This article is about correctly calculating the hour of birth in Four Pillars of Destiny. Please read it carefully. You may know your time of birth to the minute and the BaZi astrologer can calculate your Hour Pillar incorrectly, which will actually change your chart. This is because there are several ways of calculating the hour of birth in BaZi.
Underestimating the importance of the Hour Pillar in BaZi
One can often read that the time of birth in the Four Pillars of Destiny system, that is, the Hour Pillar, begins to act and strengthen in the second half of the native’s life and even at the end of their life. BaZi astrologers who regularly read BaZi charts without birth times make this argument. Other practitioners point out that there are several methods of calculating the time of birth in Chinese Astrology. That is, by combining these arguments, the Hour Pillar kind of seems to be far less important. As such, it is hardly worth that consultant’s time and effort of sifting the grain from the chaff and finding out which the right method is of calculating the hour of birth in BaZi.
Astrology is a science: it does not need dubious explanations
I have also read arguments, even from people trained in the East, claiming that just as the hour of birth is recorded, so it is to be used. Such practitioners of Four Pillars of Destiny introduce psychology and synchronicity in their explanations. They say the universe has set the recorded hour to be true. This is regardless of the fact that if daylight savings time is in effect, a native’s birth in the next city/state/neghbouring country would be recorded with a different time of birth. These people forget that Astrology is the science of the highest caliber (science means “knowledge”). There are no such subjectivisms as “I think”, “Maybe”, “I favour this”. In ancient China, for such ambiguous answers, one’s head ended on a spike!
Calculating the hour of birth correctly in BaZi
Which one, then, is the right way of calculating the time of birth in Chinese Astrology? The answer is only logical. In fact, those who do not know, Chinese Astrology (not only the BaZi/Four Pillars of Destiny and the Imperial Astrology Zi Wei Dou Shu) were influenced by India. India was in turn influenced by Ancient Western Astrology, whose Egyptians and writers of ancient Greek, were influenced by the ancient Babylonians. Chinese astronomy is also influenced by the Babylonian one. In other words, the answer is astronomical. After all, astronomy is the garment that clothes Astrology and has always served Astrology.
In astronomy/Astrology, the real time shown in the sky, not on the clocks, and it is measured according to the local mean time. That is, it depends on the position of a given geographical location relative to the Greenwich Meridian. Example: Currently, in Bulgaria (and in other countries around the world), the artificial and harmful summer time is running. It does not apply/does not exist in most countries around the world. Let’s say that right at this moment, in the place where I am, namely Ruse, the hour is 9 hours and 10 minutes pm.
Subtracting the time zone (+ the artificial summer time if it is on) and adding the local mean time
This is not the real time on the local horizon. In order to obtain it, the summer time + the time zone in which Bulgaria is located must be deducted. Bulgaria falls in Eastern European time (EET), that is 2 hours east of the Greenwich Meridian. Adding the artificial 1 hour, = – 3 hours = 6.10 pm.
Now you need to add the local mean time, which is determined by the coordinates of the place in question. Ruse’s longitude is 25 degrees and 58 minutes east. 1 degree is equal to 4 minutes. To match the exact time, that is to say, for the clocks to indicate the average local time, Ruse/the respective location must be 30.00 degrees east longitude/right on the meridian. Accordingly, in order to calculate the local mean time, the longitude (not latitude!)should be multiplied by 4.
25.58 X 4 = 103 minutes and 52 seconds (1 hour 43 minutes and 52 seconds). Adding this result to the recorded time of 6.10 pm = 7 hours 53 minutes and 52 seconds pm.
As I explained and showed in this article, one hour in Chinese Metaphysics (not just Astrology) = 2 astronomical hours. My point is that since the Rat occupies the last hour and the first hour (that is, from 11 to 12 in the evening and from 12 to 1 in the morning) of the day, the next branches (animals) fall in the odd hours. In other words, 1-3, 3-5, 5.7, 7-9, etc. In other words, a person will go to a BaZi reading and the astrologer will calculate that person’s hour of birth incorrectly, even though the client knows their time of birth to the minute!
Please note that this cannot happen in Western or Indian Astrology because astrologers calculate the horoscope based on real sky time, that is, they do the procedure above.
In a nutshell, the time of birth/Hour Pillar in BaZi/Four Pillars of Destiny is calculated in the exact same way as in Western Astrology – by using local mean time.
In the first (the wrong) case, when one blindly uses whatever time of birth is recorded, the hour will be of the Pig. In the second (the right) way, the BaZi consultant will not only deduct the artificial summer time but will use the local mean time. Accordingly, the hour of birth will not be the Pig one, but the Dog one. Then he/she can proceed with the BaZi chart reading.
A real-life BaZi chart of calculating the hour of birth incorrectly and correctly
It’s time for a real example. This BaZi chart belongs to a friend of mine I have known for many years. Not only is his time of birth not a round, half or a quarter hour, but it is also highly accurate.
Here is his Four Pillars of Destiny chart as recorded, that is, without taking into account that summer time was in effect and that the place of birth is not exactly on the meridian.
Here is his birth chart, calculated in the right way – taking out the artificial summer time and taking the local mean time of birth into account.
You can see that the time of birth differs and therefore the whole Hour Pillar is completely different, i.e. the native was born earlier than the artificial clock in the maternity ward showed.
Determining the structure of the BaZi chart
As I explained in the article I gave above, the first (and the most difficult thing to do) in BaZi is to determine in which category a given birth chart falls. There are at least 17 different types of birth charts in the Four Pillars of Destiny. It is not the purpose of this article to go into details about this, but it is enough to say that BaZi chart of the native in question falls in the Follow the Wealth category. This means that the beneficial elements for the native are Metal, Water, and Wood. Again, I will not break them down to individual Branches and Stems.
Please note that the native’s Four Pillars of Destiny chart does NOT fall a category of Strong or Weak. In the first case, he would benefit from Metal and Wood, while in the second from Fire and Earth. In other words, in both cases, Water would be a negative feature of this chart, and this would be even more true for a chart of Weak Self.
Mistakes are costly in BaZi chart analysis
In other words, as I have written in other articles, in mistakes are extremely costly in Four Pilars of Destiny! The Water/Wealth for an Earth Day Master/Self, is either the useful element or is the negative element.There are no “I think”, “maybe” and similar.
The birth chart shows that there is a Partial Three Harmony Combination between the Rat and the Monkey that give Water. The native is waiting for the Dragon to fill this combination.
What happened when the favourable element Water arrived
Do you want to know what happened to the native in the last year of the Dragon, 2012? Not only was it the year of the Dragon and it completed the Water combination, but the year was the Yang Water Dragon – the maximum for the native. Because Water is the Wealth element in this chart, and because it is the most useful element, this is an indication of great success during this period. Using the Ten Gods in BaZi, Yang Water is the Indirect Wealth. The native made a lot of money from trading with financial instruments this year. Again, if Water was the negative element, he would have lost a lot of money. Note: he had his monthly income during this period, and these successful investments were solid profits on the side.
There is no Fire/Resource/mother in one of the charts
Look at the two birth charts. In the wrong one, the one with the Yang Metal Monkey hour, one notices a significant problem immediately. The native has no Fire in his Four Pillars of Destiny chart. Not only in Chinese Astrology, but in Chinese Metaphysics, Fire and Water are the primary elements. Yes, Wood, Earth and Metal are very important, but lack of Fire or Water is a serious problem. Of course, one has to look at the BaZi chart and see if this missing element is useful or harmful. One should check for combinations and other factors.
Fire rules good manners, happiness, joy, decency, passion, and so on.
Because the native is Yang Earth, Fire, the Resource Element, and more precisely the Yin Fire, shows his mother. The lack of Fire totally does not make sense – not only for the character of the native, who has an emotional nature, who strongly hates and loves and is very polite with people who deserve it – but also with the fact that the native is close to his mother. In other words, she was not totally absent from his life and the relationship is good.
Rob Wealth in the Heavenly Stems
The other thing that draws one’s attention is that Rob Wealth is in the Stems. That is, for a Yang Earth Self, Yin Earth is called Rob Wealth God in Four Pillars of Destiny. Considering that Earth is one of the most negative elements for the native, and since the Indirect Wealth, that is, Yang Water, is present in the Stems, this forms a negative and really dangerous configuration. Such people, that is, those who have the Rob Wealth and Indirect Wealth in the Stems, experience extraordinary ups and downs in their finances.That is, huge profits or gigantic losses.
Fortunately, Rob Wealth is separated from Indirect Wealth by the Day Pillar, which contains the Cardinal Water, the Rat. Yes, the rival/Yang Earth also wants to rob the wealth of the native, but it is weakened by the presence of the Partial Three Harmony Combination. The key is that as long as the Wealth element is protected (by Metal, Water, or Wood, which will control the Earth), the native can enjoy steady and great profits. The moment when Rob Wealth is encountered and /or the Controlling Element/Wood is weakened, the native will experience great losses.
I also want to emphasize that there is a substantial difference between having Rob Wealth appear on the stem via the annual or luck pillar vs having it natally. The interpretation would be entirely different. As such, calculating the hour of birth correctly in BaZi ensures that the astrologer works on the correct chart.
This is also crucial if one practises He Luo Li Shu aka Yijing Astrology and wants to calculate a He Luo Li Shu chart. The HLLS chart is derived from the BaZi chart. As such, using the wrong BaZi chart will give a totally different He Luo Li Shu chart!
Back to this birth chart. I explained why the Yang Water Dragon 2012 year was extremely successful.
2013, the Yin Water Snake was also successful as the Snake made 6 a Harmony Combination with the Monkey, which added Water. Notice that the native was in the Yin Wood cycle, which is the Controlling element, and is useful for him.
Destruction of the favourable element and activation of Rob Wealth
But what happened in 2014, that of the Yang Wood Horse?
The Horse is not only cardinal Fire and accordingly makes a clash/opposition with the Rat, but it contains Rob Wealth. In other words, the most useful element, Water, was crushed (one of the Rats was knocked out), and the two harmful elements: Fire and Earth, through the Horse, were strengthened a lot.
Not only that, but the Horse wanted to combine with the Goat in the Hour Pillar. Horse + Goat = 6 Harmony Combination of Fire. In addition, the Fire weakens the Wood, the Controlling Element.
Do you want to know what followed?
The native lost so much money that he was considering a large bank loan and to enslave himself with ridiculous interest rates for over 10 years. After that, the native sustained even greater financial losses than from the Forex market. I do not need to go into details because they are scary and it is abundantly clear what this is about.
2015, that of the Yin Wood Goat, was extremely unfavorable to the native. I remind that the Goat contains Rob Wealth. The native registered even bigger losses and fell into a nervous crisis.
Activation of the favourable elements – a very lucrative financial partnership + a new romantic relatioship
2016, that of the Yang Fire Monkey, was extremely favorable as it should be, because a second Monkey appeared and two pairs of the 3 Harmony Water Combination were formed. What followed?
The Rat is in the Spouse Palace/Day Branch. The native started a financial partnership where both parties generate steady profits from the business. Not only that, but the Rat is in the Spouse Palace. In other words, when there is an activation in the Day Branch, this is an indication of marriage or the beginning of a serious relationship, provided the element is useful and/or there is confirmation from other parts of the chart.
What followed? The native and his business partner began a serious relationship. Note also that the native was in the Pig cycle, which contains Yang Water/Indirect Wealth, which, like the Water element, in a male chart also indicates girlfriends.
2017 is the year of Yin Fire Rooster.What is the Rooster for this native? The Peach Blossom star, as seen from both the Year and the Day Branch. In other words, this is an indication of marriage or the beginning of a serious relationship. In fact, the wedding between the native and his partner has been planned for months and will soon take place.
Conclusion on calculating the hour of birth in BaZi
I deliberately chose such a strong example to show once again how much powerful knowledge is encoded in these BaZi eight characters. You also saw the difference between calculating the hour of birth correctly or incorrectly in BaZi can be enormous.