Free Online BaZi Analysis – Telling you a lot without saying a lot

I’m starting this blog entry on what must be the equivalent of Wall Street’s Black Monday for 2008 – Lehman Brothers filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection, Merrill Lynch being sold, and AIG seemingly in financial distress. And two bombs went off in Iraq.

The Rat is having a field day, and it is a Month Breaker Day. So a bomb (Fire and Water clash) is not surprising, and perhaps all the torridly toxic developments pouring out of Wall Street today is somehow linked to the Rat and the Rooster of the month in a Destruction formation. (hey, even we BaZi types sometimes are left scratching our heads!).

I wanted to blog today about Free Online BaZi Analysis. Why? Because so many people search for free online bazi analysis or some variation of that (and some of them find themselves on this blog as a result of such a search).

OBVIOUSLY, I will say I am not big on either free online BaZi analysis or computerised automated BaZi chart analysis. They are of course necessarily inter-related since in order to provide online BaZi analysis for free, it has to necessarily be a computerised, automated process. The ‘duh’ reason why I would say this of course is as a consultant, I naturally don’t think a computer is as good as a human. (and the cynical reading this will point out – BaZi consultants have a natural vested interest in NOT wanting to be replaced by a computer). But we will get to that point later, or maybe in another post.

The practical reason why any kind of free online BaZi analysis is pointless is this: it is of zero use. Or at best, very very limited use. (I’m trying to be charitable). Seriously.

Personality & Character – only the beginning!

Take the typical free astrology report that you can find on the web – be it Vedic, or Western astrology, or worse, those ‘Animal Sign’ analysis reports. Most of these reports (and some are quite long) are quite accurate. Some, like the Animal Sign based ones, are, well, vague at best, and people read into them what they want. Taking the accurate ones as a sample – they are highly accurate mostly only from one aspect, and that is PERSONALITY. I am quite sure that any computerised automated free online BaZi chart analysis would also be very very accurate as far as personality is concerned – this is because Personality is the easiest to read from a BaZi chart. You simply look at the Day Master and you will instantly have a very accurate snapshot of the person’s character. (don’t think so? Test out the my Pure BaZi Apps – only 0.99 cents on the AppsStore – and have some fun).

Personally, I take the view that Personality and Character are not one and the same. Personality is I suppose, as sort of ‘lite’ version of character.

Admittedly, understanding character or personality is a key aspect of analysing a BaZi chart, since CHARACTER = ACTION. Your character motivates a great deal of your actions, and so your innate nature, will be largely the root cause of a lot of your success or snafus in life. And most of us really want to just understand a person’s character when it comes to getting to know a person for friendship or acquaintance purposes, or just to satisfy curiosity.

But, most Astrology systems, BaZi in particular, aren’t just interested in personality or mere character. The predictive aspect of astrology, and in the case of BaZi, the luck aspect, is it’s real value. In other words, should I do X or Y given circumstance Z? Should I move North or South, in the next 1 year? If I start my own business, will it be the right thing to do?

A BaZi chart also contains information about the conflicts and challenges in your life (which can be linked to your character) and at which point in time these take place. A free online computation that provides an accurate snapshot of your personality, cannot analyse these issues because they can appear in a multiplicity of permutations, and most importantly, are interpreted based on CONTEXT. Two people can have staff problems but because they are different Day Masters, it manifests differently. Two people can have staff problems but one is self-employed and the other works for a big company. The problem’s impact varies and is different based on those circumstances being different.

Just understanding personality and character alone, are not sufficient to highlight or indicate these issues, but more importantly, provide a SOLUTION to the problem.

Now, let’s talk about automated free online BaZi reports specifically and the flaws I see in these free reports. Obviously, there is no such thing as a free lunch and I am sure most people know this. But it’s important to really understand the actual shortcomings of such freebie reports – entertainment value is one thing, but thinking you are getting some free nugget of information, when all you are looking at maybe is fool’s gold, is another thing.

Strong or Weak? Favourable and Unfavourable Elements? YAWN.

Most free online automated BaZi analysis is actually of little value. There is a common assumption that the be-all-and-end-all of a BaZi analysis lies in the following:

  • Strength of the Day Master
  • Favourable and Unfavourable Elements
  • Suitable career lines based on Favourable and Unfavourable Elements
  • Luck Cycle based on Favourable and Unfavourable Elements

So this is what a lot of free online automated BaZi analysis reports focus on.

In fact, this information is actually of very little value to the end user, which is YOU. Here’s why.

Okay, the free automated BaZi analysis tells you whether or not your Day Master is strong or weak. First, it is NOT difficult to decipher or figure out if a Day Master is strong or weak. But a peek on some of the metaphysical forums gives rise to the impression that it IS, given the countless braincells are constantly devoted to the exercise of coming up with a system to determine the strength of a Day Master using points, or a scale or grading score, or some kind of GPA type format. All this is if you ask me, a lot of brain grinding for very little outcome. Determining the strength of a Day Master is really very simple (and quite well explained in the various Joey Yap books on this subject).

Secondly, SO WHAT IF YOU KNOW WEAK OR STRONG? Having now got hold of this information, what are you going to do with it? I mean really – so what if you know if you are strong or weak Day Master? Now the obvious answer for most people is that by knowing weak or strong Day Master, it is possible to decipher the person’s Favourable and Unfavourable Elements. Okay, so you know what is the person’s Favourable and Unfavourable Elements and so from there, it is possible to roughly decipher the good Luck Pillars, and the Good Annual Luck Pillars, and similarly with the negative Pillars.

Yes, by knowing the strength, you know the Favourable and Unfavourable. BUT, if you don’t have any real knowledge of BaZi, then this information is at best, of modest novelty value only, and you probably will only have about a 20% accuracy rate as far as using this information to predict your own outcomes. I have also seen instances where clients, armed with this information (which they think is of tremendous help), end up either extrapolating the information incorrectly (assuming their industry is of a certain element when it is not) or worse, extrapolate the information into what I like to call ‘convenient conclusions’.

So, you might be wondering: if Favourable and Unfavourable Elements is so, urm, not so useful, so why does everyone teach Unfavourable and Favourable Elements?

Before you can walk, you have to run.

I’m not saying that knowing strength of the DM or the Favourable/Unfavourable elements is entirely worthless. Unfavourable and Favourable Elements is where you get your feet wet with BaZi, but people usually go on to learn more stuff like the 10 Gods when they learn about Favourable/Unfaovurable Elements.. So this adds a lot more accuracy to the interpretation value. The difference between someone learning this information from a free online automated analysis of their BaZi chart, and learning this in a structured class is that the person in the structured class knows and is aware that Strength of DM and Favourable/Unfavourable Elements is only the beginning of the analysis. It is just the start of your efforts in analysing a BaZi chart. I might also add, that it is also made clear that Favourable and Unfavourable is designed to ease the individual with little or no knowledge of Metaphysics, into the subject, and there are further methods to consider when looking at a BaZi chart.

At the consultative level, Favourable and Unfavourable Elements isn’t really even on the radar! Natch!

Individuals in a class also have the benefit of key basic BaZi information to help them improve their accuracy rate and their ability to utilise this information.

For example, let’s say a person knows they are a Strong Water Day Master, and thus knows that the elements which are Favourable are Fire, Wood and Earth. If they know very little about BaZi, then they will not even know what element is represented by each of the Animal Years (we call them Earthly Branches but Animal Years keeps it obvious). Most people have no idea what ‘element’ a particular year represents. I get clients asking me why I’m talking about Water, when it’s a Earth Rat year.

What element is dominant in an Earth Rat year? If you have no idea what’s in the Rat, element-wise, then you’ll think it’s an Earth year (EARTH Rat right?) But it’s not. It’s a Water year, as the Rat contains the Gui 癸Water element.

So even if you know your Favourable and Unfavourable Elements, you can still get the information or outcome around your neck, because you don’t know the basics, which is, what is it that you should look at when you evaluate the Annual Pillar. So a person who is a Strong Water Day Master, who doesn’t know the basics of BaZi, will assume 2008 is a good year as it is an Earth element year, and Earth is their favourable element. But in reality, it is NOT an Earth year, but a Water year, which is their unfavourable element. The year has instantly gone from great, to so-so, from Promotion, to Competition.

Some years of course, this won’t happen – for example, if your favourable element is Earth, then in 2009, the Ji Chou 己 丑  year, you won’t have too much of an issue because 2009 is the Earth Ox Pillar, and Ox contains Ji Earth. So it really is an EARTH year. But in 2010, it is a Geng Yin 庚 寅 Year, or Metal Tiger year. So if Metal is your favourable element, does that mean it’s a good year for you? No, because although it is a Metal Tiger, the Tiger is really the element of Wood.

Elemental Career Guidance 101?

Another common assumption that comes across is that the Favourable and Unfavourable Elements are the key to knowing if a person is in the right job. But to know if you are doing the right type of job, Favourable and Unfavourable Elements is just the starting guide. There are so many other factors involved in determining what is the best job for a person or the best type of work. industries are actually quite hard to classify as well unless it’s very obvious. If you run a shop that sells fish tanks and fish, then OBVIOUSLY, you are in a Water industry. But what if you work selling oxygen or inert gases, what exactly is the element of your job?

Most people also have a generally difficult time figuring out what their profession or industry is, in the absence of the obvious indicators. So knowing your Favourable and Unfavourable Elements, without knowing which element your Industry falls within, or which industry the job you want to go for falls within, is also of little value to you. Novelty value maybe, but real informational value? Forget it.

The assumption also that by knowing your Favourable and Unfavourable Elements, you will know what your Luck Cycle is premised on several assumptions. The assumption is that what is your favourable element is necessarily an element that you can USE. Guess what? An element could be favourable to a Day Master, but not usable by that Day Master.

And guess what? Not all weak Day Masters can be ‘strengthened’ either! So your Favourable Element that is designed to strengthen you, may in fact, not be able to even do that! Hence, in the study of BaZi, Favourable and Unfavourable is just the start and the theory is that from there, you can advance on to the next level concept which is USEFUL GOD (Yong Shen).

I might add, the usual problems of people knowing their Favourable and Unfavourable Elements, without knowing the 12 Branches means the predictions will end up quite possibly entirely wrong.

Used in the right way, Favourable and Unfavourable Elements can provide a basis in which to analyse a chart at a very simple and superficial level. Armed with the key basics of BaZi, you will also probably be able to achieve about a 20 percent accuracy rate when it comes to accurately predicting the outcome of a year (ie: positive or negative, favourable or unfavourable). But precision is limited without knowledge of the Ten Gods, knowledge of the Useful God, and most importantly, an understanding of the Five Elements thoroughly. All of which aforementioned automated reports cannot do, and usually do not do.

So what should you make of all these free online automated BaZi chart analysis?

It costs you nothing to find out Favourable and Unfavourable elements, so technically, no harm done right? Where the problem lies is in acting upon information which might not be strictly speaking, correctly interpreted by the layperson. If all you’re doing is wasting some personal time and satisfying your curiosity on the subject, then by all means, have fun with all these different free automated chart analyses offered online.

But if you intend to RELY on the information, it’s probably unwise. Whilst the automated software will not likely to get the information wrong on say, Favourable or Unfavourable, it is also premised on the person who developed the software and their knowledge of BaZi. So you take a chance there that the information is right, and so the computer is right. (equally, a consultant can be wrong, if they of course, also have the wrong info at hand so it cuts both ways here).

Assuming the information source is right, and thus the automated software is also right on the issue of Strength of the Day Master (and accordingly, the information on Favourable or Unfavourable Elements is also correct), bear in mind the above on using that information. If you don’t have the basics of BaZi on the stems, branches and hidden stems, then you’re not going to have a great deal of success self-interpreting and self-forecasting for yourself OR ANYONE ELSE!

If you do have the basics, but don’t realise that this isn’t the be all and the end all of analysing a BaZi chart, then whilst your accuracy might go up a little in so far as forecasting outcomes for yourself on an annual basis, but you’ll find the ability to determine solutions to the issues remains elusive because you don’t recognise the limitations of your analysis method, and aren’t able to use it in tandem with other techniques.

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