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The Three Lucks

  • Heaven’s luck or Tien Chai infers that if an individual is fated to be rich they most likely will be, but if not, then all the resistance against Heaven’s mandate still will not make one materially wealthy.
  • Man’s luck or Ren Chai is that luck which we create for ourselves and is best explained by the study of interactions related to the laws of cause and effect. Literally meaning that good deeds and working smart, not just hard, will bring positive results, whereas indolence, a poor understanding of the way in which the universe works (the Tao), and either individual or collective misdeeds, can in their turn, only incur negative consequences.
  • Earth Luck or Ti Chai is that luck which we acquire from the physical environment we occupy. Feng Shui is the technology developed to maximise the one’s Earth Luck.

Deciphering the Three Lucks:

Since Heaven’s Luck or Destiny, is generally perceived to be the dominating factor in life and is immutable, it is best to gain as early an understanding of it in order to better go with it than end up resisting its ebbs and flows. Resisting the unalterable can only ever result in making ourselves unhappy.

This is not to say that Heaven’s Luck deprives man of his freedom of choice, the exercise of his own free will, that sense of autonomy so esteemed by humans in all societies. Au contraire! In fact it is felt that a correct understanding of our own particular destiny, allows us to better formulate our personal decisions and actions, permitting an enhanced insight into those dynamics that seem, especially in times, of great change, to direct our lives inexorably towards their final and inevitable pathways.

A very successful businessman I once knew used to say “Good judgement comes from experience, experience comes from bad judgement.”

From this perspective, good judgement derives from the careful examination of one’s previous experiences and recognises the value of past mistakes. In the same way, understanding our Heaven’s Luck puts us in a better position to understand where we are in life and how best to proceed from our current position.

It is said therefore, that the proper place to begin one’s study of Chinese metaphysics is by gaining an understanding of Heaven’s Luck (Destiny). As would-be analysers of destiny, we ought to start with understanding our own so that we can then progress to analysing that of those who would seek our help with theirs.

Examining one’s situation solely from a feng shui point of view for example, only addresses the Earth Luck aspect of our life. Given that feng shui is only the third of the three lucks, it alone is not enough.

Since the second in importance of the three lucks is Man’s Luck, literally that which we can personally and directly contribute to the other two, it cannot be configured or set about, without a proper understanding of what Heaven has actually decreed for us in the first place. Therefore, those who would argue that it all lies in their own hands, miss the point entirely. Taking cognisance of one’s Heaven’s Luck in order to better formulate the strategy we intend to employ in our Man’s Luck, puts us in a position of advantage; not one of subservience to mere superstition.

This is where Chinese fortunetelling comes into its own, especially the four most sophisticated methods that were to eventually develop.

These are:

  • Chinese Astrology – there are two basic schools: The Four Pillars of Destiny also known as Ba Tse or Eight Characters in English and Tzu Wei or Purple Star School. However, I will only be dealing with Ba Tse or the Four Pillars of Destiny here.
  • Sang Mien or Face Reading.
  • Chinese Palmistry.
  • The I-Ching – the system not the book. This is referred to as the superior subject in Chinese Metaphysics.

It should be noted that these four require no psychic ability on the adherent’s part to use, or from which to make forecasts. All that is needed is a thorough understanding of their principles and rules.

There are other systems of course: dream interpretation, the consulting of mediums for example, but these do not qualify for the current discussion; reliant solely as the latter especially is, on the supposed transmission of information from the spirit world to the human world through a medium.

I remember watching enthralled once, as I saw for the first time an entranced medium positively hurling him self into his evening’s round of automatic or spirit writing in a backstreet temple in Taipei. The friend with me was seriously spooked though and couldn’t wait to leave!


Chinese Fortune Telling – Qing Dynasty period – late 1800’s

In Chinese Destiny Analysis a lateral approach is taken. It is considered of tremendous advantage to be able to predetermine our approach to life’s constant ups and downs. Knowing before hand that we are entering a good luck period, we can better plot our path; arrange our lives and plan for the future, all the better to take advantage of our coming good fortune. Conversely, if we are forewarned that providence has ordained a lull in our luck during certain periods, we can prepare for that too and not expend our strengths and resources unnecessarily, thus saving ourselves for when Fate’s smile next warms our cheeks.