Ah yes, the tai sui. It’s a dreaded term in Chinese astrology as we usually hear bad things associated with it. In English, we also know it as the Grand Duke, so tai sui and Grand Duke can be used interchangeably. You’ll often hear this term “Fan Tai Sui” when Chinese New Year is around the corner and everyone’s looking at zodiac forecasts. “Fan Tai Sui” basically refers to offending the Grand Duke. Tai Sui is also known as tai sui xing jun (太岁星君) or sui jun (岁君)。
I’ve been getting a few questions on what are the effects of “Fan Tai Sui” and thought it might be a good time to talk about about this.
The best way to talk about the Tai Sui is to clear up misconceptions:
Tai Sui Is Not A Mysterious God Or Deity You Offend
I know sometimes people wonder why they “offend” a god without them actually doing anything. That’s because Tai Sui actually represents the planet Jupiter, and the 60 deities that are said to govern each year in the 60-year sexagenary cycle is part of Chinese folklore and belief.
The concept of Tai Sui is intricately linked to Chinese astronomy and astrology. Think about it. The belief that certain zodiac signs need to be careful during a Fan Tai Sui year is because the ancient Chinese already have an astrological system to forecast someone’s life. With astrology, the concept of Fan Tai Sui would not exist.
‘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.
A lot of people tremble in fear whenever they hear that their zodiac sign Fan Tai Sui in a particular year but this fear in 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’ll know that “clashes” represent change, and change can be positive although the process will be tiring. The reason why Fan Tai Sui instills fear in others is because in the event that the clash is a negative one, the effects can be devastating.
A lot of people actually receive promotions or see their incomes increase due to a clash with the Tai Sui, because this clash represents the removal of something negative.
When ‘Fan Tai Sui’ Is Extremely Negative
Although I said we shouldn’t be too scared of Tai Sui because of the layperson’s lack of understanding of it, I’m definitely not saying we take it lightly either. 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 is an example of an extremely negative clash with the 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, and unfortunately, that is the only beneficial element in her natal chart and the anchor which 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 where 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 individuals charts. This is why everyone under the same zodiac sign will experience the year so difficult. Some people might not feel a thing at all because clashes with the Tai Sui can be prevents too from a chart perspective.
There Are Different Kinds Of ‘Fan Tai Suis’
Each year, you will see at least three zodiac signs that offend that Fan Tai Sui. Similar to what I said above, these are just interactions from as astrological perspective with the Branch of the year.
Let’s 2016‘s Year Of The Monkey again as an example.
The four zodiac signs that Fan Tai Sui in 2016 are Tiger, Pig, Snake and also Monkey itself. Let’s list down the interaction of the Branches:
- Yin Tiger has a Clash relation with shen Monkey
- Hai Pig has a Harm relation with shen Monkey
- Si Snake has a “Punishment” relation with shen Monkey
- Monkey itself is what we call ‘Sitting’ on the Grand Duke
If you’re familiar with BaZi, you would have heard of these Branch interactions before.
Let’s project forward and look at 2021 which is the Year of the Ox and see which zodiac signs Fan Tai Sui that year:
- Wei Goat has a “Clash” relation with chou Ox
- Xu Dog has a “Punishment” relation with chou Ox
- Wu Horse has a “Harm” relation with chou Ox
- Chen Dragon has a “Break” relation with chou Ox
If were to take Ox sitting on the Grand Duke as an additional one, we would have five zodiacs signs offending the Grand Duke in 2021. Some years do see more zodiac signs Fan Tai Sui than other years.
The different interactions with the Tai Suis will, of course, have a different meaning and the real-life manifestations will be different too. To fully explain it requires us to deep dive into BaZi theory which I won’t do for now. But as a general rule, the effects of “clashes” the most salient, followed by “Punishment”, “Harm”, and “Break”.
Why Does The Tai Sui Only Clash With Chinese Zodiac Signs?
Whenever we talk about offending the Tai Sui, it’s always referring to the zodiac we are born under which is 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 holds a very important position in one’s astrological chart.
The Year Pillar in our BaZi charts is seen as the absolute foundation of our lives and it pretty much determines your starting point in life. Yes, it does represent your parents, but the Chinese sages also see it as sort of a karmic base. Although, yes, the kind of family we are born into pretty much determines a lot of things in our lives.
The Year Pillar is often what 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 again, when the chart holder’s business closed down, it was due to the Hong Kong protests, followed by the pandenmic which were completely out of her control.
Being In Harmony With The Tai Sui Isn’t Necessarily A Good Thing
Other than the negative interactions with the zodiac signs, you would have of course heard of some of the positives too. Certain zodiac signs are in “Harmony” positions. For example, in 2021’s year of the Ox, the Snake and Rooster zodiac would be in “Harmony” positions with the Ox. These are your chou-si-you Branches that are part of the Three Harmony Metal combination.
What I wish to point out here is that the word “Harmony’ is not the most appropriate word to use as it has a misleading positive connotation. These “Harmony” relationships are simply a description of 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. It is all about balance and we will only know what will happen to someone if we look at their full charts.
2021’s Fan Tai Sai And The Zodiacs Affected
In the interest of the next Tai Sui year of 2021, let’s talk a closer look at the zodiacs affect in 2021. Goat is represented by wei (未) and Ox is represented by chou (丑).
People under the Goat zodiac will feel 2021’s the most, but note that this is a very general application of the theory. Clashes between zodiac signs and Branches usually see one of them weakening. However, clashes between Earth Branches actually see both Branches’ core elements strengthening. Meaning, both chou and wei will strengthen in 2021. The elements that weaken are the ones hidden within chou and wei.
The next question you might ask is what exacty 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 thing to everyone. For example, someone with a Fire Daymaster will have Wood representing their mother, and if Wood is their beenficial element, a clash between chou and wei might mean the mother’s health being affected.
For some others, a chou-wei clash might mean moving houses. Why? It’s because of one of these Branches represent one’s home and a clash symbolizes shifting.
For the lucky ones, a clash like this might even mean a windfall or a huge jump in one’s salary if the Branch of wei happens to be one’s Wealth Vault, with also means this person would be of a Metal Daymaster. That being said, please don’t jump to the conclusion that all Metal Daymaster chart holders are going to experience a windfall in 2021. Certain strict criteria still have to be met.
This is a good example of why I always say zodiac forecasts aren’t reliable because you won’t know what a year will mean to someone if you don’t look at the whole BaZi chart.
How To Prepare 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. Personally, I don’t believe in such remedies because from an astrological perspective because events that are meant to happen, will happen. The positives 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’s going to happen to you. 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 what the real effect of Tai Sui and whether it’s going to 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 which you’ll definitely feel. Something about your environment will definitely 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 personal story to help put things into perspective: 2016 was the year where 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 the year I changed jobs twice, but I also got a pay raise twice and my income significantly increased. No doubt that 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 where I met my wife.
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.
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’s required to determine if the Tai Sui for a particular year will really affect you. Any clashes, combinations with the Branch representing the Tai Sui will have a different kind of manifestation in someone’s life.
Stop Taking Zodiac Forecasts So Seriously
I hope what I said above gives everyone a bit more clarity on what to look out for. Just one more thing.
For goodness sake, stop taking zodiac forecasts so seriously. They are too generic and a severe dumbing down of Chinese astrology. The positives of zodiac forecasts is that it reminds us to be vigilant, but other than that, it usually just cuases unnecessary panic and discomfort.
If I were to have believed in zodiac forecasts and taught that 2016 was a bad year for me, I would have never got that double payraise and I’d just be resigning to fate and sulking.
Do not end up sabtaging yourself with something you don’t even have a full understanding of. It would be a complete waste.
But of course, on the flip side, 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, as well as tie up loose ends. Fan Tai Sui years usually offer a lot of valuable karmic lessons, and you can see it as the universe’s way of setting things back in order, because if choas would arise if certain people keep progressing and certain people keeo spiraling 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.
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 people around you. Your BaZi chart is a reflection of how your life unfolds, so as long as you’re aware of what’s going on, you can avoid the negative events. 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, for the sake of kindness itself, 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 and 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 and it’s a put-off.
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 as they might not exactly be the type to practice favouritism or accept ‘bribery’.
Take care everyone! And may the Tai Sui be on your side.