The Strength of the Elements

Determine the strength of an element should be an easy thing to do but there are tricky situations. Many readers asked me how to know if an element is really weak or strong. The basic is related to the 5 Elements Cycle. 

Five elements Cycle

When an element is produced, it will be strengthen. When produce other element, it will be weakened. If encounter a clash (destructive cycle), it will be weakened too.

So we have to see what is surrounding a particular element to find its strength. However, the neighbours inside the Bazi chart can have different influences according to which pillar they are in. For example, the Hour Stem have less influence to the Year Stem compared with the Month Stem and the Month Branch represents the initial, middle or end of a season. The relationships between the 5 Elements and the seasons are shown below.

Although this table shows the relationships that I think they make more sense, there are other tables with different strength and omitting the element earth.

As the year for Bazi always begins at February 4th with the Astrological Sign Tiger, we can conclude that:

  • Tiger belongs to the initial of Spring
  • Rabbit belongs to the middle of Spring
  • Dragon belongs to the end of Spring
  • Snake belongs to the initial of Summer
  • Horse belongs to the middle of Summer
  • Sheep belongs to the end of Summer
  • Monkey belongs to the initial of Autumn
  • Rooster belongs to the middle of Autumn
  • Dog belongs to the end of Autumn
  • Boar belongs to the initial of Winter
  • Rat belongs to the middle of Winter
  • Ox belongs to the end of Winter

Beside this, we should also look for the roots if an element is sit at stem and for hidden elements, they should be able to reveal through the same element (yin or yang) at stems.

It is better to have roots at the same pillar. If not, the closer the better. The roots are stronger if they belong to the same polarity, if not, it’s still better than nothing. The Luck or Annual Pillar can give to an element the roots or a stem to reveal but it will not last forever.

Finally, we should also take into account that an element that is involved in a Combination or a Clash will turn weaker unless the resulting element of that combination is the same. In this case, it will become much stronger.

From now on, you should be able to decide the strength of each element that appears at your chart. Remember, for an element to be good it is important to be favourable but it is more important to be strong (not too much), otherwise, being favourable but weak, it can be easily attacked by other hostile elements.