We would like to suppose that at least teachers and astrologers in Four Pillars of Destiny know their trade.
If only because, well, once anything done erroneously at the realm of just basic parameters, the whole of Bazi would evaporate.
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In other words, if you’re a serious Bazi practitioner, you want to get things right straight from the outset.
In this blog post we will take on one such error – that we keep seeing over and over – and which may have you look onto the notion of father, mother and spouse wrongly.
We will discuss how many – in fact, not your first teachers and professional astrologers – would still persist in mixing up just the aspects of the Four Pillars and the eventual function of single elements in the Bazi birth chart.
While we’ll handle a great many more commonly employed misperceptions in Bazi life reading during your Bazi training, we will here show you the difference between what may be Pillar aspect, then what function of individual elements.
How to correctly locate father, mother and spouse in Bazi
As many of our students come in with vast training histories or their long established professional practice, from what they report, we were able to gather image of what would be the ‘going standard’ in the field.
We could run you through a host of examples of rather unsettling approaches that seem to have become common practice since around 1995, but let me pick but one such widespread flaw to concern of notably the day Pillar and the month Pillar, as also, it would come as one of easiest to explain, at least, for just a blog post.
Easy, however, was not to say that it was not a pressing example and I may only hope that you will be able to amend where necessary and take your Bazi to the next level. In fact, as you read on, you may want to amend with the speed of light, because we would always allow for certain ‘freestyle’ reading in Bazi, but – as soon you may concur – the fault discussed here would be rather impermissible.
It is where we know that the month Pillar will be deemed Parents Pillar, the day Pillar will be deemed Marriage Pillar.
So far, so good.
But, as the month Pillar denotes Parents Pillar, consequently, a good many professionals in Bazi seem to then also still wrongly take the month Stem as father element as an automation, then the month Branch as mother element as an automation.
Equally, the day Branch would be widely mistaken for spouse element.
“What’s wrong with that”, you might ask, as you may have been accustomed to doing same.
Back to the drawing board, I’d like for you to consider this.
The 4 Pillars that you see in a Bazi horoscope to host the Eight Characters, may as such each one in fact no more than denote life aspects, whereas the Pillar as such – with the exception of the day Stem position for Day Master – would not represent a specific person per se. If we would like to zero in on certain specific people, we would involve certain specific elements.
Let’s move to our ‘for once and for all’ example.
A Bazi birth chart consists of four Pillars, conventionally read from right to left (year, month, day and hour Pillar). Each Pillar constitutes an upper segment for Heavenly Stems and a lower segment for Earthly Branches.
Each Pillar may be top-down taken to represent certain aspects. For the purpose, we will here zoom in on just only month Pillar for Parents Pillar, then day Pillar for Marriage Pillar.
Outside the scope of this discourse, our school has not been taking the
year Pillar for ‘Grandparents Pillar’ at all, as we’ll show you how to open
up the year Stem and year Branch information for splendid life reading.
So far, so good, both day Pillar and month Pillar in your Chinese Astrology horoscope would then receive a Heavenly Stem in the upper segment. Both day Pillar and month Pillar receive an Earthly Branch in the lower segment.
In our example, let day Stem be Yang Metal Geng 庚 for a male. Day Stem is called Day Master (Rì yuán 日元) as it is to represent (it is thereby not) the person.
All other Pillars and the Heavenly Stems therein will be seen as Day Master’s environment and elements taken for their influence upon Day Master (passive), while on the other hand, we may read how Day Master would employ the elements (active).
- No matter which Heavenly Stem appears as the month Stem, it now also denotes the father.
- No matter which Earthly Branch appears as the month Branch, it is to be taken for mother.
- No matter which Branch would then appear as the day Branch, it is taken for the spouse.
Advanced Bazi practitioners may note that, where it would be possible to associate a Heavenly Stem taken to the upper segment of a Pillar with a certain person, the Earthly Branches as such taken to the lower segment of a Pillar just denote an emblem, whereas only the Heavenly Stems then contained in such Earthly Branch (deemed hidden elements) could once more associate with people.
In this view, the father would be read directly from the month Stem – whatever that month Stem comes out to be -, the mother from the month Branch, the spouse from the day Branch.
That produces great fault, but even though it is squarely against teaching, we continue to see this all across the Bazi field with little to no exceptions, esteemed Chinese masters not exempt.
In fact, if you know yourself for doing same, I ask that you stop doing so at once, and I will here only convincingly explain just why. Once you’re able to discontinue this faulty practice and set things straight, you’ll instantly see a tremendous boost in your proficiency.
Also, we have to understand that, by noting the Four Pillars for certain life aspects, we had not arrived at Six Gods (Liu Shen 六神) or Ten Gods (Shi Shen 十神) just yet. We merely associate year, month, day and hour Pillar with certain aspects in life, certain emblems, if you will.
Let’s see what happens, if once we build further on this Bazi birth chart, we took in both month Stem Yang Water Ren 壬 and month Branch Shen Monkey 申 in the month Pillar, deemed Parents Pillar. Let’s see if at all one is to indeed represents the father, the other the mother.
While at it, we may also take in day Branch Wu Horse 午. Day Pillar is deemed Marriage Pillar. We may see if then indeed Wu Horse would embed spouse element.
As we are to still further construct this Bazi chart, I want you to already here see that instead, the father element would in fact eventually locate as year Stem, the mother element as an element contained in the day Branch and the spouse element as hour Stem.
Again, as it should be a dead give away, we actually see that, for this particular birth chart, neither one of the people (father, mother, spouse) would end up where still a great many masters in Bazi would have projected these functions in the birth chart.
Consequently, of course, if you saw that for any particular Bazi chart, the father element – as such represented by only the Unbecoming Wealth element (Piān Cái 偏財) – did not actually locate in month Stem position, the mother element – as such represented by the Proper Resource element (Zhèng Yìn 正印) – not actually in month Branch position or the spouse element not actually in day Branch position, any teachings or life readings then done to account of month Stem for biological father, month Branch for biological mother, or day Branch for spouse, would have been inaccurate and missing target entirely, which is, well, a pretty astounding and serious thing – actually.
Bazi [八字算命] as a system for fate calculation is too accurate to at all allow for such beginners’ mistake. If you have basics such as this right, and you know how to let the Bazi do the talking, then furthermore, if you wouldn’t be committing mistakes like the one discussed here, then, even if you feel you had just only started, you would be in my view capable of advising other people responsibly.
Anyone will be able to calculate the Four Pillars of Destiny birth chart. It is also known by anyone how life aspects distribute over the Pillars, but every teacher and astrologer should know how to locate and interpret father element, mother element and spouse element.
Month Stem and by that father aspect, cannot be mistaken for father element.
Month Branch and by that mother aspect, cannot be mistaken for mother element.
Day Branch and by that spouse aspect, cannot be mistaken for spouse element.
The notion of Pillar aspect in Bazi is not synonymous to the eventual function of element. It’s fundamental.
Life aspect is in the realm of mere Pillars categorization, while elements to designate specific people is at the mandate of Ten Gods (this should be a dead give away).
We are actually looking at the difference between what may be father aspect, then what would be the actual father element and it seems best to check your sources on this, to see if at all such distinguishment was made as you learned Bazi.
Just as in Bazi, we would be handling just mother aspect differently from mother element, while also, we wouldn’t mistake day Branch aspect for spouse element.
Now, if you have it handy and as you follow along, you may just as well sit yourself in front of your own Bazi. If not you are aware of your Chinese Astrology birth chart, you may swiftly obtain yours through Danny’s Four Pillars of Destiny calculator.
How to locate the father element in Bazi
For both male and female Day Masters, the element to denote the father is the Unbecoming Wealth (Piān Cái 偏財) element (and nothing besides that). For a Yang Metal Day Master as in our here example, Unbecoming Wealth is Yang Wood Jia 甲, but which does not appear as the month Stem in our sample chart.
How to locate the mother element in Bazi
For both male and female Day Masters, the element to denote the mother is the Proper Resource (Zhèng Yìn 正印) element (and nothing besides that). For a Yang Metal Day Master, Proper Resource is Yin Earth Ji 己. It cannot be represented by Shen Monkey month Branch, simply as Shen Monkey does not contain Yin Earth Ji 己 for mother element in the ‘hidden elements’.
How to locate the spouse element in Bazi
For our here male Yang Metal Day Master, the spouse element is Proper Wealth (Zhèng Cái 正財) (and nothing besides that), which would be Yin Wood Yi 乙, while it doesn’t locate in the day Branch Wu Horse 午.
As we complete this Four Pillars of Destiny birth chart – and while you may instantly grasp the logic there -, the definition should read:
- The father element may locate in month Stem position, or anywhere in the Pillars structure. It may not locate in the Bazi birth chart at all. Father element is here actually the year Stem Yang Wood Jia 甲 [I] for Day Master’s Unbecoming Wealth.
- The mother element may locate in the month Branch, or anywhere in the Pillars structure. It may not locate in the Bazi birth chart at all. Mother element is here Yin Earth Ji 己 contained in the day Branch Wu Horse [II] for Day Master’s Proper Resource.
- The spouse element may locate in the day Branch, or anywhere in the Pillars structure. It may not locate in the Bazi birth chart at all. Spouse element is here the hour Stem Yin Wood Yi 乙 [III] for Day Master’s Proper Wealth.
Here is firm example of how not month Pillar would have anything to do with either father element or mother element.
It is not difficult to see how any interpretations based on this would have to be all wrong, not speaking of other consequently flawed designations.
Rule of priority in Bazi
You now know that unequivocally for this Bazi horoscope, the father element appears in year Stem position as Yang Wood.
Now, what to do with this information? Once now that you had designated and correctly located the genuine father element and the genuine mother element, how to read the month Pillar for parents aspect?
If still you saw a teacher or an astrologer to claim that month Stem was to denote father element, you’d probably hear how our here Yang Metal Day Master would be ‘weakened’ by month Stem Yang Water Ren 壬, or at best, how the ‘son supports the father’, because in Wuxing Five Transformations, Metal supports Water.
If it not actually represents the father element, we would merely take month Stem – here Yang Water Ren 壬 – as father aspect. That, and only that.
Quite on the contrary, there is something to say for here Yang Water Ren 壬 in the month Stem for father aspect being inclined to engender year Stem Yang Wood Jia 甲 for father element in the year Pillar, because, Water engenders Wood.
We may associate the year Pillar with regions farther from where we live, just society or even foreign countries. We then see how year Stem Yang Wood for father heads in from afar, or the father to take up duty in society.
Because Water of the month Stem goes to nourish Wood of the year Stem, month Stem Yang Water for father aspect would reach out to the year Stem Yang Wood, thereby the father aspect of Yang Water Ren akin to society to look out for Yang Wood Jia rather than perhaps altogether spending time around the son (which is not same as in saying that in here case, father would be absent in the life of Day Master, because, for that, yet other indicators would apply).
If to begin with, a Bazi analysis departs from faulty designation of elements, then, not just would the interpretation of life be wrong, but people would actually base important decisions on such reading. In case of our sample chart, we would note impossible split even only with regard to for example compatibility.
Notably then furthermore as a military service man due to father element sitting on year Branch Xu Dog 戌, which can be quite military.
Only now that you were aware that the month Stem was here not the father element, but father element appearing at the year Stem position, could we at all commit to further reading your birth elements in a meaningful way to find more details about your father.
Month Stem may read as father aspect. However, it must be clear to everyone (lesson one) that, if month Stem is not Unbecoming Wealth also – therefore not the father element -, we look to read father elsewhere. Month Branch – just the emblem (image) of the Earthly Branch would do, but then predominantly actually the major God contained in the month Branch – would denote mother aspect. If month Branch doesn’t contain Proper Resource for mother element, we look to read the mother elsewhere.
As long as we see that month Stem position could be taken by just any of the Ten Heavenly Stems, it is easy to determine the Six Gods, so that month Stem could be of course Resource, Parallel, Output, Wealth or Power and in more than one case, father element not remotely there.
Since it is seldom that we would see someone to commit such a fundamental mistake, then ten years further on he would have amended, it means something to me to know that you were aware of this flaw, and that you were able to recognize it each time you came across it and take your life readings to another level.
I will say it once more: emblems are just that, they are emblems. If a life reading done just emblematically, this will lead to suppositions, such suppositions would then invoke active statements and before long, the whole of the life reading will go into sure loop, in that order. Test it.
In the meantime, it is difficult to grasp how the Bazi community could condone certain those mistakes much longer. None of our beginning students would be committing the mistake of reading month Stem for father, if not actually the father element appeared in month Stem position.