Last updated on October 17, 2023

The purpose of an astrology reading is to avoid or mitigate future calamities, determine whether you have the capability to be rich and prosperous in the future, and know when you will experience phases of good or bad luck. All of this information are then used to plan one’s future, choose the right profession, marry the right kind of person, and decide whether to pursue a career in your hometown or another city. The ultimate purpose is to guide you to do the right thing at the right time to maximize your potential.

Well, all of that assumes you have an ACCURATE astrology reading.

I myself have consulted with many astrologers in Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Because I was born in Los Angeles, USA, and is considered a foreigner, some astrologers converted my birth time to beijing Time, while others don’t. This really perplexed me, so I investigated into this, and in this article, I’m sharing with you what I found.

The Importance of Birth Time in Bazi Astrology

In ancient Chinese text, there is no such thing as a foreigner. Foreigners here refer to people born in foreign countries. Feng Shui, Qi Men Dun Jia, and many other metaphysics practices are little affected when the main character is a foreigner. This is because they do not depend on the time and place of birth. However, astrology readings are focused on the person’s date and time of birth.

The time of birth is determined for each person from the moment of birth, and translating this time into the heavenly stems and earthly branches constitutes a person’s four pillars of destiny or Bazi (also known as the “eight characters”). The year pillar is our foundation, the month pillar represents our strength and weakness, the day pillar represents prosperity and decline, and finally the hour pillar represents achievement. The hour pillar is your birth time. It is 25% of your entire Bazi chart and can change the whole dynamic of your chart.

True Solar Time Should be Used

Bazi astrology takes into consideration the moment and place of birth, the energy of the interplay of yin and yang between heaven and earth, taking on the essence of the five elements (the same five elements in Feng Shui). As you can see here, Bazi astrology abides by the laws of nature. For instance, someone born in noon are more associated with Fire and Yang as opposed to someone born in the middle of the night. (More example of this later.)

The time of birth, and the place of birth, are the two absolute factors that determine your Bazi astrology. In other words, it may seem that two people are born at the same minute, but the difference in place of birth results in different forces being applied to the hour.

The ancient Chinese time system was established with Xi’an Luoyang as the center, and although there are differences in geographical location (variations in space), the range of variation is still limited, and this error can be eliminated by following the local true solar time.

Converting to Solar Time

Needless to say, the time shown on our clocks and watches are NOT solar time. So yes, you need to convert your birth time to solar time for a more accurate astrology reading. To do so, you will need to consider the longitude of the place of birth.

For example, a person born at 8.30am (Beijing time) in Chengdu, a city southwest of China, at 104°E would have a true solar time of 7.26am. In Mudanjiang, a city northeast of China, at 129°E, it is 9.06am. If we were in Kashgar, a city in Xinjiang, at 76°E, it would be 5.36am, almost three hours earlier.

The Bazi theory was born on the basis of the stem-branch calendar, which, through differences in dates and time, can be interpreted to reveal different trajectories of destiny in life. It does not seem to directly address the changes of the five elements in space (geographical location) because the variable of geographical location is relatively fixed on the Chinese territory where the theory was born.

There are many people in the profession who do not know how to accurately choose the time of day and the time of birth of a person. The easiest way to do this in this day and age is to find an online time converter that allows you to date back to the person’s time of birth.

Our Relationship with the Natural World

All the energy of the human body (the small universe) is drawn from and obtained from the energy field of the great universe of heaven and earth. The stronger the energy you get, the stronger your innate fortune will be. The weaker the energy you get, the weaker your innate fortune will be.

The smallest unit of energy is referred to as ‘Qi’. There are two types of qi, yin and yang, which are associated with the five elements: metal, wood, water, fire and earth.

The year, month, day and hour of a person’s birth all have different attributes of the five elements. When combined, they represent the distribution of the five elements of the universe at that moment in time, forming a “simulated image” of human destiny. An astrology reading interprets this ‘simulation’.

Explained: Why Use Solar Time for Astrology Reading

This theory is rather complicated, so to make it easier to understand, we will now use the simplest possible example to illustrate the time of birth.

In the early morning, it is like spring, the sign of “birth”. The temperature is getting warmer and the five elements associated with these hours are wood.

In the late morning, it is like summer, a sign of “ripening”. It is usually when the temperature is at its peak, and the five elements associated with these hours are fire.

In the afternoon, it is like autumn, the sign of “waning”, the temperature is getting cooler, and the five elements associated with these hours are metal.

At night, it is like winter, a sign of “shrinking and hiding”, when the temperature is coldest and the five elements associated with these hours are water.

In short, summer is the hottest time of the year, similar to midday, so the five elements are Fire. Winter is the coldest time of the year, similar to the night time of the day, so the five elements are “water”.

Now, back to the time conversion topic. For simplicity, let’s assume that there is a 12-hour difference between USA time and Beijing time. If you have to convert someone born in USA to “Beijing time” for an astrology reading, then you’ll encounter these issues:

  • An American born at “noon” gets the natural “fire” energy, but when you give him his astrology chart, he is born at night at midnight. The fire is gone, but then you artificially replace it with “water”.
  • An American born in the middle of the night is given the natural energy of “water”, but when you convert the time to Beijing time, he is born at noon. The water is gone, but then you artificially replace it with “fire”.

This is against the laws of nature. It is illogical and unconscionable. It is a mistake of a thousand miles.

The theory of Bazi astrology uses the natural laws of the heavenly bodies to compare, simulate and deduce changes in human affairs. It is based on the principles of “taking the laws of heaven and earth” and “the laws of nature”. It is not based on any artificial or rigid terms.

Why Do Some Astrologers Convert My Birth Time to Beijing Time?

Of course, there are astrologers who swear by the need to convert a foreigner’s birth time to Beijing time. Their argument usually goes by this – because Bazi astrology was developed in China, all foreign birth time should convert their birth time back to Beijing time. That is because the whole astrology system is based on Beijing time.

Although the argument is valid, it doesn’t adhere to the laws of nature. Plus, if you’ve read what I wrote earlier, Beijing time is not true solar time and is different from the ancient time system used. Again, Bazi astrology is based on the heavenly and earthly stems and not by the geo-location of where this art is derived from.

Why Some Astrologers STRICTLY Use the Time on Your Birth Certificate

There are a number of astrology readers who strictly uses the time on your birth certificate for astrology reading. This makes some situations extremely awkward. For instance, in USA where daylight saving time is enforced, two persons born an hour apart during the daylight savings hour conversion may have the same birth time. Astrologers who practice this argue that we have affinity with the birth time printed on our birth certificates, and therefore it should be used.

Again, this doesn’t make much sense to me. The time used is based on the artificial time that we follow nowadays for convenience. It does NOT adhere to the natural laws of what Bazi astrology is about. 

Conclusion: Convert Your Local Time to True Solar Time for an Accurate Astrology Reading

Therefore, it is more reasonable to use the “true solar time” for an astrology reading. This is because it is the most realistic distribution of the five elements in nature at the time of your birth.

Leave a Reply

  1. Emma

    Hello, Mr. Yang:

    Thank you for a MOST interesting article!

    In all my years of studying astrology–the Western method–
    not once was this important fact EVER addressed!
    What a difference this makes!

    By the way, towards the conclusion of your article,
    did you mean to say “it does NOT adhere to the natural laws
    of what Bazi astrology is about”?

    Also, I tried to calculate my birth date & time but the results
    are not clear enough for me to read.
    Could you help me with this, please?

    I was born in the USA:
    Detroit, Michigan on January 19, 1970
    at 10:20 AM/morning.

    Thank you, Mr. Yang!

    1. Eric Yang Listing Owner

      Based on my findings, your solar birth time is 9:36am. Is this consistent with what you found?

  2. Emma

    Mr. Yang:

    Wow, that was fast! Thank you.

    I tried with two different sites and got two different results.
    I’m not skilled at this, so I trust your findings.

    So 9:36 am puts me in the early morning: Spring/Wood.