A Timely Reminder On Harsh Truths – 2021 Version

Posted On Last updated Oct 20, 2021 | Published on Jun 11, 2021

If you’re wondering why I have a picture of a doughnut for this post, it’s not because I uploaded the wrong file but rather, it’s my new favourite word after binging on some Hell’s Kitchen during this mini-lockdown.

I’m forcing myself to get into the mood of writing posts again before this blog ends up becoming obsolete. As I’ve been saying for a while now, it’s getting increasingly harder because I’ve really said most of the things I’ve wanted to say and the previous post on the concept of balance in Chinese metaphysics took quite a lot out of me as it was one of my longest and most thought-through posts.

Forgive me that I cannot churn out magnum opus level articles all the time. I need to write simpler, cheekier posts once in a while to get into the groove again. Before I forget, if you’re new to this blog, please go through the blog posts tagged under “Must Reads” or “Insights” especially if you’re looking to get a BaZi reading. Trust me, reading my blog is more helpful than the BaZi reading itself.

Now, unbeknownst to most, the month of May is usually the crappier month for me due to astrological reasons to the point that I’ve thought about making it my holiday month annually. I kid you not, but statistically, the month of May has always been the month where I get the most problematic clients. It isn’t even confirmation bias at play here. It’s partly the reason why I did not blog during the whole month of May because I really just wasn’t in the mood.

I really do get quite a bit of whacky clients whenever it’s May. Karens, male-Karens (Kyles?), boomers, muppets, doughnuts – you name them. They remind me why I need to say the same thing once in a while, and remind me that even if you do tell them certain things in their face, some are so cognitively impaired that they will not even attempt to understand what’s being said. They’ll always be a group I have to deal with, but I tell myself they make me appreciate my good clients infinitely more.

I wrote about harsh truths a long time ago to serve as a reminder to my readers and prospective clients.

This post is going to be no different. It will, again, serve as a reminder of what’s important not just to myself but also to my readers, and also a reminder that ‘reading’ my blog is pointless if you don’t take a step back, stop, and actually think through what I write. I’m not trying to paint myself as someone with a lot of wisdom. I’m merely trying to present Chinese metaphysics in the best and most accurate way I can, and in the same spirit when our ancestors created it.

This post will be less morbid because there is no mention of my batshit insane mother wanting to kill me when I was a baby, so I’d like to think a picture of a doughnut is apt. Come to think of it, I was born from a doughnut, but I’d like to think I raised like sourdough.

Pardon the candour you’re about to witness yet again.

I Am Definitely Not The Only Blunt Practitioner Who Exists

It would be a mistake to think that I am the only practitioner who is candid, blunt, and perhaps even brutal. It’s just that the more legitimate, older generation practitioners who actually want to do a proper job don’t bother setting up an online presence and blogging. A lot of these practitioners are from Taiwan, Hong Kong, and China.

Or should I just say China? Whatever. Politcs. Let’s not go there.

If you pick up a proper book that stays true to the foundation and philosophy of Chinese metaphysics, they share the same level of bluntness as I do and it shouldn’t surprise anyone. Don’t believe me? Take a look:

A screen grab from forums

Look at the heading “天才與白痴亦天生注定” which directly translates to “Whether you’re born a genius or an imbecile is decided by Heavens or fated.” Use whatever term you want for the word 白痴 – stupid, moron, muppet, imbecile, or doughnut. It’s up to you, but any Chinese-speaking person probably knows what 白痴 means by the time they are 6.

If you want to be get in touch with Chinese metaphysics to hear only the good stuff, please just stay completely away.

I need to make it clear that as much as I feel very privileged and honoured to be able to do what I’m doing now, I never, ever enjoy delivering bad news to people especially when I am receiving money in the process. But when I do deliver it in a professional context – which happens quite often – it’s never personal and it is with the hope that the bad news I deliver offers a valuable, albeit uncomfortable perspective. The people who make it personal are always your Category 4 chart-holders because certain realizations are too painful to accept and their egos always come into the picture – it’s a defence mechanism.

Some people take bad news especially hard because they have never been told in their entire lives that, be it from a layman or Chinese metaphysical way, that they aren’t good enough or don’t deserve something. In some cases, it’s because their environments are simply just very safe. In others, it’s because people around them have given up hope on them and they don’t even know. Chinese metaphysics is cruel in the sense that it brings the message across in a more objective form at a given point in time, and the feedback you get is no longer about someone’s mere opinion that you once thought was inaccurate and unfair, but it tells you what you’re really made of. It doesn’t help when all you’re being sold about this field is that it can change your life and make it whatever you want to be, so getting hit in the face with bad news is exceptionally unpleasant.

I don’t think Heavens will be very pleased with me if I’m making a living by putting down others and I don’t think I would have made this far nor lasted this long if that was my intent. I know it feels like I’m putting down others whenever I talk about these uncomfortable topics, but if that was my intent, what good does it bring, especially to myself? That being said, the fact that we always have this dichotomy of Yin vs Yang, good vs bad, genius vs doughnut – it will always look like I am putting others down especially when most perceive me as standing on the higher ground.

I don’t want to go into the topic of why Yin and Yang exist again, but I guess what I want people to understand is that I come from a place of acknowledging why the dichotomy exists, but not which side is better because both sides serve a purpose in the grand scheme of things. To put it in a more relatable way, to some people, I am the doughnut, and I am fine with that because I know that I really can be one in certain situations especially when I’m lambasting doughnuts out there don’t have any pride in their work and doing things flippantly at me and my loved one’s expense.

I think why prompted me to want to write this post is mainly because of two reasons:

  1. There have been a lot of people who really don’t take the rules and boundaries I’ve set up seriously (just like how they’ve never taken themselves seriously). It’s really not because I want to be uptight. They exist for a reason and I’ve mentioned several times it’s because I need to make sure I can serve everyone equally. You do not turn a consultation into a private 1-on-1 lesson on how to interpret charts when others are asking me more important things like their healths.

  2. The month of May has brought me a lot of clients who seemingly cannot accept that their charts and lives are not as good as they thought. They have a retort to just about everything I say and are trying very hard to convince themselves their lives are enviable when anyone with a bit of common sense can tell it’s not.

I say this in jest: No one likes to be told that they were born a doughnut but, alas, it’s important to accept that you might end up in a position of not only being told by someone you don’t know that you’re a doughnut, but you actually paid money to be told you’re one. If you’re ever in the position to be told that you’re a doughnut, don’t ask “why”, you ask “what kind”? Wholegrain, wheat, jelly, or maybe even a fritter or churro.

You don’t actually need to be a practitioner to know that doughnuts exist and I don’t see why anyone needs to be offended by what I or any practitioner says. You should be offended that they don’t believe in their practice enough to tell you the truth. Only the doughnuts would be offended because they’re called out for what they really are. Please just take a look at the “Kyles” and “Karens” out there:

  • We have a retired Navy officer who seemingly does not need to breathe through her nose or mouth and has the ability to photosynthesize.
  • We have a Chinese gong enthusiast who cannot respect other people’s cultures.
  • We have a senior lecturer and ‘educator’ who has something against interracial marriage.

The only explanation that I have for them being the way they are is that, indeed, they are born that way. No other explanation actually makes sense for their deplorable behaviour because how can such behaviour be learned or influenced from any source? Would there really be anything good to say about their charts if they came for a reading? For my foreign readers, I’m referring to the “Karens” and “Kyles” who appeared on Singapore media recently who have made headlines for the wrong reasons.

At the end of the day, my job as a practitioner to be as objective as possible and deliver the message as clearly as I can. Whether good or bad, the chart is yours. It’s no one’s fault that you’re born with the chart you have. Whatever physical or even ethereal form manifests from your chart – only you will know because two people with the exact same charts will experience different things but of the same form or essence. You will have to figure out the best way forward. Practitioners can offer some guidance – but never a solution because we won’t know the exact form your chart will take.

I’d just like to remind everyone that practitioners are really just interpreters of charts – we don’t decide what nature’s laws or who the doughnuts are, and neither do we decide who deserves or doesn’t deserve something. If you’re not happy with something, take it up with Heavens and laws of karma – don’t take it out on us because some of us are just trying to do the right thing.

Yes, indeed, we are all born the way we are, and that should make some people worry, but it should also remind everyone to simply just make the best out of it and be the best version of ourselves. In spite of being our best versions, it also does not mean how we are like is going to fit every single occasion. I know that better than anyone because of my bluntness, but the point is we try to make the best of it at whatever point in time or environment we’re in and we do something constructive with it. My bluntness does not work well in the corporate world and trust me, I’ve gotten into trouble because of it many times, but my bluntness works for the Chinese metaphysics field – that’s what I mean by making the best of it.

Strengths And Talents Are Not A Given For All Charts

This is an all time favourite question people love asking, which is whether their charts reveals any gifts and strengths. It could refer to having leadership abilities, being artistically or musically inclined, or just being good with something very technical.

I don’t think I need to elaborate but the statements “whether you’re born a genius or an imbecile” and “all charts have gifts and strengths” simply cannot exist together. I would be lying if I said the neanderthals I mentioned above had any strengths other than being the incorrigible degenerates they are.

I hate to disappoint everyone and say that not every single chart has a gift and strength, you’re just being sold the idea that you might have one if you study your chart hard enough or if you sign up for that 4-figure course to discover it. If you were born with a severely imbalanced or lower-quality chart, your life will revolve more about trying to make up for your character flaws rather than having the time to develop an actual strength to showcase to the world. You wouldn’t even have the tenacity to develop your so-called strengths.

You have a better chance of discovering what your strength is by reading books and actually doing something and getting your hands dirty instead of trying to dabble in a field that most people will probably never understand. Anything more than USD$1,000 is a lot of money which you can spend learning a whole lot of things. The problem I see is that most people aren’t even curious about the world or bothered to learn something new, and someone who isn’t curious can never find their strengths.

I need to point out that the more apt way of describing most charts is that it can point out your “preferences” depending on which star you were born under and how your chart is structured. Whether it becomes a “strength” or not – that’s really up to your own innate calibre and efforts.

Perhaps it’s just a problem with semantics and carefully planned marketing rhetoric. We all love talking about “strengths” so much that we don’t bother looking at the environment in which we hold these so-called “strengths”. So the harsh truth I wish to remind everyone of is to be a bit more cognizant of the reality you’re in. You do not exist or live in a void. Many people can also do whatever it is that you’re doing and a lot of them do it better. If that’s the case, would what you have still be considered a strength or talent?

Let’s not kid each other here. There is a difference in the quality of one’s output in any field. Remember Yin & Yang and the duality in everything, people. Your ‘strengths’ might just end up being an insult to others in the same profession. Harsh, but true.

It is also not just simply about having talent, because if it’s success and wealth you’re after, people also need to know about it and this is out of our control sometimes. There are cases where an incredibly talented individual never gets their chance to shine, but of course, they still do better than those without any talents at all. But rest assured, if you really are that good, people will know.

To give a Chinese metaphysical example here using Zi Wei Dou Shu, someone born under 贪狼 in its best position (庙 in 丑戌丑未) is going to turn out very differently from someone born under 贪狼 (寅申) in a weak position. Both charts might be able to appreciate art which 贪狼 represents, but only the stronger chart can create it.

A truly talented chart-holder is extremely hard to come by. Such charts not only need to be born under a star in its best position, their elemental phases also need to be on their side to signify their growth, and on top of that, they will need auspicious stars like 文昌 and 文曲 for example especially for the art inclined individuals.

Most people come to me expecting to be told what their “strengths” are with the assumption that life will be smooth sailing as long as they play by these so-called “strengths”. Life doesn’t work this way and it is a very myopic way of looking at things. We still need to look at the overall quality of your natal chart and the Elemental Phases you go through because that ultimately decides where you stand amongst others. In other words, we are assessing your character at the end of the day – are you curious about the world and are you able to commit to something?

If you want to be stuck in your own reality and live completely disengaged from your environment and reality (which I can assure you a lot of people do), then sure, you have a ‘talent’. We’ll give it to you. Just be prepared for the consequences of such shallow thinking.

Please Don’t Tell The World You’re A Doughnut By Wearing One Of These: Pixiu Bracelets

There is this trend I’ve been noticing recently and I keep seeing advertisements on these items. I’m referring to this:

If you’re wearing charms as a fashion statement, by all means, go ahead. Some of these bracelets don’t look half bad. With the right clothes, you just might be able to pull off a modern, new-age, oriental look. I’m no one to judge about fashion because I am in Birkenstocks all the time and I don’t even gel my hair. However, if you’re wearing it thinking it’ll make you rich or make up for what you lack in your BaZi chart – you’re a doughnut, and you’re a doughnut that isn’t even baked (or fried?) yet which puts you on an even lower level than doughnuts who went through a trial by baker.

It’s not just pixiu bracelets, but anything that is being touted as something that can attract good luck in the name of Chinese metaphysics. Just to get this out of the way: I’m explicitly saying “Chinese metaphysics” because my comments are reserved for items within the Chinese metaphysics and cultural realm and I can’t speak for items from other traditions or cultures. So that’s that.

These pixiu bracelets are not just being peddled by stores or ’emerging practitioners’ in just about every Asian country, it’s also happening in the West and you’ll hear all sort of ridiculous claims like how their crystals are specially sourced or that their bracelets are blessed by monks whom they have special access to. I have friends who own mines in Myanmar, so trust me, they are not specially sourced from some sacred cave.

Wearing one of these doesn’t tell people that you’re cultured or have respect for your ancestors. Yoghurt has more culture. It tells people you don’t believe in yourself enough and neither do you have the ability to think critically to have to rely on something like this.

Also, do you actually know the people who are behind the selling of these items? Because I do. If you know them the way I know them, that alone is enough reason for you to doubt the legitimacy of these items and charms. Some of these people selling these items were once my clients who not only hid the fact that they were intending to sell these from me but came out to declare themselves as “masters” when I know for a fact they know absolutely nothing about Chinese metaphysics. I have nothing against them selling it or even claiming it brings ‘good luck’ as it’s their prerogative to believe what they want, but don’t mix it with BaZi or put up a show saying you can read BaZi.

I don’t wish to speak too much about this because I told myself I don’t want to let this blog revolve around chastising other practitioners. I just want people to think critically.

Let me, for the first time in my blog, bring in a real-life example that will help everyone understand why with or without the items, whatever is supposed to happen will still happen. And bear in mind this is just one out of the countless examples I’ve come across.

I hope the below example settles this debate once and for all.

During the Q&A session
Same email thread but from a separate reply

Let me summarize things so it’s easier for everyone to digest what’s going on:

  • The client first approached me in July’20 for the usual reading and shared quite a lot with me as you can tell. He, like most people who first get in touch with Chinese metaphysics, felt that there was some magic in crystals, jade, and nice-smelling pieces of wood. He even incurred some debt buying these feng shui items and he’s definitely not the only person who’s done so.
  • 2017 was apparently a very good year for him and he attributed it to the piece of jade he bought that year. 2018 was a very bad year for him and he felt that the sandalwood had something to do with it. You can infer for yourself that not even two ‘auspicious’ items could save him.

I know what the doughnuts are thinking, but don’t even begin to insult your intelligence (although we all know they love to) by saying that there is a clash between the items. If your line of reasoning is that the Wood from sandalwood is going to clash with the Earth from the jade, by that sheer moronic reasoning our bodies should implode immediately and everyone will just die right now because our very organs are symbolized by the different elements. My liver would be coming out of my intestines and piss would be coursing through my veins right now because my kidneys decided to assault my heart. Besides, I said time and again that clashes are not always negative.

Now, if you take a close look at the chart and you had some basic knowledge on BaZi, it’s not difficult to tell the following because it’s an extremely easy chart to decipher:

  • It was already written in the charts that 2017 will be a very good year for him because it saw Metal strengthening due to 巳酉合金 which was an interaction between 2017’s Pillar and his Month Branch.
  • 2018 was meant to be a bad year because it was a year where Fire was strengthened due to 午戌合火 and also 戊癸合火 also known as 无情之合。 The element that was supposed to protect him gets converted into a destructive element, and it’s one of the worst things that can happen in a BaZi chart. The fact that it’s 戊癸合 and Fire is his 七杀 also tells us his environment is going to be ruthless.
  • His chart has 巳午未三会火局 which is the strongest Fire combination in BaZi, so his Yang Metal Daymaster is definitely at the risk of melting. Metal is his most critical element to balance the chart and protect his Daymaster. Earth can also be used.

In the end, he admitted that he got into trouble with his superiors and peers because subconsciously, he needed to be validated and was trying a bit too hard to prove himself at work and it rubbed people off the wrong way – even this is written in the charts. Wondering where? I’ll only point out it’s due to the 子 Water on his Day Branch and it’s not as simple as saying there’s a 子午 clash.

Before anyone jumps to conclusions, I have a lot of respect for the client above because his 10-year phases are positive and he has a very healthy growth mindset. You don’t find that often. He fought very hard to get to where he is and is still doing well despite the hiccups of 2018. He’s young and ambitious, and he’s not afraid to learn from his mistakes and grow. You can tell when you speak to him. The blind faith he put in these charms are just about what anyone newly exposed to Chinese metaphysics would do, so you can’t blame him.

What I am about to say below has nothing to do with him. It’s directed at the people who still want to believe that stones and wood can change lives.

You can come to your own conclusions of whether things happened because of the jade and sandalwood, or whether it’s something he’s just meant to go through according to his chart. You might even be able to argue that wearing those items gave him a false sense of security and competence that led him to the troubles in 2018 – and yes, fate and karma can work in subtle ways like this and play tricks on you. The most anyone can expect from wearing such things is a short, temporary psychological boost that hopefully doesn’t make people question your cognitive abilities.

I’m going to bring in some Sean-esque bluntness here, but if you’re stupid enough to believe in these false securities, you most definitely are stupid enough to get into all sorts of trouble like losing money for nothing or offending the truly competent people at work. You would be subconsciously behaving like a moron without even knowing it. We all know THAT someone who lost money thinking they can get rich quick, and someone from the office who is only interested in showmanship that we are too polite to tell off.

I hope everyone understands why I always say that it doesn’t matter what you are wearing. At the end of the day what matters is that pink tissue we called a “brain” and the spirit you possess. I really don’t know how else everyone wants me to prove it. If it’s meant to happen, it’s meant to happen. The truly shrewd ‘practitioners’ will know exactly when to sell you something to make you attribute your success to the charm you bought to make you come back for more. Most will just sell something to you no matter what because that’s about the only thing they can do.

If you want things to change, then change yourself. Save your money, some brain space, as well as your human dignity and develop some actual confidence, competence, and wisdom rather than believing a rock or a piece of wood is going to change your life. If your state of mind can be so easily influenced by a mere piece of stone or wood, you are an utterly imbalanced person who clearly hasn’t found your footing in life yet they will likely find success and a truly good life out of your reach.

Wearing these things isn’t going to make your life better. You’re only going to drive your real benefactors away by declaring you can’t think for yourself to the world. You are a walking “Look at me, I’m an idiot.” sign. Put yourself in the shoes of your potential benefactors – why would they bother? I wouldn’t because I know I’d be wasting my time that can be better spent on someone else.

By all means, if you want to wear these things and it makes you feel better, go ahead, but please continue to pay close attention to what’s going on in your head because that’s where the real life-changer is.

Wearing these things can’t allow someone with a bad BaZi chart to think, behave, and live like one with a good BaZi chart which is what ultimately gives that person a better life. He or she thinks, behaves, and lives better than others. Instead of buying these things, they are reading books, learning new things, not getting jealous of other people’s success, and building real relationships with sincerity.

A doughnut will always be a doughnut – you might get to change the flavours by wearing whatever you fancy, but you’re still ultimately a doughnut.

I’ve said enough and I’m not going to anything more other than to tell you to read this: My Honest Thoughts On Feng Shui, ‘Lucky’ Items & More

Do Not Make Your Problem Someone Else’s Problem

Although the month of May manifested some really difficult clients for me, thankfully, I’m in a much better place to handle them now compared to in the past.

If you read through one of my really old blog posts, the reason why the form system is set up and that I screen clients is because some people will not benefit from a BaZi reading at all. It all started with this one client who blamed me for not detecting her cancer when she didn’t even ask about her health during the consultation and was focused purely on her love life that was falling apart.

This notion and personal philosophy that one cannot always blame others for the things that happen is something that I’ve held on to since young. Of course, I’m not saying there should be a blanket application of this philosophy and I always put this disclaimer in case some toxic person wants to twist my words or take it out of context. Sometimes, things happen to people and it’s completely not their fault. Whenever I bring up this topic about taking responsibility, I’m always referring to the things that we do have some control over.

For most things in life: You do not make your problem or issues someone else’s. It gets you nowhere. Take some responsibility.

I say this from observation as well as my own personal experience. We all go through our own challenges and struggles and, yes, it’ll be nice to get help and support from others, but I still firmly believe that you have to play your own part at the end of the day. You cannot expect someone else to always be there to get you out of trouble, and neither can you expect someone to continually validate you when you’re clearly in the wrong.

If you have issues and have struggles that you find yourself unable to cope with, or are having unhealthy ways of coping, it’s OK to be vulnerable and get help. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable is, of course, tough because it’s what most people believe allowed them to get hurt in the first place. There are people out there who are willing to help, but you must make it a point to let these people know you’re willing to be helped instead of thinking everyone else is the problem.

For the less severe matters: I always stand on the side of practicality because change always need some form of action.

If you have a crappy boss, please first realize that a lot of people do. Unfortunately, this is the failure of the corporate world by thinking that age and tenancy mean you’re deserving of a managerial position. I would encourage you to strive to be even better so that you don’t have to work for this person. I’ve met many bad bosses in my life, and trust me, you have to pity them because a lot of them have a chip on their shoulder and they are the most empty, unhappy, and sometimes incompetent people I’ve ever met. Their personal lives are not doing well either. You deserve better.

You had a tough childhood? Trust me, most people do – you just don’t know about it. As much as I can empathize with that, you have no choice but to tell yourself to be stronger and grow from it. It’s fine to have issues because of your tough childhood, but have the courage to acknowledge them and don’t end up becoming a destructive person. Don’t repeat the same mistakes your doughnut parents did – they didn’t bother addressing their development issues and thought going into a marriage would fill their void and solve their problems.

Please remember you are never the only one with the problems. The only possible reason why it feels like you’re the only one because you chose to do nothing about it.

The point is that you can either sit there, whine the whole day and nothing will change, or you can do something constructive about it. Hopefully, your BaZi chart indicates that you will.

Like Everything Else: Your Questions Are A Reflection Of Who You Are

This is something that peeves me that I need to get off my chest and it’s when people just spam “how” questions in the form and expect me to give a dignified answer to something as sloppy as that.

It’s not that “how” questions are wrong, but it’s the way some people phrase it and what they are communicating. It’s also definitely not that I cannot answer them but most of the time, it really just requires some common sense and you need not ask a practitioner such questions. Get a life coach instead or read a book.

A lot of the “how” questions will feel commonsencal to everyone:

  • “How do I become rich?”
  • “How do I get financial freedom?”
  • “How do I attract someone?”
  • “How do I have a happier marriage?”
  • “How do I become healthier?”

Some people really do fill up the forms with questions like the above. I always reject such cases because if you can only ask such questions, you’re either too lazy to write proper questions, or you are too lazy to even think or exercise common sense. Sure, a practitioner can still give a commentary on those aspects and give some advice, but I for one do not want to waste time on such cases because I know only someone with a low-quality chart and the client is just looking for quick fixes. That’s what the questions communicate.

In my mind, I’m always thinking that instead of spamming me “how” kind of questions, ask yourself whether you feel you really deserve these things first. People who ask questions such as “How do I become rich?” are usually the ones who can’t remember when was the last time they picked up a book or learned something new because they’re just that lazy.

Let me give you an example: A female client told me that she cheated on her husband, and in her form, she asks “How can I have a happy marriage?” and goes on to list a total of eight “how” questions. If she were to have asked me if she saw any issues in her marriage and if she had any character flaws, it would have been another matter because that communicate acknowledgement that she might have something she needs to work on. To spam me eight “how” questions and even including “how” to make her marriage better knowing that you cheated on your husband just makes absolutely no sense to me because are you even using your brain here?

Let me give you a counter-example of someone who wants to ask about the same things but phrases it differently:

  • “I am not earning as much as I’d like to. Does my chart say anything about this and where do the weak areas come from? Is it a matter of my capability or the company I am in?”
  • “I’m still single and I wish to find someone, is it the right time? Based on the charts, am I financially ready or at the right stage of life, and more importantly, do I have any character flaws to watch out for?”
  • “My marriage is strained and I can’t explain why. Could you help point out where the stressors might come from? Is it from finances? Or are we just a bad match? Or is it due to health issues?”
  • “I’ve noticed my health has become weaker. I’m not sleeping well and have been falling ill more often. Does my chart reveal where my weaker organs are and the root causes of the health issues?”

I need to point out that I’m not making these ideal, textbook perfect questions up. Most clients do put in the effort to write questions with a clear context and I can’t appreciate it enough because it helps me know where to focus on in the charts.

Put yourself in my shoes. If you were on the receiving end of these two different sets of questions, what kind of different impression and message does it send you?

How do you become rich? Work hard, and more importantly work smart which naturally includes working for the right people and organization.

How do I have a happier marriage? Start by keeping your pants and knickers on first and off only for your spouse.

How do you become healthier? Exercise more, eat better, sleep early.

How do I attract someone? Let go of that toxic relationship. Learn to be happy by yourself first. Pick carefully.

You don’t actually need to pay me money to ask such questions, so please, put in a bit more effort in when writing them down. A consultation with a practitioner is most useful when you wish to go deeper into these topics, but absolutely useless when you are only capable of being superficial.

When We Assess Wealth – It’s Assessing Your Value and Capabities

When a practitioner assess whether a chart is meant to be rich or not, what exactly do you think we are looking at? Is it assessing the probability of money falling from the sky, suddenly realizing you have a long lost relative who is a Nigerian prince, or that you can just buy any stock I want and it just goes up?

We have been made to believe that a wealthy chart is ‘lucky’ because things just happen. I can tell you with absolute certainty that only people/doughnuts with low-quality charts will think that way. If things just happen, by that twisted logic, somewhere out there, there is a divinely chosen person who wakes up, drinks some coffee, gets their bowels agitated and the next thing they know is that they find is a solid piece of gold just sitting there in that bowl of drainage liquid ready for you to scoop it up. We will have people who excrete gold because ‘things just happen’.

My personal opinion on why there is this gap in understanding why assessing wealth in BaZi is just a measure of your capability is because most people won’t even come close to understanding the kind of effort and hard work required. A lot of times, a client with an average, non-wealthy chart will come to me and lament that they work extremely hard but are not seeing the returns, but they don’t realize that their version of “working extremely hard” is nowhere close to reality requires them to put in.

At the end of the day, when we assess wealth, we are talking about your value, what you have to offer, and how well you manage your time and your money. It’s your resourcefulness and your capabilities – not about your “luck”. I am not even saying this as a hypothesis because I have read so darn many charts that you can really tell that’s exactly what it’s pointing out and it shows up in someone’s behaviour and thinking.

I don’t blog about this topic often because this concept is really that easy to understand and I see no need to in repeating this all the time. You don’t do things that you’re not meant to do and you don’t take things you’re not meant to take. If you want something, then you jolly well make sure you put in the effort so that you deserve it.

Let me give a real-life example of why some people are simply not cut out to be wealthy: People who are good at investments (stocks, bonds, forex or whatever) will not need to come and ask me what they are suitable for because they will already know even without me saying. There is no need for me to use any Chinese metaphysics methods to derive it for them – they will know better than I do and I will never be as intelligent or analytical as they are.

At the end of the day, the money they get from their investments is because they read, they research, and they simply know what they are doing.

Please do not be like this person:

May I just say that I don’t give “divine guidance”. My work entails knocking common sense into people most of the time.

The story goes:

  • This client in his 40s first approached me in March’20 and he was already in debts of over $250,000 due to gambling and ‘investments’ gone wrong and asked me if he had any chance in winning them back. I told him that there is no way he was going to recuperate the losses because his chart was not of that calibre and it was extremely clear that 2020 was going to be a horrid year for him.
  • He gave a mid-year update on his own accord in Jun’20 clearly showing he’s still not learnt his lesson yet and although he did not explicitly say anything, you know he’s lost more money and he’s not learned his lesson because he asked me what I’ve already told him, that looking at a specific month is pointless when you’re just not of that calibre.
  • Come Dec’20 he reached out again when debts ballooned to $700k because he kept trying his ‘luck’ thinking he was special when he’s good actually just good at ‘trading’ his money away.

He basically didn’t trust my reading only to come back when he’s hit rock bottom to say he believes me now.

And no, I did not give him any tips, comments on what to do nor a ‘lucky’ month to do his trading. That’s not what I exist for. His June and December updates were not paid consultations but him just expressing his regret. I repeatedly told him to stay away and have his feet on the ground before things blow up. Picking a specific month to execute these things doesn’t matter when both your 10-year phases, Annual Phases, and even natal chart are bad.

Also, if anyone hasn’t realized the facetiousness by now, you ended up in the casino while on a work trip? And if just watching Bloomberg all day can make you a good trader, I would be a Michelin Star celebrity chef by now.

It’s another case of someone thinking transcending charts is easy, overestimating themselves, and despite wanting to benefit from Chinese metaphysics, chose to ignore the clear signs. There is no “rare event injected by divine forces” here – there is only pure human stupidity to not only double-down but leverage on top of that. It’s really just his chart playing out exactly the way it’s meant to.

I’ve since barred the client from having any future consultations with me again and it’s not because I’m offended that he did not trust my analysis (I felt validated in fact) because it’s absolutely normal that people don’t and go “who are you to tell me that I can’t do something?”. I really just don’t want to be part of that cause-and-effect chain of him messing up his life even more.

You will be surprised to know that this person draws a monthly salary of $25,000+ and he could have had a very comfortable life, so for him to say he’s “not well to do” is rather peculiar. Perhaps this is also the reason why he developed such a huge risk appetite and the illusion that money comes easy. Whether he’s still earning this amount given times like this – I don’t know, but we can presume that it’s at risk. If he is able to maintain his earnings and save 50% of that (which way above average and very unlikely), it will take him almost 56 months/4.6 years to pay off that debt. If he saves 15% of what he earns, that’s 186 months/15.5 years. If he ever loses his job or stops working anytime in the next few years, you can be assured he will be sued for bankruptcy and have his house put up on fire sale.

Now tell me everyone, is your paycheque a good measure of how good your BaZi chart is?

The irony here is that money is supposed to give us back that precious thing we called “time” which is a commodity you cannot put a price value on – time we can spend doing the things we enjoy and spending time with our loved ones. Some people end up losing even more time in the pursuit of something that is supposed to give you your time back,

The other irony is that sometimes, transcending charts simply means not doing anything, or disabling your WIFI. It could be that simple – but most people can’t get out of their own way.

Wisdom Does Not Come With Age: Please Stop Focusing On The ‘Illusions’

I’ve recently been getting a lot of the older generation clients who are in their late 40s and 50s I reckon because all the crystals, jadeites, and pixiu bracelets are running out of divine cosmic juice during the pandemic and people are looking for alternatives.

I have to be honest and mention that they are usually the demographic of clients that are most difficult to deal with. Not every single person in their 40s and 50s of course, but the probability of a difficult client coming from this age group is much higher.

Firstly, they will always question the way I’m doing things and why I don’t wish to do the consultation in person. It’s simple. It’s because blood will spontaneously erupt from my facial orifices if I do. Why? Because they are usually the most superstitious lot who love claiming they are traditional when they actually know nothing about tradition. Don’t you just want to puke when you see them being so into zodiac forecasts and wanting your wedding dinner to revolve around their zodiac sign because there is a “clash” on that day and it’s not even their wedding? A lot of my time and effort is wasted on explaining things that I’ve already put down in writing.

Secondly, they are usually the more stubborn ones who can’t get over the cognitive dissonance of getting advice from someone much younger. “You’re younger and by virtue of that I know better, show some respect and give me a solution and solve my problem.” Just because they didn’t do well or can’t do something, someone younger must either be the same or be beneath them. They assume that just because they lived longer, they’ve seen and done more with their lives and therefore know better – and that’s a very naive assumption because they clearly underestimate what millennials are capable of.

I am the LAST person on earth who buys into the “respect your elders” notion that is just tossed around by toxic elders to manipulate the younger generation. No prizes for guessing why I’m like that – just look at my parents. Your age means nothing. Sometimes being an elder simply means they’ve been rotting as individuals for a longer period of time.

Respect needs to be earned, and it’s probably the hardest thing one can ever earn in life. Simply being older does not mean people owe it to you.

I’ve mentioned time and again that your paycheque and title means nothing in the eyes of Chinese metaphysics. Some of my clients in their 40s/50s assume that I will definitely say that their BaZi chart is good because they’ve been earning $300,000 to $400,000 a year, or rather, have once been making that amount. The fact that they come for a reading is because, all of a sudden, they are not earning that amount anymore but their egos are still clinging on to the belief that their chart is somehow great and are irreplaceable they are in their organization. They are also the ones who suddenly find themselves wishing they didn’t spend so much or incur so much debt buying that cramped, ridiculously ugly looking condo with bad feng shui. A lot of people make the mistake of assuming good times will last forever – but it doesn’t and I make it a point to remind myself of that every single day. It took a pandemic to remind everyone of this fact in the most salient and harshest way possible.

I make this mistake once in a while but less so compared to most because of the nature of my job, but I think one issue a lot of us have, especially here in Singapore, is that we only look at the surface. If you carry an Hermès bag, you must be rich; if you earn $300,000, you’re must be set for retirement; if you post nice pictures on Instagram with inspirational quotes, you must be getting something right and doing well. You can draw whatever conclusion you want, but the fact is that you will never know unless you go up to them and ask them, or if you know them personally.

Related post: What is BaZi & Zi Wei Dou Shu’s Definition of A Good Life?

You will always hear of the term 虚 () in Chinese metaphysics which translates to “empty”, “weak”, “bogus”. It’s a term we often use in Chinese metaphysics (虚发 or 虚象) to describe good times that don’t last very long or built on an extremely weak foundation. The above example of how someone who earns $25,000 a month can get into $700,000 worth of debt is a perfect example. Many people experience this and the good times disappear as quickly as they came. I’m not here to determine what’s real and what’s 虚 () for people although the charts can definitely reveal this. My point is to, again, make people think deeper about events, the things we do and make sense of the events that happen to us. Chinese metaphysics and the notion of 吉吝凶悔 which I explained in my previous post serves as a reminder that we shouldn’t be complacent even when times are good.

If you earn $300,000 a year and the first thing you do is to spend half of it on pointless stuff, or if you’re just trying to appear more successful than you really are on social media – what does it actually say and what would be the consequences of these actions?

We all know that one doughnut who does the above.

In the course of my work, I’ve noticed that a lot of people in their 20s and 30s are insulated from what people in their 40s and 50s are going through (which is expected) and they don’t know how difficult things could possibly get, whereas those in their 40s and 50s just started to realize where they’ve gone wrong in earlier years. I hope some of my sharings on this blog closes this gap and serves as a reminder that if you want your 40s and 50s to be great, you better get your 20s and 30s right. It doesn’t matter what your chart says about your 10-year phases 20 to 40 years later. Focus on the present because that’s the best thing you can do. And if you’re in your 40s and 50s and you realized you messed up – to some of you, I’d say it’s still not too late; as for the toxic elders – too bad because you had your chance.

Why I Always Say Your Elemental Phases (运) Is Your Growth

When someone moves into a positive 10-year phase (大运), what actually happens that causes good things to happen? Ask yourselves that. For the love of the Jade Emperor or Goddess of Mercy or whichever supreme being you believe in, instead of thinking it’s about mysterious arbitrary forces, please think about what moving into a positive 10-year phase symbolizes.

Do people who move into a positive 10-year phase start excreting gold from their pelvic orifice (I’m trying very hard not to swear for Google ranking reasons)? Do they fart rainbows? Or do they start oozing an unbelievable amount of pheromones that they suddenly are able to attract the love of their life in the form of a BTS or Victoria’s Secret supermodel equivalent?

When one moves into a positive 10-year phase, yes, the environment changes, but the environment changes only because of the fact that the chart-holder changes. Is that so difficult to understand? Good things happen because you’re in a better mental space. If you suddenly feel that your life is much better because you moved into a positive 10-year phase – you deserve it because Heavens knows you worked for it.

Let’s give an example: Suppose you were being paid $5,000 at a workplace knowing that your talents and skills are worth $10,000 elsewhere, you would go to the company that values you more but the point is that you need to deserve to be in that company in the first place. People who move into a positive 10-year phase make sure they are worth that $10,000.

The same goes for why you only find a meaningful relationship when you’re in a positive 10-year phase. It’s because you’re in a better headspace to discern what’s good for you and you’re also able to attract better partners because of that.

Please read the post below and have a good think about what your Elemental Phases mean. It’ll explain everything.

Related post: There’s No Such Thing As ‘Luck’: Understanding What “Luck Pillars” Are In Metaphysics

Our Favourite Topic: Transcending Charts & Fate

The first time I blogged about this notion of transcending charts, I really hope that it will uplift and give people hope. It did in many cases and I’m really glad. Then, I had to come back in to clarify a few things no thanks to the doughnuts who can only understand things superficially.

Please read the below two posts if you haven’t already:

What Does Transcending Your BaZi & Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart Mean?

Transcending Charts, Motivational Courses, Chinese Metaphysics As A Business & More

Perhaps I should stop using the word “transcend” because it sounds too optimistic and I should simply say “alter the course”. The doughnut’s interpretation of transcending charts means “I can do whatever the hell I want as long as I have the power of Chinese metaphysics behind me”.

It’s a huge assumption to make that you are blessed enough to actually have Chinese metaphysics behind your back just because you paid a few thousand to attend some course or you’re part of some Facebook group. Not even I dare to think that I have Chinese metaphysics “behind my back”. As I’ve said I interpret the charts, but I don’t control them – not even my own. Even if one were to get a perfectly accurate reading from an incredibly skilled practitioner, it also doesn’t mean necessarily mean the chart-holder will be able to alter the course as I’ve witnessed time and again.

My job is to, hopefully, help everyone makes better decisions. I cannot make it for you – it’s your life, not mine. What my job isn’t, is to help you transcend your own chart, or to help you live like a life you’re not meant to live.

I will say this again: A lot of things are fated. It will be hard, if not close to impossible to change certain things. It doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try, and in some cases, it also doesn’t mean that you should. There is no straightforward answer to this. We can only hope that the cause-and-effect change moves slowly in our favour as we learn to make better, more balanced decisions.

Please always remember that getting in touch with Chinese metaphysics does not mean you get to live however you want.

I’ll end things off here before I start to sound like a broken recorder. This post is really just a reminder for everyone on what’s important and also a nudge for me to get into the mood of writing again.

Before I forget. I am entertaining the idea of doing online lessons via Zoom as mentioned on my Facebook page. It’s been almost 7 years now and the only thing I’ve not done as a practitioner is to give lessons because my main concern is that I’m contributing to the doughnuts out there who think they can be a practitioner when they can’t even read Chinese.

I don’t want to be the reason why more charlatans exist selling charms and claiming they can read a BaZi chart properly. If I do give lessons, and I’ll be honest here, it’s purely with the intention of a cash grab because I know for a fact the societal value will be severely limited. Rest assured there’ll be a lot of T&Cs.

We’ll see.

Till next time.

– Sean

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Written by Sean Chan

Sean Chan is Asia's leading Chinese metaphysics consultant specializing in BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Qi Men Dun Jia, and Feng Shui. A thought-leader in the field, Sean's been featured on Channel NewsAsia, The New York Times Style Magazine and other local media. He blogs regularly about various topics surrounding Chinese metaphysics and aims to educate the public about the field.

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7 Comments

  1. Tan

    Glad I came across your article, it’s direct and honest.
    It’s true that many toxic minded elderly in Asia have distorted mindset, taking 老吾老,以及人之老;and conveniently forgetting 幼吾幼,以及人之幼.
    While they scream and cry to get what they want, i only laughed inside, cause its just hilarious (that’s a bad example by me) and sad at the same time seeing people degrade psychologically into old age and most likely till death. Most young will give in to them, and that is a toxic solution and encourage more of such behaviour.

  2. Charles

    Indeed a blessing for one to be able to know that he/she has a talent in a certain area and be able to develop it.
    Sometimes, what is also regretful is not that one lacks a talent but rather one clearly has a talent in a certain area but due to peer pressure/societal expectations/parental expectations etc chose to pursue something else because of more superficial reasons such as prestige/image etc. That talent stays dormant and it becomes a waste.

    • Jade

      Should not have read this at night. The doughnuts and yoghurts made me hungry, and now I’m craving churros!

  3. Loo Say Hien

    damn it hurts good!

  4. Melody

    Honestly, I love your blog posts. You’re being honest and open and if people can’t appreciate the value of truth, eff them. Keep doing what you feel is the right thing and the people who are ready to hear it will gravitate to you.

  5. Joanne

    Great Write-up ~hard hitting truths but badly needed to wake people up… to shake off those delusions & fantasies about CM being that magic bullet to transform their lives. In particular, “Doughnuts” being mass-produced & made to believe they can become Professional Consultants after just 1-2 Courses…A little knowledge is a dangerous thing…
    I have been studying & following CM for past 5 years….and still only scratching the surface…
    I hope you get your Mojo back to write more often….I’m still searching for that spark to continue my little Blog which I’ve stopped updating since the start of the Pandemic… 😂

  6. WH Ng

    Is it okay to share the author and book title? Seems very interesting.

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