‘Too Long, Didn’t Read’ Summary:
- Chinese New Year zodiac forecasts should only be regarded as entertainment. It lacks rigour and can be downright misleading. Don’t let this end up harming you.
- Assigning a scale of 1 to 5 Stars or 0% to 100% to gauge how ‘lucky’ you are in different aspects of your life is a nonsensical practice that defies common sense.
- Using the forecasts to sell you a feng shui item or charm is crossing the line and a new low in this field.
- Whatever is being widely practised now was never the way our ancestors intended.
If other ‘practitioners’ don’t wish to do the right thing and deliver the correct message, I will. Please read on.
Hey everyone! Apologies for the very click bait worthy title of this post. Chinese New Year is just around the corner, and I’ve been getting requests for reviews from past clients. Naturally, the topic of Chinese zodiac forecasts comes to mind. I realize many websites have already put up information on forecasts and I’m quite honestly surprised with how this is being done ahead of time. Regular followers of this blog will know that Zodiac forecasts are one of those topics in Chinese Metaphysics I strongly feel about.
I’ve written about the myths and misconceptions of zodiac forecasting since the start of 2017, and I guess it’s time for me to address this again and share some of my thoughts. Just to be clear, I’m not writing this in hopes that people will pay me for a consultation. If I wanted to do that, I would have done what appeals to the masses, whatever you’re reading on the internet on Chinese zodiac forecasts right now, instead of writing this lengthy and wordy post. I want people to be better informed and think more critically about this field. I hope you can take the time to read till the end of this post, especially if you get carried away by yearly zodiac forecasts – I have a small request from you I will share with you at the end.
I’ll try to make this post an easier read compared to my previous one, so do finish reading this post first before you proceed to the other post I wrote in January in relation to Chinese New Year 2017. I’m hoping Google indexes this in time so that more people can see it and get informed so that they don’t end up getting misled or even harmed by what’s about to spread like wildfire as we move into February 2018.
I think everyone knows by now that I’m a bit of a contrarian, and I speak my mind as I’m not under pressure to push for sales or revenue because I don’t rely on this sideline for a living. To be honest, I’m very new to this whole thing about yearly forecasts because it’s not something I practice and I’ve been trying to wrap my head around why other practitioners do it so much and also questioning if there’s something I’m not seeing. I don’t know about the ideologies held by other practitioners, but I can’t help but feel there is something a bit wrong with treating this field purely as a business. People have the right to charge for their time and expertise by all means, but to generate buzz which misleads people and hope it converts into a sale is something I really don’t agree with. It’s sad because the true potential of metaphysics and what it can do to help someone will never be realized if this field continues to operate this way.
Let’s get to why I’m not a fan of Chinese zodiac forecasts:
Theoretically Sound But Impractical In Application
I’ve always been more pragmatic, and I believe in rigorously analyzing someone’s astrological chart. Each year, you will see that the forecasts will mention certain stars associated with each of the 12 zodiacs. This describes which sector these stars land end up in during that year. This is theoretically sound because the 12 zodiacs describe segments of the star map, and every year certain stars end up in positions related to a certain Zodiac. If you’ve ever wondered why there are 12 zodiacs, it’s because time was measured by looking at how the planets moved, and the 12 years were derived by looking at how long Jupiter took to go around Earth. The Grand Duke that people pray to every year is the planet Jupiter. Theory aside, the bottom line is – to make a sweeping statement that every single person under a certain Zodiac will have similar encounters is a fallacy and misleading in my opinion. Metaphysics was never meant to be so simple.
These yearly forecasts done by other practitioners are not complete lies per se because they get the position of the stars and the zodiacs that offends the Grand Duke (犯太嵗) right. Still, these are just superficial information, barely just skimming the surface. I’m more concerned about the proper application and whether readers and consumers are getting the full picture. I know all these yearly forecasts are giving the market what it wants, but there are occasions where this isn’t healthy for society – like cigarettes, for example. It’s like someone coming to me with their birth year and expecting me to give a detailed analysis of their lives or how their year will be – that’s not possible.
Let’s not talk about metaphysics and use statistics. You’ll know that whatever is being said during forecasts doesn’t feel ‘complete’.
‘Offending The Grand Duke’ (犯太嵗) Can Be A Good Thing
‘Offending the Grand Duke’ (犯太嵗) can be a good thing. Yes, you heard me right, and I’m not crazy – 犯太嵗 can be a good thing depending on how your BaZi (八字) chart is structured. Usually, when the zodiac you’re under offends the Grand Duke in a particular year, it symbolizes change because of the clash that happens between the Grand Duke and the Branch (地支) representing your zodiac.
What people need to understand is that change can be a good thing at times. We will have to look at the chart structure and 10-year elemental phases (大運) to determine this. This is a complex topic, so I don’t want you to jump to conclusions and think that 犯太嵗 is something to take lightly. I’m just trying to give you another side of the story and a fresh perspective because this is probably something you’ve never heard of before.
I gave an example in a previous article of how my 2016 went because I’m under the Tiger zodiac, and Tigers clashed with the Grand Duke that year. No surprise, 2016 was a year with a lot of changes in my life, and I was forced to change jobs twice, but because (I think) I handled it well, I also got a pay bump two times that year as well and got to the company I’m currently at which I love, and life has been great ever since thanks to 2016.
If you embrace change and make the correct manoeuvres, ‘Offending the Grand Duke’ or Fan Tai Sui (犯太嵗) can be a huge blessing in disguise. It was a year where I made it a point to apply what I know of Chinese metaphysics and BaZi (八字).
It would be a huge waste if a particular year were favourable for taking action and making changes, but you chose to stay put because you were misled. Similarly, if you were misled to think it’ll be a good year for you when it’s not, you’ll probably make a really bad decision and make te year unnecessarily difficult for yourself.
I wrote an article on the topic of what is the Grand Duke a long time ago when I first started my website, and you can read it here. It’s not a very detailed post, as it was one of my earliest posts, but I will write one again when Chinese New Year approaches.
Are Forecasts Possible In The First Place?
Of course, it is possible. Isn’t that why people consult an astrologer in the first place? Astrology’s nature is to forecast and more, but it needs to be done properly and with rigour. That’s the whole point of going to a practitioner to have your chart read. But again, you can’t do it based on someone’s zodiac, and neither can you do it based on someone’s Daymaster. You’ll need the full chart to do a proper forecast.
I don’t understand why the public has been brainwashed to believe that a forecast can be done just with the zodiac sign. It is preposterous.
Some of my clients did bring to my attention that a few practitioners do a BaZi monthly forecast by Daymaster, which I feel is complete nonsense. It’s rather disappointing to know that some of these practitioners are held in high regard by the public and seen as credible.
You absolutely cannot make a sweeping statement that everyone under a certain Daymaster will go through the same thing. You don’t need a single ounce of knowledge of metaphysics to know that this does not make sense logically. There is no theoretical basis, and such statements are best regarded as something that only serves as entertainment. The problem with my industry is that it is seen as entertainment, and it s not funny.
The only motivation I can think of for such a practice is to create buzz and bring in more business, especially from misinformed people, which is a sad state of affairs in this field.
Why Feng Shui Masters & Practitioners Still Do It
It’s the simplest and most effective way to reach out to the masses, and with that, it brings more business. I can’t help but feel that this trend of Chinese zodiac forecasting, which I reckon has been around for decades, is motivated more by commercial reasons in the form of providing entertainment than anything else. There is nothing educational about Chinese zodiac forecasting, and I would attribute a social cost to all these.
Most people can’t appreciate the damage misinterpreting the charts can do, but I definitely can.
The level of misunderstanding and misinformation is the reason I’ve had clients who borrowed money to buy items and charms, thinking it would turn their life around, but it only gets them into heavier debt and become worse off. Chinese metaphysics is one of those fields that has the ability to influence people because it appeals to any person’s desire to have a good and comfortable life.
The bluntest way I can put it is that this is an unregulated industry, unlike industries like healthcare and finance. Why these falsehoods keep getting spread simply because the consumer market welcomes them, and there aren’t any consequences for those who spread and perpetuate them?
Expect Rigour In The Analysis Presented – It’s Your Entitlement
You should never take things at face value. Not for metaphysics and not even for other things. Most practitioners can’t tell you why stars and planets seem to affect us, as that’s just the mystery behind metaphysics that we have yet to solve. However, I feel there should at least be some form of explanation from a historical and theoretical perspective.
I am against yearly forecasting because it absolutely has no rigour to it. The bottom line is that not much useful information can be extracted based on your Zodiac. For example, it’s said that Tigers may get into trouble with the law next year due to “the stars 官符”、“飞符”， but to say every single person under the Tiger Zodiac will go through this is a bit of a stretch. Perhaps it does increase the probability, but you can’t say for sure unless you analyze the whole chart.
If you go for a consultation with me or anyone else, it’s your right to ask how the analysis is derived. I’m not sure how practitioners do it, but this is my style of doing things. We practitioners are taking your money, and the main motivation for this field should always be about helping people with our knowledge – so please don’t ever be taken for a ride by anyone. Ask us the theory behind it and which source material we got our analysis from – a genuine practitioner can tell you. Metaphysics follows a strict set of laws and has logic and theory behind them. It’s nature’s laws observed by our ancestors. Our job as modern-day practitioners is to explain it in the best way to modern audiences.
Feng Shui Items And Charms Are Not Going To Turn Your Life Around
Don’t get me started on this. Without getting too long-winded, feng shui items do not work. Metaphysics was never about magical items or charms. As a practitioner, I don’t believe in it, and I hope my words carry some weight. Nothing about these ‘wonderful magical items’ were ever mentioned in the Chinese classics written by the ancient scholars and legend of metaphysics, and they were the ones who allow people like myself to still have access to this knowledge. My clients over the years have also shared with me how items and charms have done absolutely nothing for them. You can read more about my thoughts in an old post on whether feng shui items work.
An Example On The Flawed Logic Of Modern Day Chinese Zodiac Forecasts
The main point I’m trying to convey is that take annual forecasts with a huge pinch of salt. Treat it as entertainment, or better, plain good old BS. The only truth it holds is in the positioning of the stars. You will never be able to get the full picture just by looking at someone’s zodiac.
The whole point of metaphysics is to become more self-aware so that you can make better decisions, but if you get overly excited about something written on the internet on a topic you have no idea of, be prepared to be misled into making a bad decision. There is a reason why successful people don’t bother with these forecasts, their minds are clear, and they are focused. I’m not saying the rich and successful people don’t tap into such knowledge – they do – but they do it the proper way.
Let’s give an example of why zodiac forecasts defy logic and do not make sense:
It’s said that Tigers will have a good year in 2017 because of the stars 月德 and 國印, and as long as you see the Branch 寅 appear in your chart, you will get to enjoy the benefits of these stars. In 2018, people under the Tiger Zodiac got to enjoy the stars 三台 and 八座, and all these are technically not wrong. Just for your interest, 三台 and 八座 are from the Hercules and Boötes constellation, and you will hear of these two stars in Zi Wei Dou Shu as well. These two stars are considered minor stars, which usually don’t get much attention, but their effects shouldn’t be dismissed. They are associated with status and authority and often like to be paired up with 太陽 and 太陰 – the Sun and Moon – as it enhances the positive manifestations of 太陽 and 太陰。 However, I wouldn’t go as far as to say that all Tigers will have a good year just because we are under the effects of these two stars, and it doesn’t mean all Tigers will be able to kickstart a successful business this year and sustain it. I won’t be surprised if there are a few poor souls out there who will likely make a rash decision due to what they heard, only to realize they made the wrong decision and regret it.
I mentioned in my previous blog post that I like to get to the bottom of things, as a student who went through university writing countless argumentative essays and defending our hypotheses, the questions I have to the above proposition of being able to enjoy the beneficial stars as long as 寅 appears in your chart is as such:
– What if someone’s BaZi chart does not welcome 寅？This can appear in many forms, such as 寅 being the source of power for 7-Killings (七殺), triggering off a 七殺攻身 in the chart which is extremely negative.
– Another example is what happens when 寅 ends up forming the dreaded 寅巳申三刑 and so happens this person belongs to a Metal or Water Daymaster, and the Metal Branch 申 cannot be harmed? Having your beneficial elements harmed is one of the biggest taboos in BaZi.
– Let’s say Zi Wei Dou Shu was used instead: It’s important to note that the real essence of Zi Wei Dou Shu is not done by simply reading which star ends up in which Palace (宫位), but what happens to the 4 ‘Transformer’ stars (四化) as these 4 Flying Stars in Zi Wei Dou Shu play an extremely large role in determining how things will unfold.
Even the Chinese classics themselves mentioned not to be distracted by all these Ancillary Stars (神煞)。 These stars in the annual Chinese New Year zodiac forecasts are considered secondary when performing a proper analysis. Conditions must be right before any of these positive Ancillary Stars have a real effect.
These are the questions that should be asked, but most people won’t know how to ask them because it’s a very esoteric field, so it’s no one’s fault. I’ve been asked repeatedly to appear at corporate functions to give talks on forecasts. Still, honestly, it’s totally against my principles and what I believe in, which is why you may never see me on media giving zodiac forecasts. Many people take whatever is written on the internet at face value, and the more seemingly popular the practitioner is, the greater the effect it has on people who have no clue about this field. I have to admit even I sometimes waver due to their public presence, but let’s always go back to the basics and history, and I think everyone will get a more balanced and accurate portrayal of things.
The bottom line: Take things with a huge pinch of salt. Our ancestors and the scholars who developed metaphysics would have never used this knowledge to do forecasts by Chinese Zodiacs to sow confusion among people. Such things must be done properly. I’ve not come across any historical texts that mention Zodiac forecasting being practised in the past, at least before Qing Dynasty. If anyone comes across just sources, do let me know. I once thought zodiac forecasting was bad enough – there’s even Daymaster monthly forecasting now. I don’t know what this field is coming to.
I’m starting to get invitations to give talks for Chinese New Year next year, and I’ve always wanted to tap on such opportunities to get the right message across to the public because it is what I believe in. However, this is not what event organisers want and I’ll probably never get the chance to deliver what I feel is the right message, hence my small request here: I usually don’t request for people to share my blog or Facebook posts, but if you feel that such information is useful for others, please share it with your friends. I hope my blog will one day be seen as the go-to place for education regarding metaphysics – I wish I had more time and bandwidth to write more. I do hope you can share this post and spread the message so that everyone can be more informed in this field and enter the year 2018 in the right frame of mind. Our ancestors did not intend for metaphysics to be used the way it’s being used now.
There’s a lot more to metaphysics than what you see every Chinese New Year. If you ever have the time, spend some time reading a little on Chinese history and thought, and you’ll slowly realize how amazing our ancestors were. For a start, perhaps you can read up on how the calendar system was developed by observing the movement of stars and planets. I hope you enjoyed reading this post, and as always, don’t be afraid to reach out and get the conversation started!