BaZi – Chinese Astrology

BaZi – Chinese Astrology

by Michael Parrish

My spiritual elder brother often says “to be or not to be”. But who am I? Is there a predetermined destiny set in the stars of the BaZi? Or is free choice involved? And can both co-exist and live in some sort of complementarity?

When my first teacher of BaZi did a very brief interpretation of my chart I heaved a big sigh of relief. So this is why I am like I am! It took away some of the anxiety about some idiosyncrasies and patterns I had been aware of. And affirmed some of the more positive aspects of myself. So that was nice, but now what? 

Most of you will know the BaZi as the 4 Pillars. I have been taught the 5th Pillar which is called the Life House. It is an integral part of the chart as it gives specific clues about a particular quality that is a part of the personality that just won’t change, no matter what is thrown in front of it.  It is a formula derived from the Year, Month, and Hour Pillar.

I have had great fortune in my life to encounter people who had different visions of life and its possibilities. One teacher said the 5 Pillars are set in stone and the Fate Pillars are about choice.  For myself the 5 Pillars can be likened to the 5 main lessons we have chosen to address in this lifetime. The few times I have encountered a person with the Perfect Partner configuration, it really has not been the case! But it may point to the key to open their chart and thus life.

Since the Fate Pillars start not when we are born but when we make a conscious decision about how to live and make choices, I think it is reasonable to say that in this cycle of 60 years there is freewill to choose. But there is also destiny. Not everyone can or will be Gengis Khan or Michelle Obama. We are unique.

My elder brother says maybe we have very little free choice. The choice is to align with what life is presenting us or not. Another teacher said that disease can be seen as a manifestation of not facing life. We choose illness instead. These may not be the easiest things to hear but there is a logic in them for me at least.

If life could be considered in 2 basic parts. The fixed masculine structure that defines identity and the feminine energy (which also has identity) that wraps, winds, and weaves itself with and around the masculine.  Then it could be possible to see the formulas of the BaZi as the structure (determinism) and the complimentary human interpretation and interaction (indeterminism) as the space where magic can appear and bring a sense of possibility, enthusiasm, renewed life. Isn’t this the purpose of a BaZi reading? To venture past (but not exclude) the material vision and open up to the great mystery of life? This is what I try to impress on my students. Anyone can pay a great deal of money and get all the formulas they want and impress the socks off people. But for myself I am most moved when someone has my best interests at heart and brings a space of expansion and magic where possibilities seem to spring forth from an unknown and inexhaustible source. And for me BaZi is just the tool.

About Michael Parrish

I started my first formal study of Feng Shui and BaZi with the late Jon Sandifer in 2006. Then I went on to study with Richard Ashworth. I am very appreciative of their guidance. I also studied a little with Joey Yap. In the past years I have been practicing, giving readings, and teaching Feng Shui, BaZi, I Ching, Qi Gung, and 9 Star ki astrology mostly in the Sacred Wheel community I am a part of in Peru. This has greatly enhanced my limited vision of life. Recently I have started expanding the classes to London, Totnes, and in the south of France.