on Feng Shui
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Article FS11/jun1
Insights from Ho Peng Yoke's "Chinese Mathematical Astrology":
Part 1: Myths in Reputed Usages

Prof. Dr.Ong Hean-Tatt 24th June 2011

Finally unveiled: age-old imperial deception of
creation of Qi Men Dun Jia, Liu Ren and Tai Yi divination from Zi Wei Dou Shu!

As astrology has scientific basis, astrological systems among ancient cultures should be the same. Evidence presented in an earlier article shows that Zi Wei Dou Shu, Western and Hindu astrology systems evolve from the same astronomical sources.

Claims have been made that Ba Zi Eight Characters,Qi Men Dun Jia, Liu Ren, Tai Yi and Zi Wei Dou Shu are different systems. It is time to expose the myths.

In a rare praiseworthy research effort into Chinese geomancy, Professor Ho Peng Yoke made an academic study of three Chinese divination methods known as the sanshi, the three cosmic boards of Qi Men Dun Jia, Da Liu Ren and Tai Yi. His 2003 book "Chinese Mathematical Astrology" (about 222 pages), the fruits of his research, has serious implications for current Chinese astrology and even Feng Shui.

Some modern practitioners are in awe of these sanshi arts:

  • It was recorded in the Chinese history that Qi Men Dun Jia, together with Da Liu Ren and Tai Yi Shen Shu are the highest Three Arts or Three Styles in Chinese Meta-physics. It was said that these Arts can only be practiced by the Emperor or their advisors. Commoners will be executed if being caught practicing it. (Calvin Yap. Control Your Destiny by Mastering Qi Men Dun Jia. Control Your Destiny By Mastering Qi Men Dun Jia.htm)

The sanshi arts acquire a mysterious aura as they are not so well known and taught as other divinations like Ba Zi Eight Characters and the most complicated Zi Wei Dou Shu. In fact, Ho (2003) noted that the sanshi arts are not so complicated as the Ziping (Ba Zi Eight Characters) and Zi Wei Dou Shu:

  • The most sophisticated systems of fate-calculation are the Ziping method described in Appendix II and the Ziwei doushu method referred to in Chapter 3. (Ho, 2003. p.139)


Really, did Yellow Emperor Huang Di, circa 2650 BC use any of the sanshi arts?

Earliest Mentions

From how long ago do you think your astrology or Feng Shui art exist?

Practitioners are liable to think that their geomancy arts originated in distant past thousands of years ago. These practitioners are not equipped to check as they too often lack knowledge of the ancient Chinese history. Hence, many are apt to swallow stories that famous legendary figures of ancient past were supposed to use the sanshi arts of Qi Men Dun Jia, Da Liu Ren and Tai Yi to achieve notable victories.

  • Qi Men Dun Jia
    It is said that in ancient time in China, Qi Men Dun Jia was taught by the deity, Ninth Heaven Goddess to Emperor Huang. Emperor Huang used Qi Men Dun Jia to defeat his strongest enemy Chi You in battle. Centuries later, Jiang Zi Ya applied Qi Men Dun Jia to destroy Emperor Zhou. In Han Dynasty Zhang Liang learnt Qi Men from Huang Shi Gong and used it to help Emperor Gao Zu to win the whole China and establish the Han Dynasty. These stories are recorded in history books and remain popular until today.
    In the Three Kingdoms period, there are historical records of Zhu Ge Liang using Qi Men to win lots of battles, particularly at the Battle of Red Cliff, which was made popular recently by Director John Woo. Some other famous ancient Chinese military strategists and politicians, such as Jiang Shang, Zhang Zi Fang , Xu Zhe , Xu Qi Gong , Li Jing , Miao Guang Yi , Liu Bo Wen , are all proficient in Qi Men techniques,
    ( 2010. Accumulate wealth, prosperity and success with our Qimen. ).

    • In the ancient book "The Song from Old Fishing Man" carried the following story: Emperor XuanYuan fought a fierce battle with Shi You for many years. In a dream he dreamt Heaven gave him an oracle and XuanYuan then paid his respects upon a sacrificial platform and practised such arts which soon brought success. He ordered his military man Feng Hou to write down these arts and this was the beginning of Dunjia. (Feng Shui Divination. Feng Shui Institute.

  • Tai Yi
    Mr Ho told us that this method of divination had been practiced in secrecy since some hundred years BC. But the first official adoption of this method came in the Tang dynasty (618-907) and reached its golden age in northern Song dynasty (960-1127) under the patronage of emperor Renzong. Mr Ho began to discuss the Taiyi method by quoting a passage from Nan Qi Shu (Official History of the southern Qi dynasty ) (Note: Southern Qi dynasty existed briefly through AD 479-503) as follow:

    • Your Majesty's servant Xiao Zixian,the historiographer, submits the following remarks based on the prognostications of Taiyi moving within the nine palaces (jiugong). According to the calculation, in the 5th year of Han Gaozu (237 bc ), Taiyi was within palace four. Both the host and the guest received auspicious signs. One can reckon that the side taking the initiative in war would win. In that year Gaozu defeated Chu. (Ho.2003. p.36-37)

  • Da Liu Ren
    Although the Liuren system was probably already in use during the Warring States period, it has escaped the attention of the academic world until quite recently. There were also other systems. Ge Hong's Baopuzi neipian refers to the mystic arts of Dunjia and Qimen. A passage in the Nan Qi shu (Official History of Southern Qi Dynasty) has something to do with the Taiyi jiugong suan method.
    (Ho. 2003. p.4)

For the arts to be used by the so-called ancient famous figures, the sanshi arts of Qi Men Dun Jia, Da Liu Ren and Tai Yi must seem to be very potent. But, the internal evidence of the technical aspects of the arts show that these stories of legendary usages are only fabrications!


The sanshi arts use the 24 Solar Terms which were incoporated into the calendar only in the Sui dynasty, circa AD 600. None of the sanshi arts could exist before the Sui dynasty.

Evidence of 24 Solar Terms

One technical aspect which betrays the fabrications in the legendary usages is the Time cycle used by the sanshi arts. Without exceptions, the methodologies of the three sanshi arts have to use calendrical features based on the 24 Solar Terms and/or 60 signs sexagenary cycle.

  • In the Taiyi method a Superior Epoch comprised 360 years, or six jiazi sexagenary cycles of 60 years each. (Ho.2003. p.60)

  • In the Chinese calendar, the year is divided into 24 solar terms or Jie Qi. Each solar term is 15 days. .. For QMDJ, the 24 solar terms are grouped by groups of 3 solar terms .(Cyril Quah. 2009. The Feng Shui Connoisseur).

  • It is called Da Liu Ren because in the sexegenary cycle there are Six Rens each with a different branch: ... Ren Shen, Ren Wu, Ren Chen, Ren Yin, Ren Zi and Ren Xu .(Jack Sweeney. 2009.] Da Liu Ren website of Jack Sweeney).

The 24 Solar Terms and 60 signs sexagenary cycle have a history long before the Han dynasty. But their incorporation into the calendars occurred only during the Sui dynasty, circa AD 600. Hence, the sanshi arts of Qi Men Dun Jia, Liu Ren and Tai Yi, which have to use the calendars, could not exist before the Sui dynasty.

All those fabulous stories of Yellow Emperor Huang Di, Jiang Tze-Ya, Chang Liang and even Chuge Liang using one or the other of the sanshi arts are false.


All true astrology are based on the same planetary system!

Some systems like Mei Hua Plum Blossom divination purporting to tell the future are fakes!

12 Zodiac Signs

The 16 halls of the Tai Yi chart and 12 halls of the Liu Ren chart have the 12 Zodiac signs.

  • text with the abbreviated Chinese title Xiuyaojing ma;m..38 (No original Hindu title or text can be found.) According to Yano Michio, this text was simply a transliterated record in Chinese of what Amoghavajra either dictated from memory or instructed orally in Sanskrit. It was twice translated into Chinese under the supervision of Amoghavajra, first by Sima Shiyao in the year 759 and later revised by Yang Jingfeng in 764... Yano Michio shows that in the Xiuyaojing the 12 zodiac signs were introduced for the first time to China. (Ho. 2003. p.69)

  • The 12 Zodiac signs came into China only around AD 759 during the Tang dynasty. Hence, the sanshi arts of Liu Ren and Tai Yi could not exist before AD 759!

Practitioners should familarise themselves with the historical development of the changing calendars in order to understand the basis of their astrology and to avoid pitfalls in applications of their arts.


The sanshu arts were part of the syllabus for the Sung dynasty imperial exams for astronomers. There are reasons to believe that current versions of the sanshi arts may not be true to the imperial versions. Who are they trying to bluff?
Sanshi as Part of Sung Examinations for Astronomers

The three sanshi arts were used by the imperial circles of the Sung dynasty as part of the imperial examinations for astronomers:

  • In eleventh-century Song China the Astronomical Bureau examinations syllabus included the method of the three cosmic boards (sanshi, comprising the method of Taiyi, the method of concealing the Yang Wood (Dunjia), and the method of employing the six sexagenary cyclical members with the Yang Water stem (Liuren). We are indebted to the patronage of the Song Emperor Renzong (reigned 1023-1063) for the accessibility of the more important writings on the three cosmic boards. He ordered a team of officials in the Astronomical Bureau led by Yang Weide to compile monographs on the cosmic boards, namely the ]ingyou Taiyi fuyingjing (Canon of Auspicious Responses from the Taiyi (Board) compiled during the Jingyou Reign-Period), the Jingyou Dunjia (uyingjing (Canon of Responsive Dunjia Techniques compiled during the Jingyou Reign-Period), the ]ingyou Liuren sendingjing (Canon of Spiritual Readings from the Liuren Boards compiled during the Jingyou Reign-Period), and others. This team of officials in the Astronomical Bureau also had to write chapters on the three cosmic boards for the military compendium Wujing zongyao (Collection of the Most Important Military Techniques), again compiled by Zeng GongIiang in 1040 under imperial order. The writings of Yang that still remain are now the most valuable sources on the three cosmic boards (Ho. 2003. p.6.)

The three sanshi arts definitely existed during the Sung dynasty, but no earlier than AD 759, when the 12 Zodiac signs were first introduced into China. One question asked by some are whether the current versions are the same as the Sung imperial versions. The deviation of current astrology systems from the originals is another long story which will not be treated here.


Read startling highlights of our findings on Zi Wei Dou Shu, including how the emperor faked the current Zi Wei Dou Shu!

Some of the faked aspects also affect the Ba Zi Eight Characters, Qi Men Dun Jia, Liu Ren and Tai Yi divination, which are actually inferior astrology systems extracted from a small part of Zi Wei Dou Shu.

Origins from Middle East

The 60 sexagenary signs cycle in the calendar system contains the 12 Zodiac signs. Thus, this 60 sexagenary signs cycle itself could not exist before AD 759. Ho (2003. p.71) notes:

  • Thus, Hindu astrology under Greek influence came to China with the Xiuyaojing, which contains the zodiac system dating back to about AD 300. However, the Xiuyaojing has nothing to say about the basic characteristic of Greek astronomy, namely the 12 houses. It only divided the lunar mansions into seven different groups, depicting disposition or character, such as fierceness, constancy, swiftness, hardness, softness, etc. It also seems likely that Hellenistic astrology also found its way to China via Persia about the eighth century.(Ho.2003. p.71)

It does appear that the Chinese astrology systems using the 12 Zodiac signs could not exist before AD 759. They, including Zi Wei Dou Shu, must have sprang from parent sources brought into China from the Middle East.

What more and who brought them into China will compose long discussions. We will stop here to allow people to think about the implications.

One sobering and disturbing point is the naiveté among practitioners in swallowing all sorts of stories about the Chinese geomancy. Such naiveté, betraying lack of careful analysis, mars other aspects of modern astrology and Feng Shui. One major reason why the modern astrology and Feng Shui have so many contradicting schools is that most of the schools are fakes, a proper conclusion which many practitioners are trying to shut their minds from.

In the next two articles we will show the weaknesses in the sanshi arts of Qi Men Dun Jia, Da Liu Ren and Tai Yi.

Insights from Ho Peng Yoke's "Chinese Mathematical Astrology"


Online Home Study courses are coming out on the methodologies of Qi Men Dun Jia, Liu Ren and Tai Yi divination and their serious errors. Write in to register your interest in our non-exorbitant courses.

Special articles from Dr. Ong's monumental scientific astronomical research into Chinese astrology and Feng Shui. Gui Management Centre is making available preliminary findings of our highly scientific research into Chinese astrology and Feng Shui, backed up by intensive analysis of the ancient texts.

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