Kung Hei Fat Choi! Happy Lunar New Year! On February 5, 2019 we’ll be moving out of the year of the Earth Dog and into the year of the Earth Pig.
For those of you who may be unfamiliar: Western astrology foretells the present and future via the reading of the stars, whereas Chinese astrology focuses on patterns of “Chi” (or Energy), based on the belief in a cyclic life force that permeates all animate and inanimate objects. The ancient Chinese calendar, also known as the Farmers’ Calendar, or the Hsia Calendar, is a fascinatingly complex and eerily accurate system which not only records the passage of time, but can be used as a tool for fortune-telling. The Chinese horoscope rests on a sixty year cycle, broken up into twelve year cycles of predominant energies that are based on animal characteristics and the five natural elements of earth, metal, water, wood, and fire. When a person is born, they take on the particular characteristics present in the Chi of that year, month, week, day, and even hour of their birth.
Based on lunar rather than solar cycles, the Chinese calendar can be used to determine what the general “weather” will be like during a given year, and how each of the animal signs will fare in that weather. You can use this “weather forecast” to help guide your choices and avoid pitfalls in the coming year!
So what will this 2019 Year of the Pig bring?
The Earth Pig wraps up the last of the 12 animal cycles, starting over again next year with the Metal Rat.
Natural Disasters Involving Water and Earth
The Year of the Pig is characterized by two Chinese characters--with Yin earth sitting on top of Pig, which reflects the water element. Since earth is an element that is said to “conquer” water (think of water seeping into, and essentially disappearing into, the earth), they are said to be in a conflicting or destructive cycle. There is also an element of instability and “lack of foundation” in the configuration of water under earth. This can mean 2019 could bring some powerful natural disasters, including flooding and heavy rain storms, or earthquakes.
Relationships are Peaceful, With an Undercurrent of Conflict
In general, the Yin Earth Pig year represents peace, relaxation and comfort. However with "water under the bridge", this peace and harmony can be superficial or unstable, with an undercurrent of danger, unrest and deception inside. There is an uneasy overall stability, with hidden or less open conflict and disharmony in international relations. Terrorist activity and other political unrest will be present. This principal can also be carried to personal relationships: there may be hidden tensions and dis-ease present underneath a seemingly content and stable exterior that can undermine the relationship and cause problems.
Lots of Travel, But Use Caution
The Earth sign includes roads in the Chinese interpretation, and the Pig sign also carries with it the indication of great movement and travel. Because the Earth element clashes with Water, accidents at sea are predicted. The year of the Earth Pig is also completely devoid of the Fire element, which governs air (more on that later). Therefore an increase in air traffic accidents could occur.
Health Issues: Digestion, Heart & Circulation, Arthritis
In Chinese medicine, the element of Earth represents the stomach, pancreas and overall digestion. Problems related to stomach and digestive complaints, and an increase in insulin sensitivity and diabetes therefore can develop. Because of the complete lack of Fire element in Earth Pig Year, weakness in Fire-related organ systems including the heart and circulatory systems will appear. Arthritis and sexual organ issues can also arise due to the unstable condition of the Water element. We recommend supplements this year to support digestion, heart health, joint health, and sexual (endocrine) health.
Devoid of the Element of Fire: Battling the Blues
According to the Chinese horoscope when an element is completely lacking, this can create all sorts of long-term imbalances. Since the middle of 2016, the Chinese calendar has been entering a long cycle of metal, earth and water, without the yang elements of wood and fire. The next Wood year will arrive in 2022; the next Fire year in 2025. With Fire essentially devoid this year, we can expect a lack of happiness, optimism, exuberance and confidence for a while. It is the element of Fire that boosts the economy and financial performance, and so the general economic atmosphere until 2025 will most likely be sluggish. Water is the element of fear, and so there may be economic and financial fears surfacing this year.
What Industries Will Prosper this Year? Which Will Suffer?
This year of the Yin earth element is expected to bring prosperity to the Wood industries (fashion, media, books, paper, education and environment) and the Earth industries (property, mining, insurance, agriculture, computer software.) Fire industries (entertainment, finance, energy), Water industries (shipping, transport, communications), and Metal industries (banking, machinery, cars) will all not face a particularly prosperous year.
General Warnings for Snake and Pig; Good Year for Tiger, Rabbit & Sheep
By and large, people born in the year of the Snake and Pig need to take the most care this year. Irritation and worries with one’s spouse, or health problems related to the lower half of the body are said to prevail this year. On the other hand, this will be a harmonious year for those born in the year of the Tiger, Rabbit or Goat/Sheep. Keep in mind that these warnings are greatly oversimplified; if you are a serious follower of the Chinese calendar, you will be aware that all animal signs appear in a person’s birth data, including birth month, day and hour, and that any clashes or impact in the Year of the Pig will be reflected much more subtly and with much more complexity than such broad generalizations.
Some Feng Shui recommendations:
* Adopt some simple feng shui solutions that magnify Fire and Wood energy in your home or office. Here are some suggestions:
Nurture the Fire Element here
Nurture the Wood Element here
*Those born in the year of the Pig should carry around a Tiger pendant to reduce negative influences.
*Hang a metal wind chime in the southwest corner of your home or office, as obstacles and misfortunes are said to arrive from this direction this year.
*Hang a string of six metal coins in the northeast corner of your home or office, as sickness is said to arrive from this direction this year.
*Hang a piece of red paper in the south area of your home or office, to minimize conflict and robbery coming from this direction.
*Place a small bamboo plant in a clear vase in the southeast corner of your home or office, to ward off scandals coming from the southeast.
Finally, I want to express my gratitude to Raymond Lo, from whom I borrowed much of the information for this article. Raymond is a renowned Hong Kong geomancer and Chinese horoscope consultant, and one of only five people to earn the title of "Grand Master" from the International Feng Shui Association. For more information, click here.