Astrology/4 pillars



I'm interested in the four pillars approach to understanding horoscopes, but am really confused as to how you go about understanding the readings as when looking at 2 peoples horoscopes you have the dynamics of 8 pillars going on, In the past I just use to look at year the person was born and birth hour & I understood that a power animal during the birth hour could have a stronger bearing than the year animal if it was weaker - are there any 'rules' to apply when looking at 2 people's 4 pillars?! as it seems pretty impossible to get all 8 signs in harmony - is it more important for some to be in harmony than others? for example, I read that the 'day' you were born pillar effects adult life - so would this be more relevant when looking at husband and wife opposed to siblings as they are unlikely to be living together in adult life? the 4 pillars make sense in terms of people's personalities but they feel overwhelming to try and understand ... part of me feels that the 'hour' we were born pillar representing our secret self is what would matter most, then the 'day' as this represents our adult married life/ day to day existence, but I've also heard of the month pillar representing the circumstances of our adult life, our motivations and our love life ... I perhaps also need clarification on what each pillar stands for aswell as any 'rules' that help give priority to the many readings between them!! any help would be most appreciated!!

ANSWER: Hi Emma,

You've asked a complicated question with many parts. The best thing I can do is recommend a book, Classical Five Element Chinese Astrology Made Easy by David Twicken. It's available used for as little as $3 plus shipping.

One reason I say your question is complicated is different masters answer it differently. I've seen it written the month pillar is the one associated with relationships. I personally don't focus on a particular pillar. What I have done is created a relationship calculator that uses all four pillars to rate any relationship in terms of a percentage, e.g., "your match is 64% favorable, which is significantly above average. Your relationship has a very good chance of lasting and bringing you the happiness you seek.

One more comment (your question about rules). I have two for sure. Balance and harmony are critical for creating and maintaining successful relationships. For balance I usually look at the element mix. If one partner is lacking an element, say Water, does the other have enough to make sure the partners can communicate effectively, as Water is what governs this aspect of relationships. We can use the same example to illustrate harmony. If one partner has a lot of Water, and the other lacks Water but has plenty of Fire, we have disharmony, as Water puts out Fire. Lots of course can also be said about the animal signs. Here's another book recommendation, Theodora Lau's Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes. It's one of the best I've found on the subect of personality analysis, including using it to analyze relationships.

If you would like to learn more about relationships, I highly recommend Shelly Wu's Chinese Sexual Astrology and Susan Levitt's Taoist Astrology. Also, please visit my web site, If you would like a detailed analysis of this match, you can order one at the site for a modest charge. And, if you like the web site, please "like" it on Facebook and tell your friends about it.

Thank you for your question.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thank you for that & the book recommendations - it's hard to know what to read, I doubt I would have found them! Thank you again. I've just put a birthdate into a 4 pillars calculator & looked closer at the elements - this one had water for the year then earth for Month, day and time - as there is the potential for 4 out of 5 elements in each persons reading and this one only covers 2, could that make things difficult in terms of finding balance with another person?  is it a case of the more elements we have the better?


Chinese philosophy is not unlike ours on this score; think Aristotle's "golden mean." In other words balance, or moderation, is to be desired. Having too much or too little of a particular element can be problematic. Take Fire for example. A healthy amount marks a person as probably a charismatic and dynamic individual. Too much Fire, however, could indicate a hot temper. And, too little, could indicate a shy, "wall flower" type personality. And if a person has an excess of one element, they almost certainly have a shortage of one or two others. It's true, however, that a lot of one element does usually confer great ability in one area. Let's say a person has an excess of both Wood and Water, the elements most closely associated with creativity. That person has a good chance of being a successful artist. Then again, you've probably heard the expression, "flaky artist." Such a person may appear to have no concept of how to deal with organization and the routine matters of daily existence.

Thank you for your question.

p.s. If you'd like to know more, I actually have an element product at onlinechineastrology for a modest charge.


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Bill Hajdu


Chinese Astrology. I`ve done Chinese astrology for over 25 years, pimary experience Ming Shu style. I am NOT a psychic. I can't answer questions about when a particular event will occur, when/if your life will change, or what your spouse is going to be/look like. I do comment on relationships, career, personality analysis and life cycle chi, i.e., energy level and influences at each of the five stages of life. I evaluate specific relationships or can look at your love life in general. I can tell you your best career choices and whether the one you've chosen is good for you. And, I can identify the strong and weak times in your life. I've done work for Yahoo, and


I've studied Chinese astrology for over 25 years now and done many thousands of charts. My specialty is Four Pillars method, particularly as applied to evaluating relationships. I've also done Nine Star Ki and readings using Mah Jong tiles. I have now completed my first, automated Zi Wei Dou Shu (Purple Star) product. It focuses on Luck. Next year I plan on creating one or two more Purple Star projects focusing on Fate.

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M.A. International Relations, University of Southern California (USC)

Awards and Honors
Distinguished Graduate, USC

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