Archive for the ‘Date Selection’ Category

‘Hoi Kong’ (Start Work) dates for 2008

Next to questions about which animal sign is going to do the best and worst, the most popular question at this time of the year is “what date is best to start work?”

It is traditional for Chinese businesses to seek a good date to commence business (or ‘hoi kong’ in Cantonese) at the start of the New Year. The idea is to have business start or work commence on the right foot and to ensure a smooth year ahead.

Logically the process of selecting a date to commence work after Chinese New Year is no different from selecting any other date for the commencement of business or to start up an endeavour. After all, it is only in Asia, where Chinese New Year is celebrated, that a date to ‘open work’ is significant. For everyone else, next week is a working week like any other week. For Europeans, an equivalent ‘open work’ date would probably apply after the Christmas and New Year holidays, when businesses re-open after a long break.

However, it is something of a ‘tradition’ for most Chinese businesses to seek an auspicious or favourable date to start work.

Some years, it is really not easy to find good dates for businesses to recommence after Chinese New Year. This is because every year, different stars appear in the constellation and this has to be co-related with other systems of Date Selection or Ze Ri such as the 12 Day Officers, Dong Gong, Shen Sha and Xuan Kong Da Gua Date Selection. And of course, one has to be practical – the best date this year may not be a date which makes sense for a lot of businesses because it requires them to close for too long or it falls on a weekend.

The most practical date this year for starting work or recommencing business is the 5th day of Chinese New Year, which is February 11 2008, between 7am-9am. Here is the BaZi chart for the day for those who have an interest in Bazi and Date Selection.

Feb 11 Bazi Chart

On this day, the auspicious Duke Reward 歲祿, Duke Branch Virtue 歲支德, Monthly Virtue Combination 月德合, Earth Wealth 地財 and Brightness 活曜 auxiliary stars are present. The Precious Light 寶光Yellow Belt 黄道 star is also present.Using the Dong Gong system, this is a Balance Day平日. It is not a good day according to Dong Gong but this is resolved through the use of a good hour. This is a Xin 辛 Day, in a Wealth Structure, thus is a good day for making money or wealth-related activities. Xin favours Ren 壬, thus Ren Water must be present in the hour to complete the structure. This day results in balanced outcomes and good health, and is particularly good for the Northwest and Southeast sectors.

This is not however a day for everyone to use. If you are born in the year of the Pig, you will not be able to use this day. If you are a Ding 丁, Geng 庚 and Wu 戊 Day Master, this day’s benefits are ‘discounted’ by 50% for you. (if you do not know your Day Master, you can use my BaZi Ming Pan calculator to obtain your personal BaZi chart.)

Now, for those perfectionists out there, if you can wait, you can hold out for the best date of the Chinese New Year fortnight, which is February 18th 2008, between 9am and 11am. Here is the BaZi chart for the day for those who have an interest in Bazi and Date Selection.

Feb 18 BaZi chart

This day has a bevy of auspicious auxiliary stars - Duke Virtue 歲德, Life Generating 生氣, Benefit Descendants 益後, Auspicious Army 兵吉 兵福 兵寶, Earthly Storage 母倉 and Greater Red Embrace 大紅砂.

According to Dong Gong, this day is an Open Day and a Superior day for commencing business as there is a Green Dragon constellation in the Yellow Belt Path. In Xuan Kong Da Gua date selection, the formation is also favourable.

However, it is also not good for EVERYONE. Those born in the year of the Horse cannot use this day, and benefits are ‘discounted’ for Jia 甲, Ren 壬, Xin 辛 and Bing 丙 Day Masters. It is usable by these Day Masters, but 50% less efficacious. Life is not perfect, and not all dates I am afraid, are created equal or benefit everyone equally!

This day brings Wealth, Fame, Authority and Power and is particularly good for children or descendant luck, thus is probably better for family run businesses.

The compromise date is February 12, 2008 at 9am-11am. Now some people might wonder why I chose a Year Breaker Day. After all in my book, the Art of Date Selection, I tell people to avoid the Year Breaker Days or it will be an entire year of problems. However, I also point out that if the right hour is used, the problems of the day can be over-come. More so if the right sector is activated, by the correct person based on their year of birth.

Here is the BaZi chart for the day for those who have interest Bazi and Date Selection.

Feb 12 BaZi chart

February 12, 2008 has the following auspicious auxiliary stars: Heavenly Virtue Combo 天德合, Month Emptiness 月空, Heavenly Horse 天馬, Three Harmony 三合, Monthly Wealth 月財 and Civilian Day 民日.

According to Dong Gong, this is a superior day. In the 12 Day Officers system, it is a Stable Day which denotes smooth outcomes. Purple White’s Wealth Stars, are present in the East and South East, which also are the locations of the Annual Wealth Stars for 2008. The Xuan Kong Da Gua formation is also a good one.

Alas, Rats will not be able to benefit from this day and for those who are Ding, 丁 Wu 戊, Yi 乙 and Gui 癸 Day Masters will have to ‘discount’ the benefits from starting work on this day.

If you are amongst the fortunate ones who can use this day, you can expect a smooth year ahead, with new breakthroughs at work, and of course, an increase in wealth and assets for the year.

Do you need a lion dance or firecrackers to start the day? Not really. It adds to the festive air, but it’s not necessary. For those bosses who have declared a longer holiday, all you have to do is go in on this day, at the hour I have indicated, and ‘work’ for those two hours. That would be enough to activate the Qi.

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February 7th 2008 - Why Solar Eclipses are so significant in the Chinese Calendar

Click here to enlarge.

You might have noticed on the Desktop Tong Shu calendar that we often have the Sun and Moon Eclipses marked out. Since one of the two important Calendars in Chinese civilization, namely the Lunar Calendar, is based on the Moon (the other calendar is the Solar Calendar), the Chinese calendars are probably the most accurate source on the timing of astrological phenomenon such as eclipses.

But it begs the question: why is it important to know if there is an eclipse going on?

Image from Wikipedia

Most forms of Astrology, place a great deal of emphasis on the Sun and the Moon. In Chinese Astrology, the Sun is Yang and the Moon is Yin and they are regarded as the only two stars in the constellation that can emit light. Thus, when an eclipse of the Sun or Moon takes place, all Yang or all Yin is blocked out momentarily during that point in time. In Chinese Astrology, a sun eclipse is regarded as being worse than a moon eclipse - this is because Yang energy is required by all living beings and when a Sun eclipse occurs, Yang energy to Earth is momentarily interrupted. It also falls in-line with astrological findings that the Moon doesn’t actually emit its own light, but merely reflects the light of the Sun.

Per Chinese Astrology, it is strongly advisable to avoid going outdoors during a Sun Eclipse or to observe the phenomenon at all. Being outdoors during a Sun Eclipse is a one-way ticket to bad luck within 3 months. The ancient Chinese Astrologers specifically advised against any direct look at the eclipse.

Modern science tells us why this is a bad idea: exposure of the eye to the Sun’s rays during an eclipse (it is not possible to look at the sun when it is not in eclipse) can result in visual impairment and blindness. That does sound a bit like bad luck.

To actually understand the actual nature of the ‘bad luck’ involved requires an understanding of the Tian Xing or Heavenly Stars. One would need to know the negative stars in the constellation at that specific point in time, and the person’s exact location (latitude and longtitude). And the person needs to have either taken a direct look at the eclipse OR have been in the path of the eclipse before they have their one way ticket to bad luck.

Although there are safe methods to observe a sun eclipse, it is not advisable to actually observe the eclipse outdoors (or at all, if you want to play it safe).Being indoors, inside your home, at the time of the eclipse, is perfectly safe.

Exposure to the effect of a Sun Eclipse, can be part of the reason why two people with the same BaZi charts, encounter different paths at a certain point in time. This is because Person A and Person B are influenced by different Heavenly Stars or Tian Xing at that point in time, based on their geographical location.

The sun eclipse that takes place on February 7th 2008 is only what is known as an annular eclipse and is not a total sun eclipse. So it is not that bad. Now because it falls on the 1st Day of Chinese New Year, it does not mean that the entire year is cursed or anything so outrageous. For that matter, because it is only a partial eclipse, you don’t need to stay indoors either. Go about your activities as usual.

The next total eclipse of the Sun takes place on August 1 2008 – needless to say, THAT is not a day to get up to any important activities, especially outdoors!

If you want to see what a solar eclipse or lunar eclipse looks like, look at some pictures on the Internet!

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Ahoy Spidey, dates do count

A few weeks ago, I talked about the power of a good date and promised to share with you more information and insights into the art of Date Selection. Most people understand the importance of getting a good date to do certain activities like getting married or holding an official opening. However, people often do not understand WHY having a good date is important. For most people, getting a good date for an important activity is to fulfill some superstitious belief or satisfy some cultural requirement. Another box to be ticked off in the long list of wedding to-dos.

So this week, I want to show you why a good date matters. And instead of picking an ordinary example like opening a simple business or getting married, I have chosen a very special industry, the movie business, to illustrate how a good date can make a difference. I selected this industry because I love movies and more importantly, there is no business like show business. In an industry where the cost of making a film seems to go only in one direction (upwards), the pressure for an expensive blockbuster film to open not just well but to sling home with a massive ‘booty’ within its opening 5 days is imperative. Losing money is not an option.

Also, Hollywood has always understood the power of a good date, although admittedly, not the kind found in the Tong Shu(Chinese Almanac). Traditionally, certain weekends are usually selected for the opening of the summer blockbusters such as July 4 or the US Memorial Day weekend. So this makes the comparison exercise with Chinese Date Selection methods a little more interesting!

The biggest two films that everyone is talking about this year are Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End and Spiderman 3. So for this Date Selection experiment, I will use the Spider Man and Pirates trilogy. First, they both have common denominators – both the trilogies were made by only one director (so only one BaZi to reference) and secondly, are all 3 part films so we can compare apples with apples. For the purposes of this article, I have used both the premier date and the official opening date in the US (the date when screenings begin in theatres) to compare and contrast – the US date is chosen because the US market is arguably the most important market for the product. So, let’s look at some of the basic details.

The Directors!

Spider Man 1, 2 and 3 were directed by Sam Raimi. Mr Raimi is born in the year of the Pig. His Day Master is Wu Earth. Pirates 1, 2, and 3 were directed by Gore Verbinski. Mr Verbinski is born in the year of the Dragon. His Day Master is Jia Wood. (Birth data sourced from


Let’s look at the Spider Man franchise first. Spider Man 1 opened on May 3, which is a Bing Zi Day. Using the 12 Day Officer Method (Shi Er Zhi Wei Xing), it is a Success Day. According to Grand Master Dong’s System (Dong Gong Ze Re)of Date Selection, this is also a good day, with Yellow Embrace (Huang Sha) and Sky Happiness (Tian Xi) stars present, along with the Heavenly and Monthly Virtue Stars. Spider Man 2 opened on June 30 2004, which is a Geng Chen Day. According to the 12 Day Officer Method, this is an Open Day. This date is also auspicious according to Grand Master Dong’s System of Date Selection, with the Heavenly Success (Tian Cheng), Yellow Spiral (Huang Luo) and Purple Sandalwood (Zi Tan) stars present. Spider Man 3 opened on a Full Day and an auspicious day according to Grand Master Dong’s System. Interestingly, this date also contains Sam Raimi’s personal Fame star and his personal Resource star, which might explain why despite less than great reviews, the film still made a killing on its first weekend!

All three of the Spider Man films opened on what would be regarded as positive and favourable days for an official opening. Thus, the producers were rewarded with some nice box office gold!


Opening Gross

Worldwide Gross

Spider Man 1 114 million 821 million
Spider Man 2 88 million 784 million
Spider Man 3 151 million (n/a)

With Pirates of the Caribbean, all three of the films had a separate premier date and an official opening date. With all three of the Pirates films, the film either had a good premier and average opening date, or an average premier date and a good opening date.

For example, Curse of the Black Pearl, the first installment of Pirates, had its premier on a Gui Wei Day in 2003. The day is in a Fu Yin relationship with the year – not good. However, the film opened on a reasonably good day, according to Grand Master Dong’s System. June 28, 2003 was a Ren Shen Day and a day that contains the Heavenly Fortune and Sky Happiness Stars. It is not an exceptionally good day but not too bad.

This might explain why the film had a rather slow start with a poor opening weekend gross (a mere US$46 million) but went on to a pretty decent worldwide gross of US$655 million.

By contrast, Dead Man’s Chest had its premier on an exceptionally good day with the Heavenly Fortune and Sky Happiness Stars present. The film opened on July 7, 2006, which is Full Day according to the 12 Day Officer Method, although it is not a good day when Grand Master Dong’s Method is considered as it contains the Nine Earth Ghost star. However, this film not only had a fantastic opening weekend, grossing US$100 million in 2 days, but also holds the record for the highest opening weekend gross (US$135 million) and a staggering US$1 billion worldwide gross!


Opening Gross

Worldwide Gross

POTC: Curse of the Black Pearl 46 million 655 million
POTC: Dead Man’s Chest 135 million 1 billion
POTC: At World’s End 114 million (n/a)


How will Pirates of the Caribbean 3: At World’s End fare against Spider Man 3? Pirates had its premier on May 19 2007, with official screenings beginning midnight May 24 2007. The premier date is still a usable date according to Grand Master Dong’s System but the ancient text says: “Even though this day has the Sky Happiness and Heavenly Success stars, there is also the Red Phoenix and Grappling Hook Stars. Using this day will attract legal problems and disputes. It will also attract petty people.”

The film’s official US opening is a Remove Day, but is has auspicious stars, like the Yellow Embrace. However, there is also a negative star, the Heaven and Earth Drilling Sha, which makes it unsuitable for significant events, according to Grand Master Dong’s System.

Interestingly, Disney, producer of the Pirates film, is engaged in a spat with Sony, producer of Spider Man, over who’s opening weekend numbers are better! Talk about petty people! And the film’s opening weekend has not been as good as its second installment.

Of course, this is a very simple computation of the dates used, involving very basic methods like the 12 Day Officer and Grand Master Dong System. To really evaluate the superiority of the dates, the key cast members and the investors as well as the studio heads personal BaZi must be considered, and even the time of the first screening should be taken into account. A more sophisticated Date Selection system like the Heavenly Star (Qi Zheng Si Yu) or Mystical Doors (QiMen) system could be used to further refine the dates. A Date Selection Specialist would not just select the dates for the opening in the US but also in every country if possible, and at the same time ensuring that both the opening screening AND the premier are held on good dates! What IS interesting from this little experiment is that in the instance of all six movies, none opened on bad days such as Destruction or Close Days. All six films had good dates, some obviously better than others. Perhaps, Hollywood understands the power of a good date in more ways than one!

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Power of a good date

With the break, I’m absolutely bursting with ideas for my column and I was having a hard time pinning down a topic. So I thought, I’d go with a different concept and offer you some bite-sized snippets of the Feng Shui and Chinese Metaphysical areas I’ve been researching, exploring and working on in the last few months while I’ve been away from writing my column. So treat this week’s column like a Feng Shui smogasboard, a taster of things to come.

It’s all about a good date

While on my break, I’ve been working hard on a book on Date Selection amongst other things. While working on the book, I remembered my own run-in with starting off a venture on the wrong date (yes, believe it or not, we are so busy taking care of our clients needs that we sometimes forget to select a good date for our own activities!). In hindsight of course, it provides for a great example of how date selection matters and what a difference a good date can make.

It was 2006 and I was preparing for my usual recce of the locations for my China Excursion course. The recce included going to Tibet, which I had planned to include in the 2007 Mastery Academy China Excursion. The trip needless to say was an absolute disaster. My team members all had serious altitude sickness of varying forms, and one team member got so sick that he had to be taken to a hospital for water in the lungs, before being immediately flown out of Tibet to Chengdu. Naturally, this year, as I took my students to Tibet for the annual Mastery Academy China Excursion, we took every precaution under the sun to make sure everything would be fine, including selecting a good date! Not only did no one get sick, but the entire group of students had a great time. So, why was one trip so disastrous and the other so smooth sailing? It’s all in the dates.

For my 2006 recce trip to Tibet, we departed on what is regarded in the 12 Day Officer system of date selection as a Balanced Day (Ping Re). This is generally regarded as an acceptable date to commence long-distance travel. However, when the Dong Gong Method, another method of date selection, is considered, then the date that my team and I left for Tibet was actually a bad date because that was a day where a Fire Star was present and travels to the North would be affected by Black Sha Qi. Now, since we flew to Beijing and then onto Chengdu before heading to Lhasa, we were heading North the whole time. However, as I had gone from Hong Kong, I was somewhat less affected than my traveling companions who had traveled from KL. The exact date we landed in Tibet was a Stable Day (Ding Re) according to the 12 Day Officer method but according to the Dong Gong Method, it was an inauspicious day, being afflicted by the Bing Fu illness star, which was exactly what happened!

By contrast, this year, the Mastery Academy team and the students landed in China for the China Excursion on a Stable Day according to the 12 Day Officer system. Furthermore, based on the Dong Gong system, this day had the Heaven and Monthly Virtue Noble stars, the Yellow Spiral, Purple Sandalwood, Heavenly Emperor, Earthly Emperor and Golden Storage Stars. Not only was no one ill, but everyone had a good time and even the weather was fine!

The power of a good date!

China’s great men and their tombs

This year, one of the sites I had selected for my students to audit in China was the tomb of Deng Xiao Peng’s mother. Now you might be wondering - why aren’t we looking at Deng’s own tomb? Well, in Feng Shui, if we want to know why a particular person has achieved great things in their life, we don’t look at their tomb - we look at the tomb of their ancestors. This is because Yin House Feng Shui affects descendants so if we want to know how someone is going to turn out, the answer is to check their parents or grandparent’s tomb.

And certainly, this explains the differing fortunes and destinies of two of China’s greatest leaders: Mao Zedong and Deng Xiao Peng. Mao will always be immortalised in China as a great leader and first ‘modern day Emperor’, whilst Deng, despite being one of the important leaders of the Communist Party of China, never held any official position as head of state.

Mao’s Yin House Feng Shui originates from his grandfather’s tomb whilst Deng’s is drawn from his mother’s tomb. This is already a strong revealing indicator of the different paths the two men will take. In Feng Shui, it is said “Male is Yang, Female is Yin, Father is bones, mother is flesh”. Now, what does this mean?

“Mother is Flesh” refers to the use of Yin Qi, and talents and skills that are gained through experience, observation and through study. “Father is bones” refers to what is already in you at the point of birth. Latent talent or abilities and innate character. So Mao’s leadership skills and charisma were in-born, whilst Deng had to learn the hard way, how to rise to the top.

Between the two tombs, Mao’s grandfather’s tomb, atop a magnificent hill with a North Guardian (Bei Chen Xing) locking in the Water Mouth of the area, is definitely superior to Deng’s mother’s tomb, which is a good but basic Five Petal Lotus Formation. Mao’s grandfather’s tomb has some of typical features of Emperor-creating formations, whilst Deng’s mother’s tomb derives its Qi from the Five Petal Lotus Formation itself. Deng’s power is not just true power, but takes a long time to secure, just like the lotus takes a long time to emerge from the muddy waters. The bloom of the lotus also does not last, just as Deng’s power did not hold sway for long.


Both Deng and Mao’s children did not succeed them to positions of great power and influence. This is because both the burial sites do not have multiple layers of incoming dragons but a single meridian spot. This indicates power to only the immediate descendant, but not lasting power that carries through the generations and can create a dynasty. This is contrast to the tombs of the ancestors of the founders of the Ming and Qing dynasties, where there are extensive incoming Dragons and supporting mountains behind the main spot, indicating lasting power - 12 generations long to be exact.

What makes a person go berserk?

Some of my students were sms-ing me while I was in China, asking me about the BaZi of the young man who went on a rampage in Virginia Tech University in the US. Based on public domain information, I got his birthday and this is the BaZi chart of Cho Seung Hui, the Korean gunman (time not known)


Xin Metal born in Ox (Chou) and Ox is part of the season of Winter. In BaZi, we have a phrase “water and metal too much emotions” and this chart epitomizes that. This young man was emotionally unstable. As he was born in Korea and emigrated to the US, this move further affects his chart negatively since the direction of West is associated with the element of Metal. It would definitely have been better for his mental state probably to remain in Korea, in the East, which is Wood.

Based on the calculation of his luck pillar, he would still be in the Gui Hai luck pillar. This means that his Year Pillar is in a fu yin formation with his luck pillar. A fu yin refers to a sad crying event. His year pillar is not only in a fu yin formation, but there is also a self-punishment between his year pillar, his luck pillar and the annual pillar of 2007. Hence, this person is deeply emotionally affected and unstable this year.

The fu yin also explains his suicide - that is often explained in ancient BaZi literatures like San Ming Tung Hui that a fu yin can bring about sad, self destructive issues or even death. The Year pillar represents a person’s external outlook and also, the feeling of gratitude. When this is affected, the person feels suppressed and disturbed. As the star affected is the Hurting Officer (Shang Guan) star, rebellious, angry and desiring to prove the people around him wrong about their perceptions of him.

Of course, there’s more to this chart, but in keeping with the taster theme, I’m going to keep it short and sweet. In my next article, I’ll be delving into a little more BaZi, specifically that of the famously eccentric Hong Kong billionaires, Nina Wang. In forthcoming articles, I will also be exploring places with interesting Feng Shui in and around Malaysia. So if there is a place or a location(a restaurant, an office, your favourite chicken rice shop) that you’re curious about, Feng Shui-wise, do write in and let me know about it!

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Copyright © 2008 by Joey Yap. All rights reserved worldwide.