on Feng Shui
on Feng Shui

Article FS11/sep3

Part 1: Historical Origins

Prof. Dr.Ong Hean-Tatt 28th September 2011

Lemurian mandala,
outer ring of 16 points around inner ring of 8 points
The Chinese astrology and Feng Shui were born along the Silk Road


Most practitioners compare the Chinese geomancy arts to some extent, but do not delve deep into the historical roots and origins of their arts. Many have a superstitious view of the workings of the arts and run after "magical formulas" without realising much of these are only nonsense. Greater scholarly understanding of the historical origins can objectively improve current practice of astrology and Feng Shui.

As part of the research into the Chinese geomancy arts, I and some of my students decided to visit the Silk Road. Even in ancient China, the Silk Road represents a far away mysterious region. Legends tell of shadowy figures coming from Kun Lun in the distant West into ancient China. Hundreds of thousands of Han and barbarian soldiers died in the battles along the Silk Road, which was never a safe route to journey. Emperor Wu Di was inconsolable when his young general Hu Quping died at the age of 24 and had his funeral journey lined all the way back to Xian. The Silk Road was the scene of the famous "Journey to the West" where the Monkey and his friends escorted the Tang monk to fetch the scriptures.

Legends tell of a mysterious line of queens of the West who many times manipulated the destiny of ancient China. It was she who caused the fall of the Shang dynasty. When Time arrived at the Han dynasty, Han emperor Wu Di was supposed to met her for a meal.

Unknown to modern scholars, these queens, nested in an equally mysterious "Kun Lun" of the West, sent more than famous warriors and the infamous Taiji the Fox Fairy who destroyed the Shang dynasty. For with her people came the origins of much of ancient China's philosophy, including astrology and Feng Shui.

  • The Tang dynasty Feng Shui grandmaster knew well the true Kun Lun origins of the Chinese geomancy when he wrote the opening lines of his Han Lung Jing:

    1. Xu Mi (Kun Lun) mountains are the bones of sky and earth. Guarded (Arranged) in the middle of the sky and earth as a homogenous thing.
    2. Just like human back bone and neck growing out four limbs, Lung force is very outstanding.
    3. Four limbs spun out four worlds, south, north, east, west, which are four lineages, MBR>4. west north (very far from Gan Xiao to Hunan) a few hundred miles, enter into east 3 Han states until cannot see because of barrier.
    5. Only the southern dragon enters China. The foetal (origin) roots and impregnating ancestors (sources) are very special.
    Han Lung Jing 1-5

Thus, Yang Yun Sung hinted that the foetal origins of the Chinese geomancy came from the Kun Lun region.

So, in the fall of 2011, the author took some of his students along the China Silk Road to show them historical insights into the Luan Tou Feng Shui highlights of famous Tang Feng Shui grandmaster Yang Yun Sung as displayed in the rugged landscape from Xian through Dunhuang in Gansu to Urumqi in Sinkiang at the western border of China. The bonus was that the Silk Road has relics which testify to the ancient historical origins of the Chinese geomancy.

Origins of significant parts of the ancient Chinese culture from the Middle East had been suggested by many scholars. From his research, Professor Ho (2003) proposed the idea of migration of elements of geomancy from the Middle East into ancient China:

  • It also seems likely that Hellenistic astrology also found its way to China via Persia about the eighth century... Yabuuti Kiyosi later identified the title Simenjing (Book of Four Departments) with the Tetrabiblos of Claudius Ptolemaeus (fl. c.127-170) and suggested that they were a Syrian version of the original text presented to the Tang emperor by Adam the Nestorian who had adopted the Chinese name Jingjing... It will be mentioned later that the introduction of Ptolemaic astrology modified by Iranian culture might have merged with an offshoot of the Taiyi system known under the name Taiyi rendao mingfa... A system that enabled individuals to read their fate and destiny from the stars, like the one imported from the West, found ready acceptance in traditional China. An early Chinese astrological work containing elements of Hellenistic astrology is the Zhang Guo xingzong (Zhang Guo's School of Astrology) included in the Gujin tushu jicheng.... (Ho 2003 p.71, 73).

    The introduction of the 12 palaces later facilitated the assimilation of the Hellenistic 12 houses into the Chinese system.... Perhaps this offshoot of the Taiyi system was stimulated by the impact of Western astrology brought by the Nestorians from Persia in the eighth century. From this the modern Ziwei doushu, which has stronger Iranian links than Indian than the Daozang version, was derived.. (Ho 2003 p. 81).


Evidence presented in an earlier article shows that Zi Wei Dou Shu, Western and Hindu astrology systems evolve from the same astronomical sources.

Typical 16 Sections Tai Yi Chart

Ho especially speculated that both Zi Wei Dou Shu and Tai Yi Shen Shu could be brought into ancient China from the West by Nestorian Christians. Even before coming across Ho's suggestion, I had often taught in our Zi Wei Dou Shu courses that Zi Wei Dou Shu was brought into ancient China by the 8 Immortals, whom my research indicates were actually Nestorian Christians!

Here, in this quite advance article, we will discuss historical insights pertaining to the sanshi art of Tai Yi Shen Shu.

After evaluating and compiling a book on Tai Yi Shen Shu, one of the main objectives of the 2011 tour along the Silk Road was to determine the evidence for the migration of elements of Tai Yi Shen Shu into ancient China.

  • The little known sanshi art of Tai Yi Shen Shu divination has some unique features which differentiate it from the other Chinese geomancy astrology and Feng Shui, vis:

    Tai Yi Shen Shu divination utilises a 360 years "Superior Epoch" cycle to place the main Tai Yi star. This "Superior Epoch" cycle also composes of 5 "Primary Cycles", each of 72 years.

It has a 16 sections chart composing of the 12 Zodiac signs and the 4 diagonal trigrams Xun-Qian and Kun-Gen.

Zi Wei Dou Shu, Ba Zi Eight Characters and the sanshi art of Da Liu Ren use the 12 sections 12 Zodiac signs charts. The 16 sections of the Tai Yi Shen Shu divination can also be grouped into 8 trigrams sections, which make it seemingly similar to the magic square of 9 used in the sanshi art of Qi Men Dun Jia and the Xuan Kong Feng Shui schools.

It is the unique feature of the 16 points division of the Tai Yi Shen Shu chart which appears throughout the Silk Road and throws tremendous insights into the origins of the Chinese geomancy.


72 Talisman of Tai Shang Lao Jun

Historical Sources of Tai Yi Shen Shu

The 16 points chart, 72 years and 360 years cycles are unique to Tai Yi Shen Shu, being not found in the other Chinese geomancy systems. We will come back to the significance of the 16 sections chart of mandala. First, we will discuss the significance of the 360 years of the "Superior Epoch" composing of the 5 Primary Cycles of 72 years.

The 360 years duration is unique among the Chinese astrology systems. The Chinese astrology has its sexagenary 60 years cycle composing of the interactions between the 12 Zodiac dizhi signs and the 10 tiangan signs. Xuan Kong Feng Shui has its 180 years duration of the original San Yuan or Three Eras.

The 360 years "Superior Epoch" starts with a jiazi sign and runs continuously through 6 cycles of 60 years, and returns to another jiazi sign as the start of the next "Superior Epoch". However, the "Superior Epoch" composes of 72 Duns which repeat 5 times through the 360 years. The start of the 360 years always starts with a jiazi and will have the Tai Yi chart Dun 1. Every Primary Cycle also has Dun 1, but while starting with the Stem jia will have different dizhi signs.

The main determinant star of Tai Yi Shen Shu is the Tai Yi star (believed to be Jupiter), which also reflects Tai Shang Lao Jun, one of the Three Supreme Gods. Tai Shang Lao Jun, the deity form of Lao Zi, is famous for his "72 Talismans" of Tai Shang Lao Jun, which compose one of the most powerful Taoist magic. The 72 Talismans" of Tai Shang Lao Jun is based on the Bei Dou and has a Time format which is most likely reflected in the 72 Duns of Tai Yi Shen Shu.


Jewish 72 Names of God .

  • This indicates that a major objective of Tai Yi Shen Shu divination was to work out Time applications of the "72 Talismans" of Tai Shang Lao Jun. Our research, too elaborate to write here, indicates that the Tai Yi Shen Shu "72 Talismans" had an original intention of using the 9 stars of Bei Dou to combat the highest black magic created through another of the sanshi arts (I leave it for advance readers to guess which one).

    All these and other secrets had been lost through the centuries and are only being rediscovered through our intensive research into the philosophy, history and science of the Chinese geomancy.

What is so special about the 360 years? Well, the 360 years cycle is characteristic of Jewish or Hebrew Kabbalic astrology!

The number 360 also pertains to the degrees of the annual circle of the orbit of the Earth around the Sun, divided into 5 degrees, giving rise to the 72 divisions. It takes 72 years for the precession of the equinox to progress one degree. These 72 divisions also form the Kabbalic Talisman of the "72 Names of God", one of the highest Kabbalic magic.

The numbers 360 and 72, so characteristic of the Jewish or Hebrew astrology, are found only in Tai Yi Shen Shu divination. Thus, there is an ill-understood link between the Jewish or Hebrew Kabbalic astrology and the Chinese Tai Yi Shen Shu.

  • It is very unlikely that the Hebrew 360 years astrology cycle and the 72 Names of God originated from the East, from say an ancient Chinese source. It is much more likely that the Hebrew 360 years astrology cycle and the 72 Names of God migrated to the East, into ancient China.

    At this stage, our research supports Professor Ho's contention that there were migration of elements of astrology from the Middle East into ancient China. His specific identification of Nestorian Christians as part transmitters is also likely, as the Nestorians were famous for their astrology which had Kabbalic principles. The Arabs used Nestorians as their court astrologers.

    These Nestorians brought into ancient China an astrology rooted in the Hebrew traditions.


Tai Shang Lao Jun, the title of Lao Zi
Legend of Lao Zi and the Eight Immortals

In order to learn more of the Hebrew associations of Tai Yi Shen Shu we have to examine further the role of the famous Lao Zi, alias Tai Shang Lao Jun. The clue is the 72 Talismans of Tai Shang Lao Jun.

The ancient text Chuang Tzu recorded that Confucius, then about 26 years old, went to visit Lao Zi at Louyang to learn from Lao Zi the rituals of the Zhou dynasty. Apparently, on the advice of Lao Zi, Confucius also physically visited the Ming Tang edifice at Luoyang to learn the Feng Shui of the Louyang Ming Tang and its associated rituals.

  • Chinese geomancy often refers to ancient texts like Huai Nanzi, circa 120 BC. But many are unaware that much of ancient lore of the Chinese geomancy, including that of Huai Nanzi, were already written in the writings of Confucius, especially the Li Chi Bok of Rites and the I Jing Book of Changes.

    Confucius actually transmitted much of what he learnt from Lao Zi!

The Chuang Tzu legend about Lao Zi and Confucius indicates that in ancient times, Feng Shui was integrated with astrology and rituals. What a far deviation modern Feng Shui and astrology, separated from each other, have gone!

The ancient Chuang Tzu text thus gives an insight ill-understood by modern practitioners. Both Lao Zi and Confucius were skilled in the geomancy arts of Feng Shui, astrology and their accompanying rituals. As I taught my students, Confucius actually wrote down pertinent principles of Feng Shui and astrology into his writings, especially the Li Chi, Book of Rites. Much of subsequent statements in the ancient writings of Feng Shui grandmasters like Yang Yun Sung were derived from Confucius' writings. But, it appears that the real master was Lao Zi himself, alias Tai Shang Lao Jun, who taught Confucius.

The Chinese history records that Lao Zi left ancient China at the western border for unknown destinations. Where did Lao Zi go to?

  • For Lao Zi to leave China indicates that Lao Zi was not a Chinese but a foreigner.

According to legends, Lao Zi was at Kun Lun mountains ruled by the Hsi Wang Mu, Queen of Heaven. Although there is today a mountain range named Kun Lun along the northern border of Tibet, the legendary Kun Lun could be much further west, to Persia. Hsi Wang Mu was likely a transformation of the Persian-Assyrian deity Semiramis "Queen of Heaven". Kun Lun was likely a location in the Middle East, like Persia.

Lao Zi was of Persian origins. As his 72 Talismans of Tai Shang Lao Jun reflect the Hebrew 72 Names of God, Lao Zi was likely from a Hebrew community which had settled in Persia.


I have also taught my students that the 8 Immortals were involved in the transmission of astrology into ancient China. The earliest extant astrology Chinese text is that of one of the 8 Immortals:

  • An early Chinese astrological work containing elements of Hellenistic astrology is the Zhang Guo xingzong (Zhang Guo's School of Astrology) included in the Gujin tushu jicheng.... Zhang Guo was an adept who lived in the early eighth century and was granted the title Tongxuan xiansheng by the Tang emperor Xuanzong, and hence a contemporary of Yixing. However, his life was shrouded in mystery. He was said to have an indefinitely long lifespan. In Chinese folklore he became one of the 8 Immortals.... The name Zhang Guo has also given a Daoist nuance to the book as well as to the kind of astrology it described. (Ho, 2003. p.73-74).

As noted by the author in another article, the 8 Immortal Chang Kou Lao was actually the Syrian Nestorian monk Saint Anthony.

Lu Dong Bin, another of the 8 Immortals, was the teacher of Chen Xiyi, the acknowledged compiler of the modern Zi Wei Dou Shu astrology. Li Tien-kui, another of the 8 Immortals, was the direct student and personal friend of Lao Zi. This indicates a close link between Lao Zi and the Eight Immortals.

The Chinese traditions say that Tai Shang Lao Jun passed his doctrine to Han Chung Li Chuan who then passed it to Lu Dong Bin.

  • Practically all the 8 Immortals were adept in astrology, especially of the healing type. They appeared to be of the lineage of Lao Zi alias Tai Shang Lao Jun. Their skills, including astrology, were of the Lao Zi lineage.

According to legends, the 8 Immortals transmuted between Kun Lun and Xian on the orders of the Hsi Wang Mu. All these legends are pointers that Lao Zi and the 8 Immortals were of the same group of people domiciled in the Middle East, dubbed as the legendary ""Kun Lun". They were adepts in the Hebrew Kabbalic philosophy, astrology and magic, elements of which seeped into ancient China. They were Jewish and Christian adepts of the Kabbalic philosophy.

  • In our journey along the Silk Road, we encountered relics of Tai Shang Lao Jun in Dun Huang monastery and also in the Hami-Turpan region. Lu Dong Bin made a surprising appearance at the Temple of the Queen Mother of Heaven at the scenic alpine Tianshan mountains lake, which some say was the legendary Kun Lun. At these locations the Silk Road was heading for the Middle East.

    We went right up to the Flaming Mountain, the reputed last stage of the "Journey to the West." After visiting Tianshan lake we flew from Urumqi back to Shanghai and Kuala Lumpur. We have gained great insights into the origins of the Chinese geomancy.

It is not surprising that Tai Yi Shen Shu has significant Kabbalic elements, for Tai Yi Shen Shu was originally part of the Hebrew Kabbalic atsrology!


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, Tai Yi, which are actually inferior astrology systems extracted from a small part of Zi Wei Dou Shu.

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.

Related articles on Ba Zi Eight Characters Divination :