There are different types of Chinese methods to determining one¡¯s destiny. Here we present a brief introduction of each form of the commonly found methods of divination, for a better understanding of which methods are most suited to your purpose.

Mo Gu (Ãþ¹Ç, Feeling of the Body structure or Bone reading)
This form of divination is based on the physical bone structure (hands, arms, shoulders, neck, etc.) to determine the personality and life of a person.
Some of the strengths and advantages are:
 Can be mastered by the blind
 Does not require a high level of literacy and can be easily used in various situations
 Analysis are basically memorised and there is no need to go into abstract analysis of energy flow like Feng Shui and BaZi.

Some of the limitations and constraints are:
 The person seeking the analysis will need to be physically present as pictures or prints taken are not sufficient for an analysis.
 Physical contacts at various points of body are necessary and may be sexually sensitive in analyzing members of the opposite sex. Some ladies may not feel comfortable to have a male master touching certain parts of their body.

Four Pillar Ba Zi (ËÄÖù°Ë×Ö, Eight Characters Analysis)
Based on the birth date and time of a person, the master can plot out a chart to analyse the person¡¯s personality, life cycle, wealth, work, relationships with others, etc. It uses the theory of Yin and Yang energies, together with the relationship of the Five Elements. By weighing the balance of the energy flow of these elements and its representation, the master can decipher very detailed information, for example, an auspicious year for marriage or purchasing property.
Some of the strengths and advantages are:
 Accuracy for such readings can be very high even with birth date alone (omitting the birth time) to produce basic details of personality and general life tendencies
 Anyone can seek an analysis on behalf of another person simply by obtaining the birth date and time of a person. However, this may also lead to intrusion of privacy.
 Only this form of divination can produce detail information, such as a close estimate of a particular timing of an event (like lost of money, meeting a partner or critical health issues, etc).

Some of the limitations and constraints are:
 The birth date and time must be accurate for a proper analysis, and birth time accuracy is crucial as a mere 5 minutes difference can greatly affect the analysis.
 Different region or even within the same country with the same time zones, there would actually be an intrinsic time difference due to the actual latitudinal location. Thus this would make a difference in the actual minutes calculation of a birth chart for certain situation.
 Knowledge in the Four Pillar Ba Zi is easy to pick up but difficult to master as it involves a lot of very abstract theories that require extensive experience. In analysis, the master has to consider and analyse the energy flow of the 5 elements, as well as the Yin and Yang. This also involves many layers of representations and combinations.

Zi Wei Dou Shu (×Ï΢¶·Êý, The Purple Star System)
Based on the birth date and time of a person, a master can plot the chart of a person and by the location of the different stars and their attributes and relationship with other stars, a master can foretell the personality and detailed information such as wealth, health, relationship, work, etc. This form of divination is signified by the usage of the 12 palaces to represent the different aspects of a person, e.g. parents¡¯ palace, palace of the self, assets palace, spouse palace, etc. The analysis is based on the interpretation of different stars falling in the different ¡®palaces¡¯ and their associated ¡®palaces¡¯

Some of the strengths and advantages are:
 Without having to go through very complex or abstract analysis, one can foretell the trend of an event or even the timing of an event that will happen.
 This form of divination is more simplistic and direct in its interpretation and analysis as compared to some other forms of divination. It can be learned rather easily.
 Anyone can seek an analysis on behalf of another person simply by obtaining the birth date and time of a person. However, this may also lead to intrusion of privacy.
 Only this form of divination can produce detail information, such as a close estimate of a particular timing of an event (like lost of money, meeting a partner or critical health issues, etc).
Some of the limitations and constraints are:
 The birth time is required for a chart to be plotted. Unlike some other form of divination, a birth date is sufficient to reveal many details.
 The birth date and time must be accurate for a proper analysis, and birth time accuracy is crucial as a mere 5 minutes difference can greatly affect the analysis.
 Different region or even within the same country with the same time zones, there would actually be an intrinsic time difference due to the actual latitudinal location. Thus this would make a difference in the actual minutes calculation of a birth chart for certain situation.

Yi Jing (Ò×¾­, The Book of Change Divination)
This form of divination uses the traditional Eight Trigrams as its basis to form combinations of 64 Hexagrams. Each Trigram is allocated a meaning and attribute, and a full set of meanings can be allocated to each combination when a hexagram is being selected. This form of divination rides on the theory that a form of energy will be able to give an answer to that vibration to the answers that we seek. Thus it is said that in order for this form of divination to work, one has to have complete faith in it as any doubts or skepticism will produce inaccurate answers. The analysis is also subjective to the knowledge, emotions and state of mind of an interpreter of the hexagram.
There are actually many levels of complexity or degree of usage of this form of divination, some use it to simply answer direct questions and some use it for plotting of charts and readings of personality and for some, it is seen as a philosophy on life and the way things should progress.
Some of the strengths and advantages are:
 It is an easy form of divination that only requires a reference book on the meanings of the hexagram.
 For more complex level of this form of divination, it will be able to involve the past, present and future of an event and it can foretell the changes or the outcome that will take place.
 Birth information is not required to do an analysis.
 Analysis can be done remotely, without any physical presence
Some of the limitation and constraints are:
 At times, the readings are more intuitive and difficult to teach. This is because the analysis is actually very subjective to the knowledge, emotions and state of mind of an interpreter of the hexagram.
 As this form of divination requires a match of energy (from the subject to the master or interpreter and vice versa), it is very susceptible to the poor energies, doubt and lack of concentration of either persons, resulting in a less accurate reading.

The above are only some of the different forms of divination. In our next part, we will look at the other forms of divination like Zhan Gua Wen Shi, Feng Shui, Face Reading and Palmistry.

Author's Bio: 

Master Chuan is a modern day geomancer who believes that the ancient arts of Feng Shui, Palmistry and the Four Pillar Analysis are practical solutions to solve our everyday challenges.
Having read the palms of some 6,000 people from all walks of life in the last 14 years and combined with Feng Shui and Four Pillar Analysis (BaZi), Master Chuan offers comprehensive readings and analysis for both individuals and organisations.
Practical in his approach, Master Chuan draws on the proven wisdom of these ancient arts and relates them to today's challenges. And through simple real life illustrations and analogies, he connects easily with clients and quickly points them to the right solution.
Well-versed in areas of personal success, budgeting, financial control, health improvement, disease prevention, stress management, personal achievement, relationship management, Master Chuan provides customised recommendations that are easily implemented.
Master Chuan has also written many articles in various publications and conducted numerous workshops on Palmistry and Feng Shui for various distinguished organisations, both locally in Singapore and in other countries (Malaysia & Germany).
Master Chuan is a Psychology graduate from the National University of Singapore (1997) and has a Master degree from De Monfort University, Leicester, UK (2001).

Master Chuan specialises:
 Palmistry (more than 14 years of experience)
 Four Pillar Analysis (Commonly known as Chinese Eight Character or Chinese Astrology)
 Feng Shui (Flying Star School, San He, San Yuan, Xuan Kong Fei Xing, etc.)
 Auspicious Dates Selection (For weddings, business openings, major corporate events, ceremonies, moving to new house, etc.)

Master Chuan can be contacted at:
Website: www.chuanonline.com
Email: enquiry@chuanonline.com
Tel: (+65) 97820820
Singapore