Chinese astrological studies have their roots in the I-Ching (易经), the most important book containing the fundamental truth of how the universe operates. Its philosophy has influenced various fields such as biology, medical science, and computer coding. However, to avoid boring you, let's not delve too deep into it just yet.
For I-Ching newbies, the book was commissioned by Emperor Fu Hsi around 3,000 BC. It's known as 'The book of Changes' and explores the relationship between all things created through a variety of trigrams and hexagrams, as well as the relationship between Yin and Yang (such as female and male, hard and soft, life and death).
The 8 Trigrams of the I-Ching
While some view the I-Ching as a book of Oracles, it's much more than that. It's a book of life, literally. DNA, the genetic instructions used in the development and functioning of all known living organisms, is often compared to a set of blueprints, a recipe, or a code.
The basis of DNA is + and -. This is also binary code. Computer language operates on this philosophy and so is the basis of all human language.
So, lets look at the similarities between the I-Ching and DNA. In his 1979 book Martin Schonberger (the author of The I Ching and the Genetic Code: The Hidden Key to Life) explained as simple as one can when creating a bridge between science, genetics and oracles.
Firstly you need to know that the I-Ching contains 64 Hexagrams – made up of 8 trigrams each having a relationship with themselves 8 x 8 = 64.
There are only four combinations of Yin and Yang, with the first two bars of the I-Ching. EG: If we said Yin was represented by 0 and Yang by 1, then the possible combinations are 00, 01, 10, 11. These four choices align with T, C, G, A, which then when multiplied make up the exact number of Amino acids that are part of DNA.
So, what does it all mean?
Here are some food for thoughts for you:
Eastern Astrological System
The Eastern astrological system, deeply rooted in Taoist and Buddhist traditions, offers some of the most profound personal guidance tools ever discovered, akin to a sea captain's compass or a pilot's navigation system. The Ba Zi and Zi Wei Dou Shu are two of the most insightful practices in this system, providing the choice to navigate life's storms or fly directly through its tempests.
In Chinese Astrology: Exploring the Eastern Zodiac, we explored the 12 earthly branches and their archetypal characteristics, the five essential elements, and the relevance of one's birth year. These branches and stems serve as stepping stones to navigate the deeper intricacies of Chinese astrology, with each day and time slot assigned an animal sign and element, completing the four pillars of destiny or the Ba Zi.
The Eastern astrological system uses the five elements, with emphasis on the "daymaster," ruling the day of your birth. The Zi Wei Dou Shu chart, the grandfather of all Chinese astrological specialties, is a life chart plotted in a rectangular rice paddy, taking us on a tour of our destiny through the 12 palaces or domains. Major and minor star energies move in and out of each life palace, revolving around the placement of the all-important Zi Wei or "emperor star," painting a rich personality portrait and assessing life options.
I hope this journey through these ancient arts will be beneficial and insightful. Remember, "when the student is ready, the teacher will appear."
With DNA sequencing, weather forecasts, political forecasts, and financial forecasts available to us, it is reasonable to wonder why we can't have a forecast for our destiny. In the 21st century, knowledge has become a critical asset for survival and success in a knowledge-based economy. The ability to access holistic knowledge and wisdom not only empowers us to advance ourselves but also enables us to help others. Astrological analysis offers a spiritual form of DNA sequencing for our destiny.
I will reveal the secrets of astrological reading to help beginners understand how astrology differs from superstitious beliefs. However, before diving into astrology, it is essential to cultivate certain mindsets and behaviors, such as patience, inquisitiveness, continuous learning, open-mindedness, and compassion.
Patience is key since mastering astrology takes a lifetime of study. One must also be cautious of false beliefs and superstitions and continually strive to discover reliable and accurate methods for predicting astrological events. Moreover, astrology is the study of life phenomena, and to excel in it, one must continually expand their general knowledge and link it with astrological studies.
While specializing in one method is necessary, one must not limit themselves to a single style of practice. There is no "old" or "new" astrology; there is only accurate or inaccurate astrology. Each system of astrological calculation has its own strengths and limitations, and one must master one style before learning as many others as possible to adopt what is efficient and effective for accuracy.
Finally, one should use their astrological knowledge constructively to help others. Destiny can be changed for the better through good intention and action, and a compassionate heart towards all sentient beings is necessary. Life is a lesson, and everything in life can teach us something. We should be grateful for the opportunity to learn this lesson called life.
The Four Pillars (Ba Zi)
The four pillars are the cornerstones of Chinese astrology. Each year, month, day, and 2-hour period of each day is assigned a combination of one of the 12 animal signs (branches) and one of the 5 elements (stems).
Ba Zi means "eight words" or "eight characters," and denotes the one element and one animal sign in each of the four "pillars." Two characters (one of the five elements placed on top of one of the 12 animal signs) times four pillars or positions (one for your birth year, one for your birth month, one for your birth day, and one for your birth hour) equal the eight words.
These eight words (four elements and four animal signs) comprise what is called the four pillars of destiny, or Ba Zi. Here's an example:
Eight Characters, Four Pillars Ba Zi is a system of astrology invented by Li Xu Zhong in the Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). The system was later revised and updated by Xu Zi Ping of the Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD). The most authoritative work is the San Ming Tong Hui by Wan Yu Wu of the Ming Dynasty (1368- 1644 AD).
As with each of the many forms of Chinese divination, the four pillars began with a hypothesis, which was then supplemented by and confirmed through observations and experimentation until a formula was found that returned reliable and consistent results. The ancient Chinese developed the art of four pillars of destiny as a method for understanding and enhancing our life experiences.
The Five Elements
The Wu Xing (Chinese: 五行; pinyin: Wǔ Xíng), also known as the Five Elements, Five Phases, the Five Agents, the Five Movements, Five Processes, and the Five Steps/Stages, is a fivefold conceptual scheme that many traditional Chinese fields used to explain a wide array of phenomena, from cosmic cycles to the interaction between internal organs, and from the succession of political regimes to the properties of medicinal drugs.
The five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water.
Below is an equivalence of the states of matter found in physics and chemistry:
These five types of qi (life force) also have their yin and yang attributes. Each element is expressed once in its negative, feminine yin form, and once in it's positive, masculine yang form. Yin is more subtle, and Yang is more active.
Each element is produced and subsequently destroyed by another element in a delicate yet perfectly balanced cycle:
The producing, enhancing cycle:
Water > Wood > Fire > Earth > Metal
The controlling cycle:
Water > Fire > Metal > Wood > Earth
The weakening cycle:
Water > Metal > Earth > Fire > Wood
Memory jogs, which help to remind in what order the phases are:
10 Heavenly Stems
The five elements in their yin and yang expressions create 10 types of element qi, or the "10 heavenly stems." The 12 animal signs, alternating between yin and yang, are called the "12 earthly branches."
Each energy interacts in a specific way with the others, just as we do with different people.
Yang Wood Jia is like a tall tree, sturdy and growing upward.
Yin Wood Yi is like a shrub, grass, or graceful plant.
Yang Fire Bing is like a forest fire-hot, raging, and quick.
Yin Fire Ding is like a candle flame, flickering and burning slowly.
Yang Earth Wu is the tallest mountain, crusty soil, and parched desert.
Yin Earth Ji is akin to garden soil, loamy and rich in nutrients.
Yang Metal Geng is like a sharp sword, piercing and strong.
Yin Metal Xin is like intricate jewelry that clasps and creates structure.
Yang Water Ren is like the deep ocean with its tempests and waves.
Yin Water Gui is like a lake or pool, calm on the surface.
Life qi also comes in combinations of the 12 earthly branches or animal signs. The 12 animal branches are: Rat (Zi), Ox (Chou), Tiger (Yin), Rabbit (Mao), Dragon (Chen), Snake (Si,) Horse (Wu), Goat (Wei), Monkey (Shen), Rooster (You), Dog (Xu), and Pig (Hai).
This earliest of Chinese divination systems uses the five element placements in an individual's birth chart, especially the element of the birth day, or daymaster, to examine and compare each pillar to the others.
Forecasting is accomplished by comparing your birth chart to any given time, date, or person. The individual pillars are examined for harmony and conflict, balance and imbalance.
Through these basic interactions and distinct patterns, each person can view his or her potential and determine his/her best days, months, years, and companions.
Interaction of Qi
Each year, month, day, and hour has its own energy, or qi. The qi that surrounds you as you take your first breath is your destiny.
These complex energy patterns, stacked on top of each other, are what form the four pillars. Each character (element and animal sign) placed in your birth chart carries with it a frequency, or unique energy pattern, and the combination of these frequencies forms a certain synergy, or influence.
"Synergy" is the working together of separate entities (signs and elements, in this case), cooperating for an advantageous final outcome.
This dynamic between the stems (elements) and the branches (animal signs) is what makes up the four pillars birth chart, and what forms the sum and substance of your astral signature, or horoscope.
Here is an example of a four pillars chart for a person born on September 5, 1959, at 10:34 a.m.:
Each element (upper stem) and animal sign (lower branch) is strategically placed in one of eight locations to tell the story of your destiny.
Using information gathered from the time and date of your birth, a Chinese astrologer is then able to draw up a blueprint or map of your karma and life, and advise you accordingly.