There are some critical differences when it comes to Ba Zi versus Zi Wei Dou Shu. Let me start by clarifying that these Chinese Astrology Destiny Science modalities are not fortune-telling methods. Both are highly regarded as ancient systems of Chinese Astrology life map readings. Both can identify information for life, career, wealth and destiny readings.
People often wonder which method is better or more accurate — Ba Zi or Zi Wei Dou Shu Purple Star Astrology? It's not a simple question to answer. Both styles of Chinese birth chart readings have their own features and benefits. My goal is to help you understand the differences between the
- Ba Zi — the Four Pillars of Destiny and
- ZWDS — the Purple Star Astrology system, especially the Si Hua Flying Stars ZWDS system.
Ba Zi is a more comfortable and user-friendly modality of Destiny Science as compared to Zi Wei Dou Shu. If you want a quick analysis of a person’s overall life, career, business decisions, how people operate and think, then BaZi is suitable for that and pretty accurate.
Ba Zi Birth Chart Reading is a bit more abstract. It draws on the practitioner’s own experiences and philosophical understanding of Chinese Metaphysics to draw conclusions. It is based on the interactions of the 10 Heavenly Stems and the 12 Animal Zodiacs.
The concept of redefining and redesigning your destiny requires a detailed analysis of a person’s nature, character, situation, behavior, activities, and opportunities. Zi Wei Dou Shu is a more complex modality compared to BaZi.
History of Ba Zi and Zi Wei Dou Shu
In ancient times, Chinese astrology was commonly applied as a diagnosis to implement Feng Shui remedies. Applications included calculating and complementing time and space with people and buildings, basically to achieve harmony between a person’s internal chemistry, energy, or Qi with the Qi of the external environment.
Originally known as the “Heavenly Stars Astrology, or Wu Xing,” this Astrology style was based upon the balance between the five elements that form the 5 Elemental Energies philosophy. During the ancient era of the Qin Dynasty, around 221 B.C. to 206 B.C., Imperial astronomers turned to real stars (planets) in the Heavens (nightly sky) for answers.
These astronomers named the five major planets in our solar system by the elements like the Venus as Metal, the Jupiter as Wood, the Mercury as Water, Mars as Fire element, and Saturn to represent the Earth element.
According to this classical astrology system, a person’s destiny will be determined by these five stars or planets’ celestial positions. Then you also included and calculated the location of the Sun and Moon. The Imperial Astronomers calculated the 7 Stars, the time of the native’s birth, and the Zodiac cycle of the 12 animal signs derived from Jupiter’s orbit to plot and calculate information. This highly accurate system was formed by the 28 lunar sectors, which then termed as the “7 Stars, 4 Auxiliaries Astrology,” also known as “Qi Zheng Si Yu” Astrology.
During the Sung Dynasty around 960 A.D. to 1127 A.D., Grandmaster Xu Zi Ping created an alternative system of Chinese Destiny Science called “Ba Zi — The 4 Pillars of Destiny System”. Ba means 8, and Zi means characters.
Grandmaster Ping is also known as the founding father of Ba Zi Destiny Science Analysis. This system is based on the science of balancing the Yin and Yang polarities of the elements of the Five Stars and the 12 Animal Zodiac, located within the Eight Characters inside the Four Pillars that consist of Four Heavenly Stems and Four Earthly Branches representing the year, month, day, and hour of birth of the native. Ba Zi discards the planetary movements’ interpretation like it was done in the early Qi Zheng Si Yu Astrology system.
During the same period, Grandmaster Chen Xi Yi created Zi Wei Dou Shu Astrology that uses virtual stars. These stars were derived from the positions of the celestial nodes of various planetary bodies that could decode precise details with a comprehensive analysis of information. Zi Wei Dou Shu, however, was restricted to the exclusive and private use of the Emperors in Imperial China because of its high levels of accuracy with detailed forecasting analysis.
The Meaning of Qi and Shu
Most philosophical concepts in Chinese Metaphysics and Cosmology are rooted in the ideas of “Li Xiang Chi Shu” from the I-Ching, the Book of Changes.
- Li is the abstraction, principles, purpose, and the order that is unseen but acts as a hidden frame or network in random chaos.
- Xiang means forms. It is every observable aspect of the environment and cosmos. “Xiang” developed from the differentiation of the Tai Ji to Yin and Yang, and the 4 Quadrants (North, South, East, and West) and the images. For example, Feng Shui falls in the Xiang category of Wu Shu.
- Chi or Qi is the unseen energy that can be sensed and effected. It is referred to as the Supreme Absolute, Tai Ji. It is the infinite potentiality, which originated from Wu Ji — The Great Void.
- Shu is the quantifiable logic, the science and the mathematics of the cosmos. In a simple term, Shu means calculations.
The difference between Zi Wei Dou Shu and Ba Zi
ZWDS and Ba Zi are the two major destiny science systems found in the 5 Major Arts of Chinese Metaphysics. Both have their own strengths and decoding destiny methods and use a different way of calculations and assessments.
- Ba Zi is a Qi (Chi/energy) study. ZWDS is a Shu (calculations) study, especially for the Si Hua School of Zi Wei Dou Shu. However, the San He school uses varied components of Qi and Shu.
- Four Pillars of Destiny focus on the holistic feature of destiny while analyzing aspects of “Qi.” Zi Wei Dou Shu focuses on details of destiny, which holds and calculates the scientific properties of “Shu.” This is the critical feature of the Si Hua system of ZWDS.
- ZWDS and Ba Zi are destiny tools, but they serve different purposes. Let me explain. Ba Zi system analyses the “Qi” interactions among the five elements found in the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches, within 8 palaces inside the 4 Pillars. This system aims to achieve ‘balance of energies’ represented by the 5 elements for a harmonious life path. Zi Wei Dou Shu uses a system of ‘unbalanced energies’ through the mathematical calculations over interactions on a set of virtual stars between the 12 Palaces plotted on a Zi Wei Dou Shu chart.
- A Zi Wei Dou Shu chart is constructed through the clockwise and anticlockwise rotations of the chart elements. ZWDS chart elements are Palaces, Stars, 4 Enhancers, 10 Heavenly Stems, 12 Earthly Branches, Decade Luck, and Annual Luck cycles, derived from your birth date and time. On the contrary, the Ba Zi chart transfers the birth data directly into its 4 Pillars of year, month, day, hour without any mathematical conversions and rotations.
- Zi Wei Dou Shu Astrology system uses a lunar calendar, which includes the Moon orbiting around planet Earth. Ba Zi uses a solar calendar where Earth orbits around the Sun. Zi Wei Dou Shu system uses new Moon Day as the first day of the lunar month. There is one leap year every four years. In contrast, the Ba Zi system uses 365 days, 12 months, and no leap year on these two Destiny Science modalities’ application side.
- Zi Wei Dou Shu is variable, has double months and a shifting transition point. In contrast, Ba Zi is more about consistency, has no double months, and has a fixed transition point.
- Zi Wei Dou Shu has two schools, the Flying Stars School — the Northern Lineage School that uses the Si Hua methods, and the San He School, which is the Southern Lineage School. Zi Wei Dou Shu uses 12 Palaces of Destiny. Traditionally, Ba Zi has two kinds of schools as well. One is the Day Master Strength School, and the other is the Chart Image School. They both use the Four Pillars of Destiny system. The “Year Pillar” in the BaZi system is used for detecting the aspects of Property and Travel for the native. The “Month Pillar” is used for Parents, Siblings, Wealth, and Mental Palaces. The “Day Pillar” is used to identify Self, Spouse, and Health. In contrast, the 4th Pillar of destiny, the “Hour Pillar,” decodes information around the Career, Children, and Friends Palaces.
Ba Zi versus Zi Wei Dou Shu: Which system is more accurate?
One of the frequently asked questions of destiny decoding is which one of these two systems, Ba Zi versus Zi Wei Dou Shu, is more accurate?
In my opinion, both Ba Zi and Zi Wei Dou Shu are pretty accurate systems of destiny decoding. The question of Zi Wei Dou Shu accuracy or Ba Zi for that matter primarily lies in the skill and experience of the practitioner.
However, accuracy is different from specificity and details. If we compare Ba Zi versus Zi Wei Dou Shu, the two main destiny decoding tools, Zi Wei Dou Shu is more specific. However, for determining the prognosis of a situation, Ba Zi is much faster in deriving the information than ZWDS, which spans many different charts to get to the bottom of things.
Analyzing the root cause of a problem using Zi Wei Dou Shu charts takes time. However, this system is highly specific in creating your blueprint of success that can help you redesign your destiny and elevate your success.
Ba Zi Vs Zi Wei Dou Shu: Getting Started
If you'd like to dive a little deeper into which one is going to provide you with what you're looking for, I recommend starting with the Beginners Guide to Zi Wei Dou Shu. You can download a copy below.
It outlines how the stars and palaces work to provide a reading and how you can go about getting a reading yourself.