(190) Saju reveals political attitudes
By Janet Shin
Saju has been widely used in Korean society, not only by governing groups but by common people. For common people, it is mingled with shaman and divinations to be practiced for ordinary rituals or weighty events, such as marriage, birth or death, ancestral rites, moves, and various kinds of exams. When it comes to governing people, it was more adroitly utilized to acquire or maintain power, or eliminate an old foe, choose the Crown Princess and even determine the future owner of the throne.
Quite a few stories related with saju are handed down either by word of mouth or by historical books. For instance, the saju of Yeong-jo, the 21st king of Joseon kingdom and that of Nongae were the same. The latter was a gisaeng in the late 16th century. She led a Japanese general to a cliff, during a long battle with Japan in Jinju, Jeolla province and there she embraced him and threw herself along with him into the river, resulting in both their deaths. Saju scholars have studied to figure out how the lives of the two are different while having the same saju. It is needless to say some anecdotes about Yi Seong-gae, a founder of Joseon and other great kings regarding how their destinies were told by saju. Especially there is a legendary story about Yi Seong-gae. His saju was read by a monk passer-by, who said that Yi was destined to be a king. His parents provided him with adequate education to be a great leader and he also geared himself up for possible opportunities. In 1388, he took the plunge to turn back his army troops from Wihwa Island on the Amrok River to revolt against the previous kingdom, Goryeo. This finally resulted in a great alteration of Korean history.
Saju was also skillfully utilized by many factions, sometimes to protect their existing power or other times to rule out other parties’ clout. From time to time, it was manipulated to delude people. Some crown princesses with a poor saju reading were recommended to princes to weaken their power, for example, with ill intention. Obviously, their saju were reported to the king the other way round, namely, that of a good wife and wise mother. This was to make the crown prince feeble so he became incapable to take the throne.
Whether it was utilized righteously or not, saju can reveal the hidden truth of people, even uncomfortable ones. If we shift our eyes to modern politics, we may also find interesting facts about current politicians.
Korean society has been in turmoil over a vote-rigging scandal after the past National Assembly election this year. Lee Seok-gi, who was elected as a proportional lawmaker, is at the center of the controversy, with Lee Jeong-hee, the former co-leader of Unified Progressive Party. The core of the argument is that there were fraud-ridden primaries in their proportional representation voting system. The media reports he is pulling the strings while she is a puppet just representing the interest of the party.
It is not a major role of Saju to distinguish which is right or wrong. There can be some ethical advice in saju readings, but it doesn’t always stand by somebody’s part because they are right, or vice versa. But it still discloses intriguing facets of human nature in a specific situation.
Both were born with a same day master, yin metal. This can be seen just a coincidence, but, saju sheds instructive viewpoints to explain it. As I read more saju of political leaders, both domestically and globally, I am discovering more politicians with metal day masters. The chances are over 50 percent. The remainders are filled by yang wood and earth day masters. Above all, metal day masters are most power-oriented. Some even crash down with dishonor of dictatorship clinging to power.
The two have the same day pillars as well, having a knowledge star (earth element) in the branch.
The differences are fire and water elements in Lee Jeong-hee’s saju, while Lee Seok-gi having strong self energy (metal) surrounded by thick earth elements. This is interpreted as a strong ego inside high self-esteem. According to saju theory, it is like gold reserved inside a deep mine. They are sharp but the edge of blades is seldom seen. People with this saju type are usually seen as a very hard nut to crack. Instead of stepping out to confront, they usually mastermind others behind a curtain.
On the other hand, fire and water elements in Lee Jeong-hee’s saju represent an exposed power and expression star respectively. She is apt to rise to the forefront to speak out on the actual stage while having a strong earth element as the former case. Their recent moves are well portrayed in their saju.
Info : Are you interested in learning more about the ancient Chinese teaching about the “Four Pillars of Destiny”? For further information, visit Janet’s website at www.fourpillarskorea.com and contact Janet at 010-5414-7461 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The writer is the president of the Heavenly Garden, a saju research center in Korea, and the author of “Learning Four Pillars”.