
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