Have you ever wondered why you are the way you are or what your future holds? Korean fortune telling is based on a practice called saju which is the Korean word for the ancient study of “the four pillars of life.” It uses Asian metaphysics supplemented by statistics and data accumulated over thousands of years to characterize a person’s path through life.
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Reading by Janet Shin, professor of Oriental Science at Wonkwang Digital University in Seoul, Korea.
Your Guide to Saju, the Four Pillars
By Janet Shin
The culture of saju (Korean fortune telling) is deeply rooted in traditional beliefs and practices, with a variety of methods used to predict and interpret a person’s future, personality traits, relationships, and other life aspects. It can help you understand your tendencies and help shape your future in a positive way.
Saju readings are extremely popular in Korea and are used for fun as well as for making important life decisions including vetting potential marriage partners and choosing lucky dates for big events. Costs for saju readings vary greatly and depend on many things including the quality of the saju reader. Average costs range from $30-$300 for a session that usually lasts about an hour.
The Korean Zodiac is a part of the saju system that involves a symbolic cycle of twelve animal signs, with each sign reflecting qualities traditionally associated with these animals.
The Four Pillars
The four pillars, or saju in Korean, studies how to read the past, understand the present and predict the future by analyzing a person’s birth year, month, date and hour.
‘Sa’ refers to four, ‘Ju’ is pillars, meaning the four pillars of destiny. It is also called ‘Palja’ meaning eight letters, which represents ‘destiny’ in Korean traditional history. There are two letters in each pillar so four pillars make eight letters. It is regarded as a DNA or bar-code genetically encoded from one’s birth.
The Year pillar is called ‘ancestors palace’ representing one’s childhood or before life. The Korean Zodiac is a symbolic cycle of twelve animal signs based on one’s birth year. The Month pillar is ‘parents palace’ representing one’s adolescence. The most important events are made and decided for one’s career here. Day pillar is ‘marital palace’ representing one’s adulthood. Hour pillar is ‘children’s palace’ representing one’s latter years or after life.
Saju is a Universal Study of Human Lives
Saju is often misunderstood as a realm of occult practice or superstition as opposed to rational systematic knowledge. There are shamans who practice in charms and exorcisms and also shamans who do fortune tellings. But saju is different.
Some say that English translations of saju are not always appropriate or accurate, given the vast differences in history, ways of living and expressions between Eastern and Western culture. However, saju is to read one’s life and destiny by inferring the consequences of time and climatic environment from one’s birth, which are universal themes.
In order to systemize these factors, saju masters have derived an ancient philosophy of yin, yang and five elements to symbolize those energies. Thus, saju shouldn’t be considered just an Eastern theory, rather, it is ultimately a study of universal human lives.
The Power to Shape Your Future
Reading saju is to sincerely explain the causes of anguish or pleasure, and thus the future course of our life paths.
On days as bright as those seen through a rose-colored lens, people believe the most positive of things: If they just do their best, everything will be all right. Conversely, as soon as it starts to rain, people will begin to question their particular God’s will and their destiny.
Doubtless to say, all people do their best and try to practice virtue in their own ways. But once they start to feel that their lives are heading in the wrong direction or against their will, they think about destiny or karma, which cannot be altered. They begin to question, why me, why now, what if, how come?
In the process of reaching a certain stage, people come to regret their past and may curse their karma. But none of these emotions can answer their questions. Everything is still in the dark and people may not know how to go on.
By studying saju, these questions may eventually give way to a brighter outlook, such as what I should do and where my future could be heading.
Modern society sees rapid change and once we lose a single loop of the chain, it becomes hard to catch up. In this modern age, in order to grasp the flow, predict the future and understand the way to go forward, we may need various tools that will make us strong and ready to confront the world. Take a momentto get to know yourself. Slow down your speed to find out what you most value in your life.
Practical Application of Saju
Saju is the study of a person’s life through looking at their birth. Saju equates them to celestial stems and terrestrial branches according to natural reasoning. By understanding saju, we can know our personality, what situations we are in and find the best ways to utilize our strengths and weaknesses.
Second, we can know the right time to do something – whether to progress or wait or whether to plan the long term or short term.
Third, by knowing who is a suitable spouse or business partner, we will be able to maximize the synergy effect and minimize conflict.
Lastly, we can understand health aspects in accordance with the harmonious elements placed in our saju and utilize materials, colors and energies around us to make our lives luckier than before.
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