How did a turtle become one of the most influential animals in puzzles, maths and Feng Shei? We delve into the legend of the Lo Shu square or more commonly known as the Emperor and the turtle.
In ancient China it is said that there was a deluge which caused flooding in the area surround the Luo River, despite the many villagers offering sacrifices, in an effort to calm the gods, the floods continued.
A local man, Yu and his advisors were surveying the land near the river, trying to design a way to help manage the flooding, when they noticed a turtle (a great omen) crawling out of the flood.
Believing that God lived in the turtle, they inspected the shell closely and saw strange markings forming a pattern. Yu saw that the shell on the turtles back contained patterns that were featured in a 3 x 3 grid.
This was a magical grid as each set of three numbers vertically, diagonal and horizontally all added up to 15. In the lunar cycle there are 15 days between the new moon and the full moon and the number of days in each of the 24 cycles of the Chinese solar year.
Yu and his team went on to solve the flooding problem and was made Emperor and the story of his discovery of the Lo Shu Square was born.
The Lo Shu Square went on to form the basis of the I Ching (Ying and Yang), Feng Shei, the 9 Star Key, Chinese Astrology and Numerology. You may recognise the 9 square grid that features heavily in the sudoku puzzle and is used widely in mathematical problems.