Monday, August 11, 2008

So what does your name mean?

I was chatting on the shoutbox with a few pingsters last night, and zhane brought up the topic of 'counting life' (算命), also known as fortune telling. And gradually, the topic shifted to 'name counting', which is a form of fortune telling whereby your name is analyzed. So, I decided to share some of my knowledge regarding the topic here. The general rules of 'name counting' are as follows:

1). Only Chinese characters are considered. Hence, Christian names are not considered

2). The name must be written in Chinese traditional form

3). There are a total of five numbers that can be derived from any Chinese name. They are the heaven (天格), human (人格), earth (地格), external (外格) and total (总格) numbers. Only the last four are meaningful as the surname is fixed.

4). Heaven number (天格) is obtained by adding 1 to your surname

5). Human number (人格) is obtained by adding the strokes of your first and second characters together. It exerts an influence over the entire stretch of your life, and is particularly influential over youth. It also symbolizes a person's personality and character

6). Earth number (地 格) is obtained by adding the strokes of your second and third characters together. It exerts an influence prior to middle age and is representative of one's offspring and spouse

7). External number (外 格) is obtained by adding 1 to the third character. It determines the nature of energy governing your life. In addition, it also governs the nature of interaction between one and the others, such as friends, family members, the public, etc

8). Total number (总 格) is the summation of all three characters in your name. It exerts an influence over the latter stages of middle age to old age

9). For surnames with more than one character (e.g. 公孙), the strokes are summed up as one character

10). For names with only one character, the 'second character' is represented by 1. For example, for Chinese athlete Liu Xiang (刘翔), his earth number (地 格) will be 13 strokes (12 strokes from + 1)

11). Characters with special sides may be counted specially, for example, the surname Guo (郭) has 15 strokes in 'name counting' as the 'ear' part (耳) is counted as 7 strokes when it's placed on the right

12). Each strokes have an element attached to it. These elements are wood (X1, X2), fire (X3, X4), earth (X5, X6), metal (X7, X8) and water (X9, X0), where X is an positive integer inclusive of 0

13). The compatibility of elements affect the name positively or negatively. They are summarized as follows:

- Compatible: wood and fire, fire and earth, earth and metal, metal and water, water and wood

- Opposes: wood and earth, fire and metal, earth and water, metal and wood, water and fire

Here's an example:

Chairman Mao (毛泽东) is the founder of Chinese Communist Party in 1921. According to 'name counting' rules, his name to be used is the Chinese traditional style, 毛澤東. By applying the rules, his numbers are as follow -

Heaven number (天格) - 5 strokes (element: earth)

Human number (人格) - 21 strokes (element: wood)

Earth number (地 格) - 25 strokes (element: earth)

External number (外 格) - 9 strokes (element: water)

Total number (总 格) - 29 strokes (element: water)

From his name, it can be seen that he has leadership qualities (21 strokes) but his life is generally laden with a lot of hardships (9 strokes).

Each and every stroke have its unique meaning. Due to its length, they are not described in this post. However, the auspicious nature of the numbers are listed below:

Auspicious strokes

1, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 11, 13, 15, 16, 17, 18, 21, 23, 24, 25, 31, 32, 33, 35, 37, 39, 41, 45, 47, 48, 52, 57, 61, 63, 65, 67, 68, 81

Semi-auspicious strokes

12, 14, 26, 27, 29, 38, 51, 58, 71, 73, 75, 77, 78

Inauspicious strokes

2, 4, 19, 20, 22, 28, 30, 34, 36, 40, 42, 43, 44, 46, 49, 50, 53, 54, 55, 56, 59, 60, 62, 64, 66, 69, 70, 72, 74, 76, 79, 80

For total number exceeding 80 strokes, the counter is reset (e.g. For a total of 87 strokes, the explanation is identical to that for 7 strokes).

Disclaimer: This post is made out of fun and to answer some of the question posted last night in the shoutbox. 'Name counting' is by no means a 'be all end all' thing, it just serves as a form of reference. Life is a very complicated thing, and the 'auspiciousness' of one's name is only partially influential.

After all, some do say that '30% of your life is pre-determined, 70% of your life is determined by you'.

Peace out.

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