Several weeks ago I introduced you to the Four Pillars, or Four Pillars of Destiny as they are more commonly known. The Four Pillars of Destiny is our personal horoscope derived from the year, month, day and hour of our birth. It is the map that we will follow on our journey through life and indicates the level and degree of fortune that we will encounter on the way.
Many people feel that we cannot change our destiny, that the path that we started on at the exact moment of our birth is unchangeable. I take a slightly different view. Whilst I certainly think that we will never deviate too far from our life path, we can certainly enhance our journey bringing help and support where it is needed. One of the ways in which we can do this is to have an understanding of what our Four Pillars reading tells us and through this knowledge know the steps we need to take to provide that much needed support.
The previous post in this section covers a basic introduction to the Four Pillars of Destiny and if you have no knowledge of the Four Pillars I suggest you read this first. As a quick summary each of our four pillars, our year, month, day and hour pillars are made up of two numbers, a branch number and a stem number. Branch numbers can be any number between 1 and 12 and relate to the 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac. Stem numbers can be any number between 1 and 10 and relate to the five elements, wood, fire, earth, metal and water each of which has a yin and a yang side (hence 10). From our exact date and time of birth we can create our own Four Pillars giving us a reading like the one below, which is mine.
Four Pillars of Destiny Reading – Birth 2.00am 8th May 1970
Hour Day Month Year
Stem 10 Water 5 Earth 8 Metal 7 Metal
Branch 2 Ox (Earth) 1 Rat (Water) 6 Snake (Fire) 11 Dog (Earth)
From our Four Pillars reading we can see our life path mapped out for us. We can identify the likely successes and failures in our life, good years and bad, which stages of our life will flow easily and which we may find challenging. You will have noticed that against each of the numbers in my reading I have added one of the five elements. At a very basic level, and this is all we are looking at in this post, this shows me how the elements interact within me, and most importantly at this stage, if any elements are missing in my personal energy.
When looking at the elements in a Four Pillars reading the ideal would be to have one in which all five elements wood, fire, earth, metal and water were represented as this suggests that you will have the best chance of living a balanced and harmonious life. If you have a reading like mine where you have one or more elements missing then this suggests that unless you take steps to promote the missing element you are likely to find challenges in that area of your life. In my own case, fire is poorly represented compared to the other elements and this is not helped by a complete absence of wood. As fire and wood control and support self esteem, fame, finances and family if no steps were taken to compensate for this it could lead me to suffer low self esteem and a lack of confidence, financial difficulties and poor family relationships.
This reading would be quite alarming if I didn’t have an understanding of Feng Shui. As it was when I discovered my Four Pillars reading a number of years ago it was a light bulb moment. I finally understood why no matter how hard I worked in, it has to be said, pretty high income and high profile business roles, I never seemed to be able to hold on to money. I made incredibly poor investment decisions, managed to lose money on houses even as the UK housing market soared, poured money in to a business which everyone but me knew would fail and managed to convince myself that I would be a much better person if I covered myself in designer brands (I still use my £200 flip flops that are falling apart to wander around the garden in the belief that if I wear them for the next 20 years I can somehow someday justify the cost). This spending frenzy wasn’t helped by the fact that I lived each day of my working life convinced that I wasn’t as good at my job as everyone thought I was and that someday I would be caught out. Even at appraisal time when I got praise heaped upon me I always tried to bring up mistakes that I had made 7 months before. In short before discovering Feng Shui I lived on a financial and emotional rollercoaster where the dips were always a lot deeper than the peaks. Not surprising really when you consider my Four Pillars reading above.
The important thing to remember here is that I can’t change my destiny, but I can enhance it. I can smooth out the dips in the rollercoaster of my life to ensure that they are not as deep or as painful as they once were. By ensuring that wood and fire are well represented in my environment I can compensate for the lack of these in my personal energy. I can ensure that wood is strengthened so that my relationship with my family and my finances are constantly promoted. Enhancing the fire element builds confidence. When most people think about Feng Shui enhancements they immediately start to think about their home and garden environment. But actually it starts with us. Before we can balance our energy in our environment we need to balance the energy within ourselves. If we are wanting to enhance certain areas of our life we first of all need to look to see if there is anything in our personal energy that is creating a barrier.
If there are missing elements in our personal energy then before turning to our environment we can make some very quick changes to ourselves. Again using myself as an example, at a very basic level making changes to my wardrobe made me feel differently about myself and made others treat me differently. Before I understood my own personal energy I wore lots of blacks, greys and blues. They were my favourite colours, in fact they still are my favourite colours to wear but I no longer wear them to the extent that I did. I discovered that in wearing blacks, greys and blues all I was doing was strengthening the metal and water elements around me, elements that were already pretty strongly represented in my personal energy.
When I discovered that in my personal energy wood and fire were under represented I changed some items in my wardrobe. I started to wear brighter colours, not all the time but certainly when I wanted to impress somebody or when I was out with friends. I started to wear bright pink shirts with blue jeans, red t shirts to go to the beach, shirts in bright turquoises and bold stripes. And suddenly not only did I start to feel better about myself but other people commented on how good I looked. In changing my wardrobe to enhance the missing elements in my personal energy I was starting to bring more balance to my life.
Of course adding balance to our lives to enhance and support our journey through life takes a lot more than changing our wardrobe. But changing our wardrobe and adding the colours that are under represented is one small step. And making enhancements to change our lives is much easier when we break them down in to a series of small steps. If you have a missing element in your personal makeup following the guidelines below will make a difference to how you feel and immediately start to bring balance to your personal energy.
If your four pillars reading is missing the element wood, add shades of green, turquoise and reds to your wardrobe. Try mixing plain fabrics with some bold stripes. To your jewellery box add beads and bangles that are made of wood. Excellent crystals to enhance the wood element are Turquoise, Green Jade and Smoky Quartz so wear these especially if you want an energy boost. Choose scents that are woody or filled with the smell of flowers
If your four pillars reading is missing the element fire, add shades of red, purple and orange to your wardrobe. The brighter the shade the better in this instance and don’t worry about putting blocks of bright colour together. Outfits should be tailored and fitted as opposed to flowing. Excellent crystals to wear to enhance the fire element are Amber, Citrine and Carnelian. Choose to wear scents that are strong and spicy.
If your four pillars reading is missing the element earth add items in earthy tones to your wardrobe. Excellent colours here are browns, beiges and greys. Natural fabrics are much better to enhance the earth element than man made fabrics. To your jewellery box add items made of silver, gold and platinum. Any stones are excellent to enhance the earth element so if you are wanting an excuse for extra diamonds then you now have one. Choose scents that are earthy and musky
If your four pillars reading is missing the metal element add items in white, cream and grey to your wardrobe. If you do not like white or cream, any pale pastel colours can be added instead. Outfits should be flowing rather than tailored. An abundance of metal jewellery is also excellent to strengthen the metal element around you. For perfumes choose light, fruity scents that are not overpowering.
If your four pillars reading is missing the water element, add dark shades of blue, grey and black to your wardrobe. In addition to plain fabrics you can also add patterned fabrics to your wardrobe. Excellent crystals to wear to enhance the water element are Aquamarine, Lapis Lazuli and Jet. Choose scents that are cool, crisp and refreshing.
This week I have spent a lot of time travelling and to while away the hours picked up a couple of books that I haven’t read for a while. I first read Suzanne White’s The New Chinese Astrology and Derek Walter’s Chinese Astrology Bible several years ago and so it was a real pleasure to reacquaint myself with them. Both writers write with the reader in mind, the books are clear, concise, easy to understand and, most importantly for me, bring more than a touch of humour to the subject. Suzanne White’s book especially will have you chuckling as you read the descriptions of your personal year animal.
If you are interested in the subject of Chinese astrology both of these books are well worth a read. Suzanne’s book gives an in depth look at each of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac as well as giving supplementary information on each of the five types of animal. The descriptions are highly accurate and very funny and the book is a joy to read. I have to confess though that I will probably never get used to her preference of referring to the rabbit as the cat (especially as I use the true chinese definition and refer to the rabbit as a hare). But each to their own, and as Suzanne knows much more about chinese astrology than me who am I to argue? Derek Walter’s book takes a different approach, less information is provided on each of the Chinese zodiac animals but much broader detail is provided on how to create a detailed personal horoscope. I would suggest buying both but reading Suzanne’s first in order to understand your own year animal, unless you are a hare / rabbit / cat in which case I would read the books the other way around to avoid some confusion.
As I have had these books in my mind this week I thought it would be a good opportunity to use this week’s blog post to talk about the Four Pillars of Destiny. Although more astrology than Feng Shui I do use the Four Pillars in my teaching and training as they can help to provide a link between your personal energy and the energy in your home. To create balance in your home you should of course harmonize the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water but to attract what you want in your life you then need to harmonize your own personal energy with the energy in your home. One of the approaches you can take to do this (one among many I may add) is to use your Four Pillars reading to see if there are any elements that are missing in your personal chart which would then benefit from being strengthened in your home.
Although far too complex a subject to cover in a short blog post I thought that I would at least cover the basics here for anyone who has not come across this before. If after reading this you are interested in creating a four pillars chart for yourself I have a freet tool for creating a Four Pillars reading on the Four Pillars page that can be accessed from the menu bar at the top of this page.
The term four pillars refers to your personal horoscope which is derived from the year, month, day and hour of your birth. You will have a year pillar, a month pillar, a day pillar and an hour pillar (hence four pillars). In each of these pillars you will have two numbers, one which is your personal branch number and one which is your personal stem number. Personal branch numbers can be any number between 1 and 12 and relate to the 12 animals in the chinese zodiac. In addition to having a year animal you will also have a month animal, a day animal and an hour animal.
As branches refer to the zodiac animals, stems relate to one of the five elements and can be any number between 1 and 10. Hold on I hear you say. If there are only five elements how can there be 10 numbers? Well each of the elements can be either yin or yang, so there are two of each element
The table below shows the numbers as they relate to both the branch animals and the stem elements.
1 Rat (water)
2 Ox (earth)
3 Tiger (wood)
4 Hare (wood)
5 Dragon (earth)
6 Snake (fire)
7 Horse (fire)
8 Sheep (earth)
9 Monkey (metal)
10 Rooster (metal)
11 Dog (earth)
12 Boar (water)
1 Wood (yang)
2 Wood (yin)
3 Fire (yang)
4 Fire (yin)
5 Earth (yang)
6 Earth (yin)
7 Metal (yang)
8 Metal (yin)
9 Water (yang)
10 Water (yin)
To create your personal horoscope you therefore need to know not only the year, month and day of your birth but also the hour of your birth. There is then a set of formula that you can use to work out the numbers and therefore the elements that make up your own four pillars reading (or you can use the free tool on the four pillars page of this website).
Once you have identified your four pillars, you can assess your reading to see whether the elements provide balance to your life. The ideal reading would be one in which all of the elements are represented and no one element overpowers the others. In a not so ideal world you will have a reading where one or more of the elements is not represented and you will therefore need to enhance this element in your home if you want to gain success in the area of your life which the element represents.
To give you an example of a less than ideal four pillars reading I will share my own with you. I was born at 2am on 8th May 1970 and so my four pillars reading looks like this:
Hour Day Month Year
Stem 10 Water 5 Earth 8 Metal 7 Metal
Branch 2 Ox (Earth) 1 Rat (Water) 6 Snake (Fire) 11 Dog (Earth)
As can be seen from this chart earth, metal and water are well represented but there is no wood at all in my personal chart and little fire (which is not helped by the fact that there is no wood to offer support). This reading at a basic level means that if I didn’t do anything to compensate for this I may suffer from financial problems, family conflicts and a lack of self confidence and low self esteem. Which actually sums up my life pretty well before I discovered Feng Shui. Fortunately 9 years ago I did discover Feng Shui and now know that I need to pay particular attention to these areas of my home if I am going to attract success and have a harmonious and balanced life.
Although a very general example, it does demonstrate clearly how you can use your own four pillars reading when looking at the five elements in your own home. Using Four Pillars when assessing the balance in your home can be more complex than this, but I am a great believer in keeping things simple and also know that the smallest change in your home can have a big impact on your life.