Bodhidharma was a Buddhist monk who lived during the 5th / 6th century. He is traditionally credited as the transmitter of Chan Buddhism to China. There was also this destiny reading/ personality profiling technique which was said to be developed by him. It is said that there was a time when a lot of people seek monastery for shelter and escape; and this was a method so gauge if the person is true in seeking Buddha or merely seeking an escape.
The manual plotting is pretty straight forward. But, with the help of technology, things gotten much easier.
Generally similar, however there are some variation on treatment of some item in plotting the chart – Manually. The treatment of leap month (润月 ); for example, April is a leap month. If the date is on or before 15th, it will follow April; and if it falls on 16th it will follow May in plotting out the chart. Or, just use April in plotting out the chart. I personally use the latter (firstly, it simplifies and secondly, it is alight with QMDJ). Another deviation is using 10 year as 1 luck cycle vs 7 year as 1 luck cycle; I personally use a 7 year luck cycle.
Example – 2000 Jun 6, 6am (Male):
First step, convert the date of birth from western date to lunar dates. This is a typical error for most practitioners, especially those who rely heavily on online calculators. For this chart, the lunar dates would be 2000年 5月 5日 6時.
Born in the year of Dragon so the letter 辰, 天奸, 修罗 will mark the first point. Male (clockwise) and Female (reverse clockwise). This is a male chart so, count from position of Dragon to Monkey 申, 天孤, 人道. Next count the days from Monkey to Rat子, 天贵, 佛道. Last, from Rat to Rabbit 卯, 天破, 畜道. To find the destiny palace, use the day zodiac and count from Rat hour to Rabbit hour. For this example, the destiny palace 命宫 is in Rabbit 卯.
Plotting the luck cycle, using Rabbit 卯, 天破, 畜道 (clockwise), so the first 7 years land with Dragon, next 7 on Snake etc. After you plot the 7 years luck cycle. Continue with the same method to plot out the current year palace. And, if the practitioners really wants to go in-depth, can use the same method to plot out the months and day. For me, I stop at the year as my intention is for current year forecast.
I know this method slightly deviate from what is available on the web. Do give it a try, at least another choice away from ZWDS and BAZI for annual reading; the accuracy is quite there, speaking from personal experiences.
Now on the palaces. There are 12 Zodiac, 12 Stars and 6 Path. These 3 category are fixed (as per the above laid diagram) regardless of male or female charts. What changes from time to time; and also depending on the practitioners is analyzing per luck cycle, annually or monthly (or even daily) are the 12 Life Palaces (命).
亥 – 天寿 – 仙道 – Pig
子 – 天贵 – 佛道 – Rat
丑 – 天厄 – 鬼道 – Ox
寅 – 天权 – 人道 – Tiger
卯 – 天破 – 畜道 – Rabbit
辰 – 天奸 – 罗道 – Dragon
巳 – 天文 – 仙道 – Snake
午 – 天福 – 佛道 – Horse
未 – 天驿 – 鬼道 – Goat
申 – 天孤 – 人道 – Monkey
酉 – 天刃 – 畜道 – Rooster
戌 – 天艺 – 罗道 – Dog
Taking the annual chart for example. After pinpointing where the annual year lands. That palace will be the life/ destiny (命) palace. From that, one can start to plot the rest of 象，福，業，动，欲，情，導，信，基，友，财 (clockwise for both male & female chart) for analysis. I shall not elaborate on each of the stars and palace as it seem quite self explanatory, otherwise a page will turn into a book.
本命 – Life/ Destiny Palace.
形象 – Appearance/ Reputation & Parents Palace.
幸福 – Humility, Generosity & Blessing.
事業 – Academic & Career
变动 – Mobility & Changes
建欲 – Health
爱情 – Love
领導 – Leadership & Servant
亲信 – Children
根基 – House & Property
朋友 – Friends & Siblings
钱财 – Wealth
Remember to have fun. And thru’ this process of learning and seeking, get acquainted with Buddha and his teaching.