Chinese Astrology, Pillars of Destiny

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Four Pillars of Destiny

The basic concept :

The origin   

The basic principle  

The Solar Calendar   

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The Solar Calendar

The Heavenly Stems

Four Pillars of Destiny uses the calendar, which divides one year into 24 equally with the position of the sun on the ecliptic. This calendar is called the Chinese Ten Thousand Year Calendar. The Ten Heavenly Stems and the Twelve Earthly Branches are the two numerals, which constitute this solar calendar. The ten stems represent the decimal system and the twelve branches represent the duodecimal system. And all of a year, a month, a day, and an hour are expressed in the combination of these two numerals. First, the Heavenly Stems are Wood+, Wood-, Fire+, Fire-, Soil+, Soil-, Metal+, Metal-, Water+, and Water-. These celestial stems have the origin in the Yin dynasty. And these ten stems originate in the number of ten fingers of both hands, and represented ten days when dividing one month into three equally in an ancient calendar. It was the Warring States period that the Five Elements were introduced into the Heavenly Stems.

The Earthly Branches

The Earthly Branches are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. These terrestrial branches are also the numerals, which constitute this stem-branch calendar, and the origin is in the Yin dynasty. At the beginning, the twelve branches were only the marks for counting one year of 12 months. It was the Warring States period that these numerals were expressed with animals. Rat is December, Ox is January, Tiger is February, Rabbit is March, Dragon is April, Snake is May, Horse is June, Sheep is July, Monkey is August, Rooster is September, Dog is October, and Pig is November. And the Five Elements were introduced also into the Earthly Branches later. Rat is Water+, Ox is Soil-, Tiger is Wood+, Rabbit is Wood-, Dragon is Soil+, Snake is Fire-, Horse is Fire+, Sheep is Soil-, Monkey is Metal+, Rooster is Metal-, Dog is Soil+, and Pig is Water-. These five elements of the Earthly Branches symbolize the four seasons. Wood is spring, Fire is summer, Soil is the dog days, Metal is autumn, and Water is winter. Furthermore, each terrestrial branch contains some of the Five Elements. For example, Pig contains Soil+, Wood+, and Water+. These elements are called the Hidden Stems. This is a peculiar method in the Four Pillars of Destiny for subdividing a season. And the Hidden Stem of the birth month symbolizes the season at the time of birth. This astrology analyzes human character or fortune by the interrelationship of each element of these stems and branches.

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