Q&A Forum

To convert or not to convert – Beijing time

Good morning Karin!

Can it be important to calculate the precise local time of birth? As far as I understood, the JieQi are calculated on the basis of Beijing time, so they start at that time in Beijing. Is it important only if the person is born close to those days, as you wrote? I have previously learned how to calculate the true local time, and that it was considered important. If, like in my case, I was actually born 17 minutes before the time of my Country’s meridian, couldn’t this change the hour stem/branch, if someone was born close to the moment of change? (like with DST)…I’m a bit confused about this topic..! 😉


Hello Dario,

Thank you for your email!

Yes, I understand your question. It seems there are two camps in the BaZi calculation world, one very fastidious, stressing the importance of converting all birth information to Beijing time and/or calculating the exact birth time by latitude and longitude; and one that strives for accuracy in our BaZi skills by embracing ‘exactitude’ in other ways.

In my book, I have made my best effort to present a fascinating and complex subject as simply and faithfully as I can, according to the lineage traditions that were passed down to me. You may want to take a look at the short essay from my husband, “DingShiChen 定時辰 – Identifying the Hour Pillar” which is located at the end of chapter 1, to get a sense of how BaZi calculations were made in a time where there was no electricity, no clocks and certainly no computers.

In my own practice, I have found that sometimes, adjusting the birth times punctiliously (via latitude and longitude, for example) may actually produce what looks like a “better” (i.e. more balanced) BaZi Chart! In these cases, it is my advice to compare the two charts generated and then go about investigating which chart actually fits the life patterns of the individual.

In my book, I have shared the calculation methods as I was taught, and have found to be accurate and helpful in my practice. I can only advise you to go with the system that resonates most strongly to you as a BaZi practitioner.

I hope this helps!

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