Originally published in the Annual Wellbeing Astrology Magazine in 2010.
By now, if you type ‘Chinese Astrology for 2010’ into a certain online search engine, you will be inundated with websites that make predictions based on the Earthly Branch of the year (popularly known as the Animal Sign). Something that is not widely known is that this is only a very small part of traditional Chinese Astrology, and that the most important thing is the Heavenly Stem of the Day you were born, or your Day Master.
In reality, you have four Branches (Animal Signs) in a basic Four Pillars chart based on your birthday and time of birth –
|Hour Pillar||Day Pillar||Month Pillar||Year Pillar|
|Stem||Stem – Day Master||Stem||Stem|
There are 10 Heavenly Stems and twelve Earthly Branches, each assigned one of the Five Elements.
For example 2010 is Geng Yin, or the year of the Yang Metal Tiger. Geng is one of the ten Stems, and the Tiger is one of the twelve Branches. The Tiger’s Element is Wood, so we have Yang Metal over Yang Wood. Each of the Pillars (Hour, Day, Month and Year) on your chart will have something similar, a Stem over a Branch.
For 2010, Metal and Wood are the ruling Elements for the year, and in a general sense we have an axe (Geng Yang Metal is hard, refined metal) chopping down a big tree (strong Tiger Yang Wood). As such 2010 will be dominated by Metal and Wood will be mainly subdued.
It would be very nice to say that the establishment (the tree) is at last being removed or at least reduced by the axe of the people, but if we look to history where the last Geng Tiger year was in 1950 was a year of political turmoil throughout the world. The Korean War began, China invaded Tibet, the hydrogen bomb was developed, and probably most insidious of all was the strong increase in the power of McCarthyism, the FBI, CIA and NSA in the good old US of A. This is reflected in current times with crackdowns at airports, phone-tapping and big brother type surveillance.
On an industry-by-industry basis, the accounting and banking sectors (Metal) should do well, as should share markets (Fire). Mining and construction sectors (Earth) are in for a probable downturn, and real estate prices (Wood) will stabilise but not reach the heights we have seen in recent years.
On a personal level, you can find out your own Four Pillars chart by searching for “ba zi calculator”. When you input the Hour, Day, Month and Year of your birth into it, you will end up with a chart that looks something like –
|Hour Pillar||Day Pillar||Month Pillar||Year Pillar|
In this case, the Day Master is 乙 Yi Yin Wood, so the person who has this chart is a Yin Wood person (the – sign means Yin and the + sign means Yang).
Now we are going to use the Cycle of Elements to determine whether your Day Master is weak or strong. The simplest method is to look at the Month Branch.
|Day Master||Strong if the Month Branch is||Weak if the Month Branch is|
|甲 Jia Yang Wood||Rat, Pig, Tiger or Rabbit||Ox, Dragon, Goat, Dog, Snake, Horse, Monkey or Rooster|
|乙 Yi Yin Wood||Rat, Pig, Tiger or Rabbit||Ox, Dragon, Goat, Dog, Snake, Horse, Monkey or Rooster|
|丙 Bing Yang Fire||Tiger, Rabbit, Snake or Horse||Ox, Dragon, Goat, Dog, Rat, Pig, Monkey or Rooster|
|丁 Ding Yin Fire||Tiger, Rabbit, Snake or Horse||Ox, Dragon, Goat, Dog, Rat, Pig, Monkey or Rooster|
|戊 Wu Yang Earth||Snake, Horse, Ox, Dragon, Goat or Dog||Tiger, Rabbit, Rat, Pig, Monkey or Rooster|
|己 Ji Yin Earth||Snake, Horse, Ox, Dragon, Goat or Dog||Tiger, Rabbit, Rat, Pig, Monkey or Rooster|
|庚 Geng Yang Metal||Ox, Dragon, Goat, Dog, Monkey or Rooster||Tiger, Rabbit, Rat, Pig, Snake or Horse|
|辛 Xin Yin Metal||Ox, Dragon, Goat, Dog, Monkey or Rooster||Tiger, Rabbit, Rat, Pig, Snake or Horse|
|壬 Ren Yang Water||Monkey, Rooster, Rat or Pig||Ox, Dragon, Goat, Dog, Tiger, Rabbit, Snake or Horse|
|癸 Gui Yin Water||Monkey, Rooster, Rat or Pig||Ox, Dragon, Goat, Dog, Tiger, Rabbit, Snake or Horse|
Using the sample chart above, we have a Yi Yin Wood person born in a Snake month, so the Day Master is weak Yi Yin Wood.
For the Year of the Tiger 2010 –
甲 Jia Yang Wood
If you have a weak Jia Day Master, then the first half of 2010 will be very trying for you. Geng Metal is the strongest at this time, and is a direct clash with you. For a weak Jia person, the Metal indicates acute illness (liver, gall bladder and head), poverty or demotion, pressure from career and family members, accidents during travel. Life will get easier after August.
If your Jia is strong, opportunities for promotion will arise. For a strong Jia person, Geng can mean power, fortune and education especially if you have some Earth on your chart. Make the most of 2010 by careful planning.
乙 Yi Yin Wood
A weak Yi Wood person has a chance of chronic illness during 2010. It is probable that there will also be money loss and problems in career as well. Since Geng affects ‘authority’ for Yin Wood, those with weak Day Masters need to make sure that all contracts are double-checked by a solicitor and try to avoid verbal agreements. During the second half of 2010, expect more assistance from friends and family. If you run your own business, ask for more referrals from customers after August.
Strong Yi Day Masters can expect to shoot ahead at work and gain a lot of respect. Single ladies may expect to meet their new spouse. There will be additional responsibility for strong Yin Wood, but you will be able to handle it. Geng is the ‘bank’ for Yin Wood’s money, so make it a priority to save and invest in 2010.
丙 Bing Yang Fire and 丁 Ding Yin Fire
Geng for Bing and Ding is money, and the Tiger’s Wood is resource, so it is an interesting year for all four types (including strong and weak).
Normally a strong Fire Day Master meeting their money means a great leap in wealth status, but in 2010, strong Fire also gets stronger (from the Tiger) which means losing money, so it will be a year of financial highs and lows. Ding Yin Fire Day Masters will probably get the better deal because for them Geng is ‘work money’, frugal spending and saving; whereas Geng for Bing is ‘speculative money’ so there is a risk when investing, especially after August.
Similar logic applies to weak Fire Day Masters. Geng will mean losing wealth, but the Tiger brings strength and an ability to control Geng, so it means gaining wealth.
For male Fire Day Masters, Geng also means the spouse so singles have a greater chance of being married, however Wood represents the mother, so it could mean marrying someone that has similar characteristics to your mum.
戊 Wu Yang Earth
Geng is an output star for Earth. For weak Wu Day Masters this can mean that they are giving too much of themselves away, leading to stress, feelings of responsibility and perhaps even depression. There may also be trouble with the law and accidents. The Tiger controls Wu which will magnify the effects of Geng. It will be easy for weak Wu people to put on weight in 2010.
Strong Wu people will do very well with Geng and the Tiger. There will be a focus more on younger people, children and for women pregnancy. The first half of the year until August will bring a strong focus on the spiritual side of life for strong Wu people as well. The second half will be best for career advancement and education. Strong Wu people need do nothing apart from making sure that they avoid being tyrannical towards their friends and family.
己 Ji Yin Earth
The effect of 2010 on weak Ji Day Masters will be similar in nature to weak Wu people, but much gentler. The main difference will be that Ji Earth people may find themselves caring too much about what others think of them and so limit their own achievements. It will be easy for weak Ji people to be taken advantage of in 2010 as well, so make sure that you think things through prior to making any agreements. There could also be setbacks in career (or at the least lack of forward momentum), and a few health issues will crop up throughout the year.
Strong Ji Day Masters should have a very good year. Career advancements will be easy and opportunities will be constant. This doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in income, so make sure that you put effort into saving.
庚 Geng Yang Metal
Whether you are strong or weak, if you have a Geng Day Master then in 2010 you will be learning lessons about who you are and where you would like to be.
For weak Geng people, 2010 brings strength and support from friends and family members and in the latter half of the year, there will be ‘lucky’ money through the Tiger. This will be a very nice year for weak Geng Day Masters, surrounded by nice, helpful people.
Strong Geng Day Masters however will learn their lessons via mean, unhelpful people. There could be family splits and arguments (affecting siblings and parents, not the spouse and children), working longer hours and disputes over money. The Tiger helps to reduce the likelihood of money troubles because Wood is Geng’s wealth. Even though there will be interpersonal problems, strong Geng people should do well financially in 2010. Focus on your career and try to avoid confrontations.
辛 Xin Yin Metal
Geng in 2010 is the competitor to Xin. For a weak Xin person, it still helps to strengthen their Metal and as such will bring nice, helpful people. When the competitor star is favourable, it can mean making money through investments and partnerships. Careful planning is required, because it will be easy to jump into arrangements which may later cause disputes and problems. The Tiger is money for Metal, and with a supporting Geng Metal Stem, weak Xin Yin Metal people can expect to get well paid for their initial investments.
For strong Xin Day Masters, Geng is called the ‘wealth robber’. This means that in 2010 it will be difficult for strong Xin people to accumulate wealth, and may even have losses, though after August this will lessen as Wood from the Tiger will help to attract income. It can also indicate cheating, affairs and surgery for strong Xin people.
壬 Ren Yang Water and 癸 Gui Yin Water
2010 is a balanced year for Water people in general. Geng Metal means Qi coming in for support and the Tiger’s Yang Wood means output and creativity.
For weak and strong Ren Water Day Masters alike, Geng is a boon of support. It means an increase in ability, talents, scholarly education and greater introspection. The Tiger is output, so the incoming Qi is balanced by creative urges, open-mindedness, education and optimism. 2010 should be quite nice for Ren Yang Water people.
Gui Yin Water people are in a similar cycle to Ren Yang Water people. The main differences are that Gui people will become more interested in spiritual matters and will have very good health throughout the year. There will be a tendency to shrug off responsibilities and pursue self interests. Gui Water people will have a tendency to have sharper tongues in 2010 as well.
It is not possible to discuss the Qi in 2010 without also looking at the Earthly Branches. The Tiger interacts not only on an Elemental level, but has the possibility of combining or clashing with other Branches. This section is a caveat on all that has been said before, combinations and clashes can change the strength of the Day Master greatly, and can either be very helpful or very hurtful.
If you have the Monkey on your chart, then the Tiger will clash with it. This particular clash indicates sentimentality and living in the past.
There is also the Damage between the Tiger and the Pig. This is relatively minor, and indicates disharmony and some frustrations.
The Tiger and Snake are a Penalty to each other, but it is magnified greatly if the Monkey is present as well. Penalties indicate accidents, legal problems and injuries but at the same time can indicate sudden fame and fortune. The good side of a Penalty is usually outweighed by the problems though, so don’t count on winning the lottery, especially since this is called the Penalty of Ingratitude.
The Tiger can combine to form strong Wood with the Pig if there is Wood present in the Stems. In this case, there is no more Damage, just really strong Wood, enough to blunt the axe of Geng. If you have this combination and Geng is bad for you, don’t worry because all of Geng’s energy will be wasted on trying to ‘cut down’ the combination.
If you have the Rabbit and Dragon on your chart, then you get even stronger Wood. If Wood is good for your Day Master, then this is great. If not then it will probably be a very tough year.
If you have the Horse and Dog on your chart, then you will have a very powerful Fire combination. The Fire is enough to melt the Metal of Geng, so your year will be dominated by Fire Qi. Have a look at what makes your Day Master strong or weak. Is the Fire good for you?
As you can see, there is a great deal more to Chinese Astrology than the year you were born. Just as in Western Astrology, where you are more than simply your Sun Sign. I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and are able to make some changes and improve your luck this year.