Xuan Kong Da Gua

Note:  The message below was written in August 2015 for my “Professional Imperial QMDJ” discussion group. I wrote this article after being bombarded with questions about this so-called “QMDJ-XKDG” by my curious students for years.  I have updated it with some new notes here.

Some marketers have marketed a “Qi-Men-Dun-Jia Xuan-Kong-Da-Gua”  (奇门遁甲玄空大卦 QMDJ-XKDG) course a few years ago. You (my students) have asked many questions about this course.


Ancient QMDJ books

In Chinese metaphysics, there is a fetish of “na-jia” or trying to fit everything into the bagua.  Xuan-Kong-Da-Gua or XKDG itself is an example– artificially fitting 64 hexagrams into the bagua or 8-trigrams by repeating 4 jia-zi (binomials).  XKDG is still not accepted by some Feng Shui schools.

There is also a tendency in Chinese metaphysics circle to stuff 64 hexagrams into existing systems and repackage it as “XXXX-XKDG”.   These marketers often claim that this is no new stuff but a recent “rediscovery” of long-lost ancient manuscript or technique.

During mid-Qing dynasty (around 1700-1800), the government had relaxed the restrictions on the spreading of QMDJ to help countering the increasingly aggressive western power and internal rebellions.  Scholars and amateurs at that time had gone nuts and written many “armchair” books on QMDJ.  “Armchair” means out of imagination or simply using formula mechanically to generate more QMDJ theories.  Some may work and most do not or simply have no empirical testing to backup the “new” theories.

As far as I know, there is no such thing as “QMDJ-XKDG“.  Modern marketers have coined the term “QMDJ-XKDG” because this later day version of QMDJ has somehow “squeezed” 64 hexagrams into the system.  The original author(s) had called this version of QMDJ as “Golden Mirror of Nation-building and Capital setting for 10 Thousands Years Reign” (Aren’t we lucky that Hitler had not gotten a copy?).  I have read the book about this “nation/ capital building” QMDJ. (For around NT$ 300 or US$ 10, you can get the Chinese book on this topic in Taiwan).


Ancient compass with 8 sectors

QMDJ was developed around 200 AD using only 9 palaces or sectors (the rudimentary compass at that time could not do measurement down to individual degree). XKDG requires accuracy down to 360/384 or 0.938 degree (even compass during the1800’s could not be this accurate).  Mixing QMDJ with XKDG together is as funny as putting dinosaurs with humans together like the “One Million Years BC” movie.  QMDJ and XKDG were over 1500 years apart.


Sample “capital-building chart”

The original author of this version of QMDJ had claimed it is for “capital building” and provincial/ city level “huge projects“.  It is not designed for individual house, building or even housing estates though one may use it as “reference“.   If we assume it works as claimed– there are not too many capitals around or huge projects for Feng Shui students to build.  This means only these so-called  “QMDJ-XKDG” teachers make money from selling the course.The students will probably find little or no market for “QMDJ-XKDG” other than selling the course again to others.   It is even worse if the darn thing does not work.

Anyway, the “capital-building chart” looks impressive if not intimidating for the uninitiated.  It is just iterations of some formulas into individual palace.


Commander Nian

Imperial Qing dynasty was no longer exist in China since 1911.  It should be here today if “QMDJ-XKDG” was employed.  And we know from historical texts and Qing Imperial Tombs that Qing emperors were very into Feng Shui and QMDJ.  The Qing military commander Nian Gengyao (年羹尧) was known for using QMDJ in quelling rebellions.

The essence of the question is:  Can QMDJ be scaled up and applied to regional or national level when it was originally designed for small scale or single location application?  

QMDJ itself is a very complicated system with over 50 data points and numerous dimensions.  XKDG is not as complicated as QMDJ, but it is not simple either.  Imagine the astronomical number of combinations generated when someone tries to tie these two system together!

Mixing unrelated systems and methods together is like building a QMDJ Frankenstein.  The more variables one adds to a system, the more complicated it becomes, the narrower for its application (like in this case, capital building and huge projects) and the higher probability of something goes wrong.  Isn’t this too much for an individual Feng Shui practitioner to handle?

Just because a book was written a few hundred years ago does not necessarily make its contents valid.  Consumers need to do their crap-detection and hype-filtering before paying for courses based on these “ancient books” or “rediscovery of ancient techniques“.

My 40 years of experience in Chinese metaphysics tells me if someone hypes about a recent “discovery” of an ancient text, technique or family heirloom manuscript in QMDJ, Feng Shui or any topic, the chance of this being crap is pretty high.  If the newly rediscovered “technique” is so amazing and powerful, it should have been utilized extensively like aspirin or sliced bread.  Why it is forgotten or disappeared into the garbage heaps of history long time ago?

You may find QMDJ-ZWDS, XKDG-ZWDS, QMDJ-XKDG-ZWDS, Mega QMDJ-XKDG-ZWDS-4P-Flying-Star courses…. soon in some marketer websites near you.

Ken Lai 

“Advanced Visual Form Feng Shui” w/23 hr. HD video
“Visual Form Feng Shui” w/13 hr. HD video
“Destiny/Luck Mgmt. w/ Bazi- Basic/ Advanced w/18 hr. HD video each
“Destiny/Luck Mgmt. 1: Forecasting and Decision Support” w/23 hr. HD video
“Feng Shui Toolbox: Sha-qi, Health/Wealth and Career” w/ 7 hr. HD video
“Period 7/8 FS Toolkit w/ Advanced Flying Star techniques” w/ 6 hr. HD video
“Practical Date-Selection Methods (incl. XKDG) w/ 12 hr. video
“Advanced/ Practical Imperial Qi-men-Dun-Jia 4G” w/ 12 or 16 hr. video
“Professional Imperial QMDJ 4G” w/ 21 hr. video
“EZ QMDJ series: Astrology, Date/Task Selection, Annual Luck/FS”w/ 3 hr. HD
“EZ QMDJ Advanced Feng Shui” with 4 hr. HD video
“Daoist Talismans for Feng Shui/Blessing” w/ 24 hr video
“Practical Door Feng Shui for Wealth” w/ 3 hr. video
“4-Pillars Forecasting Bootcamp” with 12 hr. video


Note: The following article was written for a Toronto FS group newsletter in 2005.

In the last one or two years, Xuan Kong Da Gua (XKDG) becomes the latest craze on the Feng Shui training circuit. Or in more blunt terms, it adds 2 or more courses to the inventory of Feng Shui trainers.

Info or “secrets” about Flying Star are abundant in published sources.  XKDG, info, however, is not as readily available.

In Hong Kong, a famous writer charges as much as HK$150k (CAD$23k) to teach you XKDG. In Taiwan, charges from US$5000 to NT$1M (CAD$39k) are not unheard of.

In 2000, Master X of Taiwan starts to publish a series of XKDG books, so it is no coincidence that XKDG begins surfacing in the west after 2000. Before Master X, GM Chan Pui San, the founder of Miao Pai XKDG, (Hong Kong) has published some info on XKDG. I can tell Master X’s books are based on GM Chan’s books.  But Master X is a better writer and good at explaining complicated concepts.

Miao Pai XKDG is known for its “sha-fighting” to enhance wealth luck.  Master X also has his own version of sha-fighting method.

In the early 90’s, GM Chan has released a major XKDG secret– “in-gua and out-of-gua” to explain why a person suffers in a house while another prospers in the same house, or why some houses have ugly mountains/ water but do not shown any negative effects.

The probability of being “out-of-gua” (not getting the blessing or negative effects) is about 1/3.

The cornerstone of Master X’s fight-sha Feng Shui is this “in-gua and out-of-gua” theory.  Most of his cases examples shown in his books are for business located in the top side of a T-junction or cross-junction.

The formula is pretty simple, by orientating the door to face the sha (like rushing qi/ traffic) at an “out-of-gua” angle with a good XKDG date-selection, Master X claims this will convert sha energy to work wonder for the owner.

By putting the door in an “out-of-gua” angle, so the sha cannot have effect of the property— doesn’t this sound like “sha avoidance”?

From a common sense point of view, business likes exposure.  With junctions there are normally stop signs or traffic light too. By setting a business on a cross-junction or T-junction with an angled door that faces the most directions, it maximizes exposure of the business to traffic.

Can this become a “self-fulfilling prophecy”?  Will the business be just as prosperous without doing this fight-sha Feng Shui?

If you go to downtown Toronto, businesses with angled doors at a cross-junction are found almost in every block.

Finally, I would like to give you a reminder about Master X’s books. He told his students that he had purposely set missing links and traps in his books, so he can tell if someone is teaching from his books or from someone who has taken his live class. I know Master X’s sifu and he does not fight-sha.

Postscript 2010Lately there are noises about claims of  “sha-fighting”.  Now you know how this got started.  My Taiwan sifu had studied with GM Chan Pui San (now almost 90 years old).  He told us “do not fight sha” unless your life is worthless. You don’t know the long term effects of sha-fighting and you don’t want to do experiments with the lives of your clients.

Ken Lai

“Practical Date-Selection Methods (incl. XKDG) w/ 12 hr. video
“Practical Imperial Qi-men-Dun-Jia” w/ 12 hr. video
“Daoist Talismans for Feng Shui & Blessing” v.2 w/ 24 hr video
“Practical Door Feng Shui for Wealth” w/ 3 hr. video
“4-Pillars Forecasting Bootcamp” with 12 hr. video


I ran into an interesting Xuan-Kong-Da-Gua (XKDG) date-selection case in Hong Kong in last April.

A local master was solicited to do a date-selection for the renovation of an ancient tomb. The tomb houses the founding ancestral couple of a local clan.

The formation of this tomb is called “Literacy Shrimp Frolicking with Water (文蝦戲水). This is a typical San He (3-harmony) job which likes to “naming imagery based on forms” (呼形喝象). The original master thought the form around the tomb looks like a shrimp playing with water. Water is also associated with intelligence and hence literacy. So this “shrimp” is a smart shrimp. By naming it “literacy shrimp“, hopefully, the descendants will be learned scholars.

The local master wrote, “This is a shrimp form, if the selected day has no water (rain), the shrimp will die! If it rains, we can’t initiate construction. This is really a tough job.”

This is the date selected, June 12, 2007, Wu hour:

Year: Ding Hai; 8 zhen/ kun 8
Month: Bing Wu; 4 dui/ xun 3
Day: Ding Chou; 4 dui/ zhen 7
Hour: Bing Wu; 4 dui/ xun 3

“The observatory had issued a thunderstorm warning in early morning of the selected day.” The local master said. “It had rained heavily in Si hour (9:01- 11am). Sunshine came out during Wu hour (11:01- 13:00). We did the renovation during Wu hour and finished within 2 hours. The sky then turned cloudy during first half of Wei hour (13:01- 14:00). By that time the cement had dried. It had rained again during the second half of Wei hour. We are fortunate to get help from heaven!”

Well, it seems even Feng Shui shrimp based on imagery needs 5-elements support. In my next post, I will tell you how to learn XKDG date-selection in an hour and how much this Hong Kong master charges for XKDG date-selection.

Ken Lai

“Practical Date-Selection Methods” (incl. XKDG)w/ 12 hr. video
“Practical Imperial Qi-men-Dun-Jia” w/ 10 hr. video
“Daoist Talismans for Feng Shui & Blessing” w/ 12 hr video
“Practical Door Feng Shui for Wealth” w/ 3 hr. video
“4-Pillars Forecasting Bootcamp” with 12 hr. video


Charity Sale for China Earthquake Victims

Dear Members,

Life is invariably associated with suffering, said the Buddha. We come to FS, to divination, to seek a deeper understanding of how we may navigate life’s waters. Thus, in seeking our fortune, it is wise to be aware of the suffering of our fellow man and woman.

We are acutely aware of the suffering of those in the earthquake in China. We would like to do our small part in helping the earthquake victims by offering our correspondence course “PRACTICAL DATE-SELECTION METHODS” (with 12 hours video) for sale.

ALL course fee (minus shipping) will be donated to China earthquake victims via International Red Cross in your honor. Donation acknowledgment in email and/or paper form will be sent directly to you by Red Cross.

Tax deduction (if needed) can be arranged. No production cost will be deducted.

This is a rare opportunity to do something good and learn some useful date-selection methods, including Xuan-Kong-Da-Gua.

“Practical Date-selection Methods” with 12 hours video

PAYMENT FORM: PayPal, Visa/MC, Western Union.

1. Free air-mail shipping (a $30 value)
2. A blessed mantra that offer protection from earthquake damage
3. A red talisman that offers protection and blessing

OFFER DURATION: From now till June 15, 2008
CONTACT: kenlai93@yahoo. com

You can find more details about this course in:
http://www.kenlaife ngshui.com

I wish to thank the co-author Master Lee for agreeing with this offer.

Any action taken with charity at its heart is strongly and specially based in the energy matrix of qi. This allow your actions to take deeper root when you use these precious date-selection methods, and your merit will help you achieve your dreams.


Ken Lai and Master Lee

Note:  This blog was written on Jan. 21, 2004

In the last 12 months or so, there seems to be a "Xuan
Kong Da Gua" (XKKDG) "gold-rush"--- for the FS
marketers. Almost everyone is itching to set up XKDG
class of some sorts. XKDG classes are normally around
5 days in length, with a dose of I-Ching class as

To keep this discussion simple and as unbiased as
possible, I won't argue whether XKDG theory is valid
or not and working or not. I just examine it from a
scientific and methodological point of view.

As I have written previously, the history of luopan
development is a progression of from simple to
complex. Early luopans had few divisions, then 24
mountains, 60 dragons (divisions), 72 dragons, 120
dragons, 240 dragons and then up until now, 384 "yaos"
(that is 64 hexagrams x 6 yaos).

XKDG has 64 hexagrams which occupy 5.625 degrees each.
Each hexagram has 6 "yaos" (yin _ _ yang __ symbols)
with each yao taking up 0.9375 degree.

Then we may ask, how precise luopan measurements were
when the XKDG theory was developed 4- 500 years or so
ago? Afterall, it is rumoured that Master Jian Da
Hong hinted he had used XKDG principles in his trick
songs (poems). It is also rumoured that Master Shen
(author of "Shen's XK Studies") had "almost" included
XKDG in his book except he had missed the deadline.

An excellent source of info about luopan history can
be found in Professor Chen Jian Jun's book, "Chinese
FS Compass" (ISBN7-5390-1430-x/K.5, available in
Chinese or English). In this book, it seems luopans
made during Ming Dynasty (1368- 1644) were mostly
"water compass" (using a floating needle) and both
"water" and "dry" compasses were used during Qing
Dynasty (1636- 1911).

How precise could an ancient "floating needle" be?
How accurate will be the needle of an ancient luopan?
Could they measure down to 0.9375 degree consistently?
If not, how could the ancient masters verify their
XKDG theory?

Using modern luopans and compasses as guidance, we
could see it is very doubtful that XKDG measurement
could be achieved by the ancient masters consistently.

According to Professor Vic Schmidt,(Dept. of Geology &
Planetary Science, University of Pittsburgh), even
modern precision compasses like the Brunton or Suunto,
has problem to attain accuracies of better than one

So how about about our modern luopans? It is common
knowledge that even the best branded luopans are
accurate to at most plus or minus one degree. This
will either "hit' or "miss" a DG measurement of 0.9375

For the sake of discussion, let's assume the ancient
masters could consistently do DG measurements down to
0.9375 degree.

To keep it simple, let me quote Professor Schmidt

"I maintain that anyone who claims to be able to
attain accuracy to better than 0.6 degree in a magnetic
survey is deluding themselves.

As I pointed out a while back, failure to keep track
of the long-term secular variation in Earth's field
can easily throw you off by much more, with it
amounting to up to 0.2 degree per year in many places.

And it is strictly cumulative, so if you use
10-year-old map data, you can easily be off by a full
degree (all the time!)."

We know in flying star there is 24 mountains and each
mountain has 15 degrees to "play with". So assuming
your orientation is not too close to the borderline
(or void line) with another mountain, the changing
of the earth's magnetic field by one or two degrees
over the years won't "throw" you out of the mountain.
Flying Star has pretty good tolerance on the earth's
magetic variations.

At 0.2 degree cumulative variations per year, a DG
measurement of 0.9375 degree can be easily become
invalid in a few years. Then this would have been a
lot of testing for the ancient masters. How many
lifetimes could they have in the last few hundred
years to do testing?

You have to make your own conclusion whether the
ancient masters could have done sufficient DG
measurements and testing of XKDG theory, given
the ancient "water" and "dry" luopan technology.

Could you do consistent DG measurements with modern
luopan and compass?

How XKDG handle earth's magnetic variations?

In simple terms, is XKDG practical? Is it just
another case of "misplaced precision"?

My sifu taught me XKDG in 20 minutes. I'll teach my
students how to use it in 5 minutes, if they want to
learn it. It is not difficult to integrate XKDG into
the popular Flying Star method.

Personally, I won't write off XKDG, but I won't spend
too much resources on it either.

Postscript: Now is August 2007, XKDG is not as "hot". But there is still a new one coming out recently charging
US$1900 for 2 days of class. It's ad sounds like magic-- you can get whatever you want with it.

Ken Lai


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