Can You ‘Change’ Your BaZi & Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart?

Posted On Last updated Sep 4, 2021 | Published on Dec 17, 2017

Hey everyone! I am still very much alive. Busy as always juggling two jobs and burning my weekends most of the time. I hardly have time to write on my blog. I think if there’s anything I enjoy most about this sideline of mine, it’s writing blog posts and sharing my thoughts on this field. Many people have reached out giving me words of encouragement and telling me they enjoy reading my blog and I can’t tell you how much that means to me. I guess people find it refreshing that someone my age is doing this, and what’s more, the views I hold are very contrarian and not what you usually hear from other practitioners or feng shui masters in the field.

I’m going to talk about ‘changing’ your BaZi & Zi Wei Dou Shu chart today. This isn’t going to be a technical post, so don’t worry. The reason why I’ve put inverted commas is because most people have a misconstrued idea of what ‘changing’ one’s chart means. There is no way you can change your BaZi or Zi Wei Dou Shu chart because is it fixed from the moment you are born. You are supposed to transcend it.

I’ve noticed some really interesting patterns in the way people approach metaphysics. Whenever I say that their BaZi chart lacks a certain beneficial element, people will always ask “How do I get more of my beneficial element?” However, when it comes to Zi Wei Dou Shu, no one seems to ask “How do I get that star in my Life Sector (命宮)” perhaps it sounds really silly. People tend to ask how to get a certain element because they’ve been made to believe that the 5 Elements (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, Earth) are really referring to the literal, physical thing and all we need to do is to wear a certain colour associated to an element or have one of these elements nearby. That is a completely wrong understanding of Chinese metaphysics.

There’s a lot I wish to say here: I’ll try to make it organized and I’m going to make this a very candid post to place emphasis on the sheer absurdity of the myths and false beliefs held by most people. Despite the tone, there’s still a very important underlying message, so do read on.

The Myths That You Have Been Made To Believe: Lucky Colours, Feng Shui Items & More

Let’s talk about colours first. You would probably hear each of the 5 elements are associated with a certain colour. Green is for Wood; Red is for Fire; Brown is For Earth. Fair enough – no arguments with that. But does Water look black or blue to you? I mean, it’s transparent. As for Metal, what kind? Gold, silver or copper? How about mercury – is it ‘watery metal’ or ‘metallic water’? The colours that are assigned to these elements are due to cultural reasons way back into the Qin (秦) dynasty for topographical reasons. There’s no magic in the colours. Really guys.. Come on… Does water look black to you? And wood technically should be brown – it’s the leaves that are green.

So, can colours change your life? Not in my opinion. If it could, I would have retired by now. The 5 Elements are an abstract way of describing how energy moves and the cycle of life and death – that’s it.

Some people go as far as to say, if you lack Wood in your BaZi, be near trees and touch grass whenever you can. Okay… So if we go with that logic, when Water is bad for my BaZi chart, do I stop drinking water? And I need Fire in my chart, will my chances of striking the lottery be higher if I pursue a career as a fire eater? Let’s not start imagining the things you have to do with Metal.

Yes, metaphysics is esoteric and mysterious, but behind the shroud, there is still logic and law to it. Most of the things you hear are just abstract representations and ways of expressing these laws. Making sense of metaphysics is tough enough, the least we could do is to not make it sound so ludicrous.

Can Paying For Rituals Change Your BaZi Or Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart?

Most of my clients have done a chart reading before and I’m not the first practitioner they have approached. I know there are people out there offering ‘BaZi changing services’, and for a sum of money (usually in the 5 digits) they can go to a temple and have your BaZi or Zi Wei Dou Shu chart changed into a better one. Now, some questions you might want to ask yourself:

  • Can you change an apple tree into an orange tree? What makes you think you can alter the laws of nature just because some monk prayed for you? Wouldn’t the monk just pray for world peace?
  • What makes you think the gods, deities, Bodhisattvas or Buddhas will accept your ‘bribe’ consisting of some money, and perhaps some apples, bananas or whatever fruit you happened to get from the market, and change your life just like that? Doesn’t it go against the whole point of preaching karma?

I used to be someone who thought all I had to do was pray and be sincere as I offer some of my spare cash and did my ‘fruitful’ offerings, but I soon realized where I went wrong after digging through books on religion and spirituality when I was going through a rough patch. When you head to a temple to pray, you’re supposed to remind for yourself of the teachings and pray for guidance. It’s not some 1-on-1 exchange where “I give you money and fruits and you give me whatever I want” session. 

Only you can help yourself. If you think the above examples, especially the one about the bribing the gods are something a young guy like myself made up – it isn’t. I first came upon this example when I was reading a book on Tao Te Ching (道德經) written by Nan Huai-Chin (南懷瑾)。After you read up on him on the Wikipedia, you’ll know what it might be wise to seriously consider the example he gave, and bear in mind he’s a Buddhist master and scholar who understands Chinese metaphysics extremely well.

Now, do you really think paying someone at some unknown temple to pray for your BaZi to be changed can do you good? Is life that simple? If your answer to this is “no”, the next question to think about is whether a feng shui item can achieve this. If even the gods and deities in the temple can’t change your BaZi, what makes you think a crystal dragon or some random feng shui item can turn your life around?

Then comes the question: “How about Prosperity Live Burials (種生基)? It’s feng shui isn’t it?” Do you seriously want to give your fingernail, blood and clothes and put them in a grave while you’re still alive? Anita Mui did this whole ritual, but she still passed on due to cancer at a young age of 40. Her real-life example is a good enough one to make you seriously question the legitimacy of this whole Prosperity Live Burial ritual. I personally don’t buy this nonsense.

I lost count of the number of clients who shared with me the amount of money they’ve spent on feng shui items and pointless rituals, only to realize nothing has changed in their lives.

So Does This Mean I Can’t Change Anything? My Life’s Bad And I Die?

No! Please don’t think that way. This is not the first I’m writing this, but I keep saying it over and over again, our ancestors would not spend centuries developing this art just to tell us we can’t do anything about it! There are chapters in the BaZi Chinese classics themselves that write about how one’s BaZi chart is meant to be transcended, but yes, I know you’re asking “how the heck do I transcend it then”?

There is no easy way to answer this, but I can only say transcending BaZi and Zi Wei Dou Shu charts is going to be different for everybody.

Sorry, But There Are No Short-Cuts

I think some of my most emotionally charged articles where I touch on such topics are buried deep in the archives. I’ll find time to make them more visible on the website soon. This is really not something new and it’s not the first time I’ve written about it, but it seems like the new clients who come to me didn’t get a chance to read through those articles, so I do try to write refresher articles once in a while.

To put it extremely simply, when I say transcend your BaZi chart, I’m really saying all you have to do is to be self-aware and focus on your own development. Yes, it sounds cliché, but that is really all that’s required of you. There are chapters within the BaZi Chinese classics themselves that emphasize on this, and you can find one in 《三命通會》and it can’t get any more classical than that book. There is also 《了凡四训》(Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons) written by a Ming dynasty Chinese scholar who transcended his chart. I usually try not to write too much about this topic of transcending because I don’t feel like I’m in the position to ‘preach’ about such things as a very flawed human being myself, but when I do write about the topic, it’s really more like a professional duty because of all the lies that are being spread out there.

I’ve always felt that being self-aware starts with being comfortable in asking yourself very tough and uncomfortable questions. Let’s take a few aspects of human life for example and these are the two most talked-about topics:

Wealth & Career

  • Am I really that capable to command a high salary? What does that person with a high salary have that I don’t?
  • Do I have what it takes to start a business? Is my business a feasible and sustainable one and do I have a plan for myself if it ever fails?
  • Do I have a skill that is in demand and monetizable? When was the last time I learned something new?


  • I really want someone to love me, but do I know what it means to love someone first? Do I have that emotional maturity?
  • I really want a good partner, what can I do and how would I have to be to attract someone like that into my life?

These are some of the things I had to ask myself when I was at the lowest point of my life. I definitely do not see myself as someone worthy enough to be preaching such things, but I will say I have been through some pretty tough crap in my life and I wish to share my journey with you. If you stumbled upon this post, and you still have no idea what my background is like, please read through my older blog entries, or go to my personal Facebook page to get an idea. I am completely open with my past and how it led me to this field.

There is nothing wrong asking yourself such questions and nothing demeaning about it. If there’s anyone who should be posing such questions to you, it should be yourself.

There Is Really No Such Thing As ‘Luck’ In Chinese Metaphysics

There’s an old article I wrote on what I feel ‘luck’ really is, or rather, there is no such thing as luck. I argued that the word “luck” is a really bad translation for what we commonly use in Chinese metaphysics, which is 運, because “luck” suggests that we don’t have to do anything and something good will just happen to us. My hope for metaphysics is for people to stop thinking this way. 運 was never about good things happening arbitrarily for no reason. There is always a cause and always an effect. The word 運 already suggests movement or action, which is why terms like 運動,運輸 etc exist. It’s more accurate to see 運 or ‘luck’ as an action, which includes thought, rather than a random arbitrary event. I don’t use the word “luck” in my reports anymore the moment I realized how misleading this word is, and have begun to use “elemental phases” instead just to keep things neutral. If I ever use the word “luck”, it will always come with single inverted commas because this word really doesn’t belong in metaphysics in my opinion.

I am one of the more fortunate people whereby my ‘luck’ takes an upturn when I reach 30, but like I said in my blog entry about this whole debate about “luck” – what if our “luck’ is really about our mindset, attitude and how we engage with the world? We Chinese often like to use the world yun (运) in Chinese metaphysics, but yun and “luck” are not interchangeable. The concept behind it is vastly differently.

I noticed that people with an eventual upturn in their so-called “luck” have a very different mindset with those who will never meet this upturn. BaZi was developed based on nature’s laws, and human life is the natural embodiment and physical manifestation of those laws. Your chart basically tells a practitioner whether you will survive, grow and thrive in the environment you are thrown into, or wither, die and decay like the weaker plants or animals we see in nature. When I look at someone’s chart, I am basically able to tell the mettle of this person, and whether he/she will survive and thrive, or eventually wither off and perish.

Inanimate objects in nature don’t have the luxury of choice, and they just take whatever Mother Nature throws at them. If a tree so happens to be planted in an arid environment with no Water, it will die sooner or later – it can’t grow legs and crawl somewhere else with water. We as humans are not inanimate and we are sentient, so we do and will have a choice eventually. I know it’s unfair to say such things especially when one is born into a really challenging environment and it shapes who they are, but at the end of the day we still have to make the right choices so we can have a better life. I wrote in my article on the differences between a good BaZi chart and a bad one that we can only use our background as an excuse for that long – two people can come from a poor, abusive environment, but yet turn out very differently. That being said, I’m not invalidating the suffering people have to go through.

BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu & Metaphysics Aren’t Everything

Your astrological chart isn’t everything. There is so much more to life than metaphysics and there are mysteries on how the world works that are still unknown to us. Your BaZi and Zi Wei Dou Shu charts do describe the unfolding of your life based on nature’s laws, but the beauty of being human is we have free will and we can influence things. Our charts are meant to be transcended and we are not supposed to be bound by them. It’s not going to be easy transcending your chart, but if you’re not even going to even try, then please don’t ever let anyone hear you complain about your life, especially when they are making the effort to improve theirs. If you were to put a Buddhist spin to this whole debate – we are all here to return some form of debt, so let’s just get on with it and return it, and then focus on living a good life and be happy.

The main message I want to deliver in this post is to stop believing in all the nonsense you see and hear out there. If you want your life to change, you just have to start from within. Of all the things you should do to change your life, believing in all these hogwash is the last thing you should do. In fact, it shouldn’t be in the last position – it shouldn’t even be there. Paying some metaphysics person so that he can pay some monk at a temple isn’t going to help, and neither is erecting a grave for yourself while you’re still alive.

– Sean

Recommended Post: What Does Transcending Your BaZi and Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart Truly Mean?

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Written by Sean Chan

Sean Chan is Asia's leading Chinese metaphysics consultant specializing in BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Qi Men Dun Jia, and Feng Shui. A thought-leader in the field, Sean's been featured on Channel NewsAsia, The New York Times Style Magazine and other local media. He blogs regularly about various topics surrounding Chinese metaphysics and aims to educate the public about the field.

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  1. M0987

    Amazing post, definitely insightful to read. Had my bazi read a week ago and became a bit sad because my luck was apparently running out when I just had a difficult but fulfilling few years. Anyway it’s great to know the original chinese texts (and you so eloquently wrote about) that it can be transcended.

    Thank you

    • Sean Chan

      I’m glad you enjoyed it! BaZi is not everything, so no matter what you hear, always remember it’s in your control. As I always tell my clients: Our ancestors would not have spent centuries developing this field just to tell us we can’t do anything about it. =)


  2. Aung Narong

    This is indeed a good article and I sincerely hope that everyone who is into metaphysics use the information harness to good use and not selectively using it.

    Paying for rituals to change Bazi, I am not sure how many spiritual masters are willing to do that really. However, over the past months, I have come to understanding something that is really interesting, that lead me to your article of transcending Bazi.

    In all our lives, we have built enough Karma, deciding what our akashic records are. It is almost like the date we are born are pre-determined to follow through some sort of events, till one day, you are willing to see it and truly make a change to all your Karma.

    One weakness in Bazi that it is unable to see and forecast an individual, who has a real spiritual intervention that “changes” his Bazi completely.

    Nothing in this world is concrete and everything is Impermanence. However, a change is possible if one person has truly forgo himself and bowed down to the higher spiritual world and truly want to improve his merits and reduce his karma.

    If I do not go hell for you, who will. And let me sacrifice for all the Sentient beings so that the merits can be given to you. – Aung Narong

  3. Ding

    Went for bazi reading and it was quite bad. Master insist I have to change my name. What’s your call in this case

    • Sean Chan

      I won’t be able to comment unless I read your chart too, Ding. Name changes do help, so if you are confident of what the previous practitioner did, by all means you can go ahead.

  4. Sean Moore

    If one was to learn a form of meta physics, is it better to stick to one system?. For example, I’m learning BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Qi Men Dun Jia, and the Feng Shui Gua system, in order to gain a deeper understanding of myself, but instead all I’m getting from all this study is a identity crisis.

    A clear example would be, in Qi Men Dun Jia my Deity/Guardian is Tai Yin (Moon), but in Zi Wei Dou Shu in my Life Palace is Tai Yang (Sun) with a rating of 1/Glitter with a Hua Quan.And they can’t both apply to you, as they are both complete opposites of each other.

    • Sean Chan

      It’s best to just stick with one system. Only move to another method once you’ve reached a certain level of proficiency. You can find parallels across different methods, but what you study from all these different methods is not meant to be an overlap. QMDJ, BaZi and Zi Wei Dou Shu were all developed at very different points in Chinese history and they are independent of each other.

  5. Abigail

    Hi Sean, I actually have been reading your posts for a while, but recently I’m confused when I entered my details into the app chart calculator, because according to the app, I must shift my birth time 65 minutes if I’m born in Singapore and the whole chart turns out differently from what I’ve known this while. Could you kindly advise on this issue? I’m currently using 紫微大師/靈機妙算/詹惟中紫微斗數 and this app 斗數妙算 says I need to adjust my birth timing. Which should I follow in your opinion, thank you so much!

    • Sean Chan

      The app you’re using is correct. Adjustment is required. A lot of the commercialized ‘practitioners’ are too far in to admit that they have been teaching the wrong thing all along.e

  6. Glenda

    Hi, this is an inspiring post. I am a Filipino Chinese from the Philippines. Hope to collaborate with you.

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