Zi Wei Dou Shu (紫微斗数) – The Chinese Five Arts (中华五术) – Wyson Chan

Zi Wei Dou Shu belongs to Chinese Metaphysics which is also known as Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics. Chinese Metaphysics traces its roots back in history to the mystical sage Fu Xi (伏羲) (2852BC – 2738BC) who founded the Early Heaven BaGua (先天八卦). King Wen of Zhou State (周文王) then created the Later Heaven BaGua (后天八卦) which developed into the well-known I-Ching or Yi Jing (易经) studies.

I-Ching or Yi Jing became the roots for the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics. The main philosophies and principles of these derive from the Yin Yang theory (阴阳) and Five Elements theory (五行) which forms the essential philosophy in the I-Ching or Yi Jing studies.

Chinese Metaphysics includes divination and destiny, which was often used by imperial court astronomers as a tool to implement feng shui remedies for the purpose of enhancing the powers of its Emperor during the ancient dynasty eras.

The ancient Chinese thus categorized Chinese Metaphysics studies into 5 categories.


Zi Wei Dou Shu (Micro Purple Star Astrology)

The Micro Purple Star Astrology or Zi Wei Dou Shu (紫微斗数) originated from ancient Chinese studies of the star’s constellation system. By integrating the stars attributes, inter-relation positioning and the appliance of technical methods and formulas, a practitioner can accurately determine a person’s character and foretell his destiny to help him achieve his maximum potential in life. The structure of the study accurately looks into one’s past and present and thus makes it a reliable astrology system to predict one’s destiny.

Zi Wei Dou Shu was devised by a Taoist named Lu Chun Yang (呂純陽) in the Tang dynasty (618-907AD).  However the development and sophistication of this astrology system really took place during the Sung Dynasty (960-1127AD) by Chen Xi Yi (陈希夷). Since then Zi Wei Dou Shu has made its mark as one of the most popular and reliable scientific astrology studies pertaining to the reading of one’s destiny.

In ancient times Zi Wei Dou Shu was restricted only for the exclusive and private use of the Imperial Emperors as it provided an elaborate, detailed and therefore classified reading. Thus imperial astronomers used Zi Wei Dou Shu to delineate charts for the Emperor, as his destiny was connected to that of the people and affected the destiny of his kingdom and dynasty.

Among the stars used in the Zi Wei Dou Shu system, there is one main star while other stars revolve around it. This star is named the Emperor Star or Purple Star (紫微), which also represents the ruler (Emperor) of the kingdom.

Thus Zi Wei Dou Shu has been used by professional consultants and practitioners for the past 1000 years to determine one’s destiny and for remedial Feng Shui strategies. In fact Zi Wei Dou Shu also has its own unique feng shui philosophies and principles and can be used for personalized feng shui.

How does Zi Wei Dou Shu work?

Zi Wei (紫微) translated as purple micro, represents the emperor in a dynastic era
Dou (斗)” means constellation
Shu (数)” means a method of calculation
Zi Wei Dou Shu is a system to calculate events of a person which will take place and happen at a specific time. It is calculated based on the space-dimension that we occupy versus the time factor of which an event will take place.

To begin a reading Zi Wei Dou Shu requires a person’s specific birth data. The time, day, month and year of birth is used to plot a Profile Chart (命盘), on which there are 12 columns known as the 12 Palaces, which represent 12 important elements or events in a person’s life.

A Zi Wei Profile Chart shows the location and movement of the Zi Wei Emperor (Micro purple star) Star and more than 100 other stars, appearing at the specific time of birth of that person. Stars will then be placed into each of the palaces on the profile chart for further interpretation. In some charts, certain palaces may not have any stars but there are other methods and ways to interpret events related to that particular palace despite the absence of a star.

Zi Wei Dou Shu relies on scientific method to interpret the life events and destiny of a person by observing the interactions and inter-relations between stars, palaces, time and elements shown on the profile chart. Further detailing of an event can be inferred by observing the brightness of the stars and the relationship between palaces and stars.

Difference between Schools of Zi Wei Dou Shu

Generally there are two lineages of Zi Wei Dou Shu – the Southern school or Triangle Harmony Formation (三合派) and the Northern School or Four Enhancer Flying Stars (四化飞星派).

The major difference between the schools is their different usage of the number of stars for interpretation. The Triangle Harmony Formation lineage uses 18 major stars + 90 auxiliary stars, whereas the Four Enhancer Flying Stars lineage uses only 18 major stars + four enhancers method to differentiate events between palaces and stars.

The author of this article practices the Four Enhancer Flying Stars lineage. Many have asked if the usage of a higher number of stars results in higher accuracy in the readings. In fact the Four Enhancer Flying Stars practice has much more complicated methods and techniques compared to the Triangle Harmony Formation lineage. Thus the accuracy is proven to be higher.  However learning about the 18 stars is a long and difficult process and therefore obtaining a clear reading from 108 stars can be erroneous, confusing and possibly incur a misinterpretation of an associated event.

Zi Wei Dou Shu (紫微斗数) versus Ba Zi (八字)

According to the Chinese, Ba Zi is a person’s birth date which consists of the time, day, month, and year of birth. Ba Zi translated means eight characters and is derived from four pairs of characters. For this reason, it is also known as the Four Pillars of Destiny or in short, The Four Pillars.

The Chinese Luni-solar calendar defines the time, day, month and year with a pair of characters known as the Heavenly Stem (天干) and Earthly Branch (地支). For example, a person’s birth date would have four pillars, namely the time, day, month and year pillar with each pillar consisting of a Heavenly Stem and an Earthly Branch.

气 (Qi)                                   数 (Shu)

Ba Zi                                    Zi Wei Dou Shu

Destiny science is divided into Qi (气) and Shu (数). Qi means energy whereas Shu is the arithmetic for it. Qi is the overall pattern and course of one’s destiny while Shu computes the time, results and outcomes of events that take place in a person’s destiny.

To better illustrate the concept of Qi and Shu, I raise the example of a person wanting to build a house. In this case, Qi refers to the concept, size, structure and overall appearance of the house while Shu takes into consideration when and what materials are to be used, the cost of building supplies, labour and the technical specifications.

Ba Zi and Zi Wei Dou Shu are the two main orthodox systems used in the Destiny Science branch of Chinese Metaphysics. Although the two systems vary slightly in structure, they share a similar method in practice and are both known for their accuracy. The Ba Zi study with an emphasis on Qi is more popular in current trends as it is relatively easy to understand.

On the other hand Zi Wei Dou Shu emphasizes Shu which involves complex calculations on each and every event in a person’s destiny no matter how small in detail. Zi Wei Dou Shu uses its specially formulated techniques to read a person’s past, as well as to predict the outcomes or results of future events.

Say for example, if a person is interested in knowing his wealth prospects this year, Qi will interpret this person’s overall wealth prospects. But if said person has an on-going business and is contemplating other ventures, he would want to know whether his good wealth prospects are a result of his on-going business or from potential future investments. And this is where Shu comes in as it has the capacity to break down the events in detail and give a clear indication and interpretation of movements in life.

Today our lifestyle and living standards significantly differ from the past. Back in the old days the readings gathered from Qi were more than adequate for the knowledge of the older generation, as people were only interested to know the overall pattern and course of their destiny. But in modern times, daily affairs and interpersonal relationships are much more complex and layered. As such we see a moving trend in which Shu is fast gaining popularity, as people these days are no longer content with a mere summary of their destiny, but seek clarity and a breakdown of every matter pertaining to their lives.

Below is a summary of the differences in theory between Qi (Ba Zi) and Shu (Zi Wei Dou Shu)

 Qi   Shu
Based on the dynamism and balance  of Yin and Yang, the Five Elements

Theory, the Twelve Zodiac Signs and the Eight Characters

Based on the scientific calculations of interactions between the stars and palaces
 Provides an overall pattern and cause of a person’s destiny Provides a detailed breakdown of each and every event
 Uses the Solar Calendar (Earth orbiting the sun)  Uses the Chinese Luni-solar Calendar (Moon orbiting earth)
 Emphasis on overall outlook Emphasis on time and specificity of events

What to expect from Zi Wei Dou Shu

To begin a reading, a Zi Wei Profile Chart is plotted where it will first interpret a person’s overall events in his or her lifetime, before proceeding to the important events based on the twelve palaces. After the most important events are mapped out, further interpretations of a person’s destiny can be done via the Decade Cycle in which events happening within a specific 10 year span can be foretold; as well as yearly, monthly and even daily cycles, depending on the person’s requirements.

A qualified Zi Wei Dou Shu practitioner is able to accurately see into a person’s past and differentiate between the fated events and the controllable events. A skilled master in Zi Wei Dou Shu is even able to interpret a person’s day to day events, although this serves no significant impact on a person’s destiny (but does make an interesting study).

The cause and effect of every event can be interpreted, thereby offering a form of guidance and advice to those who seek it at crossroads. By evaluating the differential outcomes from different paths, one is able to make better informed choices in life. Zi Wei Dou Shu is also able to interpret the dynamics of interpersonal relationships with but not limited to spouses, siblings, parents, children, friends and acquaintances.

Zi Wei Dou Shu is especially vital to those seeking to understand their potential profession, as it can interpret the career or industry most suited to achieve success in life. Zi Wei Dou Shu is also able to predict and interpret a person’s health, thus facilitating prevention as this is always better than cure.

The essence of Zi Wei Dou Shu lies in its ability to empower and enhance. Destiny cannot be changed, but can be enhanced. Employing its scientific methods, Zi Wei Dou Shu analyses one’s destiny and breaks it down into sectionalized areas and by focusing on areas that need improving and enhancement, one can achieve a better life overall.

What can Zi Wei Dou Shu tell us?

Zi Wei Dou Shu interprets a person’s destiny on four levels:

Life Events (Destiny 命)

Life events form the root and basic structure of a person’s destiny. It interprets a person’s major and important events in life and also their character and appearance

Decade Cycle (Fortune运)

A decade cycle refers to a person’s fortune every ten years, which includes events and overall performance within this time span

Year Cycle (Fortune运)

The year cycle interprets a person’s fortune and events in that particular year. It is relatively important as most people are concerned with their luck and fortune at the beginning of every New Year. The year cycle therefore provides elaborate details on the events and overall performance of one’s fortune in the year

Monthly and Daily Cycle

On a micro level, Zi Wei Dou Shu is able to interpret a person’s events in a month or even in a day. The accuracy remains high, but events interpreted on a monthly and daily cycle are generally mundane and do not have a great impact on a person’s destiny.

Golden Decade (黄金十年)

The Golden Decade refers to a person’s peak in wealth, fortune and career during their lifetime. There is no definitive time frame for a Golden Decade as it is subject to individual capacity and limitation.

Therefore not every person will enjoy a Golden Decade. On the contrary, there are those who are blessed with extended peak periods and live a few Golden Decades. The main and determining component of the Golden Decade is timing, also known as the fortune part. Destiny determines whether the person has a Golden Decade and when the right time comes; fortune will set the Golden Decade into place in that person’s life.

Mastering the Time Factor

There is a saying that the time factor is the key point to success, but the question is “When is the right time?”

We all know that timing is crucial to everything we do. Success happens when we are doing the right things at the right place and at the right time, but often opportunities slip past without us realizing because of this lack of knowledge. As Zi Wei Dou Shu calculates a person’s destiny from the specific point of intersection of time and space, its interpretations of events and outcomes are heavily time-based.

Therefore, by mastering the time factor in Zi Wei Dou Shu, one is able to make the right choices at the right place and right time in their lives.

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About The Author

Wyson Chan

Wyson Chan is the founder and chief trainer of Academy of Destiny Science; an affiliated academy to ZI WEI FENG SHUI ACADEMY which specializes in conducting courses and seminars on one of the most amazing and greatest Chinese metaphysics knowledge – Zi Wei Dou Shu and Zi Wei Feng Shui. With years of research and in depth study into Chinese metaphysics, Wyson Chan started his development in the great five elements theory, published books and innovate d formulas to explore the structure of destiny. Wyson Chan came from an entrepreneurship background and involvement in the corporate world with over a decade of experience. Between the years 1996 to 2009, Wyson successfully established his career kingdom and managed more than 100 employees in his own company. However those times did not last and in a sudden incident his company went into crisis and was forced to cease operations. Initially he found it difficult to fathom that the force which propelled him to the peaks of success was also the same force that led him to hit rock bottom. Since then Wyson has forged a strong determination to unveil the truth behind this mystery force and in an accidental event was introduced to Zi Wei Dou Shu. This was one of the most fortunate events in his life and this knowledge has completely unveiled the truth of his destiny and given him a clear picture on the cruelty of his destiny. Wyson has now dedicated himself to the academic field and is passionate to share his experiences and knowledge in Chinese Metaphysics. With students from all around the world, Wyson is pioneering the international market for those students and practitioners who seek to understand the orthodox and true way of destiny science and feng shui study.

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