Archive for August, 2007

The Door to a Magic Kingdom?

This week, I will be sharing with you a little more about how Qi Men Dun Jia is deployed in modern times and how it is utilised by some of today’s Feng Shui consultants.

Qi Men is essentially a system that breaks down the essence of time. The Qi Men system computes the energy present in the environment during each year, month, day and hour and represents it in the form of a Qi Men chart, which comprises of 10 Heavenly Stems, 9 Stars Doors and 8 Doors. The goal is to pinpoint not just the most timely moment in time in which to undertake an action, but to also undertake that action from the correct location and direction to produce a specific outcome. It is this emphasis on location and direction that gives Qi Men its association and connection to Feng Shui.

Knowing when to do something, and which direction to approach the action and selecting the appropriate action based on outcome, is the epitome of ‘doing the right thing at the right time’. Those of you who have read my book on The Art of Date Selection will appreciate that ‘doing the right thing at the right time’ is very much the basis of Date Selection. The Chinese of course, must always go one step further – with Qi Men that is not just ‘do the right thing at the right time’, but ‘do the right thing at the right time, that produces the right outcome’! Which is why one of Qi Men Dun Jia’s primary usages in modern Feng Shui consulting practice is for Time Selection.

The Golden Moment

What is Time Selection and how is it different from Date Selection? Time Selection essentially refers to finding the right point in time to undertake an activity or endeavour. Now, conventional Date Selection methods, utilising the Dong Gong and 12 Day Officer systems, incorporate Time Selection as well. But conventional Date Selection only involves the hour, once the date is verified as auspicious and favourable for that activity.

Pure Time Selection, which is what Qi Men Dun Jia is utilised for, ignores the date. Qi Men’s techniques enable us to find a real ‘golden moment’ – an hour in a day, coupled with a specific direction, and a specific action, that can successfully be undertaken, irrespective of whether or not it is a good day, based on conventional Date Selection methods. In short, it could be the worst day of the year, but with Qi Men, it is possible to pinpoint one specific hour, and one specific direction, that will enable a particular action to succeed.

Time Selection in the modern context can be utilised for many activities. Relationship-related activities such as business meetings, negotiations or personal relationship matters such as a proposal are within the scope of Qi Men Dun Jia Time Selection. It is also used for wealth-related activities such as collecting debts or making payments for investment purposes or even something as straightforward as applying for a loan. Qi Men can also be applied to more conventional activities like sitting for an exam or submitting a thesis, or for career-related activities like applying for a promotion or raise, seeking a job or succeeding in an interview. Given its war strategy origins, it is also very useful for those in the political arena, wherein timing one’s actions is essential.

In some of the instances above, the Qi Men Dun Jia practitioner will first plot the Qi Men charts for the relevant hours in the day. So for example, the person wants to attend a job interview to be held in the afternoon. The Qi Men practitioner will then plot all the Qi Men charts for the afternoon. The person will then be told what time they must depart for the interview, and preferably which direction they should approach the building.


Qi Men Dun Jia is generally considered a specialized field in Chinese Metaphysics and understandably, not many Feng Shui practitioners include Qi Men in their repertoire of skills. For the modern day Feng Shui Consultants who are trained in Qi Men, they usually use it as a supplementary technique to Feng Shui, for example, in Date Selection where Qi Men technique can be used to help clients to refine the selection of a suitable date in which to move into a property, or to commence renovations.

Changing the course of history?

In Hong Kong and Taiwan, many books on Qi Men Dun Jia are focused on the use of Qi Men for less than kosher activities like committing bank robberies or evading escape or criminal activity. People tend to forget that these books are usually written ‘after the fact’ and unfortunately, it tends to contribute to the belief that Qi Men is an ‘occult’ or deviationist technique and school. Such is the scary reputation of Qi Men that some masters have conveniently used this as a “justification” for not teaching Qi Men to their students!

The secretive and mysterious nature of Qi Men is more likely due to the effectiveness of Qi Men, rather than its ability to be used for less than legitimate activities. Since it was such a handy and useful technique, the ancient Imperial families naturally wanted to keep it to themselves. Outsiders assumed that this was because it was deviationist (rather than just too good a secret to share) and so that’s how Qi Men got its deviationist tag.

Theoretically, Qi Men can be used to change the course of history. I want to emphasise the word ‘theoretically’. Yes, a person, pursued by a mob of 10,000 people braying for his blood, could probably try to use the Escape Door (one of the 8 Mystical Doors) of the hour. But, when you’re running for your life, who has time to plot a Qi Men chart (and it does take a good 15 minutes!) and then run in the right direction? You’re just too busy running!

Just like theoretically, Qi Men can be used to help you find a parking lot in an over-crowded mall. By the time you’ve plotted the chart for the hour and figured out where to drive, you probably would have found a parking lot! So the idea of Qi Men for use in deviationist activities is sound in theory, but honestly, not possible to undertake in reality.

Qi Men and Feng Shui: The Difference?

There is a great deal of overlap between Qi Men and Feng Shui when we look at the purpose of these fields. Both are focused on the use of time and space to help a person achieve their goals. Both Qi Men and Feng Shui focus on direction and location, and have predictive aspects that enable users to ascertain the outcome of specific actions. The difference is very much in the quality of the outcomes (Qi Men is more specific) and also, the time needed to produce outcomes.

One advantage Qi Men has is that it generally produces quicker results – it can be almost immediate at times, depending on the circumstances. Feng Shui usually requires a few weeks or a few months before positive outcomes or desired outcomes can be seen. However, because it was developed for battle-field situations where the facts and circumstances are constantly changing, Qi Men is less suited for achieving stable and continuous results. Stable and continuous results are what we usually prefer for business owners or home owners because typically they are interested in long-term outcomes. It’s also a little bit impractical to tell clients to keep changing the door that they use or the time they have to leave their house to go to work every morning!

Qi Men is suited to situations where movement is involved such as travel or a specific personal action. It is not restricted by physical environmental considerations, unlike some Feng Shui charts. Qi Men is not dependant on external land Forms. But if the activity or endeavour doesn’t really involve that much movement or travel, or is a long-term effort, then probably Qi Men is not the best technique to deploy.

Feng Shui requires a tie in with the residents based on their Gua or their BaZi. In this respect, some set-ups may only favour one or two members of a family or individuals in a company. Qi Men is less dependant on Gua or BaZi and can be used to find a suitable time and direction for every member of the family or every key man in a organization, to undertake a specific task.

While it’s good to appreciate differences between Feng Shui and Qi Men, it’s important to recognise that these differences don’t denote superiority or inferiority. It simply indicates to us that in some specific circumstances, Qi Men is the better method, and in others, classical Feng Shui techniques may better serve the client’s needs.

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The ‘Other’ Art of War

Most Asians are familiar with the name Sun Tzu and his famous treatise, The Art of War. Sun Tzu is also a familiar name in the Western world today, with The Art of War having gained great popularity amongst the corporate circles in the late 80s and early 90s. Many Western military academies also teach The Art of War as part of their syllabus. But very few people know about the ‘Other’ Art of War that comes from Chinese Metaphysics. It is called Qi Men Dun Jia or loosely translated to Mystical Doors Escaping Technique.


Qi Men Dun Jia (or Qi Men, the common abbreviated name used by students of Chinese Metaphysics) is a Chinese Metaphysical study but was largely utilised in ancient China for warfare. Many famous military strategists in Chinese history, like Zhuge Liang of the Three Kingdoms Era and Liu Bo Wen of the Ming Dynasty, used Qi Men in their quest to achieve military supremacy for their emperors. Qi Men Dun Jia has been around for the last 3000 years and a technique for calculating time and space. It is used to pinpoint exact and precise moments in time, in which to undertake a specific action. Hence, its popularity in military strategy and military campaigns in ancient China.

Now, if you are a Feng Shui enthusiast, you may have heard of Qi Men. You may even have heard that it has certain ‘occult’ elements to it, or that it is so powerful that it can enable a person to escape fate and destiny. Some books and Chinese Metaphysics teachers go so far as to claim that Qi Men can change matters of life and death. Some people even say that Qi Men is not a ‘legit’ field of Chinese Metaphysics because it can be used for illegal acts such as killing someone and getting away with it.

In short, Qi Men has a lot of baggage, mystique and an almost magical aura about it. And that’s always a little dangerous in my view because then it’s easy for people to be taken in by false claims on what Qi Men can do or to be apprehensive about learning Qi Men (because of the so-called occult or non-legit baggage). So I’m going to share with you some straight facts about Qi Men in this week’s article so that you can better understand what this ‘Mystical Doors Escaping Technique’ is all about. But first, some background.

You say Oracle, I say Kray Computer
2000 years ago, only shamans and oracles could forecast things like rain and snow and tsunami. Well today, we use computers to do that. Computer modelling, using data that is collected, helps us engage in metrological forecasting and of course, predict all kinds of movement in the Earth. If you think about it, the computers and devices that measure waves, cloud movement, sonic activity and tectonic plate movements are essentially tracking energy patterns and movement. Even the outcome of human activities today is being modelled and computed to predict outcomes – financial markets use sophisticated mathematical models to project stock movements or determine market fluctuations.

In the old days in ancient China, Imperial Astrologers didn’t have Kray Computers or an Imperial Tech Geek working for them to come up with formulas to computer outcomes. Probably they didn’t need it since they had the three Oracle Methods: Tai Yi Shen Shu, Liu Ren Shen Ke and Qi Men Dun Jia, which were used to forecast or predict outcomes in relation to aspects of time and space.

Tai Yi was used to divine the big events that happen with countries, such as earthquake, big hurricanes, massacres and natural disasters. With modern technology, this method of course has become less relevant. Liu Ren was mostly used for divining the outcomes of daily personal events – due to the pace of life in the 21st century where people are often making decisions every ten seconds, Liu Ren’s usage is mainly limited to important major decisions. Qi Men was generally used for military activities, and largely used to determine not just the right time to act (attack the enemy) but what to do (attack where) and when to undertake that action (when to attack). It remains highly relevant today and in the course of this article, I’ll explain to you how it’s used in the modern context.

All three of these techniques are not that much different from all the computerised modelling that takes place today. It’s just that what is computed is not seen as synonymous. Personally I think it’s a case of ‘I say potato, you say potato’. Techniques like Qi Men compute energy patterns and movements – in that respect, financial market modelling or metrological weather prediction is no different. It is about computing patterns and movements. Whilst financial market models use numbers – Qi Men uses Metaphysical Energies.

What ties Qi Men to Chinese Metaphysics and which makes it ‘legitimate’ is that it shares the same base as all the other aspects of Chinese Metaphysics. Qi Men is also rooted in the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches – the ‘Jia’ in Qi Men Dun Jia is actually a reference to the first of the Heavenly Branches, Jia. The He Tu, Lou Shu, 9 Palaces, the 9 Stars, The Constellations, the 8 Directions, the principle of the 5 Elements, and of course, Yin and Yang all also form the basic principles of Qi Men. It is a slightly more expansive system because it actually combines both the energy computation that we associate with Feng Shui, with the astronomical calculations associated with BaZi, or Zi Wei.

Chinese Cosmic Chess

The name ‘Qi Men Dun Jia’ can be dissected into the following: ‘Qi’ does not refer to the energy Qi but rather, refers to the mysterious, the strange, the unusual. It is similar to ‘Xuan’ in Xuan Kong. It is a reference to the universal rules of the cosmos.

‘Men’ in direct translation is door or gate. Its actual meaning relates to a location or a direction. The core of Qi Men Dun Jia is finding the right location or direction in which to commence an action or begin to do something. ‘Dun’ means to hide or escape or to keep hidden. ‘Jia’ is a reference to the first of the ten Heavenly Stems. ‘Jia’ here is a coded reference to the leader or the General (if applied in the battlefield).

When put together, Qi Men Dun Jia, in literal translation is Mysterious Doors Hiding the Jia. It’s a bit of a mouthful and rather complicated sounding, which is why I prefer to call it Mysterious Doors Escaping Techniques.

In many respects, Qi Men is like chess. In chess, the goal is to always protect the King but also to advance the King. Hence you have the rook, the bishop and the queen, which are often used in combination to protect the King and also, advance your pieces. In Qi Men, depending on what you want to achieve, you essentially either want to hide the Jia or find the Jia, in the Qi Men chart.

Qi Men Dun Jia itself has four different schools. These are all simply different approaches to Qi Men, similar to San Yuan or San He in Feng Shui. Qin-Dun (Astrological Qi Men) focuses mainly on the cosmological aspect of Qi Men and uses the Constellations and Astronomy mostly. San Yuan Qi-Men (Three Cycle Qi Men) is the most commonly taught form of Qi Men and is used in tandem with Feng Shui and Date Selection. Fa Qi Men is somewhat unconventional in its use and is mainly associated with Daoist spiritual masters. Finally there is Flying Palace Small Qi Men, or Fei Gong Xiao Qi Men, a modified stripped down version of Qi Men that is popular in Taiwan.

Qi Men can be used to analyse and compute outcomes at many levels ranging from yearly forecasts to hour based forecasts. Most Qi Men practitioners either will use what is known as the Leaning Palace Method or the Flying Palace Method, to engage in analysis of the Qi Men chart. There are up to 1080 Qi Men charts, all which can be used to compute outcomes and pinpoint moments in time, for specific actions and activities, with a specific outcome.

In my future articles, I’ll share with you some of the modern uses of Qi Men and also show you why it’s ‘scarier side’ is really not all that scary.

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