The Basics Of Date Selection In Chinese Metaphysics

Date selection is one of the most revered practices in Chinese culture and have been referenced in various archaeological treasures and classical texts.

So there is little contention about whether it was indeed followed by royalty and some of the most respected sages in Chinese folklore.

With such rich history, it is hardly surprising to find that the art of date selection is still a widely practiced norm even in this modern day and age.

However, the metaphysical selection of an ideal day and time to undertake certain activities is not limited to Chinese tradition.

Various ancient civilizations such as the Greeks and Mayans had conceptualized their own methods of selecting dates as well.

With astrological events and patterns recorded, Chinese metaphysics applied these information for a variety of practices which include feng shui and bazi.

This is made possible as particular cosmic energy forces were mapped out like a calendar. And their attributes were matched to variables used in metaphysical studies.

It must be said that date selection was specifically used for war and battle strategies. This can be verified in ancient journals of war.

The biggest breakthrough in the metaphysical practice of date selection was made when the emperor Qian Long took on the challenge of unifying all that is known of astrology and astronomy to create a text that is basically a theory of everything.

This book is known as the Xie Ji Bian Fang Shu (協紀辨方書) and became the fundamental basis of the Chinese Almanac or Tong Shu (通書) which serves as the foundations of date selection.

This has spun off a variety of date selection techniques including:

  • Gods and Sha (神煞)
  • 28 Constellations (二十八星宿)
  • 12 Day Stars (十二值日星)
  • Dong Gong (董公择日法)
  • Qi Men Dun Jia (奇門遁甲)
  • Purple star (紫微斗数)
  • 9 Purple white stars (紫白九星)
  • etc

As time passed, the art of selecting dates extended into business and personal matters as well.

Now, date selection is used for activities such as:

  • Day to move into new house
  • Day to commence business
  • Day to start a diet
  • Best hour to start meditating
  • Wedding dates
  • Caesarean dates
  • etc

Again, it must be stressed that selecting days and time to do certain activities is possible as the fundamental text contain variables that matches that of feng shui, bazi, the solar calendar, etc.

This is why the perimeters of practicing it in the aspects of life is almost limitless as long as a practitioner has a sound understanding of how it works.

How date selection works

While the almanac can generally identify auspicious and inauspicious dates for certain events to occur, it lacks personalization.

So using the tong shu to select a date and time is more that suitable regarding activities that don’t require personalization. And in most cases, this is sufficient for most people who believe in metaphysics.

However, when personal matters are on the line, then delving deeper into advanced date selection might be more appropriate.

It’s sort of like the metaphor of a train being able to get you from one destination to another. But a car would get you straight to your door step.


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Personally, I find that fusing the dynamics of bazi and the Hsia calendar is the best way to conduct personal date selection.

To conduct personal date selection, one would require the:

The solar calendar used to be primarily used by farmers to time their planting and harvesting of crops.

Because it shows particular ruling elements, heavenly stems and earthly branches for each day, it is particularly useful for feng shui, date selection, and basically any metaphysical work that involves a time dimension.

It is also for this reason that the solar calendar is used in feng shui rather than the lunar calendar. The latter is mostly used today to mark Chinese festivals such as CNY and Duan Wu.

The bazi chart of the subject individual is then required so that a practitioner can ascertain the elemental and metaphysical make-up of the person.

This enables him to see, judge and predict how each day with it’s elemental features, particularly the stems and branches, will affect this person positively or negatively, and in which aspect of life.

Once the bazi is mapped and the solar calendar ready, the tedious process of identifying combinations and clashes between characters in the bazi and elements of the days begins.

In addition that that, there are general rules to adhere to like avoiding the day, month and year “breaker”, including days when the 3 killings energy is most potent.

The relationships between zodiacs and annual afflictions would also play a starring role here.

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As one can observe, the science of date selection can require a great detail of work when we move beyond the basic level of referring to the almanac.

From a feng shui perspective, date selection is often practiced in selecting:

  • Day to disturb an area occupied by the grand duke
  • Day to place lucky items such as the wealth vase at the wealth location
  • Day to start renovations
  • Day and time when items with religious connotations such as Guan Yin are shifted
  • Days to avoid making investment decisions
  • etc

As stated earlier, this only discussion serves to present the basics of how date selection works in Chinese metaphysics.

It is impossible to elaborate on all the details here. And even if it is possible, probably only a few readers would be able to comprehend them without needing to ask any questions.

On top of that, different readers can have different interpretations of what certain interaction between particular variables mean.

So I will leave with one last point which I feel is significantly important.

It is that the avoidance of bad dates should be prioritized over the selection of good dates.

Just like avoiding a bad investment is often as good (if not better) a decision as making a winning investment.

In an ideal world, everyone would like to do something like getting married on an auspicious date. But if the practicality of the real world makes it impossible to schedule an event on a good date, then one must absolutely avoid a bad date.

Often times, people can get lucky by going the neutral route. But voluntarily stepping into a mine field is just asking for trouble.

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