Heavenly Market Enclosure
Heavenly Market Enclosure, in Chinese 天市垣, lies west of the Big Dipper, next to the Purple Forbidden Enclosure.
In ancient Chinese Astrology, the Heavenly Market Enclosure consisted of 87 stars.
It is the marketplace of heaven, where the Great Emperor of Heaven accepts homage and tours, and others conduct commercial activities.
Heavenly Market Enclosure in Dunhuang Star Chart from the Tang Dynasty (618–907)
Stars and Symbolism of Heavenly Market Enclosure
The stars within the Heavenly Market Enclosure are divided into 19 groups, with each group assigned a name reflecting their titles or functions.
The central area encompasses stars representing imperial seats, ritual officials, municipal offices, commodity markets, shops, measurements, and the names of some actual states in ancient China.
According to the ideology of Interactions Between Heaven and Mankind, the stars within the Heavenly Market Enclosure correspond to the well-being of civilians and economic activities on Earth.
Shops and People on Business Streets in Part of the Genre Painting "Along the River During the Qingming Festival" of the Ming Dynasty (1368 — 1644), by artist Qiu Ying (about 1498 — 1552), now is preserved in the Liaoning Museum.
Omens and Celestial Signs of Heavenly Market Enclosure
Bright stars indicate a stable and prosperous society with affluent individuals and bountiful harvests.
Dim stars signify incompetence among correlated officials or agencies, or unfavorable well-being of the related areas.
Varied colors and brightness of certain stars are omens of changing situations of related industries and areas.
Meanwhile, appearing of the Moon, Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars, Saturn, and meteors in this enclosure could presage certain events.
Cultural Significance of Heavenly Market Enclosure
The Heavenly Market Enclosure held a pivotal and indispensable role in the intricate tapestry of ancient Chinese astrology.
This celestial domain functioned as a bridge, connecting celestial phenomena with the well-being of society, the ebb and flow of economic activities, and the dynamic fluctuations in the fortunes of diverse regions.
This connection between the celestial and the terrestrial within the Heavenly Market Enclosure contributed profoundly to the holistic worldview of ancient Chinese astrological practices, reflecting a profound acknowledgment of the interconnectedness between the cosmos and the human experience.