"The symbolic stars" is sometimes translated literally, as "gods and devils"; but in fact, the symbolic stars do not relate to any ghosts and celestial beings— in this case, "shen (神)" means beneficial influence, and "sha (煞)" means baneful influence of the cyclical signs of the heavenly stems and earthly branches.
The calculation of the symbolic stars is logically connected to the theory of Yin and Yang, Five Elements, Ten Gods theory, Na Yin melodic elements theory, Twelve Energy States, etc. The symbolic stars are like the “leaves” of the heavenly stems and earthly branches in the big tree of Chinese astrology and can provide a very specific information in the horoscope analysis.
In Chinese astrology, there are more than 180 symbolic stars[which?].