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Searching for the Gods

Thursday, September 2, 2004
By: Vin Leo

At times, the chart stares back at us and the eight characters just will not budge. Welcome to the study of Chinese astrology we called Bazi or commonly known as the Four Pillars in the western world.

Bazi is a scientific experimentation of the Orient that translates the readings of the constellations into word form. Many are amazed with the accuracy of predictions through the readings of Bazi. The information received should help us make better decisions in life. For many, the ambition to become rich through the abuse of Bazi knowledge is simply not a real possibility.

To begin, start with the elementary analysis and build a portfolio of the day master. Hence, why we need to understand the basic element and its attributes. Take a Bing fire day master for example. It does not need continuing resources, as it is independent and self-sufficient. Have you seen the woods of the forest 'produce' the sun? Or isn't it the sun that 'produces' the trees of the forest? Do we need two suns? Another Bing would constitute a rivalry. Not forgetting that the time of birth would give us a clue on its brilliance. Is the yang Bing fire stronger than the yin Ding fire? Contrary to popular belief that yang is stronger than yin; it is not.

We then determine its strength before we go on to determine the useful god, favourable and unfavourable gods and the expansion into the ten gods. The liberal use of the word 'god' in this article refers to the literal translation of the word 'shen' from the Chinese classical text. It does not refer to our Heavenly Father or any Deities for that matter.

The strength of the day master acts as the fulcrum while the useful god harmonises the birth chart.

To determine the strength of the day master, we recite the mantra: 'In season, in location, in formation' Take an example, a wood day master in the spring season is prosperous; in summer trapped; in winter strong and in autumn dead. When the day master is prosperous, we control; when strong, we weaken; when trapped, we release; when dead, we resurrect. Generally, the month branch alone is sufficient to determine the strength unless there are special circumstances. Take a Wu earth for example. Earth elements do not mix as readily as water elements. In fact they only stack on top of each other. A boulder, whether weak or strong, is still a boulder. So are we really concerned if it is supported or weakened?

Seasons in Bazi refer to the different phases in the transformation of Qi. It is likened to the different weather, as in the changes of the seasons, to give a pictorial impression of the analysis. It is definitely not about the physical changes in the temperature; neither is it the materialistic make-ups of the five elements.

We are often given the impression that autumn represents metal and therefore wood withers because it is chopped by metal. That is the study of Bazi in the infancy stage. Wood withers in autumn should be likened to the piercing wind that slices the wood like a swift blade. Isn't that the feeling you get when you find yourself exposed to the biting autumn winds? Likewise, for metal producing water, we refer to condensation amongst other things. This is the science of Bazi.

From the above understandings, we deduce the elements that aid our developments as favourable gods and the elements that hinder us as unfavourable gods. There are also elements that have neutral effect on the chart known as neutral gods.

The ten gods are derived from the day master. In Chinese texts, most refer to them as the six gods. The six gods refer to the five elements as the five gods and the day master as the main god. In reality, the application of the gods in the reading is the same.

There is a yin or yang polarity to every one of the five elements. That which is of the same element as the day master, is known as a Friend while that of a different polarity is known as a Rob Wealth. That the day master produces is known as an Eating God while that of a different polarity is known as the Hurting Officer. Those that produce the day master are the Direct and Indirect Resources. Those that the day master counters are the Direct and Indirect Wealth. Those that counter the day master are the Direct and Indirect Officers. The Indirect Officer or commonly known as the seven killing, is the seventh element in the order of the heavenly stems and represented by a blade or killing qi. . Literal translations of words or sentences from the classics help preserve the intricate nuances of the Chinese language. The English translations commonly used as in Authority, Power, Intelligence and Output, often fails to grasp the essence of the meaning behind the terms.

Take a yin female chart as an example. The Direct Officer represents her husband. If she has too many yang productions representing her Hurting Officer, she would have many problems with her husband as it is 'hurting her officer'. If a guy has an abundance of Direct Wealth in his chart, it does not necessarily mean that he will be filthy rich. It simply means that he makes his income through routine work and he manages his wealth with a tight rein. It is as 'direct' and straightforward as that.

The useful god can be found among the favourable gods. The difference is that the useful god must be found in the chart itself, including the hidden stems, though not in the annual or luck pillars. A good example is the mid-winter Ren water day master. We generally conclude that the favourable gods are earth and fire; the unfavourable gods are water and metal and the neutral god is wood. Generally, earth and fire elements in the annual and luck pillars would bring good tidings.

Earth controls water but in mid-winter, earth and water are both frozen and need to be liberated by fire. Wet wood in winter cannot start a fire. Therefore, we need the almighty Sun as Bing fire to bring life to spring again. Bing fire becomes the useful god.

When you do not have a Bing fire in your birth chart, we compromise by substituting Bing with Ding fire. It would become a 'second grade' useful god. Are you doomed if the fire is not present in the chart? You can 'lure' Ding fire from Geng metal and Jia wood. Then you would not be happy if I tell you that you have downgraded to another level of poverty.

A winter chart of water and earth, without the presence of fire, wood and metal, well, stare back at them….

(Note: Don't panic. This calls for a different approach to the chart that we classify as 'structures')

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