The Stems, The Branches and The Hidden Stems

As we all know a Bazi chart comprises of 4 pillars.  Each pillar is derived from the Year, Month, Day and Hour of birth respectively.  And each pillar consists of Heavenly Stem, Earthly Branch and Hidden Stem as follows:-

So what are these Heavenly Stem, Earthly Branch and Hidden Stem represent?

The 10 Heavenly Stems (The Stems)

Based on the five elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water; and their Yin Yang factor comes the 10 Heavenly Stems of:-

Jia (Yang Wood-Tree) and Yi (Yin Wood-Flower)

Bing (Yang Fire-Sun) and Ding (Yin Fire-Candle Flame)

Wu (Yang Earth-Mountain) and Ji (Yin Earth-Soil)

Geng (Yang Metal-Iron) and Xin (Yin Metal-Gold)

Ren (Yang Water-Sea) and Gui (Yin Water-Rain)

The Stems represent the external perceptions of a person in life.  They are what the person project for people to see – his character, outlook, matters, events and relationships that are obvious.  Or you may call what “Heaven” gives to a person.  And it looks real to the outside world.  It is like a packaging, what people see on the outside and provides us a glimpse of what’s inside too.  The reality is, what’s outside (appearance) may not be exactly what’s inside (the real you).  Stems represent appearances and surface outlook.  It can also represent opportunities available.  A person may look, say, wealthy or hardworking, but is he really?  For example, there is a wealth element on the Stem but if that element is not rooted (meaning there is no wealth element in the Branches) or it is not supported by output element, he may look rich but in reality he is not.  At the best scenario, there is wealth opportunities for him but whether he makes it, is another story.

This is what the Stems have to say about themselves:

“We are the Heavenly Stems because we are the Qi from Heaven.  We are your Good, your Bad and your Ugly. We can make you rich and wealthy instantly.  And we can also destroy your entire life.  We are your events, your outcomes and the successes and failures in life.  We demonstrate to the world your life, and we make it obvious to others when the time is right.  We are different from the Branches because we are not concern about your feelings.  You cannot hide us but you can only control us by understanding our strengths and weaknesses.”  [Extracted from the book “The Correct Way Of Understanding A Person’s Destiny” by Benson Yeo].

The 12 Earthly Branches (The Branches)

The 12 branches are represented by the animal sign of:

Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon

Snake, Horse, Goat

Monkey, Rooster, Dog

Pig, Rat, Ox

The Branches represent a person’s feelings, thoughts and intentions.  Since feelings and thoughts are kept inside a person, they are not obvious for people to see, and most of the time people are not aware of them.  But they are very real because Branches are our body and whatever that are inside us.  Branches also represent our character and our inner drives as well.  Every thought and feeling can be with a good or bad intention.  Since Branches are in hiding, nobody notices it until such time when they are revealed in life such as during the Luck Pillar or Annual Pillar.  Let us take the wealth element as an example again.  If the wealth element is located at the Branch and none is found on the Stem, it can imply that this person has wealth but is not apparent for people to see because he does not flaunt it since it is in hiding.

This is what the Branches have to say about themselves:

“We are your feeling and we are your hidden secrets.  We take orders from Heaven (Stems).  We are the creator of your character.  We represent your house, your body, your potential illness and your hidden agenda.  We are in hiding and when we receive orders from Heaven, your secrets will be revealed.  We prefer to be still but sometimes moving or clashing us is a good sign.  We can give you a sudden shock of surprise when we are being clashed or combined.  Your feelings of happiness and sadness will largely depend on us because we can control it.  If you can understand us, you can manage your feelings and be well prepared.”  [Extracted from the book “The Correct Way Of Understanding A Person’s Destiny” by Benson Yeo].

The 28 Hidden Stems

Below the Earthly Branches are the Hidden Stems.  Inside each Branch, there are either 1 to 3 Hidden Stems.  With 12 Branches, comes 28 Hidden Stems.  Hidden Stems are basically Heavenly Stems hiding inside the Branches, so people are obviously not aware of them.  They represent a person’s hidden potential or disaster.  Hidden Stems are your hidden agenda, your potentials, your relationships and your secrets.  When the Hidden Stems are revealed (meaning it appears on the Stem) during the Luck Pillar or Annual Pillar, then it becomes apparent for all to see.  It can be good or it can be bad, depending on whether the elements revealed are favorable to you or otherwise.

This is what the Hidden Stems have to say about themselves:

“We are the hidden secrets from the Heavenly Stems and were kept inside the earth.  We are the one who made up the connection between heaven and earth.  We are the link to make your secrets, feelings and hidden agenda open to the outside world.”  [Extracted from the book “The Correct Way Of Understanding A Person’s Destiny” by Benson Yeo].

The above will be taught extensively in our Bazi course for Module 1.  For more info, email us at, or please refer to our Courses Page.  


7 thoughts on “The Stems, The Branches and The Hidden Stems”

  1. Hi may I know if there is direct wealth protruding on heavenly stem and not supported in roots but output is rooted in hidden branches are there potential to utilize opportunity and wealth accordingly?

  2. Let’s say one’s bazi chart doesn’t have Wealth and Friend stars both in Heavenly Stem and Earthly Branch, but rooted in Hidden Stems, such as: DW (hour), IW(day), F(month), and RW(year). Does it mean she/he has the potential from wealth and friend star?

  3. Hi, what does it mean when all of my earthly branches are not connected to the heavenly stems (none at all). It’s either in the stems but not in the branches or vice versa. I’ve been trying to find the answers but couldn’t. Hopefully you could give me some answers here. Thank you

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