Saturday, February 23, 2013

BaZi: 用神 - Useful God

用神 Yong Shen - Useful God

用神, PinYin YongShen, 'Used God' or commonly known as 'Useful God' is an important entity in a BaZi chart, it is essentially the God that regulates the chart. There is a lot of misunderstandings about YongShen, different schools have different views on this subject, many modern Masters teach about a balance BaZi, if the DM is strong, the gods that weaken the DM are taken as Useful God, if the DM is weak, the gods that support the DM are considered Useful Gods, while this is partially correct, it is a gross over-generalization.

The concept of YongShen can be easily understood if we refer to ZPZQ which states:


The useful God of Bazi, seek only from the month's decree, with the Stem of the Day matching with the Month Decree Branch, engendering and countering are different, structures are distinguished. Wealth, Officer, Seal and Food, these are benevolent useful gods, thus should be used in a 'follow' / favorable manner; Devil, Hurting, Robbing and Blade, these are not benevolent gods, used in a reversed / 'against' manner. When it should be in a follow manner and it is in that manner, and when it should be in a reversed manner and it is in a reversed manner, the matching and combination are beneficial, all are noble structures.

顺 Shun - I translate this word as follow, like rowing a boat along the stream.

逆 Ni - I translate as against, like rowing a boat against the stream. 

This paragraph is pretty straight forward. From the first sentence we know that the Useful God is derived only from the Month's branch and useful god is related to the chart structure.

The second sentence tell us that there are 2 categories of Gods:
Benevolent Gods - Wealth, Officer, Seal and Food.
Not benevolent Gods - Devil, Hurting, Robbing and Blade. 

The benevolent Gods should be used in the 'follow' way while the not-benevolent Gods should be used in the 'against' way.

The third sentence says when the useful gods in the chart are correctly used, they result in noble structures including the not-benevolent gods.

So now it comes to the question:
What is the 'follow' way and what is the 'against' way?

The 'follow' way is explained as:



When it is benevolent and used in a 'follow' way, is like 

Wealth likes being engendered by Food God, and Wealth engenders Officer to protect wealth; Officer likes protruding Wealth to engender (Officer) and Officer engenders Seal to protect Officer; 
Seal likes being engendered by Officer and Devil to engender Seal and Rob wealth to protect Seal; 
Food likes prosperous self to engender Food, and engendering Wealth to protect Food.

The 'against' way is explained below:



Not-benevolent and used in an 'against' way is like

7th Devil likes to be controlled by Food, dreads supports and help from Wealth and Seal; Hurting Officer likes to be controlled by Seal, engendering wealth and transforming itself, 
Yang Ren likes to be controlled by Officer and Devil, dreads the total absence of Officer and Devil, 
Robbing Month likes to be controlled by penetrating Officer, using Wealth and penetrating Food to transform Rob. 

These are the major ways of the concepts of 'follow' and 'against'.

So ZPZQ says the Useful God must be considered from the month's branch, what say other books?

SMTH does not have a particular chapter that discusses Useful God, but in one of its chapters, it is mentioned that Useful God is mostly taken from the month's branch 况用神多取诸月 in Volume 2 - Discussing Year, Month, Day and Hour 论年月日时

SFTK also mentions that Useful God comes from the Month's Decree, there's a poem that teaches how to derive the Useful God from the month Stem in sFTK

As for DTS, the concept of 'Usefulness' is much more complicated.

DTS Chapter 13 writes:


Tao has forms and uses, cannot be discussed from one direction, from support and repress that benefits would be obtained.

体 - Body, form, structure.

用 - Use, capability, ability. 

This is a very profound sentence, the explanation is given by the original annotation below:


There's one that uses DM as the form, the outline (month's branch) as the use.

DM prosperous, the Eating God, Wealth and Officer in the outline all is used by me; DM is weak, the object in the outline that support self and control other gods also can be used by me.

Outline as the form, Favorable God as use. DM cannot use the outline. Food, Hurting, Wealth and Officer are too prosperous, thus Seals and Compares from Year, Month and Hour are taken as Favorable God; In the outline when Seal and Compares are too prosperous, thus take Food, Hurt, Wealth and Officer from Year, Month and hour as Favorable Gods to be used.

These 2 are the correct method in determining 'form' and 'use'

It is also taken the four pillars as 'form' and obscured gods as 'use', must be in the four pillars nothing can be used, thus is it taken obscurely clash or obscurely combine Gods (to be used). 

It is also taken four pillars as 'form', transformation god as 'use', there's a combination god in the four pillars, thus is taken four pillars as 'form' and the transformation god as 'use'

It is also taken the transformation as 'form' and four pillars as 'use', when the transformation is real, the transformation god is regarded as 'form' and four pillars together with the gods that engenders and counters as 'use'

有以四柱为体,岁运为用,有以喜神为体,辅喜神之神为用,所喜之神,不能自用,以为体用辅喜之神。It is also taken the four pillars as 'form', years and luck as use, also with favorable god as 'form' and the gods that assists the favorable god as 'use', the god that is favorable, when cannot be used be self, thus it uses the god that assists the favorable god.

There's also structure as the 'form', DM as the 'use', it is when the Qi image, obscured god, transformation god, dreadful god, guest god all become on body.

If it is a one sided structure or image, nothing is related to DM, or when DM is overly injured or countered, or when DM is overly assisted, and in between we look for 'form' and 'use', and it cannot be found, there's no alternative but to use DM itself to lead and engenders favorable god, to seek out an alternative path of living as use.

There's also DM as use, and use is more than form.

Such as using Food and Wealth, and Wealth, Officer and Eating God are all completely hidden, or when overly revealed, superficial or floating, even though is beautiful but it is excessive.

There's stillness as use and movement as form, and there's movement as use and stillness as form, it is truly the principle of 'form' and 'use'

Such as when the useful god does not move at the prevalent places, and it moves to the luck which supports the form, that is not auspicious.

There's form and use that establish (separately) on their own, both of them are prosperous, equally, and when in the luck cycle they are also equal, they would be separately establish own their own.

There's form and use that are entirely sluggish, like fire and wood are equally prosperous, does not mee with metal and earth so they are entirely sluggish, this cannot be determined from one aspect of the matter.

Use in the concept of 'form' and 'use' is different from the concept of 'use' in useful god, it is now allowable to take the 'use' from the concept of 'form' and 'use' as Yong Shen, and if to ignore this and to look for alternative useful god is also not allowable, as long as the true 'form' and 'use' is thoroughly thought, and from that the important useful god is determined, and 2, 3, 4, 5 places with useful gods, is not good chart, has to modulate its heaviness and lightness, do not use the excessive or insufficient.

The explanation, unfortunately is also very profound (to me), anyway, from bits and pieces that I could understand, it seems like the first two sentences from this excerpt agree to the concept of 'Useful God' in ZPZQ. 

There's one that uses DM as the form, the outline (month's branch) as the use.

This sentence is essentially the traditional ZiPing method. The objects in the month's branch can be taken as the Useful God, depending on which HS protruding and has the most influence in the chart.

DM prosperous, the Eating God, Wealth and Officer in the outline all is used by me; DM is weak, the object in the outline that support self and control other gods also can be used by me.

This describes the concept of 相神 Ministerial God that is taught by ZPZQ. Let's leave this for future discussion.

Other application of 'form' and 'use' concept from DTS have their own uses, and helps to determine the 'Useful God' for miscellaneous structures 杂格.

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