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Year of the Rat divines positive, negative energy

Taipei―As the world prepares to welcome the Year of the Rat, feng shui masters predict a lucky year for Donald Trump, but warn Harry and Meghan’s futures are less certain as they make a bid for freedom.

Year of the Rat divines positive, negative energy
ROSY RAT. A giant rat lantern welcomes Friday well-wishers in Lucky Chinatown in Manila’s Binondo district, with the Lunar Calendar (right), as the plausibly world’s oldest Chinatown rings in the Year of the Metal Rat on the eve of the 15-day celebration. Passing under the lantern is believed to bring longevity and serve as protection from evil spirits. Norman Cruz
Meanwhile, in Manila, Marites Allen, the only Filipina to be awarded the title of “Master of Feng Shui” by the International Feng Shui Association, warned all Chinese astrology animal signs to be careful with their material things and temperament. 

As rats are known to be mischievous creatures, “the Violence and Robbery Star has flown to the Center sector in 2020,” Allen said as she released her latest predictions on what’s in store for each of the Chinese zodiac signs.

The negative energy it brings may result to loss of material things and a good reputation, she said. There is also a higher chance of possible break-ins, trust betrayal, and even lawsuits, Allen added.

The lucky signs for 2020, the Feng Shui master said, are Dragon, Snake, Tiger, Ox, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Both the US President and the Sussexes have begun 2020 with a bang.

The former is facing down an impeachment trial―and seeking reelection in November―while the latter is beginning a new chapter in Canada after consciously uncoupling from the gilded but pressured career of being a working British royal.

But if experts in the field of Chinese horoscopes are to be believed, it is the US president that will have an easier journey this year.

“Trump has a prosperous destiny,” Gao Yu-lin, a feng shui expert from Taiwan told AFP, after consulting his copy of “I Ching”—the ancient Chinese divination book used by many fortune-tellers.

“His destiny is like a ‘child of heaven’ which leans towards a safe, smooth ride and he can overcome all hindrances,” Gao added.

Wang Hsin-yi, who based her predictions from a divination system used in temples dedicated to the popular sea goddess Mazu, agreed that the stars are suggesting a second Trump term.

“Trump has good fortune in 2020 and will achieve new feats. He can turn bad luck into good luck and chances are good he will succeed in what he wants.”

Tsai Shang-chi, a Taipei based fortune-teller, is a little more cautious.

“Trump’s fortunes are largely enhanced in 2020 which is favorable for his campaign,” he told AFP.

“But whether he can be re-elected or not will also depend of the fortunes of his challengers.”

Things are less clear cut for Harry and Meghan.

The couple has set up a new home on Vancouver Island following their shock exit from life as working royals but the road ahead is bumpy.

Wang said she worries about the physical distance the pair have created between them and the British royal family.

“Harry and Meghan need to think things through and take it easy for family harmony, if they are alone they can’t get what they wish for and will cause worry for themselves,” she said.

“They can’t live far from their family or things won’t go well,” she added.

Gao said 2020 looked fairly prosperous for the couple but he warned problems could appear in later years.

“They need to be careful in 2023 for saying the wrong words and doing the wrong things or their image could drop to rock bottom,” he said.

Tsai said the stars showed Meghan’s influence over her husband would be more pronounced in 2020.

“Meghan could make wrong financial decisions to cause losses and increase financial pressure on Harry,” he predicted.

“They could still sustain their lives financially in 2020 but it might deal a blow to their relationship.”

The Lunar New Year is the most important festival in the Chinese calendar, marked with a fortnight of festivities as reunited families wrap dumplings and exchange gifts and red envelopes stuffed with money.

It is also a moment when many get new horoscopes for the year ahead.

Feng shui—literally meaning “wind-water”—is influential in many parts of Asia, where people adjust their lives and carefully position items such as a cup of water or pieces of crystal in offices and homes to maximize their luck and wealth.

The philosophy says that all events are dictated by the varying balances in the five elements that make up the universe: metal, wood, water, fire, and earth.

The Chinese zodiac switches yearly between twelve animals who adopt a different elemental attribute each time they come around, which soothsayers then use to make predictions.

This week’s Lunar New Year welcomes the arrival of the “metal rat.”

While the rat might not be the most aesthetic of the Chinese zodiac animals it is nonetheless prized as a symbol of reproductive success, wealth and intelligence.

It is also the first animal on the Chinese zodiac, making its arrival a little like the start of a new decade.

Legend says that the wily rodent earned its pole position because it hitched a ride on the back of the ox to the Jade Emperor’s palace and then jumped down to cross the finish line before all the others.

The last time the world celebrated the Year of the Rat was 2008.

It was a huge moment of optimism for China as Beijing hosted the lavish Olympic games. But the year also witnessed the global financial crash which still reverberates to this day.

Year of the Rat divines positive, negative energy

This year, the emergence of a mysterious and deadly virus in mainland China is already taking the shine off festivities. 

READ: Auspicious dishes usher in the Year of the Metal Rat

READ: Wear your luck in the Year of the Rat

READ: Manila Standard's Chinese New Year 2020 Supplement

Topics: Year of the Rat , feng shui , Marites Allen , Donald Trump , Gao Yu-lin
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