Feng Shui Diary
forecast for 2011 drawn from
Wednesday December 22nd 2010 07.28
Beg, steal or burrow:
The year of the Metal Rabbit
“There is a limit to our life, but to knowledge there is no limit. With what is limited to pursue what is unlimited is a perilous thing. When knowing this, we still seek to pursue our knowledge, the peril cannot be averted.” Zhuang Tze
The challenge in the production of these annual hostages to fortune is making them useful. It’s all very well to know that California, Washington and Oregon are going to secede from the Union* but what do you do with that information? The fact is that divination whether it be feng shui, ba zi or tealeaf reading is expressed, like dreams, in metaphors and the skill of the diviner is to translate. If I am commissioned, then my translation has to be useful to the paying punter. In the following speculations plucked from the dream state of Chinese symbols however, I am pleasing myself. It may not enable you to turn this Rabbit into bucks but it might touch you more deeply than doe ever could. Be gentle with me, please.
If you want to know what is on the cards for you personally, (more prosaic) individual Animal Fortunes can be found at my website: http://imperialfengshui.info. Do have a look!
* They’re not – at least not before 2025 – so don’t go to Ladbrokes with this just yet
Bucking the trends
Traditionally the place to start is the opening moment of the year which is thought to encapsulate its energy. For me that was 07:28 on the morning of December 22nd 2010. That’s unorthodox; most Chinese Masters (such as Joey Yap for instance) work from the 4th February. Some like Lillian Too, work from the variable date on which the Chinese celebrate (this year the 3rd Feb). I usually examine all three.
From my standpoint, 2011 is a Metal Rabbit year starting at the Water Dragon hour of a Fire Horse day in an Earth Rat month. What conclusions can we draw?
The primary consideration is that we are dealing with a Metal Rabbit and that this specific brand of energy will overarch the whole year. The Rabbit is gentle, domestic, diplomatic and self-effacing like the yin Wood it epitomises. Wood is about movement, the stirring of a new dawn, but this is the yin variety not the insistent sudden yang Wood of the Tiger of 2010. One quality of yin Wood is healing. It is the thoroughgoing healing of the wind that blows smoke from the battlefield.
And this is a Metal Rabbit. Metal attacks Wood, an uneasy meeting, not as uneasy as 2010 though, because a combination of yin characters is altogether gentler. Yin suggests empowerment as opposed to competition, gentleness as opposed to violence and issues that are personal and domestic as opposed to global and abstract.
So what kind of dawn is breaking? Who are its harbingers? Commercially this is a year in which attention to the person and to individual wellbeing is highlighted. Alternative healing will come under attack as the vested interests of the pharmaceutical companies are expressed in legal battles that only they can afford to see through. This has happened before with life-or-death relief for 3rd World diarrhoea and AIDS but the war is over. 2011 sees the morning of a change of thinking. New Age practitioners will be more rather than less firmly established by the end of the year and they will achieve this not by proving that their disciplines are more or less scientific but that they work.
Rabbit forming behaviour.
This is a year in which influence is mostly wielded by women, I think. After eradicating malaria, watch what Melinda Gates tackles next. She is by the way a very good example of the Wood Dragon of 1964 who needs to get his or her attention out onto a suffering world. If they don’t they simply disappear up themselves. There is a hint of this in the characters above, representing the day and the hour that opened the new year: the glamorous Horse of the day galvanises the magic Dragon of the hour into action.
It is the nature of a Rabbit year to soften the harsher edges of the Tiger. So expect Wood Tiger Ben Goldacre, evenhanded sceptic of the Guardian’s Bad Science column, to modify his view on homoeopathy in the light of evidence. Also expect Goldacre’s exact contemporary Jemima Goldsmith (was Khan) to step up in pursuit of greater governmental accountability. Interestingly while cyber war between East and West accelerates, Wikileaker Julian Assange who Ms Goldsmith has literally bailed out, will like the Metal Pig he is, shift his ground somewhat. A man who attracts dubious sex scandals so readily stands at the gates between the logical contentious male thinking (that has given us two World Wars, Prime Minister’s Question Time and private equity funds) and the dawn of the intuitive gentleness of feminine, that is yin thinking.
Meanwhile the influence of Wood Monkey Karen Armstrong, author of A History of God and founder of the Charter for Compassion will be widening. Her style of inclusive, non-judgemental reasoning may help dissolve differences between Muslim and Christian as well as between different Christian disciplines. Only panoramic thinking can bring this about and there are very few who can rise to it.
Year of the Cat
One man whose importance in this regard will be more and clear is Yusuf Islam, once known as Cat Stevens. As an Earth Rat he will have been on a journey of assessment of his achievement to date since 2008 from which he is about to emerge. While still a pop star at the peak of his powers, he famously told Melody Maker that he had never been satisfied by a woman. To those of us paying attention, whatever we thought of his music, this was a man already in pursuit of something beyond the material. Metal Rat twins Hugh Grant and Colin Firth both emerge to acclaim this year following a similar but perhaps less profound period of self-examination.
On the other hand, self-styled Infidel* Ayan Hirsi Ali will be challenged as strongly as you’d expect a Rooster to be in a Rabbit year. Her provocative position on Islam though extreme, remains one of the most authoritative sentences on multiculturalism. Her view is simply by the way, that it doesn’t work. No burkas, no mats, no Urdu, no compromise. If you’re Dutch (like her) you’re Dutch, if you’re English you’re English. She’s taken refuge in the US by the way.
Some of these issues were aired in 2010 in Chris Morris’ genius film Four Lions. A Tiger like Ben Goldacre, Morris may also find his positions modifying. As a satirist this is a demanding move of course but also the only way he can be truly dispassionate and therefore valuable. Nothing explodes hypocrisy like laughter. Ask Water Sheep Vince Cable (whose influence, surprisingly, is growing not shrinking) about shifting positions.
* A radical and courageous first person account of what it is to be a Muslim woman.
Most of the movers and shakers of 2011 are women, I think. One whose courage and persistence have stood out for decades of course is Aung San Suu Kyi whose personal liberty may be threatened but whose international impact is not. That which does not kill me as Gurdjeff wrote, makes me stronger.
Regime change in Burma as in China, will have to wait till the end of 2012 nonetheless. The Chinese economy upon which all in the region depend one way or another is overheating. Don’t expect rebellion from young people driving Mercedes’ but rely on it when the limos have to go back to the shop. 2012 is a Water Dragon like 208BCE, the year Qin Shi Huang Di, having overturned all the rival kingdoms, reconstructed them into a single Chinese nation that has lasted till now. As China reshuffles, the 3rd world which has become particularly dependent upon Chinese support will be vulnerable. Be ready to dig deep for Africa in 2013.
Heart and Seoul
On the other hand millions of North Koreans may be saved from starvation by 2013 as among the moved and shaken is numbered Kim Jong Il whose fatuous goosestepping regime will more than likely end in tears before Christmas 2012 as he discovers what everyone else in the world has known all along: that his very existence depends on the fact that China fears and respects a united Korea and fears him not at all.
In Russia dirty tricks rule, predominant among these, energy blackmail and cyber war. Watch out Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. These trends by the way follow the North-East to South West axis of the 8 Fate which draws to a close in 2016 by when Russia’s loss will have been Venezuela’s gain. By the same token, the predominant economic power in the second half of the 20th century is more likely to be India than China. No one is under house arrest in India to prevent them receiving a Nobel Prize. Manufacturing the world’s gym shoes is only fulfilling as long as you’re being very well paid for it.
At home in Britain, a constitutional crisis looms as the rights and powers both of Parliament and monarch are tested. Simultaneously the secret of economic success – added value – is rediscovered along with small scale high quality manufacturing.
So the harsh Metal Tiger is gone and in its place the opportunities of the Metal Rabbit. Where we have been dealing with the abstraction of bankers’ bonuses and deficit figures with too many zeroes to mean anything, our attention will turn to whether our kids can count on an education, our parents on healthcare and ourselves on our pensions. No, no and no and despite all this we retain choice. This is a year in which we are invited to be kinder and to help another. It’s the only way through.
And I’d be in cash by December 2013 if I were you.
© Richard Ashworth 2011