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The Crocodile Hunter

Sunday, September 17, 2006
By: Joey Yap

Like many people, I was surprised and saddened by the sudden death of Steve Irwin, the famous 'Crocodile Hunter'. I was teaching a BaZi class in Singapore when I received an SMS during the tea break about the tragic event. Many people in the class also got the same news and students began bombarding me with questions about Steve Irwin's BaZi.

So, in today's article, I will talk about why Steve Irwin was who he was: the Crocodile Hunter that entertained so many people and was beloved by kids everywhere. While I do not have his actual time of birth, based on his life and the types of BaZi structures described in the classical text Yuan Hai Zi Peng, I believe his hour of birth may well be the Dragon Hour (7am-9am). However, I will discuss his chart without reference to the hour.


The Consummate Performer

Steve Irwin's Day Master is Xin Metal. Xin Metal is jewellery metal or small metal - or we may picture this element with your Cartier rings, your Swiss Army knives or your Rolex watches. It is beautiful, elegant, and to be admired. People with Xin Metal Day Masters love attention and the limelight, besides being passionate in their work. Hence, Irwin was destined to be an entertainer or a showman - be it feeding crocodiles at Australia Zoo, or taking us on crazy nature expeditions, courtesy of Animal Planet.

In his Month Stem and Year Stem, there is Ren Water. In BaZi, Ren Water is the Hurting Officer star (Shang Guan) of Xin Metal. This is an excellent formation as the Xin Metal needs to be washed by the Ren Water in order to be polished, shiny and beautiful. If Steve Irwin was indeed born at Dragon Hour, as I believe, then his chart will have a special formation of Xin Metal with Triple Ren Water. This special formation belongs to individuals with outstanding performance skills. In the old days, this kind of BaZi belonged to opera singers - consummate performers.

So why did Steve Irwin become the Crocodile Hunter and not the Possum Catcher or 'Roo Hunter'? Why was he attracted to crocodiles? In BaZi, Jia Wood also can refer to 'armour'. The crocodile is a creature with an armour. As for the penchant for handling snakes, Si (Snake), Yin (Tiger) and Shen (Monkey), along with Hai (Pig) are part of the same group of Earthly Branches. Also, Wood is very strong in this chart as there is the Tiger and Rabbit present, which is 2 out of 3 of the Branches from the season of Spring, when Wood is strongest. If Irwin is born in the Dragon Hour, then he has the entire Directional Combination for the season of Wood. Hence, he is attracted to matters of nature.

Some BaZi analysts have argued that Irwin's chart is a formation known as Follow the Leader. This is questionable. Firstly, if that was the case, that Irwin would have hated his job. And I think it is obvious to anyone who has seen his show that he loved what he did and was extremely passionate about crocodiles and snakes and nature. Secondly, a Follow the Leader formation always manifests as a person doing something which they do not like to do but have to do as they have to conform to the strongest element. Also, if the chart is really a Follow the Leader chart, then Irwin would probably have written nature books rather than made documentaries since Wood is the book publishing business in the study of the 5 Elements.

This Xin Metal Day Master is born in the season of Wood. Wood is the Wealth Element of a Xin Metal Day Master. However, the wood inside the Tiger (Yin) is Jia Wood. Jia Wood is strong, solid tree trunks. Now, imagine a small penknife trying to chop down a redwood tree. This Xin Metal Day Master has to work extremely hard for its accomplishments. I don't think anyone can doubt that wrestling crocodiles, handling poisonous reptiles and picking up snakes is hard or at the very least, extremely difficult work.

'Crikey' - he was a genuine naturalist.

In BaZi, Xin Metal is the most talkative of the Day Masters. A good Xin Metal talks a mile to a minute and always has something to say or an opinion to express. This is because Xin Metal loves to produce Water. Hence, the hyperarticulate nature of Steve Irwin. Also, Xin Metal using Hurting Officer denotes going against the order or prevailing status quo of the day. Irwin paved the way for nature documentaries that were energetic and adventurous, and a whole new form of entertainment. His style was unorthodox, vastly different from the prevailing approach to nature documentaries.

Following his fame as the Crocodile Hunter, Irwin established a nature conservation charity, known as Wildlife Warriors. Some newspaper articles I saw seemed to throw doubt on his passion for nature and conservationist intentions. His desire to help conserve the environment is doubtlessly genuine because Wood formation, in the study of the Five Elements, represents benevolence, growth and nurturing and this element is strong in Irwin's chart. Also, Wealth element is actually negative for this Xin Metal chart because it is very strong, especially if the Dragon Hour is correct. So, establishing a charity and 'giving' his money away, was the correct and noble thing to do, in the BaZi context. Also, the strength of the Wood here indicates that Irwin's motivation is a genuine interest in nature, and not the money.

Wood (both Yi Wood and Jia Wood), besides representing the Wealth Star of Xin Metal, also represents, for a man, the Wife Star. Irwin met his wife during the Luck Pillar of Yi Si (Wood Snake). Yi Wood, which is soft twines and ivy, is much easier to 'cut' compared to Jia Wood. Hence, Irwin met his wife during this period in his life. Si (Snake) is a Travelling Star. Within Si (Snake) is Bing Fire. Fire represents the South Direction. How did Irwin meet his wife? When she travelled to Australia from the US! The Yi Wood comes with Bing Fire inside the Snake. Bing Fire represents the Direct Officer star (Guan Xing) for a Xin Metal Day Master and denotes fame and status. Irwin filmed the first episode of Crocodile Hunter during his honeymoon with his wife! From the BaZi, clearly, she was instrumental to his becoming famous!

It was however only in his next Luck Pillar, Bing Wu, that Irwin became truly famous around the world. Firstly, the Wu (Horse) and the Yin (Tiger) form a half Fire combination. Secondly, Fire, to a Xin Metal Day Master, is Officer Luck, and signals fame and glory. As the sun blazes over this Xin Metal, surrounded by the Ren Water, the Xin Metal's beauty is revealed to the world. Imagine a beautiful ring, glistening and sparkling under the sea water, illuminated by the sun. This is how we can 'picture' Steve Irwin's BaZi during this luck pillar.

The Tragic Event

How do we derive the tragic occurrence of his death from Irwin's BaZi? Firstly, he had just changed Luck Pillars, into the Luck Pillar of Ding Wei. The Ding combines with all the Ren in his chart, and successfully transforms into Wood. The element most integral to his chart's success is removed and the element that is most negative to the chart is now enhanced.

The Wei (Goat) combines with the Mao (Rabbit) Branch. In BaZi language, we say the feet of the Day Master is combined away. This indicates movement away from home and negative events happening since Wei and Mao is a half combination that also produces Wood. So the negative element is now appearing in a double whammy formation in the BaZi.

Wei and Mao are two Branches in a Three Harmony Combination and the third animal Branch in the Combination is Hai (Pig). Inside Hai (Pig) is Ren. Ren Water is sea water and the water of great lakes and rivers. As the Hai Mao Wei combination is obviously negative (producing Wood) and the third component to complete the combination is the Hai (Pig), which contains Ren, clearly, any activity involving the sea is potentially dangerous.

Why a sting ray? Because it is a sea creature and all creatures found in the sea are regarded as being associated with Ren Water. Irwin was killed moments after a sting ray barb caught him in the chest and pierced his heart - Ding Fire represents the heart and in this luck Pillar, it is combined away by the Ren. I believe there may have been more than one stingray present during the accident because Ren and Yin (with the Jia inside) strongly suggests at least two creatures.

Finally, there is an Ungrateful Punishment Formation between the Shen (Monkey) in the month and day of the event and the Yin (Tiger). An ungrateful punishment is a relationship between the Earthly Branches and is termed an 'ungrateful punishment' because it involves doing good for someone but getting no gratitude in return. Ironically, Irwin was killed by one of the creatures that he had devoted his life to protecting.

In BaZi, a person's luck continues, even though the person is no longer with us in this world. Steve Irwin's name, and his contributions to conservation, will live on and be remembered for a long time. This is because the Ding Wei Luck Pillar is still a very strong pillar of Fire, which brings fame and good name to the Xin Metal Day Master. We will not easily forget the Crocodile Hunter, even though he is no longer with us.

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