2008: Chinese Year of the Earth Rat

Kung Hei Fat Choi - which in English means - Happy New Year!

With the commencement of the Chinese year of the Earth Rat I thought it would once again be prudent of me to write to you and outline some of the important elements that will shape our coming year. The Chinese New Year commenced at 7.02 p.m. on the 4th of February and was welcomed in once again with many celebrations and traditions which included dragons, fireworks and cleaning house! This tradition ensures that any negative energy from the previous year is cleared away and the fresh, vital energy of the New Year is able to circulate throughout our homes.

I trust that you have all navigated your way through the Year of the Fire Pig without too many trials and that the Year of the Earth Rat finds you healthy, happy and prosperous.

As you are all probably aware of we are currently in the ‘Age of 8’, which is a 20 year time period that commenced on February 2004 and continues until February 2024. The chi energy of the world has now been transformed into an Earth period and this suggests a time of preparation, meditation, introspection and a turning towards less materialistic pursuits. Our focus will be more on our health and relationships and the attainment of inner wisdom, rather than on making money and getting rich. With this in mind it becomes even more important than ever that our homes are a happy, peaceful and healthy sanctuary that will nurture and sustain both ourselves and our families. Feng Shui can help us to achieve this.

Once again last year saw me kept very busy with my Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology consultations. I also travelled to Singapore a couple of times in January and June to participate in more advanced training under the wise guidance of Master Raymond Lo. This was a unique and valuable learning experience, which has enabled me to bring an even greater depth of knowledge and understanding to my work. I have also updated my website and now provide Feng Shui Packages, which are designed to better suit the individual needs of my clients. For more information please go to my website at www.shengchi.com.au and please note that my new mobile number is 0402 688 888.
Effects and Influences of the Earth Rat Year

The Year of the Rat is symbolized by the two elements of Yang Earth sitting on top of the Water Rat. This is likely to bring a year of vitality and prosperity, but also of turbulence and possibly even great change. On the surface 2008 appears to be quite stable, but underneath there lies tension and conflict.

Traditionally the Rat is the first of the 12 animals in the Chinese Astrology system. Therefore it is the start of a new 12 year cycle and represents a new beginning. This could be reflected in international relationships and perhaps even in a new social order. The urge for positive change is growing stronger around the world and people are demanding that their governments seriously address urgent environmental issues such as global warming, sustainable energy and water conservation. This however may still take some time to consolidate.

Even the outdated, senseless and barbaric practice of whaling is attracting unprecedented world wide attention, which I fervently hope will end once and for all the brutal slaughter of these highly intelligent and precious creatures. After years of increased awareness and deep psychological change, we are finally ready to take action and realize our responsibilities as custodians of this planet.

2007 saw more changes in our climate and extreme weather conditions triggered many natural disasters such as floods and mudslides. We can expect similar patterns to prevail during 2008. The year’s dominant elements of Yang or big Earth sitting on top of Water can be likened to a floating mass of ice adrift on an ocean. This suggests that the Polar ice caps will continue to melt at an alarming rate and that other water related disasters, such as flooding, are likely to increase.

The impact of climate change is also reflected in the global Feng Shui of 2008. The energy of the number 1, which symbolizes Water, is located in the central position. Once again this suggests that the year will bring more problems associated with Global Warming, such as floods, landslides and other water related incidents. Already this has manifested in the torrential rain and subsequent flooding which N.S.W. and Q.L.D. have been experiencing since late last year, when this influence really began to take affect.

Industry and the Economy

After the heated economic atmosphere of 2006 and 2007, the coming year for the Stock Market should be one of more stability and calm. Investors will tend to be cautious and conservative and hopefully we should not experience the same sort of fluctuations that we did during last year.

In general the industries that should perform well in the Year of the Rat are those that are related to the Earth and Metal elements. This includes property, hotels, mining, insurance, skincare, machinery, engineering, health, computers, internet and the hi-tech industry.

Businesses related to the Water and Fire elements may not do as well and these include shipping, airlines, communication, drinks, finance, energy, entertainment and the stock market. The Wood related industries such as textiles, fashion, publication, forestry and furniture will show some profitability, but it could be relatively limited and not really substantial.

The fortune of a country can also be affected by the astrology or destiny of its leader. We are seeing this at the moment with the United States, as George Bush has a clash in his Chart, which is contributing to the instability and turbulence of the American economy. The unstable Earth element is also a factor in the collapse of the mortgage market and the looming recession.

In the short term the future of Australia seems quite smooth with Kevin Rudd behind the wheel. However this may not continue as his Chart reveals that he is coming into a period of change and instability, particularly during 2009 and 2011. John Howard had a balanced and coherent Chart, which was reflected in the overall stability and growth of our economy. Kevin Rudd on the other hand has a more challenging Chart and only time will tell how this may impact on the fortune of our country.

Health and Well Being

With regard to our health, traditional Chinese Medicine is also based on the 5 elements of Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood and these represent different parts of our body.

An imbalance of Fire and Water elements this year may increase our risk of high blood pressure, heart burn, irregular heart beat, inflammation, diabetes and kidney problems. As such it is advisable to eat lots of organic fruit and vegetables that are high in antioxidants and supplement our diet with Omega 3 Oil and COQ10, as these are particularly helpful in protecting against cardiovascular disease, hyper-tension and inflammation. People with weak lungs are also at risk this year.

Our ability to remain centered and balanced may also be challenged during 2008 and this could manifest as anxiety, depression and even insomnia. Remember it’s important to take time out of our busy lives and pursue family and leisure activities. Relaxation exercises such as Tai Chi, Yoga or meditation are also useful in reducing our tension and stress levels.

Earth relates to our stomach, pancreas, muscles and cells and as such we may be more vulnerable to problems with our digestive system this year, which could include food poisoning and diarrhea. Other illnesses caused by an Earth imbalance are obesity, diabetes and cancer. Therefore following a well balanced diet which supports the health of our digestive organs, stomach and spleen is essential.

Avoid heavy foods and excessive meat consumption, as this places a heavy burden on our digestive system. With the undeniable evidence regarding the crucial role that our food plays in our overall health and well being, it is not surprising that more and more people are turning to a vegetarian based diet. Eating little or no meat is the most beneficial thing you can do not only for your own health, but also for the protection and preservation of our environment and natural resources. What’s good for us personally is also good for the planet.

Chinese Astrology

This is of course the Year of the Rat and in general we say that people who are born in Rat Years are sociable, decisive, clever, hard working, charming and successful. This is very general however and the actual interpretation of our individual IV Pillars Charts is far more complex and insightful.

If you are born in the Year of the Horse, or have a Horse anywhere in your Chart or Luck Pillars then you have a ‘Clash’ with the Rat this year. A ‘Clash’ is a strong dynamic of energy that has the potential to unsettle or disturb some aspect of your life. For people with Horses in their Charts this may bring challenges or changes and could manifest as a year of psychological and spiritual development.

The clash between the Water element of the Rat and the Fire element of the Horse can be quite serious and is associated with traffic accidents involving the air or the sea. Therefore if you have a Horse in your Chart then you could be facing a challenging year and it is advisable to wear or carry the pendant of an Ox for the duration of 2008. This will help to attract away the unsettling influence of the Rat and minimize its impact.

People who are born in a Horse year are also likely to experience a more turbulent year with more movement, travel and change. To harmonize this influence you should actually use this year to either travel, move house or relocate your office. However if possible you should avoid travelling directly towards the North as this is the direction of ‘The Grand Duke’ and can bring difficulties or obstacles to hinder you.

If you were born in a Rabbit year, or have a Rabbit in your Chart, then you have a ‘Penalty’ during 2008. This may cause relationship disharmony, worry or some sort of irritation for you this year and could even increase your risk of a hidden illness, particularly in the area of the kidneys, lower back, adrenal gland and heart. Avoid impulsive decisions and wear or carry the pendant of an Ox to attract away this unfavorable influence.

It is often said that when the year comes around that coincides with your year of birth then it will be a good time for you. This is not necessarily accurate as someone born in the Year of the Rat is said to be ‘offending the Grand Duke’ and may in fact experience challenges during 2008. Once again they should wear or carry the pendant of an Ox to attract the unfavorable influence.

For people who are born in the Year of the Pig, Rabbit or Goat 2008 will bring a ‘Flower of Romance’. This will make you more attractive and sociable this year and if you are single then it can even bring you more opportunities to develop a friendship, romance or stimulate marriage.

Finally if you are born in a Tiger year or have a Tiger in your Chart then 2008 will bring you a ‘Travel Star’. This can make you more restless this year and manifest as travel, moving house or changing jobs.

Feng Shui changes for 2008

As you are aware, Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese knowledge that studies how the environment affects our well being. There exists around us different kinds of energies, or natural forces, some of which are positive and enhance our prosperity and others are negative and may cause bad health or misfortune. We call these energies ‘Flying Stars’ and they are dynamic and changing.

These Feng Shui energies change from year to year and in order to ensure that things remain harmonious for your household it is necessary to locate the unfavorable ‘annual Flying Stars’ at the beginning of each year and apply remedies to minimize their effects. The yearly influences actually moved to their new locations on the 4th of February and the three major ‘bad luck stars’ to identify are the numbers 2, 3 and 5.

The Flying Star 5 is located this year in the South and means trouble and obstacles and can even lead to financial ruin. To weaken this energy it is necessary to hang a metal wind chime with six hollow rods in this location. As 5 is of the Earth element the metallic sound of the wind chime is able to exhaust the Earth energy of the number 5. Alternatively you can also hang a metal bell in the South, as long as you ring it at least once every day. Red coloured objects such as cushions, rugs or pictures are not recommended for this location. Rather you should include items that are black and white in your decor for this year.

The Flying Star 2 is located this year in the North West and means sickness and obstacles. It is also of the Earth element and the traditional cure needed to reduce its effect is a string of 6 metal coins. Red coloured objects are also not recommended in this location for the year. Black and white is the preferred option, as this will help to exhaust the challenging energy.

Another remedy for the ‘illness star 2’ is the brass ‘wu lou’ or gourd. This is a powerful symbol of good health and long life and is said to be the container for the nectar of immortality. We often see it carried by Sau, who is the god of longevity; Quan Yin, who is the goddess of mercy and compassion and by one of the Taoist Eight Immortals. Therefore it is considered by many to be an excellent energizer for good health and a powerful cure for the illness star 2, as its metallic energy will help to suppress any influences that may affect your well being.

The Flying Star 3 is located this year in the West of your home or business and this means anger, conflict and robbery. The number 3 belongs to the Wood element and the traditional cure is to use the colour red in order to reduce its negative effects. It is recommended to place a red coloured picture, light, carpet or other decorative object in the West for the duration of 2008.

One should also pay attention to the Flying Star 7, which we call the ‘old star’ because it represents past prosperity. This year it is located in the South West and symbolizes communication problems, gossip and scandal. It is also often associated with violence and burglary. This energy can be dissolved by placing 3 to 4 pieces of Chinese Water Bamboo grown in a clear glass vase in the South West location.

The Grand Duke

Each year the dominant energy comes to your home from the direction of the current Chinese animal. This year it is the Rat and he is located in the North. Therefore this means that the energy known as the ‘Grand Duke’ comes to your home during 2008 from the North. The Grand Duke brings obstacles to hinder you so avoid renovations, digging or major changes in this sector during the coming year and never sit directly facing him. If your front door is located in the North then it is recommended that you hang a small Bagua mirror with an inwardly curved concave surface above the door. This will reflect the Grand Duke back and make it smaller so that it has less of an impact on your home. You can also place a Dragon Tortoise each year in the position of the Grand Duke as this is said to appease him.

Clash Position and The Three Shars

It is also not recommended for you to sit with your back against the South in 2008. This is known as ‘The Three Shars’ or ‘3 Killings’ direction and is an unfavorable influence. As well as this it is also the ‘Clash Position’ because it not only means that your back is against the South, but also that you are facing towards the North, which offends The Grand Duke. Therefore avoid sitting with your back against the South and your face towards the North this year.

Good Fortune Stars

The Flying Stars 8 and 9 hold the best fortune for you this year as they generate prosperous energy. The number 8 is located in the East and the number 9 is located in the South East. If your front door is located in either the East or South East sectors then this is great so clean up any junk or clutter in these areas so that you can take full advantage of this auspicious energy. If your home office is located in either of these sectors then your business should also be well supported this year.


If you choose to follow these recommendations and harmonize the challenging effects of these annual Flying Stars, then you are more likely to feel in tune with the dominant energies of the Earth Rat year. It is incredibly beneficial for your home or business to not only locate your auspicious energies every year, but to also know where your afflictions have flown. By noting where all your misfortunes, accidents, loss, ill health, quarrels and robbery are you can then update your remedies each year to ensure that your personal environment remains as prosperous, supportive and harmonious as possible.

If you would like my assistance in locating and placing your annual remedies or if you wish to purchase any of them then I have included a price list on the following page of the items that I have available. Please feel free to ring me on either 9745 2142 or 0402 688 888 and I would be happy to help you in any way that I can.

Yours sincerely

Janene Laird
Professional Feng Shui Consultant
Cell: 0402 688 888
Tel: 03 9745-2942
Email: janene.laird@shengchi.com.au
Web: www.shengchi.com.au
Guide: www.fengshuiguide.org
Products: www.fengshuionline.com.au

Sheng Chi Australasia

Author's Bio: 

Janene comes from a background in Education and combines a Bachelor of Arts and Diploma of Education with some 20 years of practical experience. For the last two decades Janene has traveled extensively throughout South East Asia and India where her interest in Feng Shui grew. She came to appreciate the impact that the environment can have on the health, relationships and prosperity of a person and the benefits that can be derived from combining a balanced lifestyle with a harmonious living and work space.

Janene began her formal studies in Feng Shui, Geomancy and Space Clearing with the Australian College of Environmental Studies and holds a Practitioner Diploma and Certificate. Since then she has continued studying advanced Feng Shui with Vic Ketis and completed her Certificate of Chinese Astrology.

Over the past few years Janene has undergone extensive training under the personal direction of Master Raymond Lo of Hong Kong and was awarded her Diploma in Feng Shui, Four Pillars of Destiny and I Ching Divination. Janene continues to study and travel overseas and is a Platinum Member and Treasurer of the Association of Feng Shui Consultants (AFSC).

Janene consults widely throughout Australia & New Zealand providing a comprehensive written assessment for hotels, corporate, business and private homes.