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Bazi (Four Pillars of Destiny)


Bazi, also called the Four Pillars of Destiny, is an astrological concept that is used to divine a person’s destiny. The word Bazi literally means “eight characters”, which are composed of four pillars (year, month, day and the hour of a birthday) and each pillar has two characters that derived from the heavenly stems and earthly branches, totaling eight characters.


Year Pillar


Year’s Heavenly Stems: the last number of the year can tell its heavenly stem.

Heavenly Stems

Jia

Yi

Bing

Ding

Wu

Ji

Geng

Xin

Ren

Gui

Numbers

4

5

6

7

8

9

0

1

2

3


Year's Earthly Branch the reminder (from 1 to11) of the year divided by 12.

Earthly Branches

Zi

Chou

Yin

Mao

Chen

Si

Wu

Wei

Shen

You

Xu

Hai

Reminder

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

0

1

2

3

Note: if you are born before the lunar date of the Beginning of the Spring, the heavenly stem and earthly branch of your birth year should be the same as the last year.


Month Pillar


The month pillar in numerology starts from the first solar term of that month, please refer to the following table.


Earthly Branches

Zi

Chou

Yin

Mao

Chen

Si

Wu

Wei

Shen

You

Xu

Hai

Lunar Month

Nov.

Dec.

Jan.

Feb.

Mar.

Apr.

May

Jun.

Jul.

Aug.

Sep.

Oct.

Solar Terms

Heavy Snow - Moderate Cold

Moderate Cold - Spring Begins

Spring Begins - Insects Waken

Insects Waken - Qingming Festival

Qingming Festival - Summer Begins

Summer Begins - Seeding Millet

Seeding Millet - Moderate Heat

Moderate Heat - Autumn Begins

Autumn Begins - Dews

Dews - Cold Dews

Cold Dews - Winter Begins

Winter Begins - Heavy Snow

Solar Dates (appro.)

Dec.7/8th - Jan.4/5th

Jan.5/6th - Feb.3/4th

Feb.4/5th - Mar.5/6th

Mar.6/7th - Apr.4/5th

Apr.5/6th - May 5/6th

May 6/7th - Jun/5/6th

Jun.6/7th - Jul/6/7th

Jul.7/8th - Aug.7/8th

Aug.8/9th - Sep.7/8th

Sep.8/9th - Oct.7/8

Oct.8/9th - Nov.6/7th

Nov.7/8th - Dec.6/7th


Heavenly Stems

Stem of Year

Branch of Month

Yin

Mao

Chen

Si

Wu

Wei

Shen

You

Xu

Hai

Zi

Chou

Jia, Ji

Bing

Ding

Wu

Ji

Geng

Xin

Ren

Gui

Jia

Yi

Bing

Ding

Yi, Geng

Wu

Ji

Geng

Xin

Ren

Gui

Jia

Yi

Bing

Ding

Wu

Ji

Bing, Xin

Geng

Xin

Ren

Gui

Jia

Yi

Bing

Ding

Wu

Ji

Geng

Xin

Ding, Ren

Ren

Gui

Jia

Yi

Bing

Ding

Wu

Ji

Geng

Xin

Ren

Gui

Wu, Gui

Jia

Yi

Bing

Ding

Wu

Ji

Geng

Xin

Ren

Gui

Jia

Yi


For example, if you are born in March 2017, what’s your heavenly stem of the month?

First of all, if you are born after the Mar. 6/7th, your earthly branch is Mao. Then, the year 2017 is the year of Ding (the number 7 matches Ding in heavenly stems) You (divide 2017 with 12 and the remainder is 1, which matches You in earthly branches). Now, you know your year stem is Ding, and month branch is Mao, therefore, your month stem is Gui. There you have your Month Pillar as Gui Mao.


Day Pillar


Day Pillar refers to the stem and branch of the lunar date on which you were born and it cycles every sixty days. However, the Chinese lunar calendar often has the bigger months (大月) and lesser months (小月), each has 30 days and 29 days respectively. Therefore, it's better to check the Perpetual Calendar for your day pillar. In numerology, the day pillar is counted from the hour 23-1 to 21-23. The dividing line between days is the hour 23.


Hour Pillar


As mentioned before, a day is divided into 12 periods by ancient Chinese people, each corresponds to a specific earthly branch.


Earthly Branch

Zi

Chou

Yin

Mao

Chen

Si

Wu

Wei

Shen

You

Xu

Hai

Hour

23-1

1-3

3-5

5-7

7-9

9-11

11-13

13-15

15-17

17-19

19-21

21-23

Five Element

Water

Earth

Wood

Wood

Earth

Fire

Fire

Earth

Metal

Metal

Earth

Water


Bazi and Fortunetelling


Four Pillars

Year Pillar

Month Pillar

Day Pillar

Hour Pillar

Representation

Ancestors and Parents

Brothers and Sisters

Oneself and Spouse

Sons and Daughters

Life Period

Early Years (age 1-16)

Middle Years (age 17-32)

Middle Years (age 33-48)

Late Years (age 48 - 64)

Bodily Parts

Head and Face

Chest and Back

Waist and Stomach

Legs and Feet


Bazi is often used to predict people's career, marriage, fortune, academic achievements, health and many other aspects based on the heavenly stems and earthly branches, Yin and Yang theory, Five Elements. It's the utmost reflection of the Chinese folk customs and social mentality. Since old times, Chinese people revered the high political officials and the Confucianism opinion of "he who excels in learning can be an official" is deeply rooted in Chinese scholars' mind. Therefore, Chinese people often take the Bazi very seriously. Some people even check the Bazi of a newborn baby and ask a fortune-teller to see what kind of life this baby will have and they will bring him up based on the prospect.


Read More About Chinese Astrology


Five Elements (Wuxing)

Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches

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