Interesting to have dug an old article by Roger T. Ames, “The Great Commentary and Natural Cosmology, Int. Commu. Chin. Cult  2(1):1-18, dated 5 March 2015, that kept me pondering on the aspect of “The Great Commentary” YiJing 易經. What exactly are all these that plenty of people simply called it YiJing 易經?
ZhouYi 周易 can be categorically divided into YiJing 易經 and YiZhuan 易傳. The former as in the “Classics” or Jing 經 relate to “Divination” ZhanBu 占卜 while the latter as in the “Commentary” or Zhuan 傳 relate to the “philosophical view” of the later dynasty.
The Ten Wings 十翼 or “The Great Commentary” DaZhuan 大傳
These commentaries were categorised into the “Ten Wings” 十翼, “wings” being the meaning of “elevation to a higher pedestal of knowledge” typically means you ought to fly in wisdom after knowing these commentaries. The Wings comprises of:
The Yi of “Flux, Transformation and Unchanging” BianJian BuYi 變簡不易
Taking a script out of “The Great Commentary” DaZhuan 大傳, it says:
“Thus the closing of the swinging gate is called kun 坤; the opening of it is called qian 乾. The ongoing alternation of openings and closings is called flux (bian 變), and the inexhaustibility of the comings and goings is called continuity (tong 通). When something is manifest, it is called an image (xiang 象), and taking on physical form it is called a phenomenon (qi 器). To fashion and make use of these things is called emulation (fa 法). Putting them to good use in everything that is done so that all of the people can take advantage of them is called spirituality (shen 神)”
As one can see, YiJing 易經 is just not simply talking about “changes”, instead it explains about the beginning 乾 of the end 坤 and the end 坤 of the beginning 乾 of things 易:
Li,Qi and Xiang 理氣象
Often than not one would like to bastardize YiJing 易經 with other Neo-Confucius classics such as that Qi 氣 is unexplainable without the “logic” or rational behind that is called, the principle 理. It is not wrong to assume such but the actual meaning of the Heaven and Man comes together, TianRen HeYi 天人合一 has been misunderstood without the element of “manifestation” 象, owing to a political and intellectual confrontation between the school of rationalist 理學 with that of the imagery 象學 during later Song dynasty. Truly speechless when one quote the YiJing 易經 and not referring to it as this book is just not about being a normal book, reading it requires technique.
Heaven Round Earth Square 天圆地方 or The Other Way Around?
When you google this “Heaven Round Earth Square” 天圆地方, you will be served with plenty of articles pointing the geocentric approach of early astronomer looking above the sky as a “globe” and the earth reaching the furthest horizon as a “flat disc” and truly, “flat earth” proponent is never a modern phenomenon and for such reason, you get “Heaven Round Earth Square” 天圆地方. To further emphasise on such, examples were also given such as the Temple of Heaven 天壇 in the Forbidden Palace was round instead of square, the Chinese coin which is round having the centre as earth is punctured square and so forth, yet why the LuoPan or ShiPan is designed in such that the Heaven Dial which is round is inside the Square Earth plate? Earth containing the Heaven? Absurd.
Modern science had found it to be in the contrary. In fact, “Heaven is square, Earth is round” 天方地圆, taking into consideration of a spherical earth and the colossal of the multiverses and the question remains to be true, as who is correct? Let’s dug up YiJing 易經 and see what it says? “Heaven Round Earth Square” 天圆地方 in YiJing 易經 has to be given the perspective of “Flux, Transformation and Unchanging” BianJian BuYi 變簡不易.
Taking the arrangement of the Early and Later Heaven BaGua, isn’t the Heaven is Qian and the Earth is Kun implying Heaven is Li, Fire and Earth is Kan, Water? In YiJing 易經, the 5 elemental shapes prescribed that fire takes the shape of Round and Water takes the shape of Square? Thus, Heaven is square, Earth is round” 天方地圆?
Conclusion, it is very interesting to look at YiJing 易經 not from a fixed perspective but from the myriad angles of “Flux, Transformation and Unchanging” BianJian BuYi 變簡不易 and you will be dwarfed by the revelations it portend. For the readers information, these opinions were not new. It has been mentioned many times especially in the Chinese language forums for quite a number of donkey years. It is just too bad that the English forum has yet to catch up with it... This is for reading pleasures and had nothing to do with anyone or any matter whatsoever. It is only a point of view and should you disagree, it is an honor for you just to disregard it. Otherwise, a SHARE and a LIKE are some valuable and appreciative gestures you can shower us in return. Thank you.
The art of BaZi reading has many layers. Besides the ZiPing 子平 method, later scholars came out with many ways to read a chart. There are in the market today, not less than 10 methods 十推论 could be identified such as;
Each variant has its own strength and weaknesses. These weaknesses are basically, things that are not disclosed to the public and were kept as lineage secrets. Therefore, a lot of the stuff that are served today, are by itself, incomplete.
Many conceals these shortcomings by reinventing the wheel and as a result, there are more than one method to read a BaZi chart and the most intriguing thing is that most who had learnt these stuff eventually liked a Mixed-Martial Artist MMA, combined them all and used them simultaneously overlapping one another. Nothing wrong with that.
However, you may come across, from time to time, there are people bold enough to say, “There is no such thing as weak and strong chart in Bazi… Most importantly there is no such thing as positive and negative stars.” Statement like these will cast doubt onto others especially those who has just spent a fortune learning BaZi, the Strong and Weak Method 强弱 way…
IN THE BEGINNING…
Determining the strength 强弱 of the Day Stem is very important. Without this, identification of Favourable and Unfavourable Gods 吉忌神 would be close to impossible. With the failure of identifying the Favourable and Unfavourable Gods 吉忌神, locating the Useful God 用神 would be futile. Therefore a foundation study of BaZi would be structured as the followings: -
;These 4 steps are crucial. However, step 4 - Locating the Useful God 用神. Useful God 用神 has its own Failure and Success. This is attributed by the ‘health’ of the Useful God 用神 itself in relation to the season the Day Stem was born and the remedy for its failure are further defined as the following techniques: -
1. Moderating 扶抑
2. Arbitrating 通關
3. Regulating or Temperature Adjustment 調候
4. Medicating 病藥
5. Dominant 專旺
The last and most crucial part of reading the BaZi is what is known as Event Reading. Some called it Qi Dynamics but generally it is related to;
1. Stillness and Movement 动静
2. Star and Palace Interplay 星宫
3. Inter-Intra Palace (Shifting Palace) 移宫
However, when contemplating step 4 - Locating the Useful God 用神, some scholars formulate other fringe techniques to make step 2 - Determining the Strength and step 3 - 强弱Identification of Favourable and Unfavourable Gods 吉忌神 rather obsolete. They base their findings largely from this 2 classics namely;
QIONGTONG BAOJIAN 穷通宝鉴
This classic gave another approach to ZiPing 子平 by introducing a technique called Temperature Adjustment - 调候. Besides the 10 stems, balancing the 5 elements is essential. This classic introduces the consideration to Regulate the Useful God 调用神 by adjusting the temperature of the 5 elements. The coldness 冷, warmness 暖, wetness 湿 and dryness 燥 affects the balance of the 5 elements. For example, dry earth cannot produce metal. Wet wood will not fuel fire. When the Day Stem日主 is too cold or dry, it is difficult for that element to survive or simply function. These coldness 冷, warmness 暖, wetness 湿 and dryness 燥 are dependent on the 10 stems born in different seasonal Qi. The month branch affects the survival of the Day Stem 日主.
As a result, we are able to discard the strength of the Day Stem 日主 and move quickly into evaluating the quality of the Day Stem 日主 itself. There is no longer the problem of weak… but not too weak, strong… but not too strong. There is only the chart is either too cold or too warm, too dry or too wet. How beautiful… and there is a shortcut to these. Whenever you see this Day Stem 日主 as the followings, the elements that adjust its temperature must present itself in the stems not otherwise it is rendered inferior;
Caveat, the crust of the theories are deeper than these short-cuts, please take note… We just simplified it for casual discussion. Eventually, what the Day Stem 日主, likes and dislikes constitute how to adjust the temperature 调候 of the useful gods 用神. When the Day Stem 日主 is too cold 冷, it requires to be kept warm 暖. When the Day Stem 日主 is too warm 暖, it requires to be kept cold 冷. When the Day Stem 日主 is too dry 燥, it requires to be kept wet 湿. When the Day Stem 日主 is too wet 湿, it requires to be kept dry 燥. These coldness 冷, warmness 暖, wetness 湿 and dryness 燥 are the Useful God 用神. Here you don’t particularly need to distil your favourable god 吉神 and unfavourable god 凶神. As this technique has already been made available in the internet, largely used by most schools, there is no reason as to why it should be kept as a secret.
DI TIAN SUI 滴天髄
Nicked name the Heavenly Marrow Distillation, this classic brought about the notion of 理氣象, typically SanYuan 三元 approach to BaZi. The Ten Stem 十干 is now visualized as an imagery or pictorial – Xiang 象, the Ten Gods 十神 – Qi 氣 and the interactions – Li 理. The crux of this technique require first to visualize to 10 stems 十干 in pictorial form with its characteristic such as;
甲: A Big Tree with Huge Canopy and Deep Rooted.
乙: A Creeper Shrub that climb with high tendency to grow.
丙: The Sun parallel to no others with Rays and Warmth the Grow.
丁: A Candle wick Fire that has the tendency to Burn everything to Dust.
戊: An Immovable Huge Mountain overlooking others.
己: Soft Mud highly Organic capable to Grow anything.
庚: An Axe toughen and Baptised by Fire.
辛: A Jewellery so Shining and Bright as the Stars in the Skies.
壬: An Ocean without boundaries but a Horizon where all Water Returns.
癸: A Mist that Float and Filled the air without Form, Shape and Smell.
When combined with the 12 Earthly Branches will give you a matrix of 60 JiaZi, with each JiaZi 甲子 has its very own Imagery. For example;
JiaZi 甲子 is a Withering Tree growing at the riverbank. First understand the supporting earth and its foundation as a Big Tree require a good soil for its root to penetrate and hold onto. Secondly study the Stem in order to determine the structure. Should there be Wu 午 clashing the root, this person is unlucky. In other words, Jia 甲 wood sitting on Gui 癸 water, the main Qi of Zi 子. Gui 癸 is the Direct Resource 正印 to Jia甲. Jia 甲 represents Growth, as a tree grow upward. A Jia 甲 Day Stem person has a tendency to pursue growth. These people are survival as long as resource 印 is available. Gui 癸 water also represent wisdom and Direct Resource 正印 means knowledgeable. This person is well educated and they have sheer fighting power and perseverance to wait for an opportunity to grow. Jia 甲 wood is a lone tree that require space to grow. So they are naturally bone loner. When countered with negative Direct Resource 正印, they could be jealous and intellectually combative. Such isolation reflects on their cold shoulder appearances. This JiaZi 甲子 favour Bing 丙, the Eating God 食神, as the Sun with Rays and Warmth present it to Grow.
Points to note - the tree is just a metaphor. One needs to think further to grab the real meaning behind the picture. Jia甲 wood embodies the idea of ‘growth’. It is about production and progress, starting of a journey or a cycle, etc. Regrettably, the ‘literal meaning’ has been taken out of context resulting in people having wear green, or plant big trees in their residence as a Medicating 病藥 technique. This concept has been taken out of context.
Also this technique of reading Pillar 柱 to Pillar 柱 eliminates the necessities to step 1 - Determining the Strength 强弱 and step 2 - Identification of Favourable and Unfavourable Gods 吉忌神. This technique also has the ability to read a Single Pillar to determine auspicious or otherwise 一柱定吉凶.
Imagery method may look convenient but image can be deceiving… What look like a tree to you may look like a spinach to me… the way these 2 classics had been interpreted has absolutely deviated from the truth, for example;
“甲木，参天” or “甲，木参天?” The former is Jia Wood while the latter is Jia, as in item (1), then wood grows upward… remember that classical Chinese has no annotation whatsoever…
The truth, Jia甲 wood is NO TREE… Yi乙 wood is NO CREEPER SHRUB… Bing丙 fire is NO SUN… The YinYang 陰陽 understanding of the elements are all WRONG! Saying that, we should leave it for another day.
OLD CRAPS NEW LOOK...
Pictorial Reading - 17062010
Has not been updating this BaZi blog lately, just for a start let us warm up by introducing to you another way of reading BaZi in a pictorial manner, by using the above lady’s chart – career woman. We all know too well that this lady is a Wu person sitting on Zi water. What sort of imagery, Xiang, would WuZi bring to you? Ice capped mountain or mountain hidden by clouds? Is this a beautiful mountain? That tells you how beautiful are this person. The solid water pillar, we nicknamed it as stubborn pillar, also paints you another side of her story in relation to the hour pillar, among others representing her career palace. How do you think she strive in her career?
Ask yourself, what is the useful god (UG) for a Wu earth mountain, so solidify, so stubborn, so hard and too trustworthy? Hardened soil needs to be loosened. In this case Jia or Yi wood? What quality of Jia found in the month stem? Skinny tree or rain forest tree? Rooted in Mao, injured by Xin (pen knife) and not clashed by Geng (axe), what does it means? The tree is still alive, not seen to be growing upward, but has deep penetrating roots among others signify what? That paints the imagery of her superior, quite robust outlook with a very good PR intrinsically – another form of extrapolation? So, her useful god is usable but the question is she doesn’t know how to use it to her advantage.
Using the 10 gods, Jia among others is her superior. Xin is her action. When Xin is countering Jia, her useful god is countered, meaning that her actions displeased her superior in what degree? Her actions, if it is unmonitored, will brings her more harm in a long run, as Xin is sited on Mao, penknife cutting twig? This means to say, her opportunity to establish networking with others through her superior may be hampered, thus rendering her useful god weakened. So, the real useful god has been shifted from authority to her output. The next question is, would she able to control her action?
That depends on how wisely she would think – resource. Wu Mountain is best at keeping things and that includes her action? The more resource she has, how she may becomes? However, in her case, the action is revealed! So how good may she control her action, especially when provoked? Would it last as it has no root? She has the tendency to blunder in the month/year of what? So, burying her action is also important, her useful god has been shifted to resource and self.
Her actions produce her solid wealth, water as seen in the career palace. Wu and Gui tendency to combine but not transform, indicating her career mindedness. What sort of quality water does GuiHai represent? The imagery of GuiHai is liked a clouded sky above the still lake. That is a beautiful version! The ugly version is a huge storm in the middle of the cold sea – inhumane! Water wants to be untainted, sentimental and contained. With the tendency to combine but cannot transform and with overabundant of water, will this uproot the Jia and break the Wu? How beautiful is this water? So, has she, the tendency to be superstitious and depressed especially related to her career and in the process affecting her resource, thinking and decision? Is she prone to make the wrong decision in relating to her career which will ultimately make her lose money, in the short run?
Now, coming back to WuZi, the misty mountain, would the already clouded mountain wished to be clouded further? You have the answer.
In this attempt, there is no tendency to look into the strength of chart. All that is matter is the quality of the elements that present itself as the 10 gods with reference to the self. It is all pictorial; to see what the elements needs most as its useful gods and hate most as its unusable gods, thus using one to arbitrate the others (Thong Guan). Even all the elements are usable.