In Chinese astrology, the rat, being the first animal to hear the call of Buddha has many attributes that make up its character. The rat has a noble disposition, often torn between socializing and home life. They are quick thinking, agile and adaptable strongly valuing stability in their life.
Yes…2008 is the year of the Earth Rat and it is influenced by two elements – earth and water. So, this coming year is represented by the image of Yang Water sitting below Yang Earth. In accordance with the destructive cycle of the five elements – Earth conquers Water. Whilst this is true, the Yang Earth sitting atop the Yang Water Rat suggests the image of a mountain floating above massive water or perhaps, a mass of floating ice. This combined with the water rat being in the foundation, means that water will yield the most influence over the coming year. This elemental relationship represents a time of apparent calm yet underlying tensions.
These two elements together can also bringabout natural disasters such as earthquakes, landslides and floods.
The Chinese calendar moves in cycles of sixty years. If we go back to 1948 we will find that the Fraser River in Canada flooded due to extensive snowmelts. In Foochow, China, floods killed approximately 3 500 people. There were at least 28 earthquakes recorded in 1948 higher than 7 on the Richter scale.
Another area of concern is the possible increase of accidents in the aviation industry. If we go back to 1948 when airline travel wasn’t as frequent as today, Northwest airlines DC4 crashed into a mountain in March and another jet crashed during a storm in August of the same year. Air France lost a jet over the Atlantic Ocean and BEA had a mid air collision in Berlin.
1948 being the last time we experienced the Earth Rat was also when the conflict between East and West escalated. If history is anything to go by, we could see some turbulence in 2008 with more positive outcomes as we move into 2009.
Given that the rat is the first in the cycle of the twelve animals, this could represent new beginnings and even a ‘changing of the guard’ in many countries where an unusual number of new leaders will come into power at around the same time.
From a Feng Shui perspective the energy of water is in the centre and this central influence is often indicative of prevailing events throughout the course of the year. Consequently, this is a very strong signal that there will be water disasters such as major floods, problems with our drinking water, our main water ways disturbed or even tsunami.
The industries likely to perform particularly well during the year of the Earth Rat are those related to the elements of Earth and Metal. Some of the industries connected with the Earth element are Mining, Property, Insurance, Hotels and the Chemicals sector. The Metal industries such as Skincare, Machinery, health and Hi T tech/Computer businesses ought to see strong activity. The Wood industries, which include fashion, textiles, publishing, paper, forestry – will be productive and even profitable but perhaps not as substantial as one would like.
In general, the stock market will fare well from about February till the middle of the year. Despite this positive beginning, investors would do well to be very cautious after this point.
The businesses most likely to be challenged during the coming year are those of the Water and Fire elements such as shipping, communications, beverage, entertainment, aviation and energy – including oil and gas.
Traditional Chinese medicine is also based on the five elements and their cycles. Earth rules the Spleen whilst Water governs the kidney. However, Earth also represents the stomach, muscles and our cells. Consequently we may see a greater prevalence of health issues relating to kidney and gastrointestinal disorders. Obesity, diabetes and cancer issues will continue to rise . As a result, It is important to be diligent and should you experience gastrointestinal or kidney problems, do not treat it too lightly.
It is vital this year that everyone gives their health greater consideration. Improving the immune system should be a top priority in the event of any widespread epidemic. So, ensure that you take steps to manage and decrease your stress levels, eat healthily and find some exercise that you enjoy participating in on a regular basis. In particular ensure that your drinking water is clean and healthy.
In Feng Shui, good health is always given a top priority for without your health it is difficult to have the energy to maintain a ‘zest for life’ let alone harmonious relationships and a strong income stream.
From a Feng Shui perspective, during 2008, there will be the energy of water that dominates and, in conjunction with the year of the Earth Rat – extra caution is required with our water sources.
During 2008 there will be a clash that occurs for those born in the year of the Horse. For example people that were born in the years of 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002. It is advisable for those born in these years to be more cautious thereby avoiding accidents during the coming year and wear the symbol of the Ox for some protection. 2008 also means that Horse people may feel restless and want to move house, change career and even travel more regularly. However, it is recommended not to travel towards the North for this period of time.
For those born in the year of the Rat; 1972 and 1984 – this does not automatically equate to a good year. In fact, it is considered an offending year for the rat person and can create frustrations. Therefore, it is also advisable to carry or wear an Ox pendant or charm.
For those born in the year of the Rabbit, for example, in the years of 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, may experience some frustrations and unwellness. You would do well to also wear the pendant of the Ox to diminish this influence.
If you are born in the year of the Rabbit whilst there are more opportunities for interaction with the opposite gender there may also be some associated frustrations.
For ‘singles’ born in the year of the goat; 1955, 1967 and 1979 along with those born in the Pig years of 1959, 1971 and 1983 – this is the time to be proactive about your social life.
With respect to Feng Shuiyou will find a troublesome influence coming from the South bringing with it difficulties and obstacles. If this part of your home or business is very active such as an entrance, family room, passage or living area then this energy needs to be dealt with by placing an all-metal wind chimeor metal prayer bell in this area particularly in the month of September.
The Northwest resonates with the force of sickness during 2008. Therefore you will require a string of six metal coin to be placed in this area, and this is particularly important if your bedroom, kitchen or a major thoroughfare is located in that sector.
An energy of arguments is located in the West and so it could be valuable to place a red object or the more traditional option of red paper in this area to help minimise this influence.
Another destructive influence is arriving from the Southwest. Hence, it is best to place Four bamboo stems (only those that grow in water) in a clear glass vase within the Southwest sector of your home.
Finally, do not sit with your back against due South, especially whilst you are working. It is also advisable to not carry out large-scale construction work in the North for the coming year, as this is the location of the ‘Grand Duke’. Should your home face North, then placea Dragon Tortoise to face the same direction.
I hope you all stay well and happy during 2008 and that the coming Year of the Earth Rat enriches your family with great success.