The term 三方四正 (three directions and four proper) is explained in almost all Zi Wei Dou Shu books as the combination of the three palaces (Shen, Zi and Chen), (Yin, Wu and Xu), (Si, You and Chou), (Hai, Mao and Wei) together with the opposite palace to form the four proper directions. Well, this is not convincing as it is awkward. The first part explaining the three directions as one of the four triangular combinations of branches is alright. The second part adding the opposite direction to form the four proper directions is simply awkward.
In fact, the second part when writtin in traditional vertical way has been mistaken as two characters. It is just one character 罡. This character has several meanings. |One meaning is the handle of the Big Dipper. Another meaing is from Daoist belief. There are 36 important stars collectively known as the thirty-six Tian Gang Xing 三十六天罡星. Now 三方四正 should be 三方罡 meaning the stars of the three palaces forming a triangular combination. Since the three palaces are very intimate because of the triangular combination, the stars in these three palaces affect each other much more than stars from other palaces. They should be considered relatives of the same big family. Then what about the opposite palace? Yes, it is very influential but it should be looked at from another angle. It has great impact on the palace considered. The force is direct and powerful.
Examine the pairs:
Life Palace and Travel Palace
Parents Palace and Health Palace
Happiness Palace and Wealth Palace
Properties Palace and Children Palace
Career Palace and Marriage Palace
Friends Palace and Brothers Palace
You will find that they are wonderfully connected. For example, most of our health conditions are inherited from our parents. On the other hand, our parents are most concerned and worried about our health. Right? A palace and its opposite are most affectionately affecting each other. You should see how cleverly the design of the Zi Wei Dou Shu chart was invented.