Thursday, December 17, 2009

The Art of Life Reading

Let us examine Tiger Wood's 4 Pillars chart:

--------------------Hour -------Day -------Month ------Year

Yi乙 on the year pillar represents his wife sitting on a firm root Mao 卯. However, this root is threatened by the penalty by the month branch Zi 子, which is the peach blossom.

The current period has branch You 酉 that clashed Mao 卯 making the wife element floating thus damaging the foundation of the marriage. You again is a peach blossom. The stem Yi of the luck pillar represents a woman but this is not even a mistress because of the floating nature. It represents casual sex partners.

The picture is clear but the art of life reading is not about accuracy. It is how the astrologer can provide useful advice.

The stem Wu 戊 above Zi in the month pillar is an internal combination. In other words, it can reduce the damage done by Zi. Resource Wu 戊 represents an adviser. If someone can advise Tiger to stay away from damaging peach blossom and focus on his performance (Zi), then the strong water (from Hai, Zi and Chou which is the year branch for 2009) will dissolve the clash between You and Mao. This will save the marriage.

With the help of a good astrologer, one can change his fate. Does it mean that astrology is not accurate? Well, the art of life reading is to help people live in the best way according to destiny. An astrologer is to give guidance to the client what colours to add to make his life a beautiful picture. Good life reading should not be accurately saying, "You are doomed to divorce".


14 comments: said...

Dear Joseph,

Sorry, but I see "accuracy" being a major factor in each and every step you describe here.

First of all we have the chart itself. It can be more or less accurate in describing the person and the different phases in his life. It depends on the "quality" of the system of astrology we use.
Here we can see that the 4 pillars offers a pretty accurate picture for Tiger Woods.

Then there is the analysis of the chart. The system of astrology and the chart may be accurate enough, but if the astrologer does not make an accurate analysis of it, then it will be of little help.

And once an accurate analysis was made, then one can give accurate advice and guidance based on the picture from astrology.

If there was lack of accuracy in one or more of these 3 steps, then the given advice will be a hit or miss affair.
Or it will just be plain common sense advice that could have been given equally well without looking into the chart.


I can't think of any "art" in which accuracy is not a major factor.
The cook needs accuracy in chosing his ingredients, the master painter is more accurate in his choice of color, and so on.

Just name us one "art" in which accuracy is not very important.
You won't find one, because without accuracy there will be no quality, and without quality there is no art.


Mary Catherine Bax said...

Dear Joseph,

According to the day branch, Mao is also Peach Blossom making this an even more dominant force in Tiger Wood's chart.
Is there anything honorable that Peach Blossom could be used for?


Joseph Yu said...

Dear Danny,

Maybe we are talking about the same thing. I use the phrase "clear picture" while you use the word "accurate". However, there is clearly some fundamental differences.

Even in music, I only see beauty but not accuracy. Try to listen to Mario Lanza singing "Ole Sole Mio" and then Luciano Pavarotti sing the same song. If one is accurate, then the other is not because they sing differently. Then listen to Elvis Presley singing "It's Now or Never" and you will say it is horribly inaccurate. But remember, these are great artists. They touch the audience hearts in different ways.

What I try to say is that an astrologer can clearly present a picture and guide people to live a life the best way possible according to the picture. We cannot "accurately" predict when exactly a person will get married, with whom, when he will die. If this is possible, then people with the same chart will live exactly the same life which is contrary to reality.

"Clarity" and not "accuracy" is the major factor in astrology.

JY said...

Hi Joseph,

If you don't see accuracy in music, then it is because you are not an expert in music ( and I am not either).
But next time we meet I will sing "O Sole Mio" for you, and you will quickly agree that accuracy is very important in music.
When there are too much false notes and innacurate timing, then the song is no longer beautiful, it may actually sound horrible.

That's also why musicians spend so much time tuning their instruments, or why a mediocre singer has to spend such long time in the recording studio (till it is nearly "perfect"). That's why even a Pavarotti needed singing lessons...
It's all about accuracy, accuracy in tone, accuracy in timing and rythm,...
Without accuracy there will be no beauty.

Accuracy does not imply all artists have to sing identical. They have a certain freedom to "interpret" the song, put some of their own accents according to their own voice. But these variations will also be accurate according to certain "laws" of music. If not they are singing false, which actually happens from time to time.

If we don't see the accuracy in a certain "art", then it is not because it is not there, but because we are not said artists.
Sometimes only another painter can see how accurately a certain color was chosen, or how accurately something is positioned in the painting,..


In terms of astroloy.
Where does your "clear picture" come from? It can only happen if the system of astrology is accurate. If the system of astrology is not accurate enough then it will not yield clear pictures very often(only once in a while by accident).
That's probably what happened when you tried to use solar calendar for Zi Wei.
You said it was terrible.
So, why it was terrible?
I don't think your talent to read and analyse pictures had suddenly deserted you.
So the reason must have been that the pictures were no longer as clear when you used solar calendar.

And it is only logical.
If we make too much changes to a valid system, then its accuracy gets impaired and we no longer get clear pictures out of it.
It will be like trying to play on a piano that is out of tune.

And this brings us back to the original question that got us started on this topic.
Given the frequent changes to the lunar calendar, how could the systems of astrology that depend on it stay accurate enough to give "clear pictures".
Each time the lunar calendar calculation was changed, many people's chart changed. How could
these different charts and "pictures" all be valid?


Joseph Yu said...

Dear Danny,

This is what Wikipedia talks about "piano tuning":

Fine piano tuning requires an assessment of the interaction between notes, which is different for every piano, thus in practice requiring slightly different pitches from any theoretical standard.

In the same way, every singer has to adjust to his own key and even rhythm. "Accuracy" is obviously not the word to be used in any kind of art.

If you ask Pablo Picasso to paint a portrait for you, don't be surprised to see a one-eye monster. Do you call this accuracy?

Again, from Wikipedia:

Chaos theory is an area of inquiry in mathematics, physics, and philosophy studying the behavior of dynamical systems that are highly sensitive to initial conditions.

Astrology is a dynamical system that is highly sensitive to initial conditions and it requires the knowledge of mathematics, physics and philosophy to be a good astologer.

The deterministic nature of astrology does not make the path of life predictable and this behaviour satisfies what is defined as "chaos".

If everything in life is predetermined accurately, what is the point of astrology? Human beings are then just programmed robots to amuse "God".

JY said...

Hi Joseph,

The example of the piano highlights just how accurate the tuning of a piano has to be.
Just standard tuning is not good enough, it has to be even more accurate according to the individual characteristics of each piano.

Same with the singer.
That's why he needs singing lessons. Just copying the way somebody else sings a song is not going to be accurate enough according to his own voice.

And you think there is no accuracy in a Picasso painting?
Sure, it is clearly not photographic accuracy, but that's not the only type of accuracy that can be brought on the canvas.
But it is a very good example.
Because many people who see abstract or conceptional works, they often wonder if it is really art, they think everybody can do something like that... That's not art, they think.
Why they think that?
Because they cannot see where the accuracy is.

All very good examples about why accuracy is so crucial in art.


Your responses suggest to me you mix up "accuracy" with other things.

Accuracy does not imply there cannot be individual variations.
Accuracy also does not mean that things become predetermined.
These have nothing to do with each other.

So what is accuracy is in a system of astrology?
If a system of astrology gives you the kind of "clear pictures" that you have been talking about, then we can say it is an accurate system.
If on the other hand I were to devise a totally made up system of astrology to calculate a chart, the pictures you get will be mish-mash, the pictures will not be clear or relevant.
So then we will conclude this is not an accurate system of astrology.

That's what happened when you used solar calendar for Zi Wei.
Why it was terrible, if not for the problem that you no longer got clear pictures?
And if you no longer got clear pictures it shows that Zi Wei is no longer accurate when you use it with solar calendar.
So it proves that accuracy is important in astrology.
If it was not so, then we could use any calendar we want for Zi Wei, and it would still work just the same.
That would be the possible proof that accuracy is not a factor.
But then that would also be a proof that astrology doesn't work.
So be careful what we ask for.


Mary Catherine Bax said...

Dear Danny and Joseph,

I find the accuracy in astrology is the same as in meteorology. This may well be that I am not at the same level as Joseph.

To me, astrology is giving someone an weather report about their lives at different times.

The difficult part is telling someone a storm is coming and how to brace for it.

The exact temperature and velocity of the wind rarely is reported as 'accurate'. Yet a weather report is essential in the preparation of wise decisions.

Take Tiger Woods. There is a strong current of Peach Blossoms in his chart. If he understood this, knew himself, perhaps, he could find a way to transform this qi into something that doesn't destroy the family he loves.

Looking at the brutal attacks on Sarah Palin since she became global and somehow she has managed to take those attacks and use them as her own weapon as she becomes a millionaire and best selling author.


Joseph Yu said...

Dear Mary, Danny,

Astrology is not to "accurately" predict that something will happen. It is to conclude from a picture of the future that there is a high probability of something happening in the future. In this respect, astrology and weather forecast are similar in nature.

For example, before the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic, it was predicted that there will be rain in Beijing. 1110 rockets were fired from 21 sites in the city, intercepting a potentially disruptive rain belt and triggering premature showers before they reached the capital. Baoding city, south-west of Beijing, received about 100mm (4in) of precipitation on Friday night but in the capital the rain held off.

Can we say that the forecast of rain was inaccurate?

Likewise, the point of astrology is not to predict accurately what is going to happen. Rather, we see a high probability of something to be happening. If it is undesirable, a good astrologer will give advice for people to follow to prevent it from happening.

Several years ago, during a Zi Wei Dou Shu seminarin India, I gave a reading of a chart provided by a student. I told him that the person should do well in the military or police or at least in the commanding position in a large organization leading the company to fight against competitors.

The student said that it was his chart. He was the owner of a chemical factory that had several thousand workers. Unfortunately because the nature of the business was not really competitive, his achievement was not spectacular. However, his twin brother having the same chart was a very high ranking general in the army.

Well, the reading was more "accurate" for his brother but was not that "accurate" for him. If i gave him the reading before he decided to choose his career, probably his life would be much more rewarding.

So you can see that it is not accurateness that counts. It is the proper advice given according to the projected picture that should be the purpose of life reading.

BTW, accuracy is the numerical measure of the number of correct results divided by the total number of results. Accuracy is a number between 0 and 1.

Of course, if astrology fails to build up a clear and relevant image based on which advice is given, then it is a failure.
We demand that the image is clear but we do not demand that the outcome is accurate.

JY said...

>Of course, if astrology fails to build up a clear and relevant image based on which advice is given, then it is a failure.
We demand that the image is clear but we do not demand that the outcome is accurate.

Hi Joseph, Mary,

That's what I have been trying to tell all along.
If a system of astrology is not accurate enough to give you a clear and relevant picture, then the advice you give based on that wrong picture will probably not be accurate either.
The quality of the advice depends on the quality of the picture.
And the quality of the picture depends on the accuracy of the astrology system. We cannot avoid that.

So the question of accuracy is at the very basis of what we do.
It doesn't matter that we are not "predicting" what *will* happen, even if we claim to only give "advice", that advice can be 100% accurate, it can be reasonably OK, or it can be totally out of wack.

I don't know why astrologers are so shy to talk about the accuracy of their work and methods.
We are not the only ones who do not reach 100% accuracy or are in a field that involves plenty of "chaos".
Indeed weather prediction and economist's prognosis are in the same boat, so it is good to compare with them.

For example, weather is also very "chaotic" and not fully deterministic.
But meteorologists work all the time to make their weather models more accurate, and nowadays their predictions are a lot more accurate then they were 20 years ago. So it pays to look at accuracy.


Even advice can be accurate or not, so avoiding the word "prediction" does not exclude us from looking at the accuracy of what we do.
Honestly, I am amazed at the kind of "gymnastics" I see to avoid this basic question of accuracy.

We don't need to be ashamed at reaching only something like 50% accuracy rate.
For example this famous economer got it wrong each time he opened his mouth, yet he gets reappointed and was recently named Time magazine's man of the year:

As astrologers we do not reach the accuracy of the weather man, but we are not doing any worse than economists, so..

But denying the question of accuracy will be worst of all worlds, because it suggests to people that we don't want to talk about the accurracy of our methods and results.

To me, somebody who is not willingly looking at the accuracy of his work, is not looking to improve his methods.
It makes a bad impression.


Foon said...

Dear Danny

"The cook needs accuracy in chosing his ingredients,"

It reminded me of a cookery course I did many years ago at an upmarket cookery school. The ingredients for each lesson were already chosen and weighed for each student and I can assure you that the finished result for each student looked and tasted differently starting with the same ingredients and following the instructions from the same teacher at the same time. The teacher went round at the end and tasted and commented on each student's efforts. I have the good fortune in his life to be born to a father who is an amazing chef (now retired)and I have learnt from him how to cook with whatever ingredients and how to handle food.
So my dishes turned out looking and tasting a lot better than my classmates.

Give a group of astrologers the same chart (ingredients) and some of the readings will come out tasting and looking a lot better. Just like knowing how to handle food is an art, so is knowing how to handle astrology charts.

Best Regards,

Marianna Halassy said...

Dear Joseph and Danny,

I think the misunderstanding came from a poor comparison here.
We shouldn't 'compare' art with accuracy, it is more of art v. science.

Accuracy is the most important concept in astrology, why else would we even bother to practice it?

Art comes in when 'accuracy' is conveyed to a client. It can be inspiring or just a bland weather forecast.

There are Van Goghs and nameless imitators.

Happy New Year,

Mary Catherine Bax said...

Dear Friends,

In the epic Battle of the Red Cliff, Zhuge Liang advises General Zhou Yu the precise hour to attack the stronger army of its enemy, Cao Cao.

Zhuge Liang may well have been a master of Qi Men Dun Jia and was able to determine the exact time when the seasonal wind of the northwest was to die that coincided with the birth of wind from the southeast giving General Wu a winning strategy that resulted in victory.

Now that is accuracy!


P.S. (Please excuse the poor writing in my previous post. Days of cooking and baking have taken their toll.) said...

Hi Foon, Marianna, all,

Of course all these cooks will cook a different tasting meal with the same ingredients.
Because cooking requires great accuracy with every little step. Not only in chosing the ingredients, but also in how long you cook each ingredient, and how hot you cook it, and the sequence in which you add them, and the timing, and so on and so forth..
Give these same ingredients to me and it will come out as a total disaster. Why? Because I don't know the accuracies needed to cook really well.

Do we really need more examples how 'accuracy' is absolutely crucial in each and every "art" ?


Different astrologers will read the same chart different.
It is normal. Each of them will weigh the "ingredients" in the chart a little different, so they will come to different readings, just like the cooks come to different meals.
The astrologers's readings will differ in their accuracy, it is inevitable.

Just like a weather forecast can be right or wrong, the astrologer's reading can be accurate or it can be a failure, as Joseph told in the example of the reading he did in India.

So accuracy of our readings is an important part of what we do, and it makes no sense to sweep the question of accuracy under the carpet by saying that there is too much "chaos" in life, or that no two pianos sound the same, or that we are only giving "advice", not predictions.
While nobody will disagree with any of these points
None of them rids us of the questions of how accurate is our method, how accurate are our readings and how accurate is the advice we give based on those readings.

Or as Marianna says it: "Accuracy is the most important concept in astrology, why else would we even bother to practice it?"

Exactly so.
Because if there is no accuracy in our astrology, then we could as well give our advice based on tossing a single coin when a client asks us if he should take a job or go to study at university.

Whatever we do.
Without accuracy there is no skill.


Sanjay Dua said...

Hi All,

I enjoyed reading this discussion thread.

I tend to agree that without accuracy there would also be no repeatability, which is central to delivering consistent results of superior quality.

The "art" comes from describing the BaZi picture, which is always rendered in high resolution because the methods employed are accurate and the process repeatable.

My two cents.

Sanjay Dua