The chapter under Elite Forces talk about selecting only the best for your vanguard. The goal is to match your opponent one-for-one and take down their team.

Liu BoWen’s 100 Tactics states: ‘Whenever engaging in combat with an enemy, you must select courageous generals and fierce troops, forming them into an advance front. This will strengthen their resolve and supress the enemy.’

There is a similar chapter in the Art of War: ‘An army that lacks a properly selected vanguard is termed ‘routed’.’

Of course, as their employer, you would know your staff’s strengths well. But a Qi Men Dun Jia chart can offer a way to validate your choice. This is a way to assess, that given a particular situation, whom would be the most suitable person to lead your vanguard.

In Qi Men Warcraft, the Three Nobles – Yi (乙), Bing (丙), and Ding (丁) – represent the three types of skillsets required in warfare:

* Yi (乙) is the Strategist

* Bing (丙) represents your power base, your Network and Allies

* Ding (丁) represents your Manager and Executive

In any given situation, the qualities for each of the above, is assessed by examining the  various components in the residing palace.

In the hypothetical example given below, the Manager (represented by Ding) would be the better choice. The Strategist (represented by the Yi) is sitting with the Fear Door, not a very good sign while the Allies (represented by the Bing), is hidden behind the Delusion Door.

Sample Qimen Chart To Determine Quality Of Your Elite Forces

Unless you happen to be a student of Qi Men Dun Jia, deciphering a chart like this would probably be difficult. For that reason, if I can help you in any way to unravel the mysteries of a Qi Men chart, please feel free to drop me a line here.

The sample chart I have given was taken from a free resource by Dato’ Joey Yap. You can find the evolving hour charts for free here. Dato’ Joey has made it a little easier for unexperienced users to unscramble a Qi Men chart by colour-coding his version. Red is good, and black is… not so good.

The choice, however, depends very much on the outcome that you want. All’s fair in business and war. If your strategy depends on some wily, cunning or even a little bit under-handed tactics, then choosing a solution palace with black components may not be such a bad idea after all. The chart is neutral. It’s best use is dependent on the person taking action.

Permission Statement: The Qi Men Dun Jia Chart referred in this web article is copyrighted material belonging to, and is used with permission from Dato Joey Yap and Joey Yap Research Group Sdn. Bhd. For more information on services and courses offered by Dato Joey Yap and the Joey Yap Research Group Sdn. Bhd., please visit



What would you do if you held the legendary Excalibur in your hands? How would you use it? With a Geng Wu (庚午) in your Bazi Chart, that’s exactly the gift given to you by the universe.

Seen as metal forged by fire, the Geng Wu is often pictured as a sharp and shiny sword, gleaming with latent power and potency.

With this image comes four key descriptions for the Geng Wu pillar – Authority, Execution, Loyalty and the gift of Foresight.

Maximizing The Geng Wu Day Master: Loyalty Begets Loyalty

The Geng Wu pillar endows you with a natural ability to pick up new skills without appearing to need much formal training. With a smorgasbord of skills to work with, you will need to activate that famed self-discipline to reach your full potential.

This naturally intimidating intellect can come across as being direct and domineering. But people who manage to get past the sharp exterior will find a loyal individual with unwavering idealism.

The Geng Wu Day Master is, above all things, a deeply loyal and righteous person with the unique ability to keep the ego at bay. Decisions are always made based on what’s right instead of what’s expedient or appealing to your self-image.

This is a trait best appreciated by those who truly understand the altruistic nature of your decisions. With that realization, they will return your loyalty with theirs. Sometimes, all we need are a thousand true followers.

 Where Is The Geng Wu?

The Benefits Of Being An Authoritative Leader (Geng Wu in the Year Pillar)

Geng Wu in the Year Pillar will mean that your public will view you as someone hardworking and ambitious. This trait, along with your interest in a wide variety of subjects and activities, will lend you an air of authority. The first impression you give is of someone who doesn’t think too much about being liked.

In recent years, there has been increasing resistance towards authoritarian styles of leadership. But there are some pros. Authoritative leaders are best at providing clarity towards a shared mission, motivating their followers by showing how their contributions come together in the final realization of the goal.

The Competent Executioner At Work (Geng Wu in the Month Pillar)

Geng Wu in the Month Pillar is someone with a no-nonsense approach to work and a direct communication style. This is someone who will take their responsibilities seriously

Direct in communication, this is someone who will take their responsibilities seriously. Creativity will not be your strong suit. Instead, you have a marked preference for the tried and tested route. People with this configuration in the Month Pillar are best at executing plans, able to structure resources in the most efficient and effective manner in pursuit of your business goals.

When energized, this is a pillar that has the drive to constantly improve and overcome any obstacle. The only drawback is an obstinate refusal to accept help. This stems from a desire to accomplish goals on your own and a belief that asking for help is a sign of weakness or heaven forbid, an admission of incompetence. Learning a little give and take will do wonders to smoothen your journey.

The Gift Of Foresight (Geng Wu in the Hour Pillar)

Geng Wu in the Hour Pillar can manifest as foresight, the ‘sixth sense’ for what’s coming. With this in the hour, you must learn to guard against negative thoughts, needless worry and anxiety. Learn to take satisfaction from the present instead of living too much in the future.  

As always, a final caveat. Without the ability to see the full chart, I must stress that the suggestions in this article are broad recommendations based on a single pillar. To pinpoint specific issues or to co-create solutions tailor-made for you, please feel free to drop me a line.

Want to find out if you have the Geng Wu pillar somewhere in your chart? Plot your Bazi Chart with this free resource (registration required)


Grappling with the need for staff training is an age-old problem that continues to plague both ancient generals and modern-day managers alike. As Liu BoWen says in his 100 Unorthodox Tactics, “Whenever the army is to be mobilized, the soldiers must first be instructed in combat.” As the war progresses and businesses change, one’s ‘soldiers’ cannot stay in stasis.

Moulding a group of people to a common understanding, values and predictable behaviour can only be accomplished through education. Confusius’s Analects described this best: “It is not in forming a battle array that is difficult, it is reaching the point that men can be ordered into formation that is hard. It is not attaining the ability to order them into formation that is difficult, it is reaching the point of being able to employ them that is hard. It is not knowing what to do that is difficult, it is putting it into effect that is hard.”

But among the smorgasbord of training programmes available, which one should you prioritize? Of course, the primary answer depends on your own business direction. However, if completely clueless, a Qi Men Dun Jia chart can provide you with a clue or two.

Using a Qimen chart to determine staff training

As always, the Hour Palace represents your staff (ie, a group of people). In this sample chart, the staff palace is located in the West (indicated by the number 1).

To determine training, we look at the palace that produces the staff palace. In the case of this example, that would be the South West palace (indicated by the number 2).

Finally, the Door and Star in the solution palace (2) provide the indication of the topic or field of study. In this example, we see the Hero Star and the Death Door. In the modern age, the Hero Star could represent Social Media Management, indicating that your staff needs to be trained in this field, while the Death Door indicates coaching, training or counselling skills would also be helpful.

If you are ready to take your business to the next level and you are keen to prepare your staff for the exciting journey ahead, drop me a line here.

Permission Statement: The Qi Men Dun Jia Chart referred in this web article is copyrighted material belonging to, and is used with permission from Dato Joey Yap and Joey Yap Research Group Sdn. Bhd. For more information on services and courses offered by Dato Joey Yap and the Joey Yap Research Group Sdn. Bhd., please visit


The Ji Si (己巳) pillar can be imagined as a slab of jade that is formed from the slow movement of the earth. Like the jade that came into being through high temperature and pressure, a Ji Si individual is one who understands their true self-worth in the face of life’s trials and tribulations.

This self-understanding endows the Ji Si pillar with a quality of being pressure-proof, the ability to reject society’s pressure to conform. This brings about a rare independence of mind and spirit that can be in turn a boon, or a bane.

But at, we’re all about the boon. So let’s get started.

Maximizing The Ji Si Day Master: The Benefits Of Being A Late Bloomer

If you are a Ji Si Day Master, you may very well be a late bloomer. And why not? With so much to discover within you, some talents are worth waiting for.

The society we live in today has put too much premium on early achievements. Lest we forget the benefits of being a late-bloomer, here’s a list:

  1. You have an empathy and connection for discovering underdogs. Having gone through the process yourself, you can sense when something great is hiding under all that awkwardness.
  2. You experience more gratitude when you reach milestones. And you are less likely to lose that which you have earned as you will never take anything for granted.
  3. You’re never worried about the Joneses. Keeping up with the Joneses (or in today’s world, the Kardashians) has never brought anyone any benefits apart from more pressure and grief. You know that for a fact. And you often wish that others would too. 

Peer pressure aside, a Ji Si Day Master is someone who is strong, perseverant and highly intelligent. You have a thirst for knowledge and a charismatic personality which translates to potential power in all your endeavours.

By all means, nurture this deep quest for knowledge, as it is the key ingredient in the development of all your talents and vital to your overall success. For the Ji Si Day Master, spicing up your daily routine with variety and adventure can make your goals and objectives more easily attainable.

Where Is The Ji Si?

Making Enigmatic Work For You (Ji Si in the Year Pillar): Ji Si in the Year Pillar lends you an enigmatic and cool aura that is mysterious, confounding and inscrutable. Contrary to the current obsession of being open and instantly likable, people are actually attracted to those who seem mysterious. They pay attention when you create an atmosphere of anticipation, if nothing else, just to see what you do next. This persona can be used to deceive, enthral and influence.

If I haven’t convinced you yet, let’s talk about this a little more.

An enigmatic social persona can make you appear brilliant and profound. Like you have your act together (even though, like the rest of us, you don’t really). With that, you gain an upper hand when you force others to try and figure you out. Inscrutability draws attention.

With a Ji Si in your Year Pillar, cloaking yourself with an aura of enigma is so simple. Just do something periodically that doesn’t jive with the public’s perception of you. This will be enough to keep them on edge and focused on you. With the aid of the Ji Si pillar, it will be easy to pull off. For the rest of us? Maybe not so.

Independence At Work (Ji Si in the Month Pillar): The pressure-proof characteristics of the Ji Si pillar can also be translated as a strong and independent spirit. This pillar requires a lot of authority and autonomy to perform at its best.

Teamwork is acceptable, so long as it doesn’t stifle your modus operandi. To keep this spirit of independence alive, you will need to activate the Ji Si’s love of knowledge by constantly learning something new and staying ahead of industry trends.

If teamwork is just not your thing, then be sure to position yourself as someone with practical solutions whom people turn to in times of crisis.

Self-Directed Control Freak (Ji Si in the Hour Pillar): The Ji Si pillar can be a bit of a control freak. I agree, manifesting it externally may not be a good thing as you end up being branded as someone domineering and dominating. But there are some areas in your own life and attitudes that can benefit from a degree of control, such as:

  1. Gain control over your stress level to stay calm and level through the biggest crisis.
  2. Take control of how you spend your precious time
  3. Structure the most efficient path through your priorities by taking control of your actions
  4. Learn to turn your knowledge into solid decision-making processes
  5. Gain mastery over your thoughts. This is the one point that most people will find most challenging. The moment when you master your own thoughts is when you can grow beyond any barriers.

And Finally…

As always, a final caveat. Without the ability to see the full chart, I must stress that the suggestions in this article are broad recommendations based on a single pillar. To pinpoint specific issues or to co-create solutions tailor-made for you, please feel free to drop me a line.

Want to find out if you have the Ji Si pillar somewhere in your chart? Plot your Bazi Chart with this free resource (registration required)


I’ve always viewed coaching and Bazi consults as flip sides of the same coin. At the end of the day, we just want to shift the person from a disempowering mindset to an empowered frame. Would you agree?

When I was studying for my Associate certification with the Malaysian Academy of Corporate Coaches, one of the key things we were taught to identify quickly is the current mind frame of the person sitting in front of us.

But here’s the problem that is commonly encountered among coaches and Bazi consultants alike. Sometimes, people just plain don’t know what they want. Or they find it hard to articulate their current condition. ‘No, it’s not this. Maybe it’s that. I don’t know.’

While sitting through a long discussion over disempowering frames, it suddenly struck me that Bazi can be the shortcut to identify some of the more common frames, even as the conversation meanders from one sub-topic to another.

Of the eight disempowering frames, here are the three I encounter most frequently and the possible indications from a Bazi perspective:

“I… I… I…” (Significance == Friend Star Overly Strong)

The problems brought on by a Significant Mental Frame exactly matches that of a Friend Star that had become overly strong. The person becomes the centre of his/her own world. Everything is about him/her. Everyone else exists to serve him/her. Even the smallest obstacles or issue becomes a huge personal affront. When I see a Friend Star that has become overly strong, I know I will have a significant mindset on my hands.

“I’m not ready…” (Delay = Missing 7K Star Or Resource Is Overly Strong)

When the Resource elements are too strong in a Bazi Chart, there is a distinct possibility that the person feels that he/she is never ready. This mental frame could also be indicated by a missing 7 Killings star, which translates to a lack of impetus to action.

“It’s Not My Fault…” (Blame == Harm Relationships In The Bazi Chart)

Blame is a defense mechanism. It helps the person preserve their sense of self-esteem by avoiding awareness of their own flaws or failings. These days, we call it projection, denial or displacement… but essentially, it’s playing the blame game.

A blame mindset exactly describes a Harm Relationship in the person’s Bazi Chart. As in coaching, this problem is fixed through awareness and ownership.

If you feel ready to take action and shift to a more positive frame of mind, don’t hesitate to drop me a note.

Permission Statement: The Bazi terminologies referred in this web article are copyrighted material belonging to, and is used with permission from Dato Joey Yap and Joey Yap Research Group Sdn. Bhd. For more information on services and courses offered by Dato Joey Yap and the Joey Yap Research Group Sdn. Bhd., please visit

Photo by Mimi Thian on Unsplash


“When superiors esteem trust and employ the lower ranks with sincerity, they will exhaust their emotions without any doubts and never fail to be victorious in battle.”

Enamoured by the glamour and glitz of the present social media marketing trend, many of us may forget one important factor – trust.

Trust plays a pivotal role in how our society function. When there is trust between the people and their government, the Covid-19 situation is better controlled; teams function better to reach a shared goal; a service provider can better provide value for their clients; and business partners find their actions aligned.

However, since the chapter in Liu BoWen’s 100 Unorthodox Tactics clearly emphasized trust between team members, here is an easy way to determine trust between yourself as a middle manager with your subordinates and your immediate superior using a Qi Men Dun Jia chart.

In all cases where a team’s condition is being examined:

  1. The Day Stem represents the asker
  2. The Hour Stem represents the subordinates
  3. The Month Stem represents the immediate superior
Sample Qimen chart

In this example, the Hour Palace (2) produces the Day Palace (1), indicating that there is already trust between the asker and the subordinates. However, the Day Stem (1) is being countered by the Month Palace (3), suggesting that the asker does not really have the trust of his/her immediate superior.

Therefore, the solution to gaining the trust from the immediate superior lies in the North Palace, coincidentally where the Hour stem resides. The formation within the North Palace suggests a need for better communications to be in place as well as the need to resolve petty internal squabbles. Once resolved, trust can be established through consistency, credibility and sincerity.

Do you think office politics is holding you back? Get in touch to gain some clarity.

Permission Statement: The Qi Men Dun Jia Chart referred in this web article is copyrighted material belonging to, and is used with permission from Dato Joey Yap and Joey Yap Research Group Sdn. Bhd. For more information on services and courses offered by Dato Joey Yap and the Joey Yap Research Group Sdn. Bhd., please visit


If all the world’s a stage, as William Shakespeare wrote in As You Like It, and all the men and women merely players, then the Wu Chen (戊辰) pillar must be the Thespian.

Imagined as an emerald green hill made lush by the trickle of a babbling brook, the Wu Chen calls to mind a peaceful pastoral scene that carries an aura of nobility and aristocracy.

Unlike the first four posts in this series (Jia Zi, Yi Chou, Bing Yin and Ding Mao) where the main characteristics of the pillar is adapted to different needs, I will employ a different approach this time, by highlight different facets of the Wu Chen depending on its location in the Bazi Chart.

Maximizing the Wu Chen Day Master: Think Class, Not Crass

Granted, a thespian is merely another name for an actor, but this description invokes a feeling of someone who is more intellectual, more classy. Think melodious and captivating voice, poise, gracefulness and graciousness. In a world where, increasingly, crassness is expected, accepted and almost de rigueur,  a person with thespian-like attributes would surely stand out.

The Wu Chen Day Master is a visionary who is extremely sensitive, intuitive and creative. Gifted with strong communication skills, the most important thing for a Wu Chen Day Master is to ensure that you are equipped with quality education. This will result in an individual who is both idealistic and observant, articulate and methodical.

There is a certain dichotomy to your nature, especially where your friends are concerned. While sociable, you will find there are times when you just want to be left alone. Extremely independent by nature, you are driven by a compulsion for constant evolution. The Wu Chen pillar carries tremendous potential, though sometimes you may not be able to recognize your own capacity. People who know you well could often be puzzled by your deep-seated insecurities, your sensitivity to critique, especially given the many talents that you have.

Although you retain much of the Wu Earth’s attributes of calmness and stability, the Wu Chen is the most flexible among the Wu Earth Day Masters. Like the rolling hills you represent, you have a gentle and persuasive manner that will be a boon when it comes to dealing with different types of people.

 Where Is The Wu Chen?

Multiple Social Circles (Wu Chen in the Year Pillar): Outwardly, you project a charming and graceful manner that makes it easy for you to move between different social circles. This is the well-rounded nature of the Wu Chen coming to the fore. Being aware of this trait, and making an effort to live up to this, will broaden your horizons beyond the immediate.

Thespian-like Skills At Work (Wu Chen in the Month Pillar): With Wu Chen in the Month Pillar, always seek to explore different fields or industries in order to broaden your understanding and perspective of the world.

The thespian-like skills that graces the Wu Chen pillar is easily transferrable between different industries. While others may need to learn the art of active listening, this skill comes easily to the Wu Chen. The act of active listening will result in a natural curiosity and empathy towards others, eventually making you a better deal closer. This is because you truly understand what your clients, customers or maybe even just employers need. 

A Questing Mind (Wu Chen in the Hour Pillar): For all the steadiness of the Wu Earth Day Masters, the Wu Chen is curiously restless. Wu Chen in the Hour Pillar represents a questing mind. You find yourself perplexed by people who willingly limit themselves. Be sure to share your knowledge and skills if you want to truly maximize this pillar. That is where your satisfaction lies. 

As always, a final caveat. Without the ability to see the full chart, I must stress that the suggestions in this article are broad recommendations based on a single pillar. To pinpoint specific issues or to co-create solutions tailor-made for you, please feel free to drop me a line.

Want to find out if you have the Wu Chen pillar somewhere in your chart? Plot your Bazi Chart with this free resource (registration required)

Photo by Raymond Ancog on Unsplash


“Whenever planning to conduct a major military expedition, you should first employ spies to determine the enemy’s troop strength, emptiness or fullness, and movement and rest, and only thereafter mobilize the army.”

In his chapter entitled “Employing Spies”, Sun Tzu emphasized on the importance of comprehensive intelligence. He advocated that even after checking the true nature by deploying the knowledge of Qi Men Dun Jia, the information must still be verified. Here’s the quote: “Advance knowledge cannot be gained from ghosts and spirits, inferred from phenomena, or projected from the measures of Heaven, but must be gained from men for it is the knowledge of the enemy’s true situation.”

I don’t need a Qi Men chart to elaborate on the use of Spies. In today’s world where everything is out in the open, spying on the competition has never been easier. It’s literally called the Social Media.

Spend some time in your competitor’s social media sites, particularly the comments section. You will be able to quickly discern the points of customer dissatisfaction, or confusion. Spend enough time on these you will be able to pinpoint the chinks in their armour that can be exploited by the wily entrepreneur.

Photo by Bench Accounting on Unsplash


A scented candle that brings light, warmth and romance to the dark. A single candle that can light a million others. This is the Ding Mao (丁卯) pillar. The most beautiful of all the Ding Fire Day Masters, you, my friend, are the inspiration.

3 Reasons Why The Ding Mao Day Master Is An Inspiring Individual

  1. An original mind full of progressive ideas. A Ding Mao Day Master is outspoken and independent. Whether you acknowledge it or not, you have been endowed with natural linguistic skills and a gift for written and verbal communication.
  2. Where others see problems, you see possibilities. Ding Mao individuals have the natural ability to absorb and process information. This keen and highly analytical mind is a common trait among pioneers.
  3. You acknowledge the best in people. Like a candle, you are able to start new fires without diminishing your own light. The Ding Mao will often see the best in those around them, and through this belief in their worth, you inspire them to be a better version of themselves. This is a feat few can achieve. Those who see only the bad inspires no one.

In this process, you, Ding Mao, must also be aware of your own need to be inspired as well. Easily bored with repetitive or mundane tasks, given to taking on too many projects at one time, losing focus is something that you must constantly guard against.

At the same time, be mindful that your own perfectionism and incredibly high standards may lead to self-inflicted doubts and inner conflicts. While you are so good at seeing the best in people, this generosity and self-belief should also be applied to yourself. In this respect, seeking spiritual enlightenment can help to keep you grounded. If spiritual development is not your cup of tea, at the very least conduct a daily energy check to stay on the upward trajectory.

Once focused, there really is no limits to what a Ding Mao can achieve.

 Where Is The Ding Mao?

How To Create An Inspiring Social Media Strategy (Ding Mao in the Year Pillar): With Ding Mao in the Year Pillar, you are gifted with one special talent – that of a riveting storyteller. Why bother sharing the old, tired and worn-out platitudes when you have the gift of communication to convey your unique point of view?

It’s important to be authentic. I’ve watched many brands try to create inspiring social media marketing campaigns. They rarely work because it is hard to feel authenticity from a brand. The sports and music industries do this best, as they have real people and real stories to work with. For a social media campaign to be inspiring, you must put a real face to the story.

Most importantly, you must embody the change you want to see. In this aspect, being ‘other-focused’ by actively contributing to the growth of others, helping others grow and flourish, is the ultimate achievement for an inspiring social media strategy.

The Disruptor At Work (Ding Mao in the Month Pillar): Ding Mao in the Month Pillar puts you in a strong position to act as a disruptor in your business and industry. This is where your ability to think and act fast the moment you recognize an opportunity, your inner drive for success, and a much-needed disdain for knuckling down under the thumb of others, combine to put you in the driving seat for change. Harness that rebellious energy well with mindful and strategic planning, and you might just be the next celebrated unicorn in your industry.

The Inspiring Parent (Ding Mao in the Hour Pillar): I rarely write about parenting. But in this instance, with the gifts of the Ding Mao, it is hard not to draw your attention to the pillar’s potential to become an inspiring parent. Lucky are the children with parents who continue to inspire them all their lives.

The Ding Mao’s child-like wonder for new knowledge and ideas make them a great role model at home. Here, the Ding Mao’s capacity to see and acknowledge the possibility in people often puts their children on the path to success.

As always, a final caveat. Without the ability to see the full chart, I must stress that the suggestions in this article are broad recommendations based on a single pillar. To pinpoint specific issues or to co-create solutions tailor-made for you, please feel free to drop me a line.

Want to find out if you have the Ding Mao pillar somewhere in your chart? Plot your Bazi Chart with this free resource (registration required)

Photo by Paolo Nicolello on Unsplash


“If you attack the enemy just after they have formulated their strategy, it will ruin their plans and force them to submit.”

War is costly business. Imagine getting into an advertising or pricing war against your competitor. How much would that cost? In the chapter for Planning Offensives, Sun Tzu wrote in the Art of War that the highest realization of warfare is to attack plans.

So using the same example chart from the first tactic (Estimates), assuming that I am your competitor. How would I try to disrupt your plan?

If I wanted to create a head-on confrontation, I would assume the West Palace (marked by the No. 5). I would hire a high-profile Expert who has a strong and trustworthy reputation in the market, someone who has got the required knowledge. He or she will front my marketing campaign which I will tailor according to what will appeal to the market.

According to this chart, the market is currently in the South West palace (marked by the No. 4). The market currently favours the cultivation of a community (Harmony), and the best way to get their attention is through educational marketing.

By employing this tactic, I will receive the support of the market (SouthWest palace produces West). At the same time, it puts me squarely against what you are doing, creating a differentiation point.

When do I need to take action? The ripple effects of your action was felt in June (No. 3) and will reach the market place by July or August (No. 4). Therefore, the window of opportunity for me to take action is getting smaller. I must act fast, within the month if possible, to intervene before the window closes and receive the benefits from the market’s support.