Brief History of Zi Wei Dou Shu (Emperor Astrology) 1

by Master Tony Tan

The few oldest civilisations in the world had all developed some form of astrology from the study of astronomy, as our ancestors realised that planetary movements do influence the destiny of human kind. The original Chinese astrology methodologies, however, did not flourish well like their western counterparts, because Chinese rulers from as early as the Chunqiu period (777-476 B.C.) had forbade their wide spread practice for fear of uprisings.

The only form of Chinese astrology that managed to grow was Wuxing (the Five Stars Method) but it was not refined at all when compared to Western astrology methodologies (including Verdic, of course) that have developed uninterrupted.

Wuxing first uses Ganzhi (Stem/Branch) to build four pillars from year, month, day and hour of birth, then studies the positions of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, together with the sun and the moon, in four sectors, to read the four pillars. Hence, Wuxing is also called Qizheng Siyu (Seven Stars and Four Sectors).

The Ziping Method (Bazi Method, or the Four Pillars Method) was refined from the first part of Wuxing, using the four pillars of birth, but ignoring totally the reliance of planetary movements. Although the Ziping Method finally gained ground over Wuxing after further refinements during the Tang Dynasty by Master Li Xuzhong, and later, Master Xu Ziping, it is not able to provide certain specifics in reading like Wuxing because of its different approach. It was said that a new methodology was created at that time, that was able to provide more details in reading, to compete with Ziping in place of Wuxing. This new method was call the Eighteen Flying Stars (Shiba Feixing) and it is the first time the phrase Ziwei appeared in a destiny analysis methodology.

While some like to take Shiba Feixing as a form of Ziwei Doushu, which, in fact, was created later, they are not the same. Ziwei Doushu appeared in the Song Dynasty and it is much more dynamic and detailed than Shiba Feixing. As the name implies, again, Shiba Feixing uses only 18 stars in addition to Ziwei, while Ziwei Doushu employs 120 stars in addition to Ziwei, and the former does not provide reading in periodic luck, while Ziwei Doushu goes all the way from 10-year cycles to annual cycles, monthly cycles, daily cycles and hourly cycles.

It remains a mystery who had invented Ziwei Doushu, although it is generally created to a Taoist priest Chen Xiyi in Song Dynasty. However, official historical records and unofficial notes from the Song Dynasty have never associated Chen Xiyi with Chinese metaphysics.

Although Ziwei Doushu has achieved the goal of providing strong competition to Ziping because it is in the capacity to give enormous specific details, the methodology did not flourish for the next 1,000 years for two reasons. First, while able to provide detailed readings, the method did not provide the logic of the interpretations, and it was seemingly not based on profound theoretical basis like Ziping. Second, it has become the exclusive instrument of the Bureau of Astronomy of the Ming and Qing Dynasties, used to serve only the Emperor. Therefore, Ziping was the only well known main stream destiny analysis method until the recent times, when some masters began teaching Ziwei Doushu openly after World War II.

Slide 1
Slide 1

Commentary – Ziwei Doushu first appeared in the Song Dynasty, hence, it has a history of slightly more than 1,000 years.

Slide 2
Slide 2

purple star astrology

Commentary – There is nothing *purple* in Ziwei Doushu. It is wrong to call Ziwei the purple star, thus, it is wrong to call Ziwei Doushu the Purple Star Astrology. For instance, there is nothing purple in Zijincheng – the Forbidden City (the Purple City?), and there is nothing purple in Ziqi Donglai – auspiciousness (purple energy from the East?). It is like we cannot translate white elephant from English to Chinese directly – there is nothing white, and it is not even an elephant.

Slide 3
Slide 3
Slide 4
Slide 4

Commentary – Ziwei refers to the centre of focus, the reference, the authority, etc., thus it is apt to translate it as the Emperor. Dou refers to the stars (symbols) when they are static, i.e., their essential quality. Shu refers to the systems the stars form when they move, and there are 120 systems. Shu therefore refers to the dynamism the stars create. However, it is critical to note that there are no real stars in Ziwei Doushu. The term *stars* is the accepted way to mean the *symbols* we use in Ziwei Doushu. Thus, Ziwei Doushu is Emperor Astrology.

Slide 5
Slide 5
Slide 6
Slide 6

Commentary – There are a total of 121 *stars* used in ZWDS, but this figure depends on how we count them. For instance, the 12 Boshi Stars are employed twice, some may count them as 24 stars, etc.

Slide 7
Slide 7

Commentary – These are the twelve domains of life that ZWDS interprets. I have chosen the word DOMAIN in place of PALACE or COURT because unlike face reading and Fengshui, the Chinese word gong here does not refer to a location or position. The Self Domain may be placed in any of the twelve frames, but the sequence of the twelve does not change. ZWDS is about reading the meaning of the stars when they are placed in the twelve domains.

Slide 8
Slide 8

Commentary – These are the two domains we should interpret together to understand a personality completely. Thinking Domain is the most misunderstood of all the twelve because of the original Chinese words Fudegong, when fu generally means blessing and de generally means virtue or karma, but they do not mean those when it comes to Fudegong. We should call a spade a spade. Self Domain shows the outwardly apparent personality and the Thinking Domain reveals that part that is hidden.

Slide 9
Slide 9

Commentary – These four domains form Sanfang Sizheng – what I call the Matrix. They reveal the aggregate strength (luck) of destiny we have in this life.

Slide 10
Slide 10

Commentary – To assess how wealthy one can be, we have to also include the interpretation of Estates Domain as it represents wealth beyond liquid cash.

Slide 11
Slide 11
Slide 12
Slide 12
Slide 13
Slide 13

Commentary – Beyond the twelve domains, there is a Shengong – what I call a supplementary domain, or the domain of main influence, but it is formed by one of the six domains shown in Slide 11.

Slide 14
Slide 14

Commentary – This shows the key interpretation technique of ZWDS. One will never understand the true power of ZWDS if one does not get familiarised with their applications.

Slide 15
Slide 15

Commentary – First, the Mirroring Technique. It is used when a domain is found to be void of the 14 Major Stars (from the Emperor Ziwei to the Forward General Pojun). Regardless of how many other stars are present in a domain, when a domain is void of any of the 14 Major Stars, we have to use the stars present in the opposite domain. All the stars in the two groups of 73 stars (32 plus 41, in yellow fonts in the slide) found
in the opposite domain must be mirrored into the domain to be interpreted. Merely mirroring the first 14 Major Stars, as it is widely taught, is wrong.

Slide 16
Slide 16

Commentary – The next three slides illustrate the Mirroring Technique. The Siblings Domain in the chart is void of Major Stars. The pair of Trouble Stars – Turmoil Star Huoxing and Turbulence Star Lingxing, are found to be placed in the Offspring Domain and Peers Domain respectively. They are not the 14 Major Stars, but part of the 32 Main Stars. They are the Adverse Stars that are the most menacing to human relationships.

Slide 17
Slide 17

Commentary – In this chart, on the surface, three human relationship domains are negatively affected (in red) but not all five domains, if we do not mirror Turbulence Star Lingxing into the Siblings Domain which is void of the Major Stars. It therefore means that the Siblings Domain and Love Domain are not affect by the pair of Trouble Stars. This is the wrong interpretation result.

Slide 18
Slide 18

Commentary – When we mirror Turbulence Star into the Siblings Domain according to the correct application of the Mirroring Technique, we will have the correct interpretation result that all human relationship domains in this chart are ruined by the stars. The two that suffer the most impacts are the Parents Domain and Love Domain, the latter because of the flanking effect.

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(Article kind courtesy of Master Tony Tan, Harmony Academy of Chinese Metaphysics)

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