SiZhu 四柱 (Four Pillars) & BaZi 八字 (Eight Characters)
An individual chart is constructed with a Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branch for each year, month, date, and time of birth. The combination of a Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branch for each parameter is called One Pillar; all together they are called the SiZhu 四柱, or Four Pillars.
Each Pillar is composed of a Heavenly Stem and an Earthly Branch, so there are two characters per Pillar. With a total of Four Pillars, the entire chart is composed of eight characters. Therefore, a common name for Chinese astrology is BaZi 八字 (Eight Characters).
Thus, for any particular individual there will be eight characters (BaZi) that reflect their personal energies. These are derived from all the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches within the Four Pillars that support the body. In other words, by understanding the energy of the macrocosmic Universe at that particular time, we can understand the microcosm of the individual.
Accurate birth information is a must in order to prepare a precise life reading. It is vital to have the correct year, month, date, and time of birth when consulting a person’s astrological chart. The reading cannot be completely carried out if any of these components are missing or inaccurate.