Archive for February, 2008

You say Personology, I say…Mian Xiang…

Someone sent me an article which appeared on CNN.com and which also was a highlighted video on Yahoo.com this week, about the science of Personology aka Face Language.

Read the article here, and go here for the video entitled ‘Personality as plain as the nose on your face’.

It tickles me (no pun intended, given that the advocate of Personology is a Ms Naomi Tickle) to read these ‘wow – isn’t it just amazing’ stories about how people can discern all kinds of things from facial features and faces. And I suppose, I get a bit of a kick out of seeing something like this featured on an international news channel like CNN because if they think this is amazing or incredibly or interesting, erm, wait till they see the ‘real thing’ in action. (real thing meaning Mian Xiang).

The gist of Personology is that facial features derived through measurement metrics (they actually measure the space between your eyes and your hair thickness – that sort of thing) can tell you something about your personality. Rightly, the article on CNN by Linda Saether (the video report is done by a very experienced CNN journalist, Judy Fortin), points out that Personology can technically be linked back to Aristotle, who wrote about physiognomy, the science of discerning temperament from facial features.

But what Linda Saether and Judy Fortin probably don’t know is that in between Aristotle (384-322BC) and Personology (estimated 1920s), well, um, we Chinese got it all figured out ☺

Officially, the study of physiognomy (Mian Xiang 面相) by Chinese Metaphysicians can be traced to the Sung Dynasty (960-1279 BC). And unlike Aristotle, who explored physiognomy for the purposes of understanding character, the Chinese were interested in utilise physiognomy to understand DESTINY.

Splitting hairs? Not quite. Let’s take a minute to understand the difference here.

Character or temperament relates to traits and the manner in which you will ‘react’ in a given situation or circumstance. Character or temperament would encompass something like ‘bad tempered’ or ‘careful’. For example, in describing eyebrows, Aristotle says:

“If the space between the eye-brows be of more than ordinary distance, it shows the person to be hard-hearted, envious, close and cunning, apprehensive, greedy of novelties, of a vain fortune, addicted to cruelty more than love. But those men whose eyebrows are at a lesser distance from each other, are for the most part of a dull understanding; yet subtile enough in their dealings, and of an uncommon boldness, which is often attended with a great felicity; but that which is most commendable in them is, that they are most sure and constant in their friendship.”

Compare this to the Chinese approach to Physiognomy, which takes things one step further and looks to use the face to discern not just personality, but DESTINY. In other words, the outcome of a person’s life, as discerned from their features. By Destiny or outcome, we are looking at for example, if a person will prosper or not, if they have the capacity to become wealthy and when, will they have a favourable or unfavourable marriage, do they have the opportunity to own property in this lifetime and even, discern a person’s fertility (both male and female!).

Indeed, whilst Aristotle and Personology stops at the face, Mian Xiang goes beyond the face, to study movement (or body language as it is known in modern times). Mian Xiang also takes into account the fact that faces change and that the face can also reveal if a person is in Good Luck or Bad Luck.

Wikipedia suggests that Personology is a bit of a pseudo-science. Now I think that’s a bit unfair and seems to me to be largely premised on the viewpoint that physiognomy itself is of questionable value (well, if you learn the Aristotle variety, I would say it is perhaps not so complete…)

I prefer to think of it the West being merely behind the learning curve a bit! According to Ms Tickle, the Face Language International has identified 68 traits, based on various features of the face. At it’s bare basics level, Mian Xiang uses 100 reference points on the face as key reference features, along with 5 Officers, 12 Palaces, and that’s not even taking into consideration Dynamic Face Reading, where we combine the features together, to gain an exact picture of the person’s personality and Destiny!

100 Points of the Face

But for the sake of argument, is there any substance to Personology?

In Personology, the Roman Nose is regarded as a sign of a take-charge personality. This is also the viewpoint in Mian Xiang, although Mian Xiang goes a step further to determine that this character trait, when seen in women, usually signifies relationship or marriage problems (due to the strong character).

Personology differentiates between a wide face and a narrow face and says people with narrow faces are philosophical. In Mian Xiang, a narrow face is known as a Wood Face and is regarded as the face of a person who likes to learn. So again, Personology is not wrong, if we view it from the Mian Xiang perspective. The wide-face, according to Mian Xiang, can be further classified into Earth and Water faces. According to Personology, the wide faced person has the ability to ‘wing it’. In Mian Xiang, wide faces belong to people who are intellectually quicker, usually also wittier, and definitely better at making money. (check out your neighbourhood millionaire – chances are he’s got a wide face).

Personology looks at the set of eyes, looking at whether they are wide-set or close set. Personology says people with wide-set eyes are ‘easy going’. Well, that depends on how wide says Mian Xiang. In Mian Xiang, when the eyes are far apart, the person is usually slow and ponderous. I suppose ‘easy going’ is a diplomatic term for ‘slow’. Close-set eyes mean the person is good with details says Ms Tickle and ‘meticulous’. Well, that is generally true also in Mian Xiang but in Mian Xiang, one has to go a step further and check the TIPS of the eyes to determine if the person really has an eye for detail. And of course, the size of the eyes (length and diameter) also plays a part in determining the extent in which the person is a meticulous person.


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Ratty Behaviour… (Rat Nose, Pig Tail part II)

Over Chinese New Year, I intended to blog about two important events which took place in January 2008, in the run-up to February 4th, which I thought were apt examples of ‘Ratty Behaviour’ – the kind of activities that we can expect to see during 2008. But with all the Chinese New Year talks I was committed to doing, the festivities (and of course, the ‘Hoi Kong’ or Recommencing of Work dates and God of Wealth direction information took precedence on the blog by popular demand), I didn’t get the chance to compose my thoughts.

I have repeatedly highlighted that in the year of Wu Zi 戊子 (Earth Rat) we can expect fraud, embezzlement and sex scandals. January 2008 in fact has already provided us with a taster of what the Rat will offer with the Society-Generale banking scandal and the Edison Chen sex scandal.

Society-Generale’s banking scandal is a classic example of ‘night rat’ type activities. Shrouded in secrecy, and conducted by a lowly trader in the bank (rats after all, are not much noticed and ‘lowly’ characters), the fraudulent activities of trader Jerome Kerviel aptly surfaced in the Ox 丑 month, when the Gui Water 癸 (aka Rat) appeared on the surface. If you check the day the scandal broke (Jan 24th 2008), you will also notice, the Rat appears.

The Edison Chen sex scandal, at the time of writing, has already claimed the career of the Hong Kong super-star, who has announced his retirement from the Asian entertainment scene following the completion of his existing commitments. For those unfamiliar with Edison Chen, he is a Hong Kong actor-singer. The sex scandal revolved around racy photographs taken of Edison Chen in various compromising sexual positions with various well-known Hong Kong stars including Cecelia Cheung and Gillian Chung to name a few. The photographs were downloaded from his laptop when he sent it in for repairs, and then circulated via the Internet.

Again, this is typical ‘ratty behaviour’ – the photos were stolen by the technician, and then leaked onto the Internet by unknown sources, and then further perpetuated by other users of the Internet. This is very Water-like behaviour as the characteristic of Water is to spread and travels to all four corners of the Earth.

News of the sex scandal broke in late January 2008, but only became mainstream news around February 4th 2008. It serves to affirm the point made in my earlier post that the Ox month’s Qi is certainly more rat nose, than pig’s tail.

The Rat has more surprises of a Ratty nature planned for us, doubtlessly. Speaking of the Rat, Fengshuilogy has managed to secure an interview with Mr Wu Zi himself. Check back in the next couple of days to find out more about the elusive Earth Rat.


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Door of the Month: February Edition

72 Emperors have passed through this gate, called Nan Tian Men (South Heavenly Gate). Almost every Emperor, since the Tang Dynasty, has made a pilgrimage to Tai Shan (Mount Tai) an integral part of his reign. It is here that they come to thank the heavens for all that has been bestowed upon them.  Nan Tian Men is located at the peak of Tai Shan (Mount Tai) which is one of the five main source dragons of China.

South Heavenly Gate

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Wood is in growth. Jia Yin is reaching for the skies.

The Star SMS alerts flashed this on my Blackberry today: “Palm oil futures trade above RM3,500 for the first time, up RM 64 to RM3515 as soyoil and wheat reached new record levels”.

At my Good to Great talk on February 3 2008 in Singapore, I indicated that agriculture will have a good year, as Wood is the most dominant element of the year and it is also Wood that protrudes through to the top of the year’s BaZi chart.


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Hot Working Lunch

Am deep in China at the moment researching for the upcoming China Excursion 08. Lunch has been rather ‘hot’ all the way through, which is a good thing I suppose since it is quite cold here.

Lunch Day 2

Lunch Day 1


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Moving the Qi @ Good to Great 2008

This year, I decided to do something a little different for my annual talk event. Check it out.

Good to Great 2008 - (Malaysia) 27 January 2008


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Move over Santa, we want the God of Wealth

Over the last 24 hours, I’ve received numerous phone calls and SMSes requesting for information about which direction they can “receive” or “pray to” the God of Wealth on Chinese New Year Eve.

Non-Chinese readers may not really know what this business of “receiving the God of Wealth during the Lunar Chinese New Year” is all about – the God of Wealth (or Choy Sun as it is known in Cantonese) is sort of I suppose, a Chinese Santa Clause of sorts. Except he doesn’t bring presents, he brings wealth and it doesn’t matter if you have been naughty or nice or written a letter.

Many Chinese, traditional or modern, religious or otherwise, place a great deal of faith in God of Wealth and it is seen as vital to an auspicious star to the year. For the older generation, receiving the God of Wealth is part of the prayer ritual and tradition that takes place on the eve of Chinese New Year. If you have an elderly family member, they usually will be familiar with not only the ritual, but also know how to consult the Tong Shu on the direction in which the God of Wealth resides, so that family members can go and ‘receive’ the God of Wealth.

For those without the benefit of an elderly family member who knows how to find the information in the Tong Shu or read the Chinese publications, the God of Wealth is an eccentric fellow.

At least Santa sticks to a ritual – he comes on the same day every year, roughly around the same time and wherever there is a chimney, he’s there.

The God of Wealth on the other hand switches positions each year, and there is always a different hour in which to ‘receive’ the God of Wealth. To add to the confusion, there is also God of Death direction.

For many people, if they do not have guidance on the God of Wealth’s location, there is the fear of accidentally ‘receiving’ the God of Death or praying to the God of Death instead.

So what really is the God of Wealth and does it have anything to do with Feng Shui?

A lot of the association between Feng Shui and religious practice or rituals arises from the fact that during the olden days, Feng Shui was practiced by intellectuals and the intelligentsia. When Feng Shui practices filtered down to peasants and rural folk, they associated the practice with a deity or god, rather than a body of prosperous Qi.

No doubt, it might also have been easier those days to simply tell the peasants and rural folks to pray in that direction, rather than try to confuse them about the technicalities. As the peasants and rural folk associated the whole affair with a religious ritual and a deity, thus was born the practice of praying to and receiving the God of Wealth.

It was also traditional in those days (and these days, although in Malaysia it is not legal to light firecrackers anymore) at the end of the prayer session, to let off firecrackers. It is the firecrackers, lit up at the right hour, that move and activate the Qi in the direction where the favourable Qi is located on that day, and not the prayers.

For those who are not religious, you don’t have to say a prayer or conduct prayers. Just celebrate, make some noise, engage in some movement or turn on the music at that direction within your home or the boundary of your home. By doing this, or just by simply being in the right location, you are already activating and receiving the Qi! The important thing is to understand that this is NOT a religious ritual or practice – it is simply cloaked in religious overtones.

It is in fact really just about receiving the prosperous Qi of the day. For those who are interested in ‘receiving’ the prosperous Qi (aka God of Wealth), on February 7th 2008 (midnight), the very start of the Lunar Chinese New Year, the Star of Wealth (aka God of Wealth) resides in the West.

However, it also resides in the same position of the Star of Death this year. Accordingly, it is not a good idea to receive the God of Wealth this year.

A better bet is the Star of Nobility which resides in the Northwest, or you can also try the Star of Happiness located in the South.

The best time to receive this Qi is as 12.30am, the Late Rat hour, and not the Early Rat Hour, which is 11pm-12am.From a Feng Shui standpoint, the effect of this ritual is not insignificant, but then you are tapping only into a daily auxilary star so the effects are not going to last the entire year. But it is nice to start the year on a positive note and this can have a very significant psychological boost effect for many people.

Finally, to all my Chinese readers, I wish you all a Happy and Prosperous Chinese New Year.


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America Votes…But the Rat Decides.

I’m not much of a politics person but it really is quite hard to ignore what is going on in America at the moment, with all the media spotlight that is on the 2008 Presidential election. Everyone wants to know who is going to be the next president of the USA, and I often get asked this at the corporate and private banking talks that I have been giving of late.

The two Ren Water candidates have withdrawn from the race in what would have been a Rob Wealth year for them. A most interesting development.

The remaining contenders are now a Geng Metal, a Wu Earth, a Ji Earth and a Gui Water.

The fate of the candidates now largely rests on the outcome of Super Tuesday, a major nomination event that takes place on February 5th 2008.

And whomever has the vote of the Rat!

The Rat is the Grand Duke of the year, and whomever has the Grand Duke behind them, will be the contenders for the White House (which apparently has a South sitting - interesting!) and the one who ultimately emerges triumphant in 2008 as the new POTUS.

This year’s Flying Star chart, especially the Qian palace, also provides us with some interesting clues as to a possible outcome of what is probably the event of the year for the world in 2008.


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Imagining February 4th 2008

Here’s the BaZi chart of the day of Li Chun in 2008.

3 Woods

Happy Rat Year


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