Ba Zi – The Four Pillars of Destiny
The Four Pillars of Destiny are also named “Eight Characters”(Ba Zi). It is Chinese Astrology, and a study of human destiny, life and logic.
Ba Zi is a scientific study, not fortune telling or some kind of religious or superstitious practice. Through birthday analysis, you will not only learn about your fortune, relationships and health, but also your elements and yin yang combinations, and your strengths and weaknesses. Awareness of this information will allow you to harmonize your mind, body and soul with the living environment at a deeper level.
To analyze the pillars of destiny, first we need to convert a person’s birth data into Chinese characters by using a “Ten thousand year calendar”. The four pillars consists of the year, month, day and hour of birth. Each pillar has two characters that represent a heavenly stem and an earthly branch, each character represents an element (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, or Earth) in the forms of yin (Negative) or yang (Positive). When a person’s birth data has been expressed in the Chinese calendar, every item becomes a symbol of elements. We can immediately see the composition of elements in our moment of birth, which exactly reflects the elemental components of our destiny.
To make it easier to understand, it is best to demonstrate with a real example:
Australia’s richest man: Mr. Kerry Packer From 17th December 1937 To 26th December 2005
The birthday formula:
1. Defining the nature element of a person:
Mr. Packer was born in the year of the Ox, the heavenly stem of the year is Fire, therefore, his horoscope is Fire Ox which is represented in the pillar of the year. However, the most important pillar is the day of birth, so the first step is to look at the day pillar. The element on top of the day pillar, called the heavenly stem, represents the person himself. In this case, the element of the heavenly stem on the day pillar is Yang Earth, so Mr. Packer is an earth person. In the sample data, Mr. Packer has two earth elements, two water elements, one wood element, and one fire element, while the metal element is absent. Mr. Packer was born in Australia, in the season of summer. The fire element was most prosperous, fire produces earth, therefore he could be defined as a strong earth person. If he was born in a country in the Northern hemisphere, where December is the season of Winter and the water element is most prosperous, earth destroys water and will weaken the earth element, therefore, he would not be a strong earth person.
2. Analyzing the inner relationships of the elements presented by each pillar:
Applying to the principles of five elements productive and destructive cycles, and taking an over view of the four pillars, we can see Mr. Packer had a good relationship with his grand parents, but the relationship between him and his father was not very harmonious. Since the heavenly stem of the year pillar (representing his grand father) is FIRE, fire produces earth, indicates the relationship between him and his grand father was productive.
2. The heavenly stem in the month pillar (representing his father) is WATER, earth conquers water, therefore, the relationship between him and his father was not very harmonious. However, the water elements symbolize Mr. Packer’s prosperity, this means the source of the prosperity come from his father. In fact, he had inherited his father’s television and magazine empire in 1974 and was prosperous from there.
The element of the earthly branch on the day pillar is WOOD, representing Mr. Packer’s spouse. Since wood destroys earth, this indicates that his wife should be more dominant in family life. In view of Mr. Packer’s luck eras, from age 37 to 67, he has exceeded the earth element, therefore the wood element from his spouse’s house is favorable to him.
3. The luck eras reflect a person’s destiny path in every 10 years.
Mr. Packer started his luck at about age 7 (he was sent to boarding school at 7 years old). From the luck eras, between the age of 17 and 36, both the heavenly stems and earthly branches are wood elements. Since wood destroys earth, it therefore symbolizes restriction, discipline, power and status to an earth person. Too much wood also creates a burden on Mr. Packer.
From age 37, Mr. Packer entered a luck of “fire over earth” era. Yang Earth represents himself, fire supports the earth, and made the earth very strong. Mr. Packer gained a lot of strength and resources, and was capable of expanding his media industry rapidly. (In 1974, Mr. Packer was 37, his father passed away, and he took control of the media industry.) The media industry belongs to the metal element, and a strong earth element is able to give plenty of birth to metal, metal produces water, and the water element represents Mr. Packer’s wealth and prosperity. The strong earth luck remains for 30 years from 37 years old until 67 years old. The luck eras indicates that from 37 to 46, Mr. Packer stood on fire over earth, from 47 to 56, he stood on fire over fire, from 57 to 67, he is standing on earth over fire. The destiny path denotes that Mr. Packer is a very strong and powerful man. So not surprisingly, Mr. Packer had great success in the media business and became the richest man in Australia.
4. Health and Death Analysis:
The basic philosophy for health is that if the elements in our body are in balance, we will enjoy good health. Too much or too little of any element can bring about illness or discomfort.
In Mr. Packer’s destiny, having too much earth elements, he needed wood to destroy, and needed water to nourish, in order to keep the five elements in balance. Water elements are related to the kidneys of human body, the water elements in Mr. Packer four pillars have been exhausted by the constantly strong earth elements, that is the reason why Mr. Packer needed to replace a damaged kidney.
From age 67, Mr. Packer’s luck era changed from Yang Earth (himself element) into Yin Earth luck, Yin Earth brings darkness and misfortune, and he needed more Metal, Water and wood elements to keep in balance and obtain good health.
Year 2004, he was 67 years old, and that year was a Wood Monkey year, the element of Monkey (Sheng) is Yang Metal, the year of positive wood and positive metal kept the yin earth under control, and his health was under control. Year 2005 was a wood rooster year, the influencing elements moved to yin wood and yin metal. These elements were still helping to keep control of the excessive yin earth from the luck eras. However, year 2006 is the Fire Dog year, and the influencing elements are Yang Fire and Yang Earth. At the end of year 2005, the enormous positive fire from next year had already started sending out energy to burn the wood and produced more earth. And the earth element is the one which needed to be reduced and minimized at this life stage, and hence he did not get over it (he passed away on Boxing Day 2005).
The purpose of this demonstration is to help readers to understand the principle of “four pillars of destiny” analysis.