In a previous post, I mentioned about combinations and clashes at the Branches (Combinations II) but Combinations and Clashes can also occur between the Stems.

Stems Combinations

As we know there are 10 Stems and they can combine together if they are side-by-side or coming from an exterior pillar and if they find an inducer and the month branch doesn’t directly clash the produced element then the combination can transform or just produce another element to the chart if the transformation doesn’t take place. This element can influence the whole chart by enhancing, clashing or protecting other surrounding elements. Sometimes the produced element is the same as one of the two elements involved.

Stems Combinations

 Before reading any chart we should see if there is any combination taking place and if it is able to transform or not. The transformations and the transformed elements can change the whole structure of the chart. That is why they are so important.

Only after that we can decide the strength of the DM and the type of the chart. This process can be as critical as tricky to carry out. Sometimes is hard to decide which is the most important element produced between two or three combinations that are taking place at the same time, especially at branches or if those combination can really transform or not.

As this task can be truly tricky for some charts, one can decide if the DM is weak or strong (which is actually the final result) by analysing the past Luck & Annual pillars to match the relevant events or by checking the daily pillars and find the most positive days & elements.

Combination not able to transform

This is an example of a transformation that is not able to transform because the month branch (丙Bing) Fire clash the produced element Metal.

This is the rule for transformations but you need to take into account the panoramic view of the chart. Bing Fire can rust Yang Metal in the presence of water even for the smallest amount but for Yin Metal, Bing the sun will make it more shinny or even bring out all its brightness. So even the combination doesn’t transform Yin Wood into Metal, it will produce more metal and in case of Yin Metal its brightness can add more value to the chart.

Stems Clashes

The 10 Stems belonging to the five elements will necessarily clash each other. Here, the polarity of the elements will make a difference. The clashes will only happen between elements with the same polarity. (Resources)

Stems Clashes

Depending on the favourability of the elements and the Ten Gods they represent, the clash can be good or bad:

Elements involved in a clash will become weaker and it’s important to analyse that in order to decide if a particular element can handle a clash. A very weak element can be easily clash away, becoming unusable.

Hidden Combinations & Clashes

Now that you know about the relationships between the stems, you may ask “what will happen with the hidden stems inside each branch?  Will they combine and clash too?”

The answer is yes!

They are the so called “Hidden Combinations & Clashes”

In order to know which are the hidden stems that will combine with each other, we must dig deeper to understand the branches.

In Bazi, the 12 branches can be grouped into:

               The Four Cardinal  (子,卯,午,酉)

               The Four Growth  (寅,巳,申,亥)

               The Four Graveyard  (丑,辰,未,戌)

Each of them has one Main-Qi and zero to two Sub-Qi. Two adjacent Main-Qi can combine with each other but the sub-qi can’t randomly combine. (Note: we are talking about Main-Qi combinations and not Branches/Astrological Signs combinations)

This table shows in different colours the Sub-Qi of the Branches that can combine.

Ex: 丙 Bing Fire Sub-Qi at 寅 Tiger, can combine with 辛 Xin Metal Sub-Qi at 戌 Dog but not with 辛 Xin Metal Sub-Qi at 丑 Ox.

This is because branches have different type of Sub-Qi:

               The Four Cardinal  (子,卯,午,酉) -> don’t have Sub-Qi except for 午.

               The Four Growth  (寅,巳,申,亥) -> the first Sub-Qi is the element that the branch can grow. For ex: the element of Tiger is Wood and can produce Fire, so丙Bing Fire is the grow element for寅. The other one is the element in Storage.

               The Four Graveyard  (丑,辰,未,戌) -> the first Sub-Qi is the element whose energy is ending in the season that the branch belongs and is called element in Graveyard. For ex: In the season of Spring, 寅 is the starting branch and its wood energy is in grow, 卯 has the pick of energy and the energy of wood is weakening or ending in辰 and its Sub-Qi 乙Yi Wood is the element in Graveyard. The other one, 癸Gui Water is the element in Storage.

               The element in Grow can combine with the element in Graveyard, as you can see at the table above.

               The Storage elements can combine with each other but since the combinations only occurs between elements of different polarity and storage elements are all of yin polarity except  戊, then only 癸 can combine with 戊 when 辰 & 巳 are adjacent.

The outcome of the hidden combinations is similar to Stems combinations, but in a hidden way and mostly represent hidden agenda, something that happen secretly.

In the business world, it is not unusual people having secret meetings to make some deals. If it is positive for both parties and it is not illegal, the outcome can be very good.

In terms of personal relationships, it can also mean secret associations or affinity. But please, don’t start any war in your life if you see some hidden combinations at your spouse palace. It can also mean good relationships that people can’t notice like between someone’s wife and her mother-in-law or between your spouse and your children or even between you and your customers. This is a subject where some discernment is needed before any action.  

The combinations always produce another element even when they don’t transform. This will be a hidden element added to the chart that can cause some havoc if is strong and hostile or can protect the Useful Gods from some external impacts.