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It's Animal Book time

Sunday, January 20, 2008
By: Joey Yap

The maximum measure of accuracy one will get from any animal sign horoscope book is 12.5%.

Twelve and a half percent. That's how accurate the Chinese New Year bookstore staple, the Animal Signs Book, is for most people.

It can of course be less than 12.5%, depending on whether the book is written using proper astrological techniques like BaZi (Four Pillars), Zi Wei (Purple Star), Qi Men (Mystical Doors), Tian Xing (Heavenly Stars) or is the product of a creative imagination with some sprinklings of convenient technical information. But 12.5% is the maximum measure of accuracy you will get from any animal sign horoscope book.

I'm sure that some of you are wondering at this point. Does that mean that all these books are a waste of money? The answer really is: It depends on the book. If it's a book that designed essentially to promote certain products (look out for Ox pendants or charms heavily recommended this year), then you probably need to lower your accuracy expectations, and focus more on the entertainment value or retail therapy value derived from these books.

Obviously in a free market, there exists room for all ideas on what constitutes astrology. My point is, as long as you understand what you are buying into, then by all means, go ahead.

And while I'm a big believer in positive thinking, believing that a pendant or a bracelet or a trinket on your office table is going to change the forces of nature and move the stars in the constellations is quite another thing.

On the other hand, if it's well-researched, and based on correct technical information, including the Shen Sha (Auxiliary) stars and the Tian Xing (Heavenly Stars) methods, then you'll probably get quite a lot out of the book.

Although it only involves reading 12.5%of your personal BaZi (which comprises4 pillars - the Year, Month, Day and Hour) the Year Pillar is the first pillar in a BaZi chart to feel the impact of the change of the elements. Hysterically also, prior to the advent of Grand Master Zi Ping's system of BaZi, the Year Pillar was used as the reference point for a person's BaZi.

Sometimes, the books have a helpful physiological value - when a person is aware that he is going to face a difficult year, he will be more cautious. They may also prompt the person to consider a BaZi (astrology) consul, which in turn may lead to more appropriate and timely actions, given their state of Luck cycle.

Some books are hybrid books - they combine astrological information and technical data, with the product tilt. This is common these days in Hong Kong and Taiwan. Here, the trick is to take the useful (the actual information) and do what you want with the retail components.

Pacifiers are for babies

There's nothing like a good scare to drum up business and so you may heard that it is integral to pacify the Tai Sui or Grand Duke of the Year to keep things smooth in 2008, especially if you are born in the year of the Horse or Rat.

There is absolutely no need to do this and really represents a confusion between the Taoist concept of Tai Sui and the feng shui concept of Tai Sui.

The Taoist concept of Tai Sui is an astronomical phenomenon governed by the direction opposite planet Jupiter.

From the strict feng shui standpoint, it is impossible to influence the movement of a planet, much less one the size of Jupiter. So, really pacification of any sort is not required.

In any case, the planet Jupiter is not about to be pacified by any Pi Xiu, Qi Lin or Pei Yao, no matter how gigantic or jewel encrusted, you may have in you possession. Of course, if you are spiritually inclined, then by all means offer prayers if you wish. But you don't have to actually do any "feng shi stuff" for the Feng Shui Tai Sui, when it comes to the astrology of the year.

Ratting on the Rat

Time is money for most of us, so let me save you a lot of reading and give you the mow down astrological forecast for 2008. If we think of 12 animals as a sort of mafia, the first rule is to know who the boss is. The Rat being the Grand Duke (or Tai Sui) for the Year is the Big Kahuna for 2008. All power, authority and influence are concentrated in the hands of the Rat. Naturally, whoever 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% 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, it is time to up the ante and makes 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 Tigers, Horse 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 jobs, change marital status or spouse or make huge 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 start 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, Ox will also benefit in the year of the Rat. But as the Three Harmony Combination is more powerful than a simple Combination, the Monkeys and Dragons will benefit more.

Rabbits have the Money Star (Tai Yin) in the Rabbit Palace, but this is only good for those who are not in partnership.

Holding onto your Horses?

If you happen to be in the opposition camp this year (especially if you are the Horse), there's no need to panic or throw your ambitions or plans into the bin. There are ways to overcome this problem - the Shi Er Shui Jun method which involves triggering the Sun star on a specific date. It can be used to overcome the negative influence of the Tai Sui and bring Wealth Luck and open up opportunities.

But so much dealing with a tough year boils down to the right mindset. Typically, I would recommend that people remain pro-active and progressive in their approach, but to modify that approach based on what the year offers.

For Horses, it may well be a year for introspection and self-cultivation (still a form of progress) rather than, say, materialistic goals. This is what we term as "Yin" action, or inward and personal activities. For those having a good year, naturally you want to be "Yang" - outward, bold and ambitious in your actions.

Remember, being in good luck doesn't mean you sit at home and wait for the money to roll in. similarly, being in bad luck doesn't mean you become a hermit for the year.

For those who will be attending my "Good to Great in 2008" talk, I haven't given away all the juicy details here! This year's talk will focus more on pro-active steps that can be taken to make the best of the year's energies, whether they are good or negative for you, and also focus on economic outlook, property and some face reading.

For those of you who are attending, I look forward to meeting you at the KL Convention Center next Sunday.

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