TZI Cards draw their inspiration from a variety of sources, primarily the ancient Chinese system of Ganzhi (干支). The name, TZI, is in fact a romanization of the character 子 (pinyin: zǐ), the first Earthly Branch. In its origins, Ganzhi was primarily used as a way of organizing time through a sexagenary (base-60) cycle. The sixty cards of the deck correspond to the sixty units of the Ganzhi cycle. The yearly celebration of "Chinese New Year", a global event that reaches far beyond the borders of China, is rooted in Ganzhi.
TZI Cards incorporate a new figure, the TZI Glyph, visually inspired by the Trigram of Heaven: ☰. The TZI Glyph can be used as a key to differentiate each card and reveal patterns that exist between the cards.