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Figure 4.1 Huangdi yinfujing text from Dunjia yanyi, ch. 1; pp.13-14 [Qinding siku quanshu edition].

(6) The Eight Trigrams divide into the Eight Gates of Dun [jia].

The Eight Gates are du tt (Rejection), jing Jr (View), si fc (Death), jing If (Fright), kat M (Admission), xiu ifc (Rest), sbeng (Life), and shang {% (Injury)].

(7) The [Nine] Stars [of Beidou, the Plough] and the Duty-Warrant Officer (.zhifu) [on the heaven board] rotate in accordance to the stem radical of the double-hour.

The Nine Stars (jiuxing A.JI) of the Plough are Tianpeng (Celestial Vagabond), Tianrui (Celestial Budding), Tianchong (Celestial Clash), Tianfu (Celestial Supporter), Tianqin (Celestial Bird), Tianxin 3^'C» (Celestial Heart), Tianzhu ictt (Celestial Pillar), Tianren icff (Celestial Responsibility), and Tianying (Celestial Elegance). Zhifu is the jia stem of a sexagenary cyclic number immediately before the double-hour cyclic number known as the xunshou lUta. Its position on the heaven board is therefore governed by the stem of the double-hour.

(8) The Duty-Messenger (zhishi) always follows the movement of Tianyi. Tianyi is another name for Zhifu. Zhishi is the branch of the xunshou. It also moves following the movement of Zhifu (but of its own accord without being dictated by the latter).

(9) The Six Outward-Forms (Liuyi) are homonyms of the six jias (Liujia). The six stems wu, jt, geng, xin, ren and gui, known as Liuyi /nUI or Liujia 7\ are the six sexagenary cyclic numbers jiazi, jiaxu, jiashen, jiawu, jiachen and jiayin respectively.

(10) The Three Distinguished-Ones (sanqi) are the (three) stems yi, bing and ding.

The three stems yi, bing and ding were known as the Three Distinguished-Ones, also called Sun Distinguished-One (riqi 0 nj), Moon Distinguished-One (yueqi J=i Rf) and Star Distinguished-One (xingqi finf) respectively.

(11) Whenever [one of] the Three Distinguished-Ones meets [one of the Three Auspicious Gates] kai, xiu and sbeng,

Admission, Rest and Life are the three auspicious Gates. Qimen Iff5] refers to the meeting of the Distinguished-Ones with the three auspicious Gates.

(12) That is the Auspicious Gate favouring to those going out [in its direction].

The Gate where such meeting takes place indicates the auspicious direction for military action.

(13) No harm will come one's way if one follows this direction in all matters.

This is also a safe direction relating to all matters.

(14) Knowing the secret [of the art of Qimen Dun jia] one can gain much subtle knowledge from its signs.

Knowing the above fundamentals one can proceed to learn the more subtle points regarding the system.

(15) The third position in front of the Duty-Warrant Officer [Zhifu) is occupied by the Six-Encompassing-Agent (Liuhe).

Three palaces from Zhifu, i.e. with a separation of two palaces, is the position for Liuhe (the direction being dependent on whether the Yangdun or the Ytndun is in operation). Here the text refers to Yangdun movement and 'in front' refers to clockwise direction.

(16) One should be reminded that the second position in front [of the Duty-Warrant Officer] is occupied by Ultimate-Yin (Taiyin).

Taiyin is found two palaces from Zhifu, i.e. separated by one palace, (and again the direction depends on whether Yangdun or Yindun is in operation). The text refers to clockwise direction.

(17) One position immediately behind the Duty-Warrant Officer is Nine-Heavens (Jiutian).

Jiutian is next to Zhifu (the direction being dependent on whether the Yangdun or the Yindun is in operation). 'Behind' here refers to the anticlockwise direction. The Palace next to Zhifu in the anticlockwise direction is Jiutian.

(18) The name of the spirit (shen) in the second Palace behind [the Duty-Warrant Officer] is Nine-Earths (Jiudi).

Then next to Jiutian is Jiudi.

(19) [Jiu] di [is the position] for hiding [in ambush] or concealing; [Jiu] tian [is the position] for bringing out the soldiers.

Jiudi is an ideal position for hiding or laying an ambush, while Jiutian is for showing one's military power.

(20) Liuhe and Taiyin are suitable [positions] to hide [from the enemy]. Liuhe and Taiyin are favourable positions to conceal one's forces from the enemy.

(21) In emergency follow [the directions indicated by] the spirits [of Jiutian, Jiudi, Taiyin and Liuhe], otherwise follow the [directions indicated by the auspicious] Gates.

For matters demanding an urgent decision follow the indications of the 'Deception Gates'; for matters not requiring an immediate decision follow the indications of the Gates (and the Nine Stars).

(22) The way of Nature enables the successive recurrence of the Three's and Five's.

In the relation between the stems of the day and the double-hour, note that a stem with its third stem in the ten stems cycle is always auspicious, while one with its fifth stem is always ominous. For example, jia Wood and bing Fire is auspicious because Wood generates Fire, but jia Wood and its fifth stem wu Earth is ominous because it subjugates the latter.

(23) A Distinguished-One appearing above [the stem] ji is a good [sign], yi, bing or ding appearing together with ji is auspicious. Of these, yi and ji give the best combination.

(24) And it would be better still if this is accompanied by a Messenger (shi) of the Distinguished-One.

It is better still to have yi with its Messenger ji or xin, bing with wu or geng, or ding with ren or gui.

(25) [However,] knowing only the Messenger alone does not give one sufficient expertise [in the art of Qimen Dunjia],

(To be sufficiently expert one should also take account of the relations between the stems of the days and the double-hour as given below.)

(26) It is undesirable for the stem [of a day-cycle] to encounter a double-hour cycle [whose stem] is five places away, lest its lustre might be tarnished.

When the stem of the day comes in contact with the stem of the double-hour separated from it by five stems, for example jia Wood and geng Metal, the day would be subjugated and hence it would lose its lustre.

(27) We should know that lustre is tarnished when the [stem of the] double-hour subjugates the [stem of the] day.

The tarnishing is explained in the annotations to (26) above. The Wujing zongyao (houji juan 21, Dunjia fa) says that it will be ill advised to call out the troops when the stem of the double-hour subjugates the stem of the day.12

(28) [Zi and wu] one above the other is a yin (moaning) blockage (ge) and both are ominous.

According to the Wujing zongyao, zi over wu is called fuyin (Mourning in a crouched position), while wu over zi is called fanyin IX.B7 (Mourning in a turned-backward position). It also says that under such circumstances military movement is not advisable.

(29) Keeping [secret information], capturing [spies and runaways], and making escapes are all matters that require careful examination of the double-hour.

To read what the Qimen Dunjia cosmic boards say on matters concerning secret information, spies and escapees, the double-hour is to be consulted.

(30) [The same applies] to the reading of the fate of someone who has been sent out [of the camp] on a mission.

(For the above and) to read the fate of those who left the camp on special mission (instructions are given below).

(31) The Three Distinguished-Ones move among the [Nine Stars of Bei\ dou [on the heaven board] meeting the Six Outward-Forms (Liuyi) [on the earth board].

Notice the meeting of yi, bing and ding on the heaven board with wu, ji, geng, xin, ren and gui on the earth board.

(32) Meeting and combination of Tianyi govern private and confidential matters.

The text is ambiguous here. Translated as above it means Zhifu on the heaven board is directly above Zhifu on the earth board. Tianyi is taken as a synonym for Zhifu. On the other hand, the same clause may be translated as 'When yi on the heaven (board) meets yi on the earth board private and confidential matters are being concerned'. A third possibility is the deployment of terms normally used in the Liuren method, where Tianyi is the abbreviation for Tianyiguiren ^ZjM A (the Noble One among the Twelve Heavenly Generals).13 Li Quan's Taibai yinjing renders strong support to the interpretation of Tianyi as the Noble One in the Liuren system.14

(33) [To read signs about the final outcome of] pursuing and capturing [enemy agents and runaways] requires an understanding of what the stem of the double-hour subjugates.

For matters pertaining to the hunting and capture of enemy agents and recapturing of escapees, note the subjugation of the double-hour stem on the earth board.

(34) To seek news concerning someone sent out (from the camp) on a mission look for the Three Distinguished-Ones.

Note the stems yi, bing and ding (on the heaven board) to find out the fate of someone despatched from the camp on a special mission.

(35) Observe the Three Distinguished-Ones over the Six Outward-Forms [on the earth board] below,

Noting which of the six stems of wu, ji, geng, xin, ren and gui that are under them on the earth board.

(36) And note if the stem on the earth board belongs to [one of the] five Yang double-hours [which would be auspicious for those on a mission as well as for fugitives].

The Yang double-hours are jia, yi, bing, ding and wu. If they are found on the earth board below the Three Distinguished-Ones on the heaven board, they augur well for those sent out on mission as well as for the fugitives.

(37) Observe the Eight Gates for auspicious (and advantageous) directions. Look for the Gates Admission, Rest and Life to find which of them comes together with the Three Distinguished-Ones.

(38) All matters admitted in threes augur well in all things.

In all matters, everything will augur well when three members from each of the three groups of Admission, Rest and Life auspicious Gates, the three Distinguished-Ones yi, bing and ding, and the three Yin Gates or 'Deception Gates' (Taiyin, Jiudi and Liube) meet in the same palace.

(39) The five Yang [double-hours] are in front, followed behind by the five Yin [double-hours].

The five Yang hours are jia, yi, bing, ding and wu while the five Yin double-hours are ji, geng, xin, ren and gui.

(40) Understanding of the waxing and waning of fortune [indicated on the heaven and earth boards helps to decide to be on the defensive as] the host or [to take the offensive as] the guest.

The five Yang double-hours favour the guest, the side taking the offensive. The attacker should raise banners high, beat drums loudly and make a great noise to strike fear in the enemy, while the defending party is advised to keep banners down and maintain a low profile while waiting for a right moment to strike back. The five Yin double-hours favour the defender. One should not make the first move, but rather make plans to trap the attacker or to infiltrate and destroy the enemy camps.

(41) One should be wary of the fifth stem behind Yin.

Yin here refers to the essence of TaiYin (i.e. the stem bing). The fifth stem counting from bing is the stem Metal geng.

(42) The Six Outward-Forms meeting [geng] bring nothing good. Metal geng on the heaven board over wu, ji, geng, xin, ren and gui on the earth board results in nothing good.

(43) The Six Outward-Forms (Liuyi) suddenly enter Palace 3.

It should be one of the six, i.e. the Outward-Form wu appearing in Palace 3 rather than involving the other five. Wu in Palace 3, ji in Palace 2, geng in Palace 8, xin in Palace 9, ren in Palace 4 and gui in Palace 4 are all ominous signs known as xingji ffJS (Punitive-Strike).

(44) This is [called] Punitive-Strike [xingji), and should be avoided at first sight.

(45) When one of the Six Outward-Forms turns into Punitive-Strike, or when one of the Three Distinguished-Ones enters the phase of in-grave (wu),

When yi enters kun Palace 2 and when bing or ding enters qian Palace 6, Yi Wood subjugates Earth kun Palace 2 and bing Fire or ding Fire subjugates Metal qian Palace 6. These are all very undesirable signs, known as wu (grave).

(46) Any operation carried out at this moment will invariably fail.

(47) Venus entering Mars predicts that the enemy will soon arrive, i.e. when geng Metal is over bing Fire.

(48) Fire entering the Metal Sector predicts that the enemy will soon leave. Departure of the enemy is indicated by bing Fire over geng Metal.

(49) Bing is called Revolt (bo), while geng is called Blockage (ge).

Bing over the stem of the day is called bo and geng over the stem of the day is called ge.

(50) Blockage (ge) disrupts communication, while Revolt (bo) brings unrest and rebellion.

Both are ominous signs.

(51) Geng (stem) over the stem of the day [concerned] is [more specifically] called Crouching-Stem (fugan).

Also known as fugange tfc^PIS type of Blockage.

(52) The stem of the day over geng stem is called Flying-Stem (feigan). Also known as feigange ^T'iS type of Blockage.

(53) Geng over the Duty-Warrant Officer (Zhifu) is called Heavenly-One-Crouching-At-The-Palace [Blockage] (Tianyi fugong [ge]).

Also known as Tianyi fugange z^Zji^^pfS type of Blockage.

(54) The Duty-Warrant Officer over geng is called Heavenly-One Flying-Over.

Also known as Tianyi feigongge ^ZjM'S^ type of Blockage.

(55) [Geng] over ji stem forms the Punitive Blockage (xingge), for the roads.

A sign that carriages will be damaged, horses injured and stopping midway in a journey; also showing that soldiers will desert and flee.

(56) [Geng] over gut stem forms the Great Blockage (dage) for road traffic. Geng over gui is ominous for hundreds of matters. Do not initiate (military) moves, lost articles will not be recovered and the escapee will not be captured.

(57) [Geng] over ren stem forms Small Blockage (xiaoge).

'Small Blockage' should be amended to read 'Upper Blockage (shangge Jlt&)' in comparison with several other texts. Military movements should be avoided.

(58) Furthermore, it is undesirable [for geng stem] to be over the stems of the year, month, day and double-hour.

Geng over the year stem is called suige WtMs (Year Blockage), over the stem of the month is called yuege M ft (Month Blockage), over stem of the first day of the month is called sbuoge (New Moon Blockage), over the stem of the day is called rige 0 (Day Blockage) and over the stem of the double-hour is called shige UiiS (Time Blockage)

(59) All the above manifestations are ominous.

(60) Avoid them in all military operations.

(61) Bing over jia is known as the Bird-Crouching-In-Its-Nest (liaofuxue). Bing Fire over jia Wood produces warmth, like a bird crouching in its nest. This is an auspicious sign for all occasions.

(62) Jia over bing is known as the Dragon-Turning-Back-Its-Head (longfanshou).

Jia Wood generates bing Fire below. The Dragon is the sign for jia Wood or of the East. Bing Fire signifies the South. Thus comes the Dragon turning its head towards the South. This is an auspicious sign.

(63) Xin over yi is known as the Tiger-Running-Wild (huchangkuang). Xin Metal subjugates yi Wood and xin Metal denotes the West and the White Tiger. This is a very ominous sign.

(64) Yi over xin is known as the Dragon-In-Escape (,longtaozou) [which again is an ominous sign].

Y7 Wood is the Dragon and is subjugated by xin Metal below. Below subjugating the above is very ominous indeed.

(65) Ding over gui is known as the Bird-Entering-River (juerujiang). Ding Fire is the Crimson Bird and is here subjugated by gui Water below. This is very ominous.

(66) Gu over ding is known as the Snake-Being-Young-And-Boisterous (sheyaojiao).

Gui Water denotes the North symbolized by the Tortoise and the Snake. Here it subjugates ding Fire below it. This is also regarded as very ominous.

(67) The Duty-Warrant Officer (Zhifu), over bing (stem) or ding (stem) takes on the role of a Minister or Adjutant.

Zhifu is jia Wood. When over bing Fire or ding Fire it generates what lies below and hence is an auspicious sign. See (62).

(68) The Messenger [referred to in (24)] over one of the six dings (Fire) [on the earth board] takes on the role of a Doorkeeper.

This is an auspicious sign foreboding that secrets will be preserved and that peace-talk and matchmaking will be successfully performed.

(69) Sheng[men Gate] and bing (Fire) [on the heaven board] over wu (Earth) [on the earth board] form [the configuration of] Heavenly-Dww (tiandun).

Life Gate and bing together on the heaven board above wu on the earth board is called Tiandun. Similarly, the combination of Admission Gate with bing is also known as Tiandun. This is a very auspicious sign.

(70) For [the configuration of] Earthly-Dw« (didun) yi and kai [men] are over ji.

Yi Wood and Admission Gate on the heaven board over ji Earth on the earth board, known as didun, is another very auspicious sign.

(71) Xiu [men Gate], ding stem and Ultimate-Yin (Taiyin) together on the heaven board form [the configuration of] Human-Dun (rendun).

Rest Gate, ding Fire and Taiyin 'Deception Gate' together on the heaven board form the rendun, which is another very auspicious sign.

(72) The Net-of-Heaven (tianwang) encompasses the four directions when the stem of the double-hour in question is over the gui (Water) stem.

Gui over the stem of the double-hour is an ominous sign for the escapee in hiding or in running.

(73) [Tian] peng [star on the heaven board] over [Tian] ying [star on the earth board] is called Moaning-in-a-turned-backward position (fanyin).

This is an ominous sign. See also (28).

(74) [Tian] peng [star on the heaven board] over [Tian] peng [star on the earth board] is called Moaning-in-a-Crouched-Position (fuyin).

This is also a very ominous sign. See also (28).

(75) [However, if the two cases above are] met by an auspicious star of the Plough it would augur well.

The situation in the two cases changes for the better in the presence of an auspicious star of the Plough, i.e. one of Tianfu, Tianchong, Tianren, Tianqin and Tianxin listed in (77).

(76) [But if they are] met by an ominous star of the Plough, the ill omen would be of even greater magnitude.

However, things would worsen further in the presence of an ominous star of the Plough listed in (78).

(77) Tianfu, [Tian] chong, [Tian] ren, [Tian] qin, and [Tian] xin [stars of the Plough] are auspicious.

(78) Tianpeng, [Tian] ying, [Tian] rui, and [Tian] zhu [stars of the Plough] are ominous.

(79) The Yin stars (among the above) are [Tian] qin, [Tian] xin, [Tian] zhu, [Tian] ying and [Tian] rui.

(80) The Yang stars (among the above) are [Tian] chong, [Tian] fu, [Tian] peng and [Tian] ren.

(81) When the Net-of-Heaven encompasses the four directions there is no way of escape.

Repeating (72).

(82) Marvellous results obtained from the progression and retrogression of Yin and Yang are without limit.

Repeating (1).

(83) Time corresponds to the changing of the fortnightly periods. Repeating the need to follow the fortnightly periods.

(84) The two solstices indicate the way back to the numbers from 1 to 9 in the Nine Palaces (jiugong) [magic square].

Repeating (2).

(85) There are the Three Epochs, [the method of] chao [shen] in Dun [jia] calculations, and six [of the stem-branch combinations in the sexagenary cycle with] jia [as stem] (Liujia).

The operator must be able to select from the four different processes of zhengshou IEK (direct proclamation), chaoshen (exceeding spirit), runqi H r!" (intercalation of the extraordinary) and jieqi S®, (connecting fortnightly period) as will be illustrated by an actual example below.

(86) The Eight Trigrams spread around in the Nine Palaces [magic square]. Repeating the movement of the heaven board over the earth board and reminding us of the positions of the Eight Trigrams and the numbers of the jiugong magic square.

The above translation contains more explanations than the original text itself, but even with the annotations it is still quite incomprehensible to a reader without a prior knowledge of the Qimen Dunjia method. Hence a description of the method of Qtmen Dunjia is called for before going further with the Huangdi yinfujing.

Qimen Dunjia

Qimen Dunjia was one form of Dunjia and refers here to the officially adopted form of dunjia for the three cosmic board examinations in Song China. Translated fully, the term reads 'Concealing the Yang Wood (in relation to the Three) Distinguished-Ones (yi, bing and ding stems and the Three Auspicious) Gates'. It employed a stationary board, called the dipan ifeSt (earth board), above which was a rotating board, called tianpan AM (heaven board). Each board was divided into eight sectors. On the earth board were the numbers of the Chinese magic square of order 3, with the number 5 in the centre and the other eight numbers round a circle. The numbers of the magic square were accompanied by their corresponding Eight Trigrams. There were also the Eight Gates (bamen API referred to in clause (6) of the Huangdi yinfujing above [i.e. du (Rejection), jing (View), si (Death), jing (Fright), kai (Admission), xiu (Rest), sheng (Life/Production), and shang (Injury)], and the Nine Stars (jiuxing) of Beidou, the Plough, e.g. Tianpeng (Celestial Vagabond), Tianrui (Celestial Budding), Tianchong (Celestial Clash), Tianfu (Celestial Supporter), Tianqin (Celestial Bird), Tianxin (Celestial Heart), Tianzhu (Celestial Pillar), Tianren (Celestial Responsibility), and Tianying (Celestial Elegance).15 The Nine Stars are the stars referred to in clause (7). Their positions on the earth board were fixed, but on the heaven board would rotate according to the double-hour. Next came the celestial stems and the terrestrial branches, whose positions on the earth board were determined by the position of the sun on the day of operation. The three stems yi, bing and ding were known as the Three Distinguished-Ones, as defined in clause (10), also called Sun Distinguished-One (■riqi), Moon Distinguished-One (yueqi) and Star Distinguished-One (xingqi) respectively. The six stems wu, jt, geng, xin, ren and gui, known as Liuyi or Liujia, as mentioned in clause (9), contained the six sexagenary cyclic numbers jiazi, jiaxu, jiasben, jiawu, jiachen and jiayin respectively. All the items on the earth board classified in accordance to Yin and Yang, as well as Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, are shown in Table 4.1. Figure 4.2 shows the basic earth board with the constant jiugong palaces and the related Trigrams, together with the Nine Stars and the Eight Gates that will later move on the heaven board.

Most of the above items also appeared on the heaven board, but their positions varied according to calculations. Also found on the heaven board were the eight 'Deception Gates' [zhamen If PI), namely Zhifu (Duty Warrant), Tengshe ,lti£ (Rising Serpent), Taiyin AP= (Ultimate Yin), Liuhe /\p (Six Encompassers), Gouzhen ^¡¡W- (Angular Arranger), Zhuque (Vermilion Bird), Jiudi Aitil (Nine-Earth) and Jiutian tlA (Nine-Heaven).16 At one half of the year, the Angular Arranger is replaced by Baihu

Table 4.1





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