How to read a Zi Wei Dou Shu chart

Gagan Sarkaria How to Read a Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart

In this blog, I will show you how to read a Zi Wei Dou Shu chart. I will walk you through and highlight different ZiWeiDouShu elements in a sample chart analysis. Maybe you dabbled in Western astrology in your younger years, as many of us did. As we get older, we often take a path towards other methodologies. One such modality you may or may not have heard of is the ancient system of Destiny Science, rooted in Chinese astrology called The Purple Star Astrology also known as Zi Wei Dou Shou.

However, you may have noticed it’s not easy to learn how to read a Zi Wei Dou Shu (ZWDS) Chart. This is because it is a calculative method of plotting the charts and understanding how various stars fall on the 12 palaces on your birth chart.

In my ZWDS video series and this blog post, you’ll be guided through what a chart looks like and some general Zi Wei Dou Shu interpretations. Each client, as part of their 90-day Life Map Reading journey, also receives a beautifully designed in-depth report that helps them understand their chart.

My goal is to help educate you on how you can use this information for your benefit, as a personal development tool to get unstuck and start your thriving journey! I love assessing my clients’ strengths and weaknesses, issues, and root causes, and then giving strategic advice, solutions, and coaching based on their decade and annual cycles to maneuver through the ups and downs of their life and business using Zi Wei Dou Shu Destiny Chart. The most fascinating concept is that you can decode your destiny and create success using your least path of resistance as shown in your destiny chart.

How to read Zi Wei Dou Shu charts

I want to give you an understanding of a Zi Wei Dou Shu astrological analysis by showing you what a destiny chart looks like and the basic structure so you know how to read Zi Wei Dou Shu charts.

I’ve been studying, practicing, and doing life and business coaching through Zi Wei Dou Shu Destiny Science readings since 2016. I assist my clients in applying modern-day practical uses of Chinese Astrology Birth Chart Readings. After 14 months of apprenticeship with a traditional Chinese Astrologer Master, I got certified as a Zi Wei Dou Shu master through the Zi Wei Feng Shui Academy in Kuala Lumpur. I also use Qi Men Dun Jia, which is another Chinese Astrology Destiny Science modality, in conjunction with ZWDS when working with my clients.

In order to plot a chart, you need your date and time of birth. I have read charts of diverse age groups and serve both male and female clients equally! There is a multitude of layers to assess, and calculations to make in order to read a chart and then guide someone on a 90-day transformational journey of decoding their destiny. This blog will give you a simple understanding of how to read a ZWDS Chart.

What does a Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart Looks like

It’s made up of 12 squares or boxes, known as the palaces or sectors. These are virtual or conceptual palaces, not real palaces. There are two major schools of Zi Wei Dou Shu — The San He School and The Si Hua School. I had the opportunity to learn from two masters belonging to both schools. In my own readings, analysis, and coaching and consulting work, I blend the two when interpreting a chart to help create the breakthroughs I know my clients need.

The style I use more is known as the Flying Star Astrology or Purple Star Astrology which belongs to the Si Hua style or school. Some also reference the arrows on the chart, calling it the Four Enhancers Style. So be aware there are different interpretations and acronyms used.

This is what a Zi Wei Dou Shu chart looks like. I use a zwds calculator app offered by The Zi Wei Feng Shui Academy in Kuala Lumpur. Looking at the Zi We Dou Shu Chart will help you identify various components as you learn how to read a Zi Wei Dou Shu chart. Please note the various features, components on each image.

Zi Wei Dou Shu chart example

Center of the chart & the 12 palaces

The center of the chart includes a client’s details, their name, gender (and whether they have the yin or yang element), solar date of birth (with the time not being the exact date of birth time, but rather a two-hour window), zodiac sign based on the 12 Chinese animal zodiac signs and age.

Females don’t always necessarily have to be Yin energy and males don’t always necessarily have to be Yang energy. A male gender can be Yin and a female can be Yang. This identification of the Yin and Yang elemental energy helps determine which way their chart will be plotted — clockwise or anti-clockwise. Working with a zwds calculator app like the one I use, is fascinating as it calculates and displays all three charts and more details for me to assess for a client.

The 12 palaces, as you can see from the image are:

  • Self or Life Palace
  • Siblings Palace
  • Spouse Palace
  • Children Palace
  • Wealth Palace
  • Health Palace
  • Travel Palace
  • Friends Palace
  • Career Palace
  • Property Palace
  • Mental or Karma Palace
  • Parents Palace

Reading the palace information

We’ve already touched on the fact the Yin or Yang energy determines which direction the chart should be read. So in this example, the female gender with Yin energy moves the palaces on the chart clockwise.

As you can see that the 5 Elemental Energy of this client is Water (Two), which determines the starting lunar age of this chart and setting the first-decade cycle at age 2 at Self Palace.

The Self Palace is followed by Parents, Mental (also known as karma, fortune or happiness palace), Property, Career, Friends, Travel, Health, Wealth, Children, Spouse, and Siblings as the last one. If this example client were a Yang energy, the palaces would flow in the other direction.

The reason the chart ends at age 121 is that in the past we were supposed to live longer.

The next thing to look at is the highlighted ages 42 to 51. This particular person is in her career decade cycle, and her age is between 42 to 51. You can then find the actual age by looking for the square with the current year in it and that indicates the current lunar age.

Once you’ve taken in all the information, you have to start looking at:

  • What are the stars in each of these palaces?
  • What influence do they have on each palace?
  • How do palaces influence and interact with each other?
  • What do the four enhancers do?
  • What are the birth year enhancers?
  • What are the flying Stars enhancers?
  • What are self enhancers?

There are 144 palatial dynamics that you can calculate, and there are over 1000 possible charts. There’s no way to memorize all those charts, but you can learn and understand how the interactions work and what the interpretation means to do an assessment of the client’s past, and current time periods to then do strategic forecasting.

A lot of astrology work also includes intuitive work. Intuition is the communication technique to tap into the Universal Intelligence, which is the Infinite Source of Abundance —The Great Void — for answers, signs, and messages that you can interpret and gain clarity for execution in order to solve problems. Intuition is powerful in gathering the information from the chart and analyzing it. This is a big part of what I love doing — I want to create an accuracy of my clients’ past events. So I’ll ask them validation questions to create an understanding of their past.

If I am 60-75% accurate in my assessment of your past, this helps create a beautiful foundation to assess your current situation and then help re-create your destiny! Hope learning how to read a Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart is as fascinating to you, as it is to me.

Understanding The Growth Palaces

The four corners — Si, Hai, Shen and Yin Palaces — on a chart are called the growth palaces or the horse palaces.

zi we dou shu palaces

Whichever palace ends up in the corners, that’s where this person has the most challenges or opportunities to grow the most, hence, the name — Growth Palaces. The four palaces that are in the corner, in this example, are the Mental Palace, the Friends Palace, the Wealth Palace, and of course, the Siblings Palace, as outlined in red.

Now, you can look at challenges as opportunities to grow through hard work or you can just give up and say this is not something I wanted, but it’s fated.

If you embrace the journey and understand where this is going to go, then you understand that this is your growth phase, this is your opportunity, and that you have to work hard if you want better results.

That's a surface level aspect. Then the deeper level analysis involves looking at:

  • each of the stars and what they mean
  • the four enhancers and what they mean
  • the self-enhancer part
  • the fly out part

That’s the in-depth astrological analysis that I take my clients on and help them understand their destiny code and how they can heal their pasts, increase their awareness, identify options, make better decisions, and achieve abundance and success.

The Inner and Outer Palaces

Another concept is the inner and outer palaces. There are certain things that are out of your control, which are tied to outer palaces,  and certain things that you can control, which are tied to your inner palaces.

zwds inner outer palaces

Your inner palaces are 1, 5, 9, 6 and 10:

  • 1 - Self
  • 5 - Wealth
  • 9 - Career
  • 6 - Health
  • 10 - Property

These palaces are also identified by numbers in Zi Wei Dou Shu practice.

In this particular chart, the progression of the decade cycles is clockwise, but the actual formulas are run anti-clockwise. These numbers signify the palaces you can control and blossom with it. Anything outside these, you have no control over. You have no control over your siblings, your spouse, your children, travel, your friends, your karma and your parents.

So, having an understanding of how these palaces interact with each other, which one is going to clash which one, and when and what is it that you can do to keep the clash manageable is what my Life Map Reading 90-day journey is about.

Layering decade chart and birth chart

The Decade Chart also contains the same 12 Palaces as an original, birth chart of the native/client but the location of each individual palace may be different. When flying out from the decade chart, we may select the Decade Palace that determines the subject that we wish to investigate, and then see into which palaces of the birth chart or the original natal chart the four enhancers with land or fly out to.

zwds decade cycle

In this example, you can see the decade cycle being overlaid on the actual birth chart. And this is where the dynamic happens.

When you do a life map reading service with me, I assess your three charts. First is the natal birth life chart, then comes the decade chart, then the current annual chart, which has the 12-month cycles. You have to interact and play with them as they are moving and interacting with each other. So it’s a complex and fascinating study, and I love it.

As you can see in the image above, each of the 12 Palaces contains the name of the Stars, the respective “Si Hua” if applicable to the Star in the Palace, the flyout Si Hua if applicable, the name of the Palace, the Heavenly Stem and the Earthly Branch of the Palace, the Decade Cycle lunar age years of the native/client, and the Decade Palace overlapping the Original Palace.

The Decade Cycle starts at the age according to the Five Elements — Water, Wood, Metal, Earth, and Fire:

  • Water Element: Starts at Two years of age (Decade 2 – 11)
  • Wood Element: Starts at Three years of age (Decade 3 – 12)
  • Metal Element: Starts at Four years of age (Decade 4 – 13)
  • Earth Element: Starts at Five years of age (Decade 5 – 14)
  • Fire Element: Starts at Six years of age (Decade 6 – 15)

Reading The Flying Stars

The 18 Flying Stars Lineage of Destiny Science translates the word  “Si” as Four while the word “Hua” means the Enhancers. Therefore, “Si Hua” literally means the “Four Enhancers system of Zi Wei Dou Shu”.  The magnetic influence between you and the people you deal with will be reflected in the reaction of the zodiac signs in the course of “Flying” the Four Enhancers, while the outcome of the actions taken in your life journey will also be consequential to the magnetic influence of the environment you reside in.

Destiny Science is not a simplistic formulation and application of the New Age but involves proper and in-depth calculations and classical principles as disclosed in the ancient texts on Zi Wei Dou Shu.

The Si Hua style is known for its supreme power of analyzing extreme meticulous details of each subject or event. A Si Hua Zi Wei Dou Shu Master can offer the best solution to a problem besides knowing the duration of any crisis as well as the maximum mitigation of any negative impact from potential difficulties and disasters.

In this example, this is what these Flying Stars do. Each of the 4 lines — the red line, the green line, the yellow line and the blue line are associated with the Flying Si Hua.

  • The Green Line is Hua Lu
  • The Red Line is Hua Ji
  • The Blue Line is Hua Quan
  • The Yellow Line is Hua Ke

These lines moving from one palace to another, mean something. I’ll give you an analysis. When looking at this person’s Decade Spouse in the current decade cycle, this person’s spouse will increase their fame, their intellectual capacity will grow, this person will become wiser or they will grow to have more resources during this Decade cycle. This client also has “Romance and Love Affair” potential or possibility during her current Decade Cycle of 42 – 51. During 2017, this person’s travels will increase bringing her blessings, power, and authority, along with inner strength and solitary moments. Ju Men Hua Ji is inauspicious and brings misfortunes. In this case, Decade Spouse Hua Ji to Original Mental Palace causing an impact in her Mental/Fortune/Karma Palace. This can also be interpreted as having stress from Spouse.

A spouse could be a husband, significant other, somebody that you live with or have an intimate relationship with. That's what a spouse means in Chinese metaphysics. A free chart that you plot online won’t tell you what each of these decade palaces and their flying star means.

Here’s another example: In the Decade Mental Palace, which occurred in 2017 for this client, her karma was kicking in. Based on where the Palaces sit and these colored arrows — the Si Hua flyouts — this client had a conflict in the family in 2017 like breaking family or separation or structural damage in the house.

A thing to note is that the red lines, Hua Ji, don’t necessarily mean negative and the green lines, Hua Lu, don’t necessarily mean positive. The Zi Wei Dou Shu interpretation is different at different interactions with the stars and the event or matter that is being analyzed.

It depends upon the Palace, Stars inside the Palace, what kind of self enhancers you have attached to that Star and what birth enhancers you have can mean different things for different people. This is why it's important to know how to read Zi We Dou Shu charts.


The 12 types of Hua Ji Structures in ZiWeiDouShu chart readings also shed deeper light on what is fated for a client, and how he or she can design their destiny! The awareness alone can set a course of a different path for you, as better optics allow a person to make better decisions. And better decisions are a result of having better options and making better choices in life. When someone is in a downward spiral, stuck and struggling, their life-force energy is low or they are vibrating at a low frequency, they cannot create the results they want. To get out of the stuck state or situation one needs clarity of direction. This is where starting a Zi Wei Dou Shu Life Map Reading Journey can be extremely beneficial.

Many of my clients always ask for some form of relationship, career, and wealth advice. In the client chart discussed here in this blog, her chart identifies fated elements like “unfair treatment” between the client and her spouse, where she loves and cares for her spouse/partner a lot, while her spouse always gives her stress and problems. This is irrespective of her past relationships, current marriage, or any intimate relationship she may have. Every time she is in a relationship or in love, stress from Spouse Palace is fated for her.

Further assessing her Spouse’s charts, it was clear that her spouse has extreme relationship problems with high chances of separation or divorce fated for him. Remember fated events only hold 30% of power over you, the 70% of destiny is designed by our actions, decisions, and choices.

Designing Your Destiny

When we don’t like the outcomes or direction of our journey, we can do course-correction and redesign our outcomes. In order to do so, we need to have the clarity and courage to take the necessary steps to create and achieve the results we desire. If my assessment of the past makes sense to a client, and the present is what they know, then what I forecast for the future definitely makes sense to them. In my coaching and consulting, I then assist my clients to maneuver better on their newly identified path.

Zi Wei Dou SHu Sample Chart

Other things to note are that the Parents Palace often talks more about the father and the Siblings Palace can sometimes be referring to the mother of the native. A very common question I ask my clients is: Are your parents alive? Because that then helps me go into the past a little bit more.

Spouse or relationship is the main focus of this client. Relationships or Spouse brings her stress but based on the flyouts from Spouse Palace, I can further assess that after marriage or after intimate relationships, the client’s career flourishes. Having an understanding and clarity of how one can manage the stress and get unstuck from a downward spiral is what Discover Your Destiny Code using Zi Wei Dou Shu is about. We can all learn to raise our vibrations and thrive in life, relationships, and business or career. The question is about timing, the support you can get, and the environment — your inner and outer environment. This is how you can create your blueprint of success through a Zi Wei Dou Shu reading. This is it for now! Hope you have enjoyed learning how to read a Zi Wei Dou Shu chart.

Discover your Zi Wei Dou Shu destiny code

Don’t want to learn how to read the complex Zi Wei Dou Shu chart yourself or spend years mastering the techniques, and rather have a professional analyze it for you?

In the 90-day Life Map Reading journey, we focus on the soulful mentoring and coaching around your Zi Wei Dou Shu chart. This helps you unblock your energies, heal your past, achieve success, and create your profound year ahead!

If you are curious about how to discover your own life map from a Zi Wei Dou Shu reading, learn how to get started.

Gagan Sarkaria Divider used on website
How to read a Zi Wei Dou Shu chart