Dongba Fortune Telling: Tips & Tricks #1 / by Frog Wing


You will need:

  • the subject's birth date (yyyy/mm/dd)
  • memorization of: Chinese zodiac, bagua, pentagon of elements, compass directions
  • a human hand (left or right) 


     You have the bagua contained within your hand. The center of the yin-yang is located at the middle knuckle of your middle finger (between intermediate and proximal phalanges). "East" is located at the middle knuckle to the right of the center; "West" is located at the middle knuckle to the left of the center.

     Take the subject's birthdate and calculate their zodiac animal. 

     Use your thumb and place it at East as a starting point. For male subjects, count clockwise; for female subjects, go counter-clockwise. The cycle begins with mouse at the head, ending with a pig's tail. There are eight positions on the bagua, the ninth position being the center. Stop your finger when you reach the subject's zodiac animal. 

     The position of your thumb now also indicates the subject's dominant element (wood, fire, metal, water, earth), as well as whether it tends towards masculine (greater yang, lower yin levels) or feminine (greater yin, lower yang levels). 

     Now apply Daoist principles and knowledge of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). Use creative associations to deliver news/ diagnosis/ predictions/ new name. 

  • If your subject is requesting a new name, choose a surname/ name with fitting elemental balance.* For example, a feminine-water-Rabbit would do fine with grain-based surname "Wu" (earth/ fire-based characters are appropriate too), while a masculine-metal-Dragon might fare better with surname "Ue" (meaning: "stockaded village"). 
  • If your subject is requesting a diagnosis/ prediction, you must also apply knowledge of elements changing per season/ year.  
  • Diagnose according to elemental imbalances.
  • Administer prescription for Balance, referencing dominant elements and compass directions. If you see that your subject would gather too much of a certain element (leading to yin-yang imbalance) in any particular year, use Fengshui to prescribe how they can remedy their spaces (like avoiding Southwest corners- or placing mirrors in them).

Lesson: HeXiudong

Translation/ adaption: Frog Wing

Illustrated diagram: HeXiudong and WuZhimi