Nine Star Ki

Reformatted and adapted by David Snieckus August 2007 With additional charts from Roel Hill: Nine Star Ki is a way of looking closely at patterns of yin and yang energy in our environment over time and understanding how these energy movements affect each of us. Comparable to and compatible with Western Astrological systems using the Zodiac, and the Chinese Animal Horoscope system, Nine Star Ki is a tool to becoming aware of our energetic tendencies, understanding our patterns of behavior, and managing our future and destiny.


It is a description of how energy moves in the form of expanding (yin) or contracting (yang).


To understand this, we must first understand that the universe is infinite, and is infinitely moving and changing. The universe is a whole entity, and everyone and everything exists as a part of the whole. Everything changes constantly. As all things change, they move from one extreme to the opposite extreme, and then back again. Night changes into day and back tonight, summer changes into winter and into summer again, hate changes into love, and physical changes into vibrational and returns to physical. Emperor Fu Hi named these two opposing states “yin” and “yang.” These two terms help us understand how two different things relate, change, and interact with each other. There are many different characteristics of yin and yang, but for our purposes, it is enough to know yin energy is expansive and moving upwards, while yang energy is contractive and moving downwards.

Let’s take the example of TIME: The energy of the day is changing, minute to minute, hour to hour. When the sun rises, energy also begins to rise upwards, expanding (yin): people begin to move, flowers open, society becomes activated. As sunset and night approach, the levels of energy and activity settle down and gather (yang): people come home to their families, read or watch TV, and go to sleep. We can look at the seasons in the same way. In the spring, the weather gets warmer and plants begin to grow (yin energy). As winter comes along, the weather gets colder and plants begin to contract and stop growing (yang).

The ancient scholars observed that within this continuous cycle of yin and yang there were four distinct stages of energy to be found. When energy is at its lowest point, such as in winter, then it is dormant and unmoving. They used the idea of Water to symbolize this stage. The stage where energy begins to move again, rising upwards and becoming more yin was symbolized by Tree (or Wood). The state at the height of expansion was symbolized by Fire, which is the most active. The energy then begins to condense and gather, becoming more yang. This stage was symbolized by Metal. The energy then returns to the Water stage.

As they identified these four stages of energy, the ancient scholars of the Far East realized that there was one more, a transitional stage that occurred between all the others. The period between each season, where the weather fluctuates erratically, is a good example. They used the symbol of Soil for this stage, and placed it in the center, as it is the stage that balances all the rest. Eventually, it took its place between Fire (ashes are the result of fire) and Metal (which one could call an extremely condensed or pure form of soil).

These five stages of energy, known to us as the FIVE Transformations, are applicable in endless ways in understanding energy flow. From this theory comes the base of Asian Medicine practices, like acupuncture, and shiatsu, the environmental understanding of Feng Shui, our macrobiotic perspective on cooking, and the system of the Nine Star Ki.

In understanding the Five Transformations and how they relate to the Nine Star Ki, a device known as the “Magic Square” is used. This numerological chart has ancient roots and amazing features. The numbers from one to nine are organized in a square in such a way that the numbers in all horizontal, vertical, and diagonal rows each add up to 15. In this sense, The Magic Square is perfectly “balanced.” This chart is a simplification of a larger, 81 number square (each row, column, and diagonal adding up to 369), which formed the base for the calendars of many ancient civilizations, including that of the Japanese and the Mayans. The amazing accuracy of these ancient calendars reflects the outstanding cosmological awareness of these people.

In Nine Star Ki, the simple nine-square chart is used. Each of the five stages of energy is represented by the numbers: Water is represented by the number 1; Tree by 3 and 4; Fire by 9; Soil by 2, 5, and 8; and Metal by 6 and 7. These numbers and elements are charted on the square in a way that also indicates their respective energy characteristics. Number 9 Fire, the most active, resides at the top of the chart, South. Number 1 Water, the most inactive, resides at the bottom, North. Number 5 Soil, the most balanced, resides in the center, and so on. In this way, we come to our Standard Chart, which has the same configuration as the Magic Square.

According to Nine Star Ki, we have three Stars allocated to our date of birth. The first number is our Primary Number and represents our Primary Characteristics. The second number is our character number and describes our childhood behavior pattern—it is who we are until we have completed two-nine-year cycles or until we reach age 18. It also shows how we respond to pressure. Many of us revert to our childhood nature under these situations. The Third number is our energetic number. It describes the “face” we show to others upon first meeting and it governs the impression we create.


The energy of our environment changes over time, every year, every month, and every day, in cycles of nine. So the New Year 1991 is characterized as a 9 Fire year because that was the dominating energy of that year. In the same way, 1975 could be called a 7 Metal year. The dominating energy of the year you were born is your PRIMARY NUMBER. So if you were born in 1975, then you are a 7 Metal personality. If you were born in the year 1991, then you are a 9 Fire personality.

Your Primary number reflects your constitutional or basic character and personality. This number is for general use in determining the primary character, overall life direction, and constitution of a person.


  • Take the last two digits of your year of birth, and add them together.   IF the sum is 10 or greater, then add these two new numbers together to come to a single digit.
  • Subtract this digit from ten. The difference is your Primary Number.

Note: The Nine Star Ki year begins around February 4th or 5th, the point between the Winter Solstice and the Spring Equinox. People born before this date have a Primary Number of the year before. 

Finding your THREE number Charts!

Your Primary Number indicates your energy type, such as 1 Water, 8 Soil, or 9 Fire. Each type has certain characteristics, identifiable in the person of that energy. A description of the numbers follows:

1 – Water: 

Associated with: Midnight, North, Winter, Kidneys/Bladder/Reproductive, Transparent/White The character of House: Dormancy, Hibernation, Planning, Stillness, Contemplation, Study, Self-Reflection, Spirituality The 1 water personality: Adaptable, flexible, easy-going, agreeable, mediator, facilitator, social relations, communications, creativity, gentle, reserved, strong, good listeners, good keeping secrets, insightful, sensitive, discreet, empathetic Extremes: Noncommittal, indecisive, lacking clear opinion, and direction

2 – Soil:

Associated with: Early Afternoon, South West, Indian Summer, Spleen/Pancreas, Black The character of House: Stagnation, Preparation, Listening, Conservative, Strengthening, Self-Development, Friendship The 2 Soil Personality: Kind, secure, thoughtful, nurturing, sincere, maternal, attentive, devoted, self-motivated, efficient Extremes: Perfectionist, overly-sensitive, inadaptability, demanding, idealistic, pushy, procrastinate

3 – Tree:

Associated with: Sunrise, East, Early Spring, Liver/Gallbladder, Light green The character of House: Proceeding, Advancement, Beginnings, Accomplishing, Optimism, Creativity The 3 Tree Personality: Emotional, strong, idealistic, poetic, brilliant, active, aesthetic, kind-hearted, straightforward, romantic, successful Extremes: Tempermental, opinionated, stubborn, competitive

4 -Tree: 

Associated with: Morning, South East, Late Spring, Liver/Gallbladder, Dark Green The character of House: Growth, Development, Maturation, Flourishing, Artistic, Expression, Experience The 4 Tree Personality: Thoughtful, practical, ambitious, socially-oriented, analytical, theoretical, sensitive, open-minded, eloquent, romantic Extremes: Over-idealistic, impractical, wasteful, risky, indecisive, over-ambitious

5 – Soil:

Associated with Transition, Center, Balance, Stomach/Spleen/Pancreas, Yellow Character of House: Up/Down, Positive/Negative, Heaven/Earth, Balance The 5 Soil Personality: Well-defined opinions and character, center-oriented, realistic, practical, direct, integrity, studious, self-confident, independent, willful, responsible, extremely influential
Extremes: Self-important, opinionated, egotistical, unadaptable, detached

6 – Metal:

Associated with: Evening, North West, Late Autumn, Lungs/Large Intestines, White/Silver Character of House: Prosperity, Harvest, Success, Finance, Self-Development The 6 Metal Personality: Self-disciplined, strong, clever, logical, ethical, orderly, intellectual, leadership, honest, straightforward, creative, conservative Extremes: Unadaptable, closed-minded, stubborn, imposing, difficult social relations

7 – Metal:

Associated with: Sunset, Early Autumn, Lung/Large Intestine, Red Character of House: Joy, Fruition, Satisfaction, Benefits, Consistency, Finance, Tradition The 7 Metal Personality: Very practical, materially well versed, intuitive, organizational, good common sense, bright, active, stylish, eloquent, excellent, work ethic Extremes: Bossy, picky, compulsive, materialistic, excessive

8 – Soil:

Associated with: Pre-Dawn, North East, Late Winter, Stomach/Spleen/Pancreas, Stark White Character of House: Revolution, Change, Transformation, Renewal, Reincarnation, Resurrection The 8 Soil Personality: Serious, quiet, strong, deep thinkers, refined, intelligent, self-reliant, optimistic, introspective, adventurous, gentle, just, resourceful Extremes: Isolated, stubborn, reclusive, materialistic

9 Fire:

Associated with: Noon, South, Summer, Heart/Small Intestine, Purple Character of House: Activity, Fame, Brightness, Success, Movement The 9 Fire Personality: Active, outgoing, sociable, energetic, clear opinion, spontaneous, quick and sharp mind, good public relations, independent Extremes: Over-impulsive, arrogant, superficial, lacking kindness, overconfident, critical

Follow the circle clockwise to find the Supporting Cycle, i.e., Wood engenders Fire, Fire engenders Earth, Earth engenders Metal, Metal engenders Water, Water engenders Wood.

Follow the five star clockwise to find the Controlling Cycle, i.e., Wood controls Earth, Fire controls Metal, Earth controls Water, Metal controls Wood, Water controls Fire.

Follow the circle anti-clockwise to find the Weakening Cycle, i.e., Wood weakens Water, Water weakens Metal, Metal weakens Earth, Earth weakens Fire, Fire weakens Wood.

Follow the five star anti-clockwise to find the Damaging Cycle, i.e., Wood damages Metal, Fire damages Water, Earth damages Wood, Metal damages Fire, Water damages Earth.

Sibling cycle – Last but not least the Elements can strengthen each other. Metal strengthens Metal, Fire strengthens Fire etc.

Nine Star Ki is not an arbitrary invention of ancient intellectual minds. It is actually a map of how ki is moving, which our own biological and spiritual senses can intuitively detect. When you are eating well and are living an active and balanced lifestyle, then you will intuitively know which times are best for what activity without having to check charts. The best way is to make your decision intuitively, then consult the charts and see what actually happens. Don’t let these charts control your life, because the goal of the Nine Star ki is to be free, but informed, in your decision. Nine Star Ki is simply an energetic map to guide it.

To really learn the Nine Star Ki, make a list of everyone you know; Family, friends, co-workers, everybody! Find their birthdays and research their Nine Star Ki charts and personalities.