The most important pillar is the day pillar, or daymaster.
The daymaster represents you, your spirit and your qi. The animal sign or earthly stem below your daymaster represents your marriage/spouse/partner. It will tell you the quality of your intimate relationships.
The year pillar reveals your karma, your family background, your ancestors, your grandparents, and the society in which you live. It also reveals your level of career achievement.
The month pillar, also called the parents pillar, reveals your early childhood and your relationship with your parents and children.
The hour pillar, also called the children pillar, reveals your career, your relationships with your children, and old age.
After evaluating the element harmonies and clashes in the pillars, the next important step is to look at the compatibility between the branches, or animal signs (earthly stems), in the chart.
Are they compatible, in opposition, conflicted, or enhanced? Do the animal signs (earthly stems) form any particular pattern?
One of the major factors in deciding the strength of the daymaster is by looking at the month in which someone is born in. Depending on the month (season) in which someone is born, the daymaster element will be rated as strong or weak. This has nothing to do with the strength or weakness of character.
At the same time, other elements presented in the chart must also be taken into consideration when gauging the strength of the daymaster. These will be further discussed in the following lessons.
In certain months (seasons), some elements will be strong and others weak. For instance, winter is strong in the water elements, when summer is strong in the fire elements.
Elements that are weak become the lucky elements when supplemented. For example, someone born of a daymaster of the fire element that is weak will be supplemented when he is born in summer, which is a favorable sign).
In most cases, if one element is weak in a chart, when supplemented, is most desirable. And what is strong (overpowering), or out of balance, is least desirable, and should be minimized.
In Chinese metaphysics, whether it is feng shui, traditional Chinese medicine, or the four pillars of destiny, when we talk about seasons and five elements we are talking about universal energy, both tangible and intangible.
When we talk about strength and weakness of daymasters, therefore, we are not talking about local climate. When it is said that someone is born in the summer season, it means they were born in a month when the universal elemental energy of Fire and Earth was strong. It has nothing to do with the actual locale of the birth.
If your daymaster element is Wood, it is strongest if you were born in the spring, and weakest in the fall.
If your daymaster element is Fire, it is strongest if you were born in the summer, and weakest in the winter.
If your daymaster element is Earth, it is strongest if you were born between seasons or during late summer, and weakest during the winter-spring transition.
If your daymaster element is Metal, it is strongest if you were born in the fall, and weakest during the spring.
If your daymaster element is Water, it is strongest if you were born in the winter, and weakest during the summer.
With the help of the four pillars chart, we can examine and analyze our inherent strengths and weaknesses, and set our life sails to catch the wind in just the right direction.