Gradings of 火貪 (Huo Tan) and 铃貪 (Ling Tan)

Zi Wei Dou Shu had some peculiarities when it comes to pairing of Main Stars with Support Stars. Traditional texts have always favour Tan Lang star pairings with Huo Xing and Ling Xing, whereas pairings like Wen Chang and Wen Qu are not favoured. Huo Xing and Ling Xing are traditionally labelled under the malevolent stars categories and there must be some basis behind such labels. Huo Xing and Ling Xing are two minor stars that inherently share the same element Fire, but one is of Yang whereas the other is of Yin. Huo Xing given its Yang nature gives explicit expression, whereas Ling Xing given its Yin nature gives implicit expression. The stars transformations are “kill”, which is only to be regarded as a connotation, or even a metaphor. The main characteristics are expressed as acrimony and aggression. Such references fall into the “malevolent” range of characterisation amongst the other stars, but we should also look into its general implications (fire disaster notwithstanding), which is actually “drive”.

You might have read before that when Tan Lang is paired with either of the two malevolent stars, there might be chances of windfall luck. I had written some basic posts and articles on these in the books an on the blog, and now I will write about the effects Huo Xing and Ling Xing actually have on Tan Lang. And there is actually a strong distinction. The effects of Huo Xing on Tan Lang is “motivate”. Its effects on Tan Lang is strong, fast and hasty. However it will also burn out faster. The effects of Ling Xing on Tan Lang is “polish”. Its effects on Tan Lang is weaker, slower, but it is gradual and more long lasting. Windfall luck is a usual depiction of such pairings, but the better word to use is actually “potentiate”. It may not necessarily have to do with making big loads of money. It is more to do with a sudden peak improvement in terms of known qualities of Tan Lang (windfall potential is only one of them).

Not all grades of Huo Tan or Ling Tan are similar. The differences largely depend on locations, as well as presence of other stars, particularly an important minor star Tian Xing. Tian Xing to jot the memory, is simply referred to as the “punisher”, and its effect on Tan Lang is “regulation”. Encounters with Ling Xing will usually curb the desires of Tan Lang to bring forth a more upright nature. Other important criterias: Hua Lu or Lu Cun (their effects are to “enhance” the positive qualities of Tan Lang), Hua Ji (its effect is to “depreciate” positive qualities of Tan Lang), Qing Yang/Tuo Luo (their effects are to “corrupt” Tan Lang).

Now lets look at the respective grades of the Huo Tan and Ling Tan combinations.

1. Zi or Wu Palaces: In Zi Palace, Ling Tan is higher grade than Huo Tan. Encounter with malevolent stars like Qing Yang, it will exemplify low grade lascivious quality. With Ling Xing, or Lu stars without malevolence, there will be much potentials and wealth may come during middle age. In Wu Palace, Huo Tan is higher grade than Ling Tan. If there are no malevolence, it will fall appropriately into the 木火通明 (Mu Huo Tong Ming) formation which signifies wealth and good status. Encounter with malevolence will disfavour all businesses.

2. Chou or Wei Palaces: In Chou Palace and Wei Palaces, although both Huo Tan and Ling Tan are appropriately formed of very high grades, Ling Tan in either palaces will be of lower grade than Huo Tan. Both Palaces will encounter Wu Qu and such formations are exemplary for money making. The natives have a tendency to have sudden windfall after age of 35. At Chou Palace, if there are no malevolence and the native will have a good success, and this is amplified by Hua Lu.

3. Yin or Shen Palaces: The windfall consequences for both palaces will be very strong and severe in both benefits and speed (huge money, come and go fast). Huo Tan is of proper formation than that of Ling Tan in both palaces. Ling Tan criteria for fulfilment will be quite low in this case, except at Shen Palaces with better potential. If there is Tuo Luo at Yin Palace, the native will never be wealthy but flirtatious and will fail due to promiscuity. Lack of malevolence will still brings tumultuous life to native. Whereas for Shen Palace natives especially with malevolence, there will be much sufferings in youth, sudden windfall, and subsequent losses of wealth due to obsession with bad habits.

4. Mao or You Palaces: The combinations at this palace will encounter Zi Wei and Huo Tan is higher grade than Ling Tan. Encounter with Hua Lu is favourable for long sustainable benefits. Mao location is particularly sensitive to Qing Yang, Di Kong, Di Jie and Tan Lang Hua Ji which will be a failure formation and the windfall potential will be minimal or entailed with heavy punishments.

5. Chen or Xu Palaces: If either Huo Tan or Ling Tan are properly seated in these locations without malevolence, the native between age of 30-40 will experience some level of breakthrough. If there are Qing Yang or Hua Ji present, the native will have plenty of sicknesses in the youth. Both formations are normal grades.

6. Si or Hai Palaces: The formations will encounter Lian Zhen in both palaces. Both formations are of low to average grades with lower chances of windfall pertaining to money matters, but more in other successes like talent, etc. These areas run high risk of promiscuity traits. When either formations encounter Tuo Luo in Hai Palace, it will be another classical failure formation that brings high level of promiscuity to native.

Improving Luck by Venturing Out

Last night I took an excursion to a renowned Chinese Metaphysics forum and participated in a thread concerning an individual with questions and concerns about relationships. While I have long made it a point not to read fresh cases anymore, I nevertheless gave the person a short piece of advice, that despite the brevity of my statement, and addressed one of the inherent problems in the native’s life. I mentioned something that wasn’t mentioned before. To put it simply there is a past laden by unhappiness and conflict. I offered remedies to this person on going overseas to find relationships (besides many other aspects of the life will improve). The charts only represent Fate, which is only a component of Destiny. Breakthroughs in Destiny happen by freewill, and that is the greatest gifts of Mankind.

I will not digress from the original intent of this post. What I want to emphasise here is that while our life may be fraught with certain obstacles, unhappiness and misfortune, remedies are always round the corner. Through my practices, there are instances whereby when the native decided to renew their lives abroad, they may be able to have a breakthrough in their life. You might have heard it elsewhere in common sayings especially in the Orient that if your luck is down, you might want to take a break and have an extended holiday overseas. This is not always the case as some people will encounter more mishaps when they are living overseas than based in their home locale. What are the criteria then?

1. In my practice, I look at the magnitude of Tai Yang and Tai Yin and determine the best locale for the natives to be in. To quote an example, there are many Ri Yue Fan Bei natives who experience breakthroughs in their life when they start their lives abroad.

2. The strengths of the Travel Palace. If it is more favourable than the Life Palace, the native need to break the shackles and get out. This is based on star combinations, transformers, stems, branches, Yin Yang and five elements.

3. Seeking the correct directions. Depending on where favourable stars, transformers outcome, and stem transformations are. One note about Tian Liang star. This star to put it in simple words is a Guardian, a Protector. In times of danger, trouble and misfortune, the star will extend its branches to shelter you if you sought it appropriately. Help is sought where it is situated, and which directions do the palaces indicate.

4. The time barrier needs to be broken. If you are based in Singapore, travelling to Malaysia may not be appropriate. Short term travels have minimal effects. Wrong directions have different effects. Best effects for natives who meet travelling requisites is to break the time barrier by at least 7-8 hours time difference in the new location.

Correction on Post

Today I received a comment by an observant reader that there is an error on “Calculations of Palace Elemental Nature using 纳音五行 and the Derivations of Star Characteristics”. When I reviewed the post, I realise that I mentioned Tian Liang (Yang Earth) will express negative effect at Gui Hai palace (Yin Water). That is incorrect, it will at most be neutral. It will only express most negative effect at Wood (especially Yang Wood) palaces. And in addition, as per some of the readers’ wishes, I will also expand more on Nayin and Periodic Phases in due course.

The Zi Wei Dou Shu Traditional Depiction of Qualities

In Zi Wei Dou Shu, like other Destiny studies, there are references on qualities of life based on some obvious information about star arrangements and configurations. In the ancient proses, there are about 10 basis to determine the status of Class and Wealth in the natives (which are actually extended to 10 types of qualities). These are archaic traditional allegories which are merely used as basic guide and estimation, so therefore one should not be too hung up about the depiction.

1. Longevity and Fortune- To be blessed with such, we should get Southerners, Tian Tong or Tian Liang seated in Life Palace of highest magnitude Miao Wang. For Northerners, Zi Wei, Wu Qu, Po Jun and Tain Lang seated in Life Palace of magnitude Miao Wang.

2. Intelligence- To have exceptional intelligence, it is favourable to have San He of Wen Chang, Wen Qu, Tian Xiang, Tian Fu, Wu Qu, Po Jun, San Tai, Ba Zhuo, Zuo Fu or You Bi. The intelligence range is calculated by the amount of these stars in existence in the triage.

3. Courage and Valour- The highest exemplary of such quality is seen when Wu Qu, Wen Chang, Qing Yang and Qi Sha are in the Life Palace, with Hua Quan or Hua Lu and with also Zi Wei, Tian Fu, Zuo Fu and You Bi in San Fang.

4. Literary Talent- To have Wen Chang, Wen Qu, Zuo Fu, You Bi, Tian Kui or Tian Yue seated at high magnitude Life Palace, and further enhanced by Hua Ke, Hua Quan or Hua Lu in San Fang.

5. Martial Talent- Having Wu Qu or Qi Sha at Life Palace of high magnitude. And arched by San Tai, Ba Zuo, Hua Quan, Hua Lu, Tian Kui or Tian Yue in three directions.

6. Dictatorship and Authority- Qing Yang, Tuo Luo, Huo Xing, Ling Xing, Wu Qu or Po Jun encounters with violent stars like Qi Sha, Tian Xing in Life Palace, and to have little to no malevolence in three direction nor of low magnitude.

7. Wealth and Status- Exceptional wealth and status is conferred for native with Zi Wei, Tian Fu, Tian Xiang, Hua Lu, Hua Quan, Hua Ke, Tai Yang, Tai Yin, Wen Chang, Wen Qu, Zuo Fu, You Bi, Tian Kui and Tian Yue located, or arching the Life Palace.

8. Poverty and Destitute- Having Qing Yang, Tuo Luo, Lian Zhen, Qi Sha, Wu Qu, Po Jun, Di Kong, Di Jie and most importantly Hua Ji influencing Life Palace from within and arched in SFSZ.

9. Sickness and Malady- Tan Lang, Lian Zhen, Qing Yang, Tuo Luo, Di Kong, Di Jie, Huo Xing, Ling Xing, Hua Ji influencing the San Fang of the Life Palace.

10. Asceticism and Religiosity- Tian Ji, Tian Liang, Qi Sha, Po Jun, Di Kong and Di Jie  meets Zi Wei at Life Palace as an example.

Case Study and Practice: Working Lady

Here is a case study based on a woman who went into prostitution and subsequently became a matron. This will also be a useful reference for enthusiasts who would like to see the usual and the “unusual” Flying Stars methods of interpretation that ultimately arrive at very accurate prognosis. This case study is performed on the latest version of Brother Keong’s software.


She is born on western calendar 22 September 1959 at 0250am. From the above chart, let’s analyze the metaphysical reasons why her fate is associated with this profession.

1. Peach Blossom abundance: Po Jun (Yin Water), Tian Yao (Yin Water) thrive in Ren Shen Life Palace (Tian Yue is weak here to input fire consideration) full of metal and water resources. This abundance of water is trickling into Bing Zi Career Palace which is home of water, and which will eventually grow the master of peach blossom Tan Lang. Hence her personality ties in with her eventual choice of profession, and in 1-9 relationship, also her fate.

2. Stars in Life Palace: Po Jun meets Tian Yao in Life Palace. Traditional texts link this to certain tendency for promiscuity and prostitution which cannot be taken as an absolute, but merely as a reference point.

3. Failure Fate Association: Intelligent readers will be able to figure this out. Based on some observations, I highlighted problem areas Parents Palace, Children Palace, Life Palace and Career Palace. Prognosis will always flow opposite. Poor cause, leads to poor effect. Hence, the woman in her fate will have problems in upbringing, romance, attitude, personality and will fail in health, family, interactions and spousal relationship.

4. The Ballad of 武松 and 潘金蓮: Another challenge for intelligent readers. There are two stars that are part of a trio grown from heavens of Metal known as Three Killings with different post heaven elemental representations. The shatterer will punish and subdue, whereas the one in white robe will dance and seduce. If they are in palaces that enhance their essence, the tragic myth may become reality.

5. Birth Transformers: Birth Lu in Travel Palace; good social skills, benefits have to be earned via extroversion and external interactions. Wu Qu Hua Lu, particularly points to the mercenary bounty. Birth Quan in Career Palace; will eventually gain high reputation and power in her trade. Tan Lang Hua Quan, points to the choice of trade, and her current status.  Birth Ke in Health Palace; penchant for luxury, aesthetics, romance and pleasure and peach blossom. Tian Liang Hua Ke, exhibits Lolita tendencies, but may be in danger of breast cancer. Birth Ji in Children Palace; indebted to peach blossom (pre Heaven indebtedness). Wen Qu Hua Ji highlights melancholia and sorrow.

4. Lu and Ji of Life Palace: Life Palace Ren Stem sends Hua Lu to Tian Liang at Health Palace meets Tian Liang Hua Ke= Native like to look pretty and behave romantic. Life Palace Ren Stem sends Hua Ji to Wu Qu at Travel Palace meets Wu Qu Hua Lu= Double Ji vs Life. And it is part of Outflow Ji as well as Exit Ji. Native like to socialise, but will eventually bring harm to herself.


5. Fortune Palace Analysis: Fortune Palace is very important for females. This is also Body Palace of native, hence emphasis on mental state in her life. Jia Stem brings Lian Zhen Self Hua Lu, referred to as Exit Lu= Native is conceited and self righteous. Jia Stem brings Tai Yang Hua Ji to Health Palace= Self absorbed and directed. Pleasure seeking. Life and Health of 1-6 relationships, Health and Fortune is also 1-6 relationships. From earlier example from Life Palace, you’d have noticed that Lu and Ji traverses the health related areas a lot, and can be interpreted as Lu/Ji conflict at Health Palace which ails the heart with confusion.

6. Children Palace Analysis: Wen Qu self Hua Ji sits in Children Palace at Four Growth/Horse locations (unstable). Self Hua Ji bring exit Ji. This indicates futility in peach blossom, romance or children. Ji Stem brings Hua Lu to Wu Qu at Travel Palace, encounter with preexisting Lu. Some schools may infer this as Exit Lu but i don’t. Travel is Children Palace of Children Palace. This indicates many transitional and temporary peach blossoms. From Travel Palace we relay Bing Stem to Hua Lu at Tian Tong at Friends Palace (also deemed as Wealth Palace of Children Palace). And Travel Palace we also relay Bing Stem to Hua Ji at Lian Zhen at Fortune Palace (also deemed as Children Palace of Friends Palace).  The summation of these points indicate solicitations for money and benefit.

OK, so now here is the more exciting part. Based on the chart, when did the woman start to venture into this trade?  How do we narrow down first to decade periods?  If I give you Gui You (14-23), or Jia Xu (24-33), do you know how to choose? Clues: 1. Sha Po Lang usually indicate a more explosive period of adventure/ventures. 2. Look for a periodic Career Palace that harms the Body Palace. By following some of these simple clues, you should have arrived at Jia Xu (24-33). Alright, now here comes the bigger challenge. How do you know which year to arrive at? At the Decade Jia Xu, fly your transformers. Just stare at two most important ones namely Hua Lu and Hua Ji. Hua Lu is self transformed. Hua Ji is at Decade Friends/Birth Health. These are signs at Decade Life. We want to look at career right? Decade Career flies Tian Tong Hua Lu at Decade Property/Birth Friends and Lian Zhen Hua Ji at Decade Self/Birth Fortune. Jia Xu (Birth Fortune Palace) is further red flagged due to malefic influences of life and career.

The red flagged Jia Xu Palace has become an important palace to deduce the eventful year. But when did the downward spiral into prostitution happens? What is the trigger point?


When native is 26 years of age (1984), Annual Life Palace overlaps with Decade Mental and Birth Career Palaces. The Decade Spouse Palace with the Ren Stem flies Hua Lu to Tian Liang at Birth Health Palace (Decade Friends Palace). Ren Stem also flies Hua Ji into Wu Qu at Birth Travel Palace which is a Outflow of Ji. This denotes serious problem between Decade Career and Decade Spouse in this year. When we relay Ji to Decade Career, Bing Stem sends Hua Ji to Lian Zhen at Decade Self which corresponds to Annual Spouse Palace. From the agency inference, this points to divorce with the husband. Concurrently that was the impetus for her to begin prostitution. Signs of this happening: Annual Career/Birth Wealth Palaces (money making job) reason Decade Travel (socialising) sends Hua Ji to Tian Ji (afflicted thinking) at Annual Friends/Birth Children Palaces (peach blossoms with peers) reason Decade Health (harms body and heart) clash (henceforth disowned by) Annual Siblings/Birth Property (family) reason Decade Parents (parents).


In accordance to the chart, Birth Children Palace corresponds to Decade Health Palace. When the native is 25 years old (1983) this location overlaps with her Annual Travel Palace. There is Exit Ji in this location. The Ji stem here cause Wu Qu Hua Lu to enter Birth Travel Palace which bless Decade Spouse and Annual Children which indicates affairs. The affairs at 25 years of age precipitated the divorce at 26 years of age, leading to the woman committing to prostitution.

Case Study and Practice: Fatal Car Accident

In the practice of ZWDS there are some instances when charts are difficult to analyse even though when the time information is all correct. I am of course no stranger to such problems as sometimes some charts do elude interpretations. Therefore I am not comfortable to stick to one system when I am doing interpretation, for there is a likelihood that there will be inadequacy in forming accurate readings. Despite what the proponents of the San He and Flying Star schools say, one cannot just rely on any one system and expect to get perfect score on chart reading. A dedicated and responsible practitioner will not treat one system as the absolute; he or she needs a second system of verification, sometimes even out of the realms of ZWDS like Bazi to do confirmatory interpretations. The laws and rules of certain schools and sects are rigid, and for the same reasons they may actually lead the readers down to roads of inaccuracy. Henceforth the best way for any readers to read with confidence is actually to have adequate education on at least two or more varieties of practical methods, and most importantly to have as many case studies and examples to gather their observations, form opinions and to “improve” on the dogma and shortfalls of the respective schools.

Below is a chart from a native who is born in 21 July 1960 at the Xu hour. He and his family of 4 got into a car accident in Indonesia (they were in a car that plunged from the cliff) on a fateful date and unfortunately all of them perished. This case study is supplied by my good friend and collaborator Brother Keong and it was used as an earlier challenge to many practitioners to correctly find the date of the event, at least down to the month level. Sadly 98% of practitioners (some of them Master level) failed. As a clue to aid in the reading, it happened in the Decade Period between 42-51 years of age (2001-2010).

Traffic Accident

Most people applied their taught ZWDS knowledge ranging from Flying Stars to San He and chose a common year for this casualty (a very apparent observation actually). The answers are wrong. Only one person could get the year correct but interpreted the month wrongly. And this person used Bazi reading as a backup. This case study will be for the fellow enthusiasts to pick on their brains and come up with the correct date. All you need to find is the year and month of the accident. As a hint to some of the avid readers of the blog; never trust the obvious (edit). Once a pattern has been established, prepare to forgo some of the dogma of using purely Dou Jun and consider the Wu Hu Dun method to get the month of event. Good luck!

Study on Tian Ku and Tian Xu Stars

In this article we will touch on the above mentioned minor stars. There are many detractors on theories linking up stars in Zi Wei Dou Shu to actual astronomical basis, as well as practitioners who doubt the usefulness of minor stars and other Shen Sha-derived stars, a trend particularly seen in non-San He styled schools. However, before we dismiss minor stars too readily, or too quick to deduce that ZWDS utilise virtual stars, it is good to have some in-depth reading and understanding on Chinese astronomy and archaic astrology. We are going to touch on two interesting stars, namely Tian Ku and Tian Yue, expanding on their characteristics, touching on their astronomical origins, and also to make some corrections on archaic notions.

Tian Ku (天哭) is the Weeping Star. Tian Xu (天虚) is the Illusions Star. I have touched on the characteristics of these Yi Category minor stars in “The Empyrean Matrix” and in this article I will expand on further insight of these stars for the readers. Here we quote the ancient prose on these two stars: “哭虛為惡曜,臨命最非常;加臨父母內,破蕩賣田庄。若教身命陷,窮獨對刑傷;六親多不足,煩惱過時光。東謀西不就,心事忽忙忙;丑卯申宮吉,遇祿名顯揚。二限若逢之,哀哀哭斷腸。” To also summarize the prose, effectively the two stars are considered malevolent stars, and they bring about failure, frustration and anxiety, with ill effects heightened in poor Life/Body Palaces as well as poor relationships with the six relations. If they enter Chou, Mao or Shen palaces, they will be more fortunate, and encounter with Lu will gain good reputations. Encounters at consecutive decades will bring immense sorrow.

Firstly to expand on the characteristics of Tian Ku. This star is of Yang Metal element. Its transformation is excoriate and its mastery is in sorrow, punishment and scandal. The nature of the star is lonely, pessimistic, over-sensitive, melancholic, tiresome and toilsome. Its transformation in relationship palaces (Parents, Siblings, etc) can also cause estrangement with the six relationships, particularly concerning male relations. Encounter with Ju Men in same palace (and to some extent Tai Yin) tend to bring about misfortune concerning affairs of the heart.

Tian Xu is of Yin Earth element. Its transformation is emptiness and its mastery is delusion, instability, madness and disappointments. The nature of the star is dreamy, stubborn, critical and there is always such tendencies as “spirit is willing, flesh is weak”. So often, there will be such effects like unrecognised talent or effort, hardworking but impractical, and passive impulses, and all these point towards a certain sense of “futility”. Its transformation in relationship palaces (Parents, Siblings, etc) can also cause estrangement with the six relationships, particularly concerning female relations. Encounter with Po Jun  in same palace tend to bring about some misfortunes particularly for female natives.

Both stars when they are in Life Palace, they tend to bring about furrows and sombriety in the natives’ faces. Especially for Tian Ku, it has some repulsion effect on people. For Tian Xu it tend to lend some effects of weakness and superficiality. When they are in Life, Body or Health Palaces, melancholia is inevitable, and there are also some tendencies to destabilise parents. Usually these natives will be lonely in young and old age. Also in the aforementioned palaces, it is not favourable also to encounter Mu Yu, Shuai, Si and Jue locations as the ill effects may be heightened. These stars are not favoured in any six relationship palaces as they will bring estrangement. Like mentioned earlier, when they are in Chou, Mao or Shen locations, it will be the most favourable. However I will expand on these points later in another perspective. Also, encounter with Lu Cun or Hua Lu tend to bring good reputation to the native, which is also a point that was explained in the proses, but also bring about certain level of abundance. Tian Ku is undoubtedly tied in strongly with bereavement, pessimism and sorrow, but Tian Xu actually holds some dispelling quality from case studies. It can seek to reduce the effects of malevolent stars (except Po Jun).

Now, let’s look at the two stars in astronomical details. Tian Ku and Tian Xu are actually always based on two existing stars that are existent in Chinese astronomical knowledge. In the observation of the 28 Mansions, they are found in the Emptiness Mansion (虛宿; Xu Xiu) asterism which consists of β Aquarii (Tian Xu) and α Equulei (Tian Ku). These areas traditionally are associated with passing and bereavement. In older astronomy like Guo Lao Xin Zhong however, there is only Tian Ku and no Tian Xu although in later development the latter is associated with the Shen Sha 月空 (Yue Kong), which is known to dispel evil and this point was made known earlier about its effects in observed case studies.

Concerning its purported favourable positions in Chou, Mao and Shen locations, there is an interesting correlation to the marriage selection Shen Sha known as 埋儿煞 (Mai Er Sha; Bury Offspring Sha). Mai Er Sha is observed based on year branches to derive “bad time”. In Zi year, it will be in Chou, in Chou it will be in Mao, in Yin it will be in Shen, in Mao it will be in Chou, in Chen it will be in Mao, in Si it will be in Shen, in Wu it will be in Chou, in Wei it will be in Mao, in Shen it will be in Shen, in You it will be in Chou, in Xu it will be in Mao and in Hai it will be in Shen. In Mai Er Sha time period, entry into room/consummation is not allowed during wedding, because it will actually cause miscarriages. This same principle in the observation of the time period likewise is not favoured when applied in the ZWDS charts especially in Life or Children Palaces with Tian Ku or Tian Xu, which is a dichotomy.