Hisss-teron Proteron

If you’ve recently allowed niggling, nagging fears to suppress your usual joy and optimism, don’t be too alarmed: it’s just the onset of The Year of The Snake.  Sunday is New Year’s Day.  One clear sign of the season is the brief spate of feng shui stories now appearing in online mainstream media.  It’s just about the only time of year that feng shui gets any mention at all in the musings of the Euro- American Fourth Estate.


Lunghu, as usual, has assembled a culturally-biased sample of English-language articles on the topic –-he has heard that this practice is often grandly described by the over-used term ‘curation.’  In addition to the latest sooth from old reliable(?) sayers cited in prior years, Lunghu has trawled the vast uncharted sea of turgid cybertext to haul aboard a scant few pearls of prediction from voices hitherto unheard.  Most of these prognosticators list a homeport in one of the major entrepots sprinkled on or about the shores of the South China Sea: Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur, etc.

If the content of this year’s predictions is any guide, the core feng shui clientele is perceived to be intensely concerned with investment and commerce … or celebrated high-value individuals.  Most of the publicly-reported forecasts are focused on economic matters, or on a few big name personalities known worldwide.  In part, that’s because feng shui practitioners always take pains to emphasize that ‘accurate’ predictions of individual ‘fate’ for the coming year are highly dependent on the specific minutiae of the month, day and hour of a person’s birth.

In years past, Lunghu has made a half-assed effort to assemble and present a full compendium of available feng shui prophecies so that avid readers will have an extensive record of who said what sooth, and when they said it.   Accountability, and all that.  This year, possibly under the ever-moving influence of Long Flow Water, Lunghu finds himself too busy to devote the time to such an exhaustive compilation in one massive blog post.  Instead, let’s just try to hit the high points and maybe provide some analysis to value-add a bit of context.  After all, during the process of compiling this year’s predictions, Lunghu has noticed a thing or two about the form and content of feng shui prognostications.  His observations may be insightful or merely trite, but perhaps they’ll be useful to somebody, somewhere.

So here goes, starting with a slew of economic predictions about the influence of Water and Fire on various industries that your nation’s sovereign wealth fund might be considering as an investment.

Investment winners for 2013


Investment neutrals for 2013


Investment losers for 2013


Lunghu’s Observations

Feng shui prophecy is a rather idiosyncratic field with ample scope for a variety of opinions within a general framework of tacit agreement.  F’rinstance: four out of five feng shui advisors agree that Metal element industries will flourish in the Year of the Snake … but they’re not necessarily unanimous about which types of business fit this category.  Besides banking and finance, what else belongs?  Some feng shui masters mention computers, automotive, technology, and foreign exchange trading as Metal-element Snake-year winners.  Others don’t.  Where’s the consensus and consistency that American feng shui consumers expect?  Perhaps Chinese are more comfortable with ambiguity.  Two seers classify mining as a high-performing Metal industry, while others (more properly?) view it as associated with the Earth element.  Is this an ‘either / ore’ proposition?

A similar ambivalence prevails with respect to Water element industries:  four of five soothsayers (not the same four) opine that these businesses will do well during the YoS.  Must be the Long Flow Water.  However, for the second year in a row (consistency?), Edgar Lok Tin Yung cautions against investment in “transport- ation, aviation, shipping, logistics and so on.”  (Curiously, he doesn’t specifically identify them as Water element industries, but everyone else does.)  Once again, there’s a bit of disagreement about what belongs in this category:  Malaysia’s Joe Choo includes finance [Metal?] and insurance [Earth?] in the Water group.

Opinion is also somewhat split when it comes to the (generally negative) prospects for industries associated with the Fire and Earth elements.  Hong Kong’s Raymond Lo is alone in predicting good prospects for the Earth element sector, but that may be because he includes mining and insurance in this group along with hotels and real estate.  Other specialists consider the former two industries to fall under the Metal and Water elements, respectively.  Lo’s cross-town neighbor Emily Lam doesn’t think much of 2013’s prospects for real estate, construction, building materials, agriculture and mining.  Neither does Joe Choo.  When it comes to the Fire element (remember, it’s suppressed by Water this year), only Manila’s Anthony Fugoso has kind words to say about such businesses.  Although he doesn’t explicitly identify element-industry relationships in his predictions, Fugoso claims that mobile telecom and info tech will prosper this year.  In contrast, Lo, Lam and Choo play down expectations for other industries in the Fire group: energy, telecom, utilities, technology, restaurants, entertainment.


Overall, here’s the big picture: Metal and Water will be powerful in YoS;  Metal because it’s the Snake’s hidden element, Water because it governs the year’s Celestial Stem.  The Wood element is in a neutral linking relationship this year, so Wood element industries will remain relatively stable or mildly oscillate in a narrow band.  Fire and Earth elements face a less favorable medium-term future.

Lunghu should never attempt to predict what will be in his next blog post, but if the stars and planets align he will summarize a few YoS feng shui forecasts concerning global geopolitics and climatic conditions.  Think of it as a preview of the operating environment.



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