The Grand Duke (太歲)

Author: Jerry King
Publish date: August 7, 2010

The Grand Duke is always a primary concern each year for those who are involved in Feng Shui and Four Pillars work. The Grand Duke is a name to describe the year where one it is located in one of the twelve branches. The twelve branches include the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. These symbols can be found in the Chinese compass. The Grand Duke is the “Boss” or the “Ruler” of the year. It bares the most powerful energy out of all the other sectors in Feng Shui each year. Locating the Grand Duke is an important responsibility for Feng Shui practitioners.

To find the Grand Duke, it is very simple. Determine the animal year, then look at the Chinese compass to locate the sector. For example, in 2011, it is the Year of the Rabbit. The Grand Duke for 2011 would be located between 82.5º – 97.5º East.

Every year, the Asians who are into Feng Shui are always concerned firstly about where the “Grand Duke” resides for the year. It is an area where there is energetic imbalance due to its interactions with the planet Jupiter and the cosmos. This is an area that should not be disturbed. For the Year of the Rabbit, the Grand Duke is located in the East, therefore, avoid renovations and major activities in this area of the house. The inauspicious 5 star also moved into this sector which makes the east sector an even more difficult area to deal with. Things to beware of and remedies in the East sector:

• Avoid red and earth colors in this sector.
• Place six coins in a row or metal objects here.
• Brass, bronze, silver or gold dragon ornaments are also recommended.
• Pi Yao Dogs (preferably two) are of very popular ornaments used to appease the Grand Duke.
• If you have a different sector of entry into the house, try to use that instead of the east sector. If the east entrance is unavoidable, try not to bang or slam the door upon entry.
• Calabash or Wu Lu Gourd can also be used.

From a sitting and facing position perspective, sitting with the back towards the Grand Duke would be the best solution. Always avoid facing the Grand Duke.

There is a difference between the energy coming from the Grand Duke compared to the Sun. The Sun provides energy to the earth that is nurturing and promotes growth. The Sun is full of Yang Energy. The energy of the Grand Duke is considered to be Yin and it has negative effects on our planet.


The energy of the Grand Duke has been utilized in war. The most obvious case in recent history would be Mao Tse Tung and the Communist victory over the Nationalist in China in 1949. Mao Tse Tung is known not only as the leader of the Chinese Communist Party and the founder of the People’s Republic of China, but also, he is often highly regarded as a great metaphysician. The Chinese Communist victory was engineered by careful calculations and the utilization of the Grand Duke. The final years of the battle between the CCP and the Nationalists were represented by the years of the Pig, Rat and Ox. With the knowledge of the energy for those years, Mao ordered his army to take the Northeast of China during the Pig year in 1947 at all costs. By 1948, Mao’s army had controlled much of the North and was ready to push South in the year of the Rat. By utilizing the energy of the Grand Duke behind their backs, the CCP was at an advantage and drove the Nationalist Party backwards. Even though the Nationalist Party were backed by superior weapons and resources, they were no match against the communists. By the second half of 1949, the Nationalists were driven out of China onto the island of Taiwan.

The Japanese also benefited from the power of the Grand Duke. They began their invasion of China in 1937 in the year of the Ox by taking control of the Northeast. Similar to what the Chinese Communist had done, the Japanese had the Grand Duke behind their backs in 1938 and 1939 in the East. Many parts of the East in China were under the control of the Japanese until the Grand Duke was in the South in 1942, the year of the Horse. By then, the United States had entered the war and the Japanese and the Chinese were at a stalemate. As the Grand Duke moved towards the West, 1945 marked the surrender of the Japanese. 1945 was the year of the Rooster and the energy of the Grand Duke was clearly behind the Chinese from a directional standpoint.