What Does Transcending Your BaZi & Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart Mean?

Transcend BaZi Chart

Posted On Last updated May 16, 2020 | Published on Sep 26, 2018

Hey everyone!

It seems like year 2018 is not done with me yet. Yes, I’m still rather busy from balancing the various aspects of my life. Just as some trivia: I know most people would think I’d use my knowledge in metaphysics mostly in my career and financial goals, but that’s not exactly true. Every aspect of my life is important to me, and it’s important to appreciate how one aspect of your life impacts the other and how everything in interlinked. It would be unwise to just focus on one area of your life and neglect others. With this, it brings me to the topic I wish to discuss in this blog entry.

My readers and clients would always hear me advocating transcending your chart and not being bound by it. Life would be practically meaningless if everything was predestined wouldn’t it? I’m sure we can all agree that we wish to do better than what our chart suggests, which naturally includes avoiding the negative things that a practitioner can identify in a one’s chart.

All these being said, what does “transcending your chart” really mean? The straightforward and perhaps superficial answer would be what I just mentioned, which is that you are no longer bound by what your chart says about your life, and a practitioner will not be able to get the correct deductions from your chart. A practitioner can only accurate if the chart-holder has been operating on ‘auto-pilot’ and nothing has been done to alter the course of what’s written in the chart. It’s safe to assume the majority of the people are on ‘auto-pilot’ because that’s just being human, so don’t get overly anxious about whether you are one of the few who can’t escape the grasp of laws of metaphysics.

Please remember metaphysics, be it BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu or even Qi Men Dun Jia is not about predestination. I lost count of the number of times I’ve said this, but our ancestors would not have spent centuries developing this field just to tell us with can’t do anything about our lives and that everything is ‘fixed’. This is one of the biggest misconceptions one can have of metaphysics and also the most dangerous one. Perhaps the only thing they didn’t mention is just how hard it is to change things.

I’ve not mentioned this book for a long time now, but for those who haven’t, please Google up on a book called ‘Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons’ or 了凡四訓 which is a book written by a real person during the Ming Dynasty around 1550 which tackles this challenge on how to transcend your chart. All you need to know about transcending charts is in that really old book, but I’ll try to address it in a more modern context with this entry.

My interpretation of transcending your chart has always been to simply to always cultivate yourself and grow. We called it the “Growth Mindset” in modern times. Sometimes, it’s also about making the right decisions no matter how tough or unconventional it seems, or learning how to react the right way. It’s really different for everyone and I hope this blog post clarifies a few things. I know it all sounds very cliche and perhaps very simple, but because we are human after all, the execution will, of course, not be as straightforward as it sounds.

Now, let me pen down some of my thoughts regarding this subject:

Transcending Your BaZi Chart Was Never Meant To Be Easy

Transcending your chart is never an easy thing to do. It’s easy to talk about it or entertain the thought of it, but to really get down to doing it is a monumental task. I dare say 99% of my clients, and even the general population will not be able to achieve this in their lifetime.

Self-awareness is the first step of course, but it’s just the first step. After self-awareness comes control, and after control comes forming a habit so that the change is permanent. I know the modern day motivational quotes that you see about your attitude, mindset and forming habits these days are very cliché but they are definitely relevant, so don’t dismiss them just yet.

The reason why I’m particularly passionate about this topic of transcending your chart is because of the pure ridiculousness of what some practitioners out there are advocating with their necklaces, rings and whatever it is they are selling which I am very against and I feel it’s something that needs to be addressed. For those who still think that colours and items can change your life, please try to think critically. I’ve blogged about this many times and I’d encourage you to go through these posts when you can:

The Whole Debate About Colours, Feng Shui & ‘Good Luck’

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

If lucky colours and items can change your life, I’m pretty the Zen monk who taught Liao Fan how to transcend his chart would have mentioned it instead of asking him to do it via the tougher and longer route through self-cultivation and personal growth.

Transcending One’s BaZi Chart Is Different For Everyone

The act of transcending your chart is different for everyone.

For some people, it might be to learn to choose a good partner. The reason why someone might end up with a toxic partner is perhaps due to the environment they grew up in and their parents never demonstrated what having a healthy relationship is like. I can’t tell you how prevalent this is and how much our childhoods can affect us.

For others, it may simply be working harder and having some form of direction in his or her life. You’ll be surprised at the number of people who don’t know what they really wish to do with their lives, and they are in their jobs simply because it pays the bills. It’s important to find out what you feel your gift to the world is or to be part of an organization that’s truly contributing to the world with a particular service or product. I am still very much part of the corporate world, so trust me when I say I know what everyone is going through. I certainly wish to progress in my corporate job as well and I would want to be aligned with the company’s values and principles.

Most people interpret transcending your chart as charging towards your goals with extreme gusto, but what I’ve experienced from my clients and my own life as well proves that this isn’t the best way to do it. Yes, passion and enthusiasm are important, but like I always say – if you lose that balance in your approach to things, you will get into trouble.

Perhaps the best way for me to put this is that transcending charts doesn’t mean to have your desires fulfilled. I lost count at the number of times I’ve encountered a client who rushed into business with all the zest in the world, only to have their lives completely turned upside down. Transcending your chart also means accepting your limitations so that you don’t get into unnecessary trouble or risk putting yourself in dire straits.

As a practitioner, I’ve always thought about what transcending my own chart would mean and whether or not I would have been able to achieve this when I was younger. My opinion is that transcending your chart when you’re still young and impressionable is a lot harder, if not impossible. When you’re at such a tender age, you are at the mercy of your environment and at times the people who gave birth to you. My greatest challenge during my younger years was being in a toxic family environment with abusive parents, and to transcend my chart would mean to have to sever ties with my parents which was just not possible at that stage in my life. I did not have the financial means and I wasn’t even old enough to make sense of what was happening to me and how the world works. As an example: In my case, transcending my chart comes in a more extreme form that requires me to go against some Asian values.

This is one part of my chart that I was not able to transcend – but do I regret it? Of course not.

What Happens If You Didn’t Manage To Transcend Your BaZi or Zi Wei Dou Shu Chart?

I always say this to my clients: Everything valuable in nature has to go through some form of forging process first. It’s the strongest Metal that gets forged by Fire into the sharpest weapon; the strongest Wood will withstand the cold of winter and heat of summer to continue growing. If you have not read my post on how to read your BaZi chart in a holistic manner, I would encourage you to do so.

If you are like me, and you regret a certain period or part of your life that you were not able to transcend – I’d say you shouldn’t be too hard on yourself and focus on what I said in the above paragraph. Take those experiences and lessons and become better. How you define “better” is up to you. I made a mistake of overcompensating for some of my flaws in the past and it did not turn out too well, so just remember that everything needs to be approached with balance.

If you’d ask me why I don’t I regret going through all the things I did. The answer is simple and you’ve probably heard the statement I’m about to make from somewhere else: It made me who I am today and I would say it contributed to my success today, however I define it.

What I’m trying to say here is: Just focus on the present and move forward. The past really doesn’t matter anymore.

The Kind Of People Who DON’T Need Chinese Metaphysics To Do Well

I’m sure everyone agrees that people only turn to metaphysics when something isn’t quite going right. The people who are doing well or have good lives are busy enjoying their lives. No one ever comes to me and says “Hey! My life is awesome and I want to do a BaZi reading!”

There was an epic blog post that I insist my clients read before the consultation starts, which is this one: What Is The Difference Between A Good BaZi Chart And Bad One? I guess why this blog post is well-received and perhaps more riveting is because it gets people thinking which category they end up in and whether they are toxic people.

At the end of the freaking day, and I’ve said this a thousand times, your BaZi chart is a description of who you are and how you develop. The people with the lives you envy are there not because they are lucky, but because they deserve it. Most people who counter my argument by saying things like “But they have a better background” or “They are luckier.” or “They have better parents.”

There is always some form of excuse or the fault is always on someone else.

My counter-argument to this would be to look at the people who had a worse start than us but yet have become so much more successful and happy with their lives. Look at Jack Ma, Oprah Winfrey or any role model out there. They had crappier, more challenging lives than any of us, but just look at where they are with their lives now. I’m sure you would agree with me when I say they did not simply sit on their lazy butts somewhere and became a billionaire without doing anything. Rain or shine, people like that are still learning and growing every day. Think about all the times these successful people were rejected, abused, harmed but turned it into their strength and did something with it. And trust me, Jack Ma and Oprah Winfrey didn’t use any lucky colours or feng shui items.

I can tell you with absolute certainty that the worst BaZi charts I’ve seen are those who adamantly believe in colours and lucky charms and they don’t realize they are the real problem.

Be that someone who doesn’t need metaphysics to do well.

Of course, and this goes without saying, don’t be a toxic person. You don’t need a BaZi practitioner to tell you that toxic people will never do well.

The Group Who Will Never Be Able To Transcend Their BaZi Charts

This paragraph is going to sound a bit morbid, but I don’t want anything to mistaken my intention. What I’m sharing here is what I observed and the insights I’ve got when I went through my own tough periods. I honestly hate talking about myself on my blog as it feels weird, so do forgive me if some parts come across as a bit self-centred.

I’m going to put this out there and say that there will always be a group of people who will never transcend their charts. To some people: To have that realization that they are not as good as they think, or that they have wasted a huge part of their lives is far too much pain to accept. No one wants to feel like they are not good enough, and neither does anyone want to feel that their life has been a joke. What happens here is that they would be stuck in their mental state as a safety measure which is a term we call “Ego Preservation“.

Reality sometimes can be too hard for the mind to accept, and some people stay ‘stuck’ in a particular way of operating. To tell yourself you have issues or life isn’t what isn’t what it seems to require an exceptional level of courage and humility.

I once heard of a story on how monks ‘curse’ people when they get angry but aren’t allowed to show it. They would say “May you reach enlightenment in a day.” Because they know that the human mind and spirit would not be able to take such a big blow to the ego and the person will likely have a mental breakdown. To come to a sudden realization of all your inadequacies and your past wrongdoings is akin to going through hell. The pain of acknowledging something is wrong with yourself and your life is just too great, and the daily grind and denial seems to be the easier way. I’ve definitely experienced moments like this and I believe so has everyone else at some point – it may appear in the form of a nasty break-up, loss of a loved one or a devastating mistake you made. It’s an emotion we all fear.

It often feels safer for one to be in denial and keep things the way it is, rather than to accept that there is something wrong and that your reality isn’t what it seems to be. Some people eventually snap out of this and truly start to grow, but there will be a group that sinks even deeper with each setback. The more they go through, the more toxic they become. This is also precisely the reason why I pick and filter my clients, because not everyone is ready to hear, at least from a theoretical perspective, that their life just isn’t what they expected it to be and not everything is ready to change.

I grew up being exposed to what pure evil looks, or at least what lack of self-awareness feels like – unfortunately through the people who were supposed to show me what kindness and love felt like. The woman who gave birth to me (I feel weird using the word “mother”) is still the typical example of someone with narcissistic personality disorder constantly harassing me and wishing that I fail and suffer. It has been 32 years, but has anything changed? No. She’s still the same after all these years and it’s a typical example of someone who falls under a Category 4 BaZi chart with a bad natal chart along with bad elemental phases.

Have I met clients who are like that? Of course I have. Do I think they will transcend their charts? I hate to say this, but I honestly don’t think they will. You just have to read the news to know that people like this do exist. Don’t be one of them.

Transcending Your BaZi Chart Means Knowing Everything Is Interlinked

The worst way to live life is to live it in an imbalanced way. Transcending your chart sometimes involves some twists and turns.

What most people don’t understand about metaphysics is that everything is interlinked and this is something that’s not appreciated enough. What this means is that if any aspect of your life goes down, it will drag other areas down as well. This is part of metaphysics theory itself and not something I made up. There is something we call 三方四正 in Zi Wei Dou Shu, and it’s also the reason why one ‘god’ in your BaZi chart can represent multiple things – like how the wealth element represent both a man’s wealth and wife. There is a reason for this.

Not doing well at work? Well, how’s your health? Do you feel motivated every day or are you the type that can’t wait to go back to sleep. Do you end up staying up all night watching YouTube? More importantly, how’s your marriage? All these things matter.

There is a really old blog post which doesn’t get enough attention, which is this one: Why Your Wealth, Success and Marriage Are Interconnected?

Metaphysics is really wisdom of living. Let me explain it in the most straightforward way possible:

  • Someone who is successful at work will know what they are working for. Their family. The wife and children and their center and their motivation, and they will, of course, work hard to make sure everything is well for them. There is a kind of drive and motivation that you cannot explain when you know you have loved ones to take care of.
  • Let’s also be open enough to admit this: How well you do in your life will determine what kind of partner you attract. This, in turn, will also determine how well you do in other areas of your life because of the profound impact our life partners can have on us. It’s a bit of a feedback loop and a chicken-and-egg situation, but the bottom line is, both of you need to get your act together before a marriage can work and both your lives are uplifted.
  • As an example: When you are happy and materially comfortable, you can take better care of yourself and your health will be better as well which you can then put that energy into the above two points.
  • Since we mentioned health, it’s also important to remember the obvious: To be able to do anything, you need to be in good health. Health should not come in last of course.

What I’m saying to say here is that a balanced life is one which creates a virtuous feedback loop so that all areas of your life are doing well. It’s really not rocket science, just that we are living in such a fast paced world that we perhaps forget to slow down and ruminate on such topics.

I have a lot of friends who are doing well in their careers, but their love lives are a huge mess. There will also be a group where marriage is doing well, but it is under strain due to financial issues. There is another group where both finances and marriage are doing well, but they don’t have the health to enjoy it.

Don’t just mindlessly pursue one aspect of your life and ignore the others. Application of metaphysics was never meant to be like this and you would be extremely foolish to think so. If you think all lawyers, investment bankers, or politicians have top-notch charts – trust me, they don’t.

True progress comes when everything is balanced.

Remember To ALWAYS Ground Yourself In Reality

Learning metaphysics has made me even more of a realist than I already was before I went into this field. There will be good people; there will be bad people who will eventually turn good vice versa; there will also be people who will always be bad.  There will always be opposite ends of the spectrum to everything – wealth, intelligence, happiness. You name it. That’s just how the world is and I always felt there is some wisdom in accepting that the world will always have such duality and it’s precisely what the Yin Yang symbol represents.

I’ve stated many times that I don’t like doing things the way some practitioners are doing now, making everything seem so happy-go-lucky and that one can get rich or whatever you want as long as you learn what your BaZi is like. This is an imbalanced approach, and an imbalanced approach is a dangerous one. I would go as far as to argue that BaZi is the last thing you should look at if you wish to change your life. Let self-awareness and personal cultivation be the first step, and metaphysics as the supplement.

You will see a lot of people marketing metaphysics as an art that can help you get the perfect job or gain wealth easily. I’m telling you now that this is the absolute worst way you can apply metaphysics. If someone is lazy and doesn’t have any skills or knowledge he or she can make use of, and yet expects wealth, the right thing to do is to tell the person to wake up and stop day-dreaming.

If your natal chart is challenging, and the first 40 years of your life saw you encountering negative 10-year phases (大運) as well, you shouldn’t expect your life to turn around just because you attended a BaZi or metaphysics course. Every 10-year phase is interconnected, and if one didn’t manage to build a strong foundation in one’s earlier years, rebuilding it will definitely take time. How you spend your time and how you deal with your problems while you are undergoing these negative 10-year phases matter a lot too. This is exactly why I wrote about how to read your BaZi chart holistically because you need to take the previous phases and what you’ve been through into account as well.

Just because you got a BaZi or Zi Wei Dou Shu reading done does not mean you will definitely be able to transcend your chart. It’s not as simple as going “OK, this year I need to take note of this, and everything will be OK”. Fine, it might work for the smaller matters, but for the bigger issues, this haphazard method isn’t going to cut it. Transcending your chart takes months and even years of preparation.

Remember metaphysics is about a study of cause-and-effect. Every action, and even every thought counts.

I wish to remind everyone that all these things I blog about are the product of what I’ve reflected on and how my life has panned out so far. Each transition into a new 10-year phase, to being in my worst 10-year phase and finally moving into my positive phase and experience an upturn. I can remember everything that I went through and the voice in my head as I went through them, and how different of a person I was as I move into each new 10-year phase regardless of whether it was a positive or negative one. Yes, your 10-year phases can represent your environment but remember it also represents your mindset and that’s the important part. Think back to the people who are in similar negative environments, but yet can turn out so different – you can’t always blame the environment, can you?

Don’t let me or any practitioner out there define what transcending your chart means for you. Everyone’s life is different. The only thing I can say is that if there is something you are unhappy with, see what you can do about it but bear in mind doing something doesn’t always mean taking an action per se – it can also mean to let go and having the courage to accept things the way it is, and the paradox here is that it may be through acceptance that the actual change starts. Sometimes it even means breaking the beliefs you’ve held on to for your entire life.

– Sean

Wish to get a consultation but have a question? Get in touch:

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. Chad

    Thank you for your Insight. It helped me with my questions about destiny and free will. I agree, knowing the path is different than taking the path. It all boils down to what we do and having a positive outlook in life’s journey.

  2. bulan

    Dear Sean,

    Thank you very much for informing about the book, “Liao-Fan’s Four Lessons”.

    I will read it and learn from it.

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