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Can you analyze a BaZi without the Hour pillar?

A BaZi (八字) has 4 pillars (Year, Month, Day and Hour). Analyzing a BaZi is to analyze all 4 pillars together. For this reason, a BaZi is also known as Four Pillar (四柱). To analyze a BaZi, you need to know the year, month, day and time of birth. However, in many situations, you do not know the time of birth; therefore you do not have the Hour pillar. The question is: can you still analyse a BaZi without the Hour pillar? This article explains why you cannot analyse a BaZi without the Hour pillar.

To analyse a BaZi, certain pre-works have to be carried out first before any analysis can be carried out. Without the Hour pillar, these pre-works cannot be carried out.

Cannot perform Combinations and Transformations

The first pre-work is to check for combinations and transformations in a BaZi. The purpose is to determine the true identities of all elements in a BaZi. Without the Hour pillar, you would not know what Ten Gods (十神) are in the Hour pillar and you also cannot check for combinations and transformations.

Cannot determine a BaZi structure

The second pre-work is to determine a bazi structure. The purpose is to determine the Day Master strength. There are 6 types of bazi structure, please see BaZi 2. Without the Hour pillar, you would not be able to determine a bazi structure because you are not able to perform combination and transformation.

Cannot determine Day Master strength

The third pre-work is to determine Day Master strength. The purpose is to determine the favorable and unfavorable Ten Gods. There are 6 types of bazi structure; three give rise to a strong Day Master, the other three give rise to a weak Day Master. Without the Hour pillar, you would not be able to determine a Day Master strength because you are not able to determine a bazi structure.

Some analysis may use the element in the Month Branch (i.e. simply looking at the season of birth) to determine a Day Master strength. Using this approach, you would not be able to determine a Day Master strength correctly for special bazi structures such as Overly Strong Structure (专旺格), Fake Overly Strong Structure (假专旺格), Overly Weak Structure (从格) and Fake Overly Weak Structure (假从格), and for certain Normal Strong Structures (正旺格) and Normal Weak Structures (正弱格).

Cannot determine favorable and unfavorable Ten Gods (elements)

The fourth pre-work is to determine the favorable (喜神) and unfavorable Ten Gods (忌神) of a BaZi. The determination of favorable and unfavorable Ten Gods is essential in BaZi analysis. Without the Hour pillar, you would not be able to determine whether a Ten God is favorable or unfavorable because you are not able to determine a Day master strength.

For those interested to learn BaZi, please see BaZi course.