My last message talks about some people try to “expand” 4-Pillars to more pillars while others try to “shrink” it down to as little as “half” a pillar.


This is the most popular astrology in China, Hong Kong and Taiwan because it is easy to understand. In a way it is similar to the 12 constellations astrology that we read from newspapers.

This method simply uses the birth year animal of a person to make mostly annual and monthly predictions. So it is limited to 12 categories of luck profiles since there are only 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.

There are variations of this method, such as adding a season to put more complexity into the prediction. This is like adding the birth season into the equation, so it raises its prediction power quite significantly.

Another variation, which is like adding another half-pillar from the back-door– is taking into consideration of the birth year stem. For example, if one were born in ding-hai year (2007), then this person is a fire-pig. So suddenly, not all pig-persons are identical. There are water-pig, wood-pig, earth-pig, metal-pig and fire-pig. This increases the possible variations to 60!

This method drops 3 pillars out of the 4 pillars, taking only the day-pillar as center of reference. It does not look at 10-year and annual luck periods like standard 4P.

One may ask: You need to find out year and month pillar in order to get the day-pillar. Why not look at them at the same time?

There are 60 “jia-zi’ or binomials in the Chinese 60-jia-zi time cycle, so there are 60 types of “variations” that can be cross-tabulated in terms of personalities, family relationships, fates and the like.

It exploits the “12 Life Stages” of 10 stems extensively.

One-Pillar astrology seems to have raise some interests in Taiwan lately.

It is not unusual to see people or teachers recycle old methods or emphasizes like ‘shen-sha’, ‘na-yin’, ‘hexagrams’ and the like to attract new students or buyers. It is like the fashion industry which recycles old designs after 30- 40 years.

What is hot today is likely picked up from historical garbage can and repackaged as top secrets or results from “new researches”.

Well, time for a cup of tea… I will continue next time on more 4+ pillar tricks.

Ken Lai