This article is about the missing Hour Pillar in BaZi and how practitioners of this destiny reading method can take advantage of ancient Western methods for 24 hour birth time rectification, rather than relying on divination, which does not work reliably.
BaZi aka Four Pillars of Destiny is structured differently than Western or Indian Astrology
The Four Pillars of Destiny method is one of the three types of Chinese Astrology. It is also known as BaZi, meaning 8 Characters (the year, month, day and hour of bith). BaZi is the most popular methods in Asia for uncovering and predicting one’s destiny.
BaZi is structured in a different way compared to Western Ancient or Indian Astrology. It is the Day Branch that is the most important, not the Hour one. This may seem very strange to Western professionals who are accustomed to working with great accuracy and that a change of some minutes can alter the natal chart a lot. Four Pillars of Destiny is simply a different method which rests on different rules. To those that are versed in Numerology, it won’t seem strange at all because it is the day of birth, not the hour, which is the most important there as well. BaZi is simply a type of system that is more encompassing of the greater energies or significations. Still, BaZi has 518,400 (60x12x60x12) variations. And that is not including the gender, the Luck Pillars and Annual Pillars. A very good analogy is the fixed stars in Astrology.
BaZi being structured in a different way has, of course, both advantages and disadvantages compared to Western Ancient Astrology. One of the biggest advantages is that the astrologer can read a chart with an unknown Hour Pillar in Four Pillars of Destiny. This is absolutely impossible to do in Ancient Western Astrology. I have already written about this. Without the correct Ascendant and Lots, the astrologer only has psychological descriptions. While the astrologer can make some delineating, he/she cannot establish its weight and context.
Missing Hour Pillar in BaZi: 360,000 people are born every day on Earth
To one who is unfamiliar with Chinese Astrology it does seem as if it makes no sense for BaZi to work without a missing Hour Pillar. This is because everyone born on that day will have the same 6 symbols out of the 8.
That is 360,000 people being born every single day. Right? Well, not really! While the numbers are correct, people born on the same day, month and year:
- Will have different faces, different palms and bodies, as seen from Chinese Physiognomy
- Will be living in different properties, as seen by Classical Feng Shui
- They will be living in different locations with different fates, as seen from Mundane Astrology
- When the well-trained astrologer determines the minute of birth, there will be even more differences
- They will have different names, as read from Numerology
- They will make different choices
- They will have different education, environment, upbringing, values etc.
The latter are part of Human Luck, which the Chinese metaphysician must also take into consideration.
BaZi actually works without the missing Hour Pillar
Taking into account all the information above, it does seem extremely unlikely that BaZi can work without the Hour Pillar. One can speculate and theorize as much as they want but, as must always be the case, it is in actual practice that a method can truly shine. And actual practice shows that Four Pillars of Destiny can be really accurate even without the Hour Pillar. In countries where BaZi is extremely popular, like China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and others, BaZi consultants routinely read charts where the time of birth is unknown.
The deep connection between BaZi and Feng Shui
There is another reason for this, and it again rests on the nature of Chinese Astrology and Metaphysics being differently structured than Ancient Western Astrology. It is Classical Feng Shui, which traditionally was always used alongside BaZi, or the other branch of Chinese Astrology.
As the Chinese say: the Four Pillars of Destiny is the diagnosis, Feng Shui is the cure. The older system of Classical Feng Shui is called San He and it is deeply connected with BaZi. There, as in BaZi, some stars (not astronomical bodies but merely fancy names for energy) are derived not from the Hour Pillar, not from the Day Pillar, but from the Year Pillar.
Again, it is a different system but it works amazingly well. So that is why the practitioners of Chinese Astrology are confident in reading a chart without the Hour Pillar. I mean, they can use the stars derived from the Year Pillar (and some of them are really important, like Peach Blossom, Traveling Horse and others, but to be thorough some practitioners prefer to derive these from the Day Branch).
The connection between the Chinese hours and the 12 Ascendants in Astrology
Another thing which may be unfamiliar to my readers is that the Chinese measure the hours not as we do in the West. A day has 12 hours ruled by the 12 Chinese zoidia/images/branches. They wrongly called animals, just as the Western representations/images are wrongly called “signs”. In fact, the words in Chinese are different, meaning the word for the physical animal “rat” is different than the word used for the Rat, the 1st zoidion/image from the Chinese Zodiac. The images are familiar every day rural names for the types of energy, which are easy to remember.
What this means is 1 Chinese hour = 2 Western hours. This was one of the things that immediately caught attention when I heard of BaZi years ago. The reason for this should be obvious to anyone who is into Western Ancient Astrology. 2 hours is roughly 1 Rising image/Ascendant. Moreover, 1 Chinese hour/Earth Branch is again roughly the time the Lot of Fortune or Spirit or any other indispensable Lot spends in a given zoidion. In other words, it changes roughly every 2 hours.
Missing Hour Pillar and chart rectification
This, of course, brings me to the topic of chart rectification – the method of finding the exact time of birth with Astrology.
While the well-trained BaZi consultant can read charts without the Hour Pillar, he/she does not get the complete information. The Hour Pillar deals with the native’s children, the affinity between the children and the native, among other things. What is more, some BaZi charts cannot be read reliably without the Hour Pillar. It is just the way the chart is structured. In other words, the Stems and Branches are situated in such a way that the flow of the chart, the predominant element/s, cannot be established.
This is because the Hour Pillar can change the energy of the BaZi chart by forming a particular combination, be it in the Stems or Branches, or both. In some such cases it is possible to determine the favourable and unfavourable elements, the Useful Deity, etc. However, this is only after extensively checking the past events from the native’s life.
Even then, if the chart belongs to a special category, such as changing its positive and negative elements over time according to the combinations, the BaZi astrologer cannot be 100% certain. Thus, the predictions will be off or even wrong.
In addition, there are special chart configurations in BaZi that require the use of the whole chart. I mean, the Sexagenary cycle. Another indication is transformation charts. Or if the chart has 3 Yang Pillars or 3 Yin Pillars. Depending on whether the missing Hour Pillar is Yang or Yin, this would alter the interpretation.
What to do then? One must find the unknown Hour Pillar in BaZi.
Finding the missing Hour Pillar in BaZi with Western Astrology
There are a few ways to find the missing Hour Pillar in Four Pillars of Destiny. I remind that the astrologer would have to be correct within about 2 hours. That is at least for BaZi.
Some Chinese Metaphysics practitioners use divination for finding the unknown Hour Pillar. Others read one’s palm and perform calculations. However, it is here that Chinese Astrology practitioners and those of Chinese Metaphysics (Feng Shui, Yi Jing, Chinese Physiognomy, Qi Men Dun Jia and others) in China, Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan, Hong etc, would do well to take advantage of Western Ancient Astrology. The latter which works with unsurpassed accuracy.
The various rectification methods are derived from Babylonian, Hellenistic, Perso-Arabic and Medieval traditional astrological texts. Most importantly, these western methods for chart rectification work reliably in actual practice. The well-trained rectification astrologer can establish not just the Hour Pillar but the exact minute of birth. The time of birth to the minute would be very helpful for the other type of Chinese Astrology – Zi Wei Dou Shu – aka Emperor Astrology.
Only the ancient astrological methods were designed to find an unknown time of birth
A word of warning to Asian readers: discovering the time of birth when it is completely unknown/rectification from scratch is one of the really difficult things to do in Astrology. Few astrologers can do it and not many offer to do it for the public.
Moreover, there are over a dozen different techniques in Astrology in general, but few of them work when the time of birth is unknown. This is important to keep in mind. What is more important is to understand that finding out the unknown time of birth and thus missing the Hour Pillar in BaZi can only be done with traditional Western astrological methods. Anything after the year 1650 is thrown away.
You must also know that the vast majority of astrologers in the West practise a type of modern astrology, which is incapable of doing rectification work when the time of birth is unknown. In the vast majority of cases it is not the Western astrologer’s fault. He/she is simply working with techniques which were not designed to find out the missing time of birth. Let alone perform chart rectification without a time of birth.
Some Western astrologers will admit that modern astrology cannot do 24 hour birth time rectification, but others will not. Therefore, intentionally or not, these astrologers will mislead their clients.
Why use Western astrological methods for discovering the unknown time of birth in BaZi rather than Divination
If a BaZi consultant or diviner attempts to discover a person’s unknown time of birth, they can, so to say, afford to make a mistake. What do I mean? Even the practitioner gets it wrong, the client will still have 75% of the their BaZi chart. This is not true in Western or Indian Astrology. There, a different hour will give a totally different chart! This is because it is the hour/Ascendant that is most important in Western and Indian Astrology, not the day. In some cases, only a few minutes will also give a totally different horoscope.
To put it bluntly, the Western or Indian astrologer is more motivated to find out the missing Hour Pillar in BaZi than one who uses BaZi or Divination to do ti. The reason is because if the former were to wrongly rectify the chart/find out the unknown time of birth, then ALL the information he/she provides to the client will be wrong. Again, this is not true in BaZi. Unless the astrologer/consultant does not care about his/her clients, they cannot afford to make such huge mistakes. The reason for this is obvious: their reputation is on the line, as well as that same client will not come back.
Different astrologers use different methods for chart rectification
What is it then that is required for finding out the unknown Hour Pillar in Four Pillars of Destiny? Some people who have had their chart rectified and know some things about Western Astrology, assume that every astrologer does pretty much the same thing. This is not true. Different practitioners use different methods.
What I require is specific information from you. I have had cases where people send me events of their lives, assuming I need these. When I tell them I don’t need such types of events but different kinds of information, they act surprised. I send out a Word format document with specific questions to be filled by the client.
To some people, it is like a Western person going to an Eastern doctor and wondering why they are asked about their favourite season, taste, colour etc. This is because of the rich nature of my system for birth chart rectification. I have taken the best of ancient astrological texts and transformed it into something which is not present in any single one. In other words, the whole is more than the individual parts and techniques.
Conclusion: finding the missing time of birth is an excellent investment that can also protect your children
Considering the amount of money people pay for Feng Shui audits and consultations and for BaZi readings, investing in finding out the exact time of birth and thus the Hour Pillar in Chinese Astrology is a wise thing to do. This is especially when an experienced Western or Indian astrologer does it, by using ancient methods. This because they will restore your missing time of birth.
As a result of this, your time of birth will be valid for your whole life. In other words, chart rectification is not just a service that astrologers perform every year or once in few years, like BaZi, Feng Shui, QMDJ. What I mean is that different Chinese Metaphysics professionals will be able to use your time of birth and will be thus in a position to help you.
As far as protecting your children is concerned, I already explained that the Hour Pillar rules one’s children. If you are using Date Selection/ZeRi services, and do not know your Hour Pillar, the consultant can still select an auspicious date. For example, for construction, apartment use, etc.
However, if you do not know your time of birth, the Date Selection practitioner (I am assuming they are ethical and firstly try to do no harm) will go on and select a date that does not harm you or your spouse. When you have a missing Hour Pillar in BaZi, the professional has no way of protecting your children.
It is easier to explain with an example. Please keep in mind this is a simple example, which does not take one’s wife and children’s BaZi chart.
Say the above BaZi chart is yours. Its structure is Follow/Surrender to Resource/Seal aka Child of Many Mothers. Earth and Metal are the useful elements.
Say you decide the move in an apartment. After looking at your BaZi chart and determining its structure, the Date Selection consultant selects a Snake month and a Dragon day. He would pick these because they support the flow of your chart.
However, what if your missing Hour Pillar turns out to be the Pig? Or the Dog?
Thus, because you did not know your time of birth, the Date Selection consultant selected Earthly Branches which actually harm your children, because they clash your BaZi Hour Pillar.