The Basics Of Bazi Destiny Analysis (8 characters)

The Bazi written as 八字 in Chinese literally translates to 8 characters in English.

It is a method of diagnosing the life and destiny of an individual.

However, modern creative use of it has led to bazi being used to analyze companies, products, dates, events, etc.

Some call it Chinese fortune telling. Some call it Chinese astrology. While there is a basis for these descriptions, for the most part it concerns destiny analysis.

It is believed that the life and destiny of a person is somewhat determined at birth.

At the moment of birth, 8 characters will will be assigned to a newborn that consist of certain component of characters in a certain configuration.

This will be the bazi of the infant and will remain the same throughout the lifetime.

This 8 characters compose of 4 pairs of characters. Each pair forms a pillar. Which is why bazi is sometimes referred to as the four pillars of destiny.

The 4 pillars consist of:

  • Year pillar
  • Month pillar
  • Day pillar
  • Hour pillar

And it is configured with two rows containing 4 characters each in a particular position.

As pictures say a thousand words, below is an example of the bazi of a male born on 3rd July 1981 at 12 noon.

The first pillar on the left is the hour pillar, second pillar from the left is the day pillar, third pillar from the left is the month pillar, and the pillar on the extreme right is the year pillar.

We can quickly observe that this person is born in the year of the Rooster zodiac represented by E10, with a self element of water as indicated by H9.

Details of heavenly stems and earthly branches can be found here

Any one of the 10 heavenly stem can take up any of the positions on the top row. While any of the 12 earthly branches can take up any of the positions on the bottom row.

Even if a bazi consist of the same characters as the above example, but the characters reside on different positions, it will be a totally different bazi, leading to a totally different diagnosis.

This means that even with the same components (characters) in two bazi, different configuration (positions) will result in totally different readings.

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Because of the diverse possibility of potential bazi, there are over 1 million possible bazi birth chart computations.

Does this mean that two or more children born at the same time share the same destiny?

The answer is not as simple as it seems on the surface.

Because while bazi indicates the elemental make up of a person, the person’s interaction with energy at home and the bazi of people around him can generate dynamics that send two different persons with similar bazis into different directions in life.

The mind-boggling part is that this can also be predicted by analyzing the bazi of the people around him and how they interact with his.

This is where feng shui comes in.

Mapping out the bazi

The characters in the year pillar, month pillar and day pillar of a person is determined by referencing the ten thousand year calendar known as the 夏历 (Hsia Calendar).

This is not the Gregorian calendar or the Chinese Lunar calendar. It is the solar calendar based on a 60 year perpetual cycle.

The hour pillar of characters are determined by referring to a different hour pillar table by looking up the heavenly stem on a person’s day pillar, and the time of birth.

In-depth details of how to manually map out an individual’s bazi is explained here.

With the 4 pillars of destiny now tabulated, it is now possible to generate the luck cycle of this individual.

It consist of heavenly stems and earthly branches.

The luck cycle shows the general luck of the individual in 5-year blocks.

How good or bad the luck of the individual is will be governed by how the stems and branches in the luck pillars influence his or her bazi birth chart.

Basic aspects of bazi

Once the 8 characters are determined, the basics of what it indicates can be quickly observed.

  • The Self Element is the heavenly stem on the day pillar
  • The earthly branch on the day pillar represents the aspects of spouse and marriage
  • The year pillar represents childhood
  • The month pillar represents young adult
  • The day pillar represents adulthood to middle age
  • The hour pillar represents senior
  • Self element relationship with other elements

Further more, each of the 8 characters in their specific positions have various connotations.

Among them, the most significant are:

  • On the top row first from the left represents children
  • On the top row second from the left represents destiny
  • On the top row third from the left represents career
  • On the top row first from the right represents support and mentors
  • On the bottom row first from the left represents personal property
  • On the bottom row second from the left represents relationships
  • On the bottom row third from the left represents wealth accumulation
  • On the bottom row first from the right represents friends and colleagues

Once you have determined the self-element, what aspects of life other elements represent to you can be worked out.

For men:

  • The element that gives birth to the self-element represents the mother and resources
  • The element that is destroyed by the self-element represents the father and/wife, and earth
  • The element that is destroys the the self-element represents the children and status
  • The element that the self-element gives birth to represents intelligence
  • The element similar to the self-element represents siblings and colleagues including competition

For example, if a man has a metal self-element, earth represents the mother, wood represents the wife, fire represents children, water represents intelligence, and metal represents siblings.

For women:

  • The element that gives birth to the self-element represents the mother and resources
  • The element that is destroyed by the self-element represents the father and wealth
  • The element that is destroys the the self-element represents the husband and status
  • The element that the self-element gives birth to represents the children and intelligence
  • The element similar to the self-element represents siblings and colleagues including competition

For example, if a women has a metal self-element, earth represents the mother, wood represents the father, fire represents husband, water represents children, and metal represents siblings.

Evaluating the self element

One of the first things any bazi reading starts with is in determining whether the person has a strong or weak self element.

At a basic level, this can be simply observed from what elements are present in the 8 character with regards to the self-element and the relationship between the 5 elements.

For example, if the self element is Earth, then fire would make it stronger while wood would make it weaker.

Do not assume that a strong self-element is better than a weak one.

The strength or weakness of one plays a part in evaluating whether certain aspects of life deciphered from a bazi would be beneficial or detrimental to a person.

As in feng shui, we seek for balance.

Advanced bazi destiny analysis

More intermediate to advanced bazi readings take into account combinations and clashes the heavenly stems and earthly branches.

There are even hidden heavenly stems inside earthly branches that allow for a deeper analysis.

Other aspects to consider include:

  • How deep into a season a person was born
  • Special categories when bazi is arranged in particular types of configurations
  • Symbolic star arrangements that carry specific meanings
  • etc

And as mentioned previously, the daily, monthly and yearly movement of heavenly stems and earthly branches will affect the luck that an individual enjoys through the years.

All these will also take into account combinations, conflicts, special stars, etc, as mentioned before.

It takes a wealth of knowledge with years of practice to figure out bazi and become an expert.

If you are a beginner, advanced bazi readings can easily confuse and cause misinterpretations.

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