This year-end blog post is almost 15,000 words long. I suggest you find somewhere quiet if you wish to read it. You won’t be able to digest this while doing something else. There’s nothing important or profound in this post (I think), so do what you will with this entry.
One sweetener for this post is that this time, there are many more pictures to entertain you in the later sections of this entry, but I would suggest going through each section to get a better flow and context for the later sections. Don’t skip the sections!
It’s a long post, and the editing isn’t perfect, so some parts may feel jumbled or repetitive. Pardon me for that.
Get Your Eye Drops. I’ll Do You One Better – Get New Eyes.
- It’s Hard To Believe It’s Been 10 Years
- What Have I Achieved In The Ten Years? What Have I Become?
- My Thoughts On The Industry After 10 Years
- My Origin Story & A Peek Into My Past Again
- Finding My Roots And Understanding My Saturn Return
- The Yin And Yang Of 2023
- The Yin And Lessons Of 2023
- Embracing The Yin And Yang Of Morality
- Let’s Talk About The Category 4 (命不好；运好) Chart-Holder
- Spirituality, Spiritual Narcissism, And Mental Illness
- Appreciating Cause And Effect
- Transcending Charts vs Accepting Predestination
- The Yang Of 2023: Giving Thanks To Everything I Have
- The Family I Never Had And Connecting With People
- Memento Mori
- The Next 10 Years & Working On Other Things
- Some Final Words
I can’t believe another year has passed just like that. While other practitioners are voraciously marketing their stupid and inaccurate zodiac forecasts for the year of the Wood Dragon, I’m writing my year-end blog post per the usual tradition. It’s a nice ritual for summing up my thoughts of the year, sharing some key learnings, and engaging with my readers about what’s happening with my personal life. As always, it will be self-indulgent. It’s my story, after all – nobody is forcing you to read it. My year-end posts are not meant to be technical or discuss Chinese metaphysical philosophy. I’m really just putting down my thoughts in writing while thinking about my year.
I’ve had a pretty good run since 2016, and I feel like life has finally put me on an upward trajectory after three decades of torment. The last thing I want is to amplify and pass on that pain and suffering I’ve gone through because that would make my life a complete joke, and I hope I’ve been able to achieve that. It’s heartening to know that people find solace in my story and understand my motivations behind being a practitioner.
I feel very blessed and hope I am worthy of these blessings. Whether or not Heavens feels like I have bigger things to accomplish – I don’t know. I’m just letting nature take its course.
It’s been quite a crazy ride because no one, not my friends, wife, or even myself, expected this career to unfold like it did. Really, I could not be more grateful. I know I say the same thing for my year-end posts each year, but they’re important that I remind myself to stay grateful and grounded and never lose my direction.
It’s hard to find one word to describe an overall theme when I look back at 2023. The year felt like I was riding the crests and troughs of a sea wave. There were some highs and lows, but like the carefree surfer, I tried to enjoy riding it without killing anybody. If I accidentally killed a Category 4 chart-holder, well, good riddance.
If I were to explain what I’ve been through in 2023 astrologically, Pluto and Saturn’s transits came in like a wrecking ball, and it hit me in the most important areas of my life, and I felt emotions I hadn’t felt in many years. After all, my chart has a lot of placement in the Angular Houses (basically, your powerful houses), so some shake-up is expected. If you’re into Western astrology, you’ll know that my placements in the Angular Houses is what makes me intense.
There were some dark moments this year, but I knew why I had to go through them. I don’t blame anyone for having to go through them, and I will always see myself as part of the cause-and-effect chain. This has always been how I’ve dealt with my life.
Read on – the story is somewhere below.
It’s Hard To Believe It’s Been 10 Years
It’s hard to believe it’s been ten years since I became a practitioner. I still remember how 2013 felt when I started piecing myself back together. Many things didn’t make sense to me, like why some people are born the way they are, why suffering exists, or why we even exist. I don’t have an answer, and I never will.
Self-studying Chinese metaphysics was part of that process because I wanted to know why my life was the way it was. The story of going to Bishan Park with my iPad and a can of beer is real, and I wish I had taken some photos to keep as memories. The only one I have as evidence is shown in this post, although it was at MacRitchie instead. It’s one of the last few remaining memories of 2012 and 2013 I have:
I still bookmark and keep whatever memories I can get hold of. Here’s a post from one of my clients (he did technically pay me) from 2014:
I don’t know if anyone still remembers from my older blog posts: my consultations started from the forums, and I started a Facebook page after, and then my website, and more recently, my completely irreverent and unhinged Instagram page. Reading my blog and going through my Instagram will make it feel like you’re talking to two different people. As I said, the blog will always be for the serious stuff, and my Instagram is just for me to decompress and show people another side of myself that has always been there. I’ll always be a realist, and I deal with the real world with dark humour and irreverence instead of alcohol or some other vice. I am not some boring, vanilla, one-dimensional individual, and I can be a very fun individual to be around, if I may say so.
I do my job, but it doesn’t mean I deliberately put up a false front to create a different impression. When you engage me as a practitioner, you’re also counting on something I’ve gone through that might give you the perspective you need. There’s no need to be pretentious about anything.
I look back at my “origin story” with mixed feelings, and I sometimes still find it hard to believe that I have the life I have now. I would have been OK if my life ended in 2012 and 2013, and I did want it to end, just that I didn’t dare act on it. There was not much reason for me to live, and I didn’t have a support circle back in those days as I didn’t know how to connect with people, given how I grew up. I only learned how to properly feel emotions and connect with others when I learned the importance of opening up, being vulnerable, and being human. My mistakes at that point in my life were driven by the need to fill a that things outside of myself could never fill, and I did mess up tremendously. It’s one thing when you realise you completely messed up all aspects of your life, but it’s another when you don’t even have a decent family to fall back on, but one that mocks you instead.
Severing ties with my family was like a canon event spread across the multiverse, if there was one. I am glad I made that decision. You could say that 2023 marks the tenth year of me severing ties with my family – 2013 saw me psychologically wanting them out of my life, and 2014 gave me no choice but to move out of my parent’s place because the narcissistic bitch who gave birth to me and I were on the verge of killing each other. Mind you, this is a woman who said she should have killed me as a baby.
It’s very difficult to pen these things down – but I will. 2012 and 2013 were very dark periods of my life. The realisation of the damage done to me fueled a resentment for the two low lives who gave birth to me so deeply that I threatened to kill my father in his sleep. He was terrified because he could see in my eyes that I meant it, and he moved out the moment he found somewhere to rent. The last I heard of him was that he remarried someone from mainland China, so it turns out I have a stepmother, and I even managed to get hold of her BaZi chart. There goes my inheritance, but not like I want or need it. There was so much hate and resentment in me that the thought of poisoning my mother also crossed my mind, but thankfully, I came to my senses.
I did not like who I was becoming, and I could have thrown my life away for two subhumans who didn’t know why they wanted to bring life into this world. I’m glad I left, and I’m glad I didn’t do anything silly. There’s a reason why I always tell everyone that I am not trying to be a shining example of morality. I am far from it. I’m a realist aware of my failings as a human – not someone trying to be a guru or pretend that I’m the epitome of some virtue or moral standard. I don’t get why people feel practitioners like myself need to be the shining example of morality, empathy, or whatever, and then proceed to trauma dump on us like it’ll help their situation.
I know the Asian saying, “They’re your parents.” But please, don’t be simpletons. If you follow virtues blindly, they cease to be virtues. It’s more important to understand what makes a virtue a virtue instead of blindly following it and expecting good things to come your way. I need not elaborate further. In any case, I have my family’s charts and know when their time will be up very soon, but I don’t know if anyone will deliver the news to me. 2024 will be an interesting year.
Few people can understand what it’s like to resent your parents to that extent. I don’t need to go to Hell to experience what Hell was like – I’ve been there already. That emotional state is Hell, and it’s something I don’t want anyone to experience. I mean it when I say my mind has been to dark places, and I’ve briefly experienced what it was like to be Category 4 and what drives them to do the horrible things they do. I’m glad I went there because I can now appreciate the differences between the chart categories, and I will never want to go back there again.
I know I say it all the time, but what a crazy ride. The best part? Everything is written in my chart. I am not making this up. It really is. This is why I’ve always say studying Chinese metaphysics brought me peace, and arguably saved me.
What Have I Achieved In The Ten Years? What Have I Become?
I ask myself what I’ve achieved in the ten years. Honestly, it doesn’t matter to me. As an Enneagram Type 3, I know my self-worth shouldn’t come from my achievements and things outside of myself. Regardless of what I am, my title, and how much I earn, I must appreciate my intrinsic value as a human being. I’m grateful to have people around me who love me for who I am – a human being.
If you want to measure achievements superficially, I guess I did achieve a few things here and there. I earn enough to save up and have a few media features. Being recognised on the streets sometimes and knowing others talk about me to their friends does kindda feel good, but I remind myself that’s not what matters at the end of the day. The worst thing that can happen to a practitioner is to develop an ego and make it about money or fame.
I’m just glad I can put food on the table, enjoy what life has to offer and earn a living in a way that doesn’t go against my conscience. I’d like to think that I’m good at my job, too, and a purpose drives me. In a way, I’ve found my ikigai, and I could not be more grateful. If I could maintain this for the rest of my life, that’s really good enough for me.
As passionate as I am about my field, I don’t tell myself, “I am here to help people.” I avoid such self-narratives. It feels presumptuous because everyone’s situation is unique, and declaring “I am here to help you” comes from a position where you assume you know what others are going through, how they are feeling, or their aptitude in handling situations. It makes it about myself, not others. Not declaring that I’m here to help people also doesn’t mean I don’t want to; it’s just that I approach it differently. If given a choice and livelihood wasn’t an issue, I would rather disappear and have no one know I even exist. Life’s simpler that way.
I share what I’ve learned and experienced as openly as I can, and I hope people can draw from these sharings, find some parallel in their lives, and hopefully apply something useful they’ve learned from me. It’s no different from having a deep, meaningful conversation with a close friend who dares to tell you harsh truths, just that this friend can ‘tell the future’. Our situations might be unique, but what we want as individuals and human beings doesn’t differ, and a good conversation always helps.
Have I become a better person after ten years? I don’t know. It’s always debatable. I’ve gained a lot of experience, which is a good thing, but with that experience comes a louder and more audacious voice that people sometimes can’t stand, although I hope I’m using it for good. Good and bad – they are the same.
Whatever it is, I hope I can look back in another ten years and not have any regrets about my decisions and the path I chose to walk.
My Thoughts On The Industry After 10 Years
There’s nothing new I wish to say here other than to reiterate some thoughts. Sorry for being repetitive. I’ll keep it short.
I’ve come to accept that my industry will never change. I want it to be better, but I’ve given up on changing it because that’s just reality – one person can only do so much. Has the industry become better because of me? I don’t know, and I don’t bloody care – I’m happy enough knowing I did something, spoke up, and tried to bring some sense and normalcy into this warped, exploitative cesspool of an industry that has no barriers to entry. Trying to be a busker or set up a juice stand in Singapore is more difficult than declaring oneself a practitioner.
I’ve accepted that the default state of society is that there will always be more suckers and sheep who can’t think for themselves out there, believing life has some shortcut or hack. I am no one to change the world’s default state, but I do what I can for the minority and the ones I’m fated to cross paths with.
It’s been an interesting year observing other practitioners in the industry, and I’ll spare everyone the antics I’ve witnessed because those are already in my other posts and Instagram. I don’t wish to defile my year-end post with mentions of other practitioners. Just know that there’ll always be an idiot out there for me to throw shade at, whether it’s an ex-client who now declares himself a master and is selling Pi Xiu bracelets or delusional aunties who think everything is a sign from the universe.
My Origin Story & A Peek Into My Past Again
I didn’t have to write this segment to mention my family again because they’re completely irrelevant now. They are dead to me. You hardly hear me talk about my family in my blog posts anymore because it has nothing to do with astrology and Chinese metaphysics per se. I’ve spoken about them and the lessons I’ve learned enough times. Alas, they will always be part of my origin story.
I don’t want anyone to think that I’ve not healed or gotten over my past – I can confidently tell you that I have. It’s not that the scars and demons aren’t there. The scars will always exist, and the demons will always linger, but you rise above them. I even made it a point to tap into my dark side for what’s, hopefully, the greater good. If I didn’t, I wouldn’t have gotten to where I am today. I’ve taken the fight elsewhere, to the disdain of other practitioners who don’t even dare look me in the eye.
I can certainly tell you that I don’t know what a mother’s love feels like – and perhaps the demon is that void, but this voidness has also given me a chance to explore, learn, and experience life through other lenses. Every friendship and relationship I have is so much more precious, and my wife’s love for me is something I will never take for granted. The demon is also perhaps the anger I feel towards deplorable people, but it is fueled by witnessing injustice, vulnerable children, and whatnot. Demons? So what? I’d rather be the way I am than be a ‘nice’ but incompetent person.
I’ve not spoken about this before and want to put something down so that I always remember where I came from. Let’s go back to my roots – like, way back:
- I was not born into an aristocratic or rich family in Taiwan, and it’s funny that some people think I was. Thank you for the indirect compliment that I give off such vibes. My paternal grandparents were butchers (at least, that’s what I’ve been told). For some unknown reason, they were extremely good with ‘qi gong’ (气功), and I remember receiving treatment from them. I also remember there’s a room in their house in 三峡 where it’s filled with statues of Taoist deities.
- I don’t recall my maternal grandmother having a job other than she went through the Japanese occupation in Taiwan and could read Japanese. I’ve always been told that I resemble my maternal grandfather the most. He was a fisherman who died early of pneumonia before I even got to meet him. I heard he was a kind man, and it would have broke his heart to see how my family turned out. Whenever I used to go back to Taiwan as a child/teen, we would stay with my maternal grandmother in the countryside of Taoyuan surrounded by farms in a place called 龙潭。 The story goes that my maternal grandparents met at a dance club one day and checked into a hotel afterwards, and that’s possibly when they conceived a demon child (the woman who gave birth to me).
- My maternal grandmother married twice, and both husbands died young. She had five daughters – two from the first husband, three from the second, of which my bitch mother was the eldest from the second husband. I’m the grandson of the second husband, basically.
- I have three cousins on the paternal side – two older and one younger. They didn’t go to university. One, from the last time I saw him almost 20 years ago, is a security guard. I don’t know what the other two are doing.
- I have four maternal cousins from my half-aunts. One went to university, and he has a PhD in Astrophysics (he’s the only one from both sides of the family who went to university). One is a chef, one runs a small nail salon, and the other works on a mango farm owned by her friend. Believe it or not, my two female maternal cousins were once bar hostesses, and I can remember I was at a bar with one of them for some odd reason, enjoying my food and watching Stephen Chow’s The God of Cookery (食神) while she was entertaining customers a few metres away from me. The movie was released in 1996, so I was probably 10.
- As for my uncles and aunts, I have one paternal uncle and four maternal aunts. I don’t know much about my paternal uncle other than knowing he’s oblivious about my father being a spineless man. My maternal aunts are a complete mess. The eldest is a mistress and someone else’s secret wife and second family. The second is the mother of the two ex-bar hostess cousins, who is no different from the Cat. 4 clients I talk about, not in the sense that she was toxic, but she made a lot of bad life decisions like marrying the wrong man, gambling and getting into debt. Then came my bitch of a mother, and then her younger sister, who is arguably the most normal one in the family with a funny cross-eye. The youngest of my aunts was given away as a child, only to return much later. She eventually suffered a stroke and is now wheelchair-bound for life.
My paternal side of the family is considered more normal than my maternal side, and I guess you could say it’s the curse of the paternal side for the eldest son to have married a woman with the worst chart I’ve seen in my life – Moon in Capricorn on top of a “Void Of Course” moon. No wonder my chart paints the same picture, and like I’ve always said, there is a divine geometry and congruency between all charts.
I actually know very little about my relatives because I came to Singapore when I was four months old. I didn’t grow up with them, and I could count the number of times I met up with them with two hands. My life would have been very different had I stayed in Taiwan, and I would have probably ended up as a gangster or delinquent, but fate wills it that I uproot and come to Singapore.
Thinking about my past and roots makes me chuckle, and I can’t quite put a word or find a way to describe why it makes me chuckle other than to say, “Life’s funny.” You’ll never know what your ancestors were like, and you’ll never know how your descendants will turn out.
My past is an empty shell, and I laugh at how I have an identity crisis sometimes – because even my IC puts my birth place as China, but when I has my blue IC as a Permanent Resident, it was listed as Taiwan. That’s the story of my life.
Severing ties with my family is the second best decision, with the best decision being marrying my wife. I can’t begin to explain what happens and the possibilities that arise when you cut out toxic pieces of garbage from your life, even if they are your family. I don’t regret it, and I can promise you I have no intentions to look back and reconcile, and I am just waiting for them to perish.
As I’ve said, my biological family, in all brutal honesty, are dead to me. I view them as per what the section title says – an origin story. I honestly don’t even know if anyone will reach out to let me know they’ve passed on. I don’t even know if they’ve already passed on. My message to my family was so clear that no one bothered to inform me when my paternal grandparents passed away during the pandemic years. I also didn’t feel a tinge of sadness because there’s really no feeling of kinship.
The Chinese name 嶦孝顏 you see me use on my website and media is my new name (it sounds the same as the old one), and I even changed my surname from 詹 to 嶦. I’ve not made it official yet, but I will do so when 2024 is here, and I’ll explain why below. My old name was 孝严, and it’s supposed to mean “filial” to the father, and it came as a pair as my biological sister who was 敬慈, which meant “filial to the mother”. The irony is that the character “孝“ can also mean mourning a parent’s death. You see the link. My name sounded nice, but it wasn’t chosen well. Before you ask, I’ve severed ties with my biological sister as well.
So yes, the above long-winded segment is to tell you that I officially declare myself the first person on top of a new family tree, and I don’t think anyone else in the world has this surname. Using a Game of Thrones reference, I’m the first in my name. It’s uncanny because I’m my family’s eldest grandchild (长孙), but I’m not carrying on the family name.
There is nothing proud to carry on anyway, and I am the bloodline rebellion.
Finding My Roots And Understanding My Saturn Return
I sometimes look back at the years of my Saturn Return, which I once thought was 2014 when I severed ties and moved out, but it isn’t. My Saturn Return was in 2016 – the year I met my wife. It took me a while to appreciate my Saturn Return’s real lesson, and also the gifts of Saturn.
I initially thought my Saturn Return was about establishing my career, severing ties with family, and finally having a stable income.
Turns out, all these were wrong.
My Saturn Return was about finding and reestablishing my roots again. I came to Singapore when I was four months old and grew up here while going through Hell without my relatives. Like an uprooted plant finding new fertile soil, it could have ended in two ways: I die, or I thrive. 2016 to 2018 were perhaps some of the most fascinating years I’ve gone through, from meeting my wife to having my first big media break – everything changed after. I established new roots and embraced a new life, and everything else fell into place after. Was I worthy of all these blessings? I hope I was.
Every dollar I made or media feature I had would be absolutely meaningless if I didn’t come home to a warm and loving family, which I’ve been building ever since I met my wife. The journey of finding and growing new roots for myself also made me the practitioner that I am today because being a practitioner isn’t simply about telling people how to give in to their desires and chase after material wealth – which is often how my industry is packaged.
2023’s events and lessons reminded me of what’s important and what matters. My new roots are still growing and strengthening, and you can even say it’s ready to bear some fruits and flowers. (This is called foreshadowing. Read on.)
The Yin And Yang Of 2023
Was 2023 a good year or a bad year? If you know me well enough by now, good and bad are the same, and Yin Yang dictates that one does not just precede the other, but one cannot exist without the other. I try not to classify years as “good” vs “bad” because I am Yin Yang trained, but more of whether I’ve experienced the richness life can bring and the depth of human emotions. Good or bad, there’s always something I’ll want to remember. If there’s nothing I can remember about a particular year, then it’s a wasted year.
If I classified 2023 as a bad year, you could argue that 2016 to 2022 success led to it because I got complacent in a few things. Saturn threw me a reminder. If I choose to see 2023 as a good year, it’s because I know 2023, although with its dark moments, is going to bring me even further. Good? Bad? They are the same. It’s all a cycle.
I’ve had it good for several years now, and 2023 was a reminder not to take these for granted. It was an eventful year that held many pleasant and unpleasant new experiences. The pleasant is always welcomed, and although the unpleasant wasn’t, I tell myself it is still to be embraced because that’s life, and I did grow from these experiences. I’ve experienced new friendships, connected more deeply with loved ones, seen new places, crossed paths with society’s degenerates, and suffered loss. Good or bad, I choose to see each experience as meaningful.
I always knew 2023 would be a slightly more eventful, ‘problematic’ year, and I told myself to be prepared for it. As much as I’m an astrologer and I tell myself to be ready, you will never know how it truly hits – the form it takes will always elude you, and that is to be expected because if it’s something too predictable that it loses its impact, the experience won’t leave an indelible mark on your mind for it to be recalled as a lesson and an opportunity for growth. My BaZi points out why 2023 would be bumpier, and it also happens to be my Saturn square natal Saturn transit this year, so lessons are expected – just that it came in the most unexpected form ever.
I know everyone is thinking, “What happened?” Let’s just say that my Saturn square Saturn event happens to be someone’s Saturn Return event. This is a divine geometry that I personally find fascinating, and I want people to appreciate this. The people you meet truly are fated events. Everything that happened in your parents’ lives led to them giving birth to you, and all of your charts paint a congruent story – if that doesn’t fascinate you, I don’t know what does. I won’t go into the details of what happened for now, other than to say that there will come a point where I might dedicate a blog post to this, or I may even decide not to because the matter is actually very trivial in the grand scheme of things. It’s just low-functioning people looking to ruin their lives. I’m just curious to see who Saturn, the planet of karma and justice, favours. All these being said, I accept my role and responsibility for the events that unfolded. In hindsight, could it have been prevented? You might feel it could have given all the talk about transcending charts, but consider this: If I prevented it, it means a free pass for someone else’s Saturn Return, which we all know won’t happen. In other words, whatever is meant to happen, happened.
I am never afraid of Saturn, and I am always ready to submit and humble myself before this planet. Saturn rules my chart, and this planet holds a special position. Saturn is like a sparring partner who will throw you punches that hurt, but you tend to feel alive through the process. I’ve already gone through my Saturn Return, so thankfully, this Saturn square Saturn event is manageable and wasn’t a big deal. It is amusing to see how some youngsters who are amateurs in astrology proudly declare they have learned their Saturn Return lesson before it officially hits, only to crash and burn when it does. They’re paying a very hefty price for thinking a Saturn Return is something you can simply brush off your shoulders. It shows that learning Chinese metaphysics or astrology does not automatically lead to wisdom.
Astrology is not a tool for you to cheat life, but to appreciate why life is the way it is.
I take comfort in the fact that this Saturn square Saturn transit is something everyone goes through at around 37/38, and I do see, not some, but all of my friends going through some form of challenge. Some finally took the plunge of kickstarting a business; some divorced; some were forced to reprioritise when they realised money is worthless without your health. I mean it when I say this, but all my peers are going through something, and it has not been easy for those born in 1986 and 1987.
The heartening thing is that everyone’s supporting each other. I’m grateful to have my friends. We give each other constructive advice and laugh off some of life’s small inconveniences.
The Yin And Lessons Of 2023
There is no one single theme for 2023’s lessons. Some lessons were clear, and some aren’t. All I could say was that the impact of 2023’s experiences on me was profound. As I said, I was hit in multiple areas simultaneously due to how my chart is structured.
I knew I had always wanted to be a parent, but I was never sure I was fully ready. It took the loss of life for me to realise that, ready or not, I wish to embrace this new future. Perhaps this was what Pluto and Saturn’s transits meant for me. Don’t worry, we’re OK! It happened at the beginning of the year, and it was written in the charts. It’s a distant memory now, and we knew why we had to go through it. My trip to Bhutan was partially motivated by this event because my wife and I wanted to get away and create some happy memories. I’ll always remember we got blessed with a giant golden dick at the Divine Madman’s temple.
As for the other lessons of 2023, I’m afraid I’ll have to tell you I’ve not quite figured it out yet, and like my Saturn Return, it will probably take a while for me to figure out. It irks me a little that I don’t quite have a quick answer, but I remind myself that figuring out these lessons takes time. When I’m clear on the answer, I’ll let everyone know.
There were some immediate benefits, though. 2023 saw Saturn move into my Sun sign. Some of my followers who are into Western astrology shared with me that Saturn aims to take away the trash and give you an upgrade, which I dare say did happen.
I ended some friendships that I am no longer agreeable with. It’s not about them not trying to keep in touch. I removed people who still haven’t got their shit together. You might say, “Aren’t you supposed to help and be there for a friend?” Yes, we are, but not when the other person willingly self-sabotages and sends their lives crashing down by cheating on the spouse when you’re a parent or always playing the victim whenever something goes wrong. I have my own life to live rather than deal with such things.
2023 also saw me pick up Western astrology as you can tell by now, and the impetus for this came unexpectedly through someone who has a twisted grandiosity claiming to be gifted in astrology, and I want to show this person what real talent is. I’m always up for a challenge. Several of my followers study Western astrology casually, so I couldn’t help but read up about it. Surprisingly, studying Western astrology did benefit my Chinese metaphysics practice because it helped me understand the cosmos better.
I do question whether the definition of “being better”, in my case, means being less irreverent and vulgar and projecting a more fatherly, down-to-earth image. Is that really my path towards growth? If that were the case, it would come across as a tad too easy, and to be fair, it’s not like I don’t have that side of me. Swearing less feels a tad uninspiring as a life lesson, and it’s not as though I don’t know the virtues of human decency. It would also be a denial of who I am at the core because I’m someone who dares to have my voice heard, and I can do it diplomatically or with a dose of aggression – but the point is I will be heard.
2023 did set a lot of things in motion. Some immediate upgrades, some wake-up calls, and some seeds planted for the future.
2023 also got me thinking a lot about morality. How should I be? What does having morals mean? How should I live? If someone harmed me and I was given the chance to destroy and wreck this person’s life utterly, should I jump on the chance?
2023 did tempt my demons, and I was thrown some tests. If you recall, I’ve visited the Goddess of Mercy temple quite a number of times this year, and I was there to ask these questions. What is the right thing to do? Is it Heaven’s will? Or my ego? Should I let go? Or should I hit back?
Even as an astrologer, I don’t always have the answers for my life’s issues. I still need guidance and reminders from time to time. The answer was clear, though. It’s not worth hitting back for obvious reasons. It’s not worth dirtying my hands, and it’s an insult to my being.
I can’t help but mention once again that this quote from the Marvel movie Shang Chi is more meaningful than you think, and most people just thought it was some arbitrary quote to sound cool.
In this scene, Shang Chi’s mother said 「掌握阴阳的转换，才能了解真正的自己」, meaning to understand oneself through the ever-changing state of Yin and Yang. The ever-changing state of Yin and Yang would include what we’re like as people, our emotions, and what we experience.
2023 was a year where Yin and Yang intermingled for me. I had to make a choice, and in making that choice, I learned a lot about myself and life and possibly averted unnecessary hassles or even disaster. I’ll just put it out there: 2023 saw me send a lawyer letter and file a police report on a client for the first time in my career, and I am hanging a lawsuit over this person’s head, ready to execute it as and when I deem fit. This person stooped to the level of attacking my wife, and you will not believe what this person did. The case has not concluded, so I don’t wish to discuss it now.
But yes, it’s been quite a year! As I mentioned in my earlier blog posts this year, I let my guard down, but I see that as a fated event. Knowing that it’s my Saturn square transit helped. Again, when the time comes, and it’s legally OK for me to talk about this thoroughly, I might do so, and you will understand why I do my best to filter clients. It’s a crazy story, really. That said, I’m more likely to let it go and not talk about it anymore – because it’s my lesson and unnecessary drama – not yours.
For now, as I said above – I leave it to Saturn to decide what happens next.
Embracing The Yin And Yang Of Morality
I don’t need anyone to worry about my current level or apparent lack of self-awareness – I know what I’m like, how my mind works, and the consequences. How can I not? My life and experiences have forced me into a position where I have no choice but to understand myself inside out. I was my own therapist. My Saturn square Saturn event was out of this world, and it’s a good reminder not to get ahead of myself and find some balance.
How I choose to become and whether it’s a good thing or not is always subject to debate, and it is a good debate. Do I need to call people “stupid”, “cosmic garbage”, and other practitioners “useless low-lives”? I can make it sound perfectly diplomatic, but I’m really not in the mood to. Some meaning, different feeling. Being coy is not my style, especially when the industry has been a cesspool for decades. If you harm others, you are definitely a stupid piece of garbage to me, and if you use Chinese metaphysics simply as a tool for making money, you are a useless low-life to me.
If there are two axioms of life I believe in, they are 1) Balance and 2) Cause-And-Effect. Being the way I am will always have karma and consequences, and I accept those consequences. Not being the way I am will also have its consequences. Suppose I chose to be the kind of practitioner who plays it nice and sells Feng Shui items for six figures, but I make donations while benefitting from a few tax rebates. Does that make me a more moral, good person? No one knows. All I can say is that we are a living embodiment of our charts – we are born the way we are, and this is the way I am.
My intentions may be moral, but my execution of it may seem immoral. I am perfectly aware of this and that’s just Yin and Yang for you. Whether whatever I’m doing or the way I choose to do it is ultimately good or bad karma is something I can only leave to Heavens to decide.
I need people to understand that it is impossible for me not to be as I am, but I try to balance it the best I can. This is my life, my chart, and this is predestined. I will never tell anyone they cannot be how they are, although I’ll always have an opinion. Whether your soul can express itself healthily or destructively, the point is that everyone has to accept the consequences.
It’s a tad funny because I know I’ve brought peace to people when I tell them it’s OK to “f*** your mum” rather than give them the usual Asian virtue bullshit of, “But she’s your mother, she fed you, and you need to be filial”. It’s a very warped kind of logic that feeding someone food and supporting someone financially gives someone a divine right to abuse.
if such logic is ever used on you, just tell your parents you didn’t give them consent to conceive you.
Let’s Talk About The Category 4 (命不好；运好) Chart-Holder
If I were to choose a year to build a monument to pay homage to the dysfunctional people I’ve met – 2023 would be the year. I’ve been meeting them my entire life – we all have. You haven’t even heard of my corporate stories yet.
Before I go on a small rant, I need people to understand this: I did not invent the four categories. They have always been there; I’m just bringing it to everyone’s attention and dispelling ignorance. The four categories simply describe 命 and 运 and the realities of what it means. You will only be offended by what I say about Cat. 4 chart-holders if you are indeed a Cat. 4 chart-holder.
Any Chinese book on Chinese metaphysics talks about the four categories. 命, which can be good or bad; and 运, which can also be good and bad. It’s meant to be generic, and the point is to get people to understand how 运 isn’t “luck” but a reflection of our mental processes and the development of our characters and souls. I said this in plain, simple English, but some people seem to lack the basic aptitude to understand this.
If you’re worried about being a Cat. 4 chart-holder and don’t wish to find out, stay the f*** away from astrology and Chinese metaphysics – I’ve said this countless times. I’m not going to paint a rosy picture of life when we live in a world where children are bombed in hospitals and their sleep. And if you’re lucky enough to be born in a country with peace, please make good use of your life and grow up.
Being Cat. 4 or not simply means whether you are living effectively and making good use of your life or blatantly wasting it away.
Till today, I still have f***ing morons who twist what I say and try to character assassinate me by insinuating that I’m suggesting people born in wartime countries are all Category 4. Truly, only a Category 4 piece of garbage will think this way. No wonder your life sucks, you’re alone, and you’re unhappy.
Being born in a war-torn country doesn’t mean someone has a bad chart or a character flaw. Our astrological charts don’t consider which country you were born in, but of course, where you were born plays a huge role in how your life turns out, and that’s just common sense. I do not apply astrology to global affairs because I’ve always come from an angle of personal empowerment, and I’m not going to tell you, using astrology, why children are dying and being bombed for nothing. Perhaps astro-cartography or Feng Shui Period 9 can explain what’s happening when ‘practitioners’ can finally understand what the 9 Palaces (九宫) represent, but I will not go there. There’s no need to go there.
Let me make this very, very clear: If given the chance to move to the right environment, the people who survived such harsh environments will flourish because they’ve been through Hell and will do whatever it takes to find happiness and a good life. You know they will, and they represent the best of humanity and you witness real altruism, tenacity, and fortitude during such times, instead of the bloody dips***s who do a good deed and have to post it on TikTok.
As for yourself, the Cat. 4 chart-holder? Are you whining and playing the victim for every single little thing?
You are completely missing the point and a complete imbecile if you think that being Cat. 4, in my definition, means you’re ‘unlucky’ or that you’re born in a wartorn country.
I’m known as the “practitioner who categorises people into four groups” on some hobbyists’ blog sites. I don’t get what’s the big deal with me talking about the four categories. I’m just letting everyone know that’s really just how practitioners view the world before spiritual gibberish and pretentiousness for the sake of sales took over.
I know my incessant mention of the four categories will make me look unempathetic, elitist, and whatnot. But please let me remind everyone that regardless of whether I keep mentioning the four categories or not – this is reality. I also do not have any special privileges or rule over people like an elitist. I’m just very upfront and in your face about certain things. I’m sorry that life feels like constant suffering for some people, but me pretending to give empathy, especially when you don’t deserve it, will not change anything.
A consultation with me may alleviate your pain and give closure, but it may also mean you confront your suffering and pain – and it’s not going to feel nice. You may very well end up single and alone forever; you may never become wealthy; a health ailment may never go away. I am powerless to change these.
I have nothing against Cat. 4 chart-holders, but I think it’s fair to say I have a right to draw boundaries, set rules, and push people away so that I can focus on meaningful cases. Cat. 4 chart-holders seem to think my career revolves solely around them.
I tend to forget who the toxic, dysfunctional clients are after a while. It’s like the ephemeral shit you dump every morning that you can’t wait to flush away. Some of the people I met this year are like the shit stain you can’t wash away. It is the year I’ve met the most Cat. 4s of Cat. 4s, the shit de la shit, and their screw-ups are so monumental that it should be chronicled. If a shit can take a shit, the Cat. 4s I met this year would be the shit the other shit shat out.
I sometimes call Cat. 4 chart-holders “garbage”, which I know some people feel might be a bit harsh, but it takes a very special someone for others to think that their lives are better off if they didn’t meet or that the world is better off if they didn’t even exist. It’s an adjective that I settled with – because if I want to take on the same level of harshness as our ancestors did, I would be calling them “useless low lives” or 下贱废人 all the time, and this is a term used in 「穷通宝鉴」during the Qing dynasty where people are supposedly conservative. If you think “garbage is worse”, then fine, I’ll settle with “useless low life” then.
I will be honest with everyone here like I always have: I can never bring myself to be cordial, gentle, or sometimes even kind to Category 4 chart-holders. Helping them, giving them leeway, and even bothering to spend time on them causes harm to not just myself but to others.
You do not get to have my empathy when you’ve not even accepted responsibility for causing suffering, not just to yourself but to others around you. It’s uncanny that someone screws up their lives and proceeds to beg, demand, and suss for empathy from everyone, and suddenly, the ones who can’t empathise are the bad people accused of moral grandstanding. It’s such a cheap, detestable, gaslighting low move to play the “empathy card” and undermine what the virtues of empathy and accountability mean. Empathy is also not going to make one’s problem go away – my empathy is not going to get you your spouse back because you spent your entire life disrespecting your spouse, nor is it going to raise your IQ to get you a better job. Empathy is important, and it’s how people who love each other show support, but a special group of snakeflakes like to weaponise it. Can we please grow up?
I am at the core of my being a realist, and my struggle with Category 4 chart-holders will be eternal because it’s one thing I will never understand – why do people waste their lives away or think it’s OK to harm others? Sadly, you know not much can be done, and part of you will always feel like some people deserve the life they have. It’s funny because they are Cat. 4 to me, but I am Cat. 4 to them. The irony. There is really no need to engage each other, which is why, till today, I filter my clients.
You may occasionally hear some unbelievable story as part of your office water-cooler chat or gossip session, but remember, I always encounter such individuals more than anyone else due to my work. You don’t even need to read an astrologer’s blog for these stories – just read the news.
My irreverent, vulgar side allows me to laugh at, throw shade at, and satirise my past, my helplessness, and some of the ironic and hypocritical things that I witness. An abusive narcissist thinking she’s a devout Buddhist, a Catholic brother who sexually assaulted teenage boys (his identity is an open secret in the Catholic community), or a practitioner who says he wants to help you but proceeds to sell you useless Feng Shui items, or even better, starts a cult-like group that revolves around the Feng Shui master who proceeds to molest his followers.
I will be the first to admit that I may unintentionally be a hypocrite at times, but I always remind myself not to be one – which is why I am so blunt. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you should be able to tell that by now.
Me declaring, “I’m here to help you.” isn’t going to help anyone. Trust me, sometimes, going, “F*** off, wake up, or you’re hopeless.” works better for people who think I have some magical hack for their life’s issues that they created for themselves. This is a real but controversial way of me trying my best not to be hypocritical as opposed to the practitioner who claims he or she wants to help you but sells you a useless item. This isn’t a work persona – this is me. My friends have to take the same bluntness if I feel something is wrong or they cease to be friends.
My point is this: People will find fault in how I do things, which is fine, but please understand why I am doing it the way I am. If not, you’re welcome to buy a $68,000 jadeite mountain or Pi Xiu bracelet from me. I will source for one and even fart on it to consecrate it. I’m happy to sell you one, go on a holiday, and then ask you to sod off while you rot.
It may be easy to say, “Let’s show some kindness and compassion.” But if there ever comes a point where these Category 4 chart-holders harm you, leech on you, or burden your loved ones, your virtue-signalling side may feel otherwise. As I said before, kindness and compassion need proper execution as well. Instead of some of us showing kindness and compassion, which I appreciate is a good reminder, why can’t some people have standards and some dignity then? It goes both ways. Let’s meet in the middle.
My biggest moments of growth, for some reason, come from my dealing with Category 4 garbage. I have an inkling that you are nodding your head and going, “It’s the same for me.” because, really, whose life lessons don’t come from a Category 4 chart-holder?
Now, is a Category 4 chart-holder born or made? I’ll leave that for you to decide because I sure as Hell wouldn’t know.
I’ve spent my entire career telling people how we deal with our pain and suffering ultimately determines the outcome of our lives. Your chart and the Elemental Phases (运) you go through reflect this. Seriously, who doesn’t go through pain and suffering? You can choose to see it as punishment or see it as a challenge or test. That’s up to you. It’s not my problem.
Alright. Enough about them. But yes, 2023 has been monumental for dealing with Category 4 chart-holders.
Spirituality, Spiritual Narcissism, And Mental Illness
A huge theme of 2023 was thinking about what “spirituality” means. It is the year where I’ve witnessed rampant spiritual narcissism, and it’s also a year where I crossed paths with quite several people who I suspect are mentally ill but claim to be spiritual or imbued with special gifts. Unfortunately for me, some of these mentally ill people have inconvenienced me and done quite a lot of unimaginable things, but that’s a story or another time.
Spirituality and Spiritual Narcissism
I can’t speak for society as a whole, but spiritual narcissism is increasingly becoming a trend in my industry. The problems in my industry saw a gradual shift from commercial malpractices to glorifying one’s spirituality, wokeness, or whatever you wish to call it.
Being spiritual is undoubtedly important, and I want to be spiritual, too. It makes the human condition more bearable. But as Karl Marx goes, “Religion is the opiate” of the masses, and I don’t want to lose my ability to think critically or exercise season simply because I wish to be spiritual and neither do I wish to be the prick who invokes some spiritual figures name or quote from a holy text just to appear like I’m better.
I often ask myself what it means to be spiritual. It’s a tough question because it’s like asking, “How does one be wise?”. Some say spirituality is a connection to someone bigger than oneself, while others say it means having a purpose or perhaps the belief in a supreme being watching over us. The definition of spirituality has always been rather fluid to me. I like simplifying it by thinking that having a purpose will get you towards this ethereal feeling of spirituality we all seek.
If anything, I feel spirituality is supposed to remind us that we’re not that big of a deal. You come from stardust, and you shall return as stardust. We’re not as important as we think we are and will die someday. I don’t quite get why there’s this incessant need for people in my field or even the self-help field to snap a selfie, attach some motivational quote to it, and behave like they’ve discovered some secret sauce to life. By all means, share your thoughts, but I don’t get what’s up with the selfies as though you’re Black Pink or Tony Robbins. Granted, some people are coaches, and to snap that selfie along with some motivational quote is expected. It’s OK for someone to do it once in a while, but I can’t help but feel it can get excessive, especially for people who haven’t done much in their lives. This is also the reason why you don’t see me posting pictures of myself at all other than during special occasions.
Whether it’s for validation or coming from a genuine place of good, I don’t know, but it does feel disturbing, like how you need to film yourself doing good deeds and showcasing it to the world, and sometimes even the good deed is staged. There is also something very wrong when a practitioner outrightly declares to someone else and says, “I am your benefactor.” The level of self-absorption is out of this world.
I’ve met people who claim they are so spiritual and woke that they cannot help but give the all-so-annoying unsolicited advice when they’re still clearing their mess up. When pointed out, they get offended. Spiritual? Or ego? I don’t know. They go on a healing journey after a setback or divorce. and suddenly become this spiritual guru, but it’s been ten years and holy f***, you’re STILL healing. Exactly what the hell have you been doing for ten years? You might as well put “Thou art still healing.” on your tombstone. If you say you need more time, sure, but as long as you remember, your time is limited. If this was a physical wound, no matter how small, you would be dead by now from an infection. So tell me, do you want to truly heal and live? Or get stuck in that ‘healing persona’ and get stuck in that new ego and eventually experience a metaphorical and metaphysical death?
If you wish to be stuck in that new persona and ego, continue with your selfies and pretentious motivational quotes, that’s fine. It’s not my call. I don’t care. Perhaps that’s the best option for some people so that they don’t become an emotional mess.
I hope Saturn being in Pisces will make us more discerning about who we rely on when exploring our spirituality. I don’t know.
I write this section at the risk of being misinterpreted, and I am trying to be as tactful and sensitive as I can. Whatever I say here are merely observations and my experiences with mentally ill people.
I will start by first saying that I don’t know much about mental illnesses, although I do read up about them, especially after 2023’s events. I don’t think I have anyone around me who is mentally ill other than having mild ADHD, and I never had to deal with people who are severely mentally ill – until this year. I probably had a period during my teens when I was depressed because things were tough, but I never felt like I had a mental condition.
I wanted to talk about mental illness a little bit for a few reasons. First, it’s because I crossed paths with several people I suspect are struggling with mental illness in 2023, and you could say they inconvenienced me. Of course, I’m upset, but I tell myself not to fault them. The most severe case I’ve encountered this year is a suspected case of schizophrenia, where grand claims of having prophetic dreams and being gifted in astrology were made. Encountering someone with suspected schizophrenia is a career first, and I can assure you I never want to deal with them again. Second, a handful of people struggling with these ailments pursue some spiritual vocation or astrology for some reason, and I can understand these reasons although it is concerning as well. Astrology and Chinese metaphysics deal with what we cannot see after all, so spirits, ghosts, and anything mystical will always be involved. My field is probably the only one that’s receptive to people who make claims of ‘special abilities’. It’s like a badge of honour, but it is not a good thing.
I say this with absolutely no prejudice. The individuals I crossed paths with whom I suspect have mental ailments, unfortunately, and objectively, fall into the Category 4 group of people. It’s not that they’re evil per se and that they go out of their way to harm, but they are dysfunctional, and their behaviour is so destructive that it sometimes feels like there’s no difference. We see them on the news sometimes, and they do things like make a ruckus in court, pry open the door of a moving train or make false bomb threats on the plane, and they eventually get themselves into legal trouble.
I don’t wish to discuss much about this other than to say but to reiterate a quote from Marcus Parks: “Mental illness is not your fault, but it is your responsibility.”
I can sympathise, but I won’t virtue signal by saying I can empathise. Anyone will know I’m just virtue signalling if I say that I can empathise because this isn’t something I’ve gone through before. Please know the difference. I’ve always prided myself on my mental and emotional fortitude, and I’m sorry that this is one of the things about life with which I cannot empathise, just like how I don’t expect anyone to empathise with the events I had to go through.
I’m really sorry if you or someone you know is struggling with mental illness. Like most things, I wish I could help, but I can’t, and I don’t know how. Regardless, I need to make my stance clear that being mentally ill doesn’t give someone a free pass to behave however they want. I’m going to make it clear, once and for all, that if anyone crosses the line, even if you’re mentally ill, I will take measures to protect myself and sue, or even throw you in jail if I have to.
I need everyone to remember that highly dysfunctional people exist, and they like to turn to fields like mine for misguided comfort when they should be getting professional help and not from astrology, and definitely not from someone like me.
We all have our struggles and challenges, but it would be preposterous to think that what we go through gives us the right to think our actions have no consequences. Do not live like that.
Appreciating Cause And Effect
My pilgrimage trip to Bhutan reconnected me to my Buddhist roots, and I’ve been thinking a lot about it this year. To me, the label “Buddhist” doesn’t matter. A real Buddhist who understands the teachings will understand why it doesn’t.
Cause and effect may sound too simple and insignificant to pay attention to, but you would be a fool to wish to seek help from astrology but be ignorant about cause and effect. As simple as the notion of cause and effect sounds, it’s one of the elements of reality. Everything has to have a “cause”. Even the scientific field accepts this axiom, and it’s not something that’s exclusive to astrology or anything metaphysical.
For some reason, “cause and effect” doesn’t strike fear in people, but “karma” does when it actually means the same thing. “Karma” has a negative connotation because we like to use it to clap back at people. “Karma is a bitch” (like my mum). Well, cause and effect can be a c***, too.
Many people like to ask astrologers why their lives turned out the way they did. We can always explain it via the chart – assessing your character, personality, and whatnot. But you need to understand that the chart is just another way of describing cause and effect or your karma. Why do you think Buddhism acknowledges and accepts astrology and that there’s even a school of astrology in Bhutan?
Yes, the planets and elements ‘influence’ you; your thoughts change, determining your actions and eventually leading to a result. Ten years in this field has made me realise that people think only about the actions part but completely fail to notice the “thoughts” and ethereal part of the process. Let me give simple examples: You want to find a date, settle down, and marry someone. You go on dates but find no one, or worse, you marry the wrong person. Why? Because you ignored the ethereal part of the process and didn’t realise you were not ready.
I don’t feel appreciating cause and effect is rocket science, but the issue is people don’t slow down to think things through and appreciate how karma works, especially in a fast-paced society like Singapore. Think about thinking and how you think – philosophise – and you’ll thank yourself for thinking better in future.
I like to explain life’s phenomena through cause and effect because embracing this simple law, perhaps, gives you some control. Whether or not it’ll help you transcend your chart is not something I’ll know, but there’s comfort in knowing that life’s bound by such simple laws.
Again, it’s not just about the action. The thoughts and intentions count, too.
Don’t get me started on the people who think doing good deeds for the sake of social media counts or expecting something in return is considered “good karma”. Foolish.
Transcending Charts vs Accepting Predestination
I’m losing my enthusiasm to talk about the notion of “transcending charts”, not because it’s not a worthy cause, but because I’m tired and was perhaps a bit too naive. I was naive in the sense that I thought a discourse on this topic and getting people to read 「了凡四训」 would motivate people to wish to become better – or at least try. Some people did try, and I am heartened, but perhaps this was their life’s plan all along. Alas, some people interpret “transcending charts” as being able to do whatever they wish when sometimes it’s simply about not messing up or jumping into the shithole right in front of you.
When your Elemental Phases are good, there is honestly nothing to transcend. I know for a fact and as a competent astrologer that you will be fine, which is why I say, “You will be fine.” to many people. They will grow and develop as individuals.
Of course, it’s Category 4 chart-holders also make me lose faith. No matter how much time and resources they’re given, this group of people refuse to do anything about it or somehow lack the innate entry-level wisdom and common sense that everyone should have to understand basic concepts and rules of living.
I started my journey as a practitioner, thinking that all charts stand a chance of being transcended and that the chart-holder can invite the good and avoid the bad by putting in some effort to develop some level of self-awareness and wisdom. I guess you could say this was an imbalance on my part, and in some ways, I gave people too much credit. Being balanced also doesn’t mean it’s 50/50 where half the people stand a chance of transcending their charts. Only sages can transcend their charts, and who has the right to call themselves a sage? The debate on free will vs determinism will always be there, and people have always favoured free will. I’m actually indifferent about it.
Believing in free will or determinism doesn’t change how I live or deal with my life, and I’m happy that it remains a thought experiment. I just need to know my thoughts and actions determine my future. I focus on living. It’s as simple as that.
I came across a really interesting article that proposes an interesting new perspective. Here’s the article: Recognise free will is an illusion and reap the emotional benefits.
It’s a really good article, and I would really encourage you to read it.
I remember laughing out loud when I got to the section “A life less angry”. I couldn’t help but feel like I was being poked fun at. It’s such simple wisdom, and I can’t believe I missed something obvious.
My anger towards Category 4 people stems from seeing them waste their lives away and how they don’t see that they’re only harming themselves when they harm others. There’s a subconscious clinging to the hope of some form of influence one can exert on a Category 4 chart-holder to change things – but perhaps that’s just an illusion and naivete on my part. How can one lack self-awareness to that extent? How is it possible that someone is willing to inflict such harm on others? From caging your own child and scalding him to death, stomping on your adopted daughter, and mass shootings – I really don’t understand. The cases I come across during my work aren’t usually that extreme, but cognisance of such people existing is enough to send a chill down my spine.
Coming from an angle of determinism and that all things are fated does bring me some sense of peace, not just when dealing with difficult people but life in general. There’s no need to get angry at Category 4 people anymore -because they’re meant to be the way they are. I shied away from this notion because I never wanted to be the one who condemns someone to their fate, but now I realise it’s not me doing the condemnation. People condemn themselves. I’m not the one who decides what someone’s chart is like – I merely interpret it.
We’ve all been taught not to view life through determinism and that everyone stands a chance for change, to be better, and to contribute to society. We were taught to be this way because it is the “nice way to be” because we want an inclusive society, which I know is important. Imagine a government categorizing people – we would have a revolution in no time. Being taught to condemn or to feel that someone was born a certain way sometimes feels like a white lie, but we all know why we have to be told this lie.
As a practitioner, I do believe in some form of predeterminism, and perhaps, let me put it this way: I’ve come to the stage of my career where I no longer care, and part of me, as an act of balance, will embrace determinism.
What your chart is like and whether you can transcend it is not my problem – it never was and never will be. I am not some religious figure who has to keep saying things to inspire people to change. It is your life – not mine.
Perhaps this is exactly what the world needs, which is the notion of predeterminism, and that it will shock you into an existential crisis and force you to take some action and any chance you have, even if everything seems bleak. If determinism is real, then why not make growth, progress, and the ability to think and ruminate part of your plan even and assume that’s part of the plan? At least you’d be doing something.
Perhaps that’ll work, or perhaps it won’t. But like I said, it’s not my problem anymore.
The Yang Of 2023: Giving Thanks To Everything I Have
Here comes the fun part.
2023 was eventful, and despite unpleasantries, it’s not without its happy memories. I’ve received a lot of love and formed many core memories in 2023, and I’ll always look back at them fondly.
I’ve travelled quite a bit – much more than the average individual. I don’t have a title or fixed salary, and the biggest perk of my job is that I get full control of my time, and I can essentially be a digital nomad. I used that freedom to see the world, and I will continue doing so.
My followers would have remembered I travelled to Bhutan. It was a pilgrimage of sorts, and you can read some of my thoughts on the trip here:
August saw me travelling to Scotland, England, and Portugal with my wife. It was a spontaneous decision as we hopped onto someone else’s itinerary. I wanted to get out of the country (again) to get my mind off stuff, and I wanted 2023 to have even more happy memories. For the first time in my life, I travelled with a friend, and even her husband was there. We spent some time together in Edinburgh, Porto, and Lisbon.
This friend was a client from long ago. We did not expect to grow so close, and she’s like a sister to me, and I love her to bits. The funny thing is, she almost got scolded by me when we first met, and I even read her chart wrongly because she has a very special chart. Fate, I guess. She’s the third most important woman in my life, with my wife and mother-in-law being the top two. It’s one of those friendships that feels like it’s written in the stars, and people like her are the family I’ve never had.
Oh, and by the way, she’s the one that’s having an amazing clash ‘Tai Sui’ year and the one always going ‘chao ni ma’ (f*** your mother) when chatting with me. I love it. May I also take this chance to say how amazing my wife is to say “yes” to the trip? Seeing her hang out and banter with my cosmic sister made me so, so happy, and I hope it’s clear to everyone why I always say our marriage is special.
My cosmic sister and her husband returned to New York, and my wife and I travelled to a little town called Evora and stayed in a really cosy lodge where the host prepared breakfast for us every day. We still keep in touch with the host and follow each other on Instagram.
Now, I’m finally going to reveal this. I was back in Switzerland in November, which is why you didn’t see me posting on social media as much. We even popped by Como and Milan, Italy. You would have recalled that I was there last year for my birthday, and the reason why we’re back again is because of this:
Tadah~! You all get the hint. It was a babymoon. With new roots, now come the flowers and fruits. I cannot wait to be a father. My wife can validate that this is true, but I told her she’d definitely get pregnant, and she did. I also hope becoming a father will make me a better practitioner for reasons I need not elaborate.
If you find the feature image for this blog post familiar, it’s because we even returned to the same AirBnB and took a photo at the same spot. We indulged in the nostalgia, making us realise how quickly time flew by.
My wife and I love Switzerland, and we explored Switzerland’s Italian and French regions this time. There were too many great moments and pictures to share. This isn’t a travel blog, and I don’t wish to bombard everyone with pictures, although I’ll share the core memories:
One of the most memorable parts of the trip was visiting Duomo Milan. I think there was a rehearsal in preparation for Christmas, and we managed to see the orchestra and opera singer. It. Was. Amazing. Being there was very moving, and I remember shedding a few tears as though I was being touched by something greater. It was beautiful, and I’m amazed at the lengths humanity has gone to to get closer to the divine.
We left the Italian part of Switzerland and went to the French region. We stayed in Lutry, and I got the chance to meet up with a follower whom I’ve been speaking to online for a few years. She wasn’t a client. She added me on my personal Facebook one day in 2020, and we kept in touch but didn’t get to meet in 2022 when I was first in Switzerland.
Her story is fascinating. She married a Chinese man and had the most traditional of weddings, where the whole village was invited for a feast, and there were even sacrificial animals. She works as a TCM practitioner in Lausanne, and it was interesting to know that TCM practitioners there prescribe Swiss herbs found in the mountains instead of the usual Chinese herbs. She hosted us at her home in a small town near Lausanne (St Prex), and I met her husband and two lovely daughters. The whole experience was so, so heart-warming, and it was really a 有缘千里来相会 (Destined to meet from thousands of miles away) moment. I joked with my wife if she was okay with our child marrying her daughter someday, and I never expected my wife to say “yes” without hesitation. She is really adorable.
I also met with a Singaporean client and her partner the day before flying back. She’s the one I’m currently hunting for a house for her in Zurich. She has been in Switzerland for nearly two decades and is into healthcare and nutrition. She’s ten years older than me, but she looks younger than people my peers. My wife and I were stunned.
It was a lovely trip with beautiful memories. I love travelling and seeing the world, especially when I never got to travel much when I was younger. We’ve always been very fortunate to meet amazing people and strangers who will help us when we’re travelling. People have always been nice, polite, and inviting. My wife and I always say we hope to be like the people we meet during our travels.
This incident was right at the beginning of our trip: We were on top of Mount Bre in Lugano. We missed the last funicular down the mountain because we wanted to catch the sunset. Thank Heavens, the waitress at the cafe just so happened to drive that day, and she gave us a ride home. Her name is Roxanna, and she’s from Romania. She came to work in Switzerland for a better life and now lives at the Swiss border in Italy. She has to drive to Lugano, Switzerland, to work on top of the mountain every day.
We chatted in the car, and she said she loved working at the cafe and had the best job in the world because she gets to see the sunrise and sunset every day and meets people from all over the world. She asked what I do for a living, and I told her. I read her chart, and despite having a common natal chart, her Elemental Phases were amazing. Her chart was better than many of the charts I’ve seen of Singaporean corporate workers, and she is the perfect example of what I’ve always been saying – that the definition of a good life has absolutely nothing to do with your job, title, or salary.
Roxanna has a better chart, and life for that matter, than most people I’ve met. She is happy, and that’s all that matters.
My travels with my wife always tend to be adventurous, and we have a lot of amazing memories together. It’s our last chance to do epic travels for a while, so we made 2023 worthwhile.
I’d also like to take this chance to say that if I’m the kind of person the naysayers say I am who is arrogant, obnoxious, self-serving, or whatever – then would I be able to build meaningful relationships with people to the point that I can travel with them? You can come to your own conclusion.
It’s a year-end post, and hence, it has a bit more about my personal life. But, again, I’m uncomfortable talking about my personal life on my blog or Instagram unless it’s relevant to my role – because people usually only consider finding me when they are going through a rough patch, and the money I’m spending is from these very same people. To post about my personal life and what I deem happy memories all the time doesn’t feel right. I also won’t post about the bad times because those are my issues to deal with.
Thank you for indulging me and letting me put the walls down once in a while.
And oh, by the way, did I tell you I can be very childish?
Don’t give me that look. All men will be tempted to do stupid shit like this at some point. And yes, this is me in my private moments with my wife. Seeing snow got me excited, and I felt like a kid again. There was also a lot of spare snow to use. I started off with two balls and wanted to make a snowman, but like I said, I have my demons, and they definitely took over this time.
I got really lucky this year because I experienced the first snowfall in both Bhutan and Switzerland. Heavens know when I’ll get to make a snow dick ever again, so I took the chance.
Yes, I am a practitioner philosophising about what makes a good life and how astrology aims to help us live effectively, and here I am – making a snow dick. Sue me.
And yes, I know I’m going to be a father soon. Imagine the fun I’ll have next time if my kid turns out like me!
The Family I Never Had And Connecting With People
My friends and the people I love are the family I never had.
I know how I come across online, and it’s a conscious choice. It makes my job more fun and helps me cope with the stress that comes with it, especially when I don’t exactly have peers or colleagues who can share some of the burdens. Let’s not kid each other here: My demeanour on my blog is in direct contrast to what I’m like on Instagram. My Instagram persona is my unhinged side that friends get to see because we’re so comfortable with each other that it’s impossible to be offended.
Just because I’m an astrologer also doesn’t mean I can’t have a personality, be normal, or have some sass.
If I cannot relate to you and what you go through, I won’t be very effective in my job. Imagine a practitioner who has never been in the corporate world or isn’t married advising you on the same matters. The last thing anyone needs is another practitioner who’s always trying to act all mysterious, mouthing random inspirational quotes that don’t make sense and essentially just living a lie and being pretentious. I am a normal human with a normal life who possesses some ancient knowledge. I go through the same thing everyone goes through, and I don’t need to act like some weird dingus to feign competence. I made a conscious decision to be who I am no matter what – no false fronts. Anyone engaging me is engaging me as a person, not some corporate entity or organisation.
Just because I’m an astrologer also doesn’t mean I can’t have a personality, be normal, or have some sass.
2023 saw me meet up with many clients – which was nice. Some were planned, and some were because I bumped into them on the streets. I also bumped into some people I scolded or turned away, but f*** them.
I hope people realise this. There’s nothing I enjoy more than connecting with others, and I’m really glad I got to meet people this year. I have a personality, but I’m not some scary monster going around offending everyone I meet or someone who doesn’t care about your feelings.
Just like how a part of me will always feel honoured that others are interested in my story, I share the same level of fascination with the stories of others and how they triumphed and are leading meaningful lives now. So many stories are out there that never got a chance to be heard or told. I got lucky because this blog only started when I had nothing else to do in that rental room of mine, and one thing led to another, and suddenly, people from all over the world were reading the rubbish I put down. My blog started off with 10 visits a month but now has 10,000 a month.
The best part about my job is the people I meet. I’ve learned so much from them. Of course, if you’re Category 4, I’m not interested – because we all know how your story ends, and you’re just an energy leecher.
My time is limited, and it should be clear by now that I make it a point only to pursue what Aristotle calls “Friendships of Virtue”. I’m honoured to be your friend because you make me want to be better, and I hope you feel the same.
Oh, and by the way. About this:
I ended up with cellulitis – an infection on my feet. I can assure you, it’s written in my charts, and this happened when Saturn went into Pisces again. And which body part does Pisces represent? The feet. I probably had some micro-cracks on my skin due to the winter cold and excessive walking, and I stupidly went to the sauna on the day I landed in Singapore to purge the winter cold and got an infection. It may also be due to my old, mouldy Birks, which I wore on that day. I should have taken a picture of them before I threw them away. This is also a good example of explaining how charts are simply cause and effect. I went to a winter country, walked a lot, was tired and had a compromised immune system, went to the sauna, and ended up in hospital. Translated into astrological terms, Mars and Saturn went to mess around with Pisces, and I got a foot infection.
On top of cellulitis, I got the seasonal flu bug. I spent the last four weeks trying to get myself back in working conditions, and thank goodness, I’m feeling better. It was a good reset and reminder to always put health first.
Putting this at the end of the post feels like a killjoy, but I think about it often, but not in the nihilistic sense – mortality.
When I was in my 20s, I couldn’t imagine what life would be like in my 30s. Now that I’m in my 30s, I suddenly realise I’m about to be 40 in a few years. Time flies, and I’m arguably at the halfway mark of my life. With all the lessons and experience I’ve gathered now comes the big question of what I’m going to do with my life while knowing my time is limited.
I am heavily influenced by Buddhism, after all. One harsh reality always at the back of my mind is that all this will end one fine day. I speak about the topic of perishing and death as a realist, not as a pessimist. I was brought up as a Buddhist, after all. The thought of death doesn’t scare or paralyze me. Instead, it reminds me to cherish everything that I have. It also reminds me to be happy or content.
You might ask, “Does it help?” Just think about a loved one or a friend leaving you someday, and you’ll get the point. If you cannot relate, I feel very sorry for you, and it’s perhaps time to revisit your priorities. My wife and I remind ourselves of Memento Mori once in a while to remind ourselves that life’s a bit too short for petty arguments or sweating the small stuff. This blog will cease to exist, and unless I ‘immortalise’ myself with a really epic book (which I’ll try to work on), I’ll probably be forgotten too.
I don’t have much else to say here but to remind everyone that life is short and very, very precious. Enjoy it, and don’t waste it. It doesn’t matter if you made a dent in this world – just make a positive dent in someone’s life, be happy, and that’s more than enough.
I also wish to remind everyone that regardless of whether your astrological is regarded as good or bad in an astrologer’s eyes, it doesn’t change what all human beings are like at the core – it’s just that some of us are pursuing it healthily, and some of us aren’t. There’s an infinite number of ways an astrological chart expresses this, with planets being the “What”, zodiac signs being the “How” (remember, zodiac signs represent a psychological need), and Houses representing the “Where”.
Your time is limited. Don’t waste it.
The Next 10 Years & Working On Other Things
I mentioned in my year-end blog post last year that 2022 was the start of my best 10-Year Phase and an extended period of progress. This new 10-Year Phase started with some bumps, and I expected and embraced them. I suffered loss, heartbreak, and got harassed by mentally ill people on top of the usual nonsense I go through. If you were a client, you might have heard me say this when you were transitioning into a new 10-Year phase. I go through the same thing, and as I’ve said many times, being a practitioner doesn’t mean I escape the vicissitudes of life and cease to suffer. Trust me, I suffer every day – but I try to laugh and have fun with it because, like I said, I will die someday.
Honestly, I don’t know what to expect. Getting here is crazy enough of a story as it is, so it’s hard to imagine that it gets better. There’s always a chance I might be wrong because reading my own chart comes with some bias, but I hope deciphered it right.
Perhaps fatherhood will profoundly change me, and I hope it does – because if there’s anything I hope to achieve, it’s showing myself that I can be the kind of parent my own parents couldn’t. My descendants will carry on this new surname I’ve created, and if there’s really such a thing as reincarnation, I hope I won’t have to come back and tear them a new asshole.
Perhaps fatherhood will profoundly change me, and I hope it does – because if there’s anything I hope to achieve, it’s showing myself that I can be the kind of parent my own parents couldn’t.
On the business side of things, I’m also working on a few new projects on top of parenthood, but I don’t wish to reveal what I’m working on until it truly takes off. It would be naive of everyone to think that I won’t look for another source of income and an opportunity has finally arrived. Whatever I’m working out is quite a fascinating chain of events that can help everyone appreciate cause and effect, and perhaps this is part of the Saturn transit I’m experiencing. I wouldn’t mind more income, especially if it’s outside of Chinese metaphysics and astrology, because I want to show myself that I am capable of a lot more – so that I can truly call other ‘practitioners’ “useless low lives” without a slight tinge of guilt.
Some Final Words
It’s been an amazing ten years. There have been more ups than downs, thankfully. The ups led to downs; the downs led to some ups. Before the ups and downs start to sound like nocturnal activity in the bedroom, aka f***ing, that’s just Yin & Yang and life. Thank you for following me through these ten years, not questioning my character, and knowing I’m trying to do the right thing despite my irreverent and sometimes vulgar persona. If I could punch other ‘practitioners’ and get away with it – I would. But I can’t, so I stay away from jail through writing.
To my clients, thank you for trusting me, understanding why I have my rules, and respecting them. I’m sorry if I offended or was rude to some of you – it’s a reflex sometimes and not intentional, but still, I’m sorry.
To everyone, I hope you will always ask yourself what a definition of a good life is – because it will end someday, and trust me, no one is going to care about how much you earn or the corporate title you hold. Your loved ones will go. You will also go. Find a purpose, work hard, get rich, buy me a nice meal, and do what you want with the money, but please do not forget to slow down and remind yourself that other areas of your life are important too. Balance in all things. Do not be that imbecile always chasing money, but everything else is messed up – I’m always meeting these kinds of people.
I will always strive to become a practitioner worthy of your respect and will continue to do what I do until I die. I also can’t wait to share my fatherhood journey with everyone. Perhaps I’ll mellow down, or perhaps I’ll get even crazier to cope with more responsibilities. I don’t know, but we’ll see! Whatever it is, this blog will still be around for another ten years, and I will update everyone along the way. Maybe I’ll have another child in 2026 (maybe I already saw it), or perhaps I’ll have a bustling business, and Chinese metaphysics becomes a side gig once again.
I’m really not sure what 2024 will bring when Saturn and Pluto do their thing again. But whatever it is, I step into 2024 with trepidation and bated breath mixed with some optimism, and I humbly accept any lessons, trials, and gifts that come my way.
Oh, and before I go. I’ve been hearing things like, “Sean likes a low profile and doesn’t like posting pictures of himself.” It’s true, I don’t. I’m not a f***ing coach or motivational speaker, although you probably know my fingers and feet very well by now. If anyone engages me, I want them to engage me for my mind and what I stand for – not how I look.
It’s a year-end blog post, so here’s a picture my wife took of me at Interlaken in our favourite restaurant with the best rostis and a video of me being an idiot (so you know what I sound like).
Some people tell me I have a “trustworthy face”. I guess I’ll try to live up to my face – whatever the hell that even means. But what’s most important is this: I definitely look better than the pieces of shit in my industry who look like rats that crawled out from the sewers. Ah yes. there goes the Yin & Yang of morality again. I’m the bad guy, huh? Come buy a $68,000 Feng Shui item from me then. It’ll change your life. *Wink wink*
Sorry, I couldn’t help but end off with the trademark sass and irreverence. And hey, this is the only time I praised myself shamelessly on my blog this year.
Alright, final, final words:
To the Cat. 4s and people who can’t follow simple instructions, ask stupid questions like “Do I need to work hard to be rich?” and send crappy emails devoid of etiquette – I need you to go suck on a bag of d***s and shut up, please!
To the Cat. 4 ‘practitioners’ selling your Pi Xiu bracelets and useless Feng Shui items: You are the bag of d***s that’s being sucked on, and you know it.
To my cosmic siblings, friends, clients, and readers: Love you all! Thank you for being part of my journey, accepting, loving me for who I am, and knowing I’m not a bad person (although I’m not a good person either). My life has meaning, and I am happy because of all of you.
See you in 2024, and hopefully not in Hell someday because if I do, you can be sure I’ll be the one sticking a burning trident up your ass and turning it sideways.