What Really Goes On In The 6 Clashes Of Earthly Branches

There are various types of clashes that can occur between earthly branches in the analysis of bazi.

But unless it is specifically stated otherwise, clashes between the branches are almost always referring to the 6 clashes (六冲). It is also the basic clash that happens most frequently in the 4 pillars.

Because people identify themselves with the daymaster, clashes between heavenly stems are often the focal point of new learners. But clashes between earthly branches actually have a more serious impact on a person as stems represent our persona and branches represent the core of who we really are.

Earthly branches affect our feelings, emotions, thoughts, and even the internal organs, etc.

This is why bazi masters tend to focus on branches instead of stems when reading a person’s destiny. After all, hidden stems in branches reveal much more about a person that the original 4 stems sitting on top of the 4 pillars.

Before we go on, it must be stated again that in bazi, nothing is good or bad all of the time. How a combination or clash affects a person depends on various factors including the strength of the self-element.

The 6 clashes of earthly branches are:

子 (E1) + 午 (E7)
丑 (E2) + 未 (E8)
寅 (E3) + 申 (E9)
卯 (E4) + 酉 (E10)
辰 (E5) + 戌 (E11)
巳 (E6) + 亥 (E12)

A sharp-eyed learner should be able to identify the pattern that each branch clashes with the another 6 branches away.

As each of the 12 branches, or zodiacs, take up a specific spot among the 24 mountains in a equally spread sequence, it also means that these clashes occur between branches that are directly opposite each other on the compass. So this can also sometimes be termed as directional clashes.

And unlike the 6 combinations of branches or 5 combinations of stems which produce an element as a result of the interaction, a 6 clash does not produce an element or character that adds to the bazi chart.

When can a 6 clash occur

Such clashes only occur when the two conflicting characters are side-by-side with each other.

This means that they can occur between:

  • Hour branch – Day branch
  • Day branch – Month branch
  • Month branch – Year branch

If for example, Mao is on the year pillar and You is on the day pillar, then the clash cannot be fulfilled as there is a gap in between them taken up by the month pillar.

Hour Day Month Year

You (E10)
– Metal

Yin (E3)
+ Wood

Mao (E4)
– Wood

However, one must take note that the intention to clash is present.

For example if Shen arrives, it can potentially take out Yin. Leaving Mao and You to duke it out with nothing standing between them. This depends on various factors which is not the topic of this discussion.

In some cases, even though two clashing branches are far apart, they can still be deemed as a less serious clash.

The 6 clash can also occur between character in the bazi and the branches contained in the luck pillars. And in the time dimension, the clash can also be clocked in when an annual branch clashes with the branch in the luck pillar.

And unlike combinations which depends on the seasons, clashes don’t have such conditions. They basically… just clash.

What the clashes mean

Let’s talk about what tends to happen with each of the 6 clashes.

While the exact details of what types of events clashes indicate highly depends on the self-element and 10 gods, certain generalizations can be determined as well.

Zi rat (E1) clash with Wu horse (E7)

Firstly, it should be seen that there is a control relationship undermining this clash as Zi water puts out Wu fire according to the 5 elements concept.

This is an intense relationship where the positions of life aspects are clearcut. If something is bad, it would be obvious. And if something is good, one would be a fool not to notice it.

This is also an indication of instability with constant challenges popping up in life. Once you solve a problem, another props up.

Chou ox (E2) clash with Wei goat (E8)

Chou winter earth clashes out Wei summer earth.

This is associated with road bumps and obstacles standing in the way of the things you want to do.

Thing just don’t work out the way you want it to. And if you do achieve an end result which you wanted, the journey towards that destination would not be an easy one. If you are really unlucky, your achievements would just make you a bigger target for others to attack you.

It is the often said analogy of 1 step forward 2 steps back.

It can leave one disillusioned.

Yin tiger (E3) clash with Shen monkey (E9)

Shen metal is the initiator in this relationship.

Emotional roller coaster is the theme of this clash,

One would experience a lot of frustration and stress from being unable to obtain what is desired. And when the end result is finally attained, he or she might not want it anymore.

This clash is also a strong indicator of physical injuries, especially to the lower limbs.

Mao rabbit (E4) clash with You rooster (E10)

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You metal takes out Mao wood in this meeting of elements.

One needs to be extra cautious in becoming victimized by betrayal, or having to betray someone’s trust.

It is also linked to health problems with reproductive organs.

Chen dragon (E5) clash with Xu dog (E11)

Xu autumn earth controls Chen spring earth.

This is a clash that tells of physical impact. So accidents and arguments that escalate to physical conflicts are on the cards.

It is also linked to relocation, including big life events linked to places far away from home.

Si snake (E6) clash with Hai pig (E12)

Hai water puts out Si fire.

This is often recognized as the least serious of clashes.

Problems caused by getting involved in situations which you have no business being involved in.

More on the dynamics in 6 clashes of earthly branches

To go into a deeper reading of clash interpretations, ones should also consider the concept of clash-in and clash-out.

Clash-in clash-out essentially refers to the gist (or overview) of what happens in a meeting of two clashing characters.

For example, in a clash between Rat and Horse, water destroys fire. Technically kicking it out of the equation. So if you have horse as a branch in your bazi and the annual branch of rat arrives, the rat clashes into the bazi, taking over the position of the horse conceptually. And clashes out when the position is switched.

This simple scenario has big implications when reading into what’s in store for the individual being read.

But again, whether it results in favorable or unfavorable life events depends on the daymaster and it’s reference to the 10 gods.

Another thing to note is that how bad a clash becomes also depends on the strength of the clashing characters.

For example, in a clash between Rabbit and Rooster, the rabbit would theoretically be clashed out of place. But if the individual was born in spring and has a lot of wood and water elements in the bazi, the rabbit would have considerable strength to withstand the Rooster clashing in.

This can indicate that even though the associated problems can arise, the factors associated with the rabbit for this person would be able to fend off all these problems.

As you can see, there’s a lot that can be read into the 6 clashes.

But do remember that it is not always necessary to go this deep to answer every question. In fact, often times, an asker would be able to find the answers he or she is seeking at a basic level of bazi reading.

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