2023 Tai Sui: What Is Fan Tai Sui And Why Annual Zodiac Forecasts Are Stupid

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Posted On Last updated Oct 19, 2022 | Published on Jan 11, 2016

I need to start this post by saying that commercialized Chinese metaphysics is the reason why a lot of people are getting sabotaged by Chinese metaphysics instead of benefitting from it. It’s amazing how many people blindly believe whatever shallow nonsense is being fed to them, especially during Chinese New Year when the worst side of Chinese metaphysics presents itself.

This embarrassing side of Chinese metaphysics stems from the severe lack of understanding of how it was developed, and commercialized practitioners and entities taking advantage of it.

Annual zodiac forecasts always get me worked up because it’s something that should have never existed, but unfortunately, it does. I will illustrate this by using the example of Fan Tai Sui, which is the term that gets everyone trembling as though it’s a yearly curse that a selected demographic needs to go through.

What Exactly Is The Tai Sui Or The Grand Duke?

Fan Tai Sui, or Offending The Grand Duke, is the dreaded term in Chinese astrology as we usually hear bad things associated with it. Tai Sui and Grand Duke can be used interchangeably. Tai Sui is also known as Tai Sui Xing Jun (太岁星君) or Sui Jun (岁君)。

The only time you’ll hear the term “Fan Tai Sui” is when Chinese New Year is around the corner, and everyone’s looking at zodiac forecasts which I have to reiterate is a very stupid practice in Chinese astrology. I don’t enjoy saying such things, but you really need to be below-average intelligence to believe in annual zodiac forecasts revolving around the Tai Sui.

The best way to talk about Tai Sui is to clear up misconceptions so that the simple-minded people out there do not get sabotaged unknowingly.

Once you’re done with this post, I’d also like to invite you to read up on why annual zodiac forecasts are the most ridiculous, stupid, and useless practice during Chinese New Year that does more harm than good. You can refer to the posts here:

Why You Should Stop Taking ‘Feng Shui Masters’ Who Do Zodiac Forecasts Seriously

Read This If You Are Interested In The Chinese Zodiac Forecast For 2018

This post and the above two are enough to safeguard you from making stupid, life-crippling decisions because of a practitioner who will utter complete garbage for the sake of getting more views.

I know sometimes people wonder why they “offend” a god without them doing anything. That’s because Tai Sui represents the planet Jupiter, and the 60 deities that are said to govern each year in the 60-year sexagenary cycle are part of Chinese folklore and belief.

One unique trait of Chinese culture is that men created the gods and deities, whereas, in the West, it’s the reverse. The Chinese in the past often liked to add a layer of mysticism to things they could observe but could not explain.

Whenever we talk about Tai Sui. we’re just talking about Chinese astronomy and astrology and how the study of nature’s laws is intricately linked with our lives. Tai Sui is given so much attention because a change in Tai Sui basically just means moving into a new year. Four seasons have passed, and the energies have shifted, which means that the Annual Phase Pillar (流年柱) in one’s BaZi chart has changed.

The Tai Sui and the Pillar that represents it has the greatest commanding power in the chart, and it is akin to 值符 in a Qi Men Dun Jia chart, which is why it’s extremely important to understand, from a technical perspective, the effects it can have on a chart.

The way everyone’s BaZi chart is being interacted with will change the moment we step into a new year and it’s the point where new events start to slowly manifest.

Fan Tai Sui Can Be A Positive Thing Sometimes

Yes, you read that right. Fan Tai Sui, or offending the Grand Duke, can be a positive thing sometimes. It’s just that the process towards getting to this positive ending often feels tumultuous for the uninitiated.

Most people tremble in fear when they hear their zodiac sign Fan Tai Sui in a particular year, but I would say this fear is unfounded. The ‘offending’ of the Grand Duke is simply a term we use to describe an astrological trait in one’s chart.

For example, if you were born during the year of the Tiger, a Monkey year sees you ‘clashing’ with the Grand Duke. This “clash” represents the clash in the Earthly Branches representing Tiger and Money, which is yin (寅) and shen (申).

If you were to study Chinese astrology, you’d know that “clashes” simply represent change. Change is a constant, and it is required to move from a bad year or phase into a better one, and the process is no doubt tiring. It’s extremely unreasonable for everyone and commercial ‘practitioners’ to assume that just ‘Fan Tai Sui’ is always negative. Many people receive promotions or see their incomes increase due to a clash with the Tai Sui because this clash represents the removal of something negative.

To be fair, Fan Tai Sui’s effects can be devastating, which is why there is so much fear around Tan Tai Sui, but what I’m trying to illustrate here is that there is a positive side, so do not assume that you hear on television or see on the billboards during Chinese New Year is always the right thing.

I’m not saying one shouldn’t take the effects of Tai Sui seriously, it’s just that whatever happens to you in a given year depends on how the chart is structured and what it needs, and you cannot make sweeping statements just based on someone’s zodiac sign.

The above should be common sense.

When Fan Tai Sui Is Negative Or Downright Devastating

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Although I said we shouldn’t be too scared of Tai Sui because of the layperson’s lack of understanding, I’m not saying we take it lightly. Fan Tai Sui can be devastating for certain people, but the severity of it depends on how one’s BaZi chart is structured.

The above chart exemplifies an extremely negative clash with Tai Sui. The chart holder is under the Snake Zodiac, and 2019’s year of the Pig clashes with the Snake. Water is clashing away her beneficial element of Fire, which is the si Branch. Unfortunately, that is the only beneficial element in her natal chart and the anchor that keeps everything balanced. Furthermore, there is no element coming in to protect Fire from being clashed, which in this case would be Wood. This clash causes her entire chart structure to collapse. It was the year when the chart holder’s business failed due to reasons that were completely out of her control, so many years of hard work went to waste just like that. Read on to find out what these events are.

Whether a Fan Tai Sui year will be good or bad depends on the person’s charts. This is why everyone under the same zodiac sign will experience the year differently. Some people might not feel a thing because clashes with the Tai Sui can be mitigated depending on how the chart is structured.

There Are Different Kinds Of Fan Tai Sui

You will see at least three or four zodiac signs that Fan Tai Sui each year. Similar to what I said above, these are just interactions from an astrological perspective with the Branch of the year.

Let’s use 2022‘s Year Of The Tiger as an example.

The four zodiac signs that Fan Tai Sui in 2022 are Monkey, Snake, Pig, and itself. Let’s list down the interaction of the Branches:

  • Shen (申) Monkey has a “Clash” relationship with Yin Tiger
  • Si (巳) Snake has a “Punishment” (刑) as well as a “Harm” (亥) relation with Yin Tiger
  • Hai (亥) Pig also has a “Punishment” relationship with Yin Tiger, although there’s a 6-Harmony interaction (六合) as well
  • Yin (寅) Tiger itself ‘sits’ on 太岁, which we call 值太岁

If you’re familiar with BaZi, you would have heard of these Branch interactions. At the end of the day, the effects of a particular year’s Tai Sui simply describe how your Year Branch is being interacted with.

Let’s project forward and look at 2023, which is the Year of the Rabbit (卯) and see which zodiac signs offend the Grand Duke or “Fan Tai Sui” next year:

  • You (酉) Rooster has a “Clash” relationship with Mao (卯) Rabbit
  • Zi (子) Rat has a “Punishment” (刑) as well Mao (卯) Rabbit
  • Chen (辰) Dragon has a “Harm” (害) relationship with Mao (卯) Rabbit
  • Wu (午) Horse has a “Break” (破) relationship with Mao (卯) Rabbit
  • Mao (卯) Rabbit itself ‘sits’ on 太岁, which we call 值太岁

I reiterate: At the end of the day, which zodiac ‘offends’ the Grand Duke of the year is simply a description of how the Year Branch is being interacted with.

The different interactions with the Tai Suis will, of course, have different meanings and real-life manifestations. To fully explain it requires us to dive deep into BaZi theory which I won’t do for now. But as a general rule, the effects of “clashes” are the most salient, followed by “Punishment”, “Harm”, and “Break”.

Why Does The Tai Sui Only Interact With Chinese Zodiac Signs?

When we talk about offending the Tai Sui, it always refers to the zodiac we are born under, represented by the Year Branch in our BaZi charts. But why the special emphasis on the zodiac sign or Year Branch and not the Month, Day or Hour Branch? It’s not because classifying people by their zodiacs is the easiest way of categorizing people, although that seems to be the most logical explanation for the uninitiated.

The Year Branch or Pillar is very important in one’s astrological chart.

The Year Pillar in our BaZi charts is the absolute foundation of our lives, and it determines your starting point in life. Yes, it represents your parents, but the Chinese sages also see it as a karmic base. Although, yes, the kind of family we are born into pretty much determines many things in our lives.

You can see the Year Pillar as the “roots” of your life; without the roots, everything else falls apart because this is the part of the chart that is the progenitor of everything else in your chart.

The Year Pillar is often what the practitioner sees as what Heavens decides to give you. Manifested in real life, it’s often seen as the big picture or macro-events. If you take the example above, when the chart holder’s business closed down, it was due to the Hong Kong protests, followed by the pandemic, which was completely out of her control. There was nothing she could have done to alter the course of things because the events that unfolded went to the “roots” of everything she spent her life building.

Being In ‘Harmony’ With The Tai Sui Isn’t Necessarily A Good Thing

Besides the negative interactions with the zodiac signs, you would have heard of some positives too. Certain zodiac signs are in “Harmony” positions. For example, in 2023’s year of the Rabbit, the Goat and Pig zodiac would be in “Harmony” positions with the Rabbit. These are your hai-mao-wei Branches that are part of the Three Harmony Wood combination, which we call 亥卯未三合木局。

Many Chinese metaphysics concepts are unfortunately misinterpreted and lost in translation while catering for the English-speaking world.

I wish to point out here that the word “Harmony’ is not the most appropriate word to use for the word 合 (hé) as it has a misleading positive connotation. 合 (hé) in Chinese metaphysics does not inherently mean it’s positive – it is a neutral term. What it ultimately means is that there is a beginning and an end to a process, and this 合 (hé) is what binds this process together.

The bottom line is: The word “Harmony” is extremely misleading. These “Harmony” relationships simply describe the interaction between the Branches, and such interactions can be negative at times. A more neutral word to use would be “Trine” because three Trines make a full circle, which brings you back to the original Branch.

In some cases, a Trine can represent having something taken away from you or a burden.

Nothing in Chinese metaphysics is intrinsically positive or negative in itself. Nothing also stays positive or negative forever. At the end of the day, it is all but a never-ending cycle of life and death and imbalance seeking balance. Analyzing and breaking down the BaZi chart allows us to see where someone’s life fits into this cycle.

Is Clashing With The Tai Sui Always Bad?

The quick answer to this is “no”. Clashes are not always bad. But yet, you will see moronic ‘practitioners’ always raking the zodiac sign being clashed last. The whole notion of ranking zodiac signs is already nonsensical and saying that clashes are always bad makes it even more so.

In the interest of understanding what Tai Sui does to everyone, let’s take a closer look at what happens in 2023 and use a few examples.

2023 is 癸卯 (gui mao), which is a Rabbit year and 卯 (mǎo) clashes with 酉 (yǒu), which represents the Rooster.

People under the Rooster zodiac will likely feel 2023’s effects the most, but note that this is a very shallow application of the theory.

The assumption is that the Branch being clashed will weaken and give way and get displaced from the chart. This is a complete misunderstanding of BaZi theory and the wrong application. Clashes can strengthen an element, resulting in a completely different outcome in one’s life.

The next question you might ask is, what exactly will this clash mean to me? In all honesty, I won’t know unless I know what your chart is like because the elements involved will mean different things to everyone. The reason for this is simply because the meaning of the Branches changes depending on what your Daymaster is.

2023’s Tai Sui of 癸卯 is going to mean different things for different people, and to understand exactly what might happen to someone requires us to understand what these Branches mean exactly and what they truly represent – and I’m not talking about the animal they represent in this case.

2023’s 癸 Water sits on 卯, which is known as its “长生” or “Birth” position. This needs to be considered when assessing what a clash exactly means. The symbolism behind a clash between these Branches will revolve a lot around the ‘birth’ of something. I won’t go into a case study here and leave it here for people to appreciate what this means.

For the lucky ones, a clash like this might even mean something that they’ve been working on for a while has finally started to take off because we are talking about the 长生 position, after all. On the flip side, if the clash between these Branches is negative, then it’ll likely mean the opposite: whatever one kickstarts will be futile. The permutations and variables involved are endless because we are just talking about the Tai Sui Branch and Year Branch, after all.

This is a good example of why I always say zodiac forecasts are complete nonsense because you won’t know what a year will mean to someone if you don’t look at the whole BaZi chart.

So-Called Remedies For A Fan Tai Sui Year

The most common remedies to a Fan Tai Sui year would be to pray to the Tai Sui or wear a Tai Sui amulet. Some even go as far as avoiding travelling in the direction of where Tai Sui resides. I don’t believe in such remedies because, from an astrological perspective, events that are meant to happen will happen. The positive I see coming out of these popular remedies is that we are reminded to be vigilant during such years.

As for the true remedy for a Tai Sui year: There is no template answer to this because no one will know what will happen to you and how the events manifest. Two people can have the same BaZi chart, but the events that manifest in their lives can be completely different, although they will share a similar theme. You’ll need a qualified practitioner to come into the picture and give you a very thorough breakdown of your BaZi chart and what is needed to balance it. Without this, you will never know the real effect of Tai Sui and whether it will be positive or negative.

Generally speaking, if you see a Tai Sui year coming next, just be prepared for some significant event to happen, especially if you “clash” with the Tai Sui because the effects of “clashes” are the most salient you’ll definitely feel. Something about your environment will change. If a ‘Fan Tai Sui’ year happens to be a positive one for you, just remember that it will still come with some unpleasantries.

If I may share my own story to help put things into perspective: 2016 was the year when I clashed with the Grand Duke, but the year of the Monkey is represented by Metal, and Metal is a beneficial element for me. That was when I changed jobs twice, but I also got a pay raise twice, and my income significantly increased. Undoubtedly, it was a very tiring year, but it ended up being one of my best years, where I saw the most progress. It is also the year I met my wife because the relevant sectors in my BaZi chart were positively activated.

Clashing with the Grand Duke was not a big deal for me, and I went into 2016 telling myself to prepare for major changes. It was tiring, yes, but it was also one of the best years of my life. There will surely be imbecilic ‘practitioners’ telling you that finding a partner is impossible during years when you clash with the Tai Sui.

I met my wife, hello?

Of course, not everyone under the Tiger zodiac, like myself, had a good time. For those with Metal being a destructive element, it would have been a very difficult year for them where mishaps could have happened at home.

As mentioned, you won’t know the true effects of Tai Sui on you unless you know what’s going on in your BaZi chart. These are just a few of the many layers of analysis of your BaZi chart that are required to determine if the Tai Sui for a particular year will affect you. Any clashes or combinations with the Branch representing the Tai Sui will have a different kind of manifestation in someone’s life.

Don’t Be A Doughnut: Stop Taking Zodiac Forecasts Seriously

I’m not going to hold back here, but for goodness sake, grow a brain, think critically, and stop taking zodiac forecasts seriously. You should completely ignore it. The commercialized annual zodiac forecasts are the complete bastardization of Chinese metaphysics that exists solely for commercial purposes and entertainment.

I cannot being to tell you how many people I’ve met who get sabotaged by annual zodiac forecasts. A good year is wasted by living in fear, and a bad year is made worse by doing something one was not supposed to do.

Annual zodiac forecasts and the fear-mongering using Fan Tai Sui are too generic and a severe dumbing down of Chinese astrology. The positives of zodiac forecasts are that it reminds us to be vigilant, but other than that, it only causes unnecessary panic and discomfort. There are eight bloody characters in one’s BaZi chart, and annual zodiac forecasts take just one of the characters to make you believe that your life will go a certain way.

I also hope everyone can take comfort in the fact that the annual zodiac forecasts you see on television were never accurate for me and never will be.

Do not end up sabotaging yourself with something you don’t even fully understand. It would be extremely foolish of you. Again, don’t be stupid.

For people who will eventually experience a negative Tai Sui year, it’s also a good time to slow down and take the time to think about the future and tie up loose ends. Fan Tai Sui years usually offer many valuable karmic lessons. You can see it as the universe’s way of setting things back in order because chaos would arise if certain people keep progressing and others keep spiralling downwards. Chinese metaphysics talks a lot about balance, and these ups and downs we go through are the natural cycles required for balance to be maintained.

Here are the blog posts you should be reading again:

Why You Should Stop Taking ‘Feng Shui Masters’ Who Do Zodiac Forecasts Seriously

Read This If You Are Interested In The Chinese Zodiac Forecast For 2018

I’m not the best person to be saying such things as I have many flaws myself, but if you ask me what’s the best way to avoid all these bad ‘luck’ you’re afraid of encountering, I would suggest starting with these two simple steps:

1) Meditation. Raise your level of awareness of not just yourself but your surroundings and the people around you. Your BaZi chart reflects how your life unfolds, so you can avoid negative events as long as you’re aware of what’s going on. It takes a lot of courage and humility. Bad years and bad events can be avoided, but it won’t be easy.

2) Practice genuine kindness, not because you want something in return. Karma is not a piggy bank where you can accumulate and expect returns. When you practice kindness, your emotional spectrum widens, and you can empathize more when that happens, not only do you reach a new level of self-awareness, more paths are opened up to you, and more people will be there to help you. If you do things expecting something in return, people can tell. It’s a huge put-off. You’re not building character – you’re just a pretentious prick. If you haven’t already, please go Google Liao Fan’s Four Lessons and read it to understand what is the point of doing good deeds.

A late Chinese scholar also once said that do not expect to have good luck just because you offered a few bananas or apples to the gods on the altar. They aren’t the type to practice favouritism or accept ‘bribery’.

Take care, everyone! And may this year’s Tai Sui be on your side.

– Sean

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Written by Sean Chan

Sean Chan is Asia's leading Chinese metaphysics consultant specializing in BaZi, Zi Wei Dou Shu, Qi Men Dun Jia, and Feng Shui. A thought-leader in the field, Sean's been featured on Channel NewsAsia, The New York Times Style Magazine and other local media. He blogs regularly about various topics surrounding Chinese metaphysics and aims to educate the public about the field.

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3 Comments

  1. Jon Salvador

    Hi Sean.

    Jon here and Im a new dabbler in the field of Chinese metaphysics. I got a question about the Tai Sui and the two sorts of Tai Sui. As far as my grasp of the matter goes, Tai Sui is like the throne where one of the 12 animal signs sit and whichever animal sign it is, it gets the Boss hat and can “wreak havoc” (read: induce “interesting times”) upon the signs it has dissonant relationships with (right now, im only aware of the 6 clashing pairs of signs). Am I getting this right?

    • Sean Chan

      There are different ways of ‘offending’ the Grand Duke. A direct clash is just one of them but this is the kind of ‘offence’ that brings about the most change. ‘Offending’ the Grand Duke is not always a bad thing unlike how the media paints it. The change is brings about can be good depending on how the chart is structure, but it will of course by very tiring.

  2. Sally Choo

    Hi Sean,
    Just came across your page when I was searching for a Bazi calculator. I have a great interest in Chinese Metaphysics.

    I read your writeup on the Grand Duke Jupiter (TaiSui). I do have a question and I hope for an answer. Was told that we should not face the direction where TaiSui resides, as it would be an offence, etc. Is this true? Or is this just a myth? Growing up, we don’t know much about Feng Shui and it was fine, but suddenly, some FS consultant advised against facing the direction where TS resided each year, was confusing.

    Hope to hear from you.
    Thank you and regards,
    Sally

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