空亡 Death and Emptiness (DE)

When you plot a Bazi or Qi Men chart, you’ll probably came across this: “DE” meaning Death & Emptiness. The name is spooky, but it has nothing to do with death (live & die). It is slightly different when used in Bazi or Qi Men but the core meaning is that the energy of the element enters an empty phase being useless, no life, and no energy. However, there are situations where it is acceptable to have DE, they will decrease the strength and turn a problematic element more useful.

For example, if you have an extremely strong Ten God in your natal chart, it is negative for you in the first place. In order to balance it, this Ten God, if fall into DE, its strength will be reduced to a more favourable and usable level. Of course, if the Ten God is favourable and important to you, falling into DE is not a positive situation. The feeling is like we will never get enough of it. Since we are focusing here about Bazi, I will only cover DE in a Bazi chart.

Now that we know what is DE, how can we plot the DE in every single chart?

Starting from the basic, first you must know that there are 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Early Branches and they will pair together to form the 60 Jia Zi pillars.

Jia Ji Map

So, if we group each 10 stems starting by Jia, we will have 6 groups. Every group will form 10 pillars (stem+branch) and the remaining 2 branches will be paired by the next group. They are the DE.

DE map

Next step is to find the Day Pillar of the natal chart. With this pillar we can match the group to which it belongs and identify the 2 DE branches.


The Day Pillar in this chart is Bing Zi 丙子。

Find the group (Stream) at the DE Map and identify the DE.

In this example, You 酉 Rooster at the Month Branch will fall into DE. If DW is an unfavourable element for this DM, then the outcome may not be bad.

*Under normal situations, a Clash or Combination can nullify the DE effect. Being it an inside chart’s Clash or came from Annual or Luck Pillars.

Depending on which element falling into DE, the meaning or outcome is different. Let’s say it is an earth element, and then the nurturing nature and capacity will decrease. If the element is metal, then in an empty space the sound of the metal can travel without blockage. For the water element, falling into DE means that there is nothing to mix with it, consequently the water will maintain pure. If wood falls into DE, there will be problems in the growth process and once wood can’t growth, it will die. At last, if fire falls into DE, for Ding fire, since there is nothing to burn, fire will extinguish but Bing fire is represented by the Sun, it is consuming itself bringing brightness and in an empty space it can shine without blockage.