Please refer to the 100 years lunar calendar at the end of this book to determine
your heavenly stem element and your earthly branch animal sign.
The Chinese calendar is made up of 60 year cycles that are differentiated according
to heavenly stems and earthly branches. There are ten stems and twelve branches.
In the 60 year cycle the stems comprise the 5 elements with a yin or a yang aspect
(hence 5x2=10 stems). The 12 stems refer to the animal signs. The system of stems
and branches comprehensively symbolizes the interaction between heaven and earthly
forces and they are supposed to both reflect and determine the destiny of mankind.
Thus all divination and fortune telling methods ultimately rely on the correct interpretations
of the personal stems and branches of any individual. These stems and branches can
also be used to personalize the feng shui of any individual.
Every person has their own stems and branches and this can be determined from the
100 years calendar given at the back of the book. Use the calendar and check against
your western date of birth. The calendar at the back of the book is a simplified
calendar. it does not enable you to calculate your Eight characters since that requires
also the time and day of your birth as well. However, for the purpose of using the
stems and branches to practice symbolic feng shui, those calculations are not necessary.
All you require is to determine.
The element of your heavenly stem in your year of birth.
The animal sign (and its corresponding element) of your year of birth. This will
be your earthly branch from which you will be able to select symbols that are auspicious
for you, and you will also be able to identify the specific location in the home
to place these symbols.
It is useful to learn how to take compass directions from the center of the house.
Mark out the compass sector that corresponds to your animal sign to the exact degree.
Each animal sign is said to occupy 30 degrees of the compass, total of 360 degrees.
Learn to mark out the sector that represents your animal sign in your house. If
you do not know how to read a compass get someone to teach you before attempting
to do it yourself. Invest in a good compass. Any western style compass is fine.
Do not flip or reverse directions when applying.