Check out a CNTV clip about Song Dynasty era Taoist carvings of a 9 star Big Dipper in Qingdao. The marks showing the most famous part of the Ursa Major constellation were cut into the pink granite of Qingdao’s Laoshan mountains and reflect ancient Taoist astrology .
More info on the 9 Star Taoist Big Dipper:
“Sometimes there are said to be nine stars — besides the seven visible stars, two invisible “attendant” stars, one on either side of the star Alkaid. Legend has it that there used to be 9 stars (北斗九星) but 2 had since faded and that those who can see the 2 unseen stars will lead a long life.”
Transcript of report from CNTV:
A stone carving of three Big Dipper formations was found recently near Qingdao in East China’s Shangdong Province. The carving was found in Laoshan Mountain, one of the birthplaces of Taoism. Specialists say that the three formations probably originated from the Song Dynasty a thousand years ago.
Since the Big Dipper plays a crucial role in Taoist astrology, the stone was used by Taoists as a worshipping place, and later became a location for movement, exercise and meditation.
Taoists believe that through stepping or sitting on the stars, people can absorb energy and strength.