I’ve received many questions about the meaning of the elements (Ten Gods) that appear in some particular pillar in the Bazi chart. May be it’s important to recap the whole idea of the process when we try to read a chart.
After plotting the natal chart we need to identify the DM, the other 7 elements and what they represent as Ten Gods to the DM. The meaning of the ten stems is already been mentioned in each of the post about the Ten Day Master(link). Their characteristics will also manifest throughout the years according to the pillars where they appear. All the 8 characters together in the chart will show the personality and traits of the DM.
As Ten Gods, the three heavenly stems, the four earthly branches and their hidden stems will express their influences on DM depending on the pillar where they are located, their strength, meaning, favourability and their usability.
The Ten Gods that are surrounding the DM will exert more influence and the combinations or clashes, if they take place, will be stronger.
The strength of the Ten Gods itself is also important. A weak hostile God will not harm much but a very strong one can caused true damages.
Each Ten God has its own meaning. A Friend star will always be a friend star no matter it is favourable or not. If you have a sibling next to you he/she will keep being there, being your best friend or causing you troubles.
The favourability of the Ten Gods will depend on the strength of the DM. Unless you know how to decipher a chart using advanced techniques, decoding the strength of the DM is the first and most important thing to do when reading a chart. A weak DM needs to be enhanced supported and even be protected. They need Friend stars (F/RW) and Resource stars (DR/IR). On the other hand, a strong DM needs to be weakened, either by exhaustion or by clashes. So they need Output, Wealth and Power stars (HO/EG, DW/IW & DO/7K).
Some elements or Ten Gods can be unfavourable but even so they can play an important role to help the DM by enhancing or producing favourable elements – they become useful Gods. The contrary is also true, the favourable Ten Gods can become detrimental if, for instance they support or produce an unfavourable Ten God – they become useless and sometimes hostile.
Now, let’s put in some practice.
乙 Yi Wood
This element represents the DM in this chart because it is located at Day Stem. Find more about the characteristics of each of the ten Day Master in the posts related.
To decide the strength of 乙we have to go through several steps.
- The Season
To find the season we need to look at the Month Branch (MB). In the example above, 子 Zi represents the Astrological Sign Rat, so the season is the peak of Winter.
Next , we should look at the table “Seasons & Elements” and find the strength of wood in winter.
It’s strong because the element of winter is water and it will produce wood.
2. The surrounded elements
Beside DM we have seven characters in the chart and we need to find out if they are producing, exhausting or clashing the DM.
丁 (HS) Fire will consume Wood -> exhausting DM
巳 (HB) Fire – the hidden stems 丙produce午produce庚. The Metal element will destroy Wood. Even 丙 is important for乙to grow, it needs conditions and with 庚 revealed, there are no conditions -> destroying DM
卯(DB) Wood – day pillar is a pure wood pillar -> enhancing DM
庚(MS) Metal will destroy Wood -> destroying DM
子(MB) Water will produce Wood -> enhancing DM
壬(YS) Water will produce Wood -> enhancing DM
申(YB) Metal will destroy Wood -> destroying DM
There are more weakening then producing elements.
3. The Roots
When an element is located at stem (revealed), is good to have roots. We can find them at the hidden stems wherever they are. But their location will define their level of strength as a root. In our example we have 乙 sit on 卯 with hidden Main-Qi乙. 乙wood is strong in winter. This is a very strong root.
Note: This strength will decrease if the root is with different polarity, located at a different pillar or is very far away.
4. Combinations & Clashes
Through the Cheat Sheets (link), you can recap all the Formations that can take place and find the explanations at Cardinal Combination, Combination II & Stems Combinations and Clashes (link).
Our example shows a stem combination between乙(DM) and 庚(MS) but since there is no inducer at the month branch, this combination is not able to transform. Even though, the combination will weakening the elements involved.
At branches we have子Zi Rat in a Half Cardinal Combination with申Shen Monkey and with 壬Ren as inducer can transform into water.
Conclusion: 乙(DM) strength is balanced. We need to decide whether it’s tilting strong or weak.
By analysing the strength of the opposing elements, we have fire and metal. They are not in season and have roots at average strength. The compatible elements wood and water are in season and have stronger roots. Stems combination (乙-庚) doesn’t transform into metal, Branches Half Combination (子-申) can transform into water.
The compatible elements are stronger then the opposing elements, 乙(DM) have seasonal support and strong root => DM is Strong!
Now that we know the strength of the DM, we also know which are the favourable and the hostile elements. Let’s convert them to 10 Gods.
丁 Ding Fire is EG, an output element for乙(DM) and is favourable but is not very strong and cannot perform very well. However it has wood by its side to support and a weak root at 巳. Nothing is lost. With some effort and a favourable pillar, recognition, success and reputation are achievable.
庚 Geng Metal is DO for DM. It’s average strong, with roots at 申 and far away at巳, is enhanced by the combination with 乙, is not supported by the season and have weak support from its resource earth. DO refers to authority, power, legal matters, leadership, bosses, superiors or husband for ladies. By sitting next to DM and rooted, the affinity with superiors or bosses is average good. Every DM will combine with its DO when appear side-by-side but this combination will result in more metal. This relationship will favour the DO, the boss, the superior, the client (customers) or the husband. In the example, the LP with 戊 earth at stem will enhance metal so that this relationship can see a boost during this period.
壬 Ren Water is the DR of DM and in season, so is very strong. Resource element will make DM even stronger and we don’t want it. It’s an unfavourable element. It is located at the year pillar, far from DM, this will lighten its influence. DR represents comfort level, health, work-life balance, personal documents, knowledge acquirement, reputation and sometimes our work, job or career. As 壬 is very strong, the positive character traits will be more prominent such as knowledgeable, patient, merciful, optimistic, imaginative…but being unfavourable as Ten God and very strong, the chances of issues in the related areas will be higher. Whenever this element id triggered by changing pillars like LP, AP, monthly or even daily pillar, issues related to health, comfort level, school matter or personal document… can emerge in a more serious way.
丙 Bing Fire Main-Qi of 巳 is also not strong even reveal through 丁but fire is not in season. However it serves as root to 丁and give DM some hidden talents related to HO.
乙 Yi Wood inside 卯, a F star is sit at spouse palace. It’s the only root DM has inside the chart. Being supported by the season, the pillar is strong. This means the relationship with the spouse is strong and the spouse is probably a good friend. However we can’t forget that F is not favourable to strong DM and in this situation the good friendship of the spouse can spoil the DM into an arrogant, selfish and opinionated person.
癸 Gui Water is IR for DM. It’s sit on month branch, very strong and being unfavourable will bring emotional or mental health issues. This does not necessarily diseases, but unsettling emotions, thinking too much, unable to forget people, situations, comments, critics or making little problems into a big one. Depending on the changing pillar when they can appear weak or strong, this element is already strongest inside the chart flanked by its own resource 庚, above and by its side. This situation can be easily overcome if the DM is aware about that and change some behaviour. It’s all about awareness.
庚 Geng Metal at the year branch serves more as a root to month stem. 申combines with 子and transform into water, weakening metal.
戊 Wu Earth at the LP will let hidden 戊 in the chart reveal. 戊 represents DW, even not so strong, it will give wealth element a chance to give its influence. With output element revealed in the chart, there is an opportunity to make money, earned money. 戊DW will also enhance庚DO and promotions or new jobs are between the possibilities.
This is a simple way to analyse the elements of a Bazi chart. Among all the possible charts, we can find some that are easy to decode but others that can be tricky, where we need to pay more attention in order to dig deeper through more advanced knowledge. A plan B for this is to pick the relevant events in the past and try to match them with the corresponding pillars and decide if those pillars are favourable or not.