Qi Men Dun Jia (QMDJ) is a divination technique listed as one of the highly revered 3 rites (三式) in the 5 arts.
While it has gained huge infamy throughout the decades, it is not considered as the highest level of divination in ancient imperial China. That honor goes the Da Liu Ren (大六壬).
Qimen Dunjia is actually a spinoff of a greater and broader divination method called Dun Jia. There are various other methods of Dun Jia. And because of the potency of how QMDJ proved to be in times of war, it was officially included into the 3 rites.
QMDJ is a metaphysical forecasting technique purely for strategizing military battles. But in modern times, practitioners have continued to advocate for business, work, social life, and almost everything else.
Before applying QMDJ to daily life, learners must understand that this was a technique used for war. There are other divination methods that were used for everyday life, such as Yi Jing or Liu Ren. And if you feel that your life is at war and survival is at stake, it is your personal choice to use it for your personal affairs.
In classical writings about the art, the words 遁甲 can sometimes be written as 遯甲. And they seem to be often used interchangeably. This implies that the escaping jia can also be assumed to mean calculating jia.
Because of the depth contained in the 4 words 奇門遁甲, authors of books writing about this divination art are unable to give it a short descriptive name that encompasses the actual meaning behind the name. It is therefore called a variety of names in the English speaking world such as mysterious door escaping jia, mystical gate hiding stem, strange door escape jia, etc.
Fundamentals of Qi Men Dun Jia (奇門遁甲)
Qi refers to the 3 heavenly stems of Yi (乙日奇), Bing (丙月奇) and Ding (丁星奇).
Men refers to the 3 doors of Kai (開), Xiu (休) and Sheng (生).
Dunjia refers to the concealment of the heavenly stem Jia (甲) from 6 other stems to protect it from Geng (庚). The 6 stems being Wu (戊), Ji (己), Geng (庚), Xin (辛), Ren (壬) and Gui (癸).
As with any fortune-telling or prediction system, practicing QMDJ requires one to erect a natal chart for interpretation. This natal has 9 sections configured in a 3×3 arrangement, sort of like a game of tic-tac-toe.
It contains a variety of variables, of which many categories of them are the same variables used in various other forms of practices under the 5 arts.
The variables change as frequently as every 2 hours.
But depending on what the user is intending to forecast, QMDJ can be used for time frames such as yearly (年家奇门), monthly (月家奇门), daily (日家奇门), 2-hourly (时家奇门).
The QMDJ natal chart (qi map) consist of:
- 8 trigrams within 9 palaces (九宫八卦)
- Heavenly stems (天干)
- 8 gods (八神)
- Traveling horse (驿马)
- Void (空)
- Heaven plate (天盘)
- Earth plate (地盘)
- Man plate (人盘)
Each group of variables are unique in their own way.
8 trigrams within 9 palaces is a reference to the later heaven arrangement of trigrams.
The 8 gods (詐門) is a group of variables made up of ZhiFu (直符), TengShe (螣蛇), TaiYin (太陰), LiuHe (六合), GouZhen (勾陳), ZhuQue (朱雀), JiuDi (九地), and JiuTian (九天).
When these variables are determined and input on the earth plate, their positions do not change. The same cannot be said of the heaven plate.
The traveling horse and void star are both single variable that roves about on the energy map.
The heaven plate consist of the 9 stars of TianChong (天冲), TianFu (天辅), TianYing (天英), TianRen (天任), TianQin (天禽), TianRui (天芮), TianXin (天心), TianZhu (天柱), TianPeng (天蓬).
The earth plate contains the 12 earthly branches.
The man plate consist of the 8 doors (八門) of Du (杜), Jing (惊), Si (死), Jing (景), Kai (開), Xiu (休), Sheng (生), Shang (伤).
A finalized chart can generally be grouped into one of two categories. Yang Dun (陽遁) or Yin Dun (陰遁), both of which has 9 types of Ju (局). With each Ju having 60 variations based on the jiazi.
With all these possible computations, there are a total of 1080 possible natal charts.
Usage of Qimen Dunjia
As mentioned previously, readers should take note that QimenDunjia was mostly used for real kinetic war strategies. And it was with this application in which it became famous.
However, it is practiced in modern times for a variety of activities such as business strategy, date selection, destiny analysis, finding things, feng shui, spirituality, divination, and general decision making, etc.
While it’s credibility it not questioned, many feng shui masters do not find it necessary to practice it as there are many Chinese metaphysics concepts that are already able to do what QMDJ is used for in modern day life.
For instance, there are already revered schools of though in date selection such as Xuan Kong Da Gua and Dong Gong. Why use QMDJ for date selection instead? Especially when we consider that the event being analyzed is not a war battle.
If we turn it around and look at the reverse perspective, it would seem ridiculous for a general to use something like 6 laws for creating military strategies instead of qimen. He might even be beheaded for suggesting that.
Why would anyone want to use QMDJ for feng shui when there is bazhai? Are you buying a house in a battlefield that gets bombarded by artillery fire everyday?
Saying that, many practitioners also use QMDJ as a micro concept that supplements other concepts.
For example, bazi might identify the best destination and Qimen can determine the best path.
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