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Finger Counting for Determining the Year Pillar

Let’s introduce a method for calculating the Year Pillar using finger counting on your left hand, which can determine the Year Pillar. This technique is referred to as the “Earthly Branches Palm.” Arrange the twelve Earthly Branches across the joints and tips of the fingers on the left hand, as shown in the diagram, calculating according to the directions of east, south, west, and north. However, it’s important to note that the east, south, west, and north on the palm are opposite to those on a map, meaning left is east, right is west, up is south, and down is north.

Before performing the calculation, you must know the correct order of the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches:

Heavenly Stems order: Jia, Yi, Bing, Ding, Wu, Ji, Geng, Xin, Ren, Gui.

Earthly Branches order: Zi, Chou, Yin, Mao, Chen, Si, Wu, Wei, Shen, You, Xu, Hai.

You also need to memorize a few common years:

  • Jia Zi: 1984;
  • Jia Yin: 1974;
  • Jia Chen: 1964;
  • Jia Wu: 1954, 2014;
  • Jia Shen: 1944, 2004;
  • Jia Xu: 1994.


Now, let’s illustrate how to perform this calculation with an example.

For instance, for the year 1979, the closest reference year is 1974, the year of Jia Yin. Since it’s a Yin year, you would start with your thumb on the Yin position to begin counting. Following the order of the Earthly Branches, each step represents one year. By the time you reach 1979, you end up at Wei, indicating that the Earthly Branch of 1979 is Wei. The same applies to the Heavenly Stems, starting from the Yin position because it represents Jia Yin. Following the order of the Heavenly Stems from Jia to Gui, you count the number of years to push forward. By 1979, at the Wei position, the Stem is Ji, resulting in the Year Pillar for 1979 being Ji Wei.

Similarly, for the year 2001, the closest reference year is 1994, the year of Jia Xu. Since it’s an Xu year, you would start with your thumb on the Xu position. Counting each step as one year according to the Earthly Branches, by 2001, you arrive at Si, meaning the Earthly Branch for 2001 is Si. For the Heavenly Stems, start from the Xu position because Xu represents Jia Xu. Following the Heavenly Stems order from Jia to Gui, counting the years forward, by 2001, at the Si position, the Stem is Xin, making the Year Pillar for 2001 Xin Si.

Next Recommendation

  1. How to Construct the Four Pillars
  2. How to Determine the Year Pillar
  3. How to Determine the Month Pillar
  4. Finger Counting for Determining the Month Pillar
  5. How To Determine The Day And Hour Pillars.
  6. How to Calculate Your Fortune Using Bazi

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