Author Archives: Henry

About Henry

Feng Shui Consultant based in Kuala Lumpur Malaysia. Offers Feng Shui consulting services for residential and commercial properties.

Auspicious Site in Flat Land

In mountainous areas we study the spines and backbones of the mountains to look for auspicious sites. In flat land we look at the pulse of the earth. Let me explain. A flat land or a vast plain is like a ocean. Earth energy underneath it creates protrusion much like waves. Therefore when there are protrusions on a flat land, the earth energy or qi in the land is strong.

Our forefathers believe that the earth energy in a vast plan is very strong. So strong that wind blowing from all sides cannot blow away and exhaust the qi in the land. This is much like an auspicious site near the trunk of the mountain ranges. It is still good even if the protective mountains are not all in place.

Water can absorb qi and where there is water, qi will linger and accumulate in that area. In a flat land and in the absence of protrusions, look for water. Some masters think water is more important than mountains. A land site without mountain but with water is still good. Without mountain qi is blow away but with water qi accumulates and wind stops. However water is only useful if it flows slowly like when it is checked by mountains or large rocks or curved waterways, or when it flows into a lake.

Protrusion in Flatland

It is better when a waterway has flowed hundreds of miles before flowing into the auspicious site as they are believed to bring in a lot of qi. Rivers should ideally be deep as they tend to be slower and quieter. A river with many curves and bends is auspicious and very often Dragon Lair on vast plans are found on the inside of such as curve. The meeting point of two rivers or a confluence is a highly revered feature. Always look for them in a vast plain.

Water that flows straight and very fast is not auspicious. Water that makes a lot of noise is also not desirable. Waterfalls and water that runs very quickly pass rocks and stone generate a lot of noise and can bring disaster to residence. Worst is water falling into large holes. They create laughing or weeping sound which is not desirable. In fact noisy rivers are called “crying red phoenix” and brings sorrowful events.

When water splash against the shorelines they make loud noises make the site not suitable for residential purposes. A little inland is desirable although waterfronts are quite suitable for commercial premises.

Waterways

In a vast plain, the land is exposed to strong wind from all sides. Even though the qi in a vast plain is strong having waterways running though it is better than not having one. To summarize when looking for auspicious sites in flat land, first look for protrusions failing which look for slow moving curved waterways or lakes.

While on the subject of wind, our forefathers favor the south wind as it blows gently and bring warmth. They dislike the north wind which brings in the bitter cold from the north. Generally south, south east and east wind are considered auspicious while those from the north and west are not.

This may not apply to your locale depending on your geography and you must adept accordingly.

Another point to note with wind is that our forefathers believe that wind that blows over a river or ocean before arriving at the site is auspicious.

To recap, when evaluating auspicious site in a vast plan, look for protrusion as these are signs of high energy in the land. In the absence of protrusion, look for water in the form of clear, slow moving and curved waterways or lake.

Avoid water that flows fast and straight and especially those than general a lot of noise.

Dragon Lair 2

If you have been following the last articles on auspicious Feng Shui site you will realize that a good site is not easy to come buy. That is a fact and in practice we often end up with less than perfect auspicious sites.

One example is the Nest site. It is one with the Black Tortoise at the back, Green Dragon and White Tiger on the left and right respectively without water and Red Phoenix Mountain at the facing. It is not perfect but still acceptable. At the very least the Black Tortoise and the mountains behind bring qi into the area while the Green Dragon and White Tiger stops the qi from being blown away. A variation of the Nest site in one where the Dragon and Tiger embrace the site like the pincers of a crab.

Another example is the Breast Site. Two mountains with a relatively flat valley in-between with water running through it is also acceptable. Again the mountains and the ranges behind bring qi into the area. Although the area is not totally protected from wind, the river running through it help to accumulate qi. Again not perfect by still quite acceptable.

In the rest of this article I will share with you some of principles that our forefathers use to locate auspicious sites. Central to it is the concept of Yin and Yang. The mountains are considered Yin as it is view as static while water is Yang since its characteristics is to move. Too much Yang or Yin is not favorable but when Yang and Yin meet it is favorable.

Therefore when the mountains (Yin) meets water (Yang) as in the case of mountains meeting a vast plain, water ways, lake or ocean it is auspicious and you are likely to find auspicious sites.

Although a mountain is considered Yin, if it has many rises and falls it is said to have Yang features. Remember that it is favorable when Yang meets Yin. Therefore a mountain with lots of peaks and valley, curves and turn is considered highly favorable.

Water is consider Yang as its natural tendency is to flow downhill. When water slows or stops it is said to have Yin features. Therefore when water is checked by mountains or large stones, slows down or stop momentarily (when it flows into a lake), it is considered highly favorable.

Yang and Yin are opposites. Therefore you should look for flat land in undulating land where peaks and valleys are normal. And in flatland look for protrusions. This is an important principle for selecting auspicious sites in flat land which I will cover in another article. To take it further, in dry land, look for an area with rivers and lake and in wetland look for an area that is dry!

A Heavenly Pond is a lake found high up in the mountains. It is mountain meeting water and is highly revered. In addition a Heaven Pond upstream ensures a continuous flow of water to auspicious sites downstream. Since water is wealth a continuously flowing river is preferably to one that only flows for some months in a year.

Some people ask me if water needs to be visible for it to work. Answer is no. If you are near enough water will still work for you even if you cannot see it.

Another thing to look out for it Progressive Mountains. Behind the Black Tortoise, there should be a group of mountains that get gradually bigger and taller as it progresses into the background. Such mountains bring strong qi into the area and give good luck, financial gain and social standing for many generation.

The opposite is the Retreating Mountains where it gets smaller and shorter as it progress into the background. Such mountains bring financial losses and damage to reputation.

Again I cannot emphasis enough that the mountains must be Living Mountains or one with lush vegetation with a strong flora and fauna community. Sick Mountains or those with inauspicious shapes, barren, dry and sandy will bring disasters, diseases, financial problems and death.

In the next article, I you will learn how to identify auspicious sites in flat land or vast plains.

Dragon Lair

In Feng Shui, an auspicious land site is called a dragon lair. It is a reservoir of strong qi that bring good luck, prosperity, financial gain and social standing to the occupants.

Dragon Lair are often found at the tail of the Dragon or mountain range. A mountain range can have multiple tails and one that has run for hundreds of miles continuously brings along plenty of strong qi and is likely to host a lot of Dragon Lairs.

In the last article I mentioned Resting Dragon which is a place where qi comes to rest before continuing on its journey downhill. This is normally a valley or a relatively flat land surrounded by mountain or water. You should find Dragon Lairs here.

A Stopping Dragon is one that has come to the end of its trip like a mountain meeting a vast plain or meeting the ocean. Your should find Dragon Lairs here too.

In between is the Running Dragon which is one that is neither resting nor stopping. They carry qi but do not accumulate qi and you should not find Dragon Lairs here!

A textbook auspicious site is often described using the four animals namely Black Tortoise, Green Dragon, White Tiger and Red Phoenix. The Black Tortoise is found at the back of the auspicious site and is the tail of the mountain range or incoming dragon. The Green Dragon and White Tiger on the left and right respectively protects the site from wind.

Water in the form of rivers and lakes should be present at the facing. The waterways should embrace the site. The Red Phoenix which are smaller mountains found downstream serves to slow down the water and prevents it from rushing away. Water running quickly away from a site is inauspicious and suggest a loss of wealth.

The mountains should have lush green vegetation preferably with mist at the top. The water should be clear and slow flowing and the soil moist with abundant flora and fauna.

The Black Tortoise mountain should slope gradually to the auspicious site. This is often referred to as the Tortoise bowing to the people and indicate a willingness to transfer qi to the occupants.

The opposite is a steep drop often referred to as the Tortoise Hold its Head Up which suggest an unwillingness to transfer qi.

The Green Dragon and White Tiger should embrace the site like a crab with its pincers. This represent a merging of yin and yang and is highly auspicious. It is not auspicious if the pincers turn out. The Green Dragon which should be taller than the White Tiger should slope gradually to the site.

The quality of the site is enhanced if the Green Dragon and White Tiger is protected by another layer of mountain aptly called the Outer Green Dragon and Outer White Tiger.

In auspicious site should be closer to the Tortoise mountain. In front of the site there should be a wide and open space called the Bright Hall. A Bright Hall that is broad with a clear view symbolizes a bright future and plenty of opportunity for the occupants.

Water flowing into a site from upstream is called the Heavenly Door. It should be wide, open and unimpeded signifying wealth and good luck flowing into the site. Water existing a site is called the Earthly Door. It should be narrow and closed. It is better if you cannot see it flowing away.

Waterways should not flow directly at or away from the site. Instead it should embrace the site and if possible return to the site before flowing downstream. This is call Returning Water. If there are two waterways, they should ideally cross rather than run parallel.

The Red Phoenix mountains downstream serve to impede or slow down the water flow. The Red Phoenix mountains close to the site are called Table Mountains while the ones further downstream are called Worshiped Mountain.

These mountains located downstream serve a critical role and many ancient master would not even consider a site that do not have such water impeding mountains.

Large rocks in the river called Seal Hill are favorable too as they help to slow down water flow.

Before I end this article, I must emphasis that the mountains surrounding the site must be good looking to bring good luck. Mountains that are ugly, uneven, sharp or pointed are bad bring bad luck to the occupants.

The Mountains as a Source of Qi

To our Chinese forefathers, the Kunlun Mountains located north of the Tibetan plateau are the source from which all major mountains develop and extend. It certainly include the three major mountain ranges that runs into China from the west and reaching the oceans on the eastern coast.

The mountain ranges are broadly classified into three types depending on their distance from the Kunlun Mountains. The ones that lies close to the Kunlun are called remote ancestors mountain. The ones located close to the ocean are known as close ancestor mountains while the ones in between are known as old ancestor mountains.

Earthly qi flows from the remote ancestor mountains to the close ancestor mountain bringing along strong beneficial qi. According to Feng Shui theory, the closer you are to the source i.e. the Kunlun Mountains, the older the mountain and the weaker the qi. On the other hand the further you are are away from the Kunlun, the newer the mountain and stronger the qi. This is why you hardly have any prominent figures coming from the Kunlun. Instead most of them have come from areas located at the end of the mountain ranges or closer to the oceans.

There are many kinds of mountains and not all of them are beneficial. If the mountains are covered with trees and grass and have water running in it, it has strong qi. If the mountain peaks are shrouded in mist or haze most of the time, this mountain must also contain plenty of earthly and heavenly qi. Mountains that are undulating and have plenty of peaks and valleys, curves and turns and are good looking have good qi. And those that run for hundreds of miles uninterrupted have plenty of powerful earthly qi.

On the other hand it the mountain is dry and bare without trees and grass or with only rocks on it, then the qi must be low. Please know that The flow of earthly qi in the mountains can also be stop by object such as mountains, body of water, highways, tunnels etc.

A mountain range is akin to a tree. There is a trunk and branches. The qi flow is strongest in the trunk while the qi in the branches. Auspicious site can be found on both the trunk sites or branch sites but the ones on the trunk site are more powerful. It fact so strong and powerful that they do not need other mountains for protection like branch sites do.

Auspicious sites are places where the earthly qi stops and accumulates. They are reservoir of strong earthly qi. We would naturally think that these are places where the mountain range ends and meet flat land. While this is true, auspicious site can also be found on relatively flat land found after descending several mountains such as a plateau in the hills. Or a highland lake up in the mountain. In fact such a lake called a Heaven Pond is highly revered. In this case, the qi stops for a while before resuming its journey. Such a configuration is known as a resting dragon.

The mountain and water features near and around the auspicious site are known as forms. Aside from carrying auspicious earthly qi, the mountains also serve to protect the qi from being blow away by strong winds while water help to accumulate qi.

While on the subject of water, Feng Shui theory prefers slow moving silent curving water. Fast moving water that flows in a straight line and noisy is not auspicious. In fact noisy rivers are called “crying red phoenix” and are believed to brings sorrowful events!

When water flows into a pond it slows downs. It also slows down when it is forced to turn. This usually happens when the flow is checked by mountains downstream or by large stones found in the path of the river. This is the main reason why it is favorable to have smaller mountains downstream of an auspicious sites. It the river is allowed to flow away from the site quickly unchecked the wealth luck of the site is lost!

Does this mean that auspicious sites are only found in or near mountains? The answer is absolutely not and in a later article, you will learn how to find Dragon Lairs or auspicious sites in flatland where there is not a mountain in site!

The Most Auspicious Feng Shui Site

Highly auspicious Feng Shui sites are known as Dragon Lairs. These sites are reservoirs of strong earthly “q”: that is beneficial for the occupants.

Before proceeding to identify these Dragon Lairs, we must understand (or try to understand) “qi”. In my opinion “qi” is one of the hardest word to explain in the Chinese Metaphysics world.

Most Chinese dictionary define is as air, vapor or vital energy. One ancient forefather describe it as something that can blow as wind, ascend as clouds, fall in rain and travel under the ground. That is a wide definition. A modern day researcher theorize “qi” as simply positive and negative ions, good “qi” being negative ions and bad “qi” being positive ions. Who is right? They are all probably correct but where does this lead us?

The good news is that we can identify Dragon Lairs even if we do not know what “qi” is, exactly. We do this by looking out for manifestation of good and bad “qi”.

For example if a mountain is covered by green trees, grass, has some water flowing in it, its soil is fertile and moist and well shaped, then this mountain must have an abundance of good “qi”. On the other hand is the mountain is dry and bare, devoid of trees and grass with only rocks, then this mountain must be low in good “qi”.

An auspicious site or Dragon Lair can be found in the mountains or in a vast plain. Most people think you need to have mountain and water to have an auspicious site. This is not correct. Stay with me and you will learn how to identify Dragon Lairs in flatland, not in this article but in the ones to come.

Dragon lairs can be large or small. When small they are usually used for a tomb or tombs as in Yin House or Burial Feng Shui. Larger ones can support a village while even larger ones are good enough to house a town.

“Qi” is found both under and above ground. Our forefathers called the ones that flow underground as earthly “qi” while the ones found above ground as heavenly qi.

In Yin House or Burial Feng Shui more emphasis is placed on earthly “qi” since the body is buried underground while for Yang House or Feng Shui of the Living, both earthly and heavenly “qi” are important.

I will focus more on Yang House or the Feng Shui of the Living but before I end this article, I would like to share with you the underlying workings of Yin House or Burial Feng Shui.

How does Yin House Feng Shui actually work? The Chinese believe that even after death, we are connected to our descendants for a few generations through some kind of mysterious “qi” energy.

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Therefore if the ancestors are buried in an auspicious site, with strong earthly “qi”, the descendants will be successful and happy. And if not, they will be unsuccessful and miserable! This connection will weaken with each generation.

Some time back, I came across a more scientific explanation. According to this author, the earth is a powerful battery while the bones of our ancestors are like antennas. The earth charges the bones and transmit a signal which only the descendants can receive due to their somewhat similar DNA structure. Ground waves carry the transmission across the globe so that the descendants can benefit even if they live on the other side of the world. As you may have already guess, the more auspicious the earthly “qi”, more the more powerful and better the quantity of the the transmission and benefits!

Finally do the earthly “qi” ever get depleted? According to our forefathers, they do. If a site has produced a number of highly successful and prominent descendants, then the “qi” is somewhat depleted and the chances of producing more of such “descendants” in the future is lower! Believe it or not.

In the next few articles you will learn more about auspicious sites and how to spot them both near the mountains and on flat land.

Optimizing the Interior Spaces

Have you ever wonder how a practitioner optimizes the interior Feng Shui of a house?

If you have seen a practitioner in action, you will notice that he usually starts by evaluating the surroundings, followed by taking a compass measurement of the facing of the house. Then he looks up a chart or plot one out on the spot or read the chart data that is embedded on his lo pan or Feng Shui compass.

He then does a bit of thinking and then proceed to recommend the optimal placement of the main door, kitchen, bedrooms, living etc. How does he do it?

I will not attempt to teach you how to optimize the Feng Shui of the interior of a house. This requires a period of study. Instead I will attempt to show you the methodology behind using the Flying Star system.

s2 facing period 7 chartIn this system, we start by plotting a chart showing the “qi” distribution in the house. This is determined by the house facing direction and the period of the house. As practitioners, we can plot the chart, off the cuff. However to minimize errors, most of use will simply read it of a chart or read the data that is embedded on the lo pan.

In the Flying Star system, we divide a house into eight(8) sectors but some other systems may divide the house into twelve(12) sectors.

The diagram shows a typically Flying Star chart for a south 2 (172.5 to 187.5 degrees) facing house built in period 8 (2004 to 2024).

You will notice that there are nine boxes (or palaces) in a 3 x 3 matrix. Note also the direction and sector of each of the boxes. In practice the middle box is usually not used, leaving eight sectors.

Within each of box you see three numbers (also known as stars). They range from 1 to 9. These numbers or stars represent the quality of the “qi” or energy that resides in that sector of the house.

The star on the left (in yellow) is known as the Mountain Star (it governs relationship and health) while the one on the right (in green) is known as the Water Stars (it governs wealth). The one in the middle is know as the Period Star.

In this system, time is divided into 9 periods of 20 years each. The current period eight runs from 2004 to 2024. During this period the stars 8, 9 and 1 are auspicious. Others like stars 2, 5 and 7 are inauspicious. The rest are not too bad.

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The objective of this system is to locate the main door, master bedroom, kitchen, living, study etc in auspicious sectors. Others like the toilet/bath, store etc should ideally be in inauspicious sectors.

Since the mountain star relates to relationship and health, a bedroom should ideally be located in a sector with a good mountain stars such as 8, 9 or 1. In this case in the south sector where the 8 mountain star resides.

And since the water star relates to wealth (and career), the main door and living should be in a sector with a good water star such as 8, 9 or 1. In this case is the SW where the 8 water star resides.

The other spaces in the house such as the kitchen, dining, study can be in either sectors while the toilets and store should ideally be an inauspicious sectors such as those with stars 2 and 5.

Okay, I must admit that it is not so simple. In practice, there are lots more factors to consider such as the interaction of the mountain and water stars within the palace, interaction with the period stars as well as the presence of natural and man made structures outside the house that can enhance or degrade the quality of the stars and their efficacy. Plus the Gua number of the occupants etc.

Having said that the foundation principle is to utilize spaces where the auspicious mountain and water stars are located.

And that is how it is done!

How do we identify the auspicious and inauspicious sectors of a property?

This is done by mapping the “qi” distribution map onto the floor plan of the property.

s2 facing period 7 chartThe diagram below shows a typical “qi” distribution diagram. There are nine sectors arrange in a 3 x 3 matrix. Inside each sectors are numbers or text which tells us the varying degree of auspiciousness or in auspiciousness of each sector and as a practitioner we use these information to decide on the optimal usage of each sectors.

The traditional method to “map” the “qi” diagram to the property is known as the Palaces Method. Here the floor is divided into nine sectors in a 3 x 3 matrix much like the “qi” diagram. A modern method divides the property into 8 pie shape sectors and the “qi” is map to the floor plan accordingly. While most methods partition “qi” into 8 sectors, others may partition “qi” into 12 sectors and you should not be surprise to see them.

palaces methodThe correct way is to map the “qi” diagram onto the internal spaces of the property. The external spaces such as the porch and garden are excluded.

pie methodIf your office comprise of two separate building, you should map each of them separately. If the two buildings are adjacent to each other but with separate entrance and not connected internally, you should still map them separately. However if the two buildings are adjacent to each other but connected internally, then it should be mapped as one building.

For a multi level building you should map the “qi” map to each of the floor.

DemarcationThe Palace Method is the more popular method and it is quite convenient to use especially when the building is or a regular shape. However some modern buildings can have highly irregular shapes and in such cases the pie method may be more appropriate.

In practice, the distribution of “qi” a building floor is constrained by the walls within. For example in the diagram below, the nine sectors are non distributed equally. How to distribute the qi in buildings of different shapes and size is a constant challenge for practitioners that comes with experience.

While the distribution of “qi” is normally confined to the internal spaces in the property, it does not mean that the “qi” stops there. The same “qi” existing outside the house by extension.

What is a Gua (or Kua) Number?

Everyone of us have a Gua number that is computed from our Chinese Solar year of birth. The Chinese Solar year starts on or around the 4th February each year. If you are born after the 4th February then you are said to be born in the current Chinese Solar year. If you are born before you belong to the previous Chinese Solar year. If you are born on or close to the 4th February, then you need to refer to the Ten Thousand Year Calendar figure out exactly your Chinese Solar year of birth.

With the correct Chinese Solar year of birth, you can calculate your Kua Number manually (which I will not cover) or use one of numerous online Gua calculators (recommended). Do note that the method of calculating Gua number is different for men and for women Gua number for a male and female is usually different. In some year though they are the same.

There are although 8 numbers ranging from 1 to 4 and 6 to 9. Please note that 5 is excluded.

Some refer to the Gua Number as Ming or Life Number. Others call it a Destiny Number. Since we are but a ball of energy, the Gua Number can also be defined as an energy signature of some sort.

It is used in some astrology system to determine our destiny and luck in life.

There are also numerous uses for the Gua Number in Feng Shui and in this article, I will give some examples of their usage.

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In the popular Eight Mansions (or Eight House) Feng Shui method, the Gua Number is uses to determine our favorable and unfavorable sectors and directions. In this system, we are classified into East and West Life groups. If your Gua Number is 1, 3, 4 or 9, you belong to the East Life Group. If your number is 2, 6, 7 or 8 you belong to the West Life Group.

If your belong to the East Life Group, your favorable sectors and directions are north, south, east and south-east. If your belong to the West Life Group, your favorable sectors and directions are north-west, south-west, west and north-east.

The concept of Gua Number also extends to a house. Thus a house also have a House Gua Number and some houses are more suitable for you depending on your Gua Number.

In the Flying Star system, you Gua Number is often used as another layer to assess your suitability for particular sectors of a house. Let’s say the east sector of a house has good energy and is highly suitable for use as a bedroom. A practitioner would then assess if you are suitable for the bedroom by checking your Gua number against the energy that is present in the bedroom. He may discover that the north sectors which is also suitable as a bedroom is more ideally suited for you and recommend you sleep there instead.

Yet another us of the Gua number is in date selection. Every year has a Gua Number as well. This concept is further extended to the month, day and hour and so you have a month Gua, day Gua and hourly Gua Numbers.

These numbers are matched against your Life Gua number to the suitability of any date and time for you for certain endeavors.

Other date selection method uses the Gua in a different way. For example in the Da Gua date selection method the Gua number of the head of the household is used to evaluate the date and the sitting direction of the house.

And the uses goes on an on!

What Kind of Rat Are You?

What kind of Rat are you? Wood, Fire, Metal, Water or Earth?

The Rat is one of the 12 animals in the Chinese 12 Animal Zodiac. From a Chinese astrology perspective you can be either a Wood, Water, Fire, Earth or Metal Rat.

Do you know what kind of a Rat you are? Or Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog or Pig?

There is a very simple way to find this out but I will give you a roudabout answer so that you get a better picture.

Heavenly StemsThe basis of Chinese time keeping is the Heavenly Stems (Gan) and Earthly Branches (Zhi). Each of them have an associated polarity and element and in the case of the Earthly Branches they are closely related to the Zodiac Animals. For example the Branch “Zi” is associated with the “Rat”, the Branch “Chou” with the “Ox”, the branch “Yin” with the “Tiger” and so on.

The Stems are combined with the Branches to create a Stem-Branch pair. The golden rule is that only those of the same polarity can combine. For example “Jia” with “Zi” giving “Jia Zi”. Both are yang polarity. Next is “Yi” and “Chou” giving “Yi Chou”, both of which are negative polarity. “Zi” cannot combine with “Chou” because they are of opposite polarity.

Due to this limitation, there are 60 combinations instead of 120!

Earthly BranchesThe Stem Branch pair or “Gan Zhi” pairs are use to denote the year, month, day and time. For example the year 1924 is known as the “Jia Zi”. The next year 1925 is “Yi Chou” year and so on. This is repeated every 60 years. Thus 1984 is a “Jia Zi” year. And 2044 is the next “Jia Zi” year.

“Jia” is associated with Wood element. “Zi” with the Rat. Hence 1924 or 1984 are known as Wood Rat year. So is 2044.

There are 10 Heavenly Stems and they are repeated every 10 years. Therefore any year ending with the 4 such as 1924, 1934, 1944, 1954, 1964, 1974. 1984 etc are Wood Years (though the animal sign differs).

The next Stem in the series is “Yi” which is Yin Wood. Therefore 1925 is also a Wood year albeit a Yin Wood one. Again since the Stems are repeated every 10 years, any year ending with a 5 e.g. 1935, 1945, 1955, 1965, 1975 etc is a Yi or Yin Wood year.

What can you infer from the table? If you are born in a year ending with 4, you are a Yang Wood person. If ending with a 5, you are a Yin Wood person, if ending with a 6 you are a Yang Fire person, if ending with a 7, a Yin Fire person and so on.

Please refer to the table for the polarity and element for each of the years.

Sixty Jia Zi

While it is as easy as A, B C it is not too difficult either. Just sing Jia, Yi, Bing, Ding, Wu, Ji, Geng, Ren and Gui!

The Chinese Calendars

The Chinese Solar and Lunar Calendars

Am I a Horse or a Goat? This is very popular question encountered especially during the Chinese New Year talks on the luck of the various Chinese zodiac animals.

Why? The calendar that we use today is known as the Gregorian or Western calendar. This is the one where the new year starts on the 1st Jan. Chinese astrology obviously do not make use of this calendar. Instead it uses the Chinese calendar. Unfortunately for us, there are two Chinese Calendars. One is called the Chinese Solar Calendar (this is tied closely to the rotation of the Earth around the Sun) while the other is the Chinese Lunar Calendar (this is based on the moon cycle).

The Chinese Solar calendar is also known as the Farmer’s Calendar as it was first developed during the Xia Dynasty to regulate farming. The solar starts at the beginning of spring (also known as Li Cun) and falls on either the 4th or 5th of February each year.

The Chinese Lunar Calendar is based on the moon’s cycle. The starting date for each year can vary between late January and Late February, The Chinese New Year celebration is based on the calendar and this explain why the festival is celebrated on different days in Jan or Feb every year.

Pure lunar calendars like the ones use in Islamic countries using the moon solely for timekeeping. Unfortunately 12 months of moon cycles (29.53059 to be exact) do not equate to 365 days (time it takes for the earth to circle around the sun). Thus a moon year is shorter than a solar year.

This can be terribly confusing and the ancient Chinese choose to synchonize the Chinese Solar Salendar with the Chinese Solar Calendar by throwing in an extra “moon” or month now and then in to the Chinese Lunar Calendar. This is why we have and extra leap month in the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

Back to the question on zodiac signs.

In 2015, the Chinese Solar year of the Goat starts on the 4th of Feb while the Chinese Lunar year of the Goat starts on the 19th of Feb.

Obviously if you are born after the year starts you are a Goat. If born before you are a Horse.

But which calendar do you use?

Most Chinese Astrology Systems including the 12 Zodiac Animals and Zi Wei Dou Shu uses the Chinese Lunar Calendar.

BaZi on the other hand uses the Chinese Solar Calendar. Most most Feng Shui and Date Selection systems however uses the Chinese Solar Calendar.

So the next time someone ask you whether you are a Horse or a Goat (or any two consecutive zodiac signs) you can answer more intelligently by asking him what system he is using.

Now a word about the Chinese hour. Luckily for us it is quite straight forward.

In the Gregorian Calendar, each day is made of 24 hours of 60 minutes each. In both the Chinese Calendar system, each day is made up of 12 hours of 120 minutes called “Shi Shen”. For example the “first Chinese hour” called “Zi Shi” runs between 11 PM and 1 AM. The second called “Chou Shi” runs from 1 AM to 3 AM and so on.

Since most Chinese astrology systems uses the same Chinese hour, a person born between 11 PM and 1 AM is considered born during the “Zi Shi”, regardless of the system that we are using!