Ba Zi/Earthly Branches

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Earthly BranchesEdit

There are twelve Earthly Branches (represented by the acronyms "E" or "EB") used in the construction of the Four Pillars of Ba Zi (四柱八字). For example, both the acronyms "EB1" and "E1" represent the first Earthly Branch, namely "Rat" (Yang Water), as shown in the tables below.

S/N Time
(时辰)
Notation Chinese
Pinyin
Earthly Branch
in
Simplified
Chinese
(地支)
12 Animal
Mnemonics
(十二支)
Yin/Yang
(阴阳)
Five
Elements
(五行)
1 11pm - 1am EB1 Rat Yang Water
2 1am - 3am EB2 chǒu Ox Yin Earth
3 3am - 5am EB3 yín Tiger Yang Wood
4 5am - 7am EB4 mǎo Rabbit Yin Wood
5 7am - 9am EB5 chén Dragon Yang Earth
6 9am - 11am EB6 Snake Yin Fire
7 11am - 1pm EB7 Horse Yang Fire
8 1pm - 3pm EB8 wèi Goat Yin Earth
9 3pm - 5pm EB9 shēn Monkey Yang Metal
10 5pm - 7pm EB10 yǒu Rooster Yin Metal
11 7pm -9pm EB11 Dog Yang Earth
12 9pm - 11pm EB12 hài Pig Yin Water

Notes:

  1. The Chinese terms used for the animal mnemonics are not words used for the animals themselves. For example, the Chinese word for "Rat" is "" and not "子". Similarly, the word for "Horse" is "" and never "午", as shown in the table above. The animal signs are therefore used purely as a memory aid, and carry no inherent meaning. In other words, the physical or mental characteristics of a person cannot be inferred from the animal sign under which he/she is born. For example, it cannot be inferred that a person born under the "Ox" sign is strong, or that a person born under the "Tiger" sign is ferocious. Such facile inferences are invalid.
  2. In translating the Earthly Branch from Chinese to English, only one word is used, although the Chinese terms could be translated into English in more than one way. For example, the Chinese term for "Goat" could equally mean "ram" or "sheep" in English, the term for "Rat" could also be translated as "mouse", and the word for "Metal" is sometimes translated as "Gold", as the same Chinese character is used for both. In addition, the term "Five Elements" could be translated literally, and perhaps more accurately, as "Five Movements".

Earthly Branch Interactions (Combinations and Clashes)Edit

In the table below, combinations and clashes refer to the type of interactions between two or more of the four Earthly Branches (the hour, day, month and year earthly branches) found in a person's Ba Zi chart.

Combinations refer to auspicious interactions, and clashes are inauspicious interactions. For example, in Row 1, combination(E3,E4,E5) means that if the branches E3, E4 and E5 are found in a person's Ba Zi chart, it is an auspicious sign. On the other hand, clash(E1,E7) in Row 7 means that if the branches E1 and E7 are found in a Ba Zi chart, it is an indication of an inauspicious chart.

Combinations may result in a new element being formed in a chart. For example, combination(E12,E4,E8) in Row2 will result in the formation of the new element "Wood", as indicated in the table below.

Row 1 Seasonal
Combinations
combination(E3,E4,E5)
{Spring}
Wood
combination(E6,E7,E8)
{Summer}
Fire
combination(E9,E10,E11)
{Autumn}
Metal
combination(E12,E1,E2)
{Winter}
Water
Row 2 Three
Combinations
combination(E12,E4,E8)
Wood
combination(E3,E7,E11)
Fire
combination(E6,E10,E2)
Metal
combination(E9,E1,E5)
Water
Row 3 Front Half
Combinations
combination(E12,E4)
Wood
combination(E3,E7)
Fire
combination(E6,E10)
Metal
combination(E9,E1)
Water
Row 4 Rear Half
Combinations
combination(E4,E8)
Wood
combination(E7,E11)
Fire
combination(E10,E2)
Metal
combination(E1,E5)
Water
Row 5 Six
Combinations
combination(E1,E2)
Earth
combination(E3,E12)
Wood
combination(E4,E11)
Fire
combination(E5,E10)
Metal
combination(E6,E9)
Water
combination(E7,E8)
Fire
Row 6 Three
Persecuting
Clashes
clash(E3,E6,E9) clash(E2,E8,E11) Partial Persecuting Clash clash(E3,E6)
clash(E6,E9)
clash(E9,E3)
clash(E2,E11)
clash(E8,E2)
clash(E11,E8)
Row 7 Six Clashes clash(E1,E7) clash(E2,E8) clash(E3,E9) clash(E4,E10) clash(E5,E11) clash(E6,E12)
Row 8 Clashes clash(E1,E4)
Ingratitude Clash
clash(E5,E5)
Self Clash
clash(E7,E7)
Self Clash
clash(E10,E10)
Self Clash
clash(E12,E12)
Self Clash
Row 9 Related
Clash
clash(E1,E10) clash(E3,E12) clash(E2,E5) clash(E4,E7) clash(E6,E9) clash(E8,E11)
Row 10 Conflicted
Clash
clash(E1,E8) clash(E2,E7) clash(E3,E6) clash(E4,E5) clash(E9,E12) clash(E10,E11)

Hierarchy of Earthly Branch InteractionsEdit

The following is the hierarchy of Earthly Branch interactions, ranked in descending order of importance. For example, "Seasonal Combination" is more important, and will override "Three Combinations", which in turn will override "Three Persecuting Clashes".

  1. Seasonal Combination
  2. Three Combinations
  3. Three Persecuting Clashes
  4. Six Clashes
  5. Half Combination
  6. Self Persecuting Clash
  7. Six Combinations
  8. Conflicted Clashes
  9. Related Clashes

Prerequisites For Interactions To Be SuccessfulEdit

The prerequisites for interactions to be successful are:

  1. Three Combinations: For a front-half or rear-half combination to be successful, the resultant element (Water, Earth, Fire, Wood, or Metal) must be present in any one or more of the Heavenly Stems of the Ba Zi chart. For example, a half-combination of E1 (Yang Water) and E9 (Yang Metal) will result in the Water element. If the Water element is found in any of the four Heavenly Stems, then this half-combination will be effective (the branches E1 and E9 need not be next (adjacent) to each other in the Ba Zi chart for the combination to be successful). Conversely, a combination of E1 and E9 will not be successful if the element Water is not found in any of the four Heavenly Stems of a person's Ba Zi chart.
  2. Six Clashes: For a "Six Clash" to be effective, the pair of contributing branches must be next (adjacent) to each other in a Ba Zi chart. For example, the clash of E7 and E1 will be effective if E7 is on the Hour Earth Branch and E1 is on the Day Earth Branch. On the other hand, the clash of E7 and E1 will not be effective if E7 is on the Hour Earth Branch and E1 is on the Month or Year Earth Branch.
  3. Six Combinations: For a "Six Combination" to be effective, the pair of contributing branches must be next (adjacent) to each other in a Ba Zi chart. For example, the combination of E2 and E1 will be effective if E2 is on the Hour Earth Branch and E1 is on the Day Earth Branch. On the other hand, the combination of E2 and E1 will not be effective if E2 is on the Hour Earth Branch and E1 is on the Month or Year Earth Branch.
  4. Seasonal Combinations: For a "Seasonal Combination" to be effective, the three contributing branches need not be next (adjacent) to each other in a Ba Zi chart.

Hidden Heavenly Stems in Earthly BranchesEdit

For every Earthly Branch, one or more Hidden Heavenly Stems may be found. In the evaluation of a Ba Zi chart, both the Earthly Branches and Hidden Heavenly Stems are taken into account.

The "+" sign in the table below represents "Yang", and the "-" sign represents "Yin". For example, "+Wood" denotes "Yang Wood", and "-Water" denotes "Yin Water".

Earthly
Branch
Hidden
Stem 1
Hidden
Stem 2
Hidden
Stem 3
E1
Rat
H10
-Water
E2
Ox
H8
-Metal
H6
-Earth
H10
-Water
E3
Tiger
H5
+Earth
H1
+Wood
H3
+Fire
E4
Rabbit
H2
-Wood
E5
Dragon
H10
-Water
H5
+Earth
H2
-Wood
E6
Snake
H7
+Metal
H3
+Fire
H5
+Earth
E7
Horse
H4
-Fire
H6
-Earth
E8
Goat
H4
-Fire
H6
-Earth
H2
-Wood
E9
Monkey
H5
+Earth
H7
+Metal
H9
+Water
E10
Rooster
H8
-Metal
E11
Dog
H4
-Fire
H5
+Earth
H8
-Metal
E12
Pig
H9
+Water
H1
+Wood

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.math.nus.edu.sg/aslaksen/gem-projects/hm/0203-1-44-heavenly_secrets/heavenly_secrets.pdf
Last modified on 11 December 2013, at 09:13