The Four Pillars of destiny, also known as the Four Pillars of Chinese Astrology or the Ba zi, was invented by Li Xu Zhong, in the Tang Dynasty and was reformed by Xu Zi Ping of the Song Dynasty. It deals with the concept of Yin & Yang and the Wu Xing or the 5 elements. The concept of yin and yang illustrates two sides of the same thing.
The five elements which are included in the Wu Xing are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth and Metal and they are further classified into yin and yang for all the 5 elements. Each of these elements have different properties, for eg. water would be flowing, liberal, flexible. Wood will be growing upwards, will power, endurance. Fire would be active, radiant, spreading warmth. Earth would be concentration and stabilising. Metal would be solemnity, sharpness, cutting. These are just some of their respective properties.
The Four Pillars are worked out according to the Solar calendar. A Solar year usually begins on the 4th of Feb, every year. It is when the Sun is 15 degrees into Aquarius.
Finally the Four Pillars are the Year Pillar, the Month Pillar, the Day Pillar and the Hour Pillar. Each of these Four Pillars contains a Heavenly Stem and an Earthly Branch. The Heavenly stems have a single element, in the yin or yang phase, but the earthly branches can have one or more than one element in them. We say that these are stems reserved in each of the branches.
Each of these pillars gives us information about our lives and the different routes our life takes. It tells us about our grandparents and people from society at large, our parents, spouses, children, siblings, friends, partners. It also gives us information about the kind of career best suited for each of us and how successful we will be. It tells us whether we should seek a job or be self employed. It also gives us details about marriage and how successful it will be, how life will unfold, as the years go by. It gives us a clear picture about the type of person, one is. It advises us about dangers and perils, lying in our path of destiny. It also gives us information about health and how best to safeguard it.
If one has a Ba Zi reading done, it will give the person, details about his destiny. How he uses this information, to live his life, will depend on how successful he is as a person. It is indeed a very challenging subject, meant for the serious minded learner.