Saturday, June 23, 2007

Yong Shen 用神

"Useful God" is actually a bad translation. It misleads the reader to think about "usefulness".

In fact, the character "yong 用" conveys the idea of "focus". The focus of the chart is the distinct feature of the chart. The particular deity/god that is responsible for that feature is the Yong Shen - the deity we focus at. Obviously a chart is good if the Yong Shen is healthy and strong. A bad luck period will have this Yong Shen attacked by the luck pillar. However, if the Yong Shen is protected in the natal chart, then the attack may be dissolved.

How to identify the Yong Shen in a four-pillars chart is simple and not simple. Some people say scornfully that Yong Shen is unimportant. Well, it simply means that these people have no focus when they read a chart.


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Bazi is colorful

At an elementary stage of studying Bazi 八字 or a more academic name, Four Pillars of Destiny 四柱推命術, we talk about types of charts 格局 and consider good and bad luck cycles. Some even classify the 10 deities into good and bad deities. These are only for beginners to have a guideline. Bazi is not black and white. It is colorful.

It is not enough to say good luck pillars or bad luck pillars. We have to know what is before the person during this cycle. And more importantly, how to deal with the situation to get the best result.

Su Dongpo's chart, for example, can be classified as "Follow Intensity 從旺格". It does not tell you anything. Some may say it is "Fake Follow" as there is Chou earth to go against the water. Well, it is not the case. Chou is one leg of the water directional frame in the north. It does not obstruct the flow of qi. However, it is not true that it transforms into water being in the water frame. Transformation is irrelevant.


Sunday, June 17, 2007

Su Dong Po's Ba Zi

Su Shi 蘇軾, who called himself Dong Po Ju Shi 東坡居士, was born in 1037 January 8. His four pillars chart is:

乙 癸 辛 丙
卯 亥 丑 子

56 46 36 26 16 6
丁 丙 乙 甲 癸 壬
未 午 巳 辰 卯 寅

Hai, Zi and Chou form a strong water directional frame inducing the Bing Xin combination to transform into water. The qi all drain into Yi Mao Shi Shen 食神. No wonder he was a great poet, writer, painter, calligrapher and philosopher.

Unfortunately the month branch Chou contains Qi Sha 七殺 and he got entangled between the conservative and reform parties 新舊黨爭. His political path was doomed to be disastrous.


Saturday, June 16, 2007

Examining ancient graves

Some Feng Shui masters today love to boast about the authenticity of their Feng Shui knowledge. Some examine the facing of ancient graves to confirm their Feng Shui theory. Others examine the facing of temples built over a century.

They do not understand that the magnetic declination is changing all the time. The facing of a grave or a temple built 100 years ago is definitely different measured today and measured 100 years ago. If the measurement today fits their Feng Shui theory, then it should not have fit the same 100 years ago. What is the point?


Friday, June 15, 2007


This is a sentence quoted from Feng Shui classic Tian Yu Jing 天玉經. The full sentence is:

卯山卯向卯源水 驟富石崇比

It is one example of Yi Gua Chun Qing 一卦純清to have mountain, facing and water source from gua of the same palace. If a grave site can satisfy these conditions, then the desendants will be rich as Shi Chong 石崇.

I have read one book written by a very arrogant master. The reason why I say he is a very arrogant master is because in his books he is never tired of attacking other masters and boasting of how learned he is. Well, his annotation of this sentence betrays him.

He mistook 石崇 to be rocks on a lofty mountain!

In fact, Shi Chong 石崇 (249-300) was a wealthy man who lived during the Jin Dynasty 晉朝. He was very clever and became a government officer at the age of 20. He was promoted to be the governor of a rich county where he squeezed the citizens and even robbed wealthy travelers so that he became extremely rich in just a few years time. He also had a very beautiful woman as his concubine. The story has a justified ending. A powerful king who wanted his wealth and women had him prosecuted and killed. The beautiful concubine committed suicide jumping down from her chamber.

This is a well-known story. It shows how learned this arrogant master is.

It is actually not good to use Shi Chong to represent a wealthy person. He got rich by unethical and illegal means. His ending was horrible. It shows that the author of Tian Yu Jing was not a very educated person. People are of the opinion that Tian Yu Jing was written by Yang Yun Song 楊筠松. I doubt it very much. At least this sentence cannot be Yang Gong's writing.


Monday, June 11, 2007

The two things I love to do most

It is really nice to work and play with my grandson at the same time.

To write while you are light-hearted you can inject joy into the writing.

I just love this semi-retirement lifestyle.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Translation 3

Chinese writers were/are fond of using history to relate to ideas they want to convey. If the reader does not know Chinese history, he will be lost and cannot understand what the author tries to talk about. Therefore, in translating Chinese writing into another language, the historical reference must be pointed out to convey the author's ideas to the readers.

For example, there is a sentence in Xuan Kong Mi Zhi 玄空秘旨:

富並陶朱 定是堅金遇土

Tao Zhu 陶朱 is the name of a wealthy man in the Spring-Autumn period. It is a beautiful story too long to tell here. In short, after helping a King who lost his country to the invaders to take revenge and restored his kingdom, Tao Zhu (whose real name was Fan Li 范蠡) left his country and started his new life in another country. He was a real commercial genius who became the richest man in just a few years' time.

I remember someone translated the article into English. The translation was ok but the annotation showed poor Chinese history background. The translator mistook Tao Zhu as the family names of two wealthy man Tao and Zhu. The translator further invented the story of these two men competing in luxury by destroying pearls to see who destroyed more.

The common annotation of the sentence in most Chinese books is:

When the water star is 6 and the mountain star is 2, then the people will be as wealthy as Tao Zhu.

This is not really the case. I will only give out a little hint here. Both stars and forms must be examined to see the effect. In fact, the entire article is to be read with this attitude. It is not just about the combinations of stars.


Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Qilin 麒麟

Legend says that Confucius' mother saw a qilin when she was pregnant. Not long after that, she gave birth to Confucius. It is the origin of the proverb:

Heaven bestows a qilin son 天降麟兒.

What exactly is the qilin? Does this animal exist?

Several descriptions are found in ancient books:

(1) 禮記 - Qilin, phoenix, tortoise and dragon are the four spiritual creatures 靈獸.

(2) 爾雅釋獸 - qilin: deer body, ox tail, one horn.

This is from the chapter about animals from an encyclopedia compiled during the early Han Dynasty.

(3) 說文解字 - 麒 is a benevolent animal. It has the body of a deer, tail of an ox and one horn. 麟 is a female 麒. Later annotation explains that this animal has weapon but never attacks and therefore it is benevolent. It does not tread on insects and does not trample the grass. Therefore it is an animal of fortune. It appears when the world enjoys peace and prosperity or when a sage is to come.

說文解字 is probably the earliest dictionary compiled in the Han Dynasty.

(4) 明史 - qilin: fore legs measure 9 feet 尺, hind legs 6 feet, neck 16 feet, with two short horns, ox tail and deer body.

This is from the official Ming Dynasty History about foreign countries.

The description before Ming Dynasty was quite different from that in the Ming Dynasty when Zheng He 鄭和 brought two giraffes back from Africa. The emperor was pleased and said that they were the qilin that symbolized the prosperity of his empire.

Today bronze or porcelain qilin are used in Feng Shui practices to bring protection to people and to get rid of sha qi.


Monday, June 4, 2007

Three Stylish Subjects 三式

The three stylish subjects are:

(1) Tai Yi Shen Shu 太乙神數
(2) Qi Men Dun Jia 奇門遁甲
(3) Liu Ren 六壬

Tai Yi is based mainly on Tian Yuan 天元.
Qi Men is based mainly on Di Yuan 地元.
Liu Ren is based manily on Ren Yuan 人元.

Tai Yi is used to divine national (and international) events, changes in climate, and natural disasters.

Qi Men is used to find out the best direction and timing for important human events. In the old days, it was used in military affairs.

Liu Ren is used to divine human affairs which can be trifle everyday matters.

Like every other metaphysical subject, in the beginning, it is important to understand the formulation and interpretation according to established rules. At a more advanced stage, the rules can be forgotten. The ultimate goal is have the subject integrated into the diviner's spirit and become one.