Towards 2012: What to expect from the Metal Tiger, Richard Ashworth’s year forecast for 2010

Welcome to Imperial Feng Shui

Richard Ashworth

Feng Shui Diaries

Solar fortnight beginning:

Tuesday December 7th 2009 07.05 

Hour  Day  Month  Year
water fire fire earth
ren bing bing gay
zhen sute tze chou
dragon dog rat ox

Month:                 bing tze the fire Rat
Solar Fortnight:   dau shuut Great snow

Towards 2012: What to expect from the Metal Tiger

Richard Ashworth’s year forecast for 2010

 Notes: This is a summary of general trends divined from the ba zi of the Metal Tiger. Embarrassing errors are close to inevitable and no attempt has been made to be inclusive. Further personalised detail is available by arrangement.

Contact Sheila at:


2010 and 2011, The Run-Up to 2012.

It may be of course that the Mayans just ran out of ink. And if you think they were some race of prehistoric Nostradamus’ just remember that they actually stole their calendar and the accompanying astronomy from their smarter neighbours, the Toltecs.

Sticking strictly to the Chinese Cycles, iE ren zhen, the Water Dragon year 2012, actually mirrors other Water Dragon years such as 208BCE, the year of the unification of China as well as 32BCE which might be the year of the Crucifixion. The Water Dragon of 1412 saw the birth of Joan of Arc who united a whipped France behind her to victory over the invading English. She would be a Dragon, wouldn’t she? There’s no telling them a thing. Other Water Dragon years include 1592, the year of the first English colonies in America and 872 when Alfred (of cakes fame) unified England. These unifyings are probably the types of event to expect in 2012. I expect to be more specific as we get closer. Watch this space.

The Mayans, like the Chinese, thought in terms of a series of bigger and bigger years. For the Chinese the tai sui or great year is 12 years long and mirrors the orbit of Jupiter around the Sun which is a little under 12 Earth years. Our years – the Rat, Ox and indeed Tiger – are in effect months in the greater year. And this mega-year of twelve is itself a month in a bigger year again. If I have understood, the Mayans appear to have been suggesting the loss of two of these maxi-months which in a maxi-year of 144 Earth years amounts to 24 Earth years. They appear to be saying that the world is due to be closed from 2012 until 2036.

Perhaps we can look forward to a concerted response to Global warming. The next Chinese cycle or Fate actually opens in 2016 (or 2024 depending on which teaching you follow) and lasts until 2044 (on which feng shui Masters are agreed). This Fate is numbered 9 which represents both fire and authority. So if this means two decades of Global warming, we’ve got off lightly.

Meanwhile we have 2010 and indeed 2011 to get through. Now, as they say: read on.

Continued after panel.               

Tune Up for 2010 : Last year’s price for next year’s tune up.

 The Metal Tiger of 2010 is very different from the Earth Ox of 2009 and looks quite bleak in terms of what will be on the front pages of the papers. We don’t have to settle for that: we always have choice. Feng shui is doing the right thing in the right place at the right time. There are new places to activate for health, wealth and wisdom and new places to leave still in 2010. And some crucial tricks that must be done before February. We’re charging 2009’s price for 2010’s tune up if you book and pay in 2009. 

Contact Sheila at :

Continued from before panel

 First, in case you don’t want to wade through my reasoning, here are some of the possible key events of 2010:

 Two Elections in the UK following hung Parliament in May.

  • Russians cut off energy supplies in late winter.
  • February: shortlived ASEAN bull market.
  • February: second prong of W-shape recession. Property prices fall as unemployment rockets.
  • February: New England spree killing
  • February: atrocity NE Iraq and/or Afghanistan sets the tone for a year of reprisals. Worst year of American losses since 1973.
  • Terrorist action in a UK garrison town.
  • Police kettling disaster Tyneside or Deeside.
  • Venezuela threatens American oil supplies.
  • Mugabe sticky end mid-year.
  • Politics enters football in a big way in the run-up to the World Cup. England makes it to the finals or semis but does not win. African nations fare better than expected.
  • Osama bin Laden: betrayed by a friend or even a son, April-May 2010. Possible spectacular. And/or Something sudden in April.
  • Proposed drastic UK education cuts modified after vigorous protest late spring, early summer.
  • The Queen delegates to William, preparatory to abdication in 2013 after health scare.
  • Obama back with a bang mid-Summer, a moment of special grace Sep 22nd or so. Ratings bounce back in time for mid-terms following progress in Afghanistan. Congressional witch hunts.
  • Banks attempt to throw off governmental controls; repossessions and foreclosures hit new highs.
  • Strike action in the late autumn in the North.
  • Earthquake and unrest in Assam hits the price of tea.
  • Chinese Moslems introduce suicide bombers; authorities hit back remorselessly.
  • Sudden stock market fall April.
  • Controversial political imprisonment of a woman in March.
  • Tottenham for Europe.
  • Australian cricket in chaos, lose Ashes at home
  • Food quality and pollution issues July South West.
  • November: house market frees up. Some recovery. Aren’t you glad you read this far?

 Gung Yan, the Metal Tiger: Tigger or Shere Khan?

The Tiger, whose qualities include ferocity, patience, vision, rapid movement and long memory is the most feared Animal of the Chinese Zodiac. Many Chinese Masters are at pains to reassure students that the Tiger is not so scary after all which can come off like emphasising the positive aspects of a shark attack. 2010 looks like a formidable year. This is not to say that it can not be satisfying and enjoyable. You and I are each responsible for such choices in our lives. Furthermore in many (but not all) theatres of human activity one man’s loss is another’s gain.

The Tiger is not the most powerful of the Animals; that’s generally reckoned to be the Dragon. Nor is the Tiger the most respected (which is probably the Rat) the most outgoing (Horse) or even the greatest leader (Ox, like Barack Obama but also Hitler, Napoleon and Baroness Thatcher) It is however the Animal the Chinese diviner fears.

To gain some insight as to why, we need only consider that all Tigers are of the Wood element while this Tiger is the Metal variant. The underlying qualities of Wood are youth, movement and aspiration. The Tiger is motivated and unstoppable. The qualities of Metal are age, authority and conservatism. Metal is impassable. To possess both is to be seriously conflicted. Metal clashes Wood.

The Tiger is above all impatient. Tiger energy is visible in nature in the stirrings of early morning and the fresh growth of spring. In point of fact this is precisely how Chinese thinkers millennia ago, arrived at the theory of the Five Elements and ultimately the Year Animals; they observed them in nature. Metal is competitive rather than aspirational. Authority can bide its time but it will win by sheer cunning. Metal belongs to Autumn and the afternoon.

Let’s also emphasis that Wood qualities are not only visible early in the morning and at the quickening of the year but in the years 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986 and 1998 as well as in the character of those born in those years and times. Additionally, those born on a Tiger day (which you will only identify with a Chinese 10,000 year calendar*) are the most Tiger-like of all.  

So the Metal of 2010 is at odds with the Wood of the Tiger. It is the authority that the youthful Tiger natural opposes. It is the natural enemy of wood. Feng shui is the art of coincidence and the plight that Tiger Woods, the golfer whose name echoes the year, finds himself in is illustrative: is he a philanderer or a pillar of family values? It’s tough to be both. The Metal Tiger is an internally and externally conflicted creature. A trapped Tiger will chew its own claws off to escape. This beast is not at peace mostly because it is at war with itself.

* Which with typical Chinese hyperbole usually covers around 180 years.

 A Year of Escalated Conflict: Obama, Hawk or Dork?

An aspect of the Tiger is conflict between young men. The Tiger years of 1914 (commencement of WWI) and of 1854 (the year of the Charge of the Light Brigade) are extreme examples but it is likely that 2010 will see more rather than less war. Escalation of the occupations of both Iraq and Afghanistan make this close to inevitable as do those in the Sudan and the Congo. Consult a map if you had forgotten these.

It will take time for the expanded forces to dig into Asia Minor and major losses are likely especially due South early in the Summer following opportunist sallies to the North. The tide does not turn until the autumn at which time Barack Obama may be branded permanently with the familiar reputation of visionary as well the unfamiliar one of hawk. The Chinook-like sound you will hear at Arlington Cemetery as each fresh body is consigned to its grave, is Lyndon Johnson spinning in his. Like you I could cry when I consider the lessons not learned.

There are five Tigers, one per Element. Since there are twelve distinct Animals that’s one Tiger every twelve years. Lyndon Johnson of course was only Vice-President during the escalation in Vietnam in the Tiger year of 1962 and a junior Senator when the Korean War opened in the previous Metal Tiger of 1950 but he was President when it all went out of control in the late 60’s. Expect an American presence in Afghanistan for at least as long as in Vietnam, possibly as long as West Germany.

Confrontation between young males will be also be expressed in some of the most serious student unrest since the early 70’s. Current university undergraduates are of course predominantly 1988 Dragons, 1989 Snakes and 1990 Horses. A student body dominated by Horses and Dragons will not take funding cuts lying down and might even alter the outcome.

A Year of  Financial Turmoil: the i-pod of the Tiger

As the Metal Tiger is marginally less fearsome than the Wood Tiger, so much of the year’s disturbance will probably be economic and social. Is that better or worse? Metal clashing Wood is accountancy taking precedence over Human Resources.

Expect strike action as unemployment figures take flight. There will be especial unrest in the South West of England and indeed in the Southern Mid-West of the USA but effective industrial action is limited to the North East. Any green shoots before November are likely to be the ones displaced manual workers come across digging their allotments to keep busy. This may lead to the rediscovery of small manufacturing as banks discover they can’t charge for money they haven’t lent and 30 years of Thatcherism gives way to a recognition of the need for  profitable employment for all – which may not simply mean jobs, by the way.    

Banks are generally considered to be Metal and this is a year in which the banks declare independence from government. Bank charges rocket and foreclosures proliferate. This is the second downward prong of the W-shaped recession. Property takes a further tumble along with other markets. The only relief is in sharp corrections spring and autumn followed by the first signs of recovery in November.

Manufacturing falls away worldwide as markets recede, especially in Metal sectors such as high tech. As in property there will be plenty of bargains but the moment to buy will remain hard to pick in the volatile climate.

The After Eight Mint: A Year of Weakened Government

One of the sharp market corrections – during the last burst of the Dragon month in the first week in May – probably coincides with the all-change of a UK General Election. But just as the opposite of love is not hate but indifference and the opposite of change not stability but stagnation, settled Labour government is followed by unsettled administration rather than a settled alternative. This echoes the last time Parliament was returned hung, in the Wood Tiger year 1974.

So the result of the spring Election is unlikely to be conclusive and may be followed by a further election in October. Minority and extremist parties over-achieve and turnout is dismal.

Esoterically 2010 is a lo shu 8 year. The current Fate (ie era) in Chinese terms is also 8. Accordingly 2010 typifies the era, so trends and tendencies are doubled up. Both Fate and year concern loyalties, consolidation and entrenched religious views.  

Along with a return to extremist politics comes a return to other fixed positions which serve only to demonstrate their own short shelf life.

This trend is reflected in China, India and Russia as well as the USA where rightwing groups once more confuse God with America and possibly apple pie. Sarah Palin’s following grows but fortunately for Obama the Congressional midterm elections fall at just the right moment. Some ideological purging follows.

In China the forces of democracy start to make real headway preparatory to breakthrough in 2012. Someone already in power backs the democratic movement. Tired of manufacturing the world’s gym shoes, the Chinese who boast a history of aesthetics going back three millennia, demand the right to design and imagine and express themselves safely. The question whether successful capitalism can co-exist with a repressive regime may be settled once and for all by 2013. Er….it’s a no.

 Continues after panel. 

The Next Two Feng Shui Diaries:

 Dated 22nd December: location by location, what to do where in order to be healthy, wealthy and wise in 2010.

Dated 7th January: An outline of the prospects for the year, Animal by Animal.

 Don’t miss next month’s thrilling instalment(s)

 Continued from before panel.

 The I of the Tigris

The Yang Metal of this Tiger is big Metal, powerful Metal. As noted earlier, the Metal of authority, of armies and generals as well as banks is ranged against the progressive aspiration of the Tiger.

Terrorist activity is indicated: Osama bin Laden is in the news in mid-year either because he is betrayed by an intimate, possibly (even a son) or because he is rumoured to be behind a major attack or both. In China, Islamic Fundamentalism goes militant and is not restricted to the South Western provinces. China responds with predictable harshness which may rebound.

In India there are major natural disasters as well as further insurrection. Trouble in Assam to the South East in the Spring may affect the price of tea just as similar forces in Africa impact on the price of Coffee. Starbucks’ look out!

The Russian administration underlines its own insecurity by threatening to close energy supply lines to the EU. The Russian voter shows just how unimpressed he is by anything other than wealth, in the elections that may follow which will tend to firm up ties with the West. It’s the economy, stupid.

Zero years are often years of aftermath: 1990 followed the fall of the Berlin Wall, 1970 the revolutionary 60’s, 1930 the upheaval of the Wall Street Crash. 2010 is more complex as governments attempt to compensate for the forced spending of the last couple of years while facing fresh liquidity challenges. Taxes rise along with real bank charges but not (at least at first) apparent interest rates. The stealth tax is fashionable again.

It’ll all be a lot more obviously joyous in 2011, tsun muw. 2011 is Zebedee, the Rabbit on a spring, who ought to be preceded by the equally bouncy Tigger but er…isn’t.

© Richard Ashworth 2009


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