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What is a Following Structure?

In previous discussions on various Bazi structures, the concept of Following Structures (从格, Cong Ge) was mentioned. Simply put, a Following Structure arises when the Qi of the Five Elements in a chart leans entirely to one side, either completely favoring allies (same elements) or entirely favoring opponents (different elements). To further distinguish between following allies or opponents, the concept traditionally divides Following Structures into two categories: Dominance and Following the Trend. However, contemporary texts on destiny analysis tend to separate Dominance from Following Structures. To be precise, Dominance is also a type of Following Structure, which, in a more detailed classification of Bazi structures, falls under the category of Transformative Structures (变格).

According to the preferences of the Useful God (用神喜忌), Bazi structures are divided into Regular Structures and Following Structures. For Regular Structures, the principle is to act against the trend: strength prefers to be countered and drained, weakness prefers to be generated and supported. Following Structures act in accordance: following their extremely strong or weak tendencies, with strong ones following their generating and strengthening aspects and weak ones following their countering and draining aspects. In Bazi classification, there are essentially only Regular and Following Structures.

Destiny books tend to divide Following Structures into five categories based on the Ten Gods (十神), namely, Following Dominance, Following Strength, Following Child, Following Wealth, and Following Killing. They mystify the concepts by calling Following Wealth as “Abandoning Destiny to Follow Wealth” and Following Killing as “Abandoning Destiny to Follow Killing,” causing astonishment among the uninitiated. In reality, Following Killing and Following Wealth, if experiencing a favorable cycle, are not only not detrimental but also indicative of a good destiny.

In practical destiny analysis, there is generally no need to categorize Following Structures so finely. In summary, Following Dominance and Following Strength are collectively referred to as Dominant Structures; Following Child, Following Wealth, and Following Killing are all considered Following the Trend. Once the distinction between Dominance and Following the Trend is understood, their preferences and aversions become clear, revealing fortune and misfortune. The use of gods in Following Structures prefers compliance, with following their trend considered auspicious and going against it inauspicious, contrary to the principles of supporting and suppressing in Regular Structures, hence the need to establish them as separate categories.

In the nomenclature of Following Structures, it’s customary to refer to “Following Killing” instead of “Following Officer” and “Following Child” instead of “Following Harm.”

Ultimately, any Bazi structure falls into one of the four major categories: “Strong,” “Weak,” “Dominant,” or “Following.” Understanding these principles allows for more confident and unconfused structure determination, making the analysis more intuitive.


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