Four Pillars of Destiny (Bazi)

The Four Pillars of Destiny is known as 'eight characters of birth time', namely Sheng Chen Ba Zi, shortly as Bazi in Pinyin. As an important component of Chinese fortune telling, the 'four pillars' refers to the year, month, day and hour pillars of a birthday in Chinese solar calendar and each pillar has two characters, eight characters (Ba Zi) in total. Two characters in each pair are made up of one character from the Heavenly Stems and one from the Earthly Branches. 

The theory of the Chinese Four Pillars of Destiny is based on Yin Yang and Wu Xing, and the pillars are represented on the basis of the heavenly stems & earthly branches

Year Pillar

– Ten Heavenly Stems and Twelve Earthly branches combines and create a sexagenary cycle (See this chart to find the year pillar. If your birth year is not in the 60-year circle, it can be calculated by extrapolation from the figures.) Here is a quick way to convert a year in western calendar into the one represented by stem and branch. 

Year's Heavenly Stem – Last number of a year will indicate the year's stem
Jia Yi Bing Ding Wu Ji Geng Xin Ren Gui
4 5 6 7 8 9 0 1 2 3

Year's Earthly Branch – the reminder (1-11) of the year divided by 12 will indicate the year's branch

Zi Chou Yin Mao Chen Si Wu Wei Shen You Xu Hai
4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 0 1 2 3

Take the year 1985 for example. Last number 5 refers to Yi. 1985 divided by 12 equals an integer 165 with a reminder of 5. Number 5 refers to Chou. So 1985 is Yi Chou year.

Month Pillar

– Month pillar has fixed early branches, lunar January to October represented by Yin, Mao, Chen, Si, Wu, Wei, Shen, You, Xu, Hai, Zi and Chou. The heavenly stem is changing according to the year pillar. In fact, the division of two month branches is usually up to the 24 solar terms. From the Beginning of Spring which regarded as the real start of a year, the branch shifts every two solar terms. The representation by lunar months is only an only an approximation.

Earthly Branches and 12 Months
Branch Zi Chou Yin Mao Chen Si
Lunar Nov. Dec. Jan. Feb. Mar. Apr.
Solar Daxue-
Xiaohan
Xiaohan-
Lichun
Lichun-
Jingzhe
Jingzhe-
Qingming

Qingming-

Lixia

Lixia-
Mangzhong
Branch Wu Wei Shen You Xu Hai
Lunar May Jun. Jul. Aug. Sep. Oct.
Solar Mangzhou-
Xiaoshu
Xiaoshu-
Liqiu
Liqiu-
Bailu
Bailu-
Hanlu
Hanlu-
Lidong
Lidong-
Daxue
 

Day Pillar

– The recondition to know a day's stem and branch, one should remember the stem and branch of the first day of that year in Chinese lunar calendar. Then, Chinese calendar has bigger and lesser month, respectively having 30 or 29 days. One stem-branch cycle needs 60 days. If the stem and branch of the first day of that lunar month has been known, there is a way to extrapolate any day within the month, by the different extrapolation rules applied to bigger and lesser months. 
 

Hour Pillar

– Similarly, the heavenly branches of the hour pillar is fixed. Jia hour refers to 23:00-01:00, and so forth. The heavenly stem of each day is up to the stem and branch of the day pillar. 

Earthly Branches of 24 Hours (12 Shi Chen)
Zi Chou Yin Mao Chen Si
23:00-00:59 01:00-02:59 03:00-04:59 05:00-06:59 07:00-08:59 09:00-10:59
Wu Wei Shen You Xu Hai
11:00-12:59 13:00-14:59 15:00-16:59 17:00-18:59 19:00-20:59 21:00-22:59


 Here is the Bazi chart interpretation for an individual born at 18:00, on April 12, 1985 (lunar February 23, 1985) in western calendar for example. Generally, a yellow calendar book is necessary to help find the accurate pillars. Now, it is very easy to find an online Ba Zi calculator. 

 
Pillars Hour Day Month Year
Heavenly Stems Ding Ding Geng Yi
Wu Xing/Yin Yang Yin Fire Yin Fire Yang Metal Yin Wood
Earthly Branches You Chou Chen Chou
Wu Xing/Yin Yang Yin Metal Yin Earth Yang Earth Yin Earth

It has only eight characters, but the relation of the eight characters is very complicated. According to the Bazi analysis theory, year pillar represents ancestors and parents; month pillar represents brothers and sisters; day stem represents oneself; day branch represent spouse; hour pillar represents offspring. In addition, the heavenly stems have their own characteristics which are related to the Five Elements (Wu Xing). The missing element in a baby's Bazi will be usually added into its name as an action of compensation. Among the ten heavenly stems, there are compatible and opposite relations. While among the earthly branches, the relations are more complex, combination, clash, restriction, harm, etc. Abundant relationships may have accurate explanation on the luck of one self or relatives. 

The ancient people believed that birth time is a kind of Qi (aura, something of spirit). People born in the Wei hour have an aura field of Wei. If the birth time is in Wei hour but closing to Shen, the aura field has changed gradually to that of the Shen hour. The Four Pillars of Destiny was created based on vague time, as the time division in ancient time could not be accurate as it is in modern times. So, are there any errors if calculating the Ba Zi because of the time difference? An individual is unique replying on the combination of time, space and spirit. While the Four Pillars mainly talks about time, occasionally space but non spirit. It is an outcome of Chinese metaphysics which is special, interesting but the accurate is debatable.

- Last modified on Dec. 26, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Four Pillars of Destiny (Bazi)
Asked by Carl from PHILIPPINES | Jan. 20, 2020 21:22Reply
Is our wedding planned date December 9, 2020 an auspicious day
Considering the eight character of birth time. Male born on 02 Nov 1987 and Female born on 01 Aug 1992
Asked by Erin from INDONESIA | Jan. 11, 2020 02:01Reply
I am a female born in 22 Oct 1996 at 01.00 hrs .
How do my career, love life and health looks like for 2020?
Answers (1)
Answered by Selah from UNITED KINGDOM | Jan. 13, 2020 18:17
00Reply


You are born with Chinese zodiac Rat sign. In 2020, you will have good fortune in career. You may have both challenges and opportunities in work. At the same time, you will have opportunities to enrich your knowledge. As for health, you are healthy but still need to keep fit.
Asked by John from SINGAPORE | Jan. 09, 2020 01:23Reply
I'm Male born 24 Feb 1973 Chinese zodiac Ox love relationship with Rat 10 Nov 1972.
John singapore
Answers (1)
Answered by Janet from UKRAINE | Jan. 09, 2020 23:47
00Reply


Don't worry. John. The prediction shows that you are born to be a perfect match.
Asked by Jessie Lim from SINGAPORE | Jan. 06, 2020 20:09Reply
Female born on 10 Feb 1972 @5.59am
Will I solve my financial problems & accumulate wealth through my real estate business? Will I find my life partner?
Answers (2)
Answered by Beatrice from GERMANY | Jan. 06, 2020 22:01
00Reply


Yes, you would have a large chance to improve the financial situation. You can accumulate the wealth step by step. As for love relationship, February, June and September will be your lucky months.
Answered by Jessie Lim from SINGAPORE | Jan. 06, 2020 23:35
00Reply


Beatrice, thank u so much for your prompt reply. Looking forward to seeing my life change for the better🍾🙂
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