The 12 Life Stages Of Bazi Pillars

In bazi destiny analysis, there are 12 life stages that can help to determine the strength of each pillar, or the earthly branch in relation to the self-element.

The 12 life stages of pillars are namely:

  1. Birth (长生) Chang Sheng
  2. Bath (沐浴) Mu Yu
  3. Preparation (冠带) Guan Dai
  4. Arrival (临官) Lin Guan
  5. Peak (帝旺) Di Wang
  6. Aging (衰) Shuai
  7. Sickness (病) Bing
  8. Death (死) Si
  9. Burial (墓) Mu
  10. End (绝) Jue
  11. Conception (胎) Tai
  12. Nurture (养) Yang

By using the personal self-element (or day master) as the reference point, the earthly branches contained within the bazi will indicate which stage their respective pillars are at.

It is also important to note that the words (or labeling) used are just representations of their meanings.

The below table shows the life stages according to the heavenly stem, in this case is the self-element.

H1 H2 H3,H5 H4,H6 H7 H8 H9 H10
Birth E12 E7 E3 E10 E6 E1 E9 E4
Bath E1 E6 E4 E9 E7 E12 E10 E3
Prepare E2 E5 E5 E8 E8 E11 E11 E2
Arrival E3 E4 E6 E7 E9 E10 E12 E1
Peak E4 E3 E7 E6 E10 E9 E1 E12
Aging E5 E2 E8 E5 E11 E8 E2 E11
Sick E6 E1 E9 E4 E12 E7 E3 E10
Death E7 E12 E10 E3 E1 E6 E4 E9
Burial E8 E11 E11 E2 E2 E5 E5 E8
End E9 E10 E12 E1 E3 E4 E6 E7
Concep E10 E9 E1 E12 E4 E3 E7 E6
Nurt E11 E8 E2 E11 E5 E2 E8 E5

Legend to the symbols used above can be found here.

The strength indicated by each life stage can be ranked below from the strongest to the weakest.

  1. Arrival
  2. Peak
  3. Birth
  4. Aging
  5. Burial
  6. Bath
  7. Preparation
  8. Sickness
  9. Death
  10. Conception
  11. Nurture

As with everything feng shui and bazi, strong does not necessarily relates to good, and weak does not imply bad by default.

If we take for example, a female born on 27 October 1990 at 3:30am, then the 8 characters would be plotted below.

Hour Day Month Year
H5 (wu)
+ Earth
H2 (yi)
– Wood
H3 (bing)
+ Fire
H7 (geng)
+ Metal
E3 (yin)
+ Wood
E2 (chou)
– Earth
E11 (xu)
+ Earth
E7 (wu)
+ Fire

With the self element of H2 (-fire) as the reference stem, then the life stages of the 4 pillars can be determined according to the previous table.

Hour Day Month Year
H5

+ Earth

H2

– Wood

H3

+ Fire

H7

+ Metal

E3

+ Wood

E2

– Earth

E11

+ Earth

E7

+ Fire

Peak Aging Burial Birth

From the above bazi, it can be deduced that the strongest pillar is hour pillar where it is at the “Peak” stage.

This will play a role in bazi analysis.

By default, the self-element will be used to discover the life stages of pillars at the most basic level.

Alternatively, in more advanced bazi reading, we can also use a different heavenly stem as the reference point to determine it’s own strength compared to other pillars.

Using the previous example, we can use the heavenly stem on the year pillar H7 to plot the life stage of each pillar.

In this exercise, we would tabulate the following.

Hour Day Month Year
H5

+ Earth

H2

– Wood

H3

+ Fire

H7

+ Metal

E3

+ Wood

E2

– Earth

E11

+ Earth

E7

+ Fire

End Burial Aging Bath

In fortune telling, the 12 stage life cycle can be applied to forecast what could happen when specific heavenly stems meet specific earthly branches.

The strength of each earthly branch plays a crucial role in destiny analysis.

For example a weak branch might have little impact on a strong self-element even though it’s supposed to be a favorable character.

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