Archive for January, 2020

Flow-Ting World

January 30, 2020

When reflecting on the change from one year to the next, it’s occasionally useful to recall that these demarcations in the ceaseless flow of time are entirely artificial, mere creations of human imagination that may be little more than artifacts of misguided –if not altogether delusional– thinking.  Why is one particular complete rotation of the planet on its axis any more significant than any of the other 36(5) that have occurred during one complete orbit around the nearest star?  Any day might as well be New Year’s Day, would we but resolve it so.  And so we do.

Thus it is that for many people, the-first-new-moon-after-the-first-full-moon-after-the-winter-solstice is the mark of a new year.  Hey, why not?  Let’s party like it’s considerably more than 1999.  Because we can.

And yet, upon sober reflection, we should probably concede that the transition from one year to the next has never been an abrupt binary phase-shift from this to that, a stark fork between either/or, and not even a quantum hop from one ladder rung to another.  Instead, we experience a gradient, a continuum, a flow, a process of modification.  Bit by bit, things change and we change along with them.  Very few of the molecules in your body have been there since your birth, and many fewer than you’d think were actually there last year.

Which brings us to the Year of the (ravenous) Rat.  In the previous post, I wrote about the interaction between feng shui “macro” dimensions of Celestial Stem and Terrestrial Branch.  Daoist adepts claim that Yang Metal and Yang Water elements relate to each other in particular ways, while occidental physicists view the relationship in a somewhat different manner, with an emphasis on another, equally complex, hierarchy of elementary particles.  Both perspectives may be useful.

This post will more-or-less follow the format I have adopted in previous years: a discussion of the “network dynamics” that will play out between some of the zodiac signs most prominently featured in 2020. Who’s in the penalty box this year? In order of appearance:  Hare [兔], Horse [馬], Fowl [雞], and Rat [鼠].  Rat and Horse are the most significant because they’re in direct conflict all year long.

The Year of the Horse arrived six years ago, and the roles of Horse and Rat were reversed.  Horse was 2014’s ruling animal (but subject to “self-penalty”) and Rat was “in conflict with the Year” (attacked by Horse, while under Tai Sui‘s special oversight).  In 2020 Rat and Horse are again vexed by their return to the cosmic spotlight.  Rat may fare better this time around, because the Yang Metal Celestial Stem strengthens his Yang Water Branch, but there’s still ample cause for caution.  Horse can definitely expect trouble, because his Yang Fire Branch constantly seeks to destroy the Year’s Yang Metal Stem (Fire-melts-Metal) while the Rat’s Yang Water Branch constantly tries to quench Horse’s Fire.  In 2014 I provided a list of rodent-related and equine-affiliated entities (both public and private) that might be affected by the clash between these zodiac signs.  Refer to that catalog for insight into what might be expected in 2020.  Suffice it to say that the “horse opera” genre of the Hollywood Western probably won’t make a comeback this year.  Which is sad, because I’ve been looking forward to ‘Blazing Saddles II‘ for decades now.

In this context, it is probably worth noting that “retired” AliBaba founder/ chairman Jack Ma [马云] will need to employ some serious feng shui countermeasures this year.  His family surname Ma is a virtual homophone for the Chinese word for Horse [mǎ 馬] and uses the identical written character.  Tai Sui‘s scrutiny isn’t going to be diverted by something as minor as falling tone pronunciation instead of low tone inflection.  Chairman Ma was born in the Fowl Month in a Yang Water Dragon Year [ 甲辰 ], so he has yin metal (Fowl) and Yang Earth (Dragon) in his month and year pillars.  Will that be enough to guard against Horse penalty?  We shall see.

Take off the blinders.

Long-story-short:  expect a lot of destructive fire in the Year of the Rat as the Horse fights back.  Especially in June.  The Rabbit/Hare Month (February) and Fowl Month (September) will hold perils of their own.

Next time: the rotation of feng shui Flying Stars.


Art, Tar, and Rateables

January 10, 2020

Shortly before the 2019 Thanks-taking holiday, I had a few things to say about the (then) impending Rat Month.  We all know how that turned out.  I closed that blogpost with a teaser paragraph about the upcoming Year of the Rat, but never really got around to covering the prospects for 2020 in detail:

2020 will unfold beneath a Yang Metal Celestial Stem [gēng 庚], which traditionally denotes an experienced elder from the West direction. The Rat him/herself is from the North, associated with the Yang Water Terrestrial Branch [zǐ 子]. Metal-creates-Water: a harmonious relationship between Stem and Branch will be in evidence next year.”

Well, crunch time is here, because the Year of the Yang Metal Rat will begin on January 25th.  Lunghu must devise and publish his annual predictions with no further delay, since unsaid sooth ain’t worth the paper it isn’t written on!  Lo!  Read further, and marvel…

Since I’ve already mentioned the salient features characterizing 2020’s Stem-Branch relationship of Yang Metal above Yang Water, it may be helpful to recapitulate some of the less-obvious implications of the MetalWater dyad.

First, the Celestial Stem [gēng 庚] which governs 2020 is associated with a 30° arc centered on the WSW (255°), an area jointly inhabited by the Fowl and the Monkey.  The Rat, with the Yang Water Terrestrial Branch [zǐ 子], is associated with 0° due North.  As is the case every year, those animals located at 90°, 180° and 270° away from the year’s ruling zodiac sign are his traditional foes, and will be in conflict with him.  In 2020, the Fowl, Horse and Hare can expect trouble from the Rat.  Conversely, the Hare Month (March), the Horse Month (June), and the Fowl Month (September) will cause difficulty for the Rat.  And to top things off, the Rat will wind up his year by encountering self-penalty in December.

The second thing to remember about the Year of the Rat is that it’s a Yang-on-Yang year: there is no balance between yin and Yang.  Yang Metal denotes strong, hard metals like steel, cobalt, nickel, manganese, titanium, uranium and so on.  These materials are emblems of heavy industry, military weaponry, large-scale infrastructure … and the ferrous fetters of social oppression.  Yang Water is powerful, inexorably flowing water: oceans and immense inland seas.  The combination of Yang Metal and Yang Water therefore suggests naval fleets, cruise ships, ore carriers, deepsea drilling platforms, bridges spanning ocean estuaries, shipyards, inter-ocean canal locks, tidal flood barriers and undersea mining … all in the context of rising sea levels.

Yang-on-Yang energy also implies the likelihood of increased aggressiveness, bellicosity and macho posturing.  Therefore, it probably does not mean that Andrew Yang will receive the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in 2020.  I dare you: prove me wrong.

Third:  Rat’s Yang Water Terrestrial Branch benefits from the creative qi of 2020’s Yang Metal Celestial Stem, but provides no support in return.  Hollow metal can float on calm water, but solid metal will sink.  Ultimately, Yang Water will sink Yang Metal, just as salt water will eventually corrode the strongest steel.  Free translation from the cosmic to the mundane:  a war economy may provide techno-industrial jobs and lucrative profits, but most people –including the military– don’t want war.  The speculative degrees and their dupes are the only ones who actually do.

Fourth:  Tai Sui, the Grand Duke of Heaven, sits at the North in 2020.  He’s watching the Rat closely, and also has his gaze fixed on the South, where the Horse resides.  Mere mortals in both the North and South regions will have to moderate their conduct during the Year of the Rat, lest they incur the punitive wrath of Tai Sui.  Minneapolis and New Orleans, Murmansk and Sochi, Beijing and Hong Kong, Edinburgh and London, Hamburg and Munich.  And elsewhere.

Fifth:  The Chinese word for Rat [xǔ 鼠] is a homophone of (sounds like) the Chinese words for potato and millet.  These (along with corn) are significant crops in North China.  The Rat’s self-penalty in 2020 will be particularly manifest in northern regions, and may harm the harvest of these agricultural commodities, especially in the Fowl Month (September).

Sixth:  The English language word Rat is a three-letter anagram for two other common words: ‘tar’ and ‘art’.  Tai Sui’s command of the English language and alphabet is rather limited, so it’s possible that activities related to art or tar may suffer misfortune as a result of Rat’s transgressions.  Stay away from the La Brea tarpits, even if you’re not a wooly mammoth.  Projects in the Alberta (anagram for ‘able rat’) oilsands may not fare well; all the more so since “moving earth” in Tai Sui‘s North region is taboo in 2020.  And because the word ‘shore’ is a five-letter anagram of Horse, it’s probably also a good idea to avoid the South Coast.  Fred Shero would have problems if he weren’t already dead.


But Wait, There’s More

… after the break.

Yoked Oxen

January 2, 2020

It seems as though the Boar Year’s Tai Sui has not yet received the memo informing him that his tenure in the North-northwest is about to end, nor that the Rat Month has concluded.  I say this because celestial wrath is still being visited upon certain regions in the South-southeast directly in Tai Sui‘s line-of-sight gaze, and because that wrath is still taking the form of the Rat Month’s Yang Fire above Yang Water.

The smoke lifted and the New South Wales south coast began the new year in chaos, with widespread power outages, fuel shortages, telecommunications failures and roads blocked to holidaymakers trying to evacuate before hazardous conditions return on Saturday.

If there’s any good news at all in Australia’s celestial outlook, it’s that the Ox Month is characterized by yin fire above yin earth, which suggests that widespread raging bushfires may gradually diminish over the next few weeks –fragmenting into isolated brushfires scattered across the littoral plain.  And although Aussies aren’t generally regarded as the brightest sparks under the barbie grill, perhaps even they will finally recognize that there might be a connection between the massive volumes of coal exported from Western Australia in the past decades and the searing flames now roasting the South-southeast.  The Rat Year will give them another opportunity to learn the lesson: Tai Sui will be ensconced in a due North throne, with his eyes trained on terrestrial affairs in southern portions of the globe.  Victoria and Adelaide, you’re next!

For now, during the next three-and-a-third weeks, the Boar Year’s Ox Month will undoubtedly provide notable incidents of yin fire above yin earth at various places around the world.  Whether those places will be located in the Ox’s Northeast-by-North direction or in the Southwest-by-South direction of the month’s Celestial Stem [dīng 丁] may depend on where you sit and your perspective.  In twenty-two days, the transition to the Rat Year (Yang Metal above Yang Water) will be mediated by the Tiger Month, with its Yang Earth stem above the Yang Wood branch.  More on that later.