BaZi is a system of deciphering destiny and luck. It was founded by astrologer Li Xu Zhong during Tang dynasty and further developed by Zi Peng (子平) during Song dynasty. The system of BaZi today is the result of refining the work of Zi Peng over the years.
The word BaZi means eight characters in Chinese. It is actually the date and time of birth expressed in eight Chinese characters using the solar calendar system. The eight characters are usually written in four pillars (i.e. four columns) of characters; as a result, BaZi is also known as Four Pillar. The four pillars of characters represent the qi (i.e. cosmic energies) of the year, month, day and hour at the moment of birth.
A BaZi has two components. It has a destiny component and a luck component. The destiny component is called Destiny Chart (命盤). The Destiny Chart, often known simply as BaZi, is represented by eight characters. These eight characters hold the code to a person's destiny. Analyzing a BaZi Chart can reveal what destiny indicates about affinity for friends, siblings, father, mother, talent, wealth, career, marriage, etc.
The second component in a BaZi is called Big Luck Cycle (大運). The Big Luck Cycle is a series of two Chinese characters arranged in pillar form. Each pillar represents the qi in a 10-year period. The Big Luck Cycle holds the code to a person's luck. Analyzing a Big Luck Cycle and its interactions with the eight characters can reveal how a person's luck changes through time.
According to BaZi studies, both destiny and luck play important role in a person's fortune. An analogy of a person's life journey is a car on a long journey. Whether the car journey (i.e. life journey) is good or bad depends on the car condition (i.e. destiny) and the road condition (i.e. luck). The car journey will be smooth if the car condition is good and the road is not bumpy. The car journey will not be so smooth if the car condition is not so good and the road is bumpy.