Choosing Careers Using BaZi and Chinese Metaphysics – Does It Work?

December 11, 2018

Too Long, Didn’t Read Summary:

  • Career success ultimately depends on the overall quality of your chart – not because a practitioner chose a role for you in your ‘lucky’ industry.
  • Choosing roles and industries using beneficial elements is valid, but there are a lot of nuances that most laypeople can’t appreciate.
  • It’s more important to be interested in something than obsessing about the elements.
  • With a good chart, life will naturally push you in the right direction.
  • An example of someone with a challenging chart who doesn’t ‘get it’ is at the end of the post.

Choosing your career with the help of metaphysics is one of those ‘must-dos’ whenever someone gets a consultation. It’s not a topic I’ve addressed in my blog yet but it’s about time I do so. I lost count of the times someone asked me, “What career is suitable for me?” or “What are my strengths?”

People’s misunderstanding of this field, along with ‘practitioners’ trying to generate content for the sake of it, has led the public to form a somewhat skewed impression of what metaphysics can or cannot do. Or rather, we are not using Chinese metaphysics to its full potential because the approach in modern times is always, “Give me a solution that can solve my problems right now!”

Whatever I say in this post is nothing new per se, and it still boils down to what I’ve always been trying to bring across – which is that your chart is but a reflection of nature’s laws, and it charts your growth as a person. You will always hear me return to this topic and why it’s essential.

I know many comparisons are made between people with good and bad charts, and it’s an uncomfortable topic. Trust me, it makes me uncomfortable too, but it’s still the best way to put things into perspective for the layman and to address misconceptions. I’d always say it’s important to be conscious of the existing dichotomy, no matter how harsh. If you find it hard to accept this, stare at the Yin Yang symbol until you know this will always be reality.

Now, let’s talk about metaphysics’ role in our careers. I hope this post addresses most people’s questions on how metaphysics can be used for such matters.

Career success is perhaps one of the easiest things to see in one’s BaZi.

What Determines Career Success In BaZi?

This is perhaps the most obvious truth and ties in with my post on the Bad BaZi Chart vs Good BaZi chart debate.

Our achievements and how smooth our careers are, at the end of the day, really depend on the quality of our chart. You cannot ‘game’ the chart and expect your life to turn around just because you chose a career supposedly based on your favourable elements. In my opinion, it’s an overly simplistic and linear way of looking at metaphysics and not the application of the theory. You can change jobs all you want, but if you do not change yourself, don’t expect any success to come.

Some people would feel that life is unfair because life gave them a challenging chart, so their careers aren’t going well. Most of us can relate to this feeling; we felt like that at some point. However, I’m sure my regular readers know my philosophy on metaphysics and there comes a point where we need to stop blaming it on life and take some personal responsibility. Continuing to lament on your chart isn’t going to change anything.

Stop thinking that metaphysics is about generating “luck”. This word should have no place in Chinese metaphysics and it’s not the appropriate translation of the word “运”, which we often see in this field. Good things don’t happen to good people arbitrarily or out of pure randomness. I can’t emphasise this enough.

Career Success Is Ultimately Still About Mindset

Perhaps to help put things into perspective: As mentioned, metaphysics is a study of nature’s laws, and you are a product of nature. Like every other natural phenomenon, the growth of something depends on the environment and the innate quality of the subject. When a practitioner looks at your BaZi chart, your natal chart and “Luck Pillars” / Elemental Phases tell us your innate attributes or lack thereof and what you are doing with it. Your natal chart is your innate nature, and your Elemental Phases are like your environment – these two will come together and chart your growth as a human being. I have emphasised this countless times.

People might ask, “But what if we don’t have control of our environment? We can’t choose where we end up and it’s affecting me!” I’d ask you to challenge that assumption. First of all, you have control of your environment and are not an inanimate object, but from my conversations with friends and clients, most of us don’t do anything about it. Life becomes chasing one paycheque after another in hopes of a bigger one coming. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, and if you enjoy it, but all means go ahead.

But if you are unhappy with your career or work environment and are not doing about it, you can’t blame anyone else but yourself.

Be Worthy Of A Good Environment & Company

Many of my clients with the lower quality BaZi charts always hit back with the excuse that they cannot get into a good company and environment, and they blame that for their unfulfilling careers. They don’t understand that they don’t have what it takes to be in such companies and fail to realise that thousands of people are better than them at the job. There is a blatant lack of self-awareness.

The excuse is always, “I need a good environment first because anything can change”, and this whole chicken-and-egg debate arrives again, which is an entirely pointless exercise. A good company will remain good, with or without you. It’s for you to ensure you are at the company’s level and not for the company to stoop to a lower level. In Chinese metaphysics, we always talk about Yin Yang balance and harmony is achieved through balance. One’s relationship with the company is like a Yin Yang balance; if one goes awry, the whole relationship collapses.

Yin and Yang are not always who is better and who is not. Sometimes, it is. But Yin and Yang is ultimately the balance between two phenomena that share a relationship. This applies to all phenomena. If you wish to tap into Chinese metaphysics, believe in this law. Even if you don’t believe in it, it still exists whether you like it or not.

Your Career Life Follows Nature’s Laws

Chinese metaphysics is a study of nature’s laws, and you can be sure your life is a reflection of this too. Let me give you an example.

In one of my earlier blog posts, I mentioned that if you observe an environment where a particular species is thriving (it can be plants or animals), you will notice hardly any weak plants or animals around. A lush landscape of flowers will only allow the more robust plants to survive, and the weak ones become fertilizer. You won’t see a weak plant around for long. If we were talking about animal packs, the weak ones would have already perished and some species even sacrifice these weaker ones for the pack’s sake.

It is not different in real life. It’s either you end up the more vigorous plant or stronger organism, or end up being the fertilizer. It’s just like what we see in nature. I’m not saying all this to demean people having challenges or going through harsh times, just that it is my job as a practitioner to convey what Chinese metaphysics laws mean. It is a very cruel way of describing reality but it is how it is whether you like it or not.

Many of us find ourselves at the mercy of our environment because of competition, and some of us are fighting for survival amid all this competition, fearing that we might ‘perish’. It is the innately strong and healthy ones who will continue to thrive.

How Do I Use BaZi To Help My Career?

I hate sounding like a coach because it’s never muy intention to be one. Don’t ever let BaZi be the focus. Focus on yourself.

Most people are not meant for the Chinese metaphysics field, and the likelihood of someone giving themselves the wrong information using BaZi is very high. It’s not that you can’t use BaZi to choose career options – you can. But without an in-depth understanding of the laws governing astrology and Chinese metaphysics, you likely won’t make a very informed, constructive choice.

For example, an element can represent so many different things. Fire can represent industries like entertainment, oil & gas, food & beverage, to name a few. Suppose you were someone with a BaZi chart that requires Fire; it doesn’t mean you will be suitable for all three of them, and neither do we expect you to switch from oil & gas to food & beverage.

That said, it doesn’t mean we are not able to reach a useful conclusion – we can. But most people don’t know where and how to look, and I do not intend to make this post a technical one which reveals trade secrets.

Perhaps one thing can comfort you, which is that the career you end up in, in a way, is fated. It follows the Chinese metaphysics axiom of 「在天成象 在地成形」。 For an appreciation of what this means, please refer to this blog post:

An element can represent a multitude of things. Identifying its exact form is not an easy task. Let’s take the example of two people who have the same Day Pillar of 丙申 (bing-shen)。One of them can end up in healthcare, whereas the other one ends up a teacher. Why is it that the Day Pillar 丙申 can manifest differently?

A Laundry List Of Career Options Helps No One

Clients are usually given an entire laundry list of career choices and are made to believe that success will follow as long as they choose from that list. I can’t emphasize enough how sloppy this is.

I have a few problems with this practice:

  • The practitioner isn’t offering anything of value. Instead of clearing the misconception or guiding the client in the right way of seeing things by analyzing the chart accurately and objectively, the client is presented with a useless list of career options. It does not take into account the axiom of 「在天成象 在地成形」。
  • You’ll also often see that some of these suggestions conflict. For example, some might say that the tech industry is a Metal industry, whereas some say it’s Fire. So which is it? And does it matter?
  • The root cause is not being addressed, which is the quality of the chart overall.

I realised many of the reports and consultations out there feel more like a superficial lip-service session for the client instead of telling them what’s happening. What’s the point of this?

If you remember reading my blog post on what makes people wealthy, I listed the charts of a few of my successful friends. If we were to apply the popular theory of choosing your industry by the elements, my friends would be considered in the wrong industry, yet, they are incredibly successful. So what’s going on here? There’s no doubt that they are undergoing positive phases and leveraging on their strengths – but the industry they are in really doesn’t matter. Life pushed them towards opening an F&B business, and they committed to the path and are doing exceptionally well now. I’ve met countless successful people who are in industries that are not associated with what popular theory is suggesting. How do you explain that, then?

It’s Not Just About The Daymaster & Useful God

Let’s use some real-life examples that I’ve come across.

The usual thing you’ll hear about Yin Wood Daymasters is that they are suited for the educational field. I’ve met plenty of Yin Wood Daymaster chart-holders before. I’ve met recruiters, accountants, and even a fighter pilot.

The first thing to note is that what you ultimately do has much to do with your life’s story and where it has been pushing you. Another factor people always fail to consider is that the entire chart needs to be deciphered – you cannot just look at the element a chart needs, and neither can you look at one’s Daymaster and jump to conclusions.

You would have never associated Yin Wood with the military, especially if your source of reference has always been the internet or watered-down seminars.

If you don’t mind me using myself as an example: My chart says that I am suitable to be a practitioner, but if someone else had the same chart, would he be a BaZi consultant, too, in this case? Unlikely. He might be in the military or as a business person, just that the way this person conducts himself would be similar and have some parallels.

At the end of the day, Chinese metaphysics is a study of ‘xiang’ (象). Translated loosely, it is the form or the essence of something – its real physical manifestations can be very different. This is why a Heavenly Stem or an Earthly Branch can represent so many different things. Again, where we eventually end up still very much depends on our life story and where life pushes us, which is beyond metaphysics. Yes, the charts can give us hints on some of our strengths and natural inclinations, and we can make a career decision based on that information, but please remember there is more to that.

Fate Will Always Guide A Good Chart

One thing I’ve noticed is this: The people with good, higher-quality charts will naturally be pushed towards an industry or role they are suitable for. As for why this happens, it’s actually pretty common sense and I hope anyone who wishes to tap into BaZi will understand this: People with good charts will always be curious about the world, and they won’t settle for less when it comes to their jobs and career. They do whatever it takes to end up in a job or role they feel passionate about and enjoying doing.

In the unfortunate cases of people with really bad BaZi charts, they simply move from one job to another without having developed any skill or knowledge that makes them relevant in the working world, so the kind of jobs available will be limited. As harsh as this sounds, we know this is true.

Many people end up drifting through life without ever thinking of what brings them joy or sparks their curiosity, only to reach their 40s and wonder why they’ve not achieved much.

Strengths, Preference, & Imposter Syndrome

Most people would wonder what their charts say about their strengths.

It’s true that some people are blessed with abilities that most people don’t have. Some people make exceptional leaders; some have a gift of the gab; some can write well; or it could be someone is exceptionally well-liked.

People with high-quality charts will always have a trait about them which makes them stand out, and this trait they have is a big reason for their succeess.

The harsh truth here is that not everyone is going to have these “strengths”, or you could even call it “special traits”.

Some of my clients will wonder why is it that they can’t find success even though a practitioner has identified his or her strengths for them. Many of them even have the audacity to feel that they are even suffering from imposter syndrome, which is the new favourite word.

I wish to bring everyone back down to Earth and address some harsh truths like I always do.

Image Credit: www.simplypsychology.org

I’d also like to remind everyone that just because you choose a career that supposedly works towards your strengths doesn’t mean success is guaranteed. To put things into perspective, just because you are naturally stronger in something doesn’t mean you are stronger than others. 

You are competing with thousands of others who can do whatever you do, and they might do it better than you. The most blunt way I can put things is this: Perhaps you’re really just not good as others, and this is something that all of us need to have the humility to accept. There will always be someone better than you, and not now, then later.

Perhaps the word “strength” is not the best word to use here because most of us assume that “strength” assumes competitive advantage which will eventually lead us towards success. A more appropriate word to use would be “preferences”.

This “strength” that people want practitioners to identify has no benchmark and it’s only on the own chart-holder’s terms, but if you bring everyone else eyeing that same pie into the picture, your “strength” may suddenly seem very insignificant, and you are the weak one. This is another example of what Yin Yang represents and what it means to say that there is a Yin Yang within a Yin Yang. There is a small universe within a big universe. The big universe is the industry; the small universe is your competition.

You do not exist in a void. You are also not the only person who is able to do what you are able to do, so before you claim or assume that you have some form of “strength”, please be cognisant of your competition and those around you.

It’s really common sense: Two people can be in the same industry and even company, but will you two have the same level of success and failures? Unlikely. The worst thing you can do is to believe that wearing Feng Shui items in the form of jadeite rings and Pi Xiu bracelets are going to do anything for you.

What Is More Important Than Choosing Careers Using BaZi & Astrology

It falls back to the same thing I’ve always said. You absolutely must adopt a growth mindset and always make it a point to grow and stay relevant. You don’t need an astrologer to tell you this – all career coaches and counsellors will tell you the same thing.

Your environment will not hesitate to leave you behind if you choose to be the one that is stagnant and declining. This is the one thing separating people with good BaZi or Zi Wei Dou Shu charts from bad ones. Our charts are not a description of “luck” or random arbitrary events – our charts represent our growth just like everything else you see in nature.

Now, I’m not saying all of us must turn into overly competitive, self-centred people (which some unwise people eventually become). The best environment is where the species thrive together in a safe ecosystem. What I’m saying is, at the end of the day, if you want your career to go well, it’s entirely up to you and your resourcefulness and capabilities.

To be fair, there will be time when the environment gets so toxic that it gets to us, but please remember we are humans and have free will. We can still ultimately choose the environment we want to end up in, but of course, you must have what it takes to get there and then continue to survive in a better environment. If not, you’ll end up like that weak plant or organism that eventually loses to competition and perishes. Everyone wants that better-paying job at a better company, but many fail to ask themselves if they are even ready for bigger roles requiring a lot more.

There are times when a client with an extremely good natal chart comes to me asking for career advice, and the chart clearly states that the client is in a bad phase and the problems have been triggered. I’m not worried about cases like these because I know that they will be able to find someone better with ease, and they will continue to thrive. The rough patch they go through will pass just like how seasons pass. It helps to have a strong natal chart because it’s your core as a person, after all, and your natal chart does determine how well you can cope with the tougher phases.

If your natal chart is a challenging one, you’d be at the mercy of your Elemental Phases. Expect your mettle to be tested when you hit a negative phase, but what’s important here is one’s reaction to it. You’ll see a lot of differences in the way a Category 1 person handles his or her life as opposed to a Category 4 person.

There Is No Point Looking At Roles Or Industries When The Foundation Is Weak

I think people know by now that I detest toxic mindsets, and I do have run-ins with clients at times when they don’t seem to ‘get it’. There is no point in getting a practitioner to propose a list of roles and industries you can consider when the foundation isn’t there. When I say foundation, it refers to the intangibles like your character, intelligence, whether you can work well with people etc – basically, things that make someone successful.

As mentioned in the above section, at the end of the day, the overall chart quality still matters. There’s no point going into specific industries and whatnot if the chart has problems.

The people who usually have a major screw-up in their lives are the ones who try to make use of Chinese metaphysical concepts without understanding them. It’s better spending your time asking better, more constructive questions like:

  • What is it that I am interested in and passionate about?
  • Am I committed to being the best at what I do?
  • Do I have the patience, commitment to acquire the knowledge and skills to do well?
  • Am I ready to be patient and understand that success will take time?

Because if there’s anything I realised from my time giving consultations and observing people, it’s that the people with the best charts are constantly asking themselves constructive questions like these. People with good charts are naturally able to develop themselves to a point where they naturally know where their strengths are – they don’t need someone to tell them such things because they are very self-actualised people.

I mentioned this in one of my ancient posts: If you’ve gone through the Chinese classics on BaZi, you’ll often see examples of how your Daymaster needs to be ‘forged’ for its value to manifest. In order for it to be ‘forged’, it must be strong enough to withstand the process. The value of Metal is brought out by what ‘harms’ it, which is Fire. Likewise, the value of Wood is brought out by Metal. “Harm” is not the best word to use here. We use the word ‘ke‘ (克) in Chinese when two elements clash, but 克 isn’t always a bad thing and it can be very positive in fact.

If this were to translate into real life, it simply means that the people with the challenging charts and lives are those who either stop, or don’t know how to grow. Trials and challenges make them weaker, not wiser.

If You Have A Good Chart, Things Will Fall Into Place Naturally For You

This might feel as though I’m generalising things a bit too much. When one has a good chart, things really just fall into place for them – and for good reason. It doesn’t matter which industry or role is tied to which element.

I’ve argued time and again it’s not about “luck” because this word suggests not having to do anything and good things will happen. The people with the good charts have successful, happy lives not because they are “lucky”, but because they embody what makes one successful. These are the people who have a very clear idea of what they wish to do with their lives and what they wish to achieve, and they have a focus and something they enjoy doing. Career success is only natural.

I’m sure most would agree that if someone is in their 30s or 40s, and has yet to figure out their interests, passions or strengths, then it’s not about which industries are associated with whatever elements anymore.

There is a lot more to assessing someone’s overall success other than just looking at what elements are associated with which industries. To be honest, I’m not even sure if this theory stands because it’s not how I view metaphysics.

Now, for a bit of harsh reality.

No One Can Help You If You Don’t ‘Get It’ 

You will never, ever be able to benefit from Chinese metaphysics if you are out of touch with reality. Chinese metaphysics is the study of reality. It is called “Chinese cosmology” for a reason. So how can one benefit from it when being so oblivious?

I know it sounds harsh and perhaps politically incorrect, but if someone were to not ‘get it’, there’s not much anyone can do for this person. I’m sure we all have that one self-destructive friend whom we feel we can’t get to no matter how we explain things, and their lives just gradually spiral out of control. It takes a traumatic event for them to get a chance to shift their perspective, hopefully for the better.

I’ve said this countless times: I don’t want anyone to see practitioners as people who can turn people’s lives around. At the end of the day, the change still comes from the chart-holder. Practitioners are normal human beings who just happen to have a special knowledge set that helps put things into perspective, and perspective, sometimes, is everything.

I recently had a case that infuriated me and it’s been a while since I’ve encountered a toxic client. Everyone knows that when you fill up the application form for a consultation, you’ll receive a really long email telling you how to prepare for a consultation. Not only did this client not bother to read the email out of pure laziness, but when I told this client to go through my blog when he has time, this client obviously just skimmed through it for the sake of it without any introspection whatsoever. I was just told to give a solution.

Let me give you a very good example of why I said people with bad BaZi charts fail because of who they are. It’s not about whether they are in the right role or industry. I personally find it unacceptable that someone seven years older than me can still operate this way:

A bit of context: This client went to another ‘practitioner’ who very confidently declared that he is suitable for business, and he eventually started one. The business didn’t do well and the client suffered losses. The analysis he was given was completely wrong. Like how people make bad decisions listening to annual zodiac forecasts, which are complete utter nonsense, this client made the wrong decision, and his life and career were thrown way off course.

This client also bought one of the items that were supposed to bring good luck but I guess the ‘practitioner’ who sold it forgot to charge it with his spiritual energy but did so for the friend (sarcasm intended).

This also is one of the perfect examples of why I’m against zodiac forecasts because people really do end up making the wrong decisions due to what practitioners say. The nature of our ‘job’ makes it such people are extremely receptive to what we say.

Again, it’s not about your “luck”. The word “luck” should never be associate with metaphysics. It’s not that this client was unlucky – he thought too highly of himself and went into business, thinking it would make him rich and make his life comfortable. He failed to ask himself exactly what he had to offer and what problem he was trying to solve. What he did was not enterprising – it’s being an escapist while lacking common sense. Do not be that idiot who believes that jadeite rings or Pi Xiu bracelets can change your life.

I apologise that I include screenshots of my conversations on my blog sometimes. I know some readers are uncomfortable with it and are surprised that I do it, but I’ll always make it a point to cover up the names, even those of practitioners I disagree with. It should be rather clear who I don’t agree with by now – I don’t have to name them.

When I say your natal chart and the phases is go through are really about your mindset, this is the perfect example of it. The kind of questions you ask yourself or others say a lot about your character. I ever had one client who asked me “Do I need to work hard to be rich?” and didn’t seem to understand that everyone needs to work hard to be wealthy. The above is a case of a Category 4 chart, but I took up the case because technically, there’s supposed to be an upturn, although it’s going to take a while before this client starts to truly grow as a person despite almost being 40.

Just to be clear (again), especially for the new readers: I don’t put up a different front when I conduct my consultations. How I am during consultations is how I am in real life and how I am with my friends, although if anyone were to have toxic mindsets, they wouldn’t be my friend in the first place. I am very harsh on my friends when they come to me for advice, which is no different from how I speak to clients. I know I’m a service provider but my job here is not to give clients a Singapore Airlines Suites Class flight experience. If the client is nice, I will go out of my way to make sure this client gets the most out of the consultation. If the client is toxic, expect the tone to change. If you are a toxic person who doesn’t know how to think for yourself, it’s best not to come to me because you would be wasting our time.

I speak my mind, so if the tonality of my texts in the screenshots above surprises you, welcome to my blog. Would you rather tell people the right thing in hopes that they can change for the better? Or tell them they must get a Citibank credit card because their lucky colour is blue?

Stop thinking that items and charms can magically change your life – only people with the lowest quality charts will think this way. 

Before I end: I’ve been getting a lot of questions on whether someone’s chart is their karma. In a way, it is. It’s the chart we are born with, after all. But for someone like myself to dismiss all these discussions and misconceptions by declaring metaphysics as “it’s your karma” isn’t exactly the best way to deal with things or address people’s concerns.

Yes, we all have our karma and are meant to go through certain things. The reason why I write about these topics is so that people can understand what it is that can make the quality of our lives so different. What is it that we are ‘not getting’, or what is it that gives someone such an enviable life but we don’t? What can make some people thrive despite all the difficulties, whereas some people crumble?

When our ancestors developed the field of metaphysics, they didn’t go into it with the mindset of “Hey man, it’s your karma, too bad! Life sucks too bad!” to put it in an oddly crude way. You’ll definitely see the Chinese classics talk about karma (因果) and how metaphysics describes a manifestation of it. Our ancestors sought to understand these laws to improve people’s lives. It’s important to accept the charts we have because acceptance has to come first before real, lasting change can.

But using jadeite rings and crystal statues and claiming you can work less for more? Oh god… Don’t get me started.

– Sean


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