Chinese horoscope: 4 pillars of destiny (BaZi)
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The four pillars of destiny alone constitute the main key to interpreting the Chinese horoscope. Each pillar is made up of one of the earthly branches and one of the celestial trunks of Chinese astrology.
The 12 terrestrial branches (animal signs of the Chinese zodiac) associated with the 10 celestial trunks (the 5 elements of WuXing in their Yin and Yang form) are part of the founding precepts of Chinese astrology. They are also used in Feng Shui, traditional medicine, gastronomy and martial arts.
In this article, after addressing the meaning of the four pillars of destiny and the origins and functions of the earthly branches and celestial trunks, we offer two tables that will allow you to have a more complete understanding of your Chinese horoscope (birth chart). The first table links the 60 binomials (Chinese zodiac sign and element) of the sexagesimal system, each corresponding to a specific pillar of destiny, itself associated with a poetic and symbolic phrase called imaged destiny. The imaged destiny sums up the main energetic lines of the character expressed by the pillar associated with it. Finally, after an explanation of the concept of confrontation between the annual pillar of birth with another pillar of destiny, we offer you a second table, which lists the binomials in opposition.
Meaning of the 4 pillars of destiny
In Chinese (but also Japanese, Vietnamese and Korean) astrology, the 4 pillars of destiny (四柱 命理 学) or Ba-Zi (八字, the "8 characters" or "8 words") determine the base of a person's destiny, from which it is possible to define the broad outlines of his / her character and future. In reality, the natal chart (生辰 八字, literally "moment of birth of the 8 characters") is a numerological transcription of the state of the sky at the time of the birth of an individual. Thus, everyone's Chinese horoscope can broken down as follows:
- First pillar of destiny: terrestrial branch and celestial trunk of the year of birth (main character traits, personality). The 1st pillar of destiny corresponds to the animal of the zodiac and to the Chinese element of the year of birth, according to the Chinese calendar, commonly called Chinese zodiac sign
- Second pillar of destiny: terrestrial branch and celestial trunk of the month of birth (relationships with family and ancestors)
- Third pillar of destiny: terrestrial branch and celestial trunk of the day of birth (the second chance in life, active from about 30 years old)
- Fourth pillar of destiny: terrestrial branch and celestial trunk of the hour of birth (secret character, also called the traveling companion)
Origins and functions of terrestrial branches and celestial trunks
The 12 terrestrial branches correspond to the division of the sky into 12 sections, correlated with the duration of the orbit of Jupiter (11.83 years, adjusted to 12 years). This primitive Chinese astrological system, associated with a sexagesimal calendar, was subsequently linked to the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac and to the current lunisolar calendar. Therefore, there are 60 possible combinations of Chinese zodiac signs associated with the 5 elements of Chinese astrology and Feng Shui. Each terrestrial branch corresponds to one of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, just as there are 5 x 2 = 10 celestial trunks corresponding to the 5 elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water) in Yin or Yang polarity.
Furthermore, if there are 4 pillars of destiny according to 4 specific time periods of the date of birth (year, month, day, hour), each animal of Chinese astrology having 5 possible forms (for example: Wood Rat, Fire Rat, Earth Rat, Metal Rat, Water Rat), there are therefore 5 pillars of fate to describe each type of Chinese zodiac sign associated in binomial with an element, i.e. 60 pillars of destiny for the 60 binomials (Chinese sign + element), for a total of 604 = 12,960,000 combinations and therefore of possible types of individuals. Note also that each pillar of destiny exists in a Yin form (lunar, dark, introverted, feminine) and a Yang form (solar, luminous, extroverted, masculine).
To go further on the subject:
📅 Chinese calendar
🐉 Origins of Chinese Astrology
Confrontation between 2 pillars of destiny
What happens when a pillar of fate conflicts with the annual pillar?
Among the 4 pillars of destiny of your birth, the annual pillar is the most important. The 3 other pillars are always read from this annual birth pillar, which corresponds to your annual Chinese birth sign. According to the method of astrological interpretation of KarmaWeather, one can determine a conflict situation within a Chinese birth horoscope when one or more pillars of fate are in opposition with the annual pillar of birth.
For example, if you were born during the Year of the Metal Dragon 2000, a conflict situation could arise if one or more of the 3 remaining pillars were occupied by the Fire Dog. Therefore, the area occupied by the antagonistic pillar to the annual Chinese birth sign should be carefully monitored. If it is the second pillar, it will affect the relationships that the native will have with his parents or his ancestors (domestic violence, abandonment, separation, divorce, premature disappearance, etc.). If it is a question of the 3rd pillar of destiny, the dynamics of the second personal chance could be compromised by an unexpected and painful spell (accident, illness, bankruptcy, ruin…). Finally, in the case of an opposition with the pillar of the time of birth, we must expect emotional instability or an inability of the individual to accept and confront his psychological problems.
The negative effects of a confrontation between the binomial (animal and Chinese element) of the year of birth and one of the binomials of the other 3 pillars of life can be reinforced by an excess or deficiency of one of the 5 Chinese elements, within the natal chart (Chinese horoscope). Indeed, in addition to the element (celestial trunk) associated with each of the 4 pillars of an individual's destiny, let us remember that each Chinese sign (terrestrial branch) can itself be reduced to the sum of the elements it contains. This is why each day of the Chinese calendar can be symbolized by a charter of the 5 elements of WuXing, which can be used both for the astrological interpretation of the day for the attention of the 12 signs of Chinese astrology and of native chart of birth for babies born on this day.
According to the precepts of the traditional Chinese horoscope, the choice of the baby's first name makes it possible to counter the pernicious effect of energy imbalances, in addition to the protective effect that it can have to neutralize the possible confrontation between two opposite pillars. Indeed, according to the holistic precepts of WuXing, the energy components of each element (their essence) are found in their symbolic associations (for example, for the Fire element: the color red, red peppers or tomatoes, the first names whose etymology means fire, light or the sun).