I have been intensely studying Chinese Face Reading and have become fascinated, as well as somewhat obsessed, lately. In this article I examine the deep connection between Ancient Astrology and Chinese Face Reading. It turns out that the fundamental principles of eminence are the same in both disciplines.
By Chinese Face Reading I mean the classical tradition, not psychology
I must make this clear from the start: by Chinese Face Reading I mean the thousands of years of old Knowledge, and NOT the modern, psychological versions of it.
I mean determining one’s character and predicting the future and one’s life path, instead of psychology bordering on flattery.
I mean objective statements about the native, which are either true or false, not vague generalizations that apply to a lot of people.
For the record, there IS value in psychology, but it is one thing to keep it in mind, and it is completely another to use it as one’s basis and subordinate the philosophical foundations of Face Reading to it. I am making this clear from the start because a lot of books are being sold in English which have the word “Chinese” added to Face Reading in the title, but in reality are psychology, with no real comprehension of the role of Face Reading and how it is integrated with the other sciences of Chinese Metaphysics.
Eminence in Ancient Astrology and Chinese Metaphysics
Now to the topic at hand. Eminence/rank, in other words, how high the native will reach in society, is extremely important, as I have already mentioned in my astrological articles. It is the second thing the practitioner of Ancient Astrology must determine after calculating the length of life. Provided they are well trained of course. Obviously, I can’t speak with authority on Chinese Face Reading. Moreover, unfortunately I don’t speak Chinese, which means that I don’t have access to the classical works on the subject and have to rely on translations. Equally importantly, I do not yet know the full extent and breadth/scope of Chinese Face Reading. Nevertheless, the following insight that I will share is completely valid because it corresponds with the fundamental nature of reality. I mean that in order to rise up, you must have support/a back behind you.
My usual thanks to this website as well as its author for the wonderful free pictures:
I understand the topic of eminence is top priority for many people in the modern world, but integrating Ancient Astrology with Chinese Metaphysics is swimming really deep in the vast Ocean of Eternal Knowledge. Very, very few practitioners are well versed in both. There are many reasons for this, such as culture, distance, language etc, but the point I am making is, despite my efforts, ultimately few readers will really be able to comprehend and appreciate this information at a deep level.
I do not intend to explain the meanings behind the concepts, otherwise it will become extremely long. What I will do is give the sources for those interested in pursuing this further and seeing for themselves how incredibly similar Ancient Astrology and Chinese Metaphysics are in their essence, especially after first reading this article as well as the others that are to follow in this section.
Let me say upfront that I did not know about the connection between Western Astrology and Chinese Face Reading in terms of how eminence is derived, hence I am calling it an insight as no one has written about this as far as I know. For the record, such a connection exists between Ancient Western Astrology and Chinese Astrology, both the BaZi/ Four Pillars of Destiny branch and Zi Wei Dou Shu (misleadingly known as Purple Star Astrology, but its real name is Emperor Astrology), but that is not the point of this article, although I may illustrate it at a future time.
Here it goes.
Sources of information on wealth and eminence in Ancient Astrology and Chinese Face Reading
One of the books I have been reading lately on Chinese Face Reading is “Discover Face Reading” by Joey Yap. Yes, Joey Yap has a lot of drawbacks with his spoon-feeding approach and diluting the information so that you purchase his next book (he has written over 120 books on Chinese Metaphysics in less than 10 years! and I am not talking about courses dvds, lectures etc) or dvd, but he also has his merits. I mean, Joey quotes and relies on ancient sources on Chinese Metaphysics, even though I don’t agree with some of his philosophical principles, oversimplifications and modernizations in applying the ancient texts.
In any case, what follows are some quotes from Joey’s book. Yap speaks about the face of the rich person. It is important to clarify that by rich he means both rich and with high eminence, that is, in a way eminence/rank is equally if not more important. This doctrine in Chinese Face Reading is consistent with the Hellenistic and Perso-Arabic Astrology, where one’s wealth is examined within the parameters of universal support, eminence and happiness. See:
- Vettius Valens, Book II
- Carmen Astrologicum by Dorotheus of Sidon
- Persian Nativities book II translated by Benjamin Dykes
- And to some extent the Tetrabiblos Book IV by Claudius Ptolemy, where the chapters of wealth and rank follow one another
Joey Yap differentiates between wealth capacity and wealth luck. As the nose represents the Wealth Palace (there are 12 Palaces in Chinese Face Reading which correspond exactly by name to the 12 Dominions/Palaces in Zi Wei Dou Shu/Emperor Astrology and there are 12 Places/Houses in Western and Indian Astrology as well) for both sexes, one begins with the nose when analyzing wealth capacity. However, one must always consider the Life Palace as well for any major overall life areas.
Joey says on page 261 and 262:
“The nose must be supported and the cheeks are the Right and Left Ministers to the Emperor (the nose). “
He later says:
“The cheeks represent a person’s authority and power. With great wealth comes great power”.
Joey then says that the forehead has to be strong as well:
“The forehead represents a person’s career and social status. For a person to be wealthy, he or she obviously has to have a fabulous career and great social status”.
How can these Chinese Face reading indications for wealth and eminence have something to do with Ancient Astrology, one might ask? I mean, that the former uses the face while the latter uses the planets and stars at the time and place of the native’s birth? Well, the apparatus is different, but the essence of the method is pretty much exactly the same.
Actually, to be thorough, I must say that Chinese Face Reading has been historically part of Physiognomy both in China and in the Hellenistic and Perso-Arabic world. Face Reading has an old history in the West as well. Aristotle (4 century BCE) and many others have used it.
The point is that in the past the complete method of reading one’s destiny included Physiognomy (which includes not only Face Reading but how one walks, smiles, the gestures they make, their whole body etc), Palmistry and Astrology. While Astrology, be it Ancient or Chinese or Indian, can stand on its own, as it is the queen of the sciences, it is essential that one uses both Face Reading and Palmistry to corroborate the indications. This is all the more crucial because destiny is not entirely fixed in Face Reading and Palmistry. True, one can’t change the major features but there is so much variation in the others plus the hand and the face change as one changes their perception of themselves, their beliefs and self-confidence. This is because Chinese Metaphysics postulates that Face Reading and Palmistry belong to the Later Heaven, while Astrology belongs to the Early Heaven. Thus the astrological natal chart cannot be changed, though there is choice and maneuvering in a lot of areas.
Analogy between the indications for eminence and wealth in Chinese Face Reading vs those in Ancient Astrology
So to return to eminence and wealth. When reading the passage given by Joey Yap I immediately recognized the deeper principles behind and the first things that came to my mind were the ancient astrologers Hermes, Valens and Umar.
The single indication (the nose in this case) reminds me of several possibilities in Ancient Astrology.
Sect Light and trigon lords
One can have a very strong and dignified Sect Light (the Sun for those born in the day, the Moon for those born at night). What follows as a result of that is that this planet (the Sun and the Moon are a special group of planets called Lights or Luminaries) will also be one of the trigon lords of the Sect Light. So one might think, just as with the big nose, unsupported, that this is enough for big wealth and therefore some eminence, whereas as the passage shows the cheeks must support the nose.
The astrological counterpart of this is that the Sect Light must be supported. This can be done either by its trigon lords, not just one of them, or by being bodyguarded/having spear bearers, and yes, it is possible that the trigon lords be spear bears at the same time or the reverse.
Or, having one or even two major fixed stars, one can hastily think that the native will make it big and have great eminence (some stars denote kings/presidents, others denotes the next lower level, etc etc). Such an example is Richard Nixon. For those who are interested in his fall from grace, you can read the article I wrote here. But having fixed stars is not enough, one must have support. This is explicit in the classics, for as fast as the fixed stars can uplift the native, they can ruin them even faster and more dramatically.
Reception and application from the lord of a planet cancels its debility over time
There are other types of eminence indications which I won’t go into, but I will mention another which is crucial and very pertinent here. It concerns the domicile or exaltation rulers of a given zoidion/image (wrongly translated as” sign”) or a planet being there. If the planet is weakly placed or afflicted or counteracted etc, if its domicile or exalted lord is strong and well placed and can see it and better, if there is an applying configuration with it, then that lord cancels the debility of the planet in question, though overtime.
So in a manner of speaking, while being very careful not to mix apples with oranges, a planet is dependent on its dispositor just as a given element ruling a certain feature of the face is dependent upon its mother/resource element. So the nose (wealth and health), represented by Earth has to be considered alongside with the forehead (career and social status), represented by Fire, because Fire produces Earth in the Production Cycle of the 5 elements.
Which part of life will be more successful: the first or second one
To finish my thought, if certain features of the face are weak or afflicted or mediocre (especially the 5 Officers: ears, eyebrows, eyes, nose and mouth) but there are other strong features, while life in the first part will be difficult and problematic (again, depending on which features are afflicted which will show which areas will cause trouble; it could be any of the 12 Palaces (Life, Siblings, Parents, Travel, Property, Marriage, Children, Servants/Hired Help, Fortune and Virtue/Happiness, Wealth, Health and Career) the native will improve their living conditions and overall happiness at a later time in their life.
Different types of classes of charts in terms of eminence
So there you have it. In closing, I would like to give the 4 levels of eminence as given by Umar from the 8th century in the book Persian Nativities II translated by Benjamin Dykes (page 47). I must say that these are the extreme cases and that there are at least a few more variations. I will give 3 of them in the end. Here it goes:
- “Certain people are born who will be kings, and they persist in a kingdom.
- And certain people are born who will be full of labor, and they persist in labor and trouble.
- And certain ones of those born who were first paupers and full of labour, after this they are made kings or rich.
- But others were first kings or rich, afterwards they are made full of labor and paupers”.
One can add to this (this is from me and not in the book):
- Certain people are born with a middle/middle class position and level in life and it does not change throughout their life;
- Certain people are born with a given position and level in life and it gets reduced as the life progresses, but they remain in the same class;
- Certain people are born with a given position and level in life and their eminence grows as the life progresses, but they still remain in the class they are born, even though they get close to the next one in the hierarchy.
The reason I am giving these classifications of eminence is to emphasize how crucial it is for one to have their natal chart delineated. Only when the whole chart is delineated can one predict the future with Astrology. That is, unless one knows their eminence/rank in life, as shown by their horoscope, these Chinese Face Reading indications cannot be placed in the proper context.
Now, it might be possible to ascertain the level of eminence through Chinese Face Reading or Chinese Palm Reading or Western Palmistry, but I do not know and therefore cannot comment on this. However, eminence, as I said, is the second thing that is to be done after the calculation of the length of life. After all, what is the point of having a great eminence promised at a later part in life when the native may die earlier than that?!
Finally, remember the proverb: ” A table must have at least three legs to stand”.
Written in May 2015