Archive for January, 2008

It’s a Golden Year, Every Year…

It’s sometimes just a *little* vexatious to keep repeating myself. I don’t enjoy repeating myself but just when I think I’ve managed to dispel some myth, like the proverbial cat with nine lives, it comes back, larger than ever.

This appeared in last week’s issue of The Edge, a business weekly in Malaysia.

Royal Selangor Rat

I blame the marketing people. Someone has cottoned onto the idea that prefixing every animal year with ‘Golden’ is a guaranteed method to get everyone to buy the item. The only thing missing is the suggestion that people put their newly purchased Golden Rat in the 5 Yellow position for the year.

Strange, I always thought platinum was worth more than gold (and in Chinese Metaphysics, the colour of gold is actually, white ).

But I suppose Platinum Rat doesn’t sound as auspicious as Golden Rat. Which by the way, makes no sense since last year was apparently a Golden Pig. Have people forgotten the Five Elements? (and in case you are wondering, it was NOT a Golden Pig. It was the Fire Pig 丁亥 and it’s an Earth Rat 戊子 this year).

As for whether or not the Rat came first in the race of the 12 animals, I tell my students that the story is a good mnemonic for the 12 animals, but it is not a very good mnemonic for remembering the sequence of the 12 animals. The representation of the 12 Animals is usually a wheel because it signifies a cycle that has no beginning and no end. And most of the time, we do not regard the month of the Rat as the start of the year. If anything, the Tiger is the animal that marks the beginning of every yearly cycle.

I will be posting some cool video footage and photos from my 27th January event at KLCC convention center soon.

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Li Gua in Pictures

Did not have a particularly good lunch today. Hence, thoughts of food in today’s blog entry. This is what I had on a recent trip. Oh, and it also happens to be a great pictoral representation of Li Gua.


Li Gua

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Who’s Good & Who’s Bad in 2008

My Astrology Book delves into details about the Year of the Earth Rat for each of the 12 Animals and the 60 Day Masters. I thought I’d put up a condensed 1 minute version of what the Year of the Earth Rat holds for the 12 Animals on my blog - so here it is.


If we think of the 12 animals as a sort of mafia, the first rule is to know who’s the boss. The Rat, being the Grand Duke for the Year, is the Big Kahuna for 2008. All power, authority and influence is concentrated in the hands of the Rat. Naturally, whomever is in league with the Big Kahuna of the year, is going to reap the rewards of the year. That means 2008 is 12.5 percent likely to be good for Dragons, Rats and Monkeys, as these three animals form the Water Frame Three Harmony Combination. So if you are a Dragon, Rat or Monkey, its time to up the ante and make things happen for yourself because the energies of the universe and people are on your side.

Those NOT in league with the Big Kahuna of the year, will be losing out. The Horse is most directly opposed to the Rat, as the Horse and Rat is one of the six clashes. And anyone in league with the Horse (that would be Tigers and Dogs) is naturally going to be dragged into a negative position. So all the Tigers, Horses and Dogs best lie low in 2008 and avoid trouble by simply postponing major decisions relating to career, relationships or wealth.

In a nutshell – don’t change job, change marital status or spouse, or make investments!

Each year there are also two neutral groups – this year, it is the Pig, Rabbit and Goat, which form one group, and Snake, Rooster and Ox, which form another group. Neutral groups are not really sitting on the sidelines as such, but will benefit based on what stars reside in which animal palace in the year’s star map. For example, the Emperor Star resides in the Goat sector this year, which means Goats will have opportunities when it comes to fame and heightened profile or status. As the Ox and Rat is one of the Six Combinations, Oxen will also benefit in the year of the Rat. But as the Three Harmony Combination is more powerful than a simple Combination, the Monkey and Dragons will benefit more. Rabbits have the Money Star in the Rabbit Palace, but this is only good for those who are not in partnerships.

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February 7th 2008 - Why Solar Eclipses are so significant in the Chinese Calendar

Click here to enlarge.

You might have noticed on the Desktop Tong Shu calendar that we often have the Sun and Moon Eclipses marked out. Since one of the two important Calendars in Chinese civilization, namely the Lunar Calendar, is based on the Moon (the other calendar is the Solar Calendar), the Chinese calendars are probably the most accurate source on the timing of astrological phenomenon such as eclipses.

But it begs the question: why is it important to know if there is an eclipse going on?

Image from Wikipedia

Most forms of Astrology, place a great deal of emphasis on the Sun and the Moon. In Chinese Astrology, the Sun is Yang and the Moon is Yin and they are regarded as the only two stars in the constellation that can emit light. Thus, when an eclipse of the Sun or Moon takes place, all Yang or all Yin is blocked out momentarily during that point in time. In Chinese Astrology, a sun eclipse is regarded as being worse than a moon eclipse - this is because Yang energy is required by all living beings and when a Sun eclipse occurs, Yang energy to Earth is momentarily interrupted. It also falls in-line with astrological findings that the Moon doesn’t actually emit its own light, but merely reflects the light of the Sun.

Per Chinese Astrology, it is strongly advisable to avoid going outdoors during a Sun Eclipse or to observe the phenomenon at all. Being outdoors during a Sun Eclipse is a one-way ticket to bad luck within 3 months. The ancient Chinese Astrologers specifically advised against any direct look at the eclipse.

Modern science tells us why this is a bad idea: exposure of the eye to the Sun’s rays during an eclipse (it is not possible to look at the sun when it is not in eclipse) can result in visual impairment and blindness. That does sound a bit like bad luck.

To actually understand the actual nature of the ‘bad luck’ involved requires an understanding of the Tian Xing or Heavenly Stars. One would need to know the negative stars in the constellation at that specific point in time, and the person’s exact location (latitude and longtitude). And the person needs to have either taken a direct look at the eclipse OR have been in the path of the eclipse before they have their one way ticket to bad luck.

Although there are safe methods to observe a sun eclipse, it is not advisable to actually observe the eclipse outdoors (or at all, if you want to play it safe).Being indoors, inside your home, at the time of the eclipse, is perfectly safe.

Exposure to the effect of a Sun Eclipse, can be part of the reason why two people with the same BaZi charts, encounter different paths at a certain point in time. This is because Person A and Person B are influenced by different Heavenly Stars or Tian Xing at that point in time, based on their geographical location.

The sun eclipse that takes place on February 7th 2008 is only what is known as an annular eclipse and is not a total sun eclipse. So it is not that bad. Now because it falls on the 1st Day of Chinese New Year, it does not mean that the entire year is cursed or anything so outrageous. For that matter, because it is only a partial eclipse, you don’t need to stay indoors either. Go about your activities as usual.

The next total eclipse of the Sun takes place on August 1 2008 – needless to say, THAT is not a day to get up to any important activities, especially outdoors!

If you want to see what a solar eclipse or lunar eclipse looks like, look at some pictures on the Internet!

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Main Door of the Month (January Edition)

This is a Feng Shui blog so it makes sense to have a Main Door pin-up :)

Want business at your restaurant? First, make sure you have a good Main Door.

If customer’s can’t see you, how can they make their way into your restaurant? I knew this restaurant was in the building, but we just couldn’t FIND IT.

Main Door of the Month

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2008 Flying Star Chart: A Brief Commentary


If your house Main Door, bedroom or study are located in the East or Southeast locations of your property (where the #8 and #9 stars reside respectively), good news - there’s not much you need to do to get READY FOR THE RAT. By using the room or the door, in effect, being there or entering your home, you are already activating these two favourable stars, and you’re already tapping into the two Wealth Qi positions for the year.

If you’re using the #8 or East direction star (known as the Wang Qi or Prosperous Qi direction), then the year will be favourable for you in terms of wealth opportunities that can be exploited NOW and in the immediate year. Opportunities or investments that are already in profit are ready to be cashed in on.

If you’re using the #9 or Southeast direction star (known as the Sheng Qi or Growth Qi direction), then the year is favourable for laying down the foundations of wealth opportunities (such as expanding your business) or undertaking long-term investments.

If you don’t have a door or a bedroom in the East or Southeast, have no fear. You don’t have to resort to the toad. A little fish tank filled with water (with some guppies to keep the mosquitoes away) will do. Water, being a Yang element, will activate the Qi.

A North Main Door, bedroom or study is also good in 2008. The #6 Star, which governs authority, recognition, fame and power, resides in the North and this is a good room to use if you are looking for a promotion, or to move up in your organization, or just to get some positive PR. For those with children facing important examinations this year, you want to try and let them sleep or study in a Northeast room, where the #4 star is located.This is a star that is helpful for academic pursuits.

People are usually tempted to look into cures often because they are frightened of the negative stars and want to ‘negate’ them. The best way to negate something, is to just avoid the situation. Like the beehive in a tree, as long as you don’t poke it with a stick or stir up the hornets inside, nothing bad will happen!

As three major afflictions – the Five Yellow, the Year Breaker and the 3 Killings - reside this year in the South, that makes life a little easier. Find the South location in your home, and where practical and possible, avoid using the area or renovating that area. Now, let’s say the South happens to be your TV room or bedroom – you might want to move the TV to another room (preferably one with positive Stars) or sleep in another room for the year. But if you can’t do that, just avoid moving any of the furniture, moving things about, or striking the walls or ground in that area. Don’t put up pictures and don’t hammer the wall. If you can not use the room at all, that is best. If not, try to avoid making any chances or movement to that room. Remember, we don’t want to trigger the stars with activity.

It’s also important to remember that you should avoid touching the ground in the South, even if it is outside your property. Whilst there’s not much you can do if your neighbour decides to dig up his garden, which happens to be the South part of your home, you can avoid problems by not doing any digging on your own side of the fence.

The other two problem zones in 2008 are the West, Southwest and Northwest. The West is where the #3 star is located and this star is typically associated with squabbling, arguments and petty disputes. If you sleep in this room, or have a Main Door located in the West, you should be cautious in your dealings with people. Be careful what you say, and try to keep the peace rather than be confrontational. The Southwest is where the #7 Robbery star is located. If you have a Main Door here (especially offices), it is good to put into place some solid accounting procedures as fraud and petty theft are likely. Invest in a good burglar alarm system, be careful when going in and out, or carrying cash, and insure your valuables.

Bedrooms in the Northwest will usually result in the occupants being prone to illness this year. Stomach problems, gastrointestinal ailments and migraines are likely, and stress will be part of the underlying cause behind the problem. If possible, use another room for the year. If not, be cautious with what you eat, and manage your stress levels!

Let’s get a little bit sophisticated with how we look at the chart for a minute.

The annual chart on the face of it appears to suggest that those with Northwest doors or bedrooms are doomed to a rotten year. But in Flying Stars, it’s very important to look at Combinations. So for example, whilst the Northwest is not a favourable sector, when the Qi in the Northwest is combined with that of the East, property-related wealth opportunities will arise. This is due to the Combination of Ten outcome that arises when the #2 and #8 Star come together.

Similarly, the #7 Star, which resides in the Southwest in 2008, can be turned positive, through proper use, to unlock opportunities in the entertainment business, or to open the doors to opportunities involving speaking, teaching, or communications. In fact, the #7 Star can be particularly good for those in the sales industry or for companies that are dependant on good sales, to secure their profits for the year.

Don’t get it? Don’t worry - Never under-estimate the power of basics. Like I always say – don’t let what you can’t do, get in the way of what you can do. Bear in the mind the mantra “Use the Good, Avoid the Bad” and you can’t go wrong in 2008.

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The Pig Tail or the Rat’s Nose?

Come February 4th 2008, we will officially enter the Year of the Earth Rat (Wu Zi 戊 子)

When the energies change over, it is not quite like microwaved food where one minute its uncooked and after 20 seconds of zapping, it is cooked. It is not the case that come February 4th 2008, DING, suddenly, good goes to bad, and bad goes to good. Horse year people don’t SUDDENLY experience an overnight change in fortunes. When the annual energies change over, it is a graduated process – like the changing of the seasons. Autumn doesn’t go to winter overnight. It transitions slowly.

One thought on people’s minds might be - are we feeling the Rat now in the month of January 2008? Or is the Pig still holding court?

Whatever energies that are in force at the moment are definitely influenced by the Rat and increasingly less by the Pig as we move towards February 4th 2008. It may still be the year of the Fire Pig, but the Qi that prevails at the moment is definitely the nose of the Rat, rather than the Tail of the Pig.

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Ratting on the Prosperity Rat

This interesting article appeared in the Star newspaper on the 11th January 2008.

And just in case anyone’s wondering - it’s an Earth Rat this year, not a Golden Rat. So does that mean the Clay Rats bring better luck?

I don’t think so!

Anyone who actually thinks that they need to have some kind of Rat in their home, in order to benefit in the year of the Rat, should save their money. Rats (and other rodents like mice) are practically IN every home anyway. So there’s no need to really go out and buy one.

The Star also carried an article on Hamster Sales in 2008! Apparently, sales of pet hamsters are expected to go up in 2008 in accordance with the year of the Rat,as people buy hamsters, to welcome in the Year of the Rat.

I am sure you can see there is no logic in the notion that hamsters, rats, mice or Mickey can somehow be good luck. By logical extension, we will need pet Goats in the year of the Goat and pet Snakes in the year of the Snake. And where on earth will we find a Dragon for the year of the Dragon?

Now I know for most people, it’s all for a bit of fun, and I’m sure no one out there really believes that making a pet of the Animal of the Year will bring good luck. However, considering everything nowadays is linked to Feng Shui (Garden Feng Shui, Car Feng Shui, Salon Feng Shui), I wouldn’t put it beyond someone to try to market some kind of ‘Pet Feng Shui’. (In case you are wondering, NO, there is no such thing as Pet Feng Shui or pets being beneficial to Feng Shui or your astrological state of luck. )

Being a pet owner myself, I deplore any use of Feng Shui that ends up promoting irresponsible pet ownership by encouraging people to ‘update their auspicious pets’ every year or encouraging people who normally would not be keen on the commitment of a pet to buy a pet simply because it ‘might’ be lucky.

If you really want to benefit from the Year of the Rat, do it without buying a rat, a hamster or a rodent of any sort and focus instead on using the positive energy sectors of your home. It doesn’t cost a thing, and it doesn’t leave a messy trail!

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Star Talk: 尊星

The term ‘Star’ 星 (Xing) is usually used to refer to a body of Qi in Flying Stars Feng Shui. But Star 星 (Xing) is regarded as a Mountain in Landform Feng Shui.

Confusing? Sort of. But also explains why different masters have different interpretations of certain texts.

尊星 can be interpreted as meaning “Revered Star” or “Senior Star” and will carry a different meaning, depending on whether the context is San He or Xuan Kong.

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Wood Water: Good Guy or Bad Guy?

地理人子須知 (Di Li Ren Zi Xu Zhi), a San He classic, warns of Wood Water being the cause of dual harm.

Yet, in 入地眼 Entering Earth Eye, a classical text on Forms, it is stated that Wood Water is good.

Who is right? Or is this yet another case of two classics that don’t make sense and contradictory classical Feng Shui techniques?

On the contrary, there is no contradiction. Both the texts are right. It is a question of context.

In 地理人子須知 (Di Li Ren Zi Xu Zhi), Wood Water means water that is straight and that does not meander. Examples of Water that fall into the category of Wood Water according to this text include straight roads, Cutting Feet Water and fast moving water that is directed straight at the property, or which moves away from the property in a straight line. In San He, Wood Water means water that looks like a penbrush – it is long, straight and usually made out of Wood!

Wood Water

入地眼 Entering Earth Eye, in a different section, mentions Wood as having the appearance of being gnarled and knotted. Thus, when it subsequently refers to Wood Water in another section, it is essentially talking about water that has small tributaries, or little offshoots, which make it sentimental and meander.

Wood Water can be good or can be negative. It depends on what your definition of Wood is right?

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Copyright © 2008 by Joey Yap. All rights reserved worldwide.