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Establishment & Uses of the Heavenly Stems & Earthly Branches

The history of the creation of the Heavenly Stem (Stem) and Earthly Branch (Root) goes all the way back to 4000 years ago, at the time of Huang Di. At that point of time, words were not invented.

Initially ten stems were created to record the days, for example - 1st day (Jia - H1), 2nd day (Yi - H2), 3rd day (Bing - H3), 4th day (Ding - H4), 5th day (Wu - H5), 6th day (Ji - H6), 7th day (Geng - H7), 8th day (Xin - H8), 9th day (Ren - H9) and 10th day (Gui - H10).

The twelve branches were created to record the months, for example - 1st month (Zi - E1), 2nd month (Chou - E2), 3rd month (Yin - E3), 4th month (Mao - E4), 5th month (Chen - E5), 6th month (Si - E6), 7th month (Wu - E7), 8th month (Wei - E8), 9th month (Shen - E9), 10th month (You - E10), 11th month (Xu - E11) and 12th month (Hai - E12).

There was one problem using the above system. The ten heavenly stems get repeated 3 times in a month. This makes recordings confusing as there exists three Jia days in a Zi month and so on. It would be far more complicated when we involves the time, day, month and year.

For ease of differentiating one day from another, it was decided to combine the stems with the branches to form 60 different combinations for recording of time, day, month and year.

The 60 Combinations

There are 10 heavenly stem and 12 earthly branches. Each stem is paired with an earthly branch, forming a 'pillar'. It is important to note that only odd-numbered stems are paired with odd-numbered branches, and even-numbered stems with even-numbered branches. For example, the first heavenly stem can be paired with the first earthly branch, the third or the fifth one etc, but cannot be paired with the second or the fourth branch etc.

Henceforth, instead of 120 combinations, we get 60.

1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
Yang Wood
Jia
Yang Water
Zi
Yin Wood
Yi
Yin Earth
Chou
Yang Fire
Bing
Yang Wood
Yin
Yin
Fire
Ding
Yin Wood
Mao
Yang Earth
Wu
Yang Earth
Chen
Yin Earth
Ji
Yin
Fire
Si
Yang Metal
Geng
Yang Fire
Wu
Yin Metal
Xin
Yin Earth
Wei
Yang Water
Ren
Yang Metal
Shen
Yin Water
Gui
Yin Metal
You

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20
Yang Wood
Jia
Yang Earth
Xu
Yin Wood
Yi
Yin Water
Hai
Yang Fire
Bing
Yang Water
Zi
Yin
Fire
Ding
Yin Earth
Chou
Yang Earth
Wu
Yang Wood
Yin
Yin Earth
Ji
Yin Wood
Mao
Yang Metal
Geng
Yang Earth
Chen
Yin Metal
Xin
Yin
Fire
Si
Yang Water
Ren
Yang Fire
Wu
Yin Water
Gui
Yin Earth
Wei

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

29

30
Yang Wood
Jia
Yang Metal
Shen
Yin Wood
Yi
Yin Metal
You
Yang Fire
Bing
Yang Earth
Xu
Yin
Fire
Ding
Yin Water
Hai
Yang Earth
Wu
Yang Water
Zi
Yin Earth
Ji
Yin Earth
Chou
Yang Metal
Geng
Yang Wood
Yin
Yin Metal
Xin
Yin Wood
Mao
Yang Water
Ren
Yang Earth
Chen
Yin Water
Gui
Yin
Fire
Si

31

32

33

34

35

36

37

38

39

40
Yang Wood
Jia
Yang Fire
Wu
Yin Wood
Yi
Yin Earth
Wei
Yang Fire
Bing
Yang Metal
Shen
Yin Fire
Ding
Yin Metal
You
Yang Earth
Wu
Yang Earth
Xu
Yin Earth
Ji
Yin Water
Hai
Yang Metal
Geng
Yang Water
Zi
Yin Metal
Xin
Yin Earth
Chou
Yang Water
Ren
Yang Wood
Yin
Yin Water
Gui
Yin Wood
Mao

41

42

43

44

45

46

47

48

49

50
Yang Wood
Jia
Yang Earth
Chen
Yin Wood
Yi
Yin
Fire
Si
Yang Fire
Bing
Yang Fire
Wu
Yin
Fire
Ding
Yin Earth
Wei
Yang Earth
Wu
Yang Metal
Shen
Yin Earth
Ji
Yin Metal
You
Yang Metal
Geng
Yang Earth
Xu
Yin Metal
Xin
Yin Water
Hai
Yang Water
Ren
Yang Water
Zi
Yin Water
Gui
Yin Earth
Chou

51

52

53

54

55

56

57

58

59

60
Yang Wood
Jia
Yang Wood
Yin
Yin Wood
Yi
Yin Wood
Mao
Yang Fire
Bing
Yang Earth
Chen
Yin
Fire
Ding
Yin
Fire
Si
Yang Earth
Wu
Yang Fire
Wu
Yin Earth
Ji
Yin Earth
Wei
Yang Metal
Geng
Yang Metal
Shen
Yin Metal
Xin
Yin Metal
You
Yang Water
Ren
Yang Earth
Xu
Yin Water
Gui
Yin Water
Hai

 


Basics of 5 Elements
Cycle of Birth
Cycle of Destruction
Practice
Yin & Yang
Ten Heavenly Stems
Twelve Earthly Branches
Establishments & Uses of Heavenly Stems & Earthly Branches

Introduction
Water Element
Wood Element
Fire Element
Earth Element
Metal Element
Relationships with Other Elements
A Four Pillar Example
How to Change One's Destiny

Schools of Feng Shui
River Map (He Tu)
Book of Lo (Lo Shu)
Eight House Theory
Applying Your Personal Trigram
Flying Star Theory

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