Astrology’s Purpose & The Pitfalls Of Spiritual Narcissism

February 16, 2023

It is 6:45 AM now on 15th February’23 as I am penning down this first sentence and I’ll probably take a few days to finish this post. I woke up at 6 AM, couldn’t fall back to sleep, and suddenly felt a surge of inspiration to write. I’ve always said that the blog posts I usually end up being very proud of are the ones that I write when I am emotionally charged, and I have a feeling this is going to be one of them. It’s funny because I’ve written so much in my life that I know which post is going to be one that I can look back at and laugh at when I read it again.

This post is going to be one of my most extremely emotionally charged ones because it’s not possible for it not to be, and it comes at a time when I’m very swamped.

As always, thank you, the reader, for enjoying what I put down. Whatever purpose you are here for, I hope you get something out of it.

Now, as everyone knows, when I write, it’s usually when I get a stroke of inspiration or when something triggers me – or you could just say that I get inspiration when I get triggered. What I wish to talk about is as per the title, and there will, of course, be some philosophy involved.

As much as this post was triggered by the act of someone, the intent is not to throw shade at this person although I might inevitably seem like I’m doing so, indirectly. I’m here to talk about some topics that have always been important to me and I didn’t get the chance to address them ever since the Chinese New Year spike came in late November.

I want to reiterate that this is not about me trying to make another ‘practitioner’ go out of business. As I said, other ‘practitioners’ will never be out of business because we have our own target audience. There are enough suckers to go around, and I am also not delusional to think that I can get everyone to subscribe to my point of view in this lifetime. Not everyone will subscribe to what I say, and likewise, not everyone will subscribe to theirs. They do what they think is best for their target audience and potential clients, and so do I. I’m here to do what I can and die without regrets. The existence of other ‘practitioners’ actually benefits me because they provide a view I can oppose so that my view can come into existence like the dualistic nature of Yin Yang with a glorious purpose. It’s the same as you thinking you got your promotion because you’re good when it’s actually because others suck. They also take away the clients I do not wish to serve, so I really, really want them to stay.

They do, however, annoy the hell out of me. They don’t need to be there per se, but yet, they are, and they annoy you but make things fun sometimes, sort of like a man’s nipple. You don’t need it, it’s annoying, but it’s also fun.

I am struggling to find time to write while coping with the increased volume. The number of visitors to my website increases every year, with every new post that appears here. I know what I put down in writing can add some value to people seeking help from Chinese metaphysics and astrology, so I’ll always make it a point to do it. Everyone knows I feel strongly about certain issues, and I rather rip my own throat out than let someone tell me I don’t have the right to speak about them. Neither will I conform to what is out there because conformity does not imply things are right, at least not in my situation.

A good chunk of this post is going to be a bit self-indulgent, so pardon a few things. You will notice that I always apologise when a post has things to do about me, my thoughts, and sometimes my achievements and things I’m proud of. I struggle with this because, on one hand, I ask myself whether there’s a purpose to putting down my thoughts in the grand scheme of things, on the other, I ask myself whether it’s just for an ego trip.

The notion of “self”, ‘higher self”, and “ego” are still topics I am trying to figure out a way to communicate effectively, which is also the reason why I’ve been reading a bit more these days to see what others have to say about it.

As loud and vocal as I am on my blog and Instagram page, most people don’t realise I’m very cognizant of the thoughts that go on in my head and I am constantly questioning where the motivations are coming from. If I didn’t have this ability, trust me, I wouldn’t have survived till today and I’m not going to bring up old stories again.

Now, let’s move on with what I have to say and what triggered the inspiration for this blog post.

The Trigger – Oh Boy, The Trigger

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you would have seen this epic trigger and insult to the Chinese civilization:

The above is the lowest Chinese metaphysics and Feng Shui has ever sunk to. I thought Feng Shui items were bad enough, but this one really takes the cake. You can even argue that it almost makes Feng Shui items that cost thousands look legitimate (but we know it’s not).

This was a newly onboarded client. Like most people, this person was trawling the internet and managed to end up finding me. Of course, and it should be obvious, she engaged someone else previously which is why you have the image above. Judging by the condition of the pieces of paper you see there, you know it’s been there for a while, soaking up greasy bad energies while emitting magical waves of symbolism that are going to alter the life of the person.

I can’t share the entire conversation I had with my client because it was a very dark period in her life which she’s still trying to heal from, but I can assure you, whatever nonsensical remedy applied above did not work for the client, and what followed, in her exact words, were some of the worst months of her life.

Whatever I say in this post is also not targeted at this client, but the audacity of proposing this as a remedy for one’s life. She was in a vulnerable state and like a lot of people, fell for these things.

It is always the fault of the practitioner first because we are supposed to be here to educate and assist, and not exploit.

The client came on board for a BaZi reading and not Feng Shui because like I always say, what you can do for an apartment is limited, so don’t waste that money. More often than not, a BaZi reading is really more than enough. One cannot change the structure of the house that easily because you cannot shift key areas like your main door or kitchen that easily, and I am not the sort of retard who will tell someone ‘remedies’ like what you see above are going to do anything to change that fact. Do you want to shift your main door? You might as well climb in from the window.

I really want everyone to ask yourselves the first emotion or thought you feel when you see the image, which was proposed as a feng shui remedy for someone’s house. Do you really, really think the Chinese sages of the past, in all their wisdom, will sink to such a level?

There’s actually a bit of a background story to this but I don’t want to go into too much detail as a professional courtesy and also because this person isn’t worth my time invoking that memory and taking up digital space here. I don’t want anyone to assume that this person is important enough to warrant my time and a blog post – she’s not although she probably likes to think she is. I’ve always wanted to write this, but I can’t write when there is no push, but fortunately, I get triggered easily and my readers and clients are always feeding me stories.

I’ll only say that this is not the first time someone who had their house defiled in such a manner by the same person came to me for a second opinion. This is the same person who inspired the blog post with the Shiba Inu feature image which I’d encouraged everyone to read if you haven’t already.

Now, the remedy in the image is claimed to be under a school of Feng Shui called “Yi Jing Feng Shui”. What school of Feng Shui is used is not the real question here. Historically, there is no official school of Feng Shui called “Yi Jing Feng Shui”, it’s just that all Feng Shui schools and techniques have Yi Jing as the base. The main schools that enthusiasts would have probably heard of are 八宅, 玄空, and 三合 which are the most common schools practitioners often use to assess a house.

There are certain schools that use Yi Jing as a base more heavily, and the official names are 乾坤国宝风水 and 玄空太易卦 which is more commonly called 玄空大卦。 These two schools of Feng Shui are more Yi Jing focused, but they are not called Yi Jing Feng Shui and I don’t know why it’s being called that. I don’t specialise in these schools although I do have books on them. Let’s see:

Well, I guess it’s really easier to just believe in pieces of paper and floor mats instead of trying to understand what the above means.

Yi Jing refers to the Book of Change or 《易经》 and it is where our Eight Trigrams (八卦) originated from. I don’t feel the name or semantics matter that much because all Chinese metaphysics techniques use the Book of Change as a base – it is argued to be the source of Chinese thought and culture after all. However, if this particular school of Feng Shui is proposing that pasting coloured paper on my kitchen appliances is the way to a better life, the school is probably meant for functioning adults but with special needs, whatever special needs mean here, and I really couldn’t care less about what label a certain school of Feng Shui has.

Calling it “Yi Jing” Feng Shui is a tad redundant and it’s akin to saying “This smelly piece of s***.” If there’s one thing I learned from my years of writing, it’s that some words, like some people, are redundant.

Every bloody YouTuber making an advertisement about a table that can change height needs to squeeze in the word “actually” in front of their sentences, and actually try to make themselves more fluent, when actually they aren’t, because actually using the word “actually“, is to actually make themselves feel comfortable. You actually don’t need to use the word “smelly” here, because actually, until you find me an actual piece of s*** that actually smells like jasmine flowers but actually doesn’t, actually, the word “smelly” is not actually needed. I actually didn’t need to use the word actually so much, but I actually used it.

I’m not making fun of people who use these words when they present because I’ve heard myself in some of my media features, and there are certain words I keep repeating too. My point is slapping the word “Yi Jing” in front of this special needs school of Feng Shui does not automatically establish legitimacy. How Yi Jing equates to pieces of paper and floor mats having an impact on someone’s life is beyond me, although I will give some credit if the floor mat is anti-slip.

To my knowledge, I know there are Feng Shui courses out that package themselves under the label “Yi Jing Feng Shui” which I can understand why, because it’s easier to market and it’s a customised curriculum for beginners, and throw in some basic concepts, but I didn’t know basic here involves using pieces of paper to alter life’s course. You would agree that calling it 易经风水 is less intimidating than 乾坤国宝风水 and 玄空太易卦风水。

I’d also like to reiterate why I am always hesitant about conducting lessons because it causes these things to happen. Someone takes a course and then out comes a modern-day sage saving lives with pieces of paper and floor mats.

Again, I have nothing against other practitioners/’practitioners’ because it is their absolute right to make a living the way they want to regardless of whether they choose to take pride in their work and do a good job at it. I don’t go around actively to find others to throw shade at and I don’t even visit their social media pages because I know it triggers me, but at some point, the clients will overlap and people who have gone to them will come to me, and then out comes a new blog post – to everyone’s benefit and pleasure, I hope.

Reiterating Some Of My Thoughts On Feng Shui

I’ve written so much that I can barely remember if I already said some of these things. I sometimes go back to some of my old blog posts and re-read them myself while making some edits to make things flow better while having a good laugh myself sometimes because some posts flow out so naturally that I don’t retain them in my memory.

What I’ll talk about next is a bit self-indulgent and irreverent, so please pardon me, although I know some of you are here for the irreverence.

Thinking-Thinking Vs Critical Thinking – Why It Matters In Chinese Metaphysics & Feng Shui

My approach to Feng Shui was never the blind, tunnel vision kind of application. In fact, nothing I do in my life takes on that kind of myopic approach. My mind is always open, and many of the insights I get come from keeping my mind open. That said, being receptive to idiocy shown in the picture above is not “keeping my mind open”, and I rather keep my buttcrack constantly open than my mind to be open to sheer stupidity. So, please don’t twist the interpretation. There is still a line to be drawn.

Some of the blog posts everyone enjoys reading wouldn’t have been possible if my mind wasn’t kept open and I was fixated on certain notions and concepts. There are a lot of things that aren’t written down in books or the Chinese classics, and it was only through my years of reading charts and visiting houses that I gained some additional insights that I know are irrefutable and it just needed some collection of evidence and case studies.

You would have heard me propose things like:

  • Are our BaZi charts and home’s Feng Shui interconnected? Do they paint the same story? Will they? Should they?
  • Is Feng Shui truly within our control? Or we’re simply at its mercy and we’ll have to see what life brings us?
  • How does the practitioner fit into all this? What role do we play in the cause-and-effect chain?
  • If your chart is crap, will you meet a crap ‘practitioner’? Is the reverse also true?
  • Does Feng Shui establish causality? Or does it simply come to be and we do our best to interpret it and adapt?
  • Do the charts of a romantic couple tell the same congruent story, and if it doesn’t, what does it mean?

One of the regrets I have in my life was doing a business degree because if I had another choice, I would have taken a degree in philosophy because I have a real love for it.

I know many people don’t appreciate Philosophy and that it’s meant for fluffy people who just like to sound smart but aren’t. If that’s the case, I have reason to believe a lot of people in my industry have a degree in philosophy, because they are trying to sound smart, but aren’t.

Please take a step back and think about whether the notion of philosophy being useless is fair, or true. If you feel this way, I am very sorry for you, and you are missing out. Philosophy is not about coming together and talking about topics and questions you can never answer. It’s true, some questions can never be answered, like how some people can be so bloody stupid to think that pieces of paper can change your life.

Philosophy is about learning how to think, and questioning the basis of what we call “knowledge”. You can even say that without philosophy, it wouldn’t be possible to have astrology at all. May I also remind you that our history and culture also come from the way we think and how we perceive the world, which stems from philosophy?

Here’s a good quote on why philosophy is important:

It teaches critical thinking, close reading, clear writing, and logical analysis; it uses these to understand the language we use to describe the world, and our place within it. Different areas of philosophy are distinguished by the questions they ask.

You should be proud that you are able to philosophize because that is essentially what separates you from the animals, so the next time you insult philosophy, please pause for a while before you do so. I would not have become the practitioner that I am today without my love for philosophy.

There is thinking-thinking and there is critical thinking. Philosophy also teaches you how to think critically. Thinking critically is also not about trying to win arguments all the time.

Thinking-thinking, if I were to express it my own way, is just an emotional reaction on the surface most of the time. I see something, and a thought goes into my head, I think about it, and I squeeze out a fart. That’s the end of it.

Critical thinking involves analysing concepts, questioning assumptions, synthesising knowledge, reflection, reasoning, and the list goes on. As Aristotle would put it, it’s basically what makes us human and his argument was that the best life was lived in accordance with reason, which, as I said, is essentially what separates us from animals.

Let me give an example:

  • I need to take a s*** is “thinking-thinking”. I feel a need to do something, and the thought comes into my head. I take a s***.
  • I need to take a s***, but should I do it facing the wall, or the tank, or perhaps even upside down? How hard should I squeeze? This is critical thinking, albeit in a very low-class, crass manner.

But hey, ‘practitioners’ are proposing pieces of paper as remedies, so let’s dumb it down a little a whole lot for their sake.

Do you think critically thinking about the way you take a dump doesn’t matter? May I remind you Squatty Potty is worth over USD150 million right now, and we are all still trying to pay off our mortgages? Yes, that’s right, there is a company out there helping you to s*** rainbows, and you are still, well, you.

My time in the University’s Scholar Programme (now NUS College) gave me a bit of training in critical thinking, and my days as a competitive chess player also allowed me to develop this side of myself without me even realising it.

You question everything. Not because you want to be an annoying prick to win arguments but because it helps you understand things better. Because if someone can beat me at chess so effortlessly while I rack my brain thinking of the next move, or if someone is making better life decisions than I am – I need to question my thoughts and how I am executing them.

Now, firstly, I am no one to proclaim, “This is what our ancestors or Chinese sages meant.” when they put their knowledge down in writing, hoping to preserve it and pass it down. If you feel pieces of paper can change your life, you do you – it’s your life. My relationship with paper these days is that I only use it to wipe something, mostly my a**. That’s it.

The thing about knowledge is that it can never be passed down perfectly, and also know experience is something you cannot simply pass down. Most of the time, it doesn’t, and it’s the reason I believe we have a lot of unnecessary conflicts when it comes to religion and ideologies. Nonetheless, knowledge still needs to be passed down for human civilisation to progress. 「书不尽言,言不尽意」as the quote goes, and it means sometimes books and words are not enough to convey the meaning behind what’s trying to be passed down, and mind you, this quote is from Yi Jing (易经) itself and someone is proudly proclaiming she comes from the school of “Yi Jing Feng Shui”.

What I am trying to say here is that through the course of my studies, I interpret what was trying to be passed down the best I can, and I hope it ends up being useful.

One thing that I am very good at doing, if I may say so, is synthesising knowledge and this was confirmed by one of my friends specialising in Hellenistic/Western astrology because I have an extremely well-placed Mercury – which is also the reason why many of you feel I can write well.

My point has always been this, or rather, I tell myself this: We need to question a lot of things we think we know about Chinese metaphysics and Feng Shui. There is already a big problem of preserving knowledge and passing it down, what more trying to interpret it, and then applying it.

Sacrilegious Symbolism

There is this thing about symbolism we hear a lot in Feng Shui. Granted, symbolism is important and it’s not just in Chinese metaphysics. Certain images, and symbols, are sacred. Then comes the debate about whether this special imagery has any special powers, or is it just there for us to remind ourselves of certain things.

Everyone knows I have a vehement disgust over the use of so-called “Feng Shui items” calling them remedies. I need to point out the sheer idiocy of this. Factually, no book from feudal China ever talks about such things. The palace had tons of auspicious items but the Qing dynasty still came crashing down as a result of the Boxer Rebellion and foreign control was established in China. The land of Feng Shui got absolutely f***ed by the land without Feng Shui.

Feng my a** and Shui your b***s, because when the forces of nature want to screw you over, no statue or item will stop that. But the thing about Yin Yang theory is that a tough era like what China went through is the reason why it is extremely formidable now – because everything is a cycle.

Feng Shui items only appeared in books from the modern era and when capitalism took over the world, and colour paper and door mats as remedies only appears when Instagram was invented because you do it for the gram.

I’ve discussed these topics before but not in detail. Here’s a blog post from really long ago before my writing flair really took off:

Now, there is this thing about Feng Shui and symbolism where as long as an object symbolises something, it’s supposed to manifest what it symbolises. This is such a magnificent thought! As much as I can appreciate how much hope the thought of a mere object with wondrous effects can bring someone, please remember life isn’t that simple.

I have two monitors on my table – one has black wallpaper, and the other one has pink wallpaper, but I’ve yet to meet Black Pink. Hey, it’s symbolism yo… The day I meet Black Pink in person… I will eat my monitor and let’s pray this sentence doesn’t come back to haunt me in future.

Anyway, let’s approach this intellectually and with critical thinking.

Who Determines What Symbols Mean?

Let me first say that my start to university was hell because I had to take a reading and writing module literally called “Critical Thinking & Writing” and it is on bloody CLOTHING IDENTITIES taught by a professor who is always in undersized shirts with his protruding tits even through his inner singlet for the love of Heavens – and I am someone who constantly rotates my clothes and in Birkenstocks.

I had to study things like what “signifier” and “signified” mean. It is as dry as my dead grandmother’s virgin ashes and I am having an internal debate if I should say “Bless her soul.” for reasons I shall not repeat. (I’m sorry grandma. Not a fan of your daughter.)

I am not going to bother explaining what “signifier” and “signified” means other than to say that it is a study of semiotics. Read it yourself here:

The big question is, “Who determines what symbols mean?” You might be going, “Do we really need to think and debate about this?”.

Yes, we do, because you are human and you shouldn’t be intellectually lazy. If we don’t debate about this, we will always be sub-humans who believe in pieces of paper and floor mats having an impact on our lives. Also, if you are intellectually lazy, then don’t bother asking me why your career isn’t taking off.

Now, what I am trying to argue here is this: There is no objective view of what an item is supposed to symbolise, and when I say “objective”, it means that it is independent of human thought because what we know for sure is that the meaning behind symbols, signifiers or signified for that matter, change with time too. The meaning we put on symbols is arbitrary, as though it is the flavour of the day – like brownies.

The same item can mean different things to different people in different situations, from different backgrounds to different cultures. Let me make my point clear:

Take a look at those beautiful brownies. Now, I know what you are thinking. Are those really brownies? Bread? Or badly baked muffins? Or something else?

If you know me well enough, you probably have an idea what it is. But hey, I am skewing your perception right this moment, aren’t I?

It’s actually brownies.

No, sorry, I lied. It’s actually s***, and I s*** you not, I literally Google “pictures of s***” to get this image. And if you’re going “I can’t believe you really put an image of s***” on your blog.” Hey, you’re not the one paying for the maintenance of this website, so have a good look at those brownies. (shiownies?)

Then again, maybe I’m just playing with your mind here and the above are actually brownies. Even I don’t f***ing know because I didn’t click into the website and the above image really looks mildly edible, and at no point in my life did my own s*** look like that.

I’m sorry you had to look at that visceral image, but it proves my point and I’m also getting a cheap thrill that you will probably never forget what I’m trying to drive across.

You can show the picture of the brownies above to a group of people and they will give you different answers, so is the symbolism of an object intrinsic there, or because you project what’s in your mind on it?

I can assure you with my left ball (because I like my right one more) that if I ever were to set up a website selling brownies and use that image, someone will still buy it because that’s the world we live in and there are brownies that look like s***, and s*** that looks like brownies.

I can also use a very local example here. If 亥 Water represents the Pig zodiac, does that mean our dear Malay friends in Singapore cannot drink Water because the Water element is associated with the Pig zodiac, or Pigs symbolise Water?

Firstly, pigs don’t symbolise water – they symbolise Xiao Long Baos (小笼包) and that’s all they ever have to symbolise, and if you don’t get the sarcasm here, you really don’t belong here. But what I am trying to say here is that we don’t just come up with weird symbolisms and then bring them into the Chinese metaphysics realm. Chinese metaphysics is also not throwing weird, unfounded, illogical ideas of symbolism around.

Let’s bring back the picture that epitomises human stupidity again:

What in Satan’s burning anus are those pieces of paper supposed to symbolise? Hey, if it was a poster of Black Pink, I would say give the thumbs up – and not just two, mind you – I’ll grow a third thumb in between my balls just to give it a three thumbs up. I tried to think of something witty to say but it is so insulting to humans as a species that I’m lost for words. To do this sometimes makes me feel like we are beneath even animals where they rely on instincts and sheer will to survive and thrive, and here we are, doing these things.

One sees Feng Shui remedy, I see the paper I used to fold paper bins I spit my prawn shells in. One sees hope for the future, I see the gates of a mental hospital.

My point is this: If, at the end of the day, an item and what it symbolises can mean different things to different people, then what is the true symbol to use here? Because if to Practitioner A, the above means remedy and good luck, and to Practitioner B it’s prawn shell paper – which and whose symbolism stands true? Which is objective? And which represents the universe’s laws?

No human being gets to decide these things, which also means no practitioner gets to decide these things unless the practitioner thinks he or she is some deity descended upon Earth to save us.

Assuming a position that we get to determine these things, to me, is sacrilege, and a form of spiritual narcissism. We interpret the laws the best we can, but people unknowingly commit the sacrilegious act of deciding that these laws are for themselves. The Chinese believe in Heaven’s Will, and like other schools of astrology, things happen to us because the universe deems it so. However, we are at the stage where people just go, “F*** it. I’m above Heavens and the universe, and I define the laws however I want.”

All this is not to say that symbolism doesn’t matter. It does because symbols are a reflection of our thought and culture after all, but please remember these things change. They are not permanent, nor do they have intrinsic existence. Symbols being a reflection of our thoughts and culture has nothing to do with the proposition that Feng Shui items, or pieces of paper and floormats for that matter, can have some life-altering effect on you.

Has anyone also bothered to ask what you, as a person, symbolise and stand for? Are you not above inanimate objects? Do you not ‘give off’ energy?

Where I Suspect The Idiocy Comes From

I do have my thoughts on why the practice I spoke of above exists. I try not to look at why idiocy manifests because it’s bad enough that it even exists, but for the sake of the conversation, let’s explore where the idiocy comes from.

The irony is that the idiocy comes from the practice of divination or interpreting signs which are meant to guide us – not insult our existence. These are signs from the universe or Heavens, mind you. We call it 占卜 in Chinese, which is equivalent to the word “divination” where you interpret signs and it’s supposed to tell you some hidden message. Most Asians would have done it, but in such a form:

Going to a temple to get one of these sticks is an act of divination and seeking an answer, and our way of connecting with the divine and hoping it will tell us what is our place and what we should do. There are similar techniques in Chinese metaphysics that achieve the same purpose without the need to go to a temple. Qi Men Dun Jia is one of them.

The iconic Chinese classic that uses symbols and natural phenomena to do divinations is this technique called 《梅花易数》written by someone called 邵雍。 The gist of this is to observe any form of phenomena and find a hidden meaning behind them, or what we call 物数占法。 It can be objects, numbers, or people.

Here’s a snippet:

When this technique is wielded correctly, it can open up a whole new way of looking at the world and it will help you appreciate how simple laws have emergent laws that give birth to the complexity of the world. When wielded incorrectly, you get the image above and this blog post.

This technique is basically observing nature’s laws in their simplest and most basic form, and observing natural geometry because numbers are often involved. This is why you see some services out there analysing your mobile number. I’ve said in one of my recent blog posts before that numbers like 55 and 50 hold a special meaning in Chinese metaphysics, and there’s a reason for it.

We always talk about 象 and 数 when forecasting using divination, and 数 here refers to quantifying things. As for 象, please read my post with the Shiba Inu image.

I’ve applied the above technique a few times but only for friends who approach me for more relatively trivial matters like checking on a car plate number or whatnot. Yes, I do such things for friends but I don’t open it as a service because it’s going to end up attracting the wrong crowd. And if you’re worried about your car plate number being bad, I suggest you be worried about your Identity Card number first because if you’re unlucky enough to have a bad car plate number, you probably have a bad Identity Card number too, and good luck changing that.

Numerology exists because reality is arguably an expression of numbers too. I mentioned before that the 8 Trigrams have numbers associated with them, and these numbers aren’t arbitrary and have a meaning behind them.

So there you have it, such techniques exist and most people who get in touch with Chinese metaphysics would have read about such techniques at some point. I also believe this is where the whole “I put this symbol here and it shall manifest something” idiocy comes from. It’s just that people are artificially manufacturing these signs and then claiming that it is a sign from Heavens.

Now, therein lies a few important points:

  • Firstly, and this is just a personal belief of mine, when such techniques are applied and it is accessible to someone, one should consider it a fated event because you, at that point, are benefitting from this technique. In the grand scheme of things, this event was meant for you to gain some insights. This is why divinations, especially in the past, are considered sacred and not to be taken likely. As I’ve said before, you don’t go to a temple to cast a divination lot while slurping on a bowl of beef noodles. This is also why sincerity matters when doing divination because if it doesn’t even matter to you, you’re not going to get a response and it might even backfire.
  • The reverse is also true, which is that if you are meant to be screwed over by someone who seemingly knows how to apply this technique but doesn’t, you will be cosmically screwed. This logic is no different from why if you have a challenging chart, you will likely end up with a spouse with an equally challenging chart that paints a congruent story. It applies to everyone you meet, which is why I say Category 1 chart-holders will not end up being near Category 4 chart-holders, and Category 4 chart-holders can only dream of being with someone with a high-quality chart. This is irrefutable, natural lawo.
  • Now, whether or not a divination being done for you is a fated event or not, and a real message from the Heavens is something absolutely no human being can declare.

This doesn’t mean it cannot be done because divination is what it is. A human needs to interpret it, but it is not something just anyone can do.

There is a very horrible thing being done in the industry right now, which is that some practitioners/’practitioners’ will shove reckless ‘divinations’ down your throat, whereby everything that arouses their human sensory systems is suddenly a divine message from the Heavens that is meant for you, going through them as a medium.

Oh, you’re not wearing glasses today, your mind must be as clouded as your vision.

Oh, your front door has a doormat is of a Shibu Inu design and there is also a door stopper, your house lacks ‘qi’ because there are two “Stop!” symbols there (true story by the way and hence the Shiba Inu blog post).

Oh, you are so unwilling to share your details, your house feng shui must be bad and it doesn’t get enough sunlight.

Oh, you are wearing red today, you must be on your period.

Oh, your breathing seems shallow, you must be suffering from inflamed haemorrhoids.

I know the above are ridiculous, far-fetched examples, but some of them are actual real scenarios. They take one unrelated matter or phenomenon, spin it in their heads, and out comes a forecast about your life. Why not let’s take a step back and let me do it?

Can you imagine if I go to a client and went, “I really had a really bad s*** today, you must be a Category 4 client?” Why? Am I wrong to use my divine dumps for divination? If another ‘practitioner’ can do it, I don’t see why I can’t. Why do someone else’s sensory system and connection to the divine trump mine?

If I were to be the third person, seeing another practitioner doing this to someone else in front of me, I am witnessing a divine moment there too – an idiot metaphorically s***ing from his/her mouth.

My point is this: A divination is sacred. When it is done, it is a fated event. But when you make it about yourself and you get a kick out of saying these things and assume you have an uncanny ability to receive divine messages like you are Heaven’s special child – you are a disgusting human being.

Not everything is a divine message to you, you f***ing retard. You are not special – and until the day an immortal walks this Earth, no one is.

No practitioner should ever come to you and declare and behave along the lines of, “I am your great benefactor here who has come to send you a message!”. I want to remind everyone that I am an encyclopedia of stories. I’m sure people feed other ‘practitioners’ stories about me – the reverse is also true.

This screenshot was sent to me back in 2021 by a client who engaged someone else for a BaZi reading, and it has been sitting in my inbox for a while now and this is a good time to bring it up. This isn’t the same person who proposed coloured papers and floor mats as feng shui remedies:

Surprise, surprise! I’m not the only one who scolds clients and turns people away.

What I have an issue with is the self-declaration of “a great benefactor”.

I know what some people are thinking, “Sean, don’t you feel the same way about yourself too?”. I tell you hand to heart and if I am lying about this, I’ll die a horrible death by this year – I have never felt this way about my role. I have rules and protocols because I have human limits and I need to function effectively, but I am no one’s benefactor. If you view me as one, I am extremely honoured but I will never self-declare myself as one.

If anything, I am a blunt, vulgar, old-souled a**hole who cannot stand stupidity for the life of me, and I am here to do a good job and not insult our ancestors. I am not here to be popular and politically correct. And as I’ve said, if I make this about myself and my ego, I am doomed. I remind myself of this every day, especially when I am writing posts like these because if I do not mean what I say and I write such things, I am nothing but a hypocrite that deserves a terrible fate. I have been through ENOUGH in my life to know making this about myself is not the path to head down.

I think it’s fair to say that if anyone goes into any profession and makes it all about him/herself, it’s not going to end well, which is why you get all the stories you see on my Instagram.

The Pitfalls Of Being A Practitioner

Everyone knows I am very open about my thoughts and I make it a point to be transparent, to the point where I say things like if I were to give lessons, it’s a cash grab and it’s not to turn you into a practitioner. There’s a reason why I’m like that: I respect everyone’s ability to discern what’s real and what’s not, so I might as well just be real with everyone. I’m not going to be coy with anyone just so I can earn a few more dollars. I’m a practitioner – not a male-whore.

Do you know how business schools always say they’ll want to turn you into a world-changer or business leader? Hello? Bankrupt, divorced, in jail, sitting at your desk and hating your job… Yes, that’s the reality of some, not all, business school graduates. I will have more respect for business schools if they just said “We will make you jizz at Excel and Powerpoint.”.

Alas, the world doesn’t exist in a state of eternal irreverence, I just hate it when things get a bit too pretentious.

I’ve spoken about this before in many of my reflective posts, which is that being a practitioner has a lot of pitfalls. Any job has pitfalls. The Chinese metaphysics field is no different from other jobs or roles with the colourful, flashy individuals you see. That insurance agent who absolutely has to pose with his/her new sports car because if they don’t, it’s as though their balls or tits will spontaneously combust? Or that real estate agent who likes real estate so much that they can almost make love to a brick?

No offence to the people in those industries. I’m just giving examples, and my point is, there are funny individuals in every industry. You really just want your insurance agent to do their paperwork, and I rather trust an agent with ethics who still pulls a rickshaw rather than one that has to try to jerk off his/her car’s exhaust pipe (unless it’s an electric vehicle, of course).

Let’s not talk about the monetary aspect of my industry because it’s possible to earn in any industry and be snobbish about it. One of the biggest pitfalls in my industry is spiritual narcissism, and basically having an ego. It’s not difficult to understand why this might be so because Chinese metaphysics and astrology in general are not a skill or language most people can understand, and if this knowledge is wielded correctly, you’ll have a very distinct advantage in a lot of things.

The esotericism of this field and the power disparity between the practitioner and client puts clients seeking help at the mercy of practitioners. The default state of things is that the practitioner is in a position of power and influence over the person seeking help. People usually come at their most vulnerable in search of answers, and some practitioners/’practitioners’ will take advantage of that, which is why feng shui item selling can even be made into a business because people think they can buy hope and a better future when these are things you cannot simply just buy.

It’s also why people are driven to the point where thinking that pasting paper on your kitchen appliance is going have some form of impact on your life.

I hope the fact that I can talk so openly about this makes everyone realise I am profoundly aware and cognizant that I am also fallible and susceptible to these pitfalls. Sometimes, I do fall, and I remind myself to come back.

Spiritual narcissism is very why you get really outrageous criminal cases of spiritual guru and their followers being victims. Just Google “spiritual guru jailed” and you will get tons of articles not just from Singapore, but all over the world, on spiritual gurus who have done vile things.

Let me be motherf***ing clear on one thing: I am not your motherf***ing “bro”, and I am definitely not your fatherf***ing guru. The best teacher you will ever have is your own mind, your experience, and your own relationship with whatever higher power you believe in. Because if there’s an important lesson I learned in my life, it’s that if I were to have blindly followed religious or spiritual dogma or listened to someone who thinks he or she knows me better than I know myself, I would have been dead by now.

Two people can go through the same thing but come out of it differently. The “thing” is not the teacher – you are, and you are always your own best teacher. I can share my experiences with you as a peer, but that’s it.

This is not to say that religion, rules, and structure are not important. They are and they always will be, but it still needs to be executed correctly like the Yin and Yang balance of all things. Filial piety is important, but please also look at the kind of parents you are being filial to. Spiritual development is important, but at least start with not sexually abusing teenage boys for Heaven’s sake.

There can be an exchange of ideas, opinions, and perspectives. But there is nothing I can teach other than to say to learn to think for yourself and to not be stupid in my own Saturn-esque, Sean-esque way.

The Purpose Of Astrology

I’ve mentioned in passing that I bought a lot of books recently on Hellenistic/Western and Vedic astrology – some physical ones and some e-books.

I wish to make one thing clear, which is that I do not intend to position myself as a practitioner of other forms of astrology but I will supplement my readings behind the scenes as I deem fit. Trying to be proficient in one technique is hard enough, and I really need to focus. Everyone can take comfort in the fact that all forms of astrology will lead to the same conclusion, so there’s no need to worry about which technique is better. The way it conveys the message is different, and yes, certain forms of astrology have strengths over others, but they won’t contradict.

Reading the books written by other English-speaking authors was great. The books were written by people from different eras, and because they were published books, their tonality is, of course, a lot more positive and uplifting, and it touches on a lot of the spiritual aspect of things, which is something that I’ve only recently begun to do.

I’ve learned a lot from reading these books on other forms of astrology, and I think one of my favourite quotes is this:

The astrologer’s purpose is not fortune-telling or entertainment; it is to show people how to live effectively.

– Fish, Richard; Kurczak, W.. The Art and Science of Vedic Astrology

The author couldn’t put it any better. Notice the wise use of words, especially “live effectively”. I’ve said this, but Chinese metaphysics and astrology are not about getting your desires fulfilled. It is sometimes about accepting things, letting go, and becoming self-aware. It is not to ‘hack’ life with Feng Shui and find some shortcut because life will never be like that.

There are some other quotes which I’d like to share with everyone and it is from the same book I got the above quote from:

“When responsibility has been accepted, we can alter the influences within the birth chart and experience the higher manifestation of the planetary energies. Once the higher manifestations have been actualized, we can move beyond even that and attune with the source of the planetary energies and the source of all creation.”

“Through yoga meditation, we can learn to no longer identify with our habits, feelings, memories, bodies, relationships or thoughts. Since most people are identified with these conditions, they are seldom inclined to make life changes because altering these aspects that they identify with would threaten their false sense of self. By meditation, attention is turned away from these outward manifestations and internalized to directly experience the pure eternal essence of being that is beyond identification with transient experiences.”

The TLDR summary of this post is this:

Astrology exists to help you grow, evolve, and find yourself. When the practitioner makes it about him or herself, we have a problem.

I’m sorry that although I might be someone who is good at the technicals, I’m sometimes not always the most uplifting of people. I know myself very well, and I have a chart of a tough teacher because of the stars and planet I was born under. Thank Heavens, I also have a nurturing side that I need not virtue signal and advertise on my blog. Thank you Saturn and Jupiter.

Looking At Someone’s Soul; Clinging To An Identity

This topic is going to feel a bit fluffy because it will feel like a bit of new-age spiritualism, but it actually isn’t new-age per se because whatever is discussed here has always been a part of astrology.

When you look at someone’s birth chart, it’s akin to looking at their soul, and this really goes beyond your MBTIs and DISC personality tests.

You may have the biology of your parents, but your soul will always be uniquely yours.

I sometimes think of the “real self” as someone’s soul, and when I put my thoughts down in writing, I ask myself if is it my “real self” or soul doing the talking/writing, or is it my ego.

One of the biggest things I learned in my life was not to cling to an identity, and even though I am a practitioner today, I tell myself not to cling to the identity of it. I can be proud of it, but it cannot control me – I have to be the one controlling it and putting it to good use, like how I’ve done so for the other identities I’ve established for myself as I progress through different stages of life.

I mentioned this book called the “Power of Now” in one of my earliest blog posts which talks about these topics. It feels like extreme new-age spirituality but it helped me a lot, and one of the things it made me realise during my younger days was that I was clinging to my identity as a victim of domestic abuse.

We cling on to these identities not because we want to, but because there is a deep need for this pain and trauma to be heard and understood by others so that it is not so painful to go through it by yourself, but the thing is that it is precisely this clinging that is preventing us from moving forward and healing.

You were an abused child? You had a failed marriage? You were cheated on? You were always made fun of for being the slower one? I know, and I’m sorry that you had to go through it. We all go through it. But there comes a time to let go and move on, and find yourself, so to speak – because our time here is limited.

Who am I, or what am I, is something always at the back of my head? I know. I am an a**shole, but I want to be a good and glorious a**hole with sass but no drip because a “dripping a**hole” sounds almost illegal. I have absolutely no interest in virtue signalling. No one gets to decide if I’m virtuous or not other than Heavens, and it is not something I need to broadcast.

Everyone has a soul that’s yearning to express itself, and it is beautiful when it a soul can freely express itself. I guess it’s why some of you like to read what I put down because my blog is really the purest expression of my soul because there is no filter, and it is me engaging with my own thoughts as I put them down in writing.

I can assure you, even if I weren’t a practitioner today, I will still be the same because that is the way I am and that is my soul, and I hope to do something good with it. I will still find something I can be proud of doing.

I can be a chicken-rice seller and be blogging about why the chickens from other stores have no literal drip, while people come to eat my drumsticks in a bathing suit.

No one’s soul is perfectly evolved, and it is like what I always say about the universe and elements in one’s chart will never be balanced, but it is in a process of imbalance seeking balance. Western astrology and Chinese astrology, in my opinion, express this differently. Chinese metaphysics has the Five Elements and their Yin-Yang versions, and the 5 Commons (五常) that represent Chinese Confucian virtues. Western/Hellenistic and Vedic astrology, on the other hand, has its planets and their virtues.

Some of us need a healthy sense of “self”, which the Sun symbolises; some of us need to get in touch with our emotions, which the moon symbolises; some of us need courage, which Mars symbolises; some of us need wisdom, which Jupiter symbolises; some of us need restraint and order, which Saturn symbolises; some of us need intelligence, which Mercury symbolises; some of us need love and know how to love, which Venus symbolises.

No one has a perfectly placed astrological chart, and no one has a perfectly balanced BaZi chart. In that process of finding this balance is finding our souls and ourselves, and hopefully, it is a good, beautiful soul.

We sometimes feel that people are a bit ‘off’ because some of them really don’t have good souls, but most of the time, it’s because we know it’s not their real self, and that it comes from a different place – wherever it might be. It’s like how you see that annoying insurance agent whose Instagram is literally all selfies of him/herself when I really just want this person to tell me how much money I’ll get when I die. Are you a bloody stock image company? Or an insurance agent? People like that don’t know how to value themselves beyond how they look and how much they earn.

Some souls, unfortunately, are so unevolved that they might never be able to find themselves this lifetime, which is why I guess reincarnating into a cockroach or pig exists although pigs sometimes arguably have more value than some humans because they can be turned into a xiao long bao. Everyone knows I call them Category 4 chart-holders where the natal chart and Elemental Phases are so weak that asking them to grow and evolve is like asking them to perish.

Finding your soul and letting go of an unhealthy identity that you are clinging to is not something that can be done within a day, week, or even a year. It took me several years to even come close to appreciating what this means.

There is no need to complicate spirituality and make it sounds so inaccessible, and that only selected individuals can understand it. If you believe in astrology and the forces behind it, in some sense, that’s already being spiritual, but most people get stuck on the surface level and don’t go deeper, and then comes one narcissistic guru to take advantage of everyone.

Go deeper because why not? You’re your own best teacher.

– Sean

Latest Posts


Musings As An Astrologer Dad

Musings As An Astrologer Dad

I can't tell you how happy and fulfilled I am right now. Everyone, meet Lucian. Lucian stems from the word “light” in Latin, and I kid you not, I fell in love with this name through a video game. He represents the Sun, and if and when I have a daughter, I’ll name her...

Thinking Of Getting A Reading?


Fill up this form to proceed with a reading: BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Qi Men Dun Jia Consultation

If you're undecided, the FAQs might help: Frequently Asked Questions

Please follow my Instagram page for more updates, stories, and case studies: masterSeanChan's Instagram

Otherwise, feel free to enter your email to stay in touch with the latest stories & developments!

You have Successfully Subscribed!