Meaning in the Cosmos
The Chinese closely watched the movement of the stars and planets
because they believed that these bodies in the sky represented the rulers
of their land on Earth.
The emperor was compared to Polaris, the North Star, which was
the star always visible in the sky. According to one myth, the
emperor was said to be born from the light and energy of the North
Star falling on his mother. The other stars in the sky represented
the Chinese workers who circled the emperor just as the stars
circled the North Star.
Other members of the ruling family were said to be represented
by other stars in the sky. Astrologers watched their movements
and then predicted the future of their Chinese counterparts. If
a star became dim in the sky, it was seen as a sign that the person
it represented would have hard times in the future or might never
be chosen to rule the country.
The information astrologers learned from the sky was kept secret from
most of the country. Astrologers were under orders not to tell anyone
but their rulers what the stars told them would happen because the rulers
wanted to keep this important knowledge private. If the astrologer's predictions
had been told to the public, the royal family's enemies might have learned
how and when the Chinese rulers would be most in danger of attack.