Tuesday, January 22, 2008

2008 The Year of the Earth Rat


This is an inadequate introduction to Merlina Merton, a most fascinating woman and sage that I have been karmically touched to know well throughout most of my life. Where else could such an individual dwell except in the Far East? She is of Philippine, Spanish, Russian and Chinese extraction. Wow.

Merlina has spent well over twenty-five years delving profoundly into fengsui as well as the Science of Geomancy. She has held successful exhibits of her Chinese calligraphy in Hong Kong in the 70’s and in the 80’s.

She is also one of the few individuals I know who visited all of PRC- People’s Republic of China right in the middle of their most ferocious Cultural Revolution in 1965 – 1966. Most gwailo (foreign devils-outsiders) were denied visas peremptorily. Indeed, the outside world was unaware of the tumultuous events, which were taking place inside China.

So now you have an insightful glimpse, but lest you forget, it is only a glimpse of Merlina Merton.

Please read on for Merlina's Forecast for 2008. Shieh, Shieh.

Shi Nien Hao! (Happy New Year in Mandarin)

‘A Year of Change and New Beginnings’
Merlina Merton

On Chinese New Year, February 7, the old Fire Pig will retire and the young Earth Rat will bring us new and vigorous energy. The 2008 Rat begins a new 12 year cycle and promises change, new beginnings and new attitudes.

For those who are young and brave in body and/or heart and who really enjoy challenges, this Rat year will be full of opportunities to explore new ventures. It offers a chance to step out of the box and experiment with life. You may not always win but, you will certainly grow as a person.

For those who are more conservative in nature, the year will surely tempt you to let go of the old and take up new attitudes, new partners and new ideas. Because you are cautious, you may want to think well and weigh the pros and cons. But, all things considered, if you want to change the road you are presently taking, now is the year to do it.

On the Global Stage
Change will be the name of the game this year. We will see changes in world leaders, in global policies and political posturing. As of now, the US, Europe, Japan, Russia and China play the starring roles, while the Middle East and some African nations are the ‘Contra Vidas’

By the 2nd quarter of 2008, it will be interesting to see how the game has progressed, who will rise and who will fall.

A lucky star is in the East so, we can expect the East to emerge with strength.

The Western nations may be stalled by internal disagreements and thus lose rank. Southeast Asia will continue to progress and Russia in the North, will make well- studied moves.
What an interesting game this year offers.

The Ecology

I feel that I no longer need to repeat my warnings (published every year) about the disastrous effects of our neglect of the environment because, the whole world is actually talking and organizing ventures to save the planet.

This is especially true as opportunities to make money from environmental maintenance are emerging.

Who said big business doesn’t rule the World??? Whatever, everybody wins!

Natural Events

In 2007, we experienced the expected acceleration of nasty weather conditions and the interplay of natural Elements. The Fire Element was the most damaging. Fire razed the wheat fields and decimated wildlife in Australia, California and some western U.S. states burned out. Greece lost most of its fabulous ancient olive groves in devastating fires and explosions and bombs, raged everywhere. The price of some commodities, such as; wheat, rice, olive oil et.al. soared and will continue to do so until stocks can be replenished.

In 2008, we can expect the usual bad weather, floods, fires, etc. but the interplay of the Elements this year indicate that earthquakes may trigger the most likely disastrous events. We could see dams cracking and islands overwhelmed, which could be triggered by seismic activity. Full precautions and checks on infrastructure should be made as these events can be averted in most cases.

Business Trends in 2008

Based on the Chinese Hsia calendar, the analysis of the exact time, day, month and year binomials indicate which industries will be favoured and which will require careful management.

Industries that are favoured: Real estate, construction materials, packaging, grains, milling, animal feeds, cattle, piggery and poultry, manpower, flood control, water proofing, power generation, batteries, gensets and other sources of light and power, smelting, explosives, armaments, electronics and IT, skills and services, retailing, printing, entertainment, banking, politics, small restaurants.

Stock market – best in the 2nd and 3rd quarter but erratic in the 1st quarter and year end.
Metallurgy, metal products, precious metal trading (especially gold), mining, insurance.

Industries that may require careful management: Hotel, large restaurants, police work, shipping, fishing, seafood, fire extinguishers, breweries, drinks, water distribution, hospitals, clinics, pharmaceuticals, laboratories, medicines, textiles, paper and wood products, fruit and vegetable farming

The above is a general indication of business trends but, take into account that the fortune of each enterprise also depends on the personal fortune of the CEO and the feng shui of the business premises.

A word here about positive thinking. Yes, I absolutely agree that positive thoughts create energy fields that attract to us what we project. But, try having positive thoughts in a negative environment! Difficult? You bet!

Now, place yourself in the positive environment of good feng shui and see how easily the positive thoughts flow.

So, how can we gain in the year of ‘New Horizons. Let’s look to feng shui to enhance our personal environment.


Every house, condo or building has its own flying star energy grid, based on its orientation and the 20-year cycle in which it became ready for occupancy. This grid remains for the building’s lifetime, unless it undergoes major reconstruction, in which case, the grid will adjust to the prevailing 20-year cycle.

There is also an annual Flying Star grid that influences the luck of the building during the current year. Based on this year’s star grid, we can advise you on what to place in your house and/or workplace and where to place it so as to minimize the negative energy and maximize the good.

You will need to locate the directions in your house and/or your workplace by using a compass (a small inexpensive one will do).

Try to estimate the center of the house (It’s easier if you have a floor plan).

Stand at or near the center, and lay the compass on the palm of your hand.

Now, turn yourself around until you and the compass needle are directly facing North. Then, South is at your rear, East is at your right side and West at your left side and the four remaining directions are in between.

Now that you know the locations of the eight directions within your house, let’s move on to creating our own positive environment for 2008.

The Flying Star Grid for 2008

The #1 star in the Center
This is a good star. Its energy will permeate the entire house. You can activate this star by placing in the center a small water feature or a small dark blue mat.

The #2 star in the Northwest
This is a sickness star. If your main door is in the Northwest of your house, place a bagua above the outside of the door (not on the door itself) and a metal wind chime or metal bells inside the door so that every time the door opens the metallic sound wave depletes the Earth chi of the sickness star. You could instead, just place a metallic grey mat outside the door.
If your bedroom is in the Northwest section of your home, place a metallic grey mat outside the bedroom door.

The #3 star in the West
This star has irritating energy and can cause quarrels. If your main door is in the West section of your house, put a red mat outside your door. If your bedroom is in the West section of the house, place a red mat outside the bedroom door.

The #4 star in the Northeast
This is a good star for study and for romance. If your main door is in the Northeast, it will attract scholarly and romantic energy. A bedroom in the Northeast will enhance romantic activity this year.

The #5 star in the South
This is a deadly star. It can bring misfortune.
If your main door is in the South section of your home or workplace, place a bagua above the outside of the door (not on the door itself) and a metal wind chime or metal cowbell on the inside of the door so that, every time you open the door, the metal sound wave breaks up the static Earth chi of the star. If your bedroom is in the South section, place a grey mat outside the door.
Do not place your TV in the South section of your bedroom. Do not have strong red colours inside your bedroom. As south is also the ‘3 killings’ directions this year, do not place your bed with your headboard directly to the South. You can slant it so that your head is pointing to the Southeast.

The #6 star in the North (Seat of the Grand Duke (Tai Hsueh) of the year.
This star is a symbol of authority, so it will magnify the strength of the Tai Hsueh.
It is not auspicious to face the Tai Hsueh direction, so be sure your study table and your bed are not facing North this year. If it is difficult to rearrange your furniture then, slant the table so you are facing Northeast and slant your bed so that your head is in the Northeast.
Get a clear compass reading of both the bed and desk. Sometimes you only need to slant a few inches to get out of the negative zone.

The #7 star in the Southwest
If your main door is in the Southwest of your house, you may have a robbery.
Place a black mat outside your door and/or a metal bowl of water just inside the door to diminish the metal chi of the #7 star. Take extra precautions with your valuable objects.

The #8 star in the East
If your main door is in the east section of your house, rejoice, because this auspicious star brings wealth and opportunity into your home. An office door in the East section of your space will increase business this year. Enhance this auspicious start by placing a moving water feature in the East section of your office or living room. Be sure the water does not appear to be running toward a door to the outside.

The #9 star in the Southeast
Another good star here. A door is in the Southeast section of your home or work place will attract overseas business, celebrations, romance, parties and good opportunities for the future. Enhance the southeast section of your living room with a potted plant.

General Rules for 2008

1. Do not renovate in the North or South this year. If you cannot avoid it, ask your geomancer for an auspicious date that can overcome the negative chi of these directions.

2. Do not install an altar in the North or South sections of your home or office this year. If your altar is already there it’s OK, the rule applies only to a new installation.

Your Luck in 2008, the Year of the Rat

For most purposes, including fortune analysis, professional Geomancers use the Chinese ‘Hsia’ calendar, in which the year begins on February 4 and occasionally on February 5. Consequently, if you were born before February 4 you should use the Horoscopic Animal sign of the year before.

For example; you were born on Jan. 31, 1960: - 1960 is a Rat year but, because you were born before Feb., 5 you are not a Rat, you are a Pig, which is the year before the Rat.
To get your true Chinese Horoscopic Sign, check the dates given below:

05/Feb/1936 - 03/Feb/1937 - Fire Rat
05/Feb/1948 - 03-Feb/1949 - Earth Rat
05 Feb/1960 - 03/Feb/1961 - Metal Rat
05/Feb/1972 - 03/Feb/1973 - Water Rat
04/Feb/1984 - 03/Feb/1985 - Wood Rat

Annual Forecast: Proceed with Caution
Are you thinking of making changes this year? Starting a new venture? Making major purchases? If so, you can be successful provided you study all the pros and cons and do not overextend your financial and physical capacity. Don’t get so busy that you neglect your relationships with family and love ones.

04/Feb/1937 - 04/Feb/1938 - Earth Ox
04/Feb/1949 - 03/Feb/1950 - Metal Ox
04/Feb/0961 - 03/Feb/1962 - Water Ox
04/Feb/1973 - 03/Feb/1974 - Wood Ox
04/Feb/1985 - 03/Feb/1986 - Fire Ox

Annual Forecast: Generally good
There are good opportunities this year. Short term projects can be productive. Harvest whatever you can this year so that it can carry you through 2009 when opportunities may taper off.
Your romantic life is well-aspected. A child born to you this Rat year can bring good fortune and happiness. Do not heed negative rumours.

04/Feb/1938 - 04/Feb/1939 - Earth Tiger
04/Feb/1950 - 03/Feb/1951 - Metal Tiger
04/Feb/1962 - 03/Feb/1963 - Water Tiger
04/Feb/1974 - 03/Feb/1975 - Wood Tiger
04/Feb/1986 - 03/Feb/1987 - Fire Tiger

Annual Forecast: Fluctuating Fortune
Be conservative this year. Avoid over-spending. Try not to attend sad events such as, funerals and hospital visits and avoid confrontations. Hang with positive people. Attend parties and happy occasions. Postpone major decisions until next when your luck will be stronger.

RABBIT 05/Feb/1939 - 04/Feb/1940 - Earth Rabbit
04/Feb/1951 - 04/Feb/1952 - Metal Rabbit
04/Feb/1963 - 04/Feb/1964 - Water Rabbit
04/Feb/1975 - 04/Feb/1976 - Wood Rabbit
04/Feb/1987 - 03/Feb/1988 - Fire Rabbit

Annual Forecast: A so-so year
Avoid romantic entanglements and emotional excess.
Do not mix romance with business or both aspects will suffer.
Cultivate sincere friendships as these can be the most helpful to you.

05/Feb/1940 - 03/Feb/1941 - Metal Dragon
05/Feb/1952 - 03/Feb/1953 - Water Dragon
05/Feb/1964 - 03/Feb/1965 - Wood Dragon
05/Feb/1976 - 03/Feb/1977 - Fire Dragon
04/Feb/1988 - 03/Feb/1989 - Earth Dragon

Annual Forecast: Mostly good
This year, you can progress. But, try to avoid quarrels and unnecessary disputes.
Do not succumb to pressure and stress so that your decisions can come from a peaceful mind.
Your love life will be enhanced by taking a vacation with your partner.

04/Feb/1941 - 03/Feb/1942 - Metal Snake
04/Feb/1953 - 03/Feb/1954 - Water Snake
04/Feb/1965 - 03/Feb/1966 - Wood Snake
04/Feb/1977 - 03/Feb/1978 - Fire Snake
04/Feb/1989 - 03/Feb/1990 - Earth Snake

Annual Forecast: A Change for the Better
A big improvement from last year. Money will come in a more straightforward manner. Your mood will improve and you will enjoy the year’s energy. Communication with your partner, family and loved ones will be more open and satisfying.

04/Feb/1942 - 04/Feb/1943 -Water Horse
04/Feb/1954 - 03/Feb/1955 - Wood Horse
04/Feb/1966 - 03/Feb/1967- Fire Horse
04/Feb/1978 - 03/Feb/1979 - Fire Horse
04/Feb/1990 - 03/Feb/1991 - Metal Horse

Annual Forecast: Be cautious
The Horse is ‘chiong’ or ‘confronting’ the Rat. Consequently, opening a business, changing a job or residence or getting married this year should be avoided. If it cannot be avoided or postponed or, you find it essential to your circumstances, then consult a geomancer for an auspicious date for the event. Avoid unnecessary confrontations and if you must attend a funeral or hospital you should leave as quickly as possible. Try these ways to improve your luck: Keep company with positive and happy people, attend happy parties and events, do not overspend and be patient and kind-hearted with your family, friends, staff and co-workers, so that you can build up an aura of goodwill that will negate some of the year’s negative influences.

A special charm for Horse people; Wear a small pendant or carry with you a small pocket or bag charm of a Goat or Sheep. Even a picture of a Goat or Sheep carried in your wallet will help.
If you have friends born in the year of the Goat they may prove to be helpful to you this year.

05/Feb/1943 - 04/Feb/1944 - Water Goat
04/Feb/1955 - 04/Feb/1956 - Wood Goat
04/Feb/1967- 04/Feb/1968 - Fire Goat
04/Feb/1979 - 04/Feb/1980 - Earth Goat
04/Feb/1991 - 03/Feb/1992 - Metal Goat

Annual Forecast: A Good Year
Money will flow more easily this year. Keep up a happy mood and attract positive energy to you. Be a source of encouragement to your friends and family. Next year (OX) may not be as good as the Rat. So, try to stretch your funds to carry you through to 2010, your year of good harvest.
Romance may get neglected due to preoccupation with career. Bear this in mind and set aside time for your loved ones. Nurture friendships.

05/Feb/1932 - 03/Feb/1933 - Water Monkey
05/Feb/1944 - 03/Feb/1945 - Wood Monkey
05/Feb/1956 - 03/Feb/1957 - Fire Monkey
05/Feb/1968 - 03/Feb/1969 - Earth Monkey
05/Feb/1980 - 03/Feb/1981 - Metal Monkey

Annual Forecast: Mostly Good
You will feel the urge to change. Don’t be discouraged if it doesn’t happen quickly or if you run into roadblocks.This is a good year to establish new attitudes and put into place new ideas.
Work on the details and schedules and you will reap a good harvest that can really pay dividends next year when your luck is increasing. Good friends and loving partners will be supportive. Don’t listen to gossip.

04/Feb/1933 - 03/Feb/1934 - Water Rooster
04/Feb/1945 - 03/Feb/0946 - Wood Rooster
04/Feb/1957 - 03/Feb/1958 - Fire Rooster
04/Feb/1969 - 03/Feb/1970 - Earth Rooster
04/Feb/1981 – 03/Feb/1982- Metal Rooster

Annual Forecast: A Fulfilling Year
Luck is forthcoming. Money will grow. Good assistance will be provided.
Just stay focused and avoid intriguers and gossip. Your love life could suffer from lack of communication. Do not get over emotional. Remember, harmonious family ties will give you stability and good fortune.

04/Feb/1934 - 04/Feb/1935 - Wood Dog
04/Feb/1946 - 03/Feb/1947- Fire Dog
04/Feb/1958 - 03/Feb/1959- Earth Dog
04/Feb/1970 - 03/Feb/1971 - Metal Dog
04/Feb/1982 - 03/Feb/1983 - Water Dog

Annual Forecast: Fluctuating Luck
Not a bad year for Dogs. You will enjoy some lucky events but, you need to stay focused and alert. Beware of people who may try to fool you. Stay emotionally calm. When stressed, take off a few days to get out of town or your health and performance will suffer.
If you are planning to travel, it could broaden your horizons and bring you new inspirations.
Your love life could cause some emotional swings. Try to stay centered.

05/Feb/1935 - 04/Feb/1936 - Wood Pig
04/Feb/1947 - 04/Feb/1948 - Fire Pig
04/Feb/1959 - 04/Feb/1960 - Earth Pig
04/Feb/1971 - 04/Feb/1972 - Metal Pig
04/Feb/1983 - 03/Feb/1984 - Water Pig

Annual Forecast: Remain Cautious
Your luck will improve somewhat this year but, you should remain conservative in your expenditures and your business ventures. Be open and caring with your loved ones and friends as these are the people who can help you get through difficult situations. If you seeking a change in your life, study your options well. 2008 and 09 are good for laying the ground work. 2010 is the year to make your move as that will be a lucky year for you.

The foregoing is a general fortune overview of the 12 Animal signs for 2008.
A more personalized and precise fortune analysis is based on your year, month, day and hour of birth. This is called the Four Pillars of Fate.

Remember, your luck can improve if you enhance the Feng Shui of your house and workplace.

The Seven Constant Rules to improve your Feng Shui

A house that is dark, dusty, leaking, cracked, cluttered or clogged will have a bad energy field, thus, bad Feng Shui. Consequently, the health and fortune of the occupants will be downgraded. If your house has any of the above defects, application of the seven constant rules will produce positive results almost immediately.

#1. Clear away the hidden dust.
Dust hides in window and door screens, the blades of your electric fans and the filters of your aircon. Air passing through dust loses its chi and downgrades the energy level of your home.

#2. Enliven the chi with plants.
If you don’t have a garden, (or even if you do) place live potted plants inside your house or condo to enliven the chi.

#3. Declutter
Get rid of broken or unused items, especially those cluttering your corridors, as this will block the flow of chi and have a negative effect on your health. The health correspondence of cluttered hallways is clogged blood vessels and ducts.

#4. Fix your plumbing
Leaking roofs and clogged drains are deadly to your health and also to your cash flow. The physical correspondences of clogged drains are; problems with the kidneys, genito-urinary tract, digestion and elimination.

#5. Properly dispose of your garbage
There should be no garbage and dirt outside your door. Chi that has passed over garbage is already downgraded. Locate your trash can as far as possible from your gate or door, without intruding into your neighbor’s space.

#6. Let in the daylight
Make sure that enough natural light enters your home. Keep your windows thoroughly clean and fully open the drapes. Remember : Natural light energizes – fluorescent light enervates.

#7. Get rid of mold and mildew
Mold and mildew negate good chi. It can also cause respiratory problems and allergies. Get rid of mold and mildew by placing moldy articles in direct sunlight, then hang them in a breezy place to blow away the spores.

How to Attract Luck in the New Year

Firecrackers: Pros and Cons

On Chinese New Year’s Eve it is customary to ward off unwelcome spirits, and herald the incoming year with firecrackers and lots of noise. The judas belt type of crackers are loud enough to do the job. Avoid firecrackers that are extremely loud. Loud noises shatter the ‘energy field’of the house and disturb the ‘garden spirits’. Shock waves from loud firecrackers harm the energy bodies of young children, old folks and house pets. Unborn children react fearfully to loud sounds so, pregnant women should avoid the noise (and the pollution) of fireworks.

Lucky colours and gems of the year

The lucky colours for 2008, based on the 4-pilars of the Li Chun, are: Red, yellow, silver and gold. You can wear these colours and use gemstones such as rubies and garnets, citrine or topaz (real or fake) and silver and gold jewelry, belts and accessories.

Chinese New Year customs that start the year right.

There are many delightful New Year customs, some of which I would like to share with you.
These are based on the belief, that how you act and feel on the first day will affect your luck for the rest of the year. If you follow the advise below, you can start the year feeling great!

1. Do not enter the New Year in debt. This refers to personal not corporate debt. Not only money, but kindness should be repaid in kind.

2. Resolve all quarrels and misunderstandings before the New Year, so that family and friends can renew their ties with peace in their hearts.

3. Before New Year’s Eve, thoroughly clean your house and office and discard old, worn out or broken objects.

4. Have lots of good food in the house, including; dishes of golden fruit, chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil and other sweet and preferably round goodies.

5. Have as much cash on hand as safety permits. This imparts a feeling of wealth. It is a bad omen to run out of money during the New Year.

6. Wear new clothes in the year’s lucky colours.

7. Do all the major cooking the day before, so that on New Year ’s Day you don’t have to use a large knife or chopper.

8. Give little red envelopes containing ‘lucky money’ to those who served you during the year and also to all the young or unmarried people who wish you ‘Kung Hei Fat Choi’ (Happy New Year).

9. On New Year’s Eve, switch on all the lights of your house and open all the windows and doors to let out the old chi and welcome the new.

10. And on the first day of the year, think positive thoughts, do not speak negative words, and do not scold the children.

All these wonderful customs create a feeling of goodwill and happiness. It is a way of preparing ourselves physically and psychologically for whatever the New Year will bring.
If fortune comes, we have made space in our lives to receive it. If problems arise, we will be in good condition to cope with them.

I wish you all Love, Peace and Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Merlina Merton is a professional Feng Shui consultant, author of the book, ‘Feng Shui for Better Living and President of two thriving corporations, ‘Better Living Feng Shui Services, Inc.’ and
‘Mervera Publications, Inc.’ Both companies are SEC registered in the Philippines.

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