Tuesday, February 19, 2013

BaZi: Names of Ten Gods in English.

Names of the Ten Gods in English:

IMHO, some of the English names that is commonly used don't reflect the gods' true identities. Anyway, I have no authority on this subject. On this post I'd like to discuss the names of the ten gods in English according to classical books.

Some Chinese words can be translated into a few meanings in English, the word 正, imo, is best translated as True / Proper / Conventional and 偏  as Side / Improper / Unconventional. Direct and Indirect are also good translations and they are very commonly used in English. 

Below is an excerpt from YHZP about the names and functions of the 10 Gods, I highlighted the one(s) that I think is most suitable. I always like to translated as literal as possible to preserve the Chinese meaning of the names to try to give non Chinese literate readers a good idea what the original meaning is.  

Chapter 1 Yuan Hai Zi Ping 渊海子平

Five stems that belongs to Yang, likes combination:

以甲为例 Take Jia as example

Meets Jia: as Compare Shoulders, Brothers

Meets Yi: as Rob Wealth, as Failing Wealth, counters father and wife

Meets Bing: as Food God, Heavenly Kitchen, Longevity star, as male.

Meets Ding: as Hurting Officer, Retreating Wealth, Wasting Qi, Nephew.

Meets Wu: as Indirect / Improper / Side / Unconventional / Slanted Wealth, as Unconventional / Side / Not the main wife, counters children.

Meets Ji: as True / Direct / Proper / Conventional Wealth, True / Legitimate Wife, counters mother, as the Combination God.

Meets Geng: as Unconventional / Improper / Side / Indirect / Illegitimate / Slanted Officer, 7 Killing, Ghost Officer, General Star.

Meets Xin: as True / Direct / Legitimate / Proper Officer, as Fortune Horse, Glory God, parents.

Meets Ren: as 'Pouring(away) Food' Indirect / Improper / Slanted / Unconventional Seal, Owl God, counters woman.

Meets Gui,: as Seal and its ribbon, True person, person who upholds good principles, industry and property. 

Five Stems that belongs to Yin, likes clashing.

以乙为例 Take Yi as example


Meets Jia: as Rob Wealth, Chasing Horse, counters wife.


Meets Yi: as Compare Shoulders, brothers, friends.


Meets Bing: as Hurting Officer, Petty People, Robbing Qi, as nieces / nephews from the male line.


Meets Ding: as Food God, Heavenly Kitchen, Longevity Star, children and grandchildren.


Meets Wu: as True / Direct / Proper / Conventional Wealth, True / Legitimate Wife, counters mother.


Meets Ji: as Indirect / Improper / Side / Unconventional / Slanted Wealth, as Unconventional / Side / Illegitimate / Not the main wife, Unconventional / Side / Illegitimate / Not the main concubines, counters children.


Meets Geng: as True / Direct / Legitimate / Proper Officer, as Fortune Horse, parents.


Meets Xin: Unconventional / Improper / Side / Indirect / Illegitimate / Slanted Officer, 7 Killing, Ghost Officer, General Star, matchmaker.

Meets Ren: As seal and its ribbon, True Person, a person that upholds good principles, Dreading Killing.


Meets Gui: as 'Pouring (away) Food' Indirect / Improper / Slanted / Unconventional Seal, Owl God, counters mother.

There are some common English names that I particularly dislike:

1. 印 (The element that engenders DM) is commonly called Resource, 

正印 - Direct Resource
 - Indirect Resource 

I think these translations are incorrect. Not one Chinese to English dictionary would translate the word 印 as Resource. 

From an online dictionary:

to print to mark to engrave a seal a print a stamp a mark a trace image

印 - Is a seal that usually belongs to high ranking government officials in the olden days, it's a mark of authority. Like this one for example from Qing dynasty:

A seal 印
The word for Resource is written as 源 in Chinese, as in
利源 - Natural Resource
资源 - Financial Resource
And to which the classics says: 
財為養命之源 (SMTH volume 6 - 正财) 
Wealth as the resource that nurtures life. 

To call  'Seal' as Resource is not correct according to classical BaZi. 'Resource ' is a word that is linked to  Wealth, not  Seal

2. 食神 is often called Eating God in English, it's an acceptable translation but IMO, a better translation would be 'Food God', as 食 Shi is often used in a context that refers to Food e.g 枭神夺食 - The Owl God (forcibly) takes away food, a phrase that refers to the circumstance when the Food God is being countered by the Indirect Seal, e.g Jia DM with Bing Fire as food is countered by Ren Water (Owl God)

3. 食神 伤官 are called 'Talents', this is also not based on the classics. Talents in Chinese is written as 才. Although YHZP does say that people with 伤官 are artistic and talented, calling 食神 伤官 talents takes away their original meaning, 

伤官 - Hurting Officer, the god that hurts the Officer. 
食神 - Food good, represent food, the god that engenders Wealth, when it's auspicious, represent abundance of wealth and food 财厚食丰. 

Anyway, a better way to call the 10 Gods would be to use the PinYin instead of the English names. 

BaZi names of the Ten Gods in English

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