Purple Forbidden enclosure

The Purple Forbidden enclosure (紫微垣 Zǐ wēi yuán) is one of the San Yuan (三垣 Sān yuán) or Three Enclosures. Stars and constellations of this group lie near the north celestial pole and are visible all year from temperate latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere.


The asterisms are :

English name Chinese name Number of stars Western Constellation Additional notes Representing
Northern Pole 北極 5 Ursa Minor / Camelopardalis Consists of :
  • The Crown Prince (太子) → 1st star
  • The Emperor () → 2nd star
  • The Son of Concubine (庶子) → 3rd star
  • The Concubine (後宮) → 4th star
  • The Celestial Pivot (天樞) → 5th star
Five Star of North Pole
Four Advisors 四輔 4 Ursa Minor / Camelopardalis Four assistants of ancient Emperor Chen
Celestial Great One 天乙 1 Draco One of the three gods of ancient legend
First Great One 太乙 1 Draco One of the three gods of ancient legend
Left Wall 紫微左垣 8 Draco / Cepheus / Cassiopeia Consists of :
  • The Left Pivot (左樞) → 1st star
  • The First Premier (上宰) → 2nd star
  • The Second Premier (少宰) → 3rd star
  • The First Minister (上弼) → 4th star
  • The Second Minister (少弼) → 5th star
  • The First Imperial Guard (上卫) → 6th star
  • The Second Imperial Guard (少卫) → 7th star
  • The Second Prime Minister (少丞) → 8th star
Eight guardian stars in the left
Right Wall 紫微右垣 7 Ursa Major / Draco / Camelopardalis Consists of :
  • The Right Pivot (右樞) → 1st star
  • The Second Chief Judge (少尉) → 2nd star
  • The First Minister (上辅) → 3rd star
  • The Second Minister (少辅) → 4th star
  • The First imperial Guard (上卫) → 5th star
  • The Second Imperial Guard (少卫) → 6th star
  • The First Prime Minister (上丞) → 7th star
Seven guardian stars in the right
Hidden Virtue 陰德 2 Draco Hidden matters of the Emperor and prohibited to know
Royal Secretary 尚書 5 Ursa Minor / Draco The position of the royal
Female Protocol 女史 1 Draco Female officer for the Queen etiquette
Official of Royal Archives 柱史 1 Draco Officer which have responsibility to the historical record
Maids-in-waiting 御女 4 Draco Wives or concubines
Celestial Pillar 天柱 5 Draco / Cepheus Pillar of the local post decree, also responsible for supporting earth
Chief Judge 大理 2 Camelopardalis The hearing judge
Curved Array 勾陳 6 Ursa Minor / Cepheus Curved matters like a hook, in ancient times was regarded as the Yellow Emperor's harem or Princess of Heaven
Six Jia 六甲 6 Camelopardalis / Cepheus Attribution to match from the six decades
Great Emperor of Heaven 天皇大帝 1 Cepheus Emperor of Heaven
Interior Seats of the Five Emperors 五帝內座 5 Cepheus / Cassiopeia Five parties of the emperor of heaven
Canopy of the Emperor 華蓋 7 Cassiopeia Umbrella shelter used by the emperor
Canopy Support 9 Camelopardalis / Cassiopeia The handle of canopy
Guest House 傳舍 9 Camelopardalis / Cassiopeia / Cepheus Welcome ancient premises
Inner Steps 內階 6 Ursa Major The ladder to connect of Purple Palace
Celestial Kitchen 天廚 6 Draco General officers kitchen
Eight Kinds of Crops 八穀 8 Camelopardalis / Auriga Eight kind of crops, refer to rice, millet, barley, wheat, soybean, bean, chestnut, hemp, or the land management officials
Celestial Flail 天棓 5 Draco / Hercules Agricultural device for threshing
Inner Kitchen 內廚 2 Draco Kitchen designed for the temple
Administrative Center 文昌 6 Ursa Major Six government departments or officials
Three Top Instructors 三師 3 Ursa Major
Three Excellencies 三公 3 Canes Venatici
Celestial Bed 天床 6 Ursa Minor / Draco Left child of the bed
Royals 太尊 1 Ursa Major Royal, or the royal ancestor
Celestial Prison 天牢 6 Ursa Major Aristocratic prison confinement
Guard of the Sun 太陽守 1 Ursa Major Minister or the general
Eunuch 4 Leo Minor The eunuchs
Prime Minister 1 Canes Venatici The prime minister
Sombre Lance 玄戈 1 Boötes A weapon
Judge for Nobility 天理 4 Ursa Major Imprisonment in prison or magistrate noble
Northern Dipper 北斗 7 Ursa Major Consists of :
  • The Celestial Pivot (天樞) → 1st star
  • The Celestial Rotating Jade (天璇) → 2nd star
  • The Celestial Shining Pearl (天機) → 3rd star
  • The Celestial Balance (天權) → 4th star
  • The Jade Sighting-Tube (玉衡) → 5th star
  • The Opener of Heat (開陽) → 6th star
  • The Twinkling Brilliance (搖光) → 7th star
The Big Dipper
Assistant 1 Ursa Major Minister of the North Star (Fǔchú)
Celestial Spear 天槍 3 Boötes Weapon guard

See alsoEdit