Ten Suns - the Heavenly Stems of Chinese Astrology

The 10 Heavenly Stems are essential knowledge for most schools of traditional Feng Shui. In this article, Dean provides the reader with information on each of the Stems that they can use for their own readings and astrology charts.

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Where do the Heavenly Stems come from?

The Ten Heavenly Stems originate from the deep-rooted history and observation of astronomical theory in China. Each stem was used to record days, months, or a year and these theories were used for fortune-telling including the more modern BaZi Four Pillars astrology.

Historically, the Heavenly Stems were widely used to name each day of a 10-day week. As empires came and went, the Stems were eventually paired with an Earthly Branch to form the 60 Pillars we know and use today for hour, day, month and year cycle calculations.

There are many metaphors and myths used in China, one of which relates to Hou Yi and the 10 Suns who marched in precision across the sky each day to nourish the Earth. One day, they all came out at once and scorched the planet – leading Hou Yi, the Lord Archer to shoot them down one by one. A stolen arrow led to us having only one Sun in the sky.

Just as the birth of the King Monkey myth has been associated with the initiation of human thought, the 10 Suns myth may involve King Yao’s 10 Sons who may have banded together to take over their father’s position with only one remaining to assume the throne.

See a full list of additional Resources at the end of the article.

What are the Representations of the 10 Heavenly Stems?

Chinese astrology Heavenly Stem 1

Yang Wood is likened to a tall tree that is strong, unyielding, and stubborn.

A tree will try its best to grow upwards and keep its branches to the sky, Yang Wood is always aspiring to achieve goals. A person who is Yang Wood will be realistic about his undertakings and will keep their word.

Chinese astrology Heavenly Stem 2

The metaphor for Yi Yin Wood is as grass or a shrub that keeps growing and spreading.

A person with Yi Yin Wood personality is gentle, and can be rational or calm, even when they are angry. This person is observant and open to new ideas and experiences.

Chinese astrology Heavenly Stem 3

A forest fire exhibits an uncontrollable burning characteristic, spreading faster with intensity.

Bing Yang Fire is no exception. Bing will be there for others when in need and to brighten or warm their lives. This is a person who is not willing to give up and is blunt about their intentions.

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Chinese astrology Heavenly Stem 4

Ding Yin Fire is like a fireplace or candle that gives heat, warmth, or light without burning those using it.

A Yin Fire person is emotional and gentle like a candle spark and will warm you up once they get to know you. They are flexible and will be there when you need their assistance.

Chinese astrology Heavenly Stem 5

Wu Yang Earth is likened to a huge and steadfast mountain that won't be easily affected by events.

This is a reliable person who will be there for you whenever in need. Mountains are not easy to move and so they guarantee support and stability in tough situations.

Chinese astrology Heavenly Stem 6

Ji Yin Earth is paired to a rich garden soil that has all the necessary nutrients.

This is a movable and usable person you can count on whenever in need of any kind of assistance. They are reserved and will manage their emotions when confronted by different situations.

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Chinese astrology Heavenly Stem 7

The metaphor for Geng Yang Metal is a strong and sharp sword.

It can help keep the peace because it can cut aggressively without breaking. This is an organized person who has a strong attitude and will do anything possible to excel.

Chinese astrology Heavenly Stem 8

Yin Metal is a precious and gentle individual who equates expensive jewelry that you hold dearly in your closet.

They are not just beautiful, but also shine in whatever they do thanks to their innovative characteristics. Their artistic nature makes it easy for them to use their mind and body to create new things or ideas.

Chinese astrology Heavenly Stem 9

Are you wondering whether you are a Ren Yang Water?

Then you must be like a deep and active ocean that is flexible to different seasons. Yang Water symbolizes an individual who is diplomatic and eager to help others in dealing with certain issues to achieve peaceful resolutions.

Chinese astrology Heavenly Stem 10

Gui Yin Water is compared to a deep and calm lake that is mysterious and distinct from other water bodies.

Yin Water people may seem to know very little but they are deep thinkers and change your life in many ways. They are observant and will speak less focusing ideas of thought that can impact change.

In conclusion:

Learning the 10 Heavenly Stems, their meanings and many of their other hidden attributes is the start of learning and understanding true Chinese Astrology. What you learn here can also cross into the world of Feng Shui.

This is only the tip of the learning iceberg for Four Pillars, or BaZi Chinese Astrology. 

Resources

Here is a list of books, websites, services, courses that we recommend. 

Four Pillars of Destiny: The Ten Gods Handbook is a continuation of a series of Four Pillars of Destiny books by Feng Shui Master, Jerry King. Understanding the Ten Gods is integral to mastering the analysis of the Four Pillars of Destiny charts. The Ten Gods serve as an additional layer of knowledge within Four Pillars practice—helping to unlock the power of understanding natal charts.
In this book, each of the Ten Gods is broken down and described in a detailed and concise manner, along with simplified techniques for identifying the Ten Gods in a natal chart. Examples and case studies demonstrate how the Ten Gods play an important role in a Four Pillars of Destiny chart analysis. Both modern and traditional perspectives of the Ten Gods are explained, accompanied by King’s new translations of Chinese texts. Whether you are new to the subject of Four Pillars, or an advanced practitioner, this book is a must-read.

By international Feng Shui and Four Pillars author and teacher Jerry King.

Losing none of the essential information from the full-sized Ten Thousand Year Calendar, this mini-edition is an indispensable resource for students and practitioners on-the-go. Lugging around big volumes is simply no longer a must, as you can whip this essential reference anytime, anywhere. Handy, informative and convenient – all in your pocket.
Comprehensive references for Feng Shui, Chinese Astrology, and Yi Jing – such as Zi Wei Dou Shu (Purple Star) Astrology Reference Charts, BaZi (Four Pillars of Destiny) Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches.
•Xuan Kong Nine Palace Flying Star Charts for all 9 Periods
•Yearly, Monthly and Daily Flying Stars Charts
•Quick Reference Chart for Advanced Water Feng Shui Formulae

By iconic Feng Shui author Joey Yap.

Everyone has questions about their future, and here is where the art of unlocking the secret of your Chinese birth chart can reveal clear and deep insights about your destiny. In her new book “Secrets of Your Birth Chart”, Lillian Too breaks down the method of reading your own Paht Chee (BaZi) Four Pillars chart into easy-to-follow steps, and reveals in great depth all the influences that will shape the highs and lows of your future. Completely revised and fully-illustrated, this book also includes BRAND NEW chapters to address additional “Secret Stars” and “Clashes and Penalties” not available in any of her previous Paht Chee books!

By world-renowned Feng Shui expert Lillian Too.

This extensive book introduces a procedure to unravel our birth energy, explaining how the 22 codes (characters on the five elements) in the cosmic energy field, affect our life. From the elaborate illustrations on live examples of global celebrities, readers learn and pinpoint the codes enhancing their energy to succeed or causing their misfortune. Following the calendars of such energy flows, reader can then apply the knowledge to steer their lives by following the good flow and avoiding the negative one!

By world-renowned Lunar BaZi experts Lily Chung Ph.D. and Dr. Jin Peh.

Do You Have Resources to Share?

If you’ve found any books, websites, services, courses that you personally love and wouldn’t go without, then drop a comment in below.  

Are YOU a resource in the Feng Shui, Astrology or Wellness industries? Contact Dean if you feel that your idea’s, courses, books or articles would be a good fit for this website. 

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Dean French

With over two decades of practical Feng Shui experience, Dean French is known for his down-to-earth attitude, perceptive observational skills, and his direct and honest communication. Amongst his clients, he has a reputation as an accomplished consultant that has grown through perseverance, professional diligence, conscientious integrity, and the outstanding transformative life shifts they receive.

One Response

  1. Hello Mr French! Thanks so much for writing about the heavenly stems. I’m sorta new in chinese astrology. I just started doing some reading about it. Recently, a friend found out about my new interest in Feng Shui and immediately mentioned your blog. I had been struggling to grasp some concepts but your articles have been making it easy. Also, I was wondering if you could curate some of your work and create a beginner read order. That would really help as many who are new and also provide a clear knowledge pattern that can be built on upwards. I hope this isn’t too much trouble. Thanks a lot.

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One Response

  1. Hello Mr French! Thanks so much for writing about the heavenly stems. I’m sorta new in chinese astrology. I just started doing some reading about it. Recently, a friend found out about my new interest in Feng Shui and immediately mentioned your blog. I had been struggling to grasp some concepts but your articles have been making it easy. Also, I was wondering if you could curate some of your work and create a beginner read order. That would really help as many who are new and also provide a clear knowledge pattern that can be built on upwards. I hope this isn’t too much trouble. Thanks a lot.

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Your email address will not be published.