Plotting a Bazi chart these days has been simplified with the availability of computers, internet and specially-designed application software. For those of you who are interested to know how to plot it manually, please read on.
In order to plot a Bazi Chart, we must have the date of birth, hour of birth and the gender of the person whose Bazi chart we want to plot. They are the essential information required. The date of birth is according to the date as indicated on your birth certificate and not the Lunar Calendar calendar. You will also need the Ten Thousand Year Calendar as well.
For example, we want to plot a Bazi chart of a person born on 18 August 1988. First, we draw a table as follows:
The pillar for the hour, day, month and year is based on the combination of Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches, known as 60 Jia Zi (甲子). THe 60 Jia Zi is made up of a column of Heaven Stems and Earthly Branch. The Heavenly Stems are made up of ten stems and the Earthly Branches is made up of twelve branches and they run in sequential order. The first in the series of Heavenly Stems is paired with the first in the series of Earthly Branches, the second stem with the second branch and so on.
For example, the Heavenly Stems consists of the following:
and the Earthly Branches consists of the following:
Hence, to obtain a pillar of the Jia Zi, we combine the Heavenly Stems and the Earthly Branches to get the following (partial list):
The sequence of the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches continue to run until it reaches 癸亥, the 60th pillar and the sequence re-starts from the first pillar again. It is called 60 Jia Zi because it starts from the Jia Zi pillar and it has 60 pillars.
To plot the year pillar of the natal chart, we find the 60 Jia Zi pillar for the year 1988. Using the Ten Thousand Year Calendar, we find the year 1988 pillar is 戊辰. Please do not mistaken this Year Pillar with the Annual Pillar. The Year Pillar is related to the natal chart while the Annual Pillar is the general luck for each year in relation to the natal chart.
We can now plot the Year pillar as follows:
Please note that the Year pillar changes only on 4th February at the transition hour. Prior to that, it is still considered the previous year. For example, the transition hour is 10:44pm on 4th February. If the hour of the person born on 4th February is 10am, the Year pillar is still 丁卯. If born after 10:50pm, then the year is 戊辰. There are also days where the transition happen on the 5th February as well. Please check the Ten Thousand Year calendar for confirmation.