Chinese Astrology Ba Zi

(also known as “Four Pillars of Destiny”)


We have always sought the answers to the mysteries of existence by looking to the skies in wonder, contemplating our lives and the nature of reality. In the ancient China, the early philosophies were built around concepts of nature and the Universe. Nature was seen a self-generating phenomenon; a complex structure composed of interacting elements which create the fabric of experience.

Chinese astrology Ba Zi

The ancient Chinese acknowledged everything as an expression of energy Qi, including life itself.


The Three Treasures – Heaven, Earth and Human Qi concept weaved a close relationship between their astrology and Chinese philosophy. Therefore, it is not surprising that Ying/Yang, the Five Elements and the concepts of Heaven, Earth and Man played such an important role in the analysis and interpretation of their astrology.



Ten Stems and Twelve Branches

Chinese astrology Ba Zi

The Chinese Astrology Ba Zi relies on Ten Heavenly Stems and Twelve Earthly Branches.

Gaining an understanding of these Stems and Branches proved to be quite difficult as people were often illiterate, so animal symbols were soon used to represent the Twelve Branches (also known as Twelve Zodiac signs of the Chinese astrology: Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig, Rat and Ox).


The Ten Stems were easier to comprehend, since these represent the Five Elements in their Yang and Yin polarity (Yang Wood and Yin Wood, Yang Fire and Yin Fire, Yang Earth and Yin Earth, Yang Metal and Yin metal, Yang Water and Yin Water).


Chinese Astrology Ba Zi

The Twelve Branches also appear as either Yang or Yin; while Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, Dog and Rat are predominantly Yang Zodiac signs (Branches), Rabbit, Snake, Goat, Rooster, Pig and Ox are the Yin ones.

Also, even numbered years are Yang (2020, 2022, 2024, 2026, 2030, etc.), while the odd ones are Yin (2021, 2023, 2025, 2027, 2029, etc.).


Lunar and Solar Calendar

Although some schools of Chinese Astrology use lunar calendar to calculate the beginning of the year, in Ba Zi practice we mostly use the solar calendar, which means the New Year always appears at the beginning of February (usually on the third or fourth day of the month, depending on solar longitude). Therefore, people born between 1st January and 3rd or 4th February, were born in the previous (solar) year.



Ba Zi chart or Chinese Astrology horoscope

Ba Zi Terminator

Ba Zi means “Eight Characters”; the eight characters are four Heavenly Stems and four Earthly Branches, which appear in the year, month, day, and hour pillar of the Ba Zi chart.

Each Pillar (Year, Month, Day and Hour) contains one Branch and one Stem, thus the names Ba Zi (Eight Characters), and the Four Pillars of Destiny.


When you calculate your Chinese astrological chart ( you will see there are four pillars relating to your date of birth.


The Year Pillar

This is the year you were born (as measured by the Chinese Solar Calendar); it represents your grandparents, and ancestors – together with the influence of the wider environment.


The Month Pillar

This is the solar month of your birth; represents your parents and siblings – but can also refer to your career.


The Day Pillar

This is the day you were born; it represents your Self, but also your health, love life and spouse.


The Hour Pillar

This is the hour you were born; it represents your hopes and dreams, but also – children.


Each pillar consists of an upper and lower part; the upper part contains one Heavenly Stem, while the lower houses your Chinese Zodiac Sign – one of the Twelve Branches.



The importance of your Self

Chinese Astrology Ba Zi chart

Your Ba Zi chart reveals certain inner dynamics, quite unique to – you.

While the external pillars (Year and Month Pillar) describe your immediate and wider surroundings, the inner pillars (Day and Hour Pillar) are more related to who you are – especially the Day Pillar.

Therefore, the Stem and the Branch of this particular Pillar, Day Pillar of the Ba Zi chart, are especially important.

The Stem of the Day Pillar of your birth is also known as your – Self, or Day Master.


In Ba Zi chart analyses, Self is also the main reference point.

In order to be able to read the Ba Zi chart and understand one’s Destiny and Luck, you have to know one’s Self, because everything (life) happens TO – Self.


There are Ten Selves of Chinese Astrology Ba Zi, and to find yours, calculate your Ba Zi chart, and then look for your Self under the “Download” section of the website. If you want to learn more about Ten Basic Personality Types of Chinese Astrology, look for Althea’s e-book “Chinese Astrology for Beginners”, and the other books from the same series…


Chinese astrology Ba Zi

Visit our e-book store on Shopify, to explore the world of Chinese Astrology Ba Zi and Feng Shui.

Our Store (so far) contains 66 e-books and 2 hardcover books.

We are proud to present Althea’s

Chinese Astrology series (4 e-books + 1 hardcover),

Feng Shui series (1 e-book + 1 hardcover),

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