Heavenly Stems & Earthly Branches

Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches are two sets of signs in a certain sequence, which were created by ancient Chinese people to calculate the history and record the chronological sequence of events. 
 

The Origin of Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branches


As early as about 2700BC, the ancestor of Chinese nation, Yellow Emperor (Huangdi), sent Da Rao Shi to create a calendar system. Da Rao Shi explored the rule of changes between sky and earth, as well as that of the four seasons. Then he created ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches to make combinations representing a sexagenary cycle. A year can be represented by the composition of two characters, one from the heavenly set, and one from the other. That is believed to be the start of the stem-branch calendar. Thus came a way of counting time which has been passed down through thousands of years.

 

The Heavenly Stems

乙   丙    戊  己  辛 
jiǎ bǐng dīng gēng xīn rén guǐ
Jia Yi Bing Ding Wu Ji Geng Xin Ren Gui

Earthly Branches

Earthly Branches can be used to count time of years, months and hours. When counting years, people use them with the 12 Chinese zodiacs and strictly one Earthly Branch corresponds to one fixed zodiac. For example, our ancestors have divided a day and night into twelve sections and named each as a 'shi chen', which is equal to today's two hours and has a fixed Earthly Branch name. From 11 pm at night to 1 am is decided to be the first one - 'zi shi', then the second two hours 'chou shi', on the analogy of this.

chǒu yín maǒ chén weì  shēn yǒu haì
Zi Chou Yin Mao Chen Si Wu Wei Shen You Xu Hai
Rat Ox Tiger Rabbit Dragon Snake Horse Sheep Monkey Rooster Dog Pig

Take the year of 2016 for example, 2016 can be described as 'Bing Shen', a combination of the third sign in Heavenly Stems and the ninth one in the Earthly Branches. Then the year of 2017 will be 'Ding You' - the fourth sign and the tenth one's association. 

The Four Pillar of Life (also the Eight Characters of Birth Time or 'ba zi' in Chinese) was very popular and mostly used in fortune-telling. In four pairs of year, month, day, and hour of a person's birth, each pair includes one Heavenly Stems and one Earthly Branchs. There are compatibility and incompatibility relations among the stems and branches. The expression of one's birth time in this way has always been vital especially when it is used for fortune foretelling.

 To know the Compatibility Charts of Chinese Zodiac Animal Signs

The Five Compatibilities of Heavenly Stems – Jia and Ji, Yi and Geng, Bing and Xin, Ding and Ren, Wu and Gui
Explanation: Wood is the corresponding element in Wu Xing to Jia, so is Earth to Ji. Wood grows in earth, so they are compatible combination. The rest can be explained in the same manner. 

The Six Combinations of Earthly Branches – Zi and Chou combined into Earth, Yin and Hai combined into Wood, Mao and Xu combined into Fire, Si and Shen combined into Water, Wu and Wei combined into the sun and moon

The Three Combinations of the Early Branches – Shen, Xi, Chen combine and form Water, Hai, Mao, Wei combine and form Wood, Yin, Wu, Xu combine and form Fire, Si, You, Chou combine and form Metal, Chen, Xu, Chou, Wei combine and forms Earth.

The following content is to introduction the braches in opposition, listing from strong to week power of harms. 

Six Clashes of the Earthly Branches – Zi vs Wu, Yin vs Shen, Mao vs You, Chen vs Xu, Si vs Hai, Chou vs Wei

Earthly Branches punishment:
Special - Yin vs Si, Si vs Shen, Shen vs Yin
Ungrateful – Chou vs Xu, Xu vs Wei, Wei vs Chou
Rudeness – Zi vs Mao
Self Punishment – Chen vs Chen, Wu vs Wu, You vs You, Hai vs Hai
Earthly Branches Harm – Zi vs Wei, Chou vs Wu, Yin vs Si, Mao vs Chen, Shen vs Hai, You vs Hai

* Please select a date according to the Gregorian calendar and search for the corresponding Chinese calendar information.

- Last modified on Dec. 28, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Heavenly Stems & Earthly Branches
Asked by Eluzabeth from UNITED KINGDOM | Mar. 03, 2020 16:12Reply
Born 21.30 3rd December 1949 ,what should my 2029 priority be?
Answers (1)
Answered by Keith from NEW ZEALAND | Mar. 04, 2020 00:21
00Reply


Well, do you mean 2020? If yes, you would have some chances to make some breakthroughs this year. You can accumulate wealth step by step. If possible, you can have more physical exercise in order to keep the body healthy.
Asked by Evelyn ng from SINGAPORE | Jan. 22, 2020 23:00Reply
2020 love
Currently having a serious clash with husband in 2019.
2020 will be better?

15 jan 1982, 7.01am
Answers (3)
Answered by Carl from UNITED KINGDOM | Feb. 03, 2020 17:49
00Reply


Luckily, the situation would become better this year. Don't worry so much.
Answered by Evelyn from SINGAPORE | Feb. 04, 2020 01:16
00Reply


Will he still insisted on seperation? His is 4 april, 82, 6am
Answered by Carl | Feb. 06, 2020 18:36
00Reply


You two are suggested to have more communications in daily life. Then the possibility would be low.
Asked by Aiwen from UK | Jan. 01, 2020 06:59Reply
hello I was born in march 30 1996 what does this year have in store for me?
Answers (1)
Answered by Clara from NEW ZEALAND | Jan. 01, 2020 21:54
00Reply


Hi, Aiwen, you are born with Chinese zodiac Rat sign. 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. Besides, you have the energy and courage to face any difficulties and dangers.
Asked by Monika Jacques from UNITED STATES | Dec. 28, 2019 11:19Reply
What does this year coming up have in store for me?
Born July 16 1955 in germany
Answers (1)
Answered by Avery from FINLAND | Dec. 30, 2019 22:11
00Reply


Your Chinese zodiac sign is Sheep. In general, there is no big problems in wealth and career next year. You should pay attention to your health condition. If possible, you can join in more activities to have more physical exercises. :)
Asked by Atom Saleb from UNITED STATES | Sep. 24, 2019 04:08Reply
Dad is a rat born in 1979. What did (and will) this year hold for Dad?
Answers (1)
Answered by Cameron from USA | Sep. 24, 2019 20:57
00Reply


He is born with Chinese zodiac Sheep sign. Generally speaking, your father will have a normal luck this year. Maybe he can do some investments with low risk. In this way, he may earn some extra money.
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