Branches interaction cheatsheet

Those familiar with the BaZi method know how difficult is to remember all interactions between branches (also known as Chinese zodiac animals).

There are dozens of possible interactions so we decided to put a visual cheatsheet, to help you find and memorize those key points quickly.

For simplicity’s sake, we focused here only on four main interactions, those are Harmony, Six Combinations, Clashes, and Harms.

We divided cheatsheet into two maps, one is for positive interactions (Harmony and Six Combinations) and one for negative interactions (Clashes and Harms).


On the map below the green line shows us Harmony combination, which involves three branches, together they make one particular Element stronger. For example, Harmony between Dragon, Rat, and Monkey creates a strong Water structure. Two branches can also create Harmony, let’s say between Dragon and Monkey, while Rat is missing, but is generally considered to be a weaker type of combination.

The Six Combinations, connected with a blue line, involves only two branches, and often they produce an additional Element if certain conditions are met. So, for example, Pig and Tiger create a combination that supports Wood Element.


When it comes to negative interactions, the Clash is most famous (here marked with red lines), because it represents the exact opposite. So, for example, Rat is clashing Horse because Rat is mainly Yin Water while Horse is mainly Yin Fire, therefore Rat has a tendency to hurt Horse. It also goes other way around, if Rat is in a weak position then Horse will dominate.

Harm interactions are marked with orange lines, and they also represent one kind of disturbances. For example, Horse’s Yin Fire will harm Ox’s Yin Metal and Yin Water. 

While clashes are a more visible disturbance, Harms can be often on an emotional level, not visible from outside, but equally negative and disruptive.

Also published on Medium.