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18th March 2009


QMDJ and Finding the Ju

Determine the QMDJ Ju before chart plotting


Before plotting a QMDJ chart based on the Hour School 時家奇門, the first thing that needs to be determined is the Ju. This is especially so with Hour School of QMDJ where most people will use the date and time to plot the QMDJ chart. For each day there is a Ju number 局數 that corresponds to it.


What is Ju when talking about QMDJ? Ju is a numbered set of charts which are divided by groups of heavenly stems. The grouping of heavenly stems are Jia-Ji 甲己, Yi-Geng 乙庚, Bing-Xin 丙辛, Ding-Ren 丁壬 and Wu-Gui 戊癸. Together there are 5 heavenly stem groups. Within each heavenly stem group, there are 12 charts for each of the 12 Shichen or Chinese hours. For the Hour School QMDJ, the hour pillar for the first group starts with Jia-Zi 甲子, the second group starts with Bing-Zi 丙子, the third group starts with Wu-Zi 戊子, the fourth group starts with Geng-Zi 庚子 and the last group starts with Ren-Zi 壬子. Collectively these 5 groups of heavenly stem groups are known as a Ju . There are a total of 18 Ju. 9 Ju for Yang Dun and 9 Ju for Yin Dun. Therefore the entire collection of QMDJ charts for Hour School can be calculated as 2 (Ying Dun and Yang Dun) x 9 (Ju) x 5 (heavenly stem groups) x 12 (Shichen) = 1080 charts.


These 1080 charts are commonly found in QMDJ books as a quick reference guide for locating QMDJ chart that corresponds to any particular day and time. The method I am showing below is to manually find the Ju of any particular date with a Ten Thousand Year Calendar or Chinese Almanac. In some PDA or Smart phone, you may have a Chinese calendar application already built-in. The key is that the calendar must show the starting day for each solar terms 節氣 and the stem and branch of each day. In some rare Chinese Ten Thousand Year Calendar books, the author also list down the Ju for each day of the year. This makes the plotting of QMDJ chart easier but for those with only a normal Ten Thousand Year Calendar book, the fun is to manually determine the Ju ¡°by counting¡±. The reason for finding the Ju is to be able to manually plot a QMDJ chart. The steps to plot a QMDJ chart is in my next article.


In the Chinese calendar, the year is divided into 24 solar terms or JieQi 節氣. Each solar term is 15 days. Each term is then divided into 3 groups or Yuan termed as Upper Yuan 上元, Middle Yuan 中元 and Lower Yuan 下元. Each Yuan is 5 days. The first day of the Upper Yuan is also called Fushou 符首. For QMDJ, the 24 solar terms are grouped by groups of 3 solar terms. If you display the 24 solar terms in the circular diagram below, you will find that groupings of 3 solar terms will give 8 major groups, corresponding to the 8 Bagua palace of Kan , Gen , Zhen , Xun , Li , Kun , Dui and Qian , starting from Kan clockwise to Qian.


From the diagram, under each solar term, you can see 3 numbers underneath it. These are the Ju numbers that are assigned to the particular solar term. Underneath each solar term, the 3 Ju numbers corresponds to the Ju for Upper Yuan, Middle Yuan and Lower Yuan. We can deduce from the diagram that once you know which solar term and the Yuan the day falls into, the Ju should be able to be determined easily. Wait. It is not so straight forward and easy. One of the rules of QMDJ is that the starting day of each Yuan must be either a Jia or Ji day. Another rule states that the start of all Upper Yuan days must be a Zi , Wu , Mao or You day and the start of all Middle Yuan days must be a Yin , Shen , Si or Hai day and the start of all Lower Yuan days must be a Chen , Xu , Chou or Wei day. To summarise, the Fushou 符首 must always be one of these 4 days of Jia-Zi 甲子, Jia-Wu 甲午, Ji-Mao 己卯 or Ji-You 己酉.





First things first. How do you know the 3 numbers for each solar term without referring to the circular diagram above? The key is to know which solar term the day fall into. This can easily be checked by referring to a Ten Thousand Year Calendar without memorizing any numbers. First step is to determine which palace the solar term fall under. If the palace is Kan, the first solar term Upper Yuan number is 1. If the palace is Gen, the first solar term of the Upper Yuan number is 8 and so on. These numbers correspond to the Luoshu numbers assign to the Later Heaven Bagua. Then starting with the palace number, you increase the count and assign it to the left for the second solar term and increase the count to 3 for the 3rd solar term. This 1-2-3 is the Ju number for the 3 solar terms of the Upper Yuan. Next, go to the 3rd line below and continue to increase the count for 4-5-6 from right to left. This 4-5-6 is the Ju number for the 3 solar terms of the Lower Yuan. Then lastly go to the middle row and continue to increase the count for 7-8-9 for the Middle Yuan. The row sequence for counting is always top row, followed by bottom row and then the middle row. And the counting is always from right to left direction.


For solar term between Dongzhi and Mangzhong, the Ju count is in increasing order because it is Yang Dun. For Xiazhi to Daxue the count is decreasing because it is Yin Dun. In other words, all solar terms in Kan , Gen , Zhen and Xun palaces are Yang Dun while all solar terms in Li , Kun , Dui and Qian palaces are Yin Dun.


Let¡¯s take Kan palace as an example for Yang Dun.


Kan Palace (increasing number)

3 2 1 Step1


9 8 7 Step 3


6 5 4 Step 2



Another example using Zhen palace for Yang Dun.


Zhen Palace (increasing number)

5 4 3 Step 1


2 1 9 Step 3


8 7 6 Step 2



An example for Yin Dun using Kun palace.

Kun Palace (decreasing number)

9 1 2 Step 1


3 4 5 Step 3


6 7 8 Step 2



From the above example, if you want to know the Ju number for Bailu , the 3rd solar term in the Kun palace, Middle Yuan 中元, the number is 3 (in blue).


From the above, we should be expecting the starting Ju number of the Upper Yuan to be the same day as the first day of the solar term. But due to the rules of QMDJ, this situation may not be always the case. If it happens to be the same day, this situation is known as Zhenshou 正授. But sometimes, the Jia or Ji day can appear before the start of the solar term. This situation is known as Chaoshen 超神. If it appear more than 9 days before the start of the solar term, then we must do a Zhirun 置閏. If it fall after the start of the solar term, then it is called Jieqi 接氣. Zhirun 置閏 situation seldom arise and we shall not discuss it here in this article.


To illustrate the concept of Chaoshen 超神, Zhenshou 正授 and Jieqi 接氣, let us take a look at an example of a typical calendar and its corresponding Ju. In this example, based on Lichun solar term, the Ju numbers are 8-5-2. Lichun start on 4th February 2009. But the start of the Ju 8 must start with a Jia or Ji and the Earthly branch must be either a Zi , Wu , Mao or You . We can see that 3rd February 2009 fulfill the condition. However 3rd February 2009 is 1 day earlier than 4th February 2009. Therefore this situation is known as Chaoshen 超神. For Yushui 雨水 solar term, we find that the date for the starting Ju number for Yushui 雨水 Upper Yuan 9-6-3 coincide with the start of Yushui 雨水 solar term on 18th February 2009. This situation is known as Zhenshou 正授.

So once you know the day for the start of the Ju for the Upper Yuan, you can then count the days forward until you reach the day you want to determine the Ju for the day.

I hope with this little tutorial, you are able to find the Ju simply by referring to a Ten Thousand Year Calendar or Chinese Almanac and counting the days. I will leave the other concept of Zhirun 置閏 or Zhirun Fai 置润法 and Chaibu Fa 拆补法 to another article as these talk about different systems of counting Ju and dealing with the transition period from Yang Dun to Yin Dun and Yin Dun to Yang Dun and also the reconciliation of 360 days versus 365 days.

Happy learning and counting¡­.

By Cyril Quah

"The Feng Shui Connoisseur"

March 18, 2009

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