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No 10 God is an Island…(Part 1)

“No man is an island,
Entire of itself,
Every man is a piece of the continent,
A part of the main.”

– John Donne

This topic has been on the brain for a while…hence I may write more than one part.

Many people who learn BaZi become frustrated when they are unable to work out the solutions to problems faced by clients or friends or themselves. They have a pile of information about the 10 Gods (the so-called Holy Grail of BaZi), and can read their own chart but they don’t quite seem to be able to cross that final Rubicon of figuring out solutions for themselves. Simplistically there is the view that as long as they can pick out the Useful God, it’s a home run. (hence, the obsession with “What is the Useful God”). The application of the Useful God however often proves elusive – how do you use your Useful God anyway? (The answer “with great imagination”)

Lateral nimble thinking is essential in order to master BaZi. Every chart is like a puzzle and you have to think about moving around the pieces to make it fit but also, how do the moves influence the outcome down the road. Which kind of makes utilising BaZi like a horrible hybrid of Jigsaw and Chess. But then again, this is certainly not for the faint hearted.

One of the key thought processes that I try to get my BaZi students to think about is INTER-DEPENDENCE.

Just as No Man is an Island, No 10 God is an Island. No 10 God can function unto itself, it always requires something that works with it, another element that essentially unlocks that 10 God. Which fundamentally goes back to why it is that there is an emphasis on a chart being whole = meaning, no missing elements. The principle of Inter-dependence is one very good underlying reason why missing elements are regarded as an unfavourable presentation in a chart.

Understanding inter-dependence is also crucial to your ability to utilise the Useful God. For example, the great secret in Bazi is that the Useful God, in something like nine out of ten times, is really a question of temperature regulation. Invariably, one finds oneself picking either Water (if the chart is hot) or Fire (if the chart is cold) as the Useful God. There are rare occasions when this is not the given choice (Ding for example, tends towards Wood as the de facto choice no matter what) but probably most of the time, you’ll get over the Useful God hump on just hot or cold and adding water or fire accordingly.

Unlocking the Useful God is then just a matter of teaching the client how to bring it to the fore – for example, through correct behavioural patterns, correct attitude and mindset, interactions with the correct people, and adjusting their life strategy towards whatever it is that they want to achieve (i.e.: career, wealth etc).

But to truly capture the Useful God’s value, you need to understand what the 10 God is inter-dependent upon. For example, if one is using Ding as the Useful God, then automatically, Wood becomes important since Ding is interdependent upon Wood in order to burn brightly (conversely, it is not the same with Bing, which sort of is a force unto itself and needs no one, unless you are born at the wrong hour, in which case – bummer!)

Interdependence also extends to the Day Master itself, and its relationship with its Useful God.  Fat lot of good the Useful God is going to do if your Day Master for some reason, doesn’t like that element (typically the case when one is forced to resort to the 2nd rate option of Useful God – i.e.: Xin using Ding rather than Bing, Geng using Bing rather than Ding). The lack of interdependence between a Day Master and the Useful God is fundamentally the reason why some people go through life completely ignoring the good intentions of the right people, and opting for the stupid intentions of the village idiot.

So in the grand scheme of things, you need your Useful God to be supported by the elements that it is interdependent on AND at the same time, you need to make sure that your Day Master is somewhat interdependent on its Useful God in the sense of being receptive to it in a positive way.