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January 1, 2007 Monday

2007 Year of the Boar: Clash of Fire and Water

The boar is believed to be the laziest and considered to be very slow of the 12 creatures in the Chinese zodiac, so lazy that it ended up last in the rotating cycle of animal signs. But that doesn't mean that the coming Year of the Fire Boar, which starts on Feb. 18, will be an uneventful one.

The year of the fire boar will bring some remarkable developments, both positive and negative, according to feng shui expert Marites Allen. The same as with any year, some businesses will prosper in 2007, while some will not be so lucky.
Certain individuals will also be luckier than others, depending on what animal sign they were born in and even the time and date of their births.

Allen noted that the Year of the Fire Boar was described by clashing elements, fire and water, with water being an element natural to the boar. According to Allen, president of the World of Feng Shui Inc, this could mean conflict and even tragedies and illnesses.

She also noted that the Year of the Fire Boar did not contain spring, which the Chinese consider a lucky season as spring connotes new life or beginnings.

While the Year of the Fire Dog last year started on Jan. 29, the coming Year of the Fire Boar starts on Feb. 18, well after Feb. 3 to 5 which is the start of spring in the Chinese lunar calendar. "Last year, we had a double spring--one at the start of the year and another one at the tail end of the year, this coming February," Allen explained.

"However the coming Year of the Fire Boar does not have spring at all," she said. This does not promise well for the coming year, she said.

As if the absence of spring were not enough, Allen said the illness star dominates the Year of the Fire Boar. "This means that there's a strong susceptibility to illnesses and diseases. There are strong indications that there may be outbreaks," she said in an interview. Despite these indications, however, the spread of diseases, even fatal ones, can be prevented, she said.

People should take the precautions to avoid getting sick--get enough rest, stick to a healthy diet, and exercise regularly.

More tragedies

Aside from possible outbreaks of diseases, the Year of the Fire Boar, with its conflicting elements, could also bring tragedies, particularly air and sea disasters. She said the conflicting elements of water could mean aircraft or shipping-related accidents.

Allen said that last year, feng shui analysis indicated "land tragedies" at the start and end of the year.

"We had that landslide in Leyte near the start of the year. We also considered the stampede in Ultra as a land tragedy. Then at the end of the year, there was Mayon Volcano, plus the typhoons," she said.

Quarrelsome patriarchs

The Year of the Fire Boar may also see patriarchs being the less tolerant member of any relationship: the husband or wife, family members and even the leader of a country.

"The hostile number 3 may bring legal problems and plenty of misunderstandings. Husbands will be a lot less tolerant in 2007. There will be quarrels and irritations with serious outcomes," Allen said.

Businesses to enter and to shun

She said businesses falling under the metal and earth industries have "great potential to harness the prosperity luck." Lucky businesses include airlines, vehicle- and computer-related industries, mining and real estate, buildings and other infrastructure-related industries.

Businesses that would face challenges are those that use a lot of fire and electricity, including restaurants and the entertainment industry, she said.

Lucky, unlucky signs

People born under certain animal signs will fare better than others. Those born in the years of the Horse, Sheep and Monkey will be in for a good 2007, said Allen.

The sheep will be "truly blessed with good fortune and luck," the monkey will have a "fruitful" year with numerous wealth-making opportunities and much luck in lotteries.

There will be plenty of opportunities and good luck for the horse and people born under this sign will be able to make their dreams come true in 2007.

The rabbit will continue to have an "energetic" year, with some risk of physical and emotional breakdown if not enough rest is taken.
The tiger, rooster and dragon will see their luck improve in 2007 compared with 2006.

The rat, ox, snake, dog and boar will not be as lucky in the Year of the Fire Boar. The rat will experience poor health and financial loss, while the dog will have a mediocre year, with many petty squabbles and other stressful situations.

The ox, being in the "afflicted" northeast sector in the year of the fire boar, will not have such a smooth year and should take care not to be swayed by anyone.

In conflict with the boar is the snake, which means the coming year of the fire boar will not be very good for people born under this sign. Those under the snake sign should be careful whom they trust and should always choose their words carefully.

The boar itself is not seen to be very lucky this year, due mainly to the conflicting elements of fire and water.

Conflicting beliefs

Allen is a practitioner not just of Chinese astrology but of feng shui, the whole Chinese belief system involving a mix of geographical, religious, philosophical, mathematical, aesthetic and astrological ideas. According to her, feng shui is "not superstition, not religion, not magic."

"We do a lot of research and our analysis is based on scientific calculations," she said. But even some ethnic Chinese do not themselves believe in feng shui.

"For me, good feng shui is not about arranging beds and desks or having that yellow cat with a moving arm on the cash desk. It's about feeling good about the place. If you enter a building and it feels creepy, I wouldn't want to stay in that building for too long," said Robina Gokongwei-Pe, of the prominent Gokongwei business clan.

"And if you're referring to the wart-infested green frog biting a gold coin or the yellow cat with a moving arm that's trying to say, 'money come, money come,' no, we don't use that at home nor the office. Mainly because they don't match my furniture!" she added.