4 Pillars (四柱命理)

Food, Cooking & the Five Elements


In the Five Element system, it is important to balance these elements within and without for optimum health.  Learning to balance the Five Elements of Food helps ensure that you receive enough nutrients from what you eat and supports the corresponding organs.  One of the best ways to create balance in the body is to eat more foods that correspond to all the Five Flavors : Salty, Sour, Bitter, Sweet and Savory, Pungent or Umami in a way that most suits your personal needs.  Here’s a brief list of foods associated with each element: and their actions on the body:

Water:  All salty foods and dark foods, foods that are purple, black or blue.  Also, fresh fish and salted fish, salted meat, caviar and other fish eggs, shellfish of all kinds, pork, eggs, beans of all kinds, seaweed and sea vegetables, Soy Sauce and Tamari, miso, figs, blueberries, blackberries, eggplant, kale, wild rice, walnuts, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds are water foods. These foods have a softening effect and promote moisture and calming of the body.  They most benefit thin, dry and nervous people.

Wood: All sour foods and many green, fast growing foods, especially those with green stalks and sprouts. Also, chicken, liver, most wild game, wheat, leafy greens like chard, broccoli rabe and spinach, asparagus and celery, citrus fruits – especially lemons, oranges, grapefruit – sour plum, pineapple, starfruit, sourdough bread or crackers, vinegar, yogurt, kimchi, pickles of all kinds, sauerkraut and olives are Wood foods.  These foods can obstruct movement and function as astringents.  They most benefit changeable, erratic and scattered people.

Fire:  All bitter foods and most red foods, especially food that looks like hearts, dried food and hot foods. Also lamb, venison, lettuce and arugula, dandelion and watercress, tomatoes, citrus peel, kumquats, apricots, sweet plums, raspberries, strawberries, rhubarb, peppers, hot chilies, black pepper, cayenne pepper, paprika, wine, beer, coffee, tea, dark chocolate and carbonated beverages are all Fire foods  These foods can reduce heat and dry fluids. They most benefit slow, overweight, overheated and aggressive people.

Earth:  All sweet and starchy foods, particularly yellow, orange and brown foods and root vegetables and very sweet soft fruits.  Other Earth foods are beef, millet, barley, rye, sugar,   milk chocolate, corn, oats, slow cooked onion, watermelon, cantaloupe, sweet apples, sweet cherries, dates, grapes, peaches, carrots, cabbage, potato, sweet potato, bananas and plantains, yam, okra, taro, beets, button and chantarelle mushrooms and other fungus, winter and summer squash, cucumbers, almond, coconut and other tropical fruits like papayas, cherimoyas and mangoes are all earth foods. So are the pulses – lentils and dried peas, peanuts along with syrupy sweets – honey, maple syrup, corn syrup, agave syrup, molasses, rice syrup and barley syrup. These foods slow down acute symptoms and neutralize toxins.  They most benefit dry, nervous and weak people and they calm aggression.

Metal:  All savory foods, pungent foods and white foods, many herbs and spices and prepared condiments. You don’t need a lot of metal foods as they are strong and spicy (not hot) or very simple flavors. The newly discovered taste-buds for the “Umami” flavor is proof of the Metal Element having the ability to taste glutamate – found in shiitake and porcini mushrooms, Parmesan cheese and fish sauce that gives these foods that special savory flavor. Also, white rice, milk, cream, white cheeses, raw onion, garlic, chives, radish – especially cauliflower, turnip, tofu, lotus root, pears, kohlrabi, cinnamon, mint, tarragon, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, scallions, cloves, fennel seed and bulb, cilantro and coriander seeds, parsley, anise, dill, mustard greens, wasabi, horseradish, mustard, basil, and nutmeg are all considered metal foods. These foods have a dispersing effect and promote energy circulation.  They most benefit sluggish, damp, lethargic and cold people.

Many foods cross can be more than one element at a time.  Others can be assigned to different elements based on how they are cooked.  For example, raw onion is the metal element because of its pungency whereas cooked onion is very sweet and becomes earthy, or they may change at different states of growth so that when it is unripe versus when it is ripe.  For example, tomatoes when green are quite sour and therefore belong more to the Wood Element and when they are ripe, belong to the Fire Element.  When they are very sweet, they become Earthier.  The style of cooking also influences the five elements:

Soups, Boiling, Steaming, Poaching, Curing, Freezing and Sous Vide Cooking  – Water
Grilling, Smoking, Searing, Pickling and Fermenting, Campfire Cooking –  Wood
Deep Frying, Stir Frying, Flambeing, Sauteing, Toasting, Dehydrating, Appetizers and Snacks –  Fire
Baking, Roasting, Stewing, Mashing, Pureeing, Jams and Jellies, Caramelizing, Desserts and Candy – Earth
Composed Foods, Garnishes, Condiments, Finishing Sauces, Julienne , Mincing, Dicing – Metal

4 Pillars (四柱命理)

12 Deity of Tai Sui (2020 Assessment)

A general guide (leisure reading), let’s review the areas we need to work on for 2020. Lets put in some perspective (i.e. Year Pillar is often given the heaviest weightage, follow by month; if all 4 Pillars are visited by the inauspicious deity, it largely meant you have lots of challenges and growth opportunities this year).

This is a less popular method called 12 Deity of Tai Sui (太岁). It uses Tai Sui as the leader of the year follow by the various generals and official to governs the year’s other 11 zodiac. Halfway thru’ the article you probably realise there are actually ONLY 3 auspicious deity in this method and the rest are largely Inauspicious. Tradditional (and probably), it is a way of remind the villagers to be mindful, to be kind, practice humility and keep a gratitude mind. For those prefer a robust level of analysis, you may try out 达摩一掌诀.

The 4 aspect based on the 4 Pillars (BAZI):
Year embodies externalities, government, authority, social relationship, superiors, bosses, grandparents, uncle’s, aunties, in-laws and parents.
Month encapsulate work environment, colleagues, peers, friends and siblings relationship.
Day focus on family environment, spouse relationship. It also includes self as well as personal values.
Hours deals with personal aspirations, dreams hopes and fear. Skills & Talents. It also encompasses offsprings and children relationship or matters.

注意 (Alert): The cutover point for TaiSui is always at the Start of Spring (立春), and not Chinese New Year.

Strength: Serving, Resourcefulness, Knowledge
Financial Advisors, Property Consultants, Teacher, Coach, Project Manager
Suitable work partners: Rat, Snake, Rooster

In 2020, the Zodiac is at Sickness Star (病符):Sickness deity, as the name implies, this works with sickness and accidents. Especially so when the particular pillar is being punish or clash during the month cycle. The negative impact of this deity also extend the effects to the family members not just the affected zodiac/ person. So, whatever good health habits one is adopting, make sure to advise your family members. Zodiac with this deity should also avoid funerals and hospital, in the event impossible to avoid, do it during the day, before 5pm. Beside good rest and rejuvenation, reviewing the health and personal insurance could be a good way to mitigate this risk.

Strength: Conviction, Diversification, Charisma,
HR Consultant, Pharmaceutical, Branch Manager, Insurance Sales, Legal Professions, Broadcasting,
Suitable work partners: Pig, Horse, Dog

In 2020, When the Zodiac is at Heavenly Dog (天狗):This deity is the chef of gossips, injuries and depression. When this deity is with one zodiac sign, one tends to feel tired, sleepless nights, anxiety. Bed placement then becomes an important area of concern, take note of the effects of geomagnetic influences as well as poison arrows. With insufficient rest, health issues, work mistakes or legal issues could starts appearing, and all of this drains a lot of energy from you. One should learn to protect yourself, doing things right the first time, double check the work. Rejuvenate one’s Qi by Changing to a healthy diet and start with some light exercises and rest early in the night. And, control the urge to starts engaging with gossips. As it always comes back to oneself. What you sow is what you reap.

Strength: Connecting, Flexibility
Innovator, R&D, Project Manager, Sales Manager, Editor, Designer, Architect, Accountant
Suitable work partners: Dog, Pig, Goat

In 2020, When the Zodiac is at Blessing Virtue (福德), also termed as 贵神, tradditional versed as “贵神压运事吉祥,财源广进喜又和。春不见喜秋也见,财喜双全不用说。男遇贵神天赐祥,女见贵神喜事多。” This is an auspicious deity that promotes peace and harmony in relationship and family. Suitable for joyous occasion and marriage. Also, when one Zodiac is with this deity, one’s energy tends to be more focus and intention driven. As this is an auspicious deity, one shouldn’t meddle into other people matters and create gossips. Don’t exhibit your joy and enthusiasm senselessly, as not everyone is going thru a good cycle like you. If one does that, one may begin to feel negativity around oneself instead of blessing by the deity.

Strength: Humility, Observation, Networking
Business Administrator, Manager, Banker, Doctor, Teacher, Engineer, Designer
Suitable work partners: Rooster, Monkey, Rat

In 2020, When the Zodiac is at White Tiger (白虎):This deity represent bloodshed, accident, gossip, legal dispute and affects family relationship. May result in partnership breaking up as well as betrayal. When Zodiac is with this deity, there then to be less harmonious family relationship. Temperament tends to be quick, impatient etc. The choices of words tends to cuts and affects others emotions. Follow up on current affairs and avoid travelling to location of high risk or plague by ills.

Strength: Charisma, Preservance, Observation
Sales & Marketing, Corporate Communications role, Financial Advisors, Property Consultant, Broadcasting, Journalist
Suitable work partners: Monkey, Rooster, Ox

In 2020, When Zodiac is at Dragon Virtue (龙德):Equivalent to the Nobleman Star in BAZI. This deity assist in one inspiration. This is the most auspicious deity of the year. But if one don’t do any activity, it as good as wasting the good energy of this deity. So, take calculated risk and push forth in career and businesses. Rebalance your investment portfolio, upgrade your property. Also, seek to expand ones network, create new leads and cement existing relationship. However, do take note to avoid late nights out, as your strong energy may affect those resting or with negative or yin energy. This is often the case of negligence for people bless with strong and auspicious deity.

Stength: Influencing, Decisiveness, Resourcefulness
Banker, Architect, Interior Designer, Motivational speaker/ consultant
Suitable work partners: Goat, Tiger, Dog

In 2020, When Zodiac is at Sui Po Position (岁破), 岁破 is also known as 大耗:This deity absolutely clash with TaiSui, the worst star to have for any Zodiac. Afftects all aspect of health, wealth, safety, property and spirituality. Needless to say, during this year one have to seek cultivation – 修身养性. As it would be an accidental prone year, be prudent and don’t take un-calculated risks, review insurance plan or consider a personal accident plan. Do not engage in lending, borrowing and guarantor, as the repercussions could spillover after Sui Po years. Also, avoid activating any negative annual Feng Shui, practice mediation, prayers, space cleansing on regular intervals is also recommended.

Strength: Serving, Resourcefulness, Decisiveness,
Secretary, Teacher, Coach, Project Manager, Administrator in Charitable Organisation
Suitable work partners: Horse, Pig, Rabbit

In 2020, When Zodiac is at Small Consume or Giving (小耗) Position: 小耗:Literally means, to expend, to consume or give away. What it meant is that there will minor be disruption, sickness, wealth dilution. This deity is also known as 月德为贵人 or the Nobleman star, which is a guardian deity, it protects reputation and personal safety. Seek peaceful means to resolve conflicts. This star is plotted using the BAZI day pillar or derive based on the TaiSui for the year. To receive the blessing from this deity, one needs to accumulate merits, exhibit gratitude this year. But, having this deity in your Zodiac doesn’t mean you take uncalculated risk and recklessness. One may still result in loss of wealth and property damages. Still have to sit on the side of cautious, especially with motor vehicles.

Stength: Fairness, Execution, Purpose
Military, Police, Equities Traders, Engineers, Compliance, Credit Control, Quality Assurance.
Suitable work partners: Snake, Rat, Dragon

In 2020, When Zodiac is at 5 Ghost (五鬼) Position:Unstable energy, devious and scheming people around may begin to stir trouble, affecting your emotions and reputation. Watch out for legal dispute that could affect wealth and property. Property hazard include fire, electrical. Loss of personal belongings and risk of theft. Also, avoid being guarantor when one’s Zodiac is in this deity. Nonetheless, this is not a totally bad deity, if the pillar is a Nobleman and you are gunning for progression or higher education/ exams, this deity forces you to work diligently on it; as the moment you slack off, currents will steer you back on track.

Strength: Eloquent, Negotiation
Laywer, Bankers, Relationship Managers, Surgeon, Jewellery Designer, Timepiece Technicians,
Suitable work partners: Dragon, Snake, Ox

In 2020, when Zodiac is at Tai Yin (太阴) Position:Auspicious deity, favors female. When female Zodiac is in this deity, it strengthen career, business and health. Likewise, when male Zodiac is in this deity, it prompts promiscuity, bribery, legal dispute, arguments marriage discontentment, 3rd party relationship and thefts. So, double check if you have blossom in your BAZI chart or Feng Shui that accidentally activated this aspect. Nonetheless, this aspect is not totally negative, as in contemporary context could mean wider network, marketing reach as well as social contacts. Or, generate new leads for your products and services.

Humility, Observation, Negotiation
CEO, Country Manager, Economist, Researcher, Banker, Doctor
Suitable work partners: Rabbit, Tiger, Horse

In 2020, When Zodiac is at Death Messenger (丧门) Position:Inauspicious deity that governs deceased matters (tradditional verse as 丧门: 忧思重重整一年,若没内孝有外孝,犯着丧门泪涟涟) and loss of wealth or property. Nonetheless, we need to also assess how many pillars are affected by this deity. Knowing this, we often can take steps to work toward a solution / acceptance rather than be passive about it. When Zodiac resides in this deity, often results in frustration, bottling of emotional as well as sickness (incl. physical, health and emotional). Should avoid visiting funeral and hospital, as it would trigger this negative Qi.

Strength: Clarity, Purpose
Entrepreneur, Import/ Export – Trade Fiancing roles, Civil Service, Human Resoure, Pharmaceutical, Insurance Industry
Suitable work partners: Tiger, Rabbit, Goat

In 2020, When Zodiac is at Tai Yang (太阳) Position:Auspicious deity, favors male. Tai Yang is also known as Green Dragon (青龙). When male Zodiac is in this deity, it strengthen career, family planning, new born, business and health. If there is no other major negative deity in the other 3 pillars, one can expect smooth / less turbulence year. When female Zodiac is in this deity, it prompts promiscuity, bribery, legal dispute, arguments marriage discontentment, 3rd party relationship and thefts.

Strength: Acumen, Knowledge
Business Analyst, Equities Analyst, Researcher, Judge, Lecturer, Scientist, Journalist
Suitable work partners: Ox, Monkey, Dragon

In 2020, When Zodiac is at Tai Sui (太岁) Position:Governs 1 year of prosperity and calamity. When TaiSui is in one’s Zodiac, usually causes emotional roller-coaster, rash decision making resulting in loss of wealth or property. With TaiSui also dwells sorrowful star and gossips, affects reputation. Not advisable to plan marriage, in event there is a need to; careful date selection might be necessary. In this year, it is beneficial in having more positive thoughts, deeds of gratitude and slowing down the pace.

4 Pillars (四柱命理)


2 weeks into 2020, one of the questions receive frequently over that pass week regarding BAZI (八字) or 4 pillars (四柱)  was “I got 4 resource element in my bazi, what does it mean? ” … “I got 3 wealth and 3 output in my chart, how do I read? “…  “Does it represents my personality ?” … so on and so forth.

Hence, decided to spend some time and pen down an overview as a personal note and hopefully as a useful reference point for some of my peers who needs to manage people, and those in HR, Hiring functions and Team-Building roles.

Everything here is a best effort estimate, nothing mathematical.

First, we need a BAZI (八字) or 4 pillars (四柱) chart. Go to Google and search for BAZI calculator or download one in app (thanks to the pioneers before us, the program is more or less fine tune and homogeneous).

A brief understanding of the 5 element cycle (五行生克)would be good. Water nurture Wood (Plants), Wood (Dried) feeds Fire, Fire create Earth, Earth give birth to Metal (Minerals), Metal condenses and dew forms Water etc.

After you have done that, input date of birth to get the BAZI (八字) or 4 pillars (四柱)  chart. Which has 8 Chinese character. Hence, 8 is the denominator. Assuming the person day pillar is Wood. And, has 3 or more Water character, Water represents Resource. Giving a hint that the person gravitate towards Resource profile.

If, the person has 3 Water character (Resource) and 3 Wood character (Friend), we can conclude that it’s a mixture of Resources and Friend Profile.

Take a step further to include the current luck cycle. The denominator becomes 10 character. If more than 4, the same line of reasoning applies.

Likewise to guage the current year, just include the annual pillar into the assessment. The denominator now becomes 12 and the cut off for nominator become 5 character.

Wealth Characteristic (正财/ 偏财)
If the person chart gravitate towards more wealth (正财/ 偏财), he/ she is likely to exhibit a personality that is more Active, Objective Oriented and Results and Control Driven.

Other characteristics includes:
Do not express feelings well,
Overly responsible,
Yearns Certainty (Certainty = Comfort),
Everything must Plan,
Poor Delegating Skills,
Not Good Team Players,

DiSC Profile: Dominant
The D Personality Style tends to be direct and decisive, usually described as dominant. They would prefer to lead rather than follow, and lean towards leadership and management positions. They are self-confidence and usually risk takers as well as problem solvers, which enables others to look to them for decisions and direction; they are self-starters.

The D is highly motivated by new challenges, setting and achieving goals, and seeing tangible results. They appreciate receiving verbal recognition from others as well as rewards. They enjoy power and authority to take risks and make decisions. Freedom from routine and mundane tasks is important. Since repetition is frustrating for the D, changing environments in which to work and play can be highly motivating.

When working with a D, be direct, to the point, and brief. Focus on tangible points and talk about “what” instead of “how”. Focus on business instead of social topics and try to be results oriented. Make suggestions for how to achieve the goal instead of talking about why it won’t work. Try to thinking like a D, be confident and focus on problem solving.

Output Characteristic (伤官/ 食神)
When the person gravitate towards output (伤官/ 食神), he/ she would likely exhibit the ability to influence, Creative, Loud, Outgoing and Action Oriented.

Other Characteristics includes:
Fun Loving,
Big Picture Person
Very last minute
Often unprepared
May swing towards unconventional tactics

DiSC Profile: Influence
The I Personality Style aren’t afraid to be the center of attention. They are lively, enthusiastic, optimistic, talkative and persuasive. The downside gravitates towards impulsive and emotional. This Personality Type tends to trust others naturally, truly enjoys being around others, and functions best when around people and work best in teams. They gravitates toward argumentative (active) or emo/ feeling hurt (passive) when being told they are wrong or unappreciated.

The I DISC Style is motivated by the approval, flattery, praise, popularity or acceptance by others. They enjoy freedom from too many rules or regulations and gravitate towards a friendly and fun environment. They excel most when they can be the talker, the presenter, the one who builds rapport or works in teams, but needs another person to handle the details.

When working with an I Personality Type, it’s important to build rapport and be friendly. Approach them in a favorable and friendly environment. Give them plenty of opportunity to verbalize their ideas, as they usually have very create thoughts and are great problem solvers. Because they have so many ideas and enjoy discussing them, it may take some planning for them to turn their verbal ideas into action. It helps to write details down for them or check back in on occasion to make sure action items are being done to expectation and to detail. Allow time for sociable activities at work, they are great motivators of others.

Resource Characteristic (正印/ 偏印)
When the person gravitate towards resource (正印/ 偏印). He/ She tends to be extremely Methodical and Analysis Driven. They are very good advisor, enjoy looking at facts and figures and they take a problem solving approach to life.

Other Characteristics includes:
Good Mentoring Skills,
Motherly / Fatherly,
Avoid Conflicts,
Ability to work on long tail strategy or projects

DiSC Profiles: Stable
The S Personality Type is a natural counsellor, is known for being steady, stable, and predictable. They are even-tempered, friendly, sympathetic with others, and very generous with loved ones. The S is understanding and listens well. Preferring close, personal relationships, the S is very opened with loved ones, but can also be possessive at times and hold them close. They tends to be good with kids, thus making them excellent candidate for early childhood roles.

The S Personality Type is motivated by safety and security. They want to avoid conflict and exist in peaceful environments and around groups that are at harmony. They truly appreciate recognition for their loyalty and dependability.

When working with S Personality Types, try to be personable and build rapport. The sooner they feel comfortable with you, the sooner they will open up to you, especially if they see genuine interest in them as a person. Provide them with specifics and clarifications for tasks they are asked to do and try to explain the “how” questions. If instituting change, be patient with them, explain your reasoning, and give them time to adjust. It will make them uncomfortable at first.

Authority Characteristic (正官/ 七杀)
When the person gravitate The Authority (正官/ 七杀) are Natural Administrators who strive at Compliant and Control. They then to be rather passive. Authority here do mean authoritarian but the opposite (i.e being subdued by authority).

Other Characteristics includes:
Work well under a system,
Carry out Instruction,
Ability to Empower Others
Sits on the fence

DiSC Profiles: Compliant
The C DISC Styles are accurate, precise, detail-oriented, and conscientious. They are extremely analytically and systematically and make decisions carefully with plenty of research and information to back it up. They need time, the longer they have the better the decision. The C holds high standards for both themselves and others. Because they focus on the details and see what many other styles do not, they tend to be good problem solvers and very creative people. They appear to be cold and emotionless.

The C is motivated by information and logic. They have very high standards of quality and are motivated by being well informed, researching before deciding, having clear parameters and instructions, doing work accurately and correctly, and seeing a project through to the end.

When working with a C Personality Style, it’s best to be prepare when possible. Do your research and prepare your case in advance. Pay attention to the details because this is what the C focuses on. When you can support a statement or idea with accurate data or examples, that is helpful. Submit a job description or specs for the project to give them parameters and details and talk about how different tasks fit into the big picture plan. Be systematic and logical in your thinking and planning and specific when agreeing or disagreeing. When disagreeing, work with facts instead of people examples. Be patient, persistent, and diplomatic and remember that they fear criticism.

Friends Characteristic (比肩/ 劫财)
When the person chart swings towards friends (比肩/ 劫财), is usually outgoing, they exhibit risk taking, networking and convincing ability.

Other Characteristics includes:
People Oriented,
Ability to manipulate others,
Skilled in public speaking,
Loyalty swings both side,
Weakness is not prepared and very last minute,
Good Negotiating Skills,
Balance between Yin-Yang

DiSC Profile: Influence + Stable

4 Pillars (四柱命理)

Contemporary understanding of 10 Deity in 4 Pillars/ BAZI

Beginning 2020, I’ve been answering BAZI questions for a while. Decided to pen this down as a takeaway for people who has affinity to my website.

Common question asked is: “my BAZI lacking water, how do I introduce water into my chart?” Besides the conventional way of using water sector in Feng Shui, numerology that signifies water, name selection, colours and crystals.

One contemporary way is to really understand what it means by lacking water in the BAZI chart; which I think is a better solution to work at the problem. For example, if 壬 water is missing in chart, the lack of clarity and inability to be purposeful is causing you the problem. Or if 甲 wood is missing, the lack of conviction is hindering your success.

Inversely, if you have a 壬 water in the month pillar (for example), your have the power of clarity in the work environment, with your peers, friends, colleague and siblings. And, if you aren’t doing that, either you have not activate that part of your BAZI or you are not using your BAZI components effectively. So, make a resolution this year to get the books, talks and courses to level up that skills set.

甲 Conviction, Diversification
乙 Connecting, Flexibility
丙 Charisma, Perseverance
丁 Influencing, Decisiveness
戊 Humility, Observation
己 Serving, Resourcefulness
庚 Fairness, Execution
辛 Eloquent, Negotiation
壬 Clarity, Purpose
癸 Acumen, Knowledge

年 Year embodies externalities, government, authority, social relationship, superiors, bosses, grandparents, uncle’s, aunties, in-laws and parents.
月 Month encapsulate work environment, colleagues, peers, friends and siblings relationship.
日 Day focus on family environment, spouse relationship. It also includes self as well as personal values.
时 Hours deals with personal aspirations, dreams hopes and fear. It also encompasses offsprings and children relationship or matters.