Legend of the Lo Shu (= story of turtle Lo Wi)

Hello I am Lowi, a five thousand year old turtle. I live in the river Lo (the yellow river) in China. Here’s my story!

When I was young (in the year 2800 before Christ) I was a servant of the river god. When the river god was angry the river would overflow. The people of a village near by the river would place a gift by the bank of the river. They hoped the river god would accept the gift, and the river would not overflow again. Each time as the villagers placed a gift by the bank of the river I would come out of the river and walk around the gift.

One day there was a little boy near by the river. He looked at my shell and saw that my shell-pattern consisted of nine cells. The nine cells contain 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 or 9 dots. He repeatedly counted the dots of 3 cells (horizontal, vertical or diagonal) in a row. Each time the little boy counted 15 dots.

The little boy went to the headman of the village and told him about the spots on my shell. The headman organised a meeting. The villagers deceided to place 15 gifts by the bank of the river.

I came out of the river and I walked 15 times around the presents. That’s a long time for a turtle! Then the river god appeared. He accepted the gifts and indicated to the villagers that the river would not overflow again.

So, that was a pretty exciting story, wasn’t it! Would you like to find out how to make the magic square from my story. There are eight different ways to make the 3x3 magic square. You will need the following 3 instructions for this:

[instruction 1]   Always put the 5 in the middle of the square.

[instruction 2]   Always put the 2, 4, 6 and 8 in one of the corners of the square.

[instruction 3]   Always put the 2 and 8 and the 4 and 6 in the same diagonal (so

not in the same row or the same column).

 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5

3x3 magic square.xls