2008, a new beginning: year of the Rat, along with animal sign forecasts.
by Valerie Litchfield
In the mood for a new beginning? Emerging like the sprout of a seed buried deep within the earth comes the Chinese Year of the Rat. According to Chinese legend, this ground-dwelling animal was the first to arrive at the Buddha’s door to join him for a great feast. The steadfast Ox led the way, but toward the end of the journey, the Rat ferried his way across the celestial river on the Ox’s back and then jumped from his head to gain the first spot of the Chinese zodiac. Consequently, the Rat is deemed not only clever and ambitious, but a symbol of good fortune and wealth in Asian cultures.
Here in the west, the bright, happy and charming personality of Mickey Mouse entertains us as only a Rat can with verbal jousting, a charismatic smile, and a sharp, funny demeanor. This small, fast-moving creature became the catalyst for cartoons, movies, and elaborate amusement parks that promote the Rat’s favorite activities of socializing and entertaining large groups of people, as well as making money.
Being the first, Rat people possess great qualities of leadership; they don’t mind a lot of responsibility and they demonstrate a strong presence that other people respect. These qualities can be seen in the lives of George Washington, the first U.S. President and modernly, in Vice-President Al Gore, the leader in one of the the most imminent issues of our day, global warming. Since Rat years are the introduction into a new 12-year cycle, it is good to remember that choices made during this year will carry long-term consequences. It is wise to take some time now to carefully decide what you would like to manifest in your life during the new cycle. It is an excellent time to start a business, buy property, or invest long-term.
Rat years can also be a time to pay for the excesses of previous years. While a recession might be looming in the economy this year, remember that ventures begun in Rat years have a high likelihood of prospering. Flying Star Feng Shui energies of the year bring money to the East position of residences or offices. Activating the East with a water feature will bring rapid business growth and profits. The energy of romance and education luck will be in the Northeast and can be activated by four stems of lucky bamboo, or a pair of mandarin ducks. The North brings a mixed bag of career luck, promotions and money, but is also the place of “Grand Duke,” the most confrontational energy of the year. Enhance the good luck with coins, white crystals or a gemtree. Confront the “Grand Duke” by placing a “Pi Yao” (a Chinese mongoose) to face into the North. The center brings financial luck and high achievers in the family; enhance this energy with a metal Money Buddha, or a ship pointed into the East. The energy of reputation and future wealth is found in Southeast this year. Place a smooth round crystal there to magnify or a Dragon image to build vitality.
Two bad lucks of the year in the Flying Star Feng Shui system are both located in the South. This area holds the energy of sickness, and is home to the “Three Killings”-health issues, money problems and accidents. It’s best not to disturb this area. If you must work or sleep here, place a metal Wu Lou, a gourd that signifies health in the Feng Shui system. Slow-moving water in a large container is said to calm the “Three Killings.” The negative influence of robbery and back stabbing is in the Southwest this year. Curtail with a Chinese Coin Sword or Foo Dogs. Stress and arguments are present in the West and can be reduced by adding a goldfish picture or metal bells.