A Chinese almanac (Chinese calendar) or `Tong Shu’ ‘Tung Sing’ is based on the lunar cycle, providing a guideline that either promotes or advises against certain tasks being undertaken on certain days depending on the combination of the Heavenly Stem and the Earthly Branch. Virtually every home in Asia will have one of these and refer to it daily, it tells you when to do and not to do certain jobs or events.
The year an individual is born into consists of two elements. The first is the stem. The ten Heavenly Stems are the five elements of water, wood, fire, earth and metal in their yang and yin state. This essence of element is indicated in the last number of the year one is born. 0 (metal yang), 1 metal yin, 2 (water yang), 3 (water yin), 4 (wood yang), 5 (wood yin), 6 (fire yang), 7 (fire yin), 8 (earth yang), 9 (earth yin). For example, if one is born in the 1941, the last number of the year is 1 and therefore the heavenly stem of this person is metal yin.
The second is the branch. The Twelve Earthly Branches are the twelve animals of Chinese astrology: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. The essence of the individual element is; rat (water yang), ox (earth yin), tiger (wood yang), rabbit (wood yin), dragon (earth yang), snake (fire yin), horse (fire yang), sheep (earth yin), monkey (metal yang), rooster (metal yin), dog (earth yang) and pig (water yin).
Let’s take 1962 is the year of Yang Water Tiger (yang wood). The person’s year elements are yang water and yang wood. You can follow the table below to find out the earthly branch of your birth year.
The stem and branches express each other in a 60-year cycle in terms of the five elements in their yin and yang states.
Use the Almanac below daily to help you in selecting the most auspicious days and times for activities and events such as renovations, travelling, opening a business and even a good day for mending your tools. As for choosing a favourable date for wedding, it is advisable to consult a Ba Zi professional because it is the earthly branches of the year and the day of the chosen year and of the individual that are taken into consideration.
In former times, once the many characteristics of a building site had been considered, auspicious dates had to be chosen carefully for the actual building tasks in order to ensure harmony.
The almanac is published annually and mainly consists of:
· An update on the annual energies of the Nine Palaces of a property and the three annual afflictions according to the Xuan Kong system of Feng Shui.
· A ‘Huang Li’ or imperial calendar recommended days to proceed with or avoid certain tasks and projects during the year. There is a section dedicated to recommended days for ‘spring cleaning’ before Chinese New Year.
- Favourable or unfavourable days according to an individual Year’s Pillar of the Four Pillars ‘Ba Zi’.
An example would be if you were planning to sign contracts in July 2012, you would choose 6th, 15th etc. Or if you were to have a wedding, you would pick 6th, 7th etc and avoid the days of 1st, 2nd etc. The Almanac is taken very seriously and used daily by all the staff of the Feng Shui Store and especially Michael when he consults, teaches and travels.
Let’s take it a step further. It can work to a person’s advantage if the hour and the month of the year are also in harmony with the person’s earthly branch. I must stress that this is only a general way of making the best of the situation with the limited information that is provided here. A more complete and precise analysis of a person’s best timing requires a much more in-depth interpretation of the individual’s “Bà Zi” (Four Pillars).
Now say that the day is an auspicious one for you and you want to start a new business, you would choose the good days to open a business from this almanac, you may want the door opening ceremony conducted or sign contract on the hours that are compatible to you. If for example you are a dog, the most compatible hours from the chart below would be (5am – 7am), (11am – 1pm) and (7pm – 9pm). Now, even if it is not a good day, at least try to use the good hours for important things. Below is a table that offers the corresponding compatibility of the twelve earthly branches. If you do not know your Chinese animal use the chart below.
|Best times of day (Compatible branches hours)|
|Rat||11:00pm – 12:59am01:00am – 02:59am07:00am – 08:59am03:00pm – 04:59pm|
|Ox||01:00am – 02:59am09:00am – 10:59am05:00pm – 06:59pm11:00pm – 12:59am|
|Tiger||03:00am – 04:59am11:00am – 12: 59pm07:00pm – 08:59pm09:00pm – 10:59pm|
|Rabbit||05:00am – 06:59am01:00pm – 02:59pm07:00pm – 08:59pm09:00pm – 10:59pm|
|Dragon||07:00am – 08:59am03:00pm – 04:59pm05:00pm – 06:59pm11:00pm – 12:59am|
|Snake||01:00am – 02:59am09:00am – 10:59am03:00pm – 04:59pm05:00pm –06:59pm|
|Horse||03:00am – 04:59am11:00am – 12:59pm01:00pm – 02:59pm07:00pm – 08:59pm|
|Goat/Sheep||05:00am – 06:59am11:00am – 12:59pm01:00pm – 02:59pm09:00pm – 10:59pm|
|Monkey||11:00pm – 12:59am07:00am – 08:59am09:00am – 10:59am03:00pm – 04:59pm|
|Rooster||01:00am – 02:59am07:00am – 08:59am09:00am – 10:59am05:00pm – 06:59pm|
|Dog||03:00am – 04:59am05:00am – 06:59am11:00am – 12:59pm07:00pm – 08:59pm|
|Pig||03:00am – 04:59am05:00am – 06:59am01:00pm – 02:59pm09:00pm –10:59pm|
Are you really prepared for