Animal Forecasts 2015: 1. The Rodent Less Travelled, outlook for Rats in 2015

Who is a Rat?

Years:  1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008.
Month*:  November
Hour: 11:00 pm – 01:00 am
Day: ask us

* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Rat?
The Rat is yang water but with a hidden stem of yin water, the major water animal of Chinese metaphysics. All water on this planet, unless interfered with by outside forces, is connected with and on the same level as all other water. This powerful idea may clarify the connection between water and communication.

Someone said that we have two ears and one mouth for a good reason: that we should listen twice as much as we speak. The issues relating to water are listening and speaking while keeping the ratios right. Often observation of this balance is not the calling of the Rat. Some of us are elected primarily to talk and the yang water of the Rat signifies a high level of communication. The Rat is the talker of the Chinese Zodiac. As you know, an unbalanced or distressed Rat tends to clam up or run off at the mouth.

The Rat is supreme in the realm of ideas. It is said that when you can tell water from fire, you are a master. The blue of the sky at mid-summer, for instance is not water but fire. Who can identify this consistently? The Rat who is a planner and a plotter and a deep thinker, is the most likely candidate. He thinks ahead, sometimes to the detriment of his awareness of the present. This makes him a good chess player but not so great at poker. He is apt to be too controlling for games that require being open to good fortune. That sort of uncertainty is painful to your average Rat. He wants the credit and to get that he has to be in control.

In conversation you may find that the Rat second guesses in a very distinctive way: typically he gets his correspondent to commit to a position before he states his; a very useful quality in a teacher but not everyone’s cup of tea in a collaborator. The Dragon and the Monkey, even the Ox, may find this reassuring but it drives the Horse and the Tiger wild and to some extent the Dog.

Being big talkers and travellers, Rats are traditionally suited to work involving communication: sales, oratory and persuasion. In the collaboration with the Rabbit, Rooster and Horse that Derek Walters (himself a Rat) calls the Flowers of Love, the Rat is the talker, the chatter-up  if you will, where the Rooster provides the glamour, the Horse the passion and the Rabbit the stamina. A Rat with these additional animals present is effortlessly successful and charismatic. The missing animals indicate his weaknesses. None of them of course is at ease alone in the company of the Rat.

An unbalanced Rat talks too much and listens selectively. A balanced one gets this exactly right; he is fascinating talker and a skilled listener. But the very deafness of the less gifted Rat can be a point of pride. Blessed nonetheless with an orderly mind and excellent retention, this Rat often considers his ignorance of a subject a reflection upon the subject rather than upon himself. This sort of Rat needs to learn to value the convictions of others, especially if they are derived from premises he does not accept.

The Rat is a guardian, a watcher. Sometimes he is self-appointed and the unbalanced Rat has a particular blindness that leads him to believe that his opinion is an absolute. This is more accentuated and less well-informed in his partner the Ox in what some call the House of Creativity and Cleverness. The relationship between the Ox and the Rat is less that of partners than of pupil and tutor but the Ox can be a particularly obdurate learner, sometimes drawing conclusions to which he is not entitled and sticking like a limpet to any conclusion he can justify. In these circumstances the Ox is not so much partner or indeed student of the Rat as tormentor.

A very conscious Rat can make good use of this blindness to the value of other people’s positions. He is likely to be able to explain things that baffle others and to derive laws from this gift. To have no explanation however is to open himself up to chaos. If he knows this about himself he can master even the most abstract discipline.

The Rat is versatile and multi-talented though not as notably so as the Pig of whom he is often jealous or the Dragon who can baffle him despite their mutual affinity. Yang water can speak of profligacy with money. The Rat is a brilliant small businessman but often a poor tycoon. In the power triad with the Dragon and Monkey, the Rat may appear to overvalue the hands-on deftness of the Monkey because he finds the Monkey easier to control and may envy the Dragon his magic.

And it is this potential for envy that is the other big weakness of the Rat and laid him open once more to the Horse last year. The full-on spontaneity of Fire draws resentment from many a Rat. He can’t admire what he can’t himself master. This can lead to him not getting credit for originality of mind. Consider Water Rat Alan Turing of Enigma fame. And finally  the Rat can be a fickle partner but an attentive parent albeit one who may have favourites. The awakened Rat is absolutely even-handed; which is quite a gift.

Rat in Wood Sheep Year.

Stars include: toe far,  tin yute gwai yan.

In a Horse year, the Rat is challenged directly. There will have been no ambiguity about this. The bar was set higher and the opposition more determined than ever before. The only redeeming factor will have been that ultimately, strong Water conquers strong Fire. Extroversion makes the Horse in the last analysis vulnerable where the Rat can play safe. This can be a tad stultifying; you may have rejected rivals, suitors and original ideas in equal measure  in the year passed. Think back perhaps; did you forestall disappointment by not entering the competition? This can have been a professional decision , one about relationship or something else. Did you turn your back on big opportunity out of fear? That is the likely pattern of the common-or-garden Rat in a Horse year.

The Sheep year however is a bit different.  You are the duty  tin yute gwai yan or “noble helper” This year you are liable to baulk on others’ behalf. If you are a manager or a parent you may be tempted to keep your charges out of danger and thereby out of the challenge of learning. As a parent this is a bridge too far. Read Kalil Ghibran on this subject. We don’t own our children. We have a simple brief: to bring them to maturity self-sufficient and in one piece . Something very similar applies to people management; the job of the manager is also to make themselves redundant and then move on. You suffer – for the best possible reasons – from being over-protective.  Probably; the Rat is smart though and there exists a species of Rat who follows Gurdjeff in believing that that which does not kill us makes us stronger. This is a harsh credo. Some call it tough love. But there is no meaning to this oxymoron. Love is not tough. Such an approach derives from fear. Fear of engagement, fear of becoming irrevocably emotionally committed.  This year you can’t run from it.

Sounds like quite a year.

Our gifts lie under our curses and the thing is that the Rat has a gift for dealing with this stuff. You are able to communicate deep vulnerable emotion better than almost anyone. It’s just that it’s frightening. That’s why we over-protect. Because if we lay ourselves open, owning our mistakes, rather than trying to be cardboard cut-out perfect parents, who knows what weakness we might own up to? As a people manager, if we admitted our incompetence, what advantage might be taken of us? And what might we learn in the process?

This year the Wood of the Wood Sheep draws us inexorably out. If we will not speak them, our lapses will turn up in writing. If we will not share our failings, our various charges can only learn the hard way. You have been taken on for a reason. Your hard-won experience is not only of value to you but to everyone who follows or attempts to follow your example. You are called to help, to get involved.

Youthful political pundit Owen Jones is a good example; he was born in 1984, making him a Wood Rat, the originator of ideas.  If he becomes an actual practising politician this year, rather than an outspoken voice on the margins, he may make a huge positive difference. And his apparent quandary has a very parental tone to it; there is no one else to do it. There is not a queue down the hall of people prepared to take risks on behalf of  what you care about. So you, Mr or Ms Rat, are, so to speak, elected. Speak your truth.

The Rat by the way has pretty good relationship luck this year. As a keeper of the toe far or Plum Blossom Star, the Rat is both match and matchmaker. Wealth probably not so much. So get on with it; there’s not much to lose. You are a focal point in 2015.

Like last year , the Rat can himself ask for help although the sources are different this year. Seek Monkeys (1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004) who can’t help but involve themselves with you. Keep them house-trained though. And the Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000) who is at the heart of everything this year, is sworn to contain you also. This team is double effective because the Monkey is also duty  tin yute gwai yan this year.

Expect to be defending others a lot. Plan for it. You are likely to be involved in vicarious dispute on and off the whole time. You can be the champion – with all the approbation and empowerment likely to follow in the Monkey Year of 2016. Or you can play safe, That’ll hurt. Step up; you know it makes sense..

Health: food-poisoning, some blocking of the pipes possible. Don’t over-do starch.

Money: undramatic for now.

Relationship: Better for Ratte than Rat. This is a year of largely deferred gratification.

Feng Shui: occupy SE1, the Dragon (East Group) and/or SW3, the Monkey (West Group)

Readers’ Digest Version: a challenge to be risen to for the benefit of all.

Richard Ashworth © 2015


Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

One Response to “Animal Forecasts 2015: 1. The Rodent Less Travelled, outlook for Rats in 2015”

  1. Henriette Says:

    Thanks Richard wonderful story…how do you see the Rat in the Year, like you described and the Rat in the DayPillar?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: