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The Harmonious Animals
The “Harmonious Animals” are descriptive names for the sixty combinations of the Stems (Elements) and Branches (Animals) in the Four Pillars/BaZi system. These are actually the traditional popular names for the combinations in China, but in the West they are largely unknown. The term ‘harmonious’ refers to how the elements harmonize when combined within a pillar. The descriptions are derived by the relationships between three factors within each of the Pillars: the Master Element, the natural Element of the Branch, and the Branch itself as a phase of a larger cycle. The descriptions tend toward interpretations for the Day Pillar in the new system and the Year Pillar in the old system. However, the descriptions apply to any Pillar, adjusting for what each Pillar represents. What follows is a brief description of each of the sixty Stem/Branch (Element/Animal) combinations to be found in the Four Pillars. They are arranged in the order of the Branches (Rat through to Pig) and the Elements (Wood through to Water in the generating cycle). To get to the deeper meanings of these descriptions, a study of the BaZi Stars will reveal much, especially the stars related to the “Stem/Branch Relations” and the “Relations Between the Master Elements”.
1 I Wood Rat/Water Rat on the Roof: You are a born leader with a strong streak of originality. Your mind is very active and you may have many hidden artistic talents. You are a self-starter, but you may find that you have to hold yourself back in order that people do not feel threatened. This is a life of many beginnings for you.
3 I Fire Rat/Water Field Rat: There is more to this life than earning a living or collecting material things. Though it is often difficult to get motivated, a strong conscience and a sense of responsibility count more than thoughts of self.
5 I Earth Rat/ Water Granary Rat: Beware of false friends and guard your resources well. There are always those who will seek to usurp the ruler of the domain. Be prepared to take a firm stand.
7 I Metal Rat/ Water Rat on the Crossbeam: The time for decisions has come. Possible futures might loom large and seem seductive, but a balanced mind is the surest security for a good outcome. Objectives must be pursued.
9 I Water Rat/Water Rat on the Mountain: Resourcefulness is a virtue much prized. Contentment with the smallest of things assures that great wealth is better appreciated. Tasks done without cost bring much satisfaction.
2 II Wood Ox/Earth Sea Ox: You are strong, steady and resolute. Very success oriented, your goals may not always be achieved, but it is possible for you to go very far. You should be very careful of people jealous of your success. Security and comfort are very important to you.
4 II Fire Ox/Earth Lake Buffalo: There are times in life when things become all too much and we have to alter our expectations. Escapism will not pay the bills or make for a happy life.
6 II Earth Ox/Earth Ox in the Byre: Be careful that there is no conflict between family and business. All is in its proper place and plans will be successful.
8 II Metal Ox/Earth Ox on the Road: There is much to be gained in constant movement. Attention to a good diet never goes astray either. Though health problems might present, a change of climate often brings a cure.
10 II Water Ox/Earth Ox by the Gate: Watching people pass by, much is learned by listening. Advice should be withheld until it is requested.
1 III Wood Tiger/Wood Tiger Standing Firm: Management skills are to the fore now. Cutting out the unserviceable with a firm resolve and replacing that with the new is now in order. Steadfast resolve is strong.
3 III Fire Tiger/Wood Tiger in the Forest: You are very adept at working behind the scenes. You achieve your greatest success through a sure sense of yourself coupled with the fine strategic mind. You’re able to blend into any situation and thus keep your true abilities concealed. You are quite good at pulling strings without people even knowing.
5 III Earth Tiger/Wood Tiger Climbing the Mountain: Keep your friends close and learn diplomacy. Though there are many obstacles, your resolution is strong and you achieve much. Good friends are a great help in stressful times.
7 III Metal Tiger/Wood Tiger Leaving the Mountain: It is vital to face opposition to plans. There are always those who disagree, but the design is sound and it is time to act decisively.
9 III Water Tiger/Wood Tiger Leaving the Forest: There are many hidden perils in leaving the present situation. Circumspection is the order of the day. This can be a perilous time.
2 IV Wood Rabbit/Wood The Enlightened Rabbit: The roots of all problems stand revealed. Enlightenment attained, it is time to reflect in stillness. Conclusions are most satisfactory now.
4 IV Fire Rabbit/Wood Rabbit Dreaming of the Moon: Your dream life is active and lucid. With a little practice, you are able to recall your dreams in great detail and, in so doing, it is possible for you to create new realities. Thus, you are the artist of your destiny. Your dreaming takes on a magical quality.
6 IV Earth Rabbit/Wood Rabbit of Woods and Mountains: Those who dare claim the prize. Remaining in one spot might seem tempting, but journeys afield and new situations will bring many friends.
8 IV Metal Rabbit/Wood Rabbit in the Burrow: The more one has, the greater the stress. Much can be accomplished at home with the aid of family. Success is not gauged by the number of possessions.
10 IV Water Rabbit/Wood Rabbit Leaving the Forest: The countryside is conducive to a contemplative life. It is often best to get away from a busy life. The healing arts are of benefit.
1 V Wood Dragon/Earth Dragon in the Whirlpool: Be prepared. Meeting important people can bring uncomfortable questions. It is important to be composed and to show confidence.
3 V Fire Dragon/Earth Dragon in the Sky: The Eye of the Dragon shines brightly in the night. There are great rewards for those who follow the proper course of actions.
5 V Earth Dragon/Earth Dragon of Pure Virtue: You are a person of high ethical standards. It is impossible for you to ignore any wrongdoing. Thus, you are known as a defender of the underdog. So long as you strive to keep to your highest virtue, your life will eventually bring its rewards. You fight for others even when it causes you a distinct disadvantage.
7 V Metal Dragon /Earth Dragon of Patience: Silence is like gold and is often the better part of wisdom. All good things come to those who can wait contentedly. Planning is paramount.
9 V Water Dragon/Earth Rain Dragon: Many benefits flow forth. Past plans now come to fruit and enjoyment comes at last.
2 VI Wood Snake/Fire Snake Leaving a Hole: The difficult period is ended. It is wise to be cautious before resuming the present course or embarking on a new one.
4 VI Fire Snake/Fire Snake in the Pool: Hidden dangers await those in unfamiliar grounds. Those who stay the familiar course receive eventual rewards.
6 VI Earth Snake/Fire Snake of Happiness: You are a person who knows that happiness must come from within. Naturally joyful, your mirth is infectious. You are the envy of those whose lives are weighed down with the affairs of the world. You are a living example of the fact that happiness does not require material wealth.
8 VI Metal Snake/Fire Hibernating Snake: A watched pot never boils. Often it is best to forget one’s plans after setting them in motion. An effort in motion has a life of its own.
10 VI Water Snake/Fire Snake in the Grass: Keep your secrets close to your heart. There are those who would only scorn you for you insights. It is better to confide in trusted friends than to broadcast your views afar.
1 VII Wood Horse/Fire Horse in the Clouds: All things are possible under the Sun, and the Sun warms the hearts of your detractors. With sufficient and determined action all things can become realities.
3 VII Fire Horse/Fire Traveling Horse: Travel brings benefits, whether for business or for travel. Many new friends will be made along the way. Do not give in to boastfulness over exploits, though. Greater social standing will come to the humble traveler.
5 VII Earth Horse/Fire Horse in the Stable: There are problems in unfamiliar situations. It is better to remain at the home base and tend to issues there. Those who remain content in their familiar surrounds find eventual benefit.
7 VII Metal Horse/Fire Palace Horse: You are very strong on duty and responsibility. Even though your circumstance may be humble, circumstances often bring you in contact with important people. Your perseverance will pay off later in life.
9 VII Water Horse/Fire War Horse: Reason is more often preferable to conflict. Having one’s facts at hand and a reasonable outlook prior to confrontation will bring greater victory than brute force.
2 VIII Wood Sheep/Earth The Serious Sheep: Diligence brings its own reward. Thoughtful attention to detail wins out over brash and hurried actions.
4 VIII Fire Sheep/Earth Lost Sheep: Resources are exhausted and peril looms. The solution seems lost, but a trusted friend will bring help when least expected.
6 VIII Earth Sheep/Earth Sheep in the Pasture: The future is assured through steady action now. Progress is ordered and proceeds at a gentle pace. Matters are comfortably managed.
8 VIII Metal Sheep/Earth Lucky Sheep: Even though you are known as a kind and gentle soul, fortune seems to smile on you. You make friends easily with people and you leave a quiet, but significant, impact upon them. People remember you, and great gains can be made by putting yourself out in the world of people and making many friends.
10 VIII Water Sheep/Earth Sheep in a Flock: Life brings you many strange twists of fate. Despite this, you know there are realities beyond this one and you are composed within the crowded world of people’s thoughts.
1 IX Wood Monkey/Metal Monkey in the Trees: At home with your life, the solutions to what is presented to you soon become obvious. Your ideas are sound and thought out well.
3 IX Fire Monkey/Metal Mountain Monkey: It is time to address more serious concerns. Play is good, but only in its proper context.
5 IX Earth Monkey/Metal The Independent Monkey: It is best to get away from the crowd and assert oneself. Friction and enmity can weed out the petty people in one’s life. Life will be better afterward.
7 IX Metal Monkey/Metal Monkey Eating Fruit: Outcomes are successful due to careful past planning. The material prospects are highly favored. The correct decisions have been made.
9 IX Water Monkey/Metal Elegant Monkey: You are a lover of the finer things in life. This will cause a strain on your budget at times, but your charming and graceful manner ingratiate you to people of influence. You have a lot of flair. Be careful not to look down your nose at people. But, you are able to endow life with its finer qualities.
2 X Wood Rooster/Metal Rooster Crowing at Noon: Timing and presentation are of supreme importance. The right words at the wrong time can bring disasters or plans that come to naught. Give careful consideration to decorum and seize the proper moment.
4 X Fire Rooster/Metal Rooster of Solitude: It is important to keep one’s distance from gossips and yes-men. All people should be treated equally, though leadership is a difficult role. Good advice never goes astray, for no one knows everything.
6 X Earth Rooster/Metal Rooster Pecking for Scraps: It is best to put things away for leaner times. Storms can come at the worst of times. Present expenditures should be curtailed.
8 X Metal Rooster/Metal Caged Rooster: Some things cannot be changed and must be endured. Patience now will ensure a favorable outcome later. Contentment will come in the future
10 X Water Rooster/Metal Barnyard Rooster: You seem to have a knack for sensing the next steps ahead. You have many inner qualities about which people know very little. There is a superficial side to you that you need to watch out for. But, you do have a lot to offer when all is said and done.
1 XI Wood Dog/Earth Guard Dog: You must be very careful to guard your thoughts well. An idle mind breeds all kinds of distracting phenomenon. On the other hand, watching one’s thoughts too much short-circuits one’s creative potential. A fine balance of alertness and repose must be struck if you are to reach your highest potential.
3 XI Fire Dog/Earth Sleeping Dog: Take rest when it is needed. Even the finest machine will break if it is run too hard. Sleep can be a blessed thing.
5 XI Earth Dog/Earth Mountain Dog: Building strongholds also keeps out friends. Learn to be less defensive. Life will bring many battles before victory is achieved, but success ultimately comes.
7 XI Metal Dog/Earth Temple Dog: Mediation is the wisest course. Personas are difficult to understand, but there is fault on all sides. The voice of conscience is the wisest course to follow.
9 XI Water Dog/Earth Watch Dog: A good reputation is earned from fair dealings. The balance between firmness and friendliness is good. Circumstances are quite satisfying now.
2 XII Wood Pig/Water Traveling Pig: You are a person on a mission in life. On the whole, your purposes are altruistic. You may find that you need to make certain pilgrimages in life. You find success through travel.
4 XII Fire Pig/Water Pig Traversing a Mountain: There are still things to overcome on the way, but determination will bring the desired result. There is no turning back.
6 XII Earth Pig/Water Monastic Pig: Achievement is only half the job. After any successful effort the creditors have to be paid and the debris that was accumulated must be cleared away.
8 XII Metal Pig/Water Pig on the Farm: Riches come from the fruits of the harvest. Residence in the country brings greater prosperity.
10 XII Water Pig/Water Pig in the Forest: Proper care of children is met by smiles from the Ancestors. The best training of children for the future is the example of good parents. The outlook is good for many generations to come.
Walters, Derek, The Complete Guide to Chinese Astrology (2005) London: Watkins Publishing, pp. 350, 351
Walters, Derek, The Secrets of Chinese Astrology, (2003) London: Hamlyn Publishing, pp. 62 – 69. ↑