Friday, August 2, 2013

It's Good to be Creative (4)

The Gan-Zhi system (Stem-Branch) was created by Da Nao 大撓 by order of the Yellow Emperor. Legend also talked about how the Mysterious Lady of the Nine Heavens 九天玄女 gave the system to the Yellow Emperor. It remains only a legend. Anyway, the Gan-Zhi system led to the creation of the calendar using the sixty Stem-Branch binomials to label the year, month, day and hour. It is easy to find that the year and month are derived from the revolution of the earth around the sun while the day and hour are derived from the rotation of the earth about its own axis. We are amazed at the intelligence of the ancient people if we do not want to believe that the system was a gift from aliens from the outer space who visited our earth in the form of gods and goddesses.

With the assignment of the five elements to the stems and branches together with the concept of strength and weakness of the elements according to the time of the year, the study of the Four Pillars of Destiny was invented. Obviously the strength of the stems and branches depend of the time of the year and the location of the place we are referring to. 

Some people are creative to say that the calendar for the northern hemisphere cannot be the same as the calendar for the southern hemisphere. They say that summer in the northern hemisphere is winter in the southern hemisphere and therefore, they should not use the same calendar. When it is the Zi month 子月 in the northern hemisphere it should be the Wu month 午月in the southern hemisphere. When it is the Yin month 寅月in the northern hemisphere it should be the Shen month 申月in the southern hemisphere.  Superficially it sounds reasonable but what is under the superficial coat is something that can be easily overruled. 

The strength of the five elements depends on time (Heaven), geographical location (Earth) and the input by people (Man). The stem and branch are determined by time alone as the revolution of the earth around the sun is not affected by where you are on earth. The strength of the stem and branch depends on the location and the human activities because of the local climatic conditions. Even in the northern hemisphere, there is a marked difference in the strength of the stem and branch near the north pole and near the equator. The temperature control in buildings and the human activities also changes the strength of the five elements. 

The names of the 24 seasonal points have meaning only in temperate zones in the northern hemisphere. This is true. The names were created to help the farmers in ancient times in China. We can replace them by numbers or alphabets if we choose to. Then people in the southern hemisphere will feel more comfortable when they study the Four Pillars of Destiny. 

One more point I want to bring out is that the five elements are further classified in terms of yin and yang. When we study the twelve stages of life of an element, we must not forget the rule of "yin is born when yang is dead and vice versa" 隂死陽生,陽死隂生. Yin and yang also go through the twelve stages in the anti-clockwise and clockwise directions respectively.

It is good to be creative, but only if it is not done with a skin-deep understanding.



Susan Macdonald said...

Hello Master Yu, I am trying so hard to understand this regarding the southern hemisphere. I do understand that the timing and location is what forms Bazi. However, when this great knowledge was first being formed in the Human Experience - in the northern hemisphere - all perception of the daily life and experience was based on the Sun. It had to be! That is what Human Kind witnessed and experienced first. The Sun is the largest and brightest star. The Sun creates our seasons, not the stars, not Jupiter. We have four seasons a year because of the sunlight from the Sun. The strength of stems is based on the season because of the strength of the Sun at that time (foremost!) Wood energy is stronger in the spring because the Sun makes it so!! Human Kind witnessed that first, then came the knowledge based around that. It all began with the Sun. I was born on the Spring Equinox in the Southern Hemisphere in the Dragon hour and I can tell you for the past 5 years I have been struggling to understand why I am a strong metal person - because I am typical typical wood energy through and through! As I develop my studies more and more (having completed QMDJ with students of Joey Yap) this conundrum just gets stronger and stronger for me. Joey Yap has books out about the best kinds of career and honestly, they do not resonate with me - I know I have fire and wood energy in my very being. But my bazi says NO! :-D Surely Human Kind experienced the seasons first of all... and began their "knowledge" of all of the stars and elemental relationships based on their foremost primary experience of the Sun? I would dearly love your input on this! Thank you, best regards Susan

Joseph Yu said...

Hi Susan,

The names of the five elements were assigned to help people understand the characteristics of these five spirits. Do not take the image too serious. The four pillars charts are based on the local date and time and has nothing to do with the latitudes. The sun does influence the strength of the elements but the chart itself is not determined by the sun. Come to think about this: what is the chart of a person born right at the equator?

Do not take tabulated rules in books serious. It is not the way to learn the Four Pillars of Destiny.