Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Continue guessing

This is a piece of land for growing grass. President Hu visited the place in September 1986. The said company that invited him there erected the monument in August 2004. It looks like a tombstone. Some Feng Shui masters also use this to "plant the life base" for a living person. The details involves putting something like finger nails and hair together with some other things in a miniature coffin to be buried underneath the monument. It is said that in this way if the location is a "dragon qi node 龍穴", then the living person will capture the dragon qi to bring him good health and fortune.

However, the location does not qualify to be a "dragon qi node" from a Feng Shui point of view. It is unlikely the work of a Feng Shui master. Then what is it?


Monday, December 19, 2011

Guess what this is!

The first three characters in the central column is the name of the President of China, Hu Jin Tao. Can you guess what this monument is?


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The illness of men

When I was young (in the twenties), due to success in studies and writing books, I was very proud of my achievement and the ability to understand things I wanted to learn. When I studied ancient books on Chinese Metaphysics, I thought that I knew much more than all those who had been practicing for 30 years. In a way it was true. But when I continued to study, I was alarmed at the fact that I actually knew very little.

Today, I see my shadow in some talented young men who are teaching Chinese Metaphysics in the west. It was lucky that I did not teach until my master allowed me to - 10 years after his death. Why? Otherwise I would have passed on a lot of immature materials that could be harmful and created bad karma.

There is a famous Chinese saying (maybe from Confucius): The illness of men is that they love to be teachers of others (人之患在好為人師). This is the origin of the term : The illness of men (人之患) to represent "teachers".

Therefore, I demand my students to teach only after they have practiced for at least 2-5 years depending on the amount and quality of the cases. It is not practical to demand that my students teach 10 years after I die!

Today, there are a lot of people who start teaching after attending a weekend course. There are people who, after taking a few lessons, claim to have mastered the entire true teaching passed down from Yang Jun Song 楊筠松 (honoured as Yang Gong 楊公). 


People today use a lot of cooked up stories to tell how effective their practice (with no theoretical background to support) is. When the practice brings misfortune, they would say that without the practice, it would have been much
greater disaster. The practice actually saved peoples' lives so that they are only hurt, not dead.

An incompetent doctor can kill a patient. An incompetent feng shui practitioner can bring misfortune to a family. What can an incompetent feng shui teacher bring?


Saturday, December 3, 2011

What is and what is not Feng Shui

Undeniably the term Feng Shui has been abused in recent years. Here I am referring to both yin and yang house Feng Shui, particularly the latter.

The scholarly term of Feng Shui is Kan Yu 堪輿 which means the way of Heaven and Earth.
One can loosely connect wind to Heaven and water to Earth. We can say that Kan Yu is the study of the way of living in harmony in any particular space at the current time.

The basis of the study and practice is that qi 氣 comes to a house according to the orientation of the house and the location of mountains (walls) and waters (doors and windows). It is about the approach of yang qi towards yin qi and the characteristics of the embryo formed as a result of the intercourse. These characteristics change with time. These characteristics also change with the environment. The environment includes the forms outside and inside the house.

By the forms we mean the mountains and waters, the buildings and the roads. the partitioning walls, large objects and the interior pathways, doors and windows inside the house. These affect the characteristics of the qi coming into a house. These also affect the qi generated in the mnds of the occupants.

Religious beliefs and shamantic practices that have no relationship with the environment should be excluded from the Feng Shui realm. No one has the right or authority to define what is and what is not Feng Shui just in the same way as to define what is and what is not Science (remembering that it comes from the Latin word "scientia" meaning "knowledge"). However, we must respect the origin of the term and the way the knowledge is developed through time. At times, the development may be led to the wrong path and it is our responsibility to bring it back on track. The path should not depart from the study of environment and its changes with time.
If we do not put a stop to the wrong path, black magic and voodoo will be considered Feng Shui in no time.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How do we know that Feng Shui works?

I am quite happy to share some evidence from my files.

Case 1. This is a consultation I did in 1998. It was an apartment unit which was occupied by a medical doctor and his daughter. The daughter asked me to fengshui their home.

I am going to omit the details of the theoretical part. After analyzing the qi pattern, I told the lady that the occupants of the house would easily get into uninvited financial troubles. Before I was going into a little more details of what I meant, the lady told me with excitement what they were facing.

They bought the apartment unit three years ago and was always paying the mortgage on time. two years ago, they were notified by the bank that their payment was in arears and asked for immediate payment. They went to the bank showing the receipt and the bank manager apologized and told them that the records would be straightened out. Two months later, the same thing happened and they went to the bank complaining for the inconvenience caused. They got another apology from the manager and were confirmed that it would not happen again. Well, six months later, on a Friday evening, when they went home, they were not allowed to go into their home by some authorized people - the house was seized. They asked to go in to get their payment receipts to go the bank and were allowed to do so. It was a Friday and the bank was closed by the time they got there. They spent the weekend in a hotel and went accompanied by a lawyer to the bank. It was again the bank's mistake but this time they were very angry and asked the lawyer to sue the bank. They demanded a huge sum of money for compensation. The bank's legal team tried to drag on with the case.

What I did was to place a mirror somewhere so that the light from one window could be reflected into a room that they used as an office where they did their work. It was the easiest way to get the powerful timely qi to reach the area where they did the accounting influenced by the qi that caused the problem.

To cut the story short, two weeks later, they were offered something they could not reject from the bank for settlement.

It may be a coincidence as no control experiment can be designed and you cannot go back in time to prove that it is only a coincidence. Of course, you can say that it is not a valid proof that Feng Shui works. To me, I am just satisfied with the result. So did my clients.


Autumn scenes

Air Show


Monday, November 21, 2011


This is an article I wrote 10 years ago:

"The central idea of Yi is "change". This means that the world is forever changing. There are forever new things and new situations. We are to deal with the ever changing world and to cope with the changes.

The teaching of Feng Shui is no exception. There are things and situations today that the ancients could never have imagined. If we practise exactly the way the ancients did, then we are simply outdated.

As a matter of fact, Feng Shui is a living knowledge and from time to time there are great masters who surpass their predecessors. It is not that they are better, it is because they are standing on the shoulders of giants (Sir Issaac Newton's words).

Inventions are good but they must be based on sound principles well established by the ancients (unless such principles have been disproved and overruled). Only in this way can Feng Shui become a respectable subject to learn.

The ancients never had the problem of using boxes or wedges because these are new inventions. They are inventions to help people understand how to deal with the qi in a house. They are invented for convenience of presenting the picture. Unfortunately, they have
been taught in a dogmatic manner.

In books and on websites, we cannot expect the teacher to use a lot of words to explain how the diagrams explain the qi pattern. So it leads to the misunderstanding that the stars are confined to 9 boxes or 8 wedges. My students all understand what they are and how they should be used. This makes the distinction between learning from books and from a
living person.

To be able to read the ancient books and apply the knowledge to fit the modern situation is the way to Feng Shui. To denounce anything that the ancients did not do in their Feng Shui practices is dogmatic. It only hinders the progress. Since the ancients invented a lot of things, why should we not do the same? However, it does not mean that baseless inventions are good. We only respect those that are based on established principles and have practical results."


Monday, November 14, 2011

An inspiring case study

More than 10 years ago, I gave a Zi Wei Dou Shu seminar in India. A student asked me to read a chart in class. I told him that the person should do well in the military force if that was the career he pursued. He should also do well if he ran a business with a lot of people working under him and the business was competitive.

The student said that it was his chart. He was not doing too well although he owned a factory with quite a lot of workers. When I asked more about his business, he told the class that he did not have to compete with other factories because his product was quite unique. He made money but he did not have much job satisfaction as he did not have the feeling of beating his rivals because he had no rivals.

On the other hand, he pointed out that his twin brother decided to join the army and became a famous general.

We can see that life reading only unveils an image. The person's decision affects the outcome. Another person with the same chart may decide to do nothing and becomes a beggar on the street. However, he may become a leader of a lot of beggars as if he is the king of beggars who rules a certain domain.

Good advice well taken will bring a person's potential to the highest level. This is the value of life reading.


Friday, November 4, 2011

An Old Post I wrote 10 years ago

The following is quoted from a Buddhist book. You will
find the situation amazingly similar in Daoism,
Confucianism and Feng Shui.

"Buddhism was regarded as an educational system, and
not a religion when it was first introduced into
China. Regretfully, about two hundred years ago, the
practice of Buddhism had taken on a more religious

Buddhism is a special kind of knowledge; it is not a
religion. In order to derive true benefit from it, we
have to understand its true nature. 

Buddhism is the teaching of Buddha Shakamuni as he was
its founder. We call Him the "Original teacher". The
relationship between Buddha and ourselves is a
teacher-student relationship, which is not religious
in nature. The relationship between a Bodhisattva and
ourselves is a senior schoolmate-junior schoolmate

A teacher can only educate us about the principles,
tell us of his/her experiences in practice and
attainment, and suggest various methods for our
attainment. The rest ultimately depends upon us."

Well, well, in Feng Shui education, what we learn is
the teaching of the great masters in the past. We are
learning from the great masters themselves through
their written work. A teacher is responsible to
educate his/her students about the principles, and
tell them of his/her experiences in practice and

The first part is fundamental. The second part is only
a guideline and sharing experimental results. 

A good teacher must teach the fundamental principles
and his/her experiments (practices) must be based on
these principles. It is not sufficient to say that
this is what my teacher told me and he is the most
experienced teacher today.

Anything not based on principles is not worth trying
because it is dangerous. An experiment is only to
verify a theory. We should not practise anything
blindly without a theoretical background.


Friday, October 21, 2011

If you know "what", then you know "how"

My friend Howard suggested that I should write about "How does Feng Shui work". He mentioned that his Russian translator studied FS for more than 10 years from different masters and still could not work out how it was supposed to work in practice. 

The simple answer is, "If you do not know what Feng Shui is about, then you will never know how to practice to have results." 

Let us go back in time to see how Feng Shui was practiced according to a poem in Shi Jing 詩經:

篤公劉     既溥且長    既景迺岡     相其陰陽     觀其流泉     

Honourable Liu brings us to the land that is broad and long. He measures the directions of shadows as he climbs up the hill. He examines the sunny and shady sides of the mountains. He watches how the stream flows.

During the reign of Xia Jie 夏桀 (the last emperor of Xia Dynasty), the tribe with family name Ji 姬 had a wise and honourable leader Liu. He led his people in search for a piece of land where his people could live happily. The poem describes how he did it. This is the first written record of how to practice Feng Shui to have good results. His tribe lived in prosperity thereafter. Many centuries later, they established the Zhou Dynasty.

Obviously Gong Liu did not use the flying stars or the hexagrams because at that time, such sophisticated technique was not known. Feng Shui is a living knowledge that grows with time but the ancient technique used by Gong Liu is still the most fundamental part in our practice today.

Since many different ways are invented over time, most of the inventions are useless but they are being taught by different teachers. To mention a few: use a three-legged toad (the money frog) to bring wealth, create a money vase, use the bagua mirror to cure sha qi, hang a flute under a beam, use a sleeping elephant to make your child obedient or to make your customer to listen to you etc.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Feng Shui is not '1 + 1 = 2'

Some of you may ask sarcastically, "Feng Shui is '1 + 1 = 3' then?"
The answer is simply that Feng Shui is not a piece of mathematics. We cannot use an equation to describe Feng Shui. In the same way, Feng Shui is not a force, not an energy, not equivalent to any scientific terms. What is it then?

Feng Shui analysis is a description of the kind of metaphysical "energy" called qi entering a house and its interaction with the occupants to generate various outcomes depending on who lives there and how the person reacts to the qi. To make it simple, let me explain in simple terms.

Let us say, a certain kind of qi comes into a house. This kind of qi is capable of helping people to make money with art. Obviously if there lives an artist, he will find a lot of inspiration to help him create highly appreciated art and he can get rich because of this. He/she can be a movie star, singer or dancer and the house helps him/her to gain fame and fortune. If the occupant is a wealthy man who is uneducated and does not know how to appreciate art, the qi in the house can bring him a lot of beautiful women going after his money. He enjoys flirting around and spending his money like flowing water. The occupant can also make money by prostitution too and the qi there helps him/her to be charming and sexy. How can we design an experiment with houses having same qi pattern built in the same environment then? Someone living in the house can create a lot of beautiful products. Another person can give birth to a lot of beautiful children. It is not true that we can predict what happens in a house "accurately" based on Feng Shui analysis of the house. The case studies found in books are just matching events with star charts in a post-mortem.

A Feng Shui practitioner should know the clients well. The job is to find the most beneficial qi pattern for the client to help him live a successful and happy life.

Demanding a scientific proof that Feng Shui works only proves that you do not understand the nature of Feng Shui. There is no room for argument.


Monday, October 17, 2011

Does Feng Shui Work?

A simple question but the answer cannot be simple. The answer depends on what you actually mean by "Feng Shui works".

If you live and work with support from behind and facing a lot of opportunities and you can also get help from people who are your left and right hands, obviously you will have a very good chance of success. This shows that the arm-chair principle of Feng Shui works. If further, there is vibrant energy coming to you that helps you do your work well, and that you can bath in the energy that helps you live a healthy and happy life, obviously you will enjoy a wonderful life. This requirement is provided by the good water star and mountain star that are invisible and not measureable. I can only say that with my numerous case studies throughout my 30 plus years of practice, this is a modest but true experience.

Wild claims like "Bury in the Yin year and get rich in the Mao year 寅葬卯發" is not uncommon by Feng Shui masters. Listen to Master Jiang Da Hong's proud words:

On this piece of land, other masters bury the dead will yield robbers.
When I bury the dead, it will generate kings and dukes.

人葬出賊頭     我葬出王侯

I don't know what he would have said when asked, "Why didn't you bury your parents to make yourself a king or duke?"

Yang Yun Song 楊筠松 was the imperial Feng Shui master. Yet the imperial palace fell to the hands of the rebels with the emperor fled and him ordered to cut his hair and walk the dragon in Kun Lun Mountains. If Feng Shui under the hands of the supposedly best Feng Shui master of all times could not even protect the emperor, how can one claim that it works?

All I can say is that Feng Shui works but not in the way people claim it to work. I will never say that with the help of Feng Shui, a Feng Shui master can create billionaires. Well, at least the Feng Shui master who makes such claims has not become one yet.


Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Lu Ban 魯班 (2)

The two sides of the Lu Ban Che are divided into eight parts. On one side, the eight parts are labelled:

Wealth Wood Star 財木星

Sickness Earth Star 病土星

Separation Earth Star 離土星

Righteousness Water Star 義水星

Officer Gold Star 官金星

Robbery Fire Star 劫火星

Harm Gold Star 害金星

Fortune Gold Star 吉金星

On the reversed side, the eight parts are labelled:

Honourable People Star 貴人星

Heavenly Calamity Star 天災星

Heavenly Misfortune Star 天禍星

Heavenly Wealth Star 天財星

Fame and Fortune Star 官祿星

Lonesome Star 孤獨星

Heavenly Thief Star 天賊星

Prime Minister Star 宰相星

If we compare these stars with the stars we are using today:

Tan Lang 貪狼

Ju Men 巨門

Lu Cun 祿存

Wen Qu 文曲

Lian Zhen 廉貞

Wu Qu 武曲

Po Jun 破軍

Zuo Fu 左輔

then there are a lot of similarities and quite a bit of discrepancies.

1 White Tan Lang is water today. In Zi Wei Dou Shu, Tan Lang is water and wood in nature.

2 Black Ju Men is earth and is related to illness.

3 Jade Lu Cun is wood but in Zi Wei Dou Shu it is earth. It is wealth related but it is also troublesome and lawsuit related.

4 Green Wen Qu is wood today but in Zi Wei Dou Shu, it is also water. Today this is a literary and art star. In the old days, these two qualities laid the foundation for opening the door to political success.

5 Yellow Lian Zhen is earth today. In Zi Wei Dou Shu it is yin fire. This star is a powerful fame and fortune star. Probably because it is too powerful, it is easy to get disaster when abused.

6 White Wu Qu is metal today and is a lofty and lonely star. The negative side can also bring lawsuit, injury and robbery.

7 Red Po Jun is metal today and is considered a thief star. Of course, the positive side is winning in the battle field (and life is like a battle field).

8 White is earth today. It is considered the most gentle and fortunate star.

We can see that metaphysics is a living discipline. It grows and develops over the centuries and should be considered living and growing today.


Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Lu Ban 魯班(1)

LuBan (Gong Shu Ban 公輸班) was the most celebrated carpenter/engineer in ancient China. He was born around 507 BCE in the State of Lu 魯國 during the Spring Autumn Era 春秋時代. He wrote a book titled Lu Ban Jing 魯班經. In this book, he explained how different forms including houses, windows and doors, and furnitures can affect the occupants. This probably is the earliest Feng Shui book for houses.

The instrument he used in designing and building houses was a L-shaped ruler. Carpenters and builders later all used this instrument which is known as Lu Ban Che 魯班尺.

                                                                   Lu Ban Che 魯班尺

The length of the ruler is 1 che 尺 4 cun 寸 4 fen 分 divided into 8 subdivisions labeled with eight meaningful words. The length of the ruler is approximately equivalent to 46 cm. The Che 尺 used during Ming/Qing 明/清 Dynasties was 32 cm. LuBan Che is 1.44 Che and therefore 32 x 1.44 = 46.08 cm. This matches the LuBan Che in Imperial Palace Museum in Beijign.

The four divisions labeled Cai 財, Yi 義, Guan 官 and Ji 吉 are auspicious. The four divisions labeled Bing 病, Li 離, Jie 劫 and Hai 害 are inauspicious.

According to the book "Lu Ban Cun Bai Ji 魯班寸白集":

財者財帛榮昌          病者災病難免
離者主人分張          義者主產孝子
官者主生貴子          劫者主禍妨蔴
害者主被盜侵          吉者主家興崇

Wealth indicates money and prosperity. Sickness indicates inevitable sillness and calamity.
Separation indicates severence of people. Righteousness indicates birth of filial son.
Officer indicates birth of noble son. Robbery indicates misfortune from all directions.
Harm indicates being robbed. Fortune indicates fame and fortune arriving at the family.

How was the ruler designed? Was it just according to the average size of the people in those days in China? Were comfort and beauty the main concern?


Monday, October 3, 2011

Life is a Chaotic System

Chaotic behaviour that is highly sensitive to initial conditions defines chaotic systems. The behaviour is popularly called butterfly effect. Small variations in initial conditions can produce huge difference in events that come after. This makes such systems unpredictable. The weather, the economy, and outcomes contributed by human activities belong to such systems. However, we can create mathematical models to give a probability oriented picture of such systems to predict what we are likely to encounter and hence what measures can be taken for the most desirable outcome.

Our life is not written on the rocks. The path of life is wide and there are many crossroads. A split second decision will determine the days after. The difference, sometimes, can be heaven and hell. An astrologer’s job is not to tell accurately what his client will be 10 years later. His job is to tell his client there is an important decision to be made during a certain year and to give proper advice what to consider when making such a decision. To make the right choice will help him live a much better life. The job of an astrologer is to help people do the right thing at the right time to achieve the best results.
A life-reading system is a mathematical model to give a probability oriented picture of a person's life based on his birth data. The quality of the system lies on the philosophy behind building the model. Such quality is not measured by scientific discipline but by the wholeness of wise thinking. The song is of natural beauty but it needs a good singer to bring out the beauty.

How do we know whether an astrologer is giving a good advice? You cannot live twice to test this. Perhaps we have to rely on the old wisdom: “You get what you deserve!” What you deserve to have is not according to what you are born with but how you have been doing.


Thursday, September 29, 2011

Yin and Yang balance???

The landscaping of this house is funny. It looks like a tomb in front of a house.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Confidence vs Conceitedness

To have confidence is a must for success. To be conceited paves the way to failure. To brag about how good one's knowledge / skill is to such an extent that it becomes a joke is good reason to lose credibility.

An old Feng Shui master claims to be the best in 600 years. His disciple, after learning from him for a short while, openly claims he has outdone his master.

This is ample proof that a disciple is a duplicate of his master. You can learn to be a joker only from a joker.


Saturday, September 10, 2011

Feng Shui Secrets

In the last paragraph of Tian Yu Jing 天玉經, it is mentioned:


In addition, there is the code of "Receiving Mountain Expelling Sha". I should tell you this as well.

The secret code was not explicitly written down. For over a thousand years Feng Shui masters have been telling people that you can never get the Feng Shui secrets reading books. The secret codes have been passed down from master to disciple and most of the time it was done just before the master died. What are these secret codes? Were they given to, say, Great Grand Master Yang Yun Song by a visiting alien?

History has recorded that during a rebellion against the Tang Dynasty, Emperor Xi Zong 僖宗 deserted the imperial palace and fled from the rebels. Yang Yun Song was an officer in charge of Ling Tai Di Li Shi 靈台地理事 - matters of Spiritual Realm and Land Rationality (Divination and Feng Shui). He went away with the books collected in the imperial palace and lived as a hermit in Kun Lun Shan 昆崙山. He studied the books and left the mountain practicing Feng Shui in the province of Jiang Xi 江西. He offered Feng Shui advice to poor people and they improved their lives tremendously. At that time, only the very wealthy people could afford the services of Feng Shui masters. He was honoured as Yang Jiu Pin 楊救貧 - Yang Saving the Poor. He recruited a handful of disciples and probably Tian Yu Jing was among a few books compiled by his disciples according to his teaching.

It was common practice of the rich and powerful people to acquire a piece of land with good Feng Shui by all means, including unethical or even illegal methods. Therefore, Yang Yun Song warned his disciples that they should help only people who were worthy of the land.

Feng Shui books were not written to provide spoon-feeding information. They were written to provide insightful information leading to knowledge. To people who study with their brains, the knowledge is there. To people who read with their eyes only, confusion is there. 

Well then, where is the secret code of "Receiving Mountain Expelling Sha"? Feng Shui masters in the past told people that this code was only passed down verbally to disciples who deserved the knowledge. Sometimes, it means there is a price attached to show you are worthy. For a high price, you end up getting a fake code and I have seen a lot of such.

As I said, the written words were only given verbally by Yang Yun Song to his disciples. He did not write it down himself. The word "Shan 山" could have been erroneously taken in place of the word "Sheng 生". You don't need further annotation if the code is "收生出煞" - receiving Sheng (Qi) and expelling Sha (Qi). This will wind up as the most important principle of Feng Shui practices.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Cultivating Virtue

The conclusion of Tian Yu Jing 天玉經 emphasizes on virtue:

若還求地不種德   穩口深藏舌

If people only want fortunate site ignoring cultivating virtue, then keep your mouth tight with your tongue well hidden.

This refers to selection of virtuous clients but more importantly virtuous disciples.

I have seen people using Feng Shui with an intention to capture fame and fortune from neighbours. I have also seen master and disciple bitterly and openly attacking each other and the cause is also fame and fortune. If these people really possess good Feng Shui knowledge, they would have been enjoying all the benefits of good Feng Shui. Action speaks louder than words. No matter what the wild claims may be, their action brutally tears the mask off to show the true colours.


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Five Arts 五術

The five arts are Shan 山(mountain), Yi 醫(medicine), Ming
命(destiny reading), Bu 卜(divination), and Xiang 相(reading
from appearance).

Shan is, in general, spiritual study and training. In
the old days in China, people became hermits living in
the mountains to receive this kind of training or to
self-train alone, totally detached from the outside

It usually includes studying Daoist books like Lao Zi 老子
and Zhuang Zi 莊子 as the first stage. Practicing breathing
exercise (Qi Gong 氣功) and martial arts (Wu Shu 武術) will be the next
step. The third step is the practice of using
talisman (Fu 符), chanting (Zhou 咒) and creating alchemical pills (Dan 丹) for
longevity (Chang Sheng Bu Lao 長生不老).

Yi is the practice of medical treatment. It involves
internal medicine using herbs and accupuncture.

Ming is to study destiny based on the birth data of a
person. It includes Five Star Astrology, Qi Zheng Si
Yu, Zi Ping Ba Zi, and Zi Wei Dou Shu.

Bu is using the Yijing or other forms of communicating
with Heaven to know the picture of happenings in the
future. The earliest form of Feng Shui studies is
called Bu Zhai - assessment of a house by divination.
Later this developed into a special branch called Feng

Xiang includes Face Reading, Palmistry and Bone
Feeling (telling by touching the bones).

All the five arts are inter-related. It is not easy to
have a thorough training in all the five arts. It is
enough to have a rough idea of all but specialize in
one or two areas.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Blessing

To meet a good teacher is a blessing. When I was young, I was lucky to have met an old man who taught me a little Kung Fu, which unfortunately was not my cup of tea. What I benefit most from him is the guidance to study metaphysics. He asked me, "Do you want to learn some secret formulas 秘訣 from me?" I replied, "Of course!"

He smiled, "Study the books with your heart, not with your eyes. Listen to me with your heart, not with your ears. Practise with the analytical mind, not from your memory. Ask questions and you will always get the answer even if you do not hear anything from me."

Well, 90% of what I know is from the books. The remaining 10% is through conversation with my teacher. The 10% is the annotation to the 90%. Sometimes my teacher did not answer my question. Then I knew that I have not prepared myself to ask. When I was ready to ask, I did not, as the answer was already in my heart.

What is most unexpected from my teacher is this: Do not thank me with your words. Thank me from your heart without words. Practice and teach with your heart and this is your deepest gratitude I can feel.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Zi Wei Dou Shu (8) - Life is a Stage

In an introductory paragraph of an ancient book "Zi Wei Dou Shu Fei Xing Mi Yi 紫微斗數飛星秘儀", it is said:

Heaven and Earth are images. They can be traced by the track of qi. Therefore, the images of heavenly bodies can be used to forecast human activities. The reason is because everything is subjected to the law of wax and wane.It is a pity that human beings throughout their lives cannot escape the cage of heavenly images. It is enough to conclude that everything returns to the destiny of qi. The beginning and the end of Zi Wei Dou Shu can only follow this pattern - limited by qi 止乎[氣], ruled by mathematical formulas 法乎[數], flourishing with reasoning 極乎[理] and originated from imagery 宗乎[象].

Unfortunately the way most people learn to use Zi Wei Dou Shu or Bazi today has departed from this guideline.

The natal chart from a person's birth time creates a stage on which the person is to play a part. The mathermatical part is like the script of the play. The qi pattern of the chart limits the quality and ability of the person. The image generated by the chart is the sketch based on which he writes up the story. With reasonable decision a person can choose to live a life in a permitted flourishing way. The value of astrology is the presentation to a person a picture of his life and the guidance to live the best way he can.


Monday, July 18, 2011

Zi Wei Dou Shu (7) - 三方四正

The term 三方四正 (three directions and four proper) is explained in almost all Zi Wei Dou Shu books as the combination of the three palaces (Shen, Zi and Chen), (Yin, Wu and Xu), (Si, You and Chou), (Hai, Mao and Wei) together with the opposite palace to form the four proper directions. Well, this is not convincing as it is awkward. The first part explaining the three directions as one of the four triangular combinations of branches is alright. The second part adding the opposite direction to form the four proper directions is simply awkward.

In fact, the second part when writtin in traditional vertical way has been mistaken as two characters. It is just one character 罡. This character has several meanings. |One meaning is the handle of the Big Dipper. Another meaing is from Daoist belief. There are 36 important stars collectively known as the thirty-six Tian Gang Xing 三十六天罡星. Now 三方四正 should be 三方罡 meaning the stars of the three palaces forming a triangular combination. Since the three palaces are very intimate because of the triangular combination, the stars in these three palaces affect each other much more than stars from other palaces. They should be considered relatives of the same big family. Then what about the opposite palace? Yes, it is very influential but it should be looked at from another angle. It has great impact on the palace considered. The force is direct and powerful.

Examine the pairs:

Life Palace and Travel Palace
Parents Palace and Health Palace
Happiness Palace and Wealth Palace
Properties Palace and Children Palace
Career Palace and Marriage Palace
Friends Palace and Brothers Palace

You will find that they are wonderfully connected. For example, most of our health conditions are inherited from our parents. On the other hand, our parents are most concerned and worried about our health. Right? A palace and its opposite are most affectionately affecting each other. You should see how cleverly the design of the Zi Wei Dou Shu chart was invented.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Zi Wei Dou Shu (6) - Clarity School 明澄派

Zi Wei Dou Shu was exported to Japan under the name "Purple Multiflora Rose Astrology 紫薇斗數". It was introduced as a kind of astrological divination based on purple multiflora rose - 一種紫色蔷薇的星占.

According to this school, it began with the last emperor of Shang Dynasty - Shang Zhou Wang 商纣王. The novel Feng Shen Yan Yi  封神演義 is one of the most popular novels in China. Some of the important figures in this novel were picked with the soul brought to reside on the stars to become the souls of the stars. For example, the tyrant Zhou Wang 纣王 was brought to the star Tan Lang 貪狼 and the star adopts the personality of Zhou Wang. It is a clever way to introduce Zi Wei Dou Shu as it is interesting and considering the stars used as some kind of living spirit that can influence the human mind is quite correct. This was why I wrote several episodes of "Waltzing with the Stars". The series stopped as I found that there could not be a full correspondence between a man in history and a star used in Zi Wei Dou Shu.

The school was brought back to Taiwan with the name Tou Pai 透派 (Transparent School) or Ming Cheng Pai  明澄派 (Clarity School). The worst part of this school is to divide stars into auspicious stars and evil stars:

Auspicious stars:
1. Zi Wei Star 紫薇星 - virtuous and dignity
2. Tai Yang Xing 太陽星 - benevolence and brilliance
3. Tian Fu Xing 天府星 - charity and capability
4. Tian Tong Xing 天同星 - peace and harmony
5. Tian Xiang Xing 天相星 - service and romance
6. Tai Yin Xing 太陰星 - residence and purity
7. Tian Liang Xing 天梁星 - leadership and stability

Neutral stars:
8. Wu Qu Xing 武曲星 - wealth and bravery
9. Tian Ji Xing 天機星 - alertness and wisdom

Evil stars:
10. Tan Lang Xing 貪狼星 - materialism and desire
11. Lian Zhen Xing 廉貞星 - evil and twisting
12. Qi Sha Xing 七殺星 - violence and solemnity
13. Ju Men Xing 巨門星 - suspicion and gossip
14. Po Jun Xing 破軍星 - exhaustion and destruction

Then it gives a description of what one can expect when the Ming Palace is occupied by one or two of these major stars. There follows a description one can expect when the other palaces are occupied by the stars.
Everything becomes rigid and it is easy to computerize the system to give out written reports.

The essence of astrology is totally lost and twisted. Unfortunately most people, including a lot of others who do not follow the Clarity School, also treat Zi Wei Dou Shu with this approach.


Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Zi Wei Dou Shu (5) - Zi Wei and Zi Ping systems

There are only two important books both claiming to be written by Chen Xi Yi.

(1) The Complete Zi Wei Dou Shui Book 紫微斗數全書
(2) 18 Flying Stars Riding on Heaven - Zi Wei Dou Shu Anthology 十八飛星策天  紫微斗數全集

In the second book, the introductory chapter begins with:

o On time sequence 論次序
o Examine Ba Zi (Eight characters) 看八字
o Establish the type and the useful god 立格用神
o Determine whether the life is full or empty 看命空貴
o Whether relatives are numerous or scarce 六親多寡
o To see the ups and downs of luck cycles 行運興衰
o To see the auspiciousness and inauspiciousness of current year 流年吉凶

This is followed by the methods of charting the stars with 12 palaces and then analysis of each palace etc. The interesting thing is that the analysis of the Four Pillars precedes the establishment of the Zi Wei chart and subsequent analysis. It shows that the inventor of Zi Wei Dou Shu actually knew Zi Ping method very well. The invention indicates the short-coming of Ba Zi system but serves a very good introduction to life reading. Well, to most people, Ba Zi is too abstract and philosophical. Zi Wei, on the other hand, presents a movie in front of you with you as the hero of the story. A good director of the movie will help the actor to perform well with a satisfactory ending.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Zi Wei Dou Shu (4) - The influence of Indian astrology

The four residue stars in Qi Zheng Si Yu are obviously borrowed from Indian astrology. For example,
羅睺 Fire Residue is directly taken from Rahu and
計都 – Earth Residue is Ketu.
These are the meeting points of the solar path and the lunar path as seen from earth.

Even Qi Zheng Si Yu has undergone a lot of changes and improvements to become what some scholars consider authentic Chinese astrology. The astronomical flavour is very strong and the projected results are statistically oriented. Famous astrologer Wu Shi Qing 吴師青who was active in Hong Kong in the early 20th century has published a book called Heaven Luck Astrology 天運占星學. In the preface of this book, he quoted Han Shu 漢書: "Huang Di 黄帝 ordered three scholars one to divine the sun, the second one to divine the moon and the third one to divine the stars." He tried to shake off the Indian flavour in Qi Zheng Si Yu and studied extensively the eight planets (Pluto was not included). All the stars on the sky provide the background for these planets to act on. The idea is like using the stars as body and the planets as application. No Indian names are used.

Chinese astrology is actually deeply astronomical influenced. The accuracy of the chart is extremely important. Wu Shi Qing was an astronomist himself and he communicated with other top astronomists in China frequently to make sure the charts he drew were accurate. The exclusion of Pluto from the planets in his book is not without grounds.

Other people who were not astronomists followed a different path. Both Zi Ping 子平and Zi Wei 紫微 are much more an art than a science. The astrologer is like a photographer who has an unusual camera eye and can see what common people cannot see. In Zi Wei Dou Shu, although the names of the stars can be associated with the real stars on the sky, the way of charting does not justify the association. It is just like how Pablo Picasso paints a portrait of his love.

It is most likely that when Zi Wei Dou Shu was invented, Buddhism was most influencial in China. Therefore, the names of the stars are from the translated Buddhist writings. To most people the association of astrology with religion makes destiny analysis more credible. Unfortunately, there were some obvious mistakes in assigning the names.

Tan Lang 貪狼 literally means a greedy wolf. No matter whether it is used in Feng Shui or Zi Wei Dou Shu, we cannot associate this name with the personality of the star.

Lian Zhen 廉貞 literally means clean (opposite to corrupt) chastity. Whether it is in Feng Shui or Zi Wei Dou Shu, this star has an evil nature that most people fear.

However, a name is just a name and it does not alter the nature of the star. We can see the importance of fully understanding the nature and personality of the stars before we can use Zi Wei Dou Shu to study destiny.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Zi Wei Dou Shu (3) - Stars

The first system of astrology in China was known as “Five-Star System Wu Xing Shu 五星術”. It uses the five planets:

Jupiter 歳星 – Wood Star

Mars 荧惑 – Fire Star

Saturn 鎮星 – Earth Star

Venus 太白 – Gold Star

Mercury 辰星 – Water Star

Later, the Sun Tai Yang 太陽 and the Moon Tai Yin 太陰 were included.

These were real heavenly bodies and astronomical calculations were used to locate them for astrological purposes.

There were four other heavenly bodies introduced:

紫氣 Wood Residue

月孛 – Water Residue

羅睺 Fire Residue

計都 – Earth Residue

The system is now known as Seven Proper and Four Residues (七政四餘).

The four residues are speculatively associated with Neptune, Uranus, Pluto and a Comet.

Both Zi Ping Shu (子平術) and Zi Wei Dou Shu (紫微斗數) were inventions to replace Qi Zheng Si Yu. They both gave up using real astronomy to do the charting. Zi Ping Shu or Four Pillars Destiny Analysis (四柱命理學) uses the ten stems and twelve branches but some special combinations owe their origin to Qi Zheng Si Yu. For example, stars used in Zi Ping Shu like Hong Luan 红鸞, Tian Yi Gui Ren 天乙貴人 have the corresponding stars in Qi Zhen Si Yu. Likewise, they also appear in Zi Wei Dou Shu.

The stars we use in Zi Wei Dou Shu have a lot in common with the real stars in Qi Zheng Si Yu. However, it is interesting to note that the names of some major stars are based on names derived from Buddhism. For example:

The Chinese names of the stars in the Big Dipper are:

(1)Tian Shu 天樞 (2) Tian Xuan 天璇 (3) Tian Ji (4) Tian Quan 天權 (5) Yu Heng 玉衡 (6) Kai Yang 開陽 (7) Yao Guang 摇光

The corresponding names used in Zi Wei Dou Shu are:

(1)Tan Lang 貪狼 (2) Ju Men 巨門 (3) Lu Cun 祿存 (4) Wen Qu 文曲 (5) Lian Zhen 廉貞 (6) Wu Qu 武曲 (7) Po Jun 破軍

Suffice it to say that the stars we use in Zi Wei Dou Shu are virtual stars pretending to be the real stars we see on the sky. In other words, it is a system of life reading but only virtual astrology.