A Deeper Look Into The 6 Combinations Of Earthly Branches

When combinations and clashes occur between the characters in a bazi, whether they are favorable to the person depends on the strength of the daymaster.

This is even though a clash sounds like something negative and a combination sounds like a positive thing.

The reality is that either of them can have good or bad effects on a person.

Among the combinations and clashes that can occur between heavenly stems and earthly branches, one of the most common category of interactions is the 6 combinations (六合).

This is because there are more branches that there are stems in ganzhi. Giving a higher likely hood of a combination occurring between the 8 characters themselves, through luck pillars, and via annual pillars described in the Hsia calendar.

Take note that some people refer to 六合 as the 6 harmony combinations.

Even though a comprehensive list of clashes and combinations is listed in a table here, below is an extract of 6 combinations between earthly branches for easy reference.

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

Legend of symbols can be found here.

An observant learner would realize that this combination is always between one yang branch and one yin branch.

With the above information, a person of weak wood self-element would welcome the combination of Si (E6) an Shen (E9) as it produces water to prop up his/her strength within the birth chart. Essentially pushing him/her towards balance.

As water represents the resource element, this combination of branches indicate the arrival of support and resources into his life.

At a basic level of bazi reading, this can often be enough to satisfy a reader or the one being read. But when specificity is required, then the information above is not enough to draw any specific conclusions… other than it meaning good things would happen for the individual.

Have you wondered what type of water is being produced in the combination?

When can 6 combinations occur

Firstly one must realize that 6 combination interactions only occur when the 2 combining branches are side-by-side to each other. This can be between the:

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

When there is a presence of combining earthly branches in the Hour and Month pillar or in the Hour and Year pillar for example, then the combination cannot happen. However, even though the combination does not take place under normal circumstances, the intent is there.

This can shed light into events that a person would experience in real life.

In the previous example, if the combination cannot occur due to a gap between them, then it can be deduced that the person would come very close receiving support and resources. But there is always something blocking it from ever realizing.

In this case, if the two combining characters are in the hour pillar and month pillar, then it shows that the factor that is preventing the combination might be the spouse or marriage since the day branch situated in between the 2 combining branches is the spouse palace.

Hour Day Month Year
.

Si (E6)
– Fire
Marriage
Palace

Shen (E9)
+ Metal

Does this mean that the potential combination will never occur? Not really, because earthly branches can also arrive via the luck pillars and annual characters to make the combination happen.

Another key factor for a combination to take place and produce the stipulated element is that the season of birth, which is identified by the month branch, must support the element being produced.

For example, if a 6 harmony combination relationship exist between Mao (E4) and Xu (E11) on the Hour and Day pillar, and the season of birth is Wu (E7), then the resulting element of fire can be created since the season of E7 is summer which supports the element of fire.

Hour Day Month Year
.

Mao (E4)
– Fire

Xu (E11)
+ Water

Wu (E7)
+ Fire

If you are unable to grasp why summer supports fire, then you need to get better acquainted with the dynamics between the 5 elements.

The season of spring would also allow the above example combination to take place. This is because spring, which is associated with the wood element, supports fire. This also implies that the combination above would not occur in the season of winter and autumn… unless under exceptional circumstances.

Now that we know how an element is produced in a 6 combination partnership, the next question is how much of it would be produced?

Even though elements produced from combinations would already have a big impact on the daymaster, if the resulting element is present in the heavenly stems, then it can be deemed that the element would be produced in great amounts.

So if resulting fire from a combination would mean wealth luck to a person due to the self-element and it’s reference to the 10 gods, and if there is a fire stem in the bazi such as Bing fire or Ding fire, then the money that this person might reap from the good fortune can be more than expected. Like an investment generating 3 times returns instead of the initial projection of 2 times.

What exactly is produced?

Now for most people, the above information might be enough to satisfy their cravings for answers and closure. But if you want more clarity and more specific guidance from analysis, then we can actually determine what exactly would be produced when a 6 combination is realized.

For this task and to dig deeper into 6 combinations, we have to take reference from the season of birth as the month branch is basically the rulemaker in a bazi. (yup, not the daymaster).

If we take for example Yin (E3) combines with Hai (E12) successfully to produce the wood element, the outcome is that there are really only two possible wood characters that can be produced. Namely E3 or E4.

If the season of birth is during the month of E4, since E4 is a yin branch, then the resulting element would be E4 (yin wood). If the month branch is E3, the resulting element would be E3 (yang wood) since is a yang branch.

The focal point here is the polarity of the earthly branch in the month pillar.

What this means?

Going into such details can already be too much for a beginner to digest. But there will always be those who continues to probe.

The next obvious question after determining what element is produced in the form of earthly branches, is what all these means?

There cannot be a blanket answer here as there are 10 different day masters. And each character in the 4 pillars has so much diverse meanings behind them to each individual. Context also comes into the picture.

But you can unearth more indications of what can be predicted by digging deeper and erecting the hidden stems of the branch that is created. With this information, you would be able to dive into the 10 gods for specificity.

More questions to probe might be:

  • Are the hidden stems rooted?
  • Are they supported by the season?
  • Does the newly created heavenly stems combine with existing stems?
  • Does the newly created heavenly stems clash with existing stems?
  • etc

You might even be able to pinpoint who among the people around you would potentially be implicated.

As you can see, we can really go really deep when interpreting the resulting events a person might encounter when a clash occurs in his or her bazi. And don’t forget that whether such clashes indicate good or bad events depends on the strength of the daymaster.

How deep you want to go depends on the question that you seek answers to. This also means that going so deep into reading a person’s bazi is often unnecessary unless the situation requires it.

After all, the duty of bazi revelation lies with the asker, not the reader.

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