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Nine Star Ki - Powerful Wisdom for Personal Transformation

by Stacey Holden(more info)

listed in astrology, originally published in issue 154 - January 2009

Ever wondered who you are and what you are truly capable of being? For some of us, these questions are passing thoughts. Others ponder them for much longer and wrestle with ill-fitting careers or challenging relationships. So where can we turn for answers? There are myriad interventions that can quench our thirst for self-knowledge and facilitate personal development: horoscopes, mediums, training courses and complementary therapies, to name a few. Companies favour personality profiles and psychometric assessment tools to profile our abilities and get 'best fit' employees. Yet how closely do any of these tools reflect the real you, and do they provide sufficient guidance for your journey of self-discovery and development? Japanese Nine Star Ki astrology reaches farther than most.

Nine Star Ki (pronounced 'key' – the Japanese word for energy or life-force) may be the oldest form of astrology in the world. It has its origins in China, coming from the 4000 year old Book of Changes, known as the I Ching. The ancient principles set out in the I Ching are the foundations of Feng Shui, traditional Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Nine Star Ki is a simple yet profound system, which helps us to understand ourselves and our relationships with others by getting in touch with our inherent potential.

What do the Stars Tell Us?

Ancient civilisations understood life in terms of yin and yang energy: feminine, dark, passive energy on the one hand; masculine, light, active energy on the other. They believed that the yang energy of the universe was channelled to earth via nine stars: Vega, Polaris and the seven stars of the Big Dipper (part of the Great Bear). They also believed that these stars gave the universal energy a different quality at different times, affecting our climate and giving rise to the concept of seasons. Ancient peoples also understood that the yin energies emanating from the earth shaped our physical environment. It is the interaction between the energy of the universe and the energy of the earth that was believed to influence the energetic dynamic of the year in which we were born, thus influencing our character.

Is it All in the Stars?

Nine Star Ki underpins Feng Shui and as such is rooted in the natural environment. Sometimes referred to as Feng Shui Astrology, Nine Star Ki was developed by people in tune with nature, its forces and patterns. So for those who cannot accept that our nature in pre-determined by stars and planets alone, Nine Star Ki offers a more grounded approach. In nature, the sages observed nine distinctive stages that occurred in a cycle of nine years, with smaller cycles of nine months and nine days within this. Each stage observed was seen to affect humans in specific ways – physiologically and psychologically, giving rise to nine different personality archetypes, represented by the numbers 1 to 9. Each personality type not only depicts our personality traits, but also reveals our inherent potential – our natural strengths and weaknesses and therefore what we are truly capable of being.

Is it all Pre-determined?

In Nine Star Ki, where our date of birth sits within the nine year, nine month and nine day cycles determines which of the nine personality types we are. However, an individual's Nine Star Ki chart is comprised of three digits, each of which can be between the numbers 1 to 9. This gives rise to 81 different combinations and corresponds to a specific character profile to further our understanding of ourselves and our innate potential.

The first digit is our adult potential number, which describes our intrinsic nature and optimal potential. The second digit is our childhood number, which describes our childhood potential and also describes where we will tend to revert when under stress. The last digit corresponds to our external persona – the personality we show to others on first impression. The interaction between the three digits of our chart give further clues to our personality and potential, such as our sense of identity and the ease of our transition to adulthood.

Our Nine Star Ki profile reveals our natural strengths and weaknesses and our compatibility with others, and is uncannily accurate, despite our individual upbringings, education and personal decisions. Of course we may find some aspects of our personality type to be flattering, with other aspects less so. It is not the case that one of the personality types is best; it's simply that each of the nine types represent different characteristics and potential. Similarly we may identify with some parts of our personality type more than others, depending on which aspects of our true potential are manifest and which are dormant or blocked. For example, we may use some of our natural skills in our daily life and work, without much thought to them coming so easily. This part of our potential is evident. Conversely, we may perform tasks in our daily lives that we have learned to do but may not come naturally or easily to us, which may actually cause us tension and inhibit our true potential. Find your adult potential number in Chart A then check Chart B for your character traits. 

Relationships – are we Compatible?

Nine Star Ki draws on another natural law to explain the interaction between the nine personality types that of the Five Elements – wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Each personality type is represented by one of the elements, which symbolises a specific stage in the cycle of development from birth to death (see Chart C).

Chart A

Chart B - Character Traits

Elements relate to each other in either a supportive or challenging way, hence informing us as to whether a personal or work relationship is 'supportive' or 'challenging'. For instance, 1 people (represented by the element 'water') are supportive of 4s (represented by 'wood'), just as water nourishes trees. To a degree this is two-way – water is used by wood, so 1 people can feel drained by the act of supporting 4s. In the challenging cycle, 7s ('metal') challenge 4s ('wood') just as metal cuts wood. Again this can be two-way – eventually wood blunts metal (see Chart C). Challenging relationships can be a struggle, with tensions and difficulties arising from the differences between the personality types. However, challenging relationships can also be exciting and dynamic and as beneficial to our development as the supportive ones. Nine Star Ki points out what we can learn from each of the other personality types and what we can teach them. Coupled with the wisdom of the Five Elements, Nine Star Ki helps us to improve our relationships by developing ourselves. Use Chart A to find the adult potential number of friends, family and colleagues, then refer to Chart C to check whether your relationship with them is 'supportive' or 'challenging.'

Chart C The Five Elements

Can Nine Star Ki Transform Us?

Nine Star Ki not only explains our basic nature, but also gives insights into the steps we may take to develop our potential. Using the symbolism of nature, Nine Star Ki informs us when we are balanced or out of balance. For example, 1 people ('water') when balanced are like a bubbling brook. Yet out of balance can become rigid like ice, or frantic like a torrent. So 'icy 1's' need to lighten up to avoid becoming overly serious, and let go of negative attitudes that may keep them stuck. 'Frantic 1's' need to see the positive in all situations to avoid over-reacting.

Why Consult Nine Star Ki?

Nine Star Ki offers practical guidance for understanding who we are, where we are and directionology:

Who We Are

Nine Star Ki is invaluable in helping us to get in touch with our basic, conditioned nature with all its strengths and weaknesses. People are turning to Nine Star Ki to understand their true potential, natural skills, and leadership abilities – asking the questions what makes me tick? and what was I born to do?  Nine Star Ki will also help you to understand more about your personal health and your response to stress and change – why performing certain tasks comes more naturally than others and how to get back on track if out of balance. Nine Star Ki is also a useful and practical guide to understanding business and personal relationships. It can assist in building a team and improving relationships, knowing what you can learn from others, how they can help you to develop and vice versa.

Where We Are

Nine Star Ki also gives clues to the particular part of the nine-month and nine-year cycle we are each in at any given time (our 'house'), and goes some way to explaining why things seem to go smoothly for us at times, while at other times we feel like we are walking through treacle. For instance, a 1-water 'house' is a time for resting and reflecting (the imagery is of floating in water.) It is not the best time for travel or starting anything new. A 3-wood 'house' on the other hand, is the time for initiating projects, as this time is associated with the active energy of Spring (think of new shoots pushing through the ground). This information is useful for understanding when to plan and when to initiate projects for instance.


Directionology is the third aspect of Nine Star Ki – understanding the auspicious directions for moving house or office, going on holiday and other key events. It is essentially about being in tune with your own energy and the energy of the moment, as well as the direction of travel. This aspect of Nine Star Ki can give tips to support you and optimize your plans at times of major movement or travel.

So why consult Nine Star Ki? For a powerful guide on your journey of self-discovery.


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About Stacey Holden

Stacey Holden BA (Hons) Dip ICCH is a trainer in the field of interpersonal skills, qualified crystal therapist and mum. She is senior partner of Ki Training, a company specializing in unlocking potential. She has worked with Nine Star Ki since 1996 having studied with experts in the UK and USA, and has pioneered the creation of Ki Profiles – comprehensive personality profiles based on Nine Star Ki – as a development tool for individuals and teams. Stacey Holden may be contacted on Tel/Fax: 01985 845 046;     

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