John Allan Chau’ Four Pillars:
18th Dec 1991
Yang Water Yang Metal Yin Metal
Dog Rat Goat
Current Luck Pillar from: 2017 (Age 26) Yin Water Rabbit
Since we don’t know the time of his birth, we only have the Day, Month and Year of his birth to work from. This is not so important as the hour of birth is related more to one’s children and the later years of life, and we are not considering either of these factors. Further you will notice that we also have a fifth pillar, drawn up, that of his current ten-year luck period. These are known as one’s Current Luck Pillar. They have an impact on the period covered by them and divulge further information for us.
By taking the Heavenly Stem of his Day of Birth, and considering the season in which he was born, the water month of the Rat, we find that John Chau was a strong water man. Had he been born during the months of Fire, May and June, we would then consider him to be weak water, but since he was born during the season of strong water in the month of the Rat, we must consider him to be a strong water man. Water people in general are kind and accommodating. Strong water people tend to be forceful and impulsive in character, often leading to charges of their not being willing to listen to others. Weak water has a certain reputation for dishonesty.
It is sometimes said weak water people are often criminal - so beware! Although John Chau was a strong water man, its interesting to note that despite strong avowals to his Christian faith, he was nevertheless perfectly willing to by-pass India’s sovereign laws on more than one occasion to reach North Sentinel Island and his goal of converting its inhabitants to his religion, in spite of their being protected by law and off-limits to all!
When examining his Four Pillars we must first of all pay attention to the interplay between the Five Elements of his Year, Month and Days and his Current Luck Pillar. As a strong water man, he did not need any more water. More water entering his chart would indicate that he would become even more impulsive and listen to advice even less. Therefore, we can see that from 2017, he was in the Luck Period of Yin Water. This was not helpful to him and no doubt added to his inclination to forcefully pursue his goal of reaching North Sentinel Island, despite the legal prohibitions against this. A further dynamic within his Four Pillars that would have made him act even more rashly, is the presence of the Rat in the month of his birth. The Rat too is Yang Water and indeed is known as the Yang Edge to Water. This factor usually indicates more impulsive, yang, actions on the part of the person with it in their Four Pillars. This becomes even stronger whenever the Rat shows up in the calendar, as it did on the day of his death. But now we are jumping ahead of ourselves.
When considering the element that water produces, wood, we see that there is no wood in John Chau’s birth chart, but there is by contrast an abundance of metal. For a water person, metal is the Resource element. Given that John Chau was a strong water individual, he does not need metal either. Instead he needs wood - his intelligence or creative element, fire – his money element since water conquers fire, and earth, which is the power or boss element to water, since earth controls water. From 2017, the Rabbit (Yin Wood) showed up in his Luck Pillar. Since Yin Wood represents his intelligence or creative element (water produces wood), it should have been good for him, and no doubt allowed him to strategize his way onto the island. However, this yin wood is yin to his yang self-element, and indicates a period in which he will demonstrate a strongly rebellious streak; declining to listen to the advice of older, wiser counsel.
Yet another factor related to the Rabbit for him is that the Rabbit is one of his Nobleman. These are considered to be something akin to the western notion of a guardian angel. These are helpful people that come to our aid, especially when we are in trouble. Some Four Pillar Masters claim that Nobleman only appear when we are in trouble and need their help to save us. However, it is said that Nobleman do not appear when either the Dog or the Dragon are present. This is because, the Dragon opens the Gate of Heaven, due to the Dragon being a sky born entity, while the earth-bound Dog opens the Gate of Hell. Therefore, when either of these two gates are open, no Nobleman appear; even in times of dire trouble. It is said that this is a contributing factor to there being such high death rates in major disasters, when either the Dragon or the Dog are present. (As an example of this, the terrible death toll in the 9/11 attacks on the Twin Trade Towers in New York, which occurred between 7-9am, the hour of the Dragon. There are many, many recorded examples of such Dragon and Dog events.)
All of this, paints a picture of a misguided, impulsive young man, all enthused with his life’s dream of travelling to North Sentinel to convert the reclusive tribe living there. This, in spite of all the sovereign laws he was knowingly prepared to break to get there, the very real danger to himself, never mind about the jeopardy his wilful actions might expose the innocent Sentinelese to.
Men from North Sentinel Island preparing to ward off a helicopter
that flew over to check for damage after the 2004 Boxing Day Tsunami.
Now let us examine the day prior to his death, when he made contact with the tribe and then the day of his death and the dynamics that can be seen to come together to conspire in his demise.
15th November 2018
Yin Metal Yin Water Yang Earth
Pig (yin water) Pig (yin water) Dog
This was a day of yet more metal and water, none of which were helpful to John Chau. In deed the two Pigs combine to create a double water penalty for him. However, even though he faced a very real danger this day, with a young boy shooting an arrow straight at him, he seemed to make a successful get-away and survived the encounter. However, it was to be the next day on which he returned, and tragically this time, went to his death. (There are differing reports as to exactly which day Chau was killed, the 16th or the 17th when his body was spotted being dragged across the beach by the fishermen who had delivered him to the island. However, it seems most likely he was killed as soon as the Sentinelese became aware of his return. If he was not killed then, it would seem that he had spent the night of the 16th – 17th with them. If that was the case, it would mean he had something of a breakthrough with them as nobody else has ever been able to land and not be attacked by them. So why let him stay the night and then kill him? The Four Pillars show he was killed on the 16th and not on the 17th.
Most Likely Day of John Chau’s Death:
16th November 2018
Yang Water Yin Water Yang Earth
Rat (yang water) Pig (yin water) Dog
Rat = Yang Edge
On this day, the water energies had strengthened even further with the presence of the Yang Water Rat. The Rat, itself is yang water and Chau’s Yang Edge. Had he removed himself from the situation the evening before, and retreated to Port Blair, leaving the islanders to their peace, he might have saved himself. Instead, the Yang Edge present on that day overtook him and clearly increased his rash determination to return, in spite of the obvious danger. This aspect of the Yang Edge in such cases can have very dire consequences. As the Indian authorities have said, his insistence on returning to the island saw the tribe lose all patience with him, and they killed him for his disrespect.
However, the negative energies of the 15th were somewhat ameliorated by the Day Master or the Day Ruler, (Different feng shui masters seem to use both terms interchangeably.). This is a further aspect of the Chinese Solar Calendar in which the quality or the measure of the day is expressed by its name. The first of these is Establish, which has the same Earthly Branch as that of the Month. Therefore, in a Pig Month, the Establish Day will always fall on a Pig
Day. Establish is a day positive it’s said, for travelling and taking up new postings; both of which John Chau attempted to do on the 15th November. Establish is then followed by the Day Master Removal, a day on which it is not good for taking up new postings, or for the pursuit of status or promotion. If we think of what John Chau was actually trying to do on this day by returning to the tribe, he clearly was hoping to overcome their resistance and win them over. This was a very bad day for such an enterprise. In addition, Removal is a good day for getting rid of bad luck and for catching thieves and pest control. No doubt this is exactly how the tribe viewed Chau’s intrusion onto their island. It seems pretty obvious they were simply eliminating an unwanted threat to their peace. Furthermore, Yang Earth is the Power or Bosses element to Yang Water. One’s power or boss’s element, appears in life as those with authority over us. Since 2018 is the year of the Yang Earth Dog, it’s easy to see that on that day, with the forcefulness of his own Yang Edge from the Rat rashly taking him back to the island, in spite of the clear warnings he had been given, we can consider the Power or Bosses of the island decided to use their authority to rid themselves of his intrusion. In fact, it’s hard to imagine a less positive day for him to have chosen to return to the island and force himself onto the Sentinelese. One final dynamic that is likely to have had an influence over this sad and misguided young man is that he was born on a Dog Day. Since both the Dog and the Dragon are related to spiritual experiences, he already had a propensity towards the spiritual. This obsession he had with the people on Sentinel Island would only have strengthened during 2018, the year of the Dog.
When thinking of the facts surrounding this case, it’s important to consider the disruption and upset that Chau’s actions will no doubt have caused to the lives of the people on North Sentinel. Such uninvited and unwelcome intrusions, especially towards uncontacted peoples must be discouraged at all costs. Even now, it remains unknown whether Chau did in fact introduce lethal pathogens to the people of North Sentinel. Evangelical Christian groups, no matter how well intentioned and entitles they may feel themselves to be, must realise such actions are completely, unjustifiable and unconscionable in today’s world! Perhaps it would be a good idea for governments to start holding these proselytising groups who encourage such behaviour to legal account? After all, Chau broke numerous Indian laws. Groups who encouraged him in this recklessness, too should be held to account.
However, John Chau is far from being the only one to impose himself on previously uncontacted and remote peoples. As the story of John Chau’s death unfolded, it led me to think of others like him who have also been killed when interacting, often uninvited, with indigenous peoples. History is littered with them.
The Four Pillars of Captain James Cook: If you would like more information on how to have your own Four Pillars drawn up, please feel free to contact me. Thank you for taking to time to read this article.
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