Friday, January 13, 2012

Tian Gan Di Zhi 天干地支

This is an old posting back in 2005 in a mailing list that I have deleted. It is an important article for real understanding of the basis of Four Pillars of Destiny.

Tian Gan and Di Zhi have been translated as Heavenly
Stems and Earthly Branches but it does not give the
proper image of the two. In fact, this is bad
translation but the translator is not to blame. This
is because the mistake actually originated in quite
ancient Chinese books.

Each Chinese character can carry a lot of meanings.
Gan can mean Stem and Zhi can mean Branch. This is the
visual meaning of the two characters. However, they do
not give the meaning of what they should represent in
the study of Four Pillars.

The visual relationship should be the visible part of
a tree and the underground part of the same tree. But
it is inappropriate to translate Gan and Zhi as Stem
and Root because Zhi does not carry the meaning of the

The answer actually comes from a semi-visual meaning
of the two words. 

Gan = to work/act
Zhi = support

So, Tian Gan = Heavenly Work/Action
           Di Zhi = Earthly Support

Tian Gan is the qi from Heaven that does work.
Di Zhi is the qi from Earth that supports the work (or
interferes with the work). 

That explains the two terms perfectly but since stems
and branches have been used for such a long time, it
is difficult and may be unnecessary to correct it. 


1 comment:

Laguna Vacations said...

Thank you Master Yu,
Your explanation brings us closer to a more thorough understanding of the workings of timing and synchronicity.