By Jenny T. Liu, M.A.


The aim of the Chinese philosophy of feng shui is to create an environment that sustains us and allows us to live progressively. In order to achieve this, it is vital for us to understand natural patterns and changes so we may better know how to prepare for the future. In feng shui, when we are considering how our environment affects us, we must look beyond our immediate surroundings. Although the planets and stars appear distant and small, their forces are powerful and uncontrollable.

As the lunar new year approaches (January 28), there is a change in energy fields as the planets rotate into a new position. Like an invisible system of gears constantly turning and fitting together to trigger mechanisms, the planets' movements affect our well-being. In order to survive natural disasters, the ancient feng shui masters were keen observers of the natural cycles. They were astrologers that studied celestial movements as they related to terrestrial and human events. Keeping accurate records and charts, they were able to use empirical data to predict future events. The success and power of the Chinese government for thousands of years depended on the accuracy of these observations and calculations of understanding how the world ticks.

Still in use today is the Nine Star chart and lunar calendar from the ancient Chinese Farmer's Almanac (Tong Shu). Dating back over thousands of years, these charts indicate the planetary cycles and their potential impact on global, regional and human well-being. These charts are rather complex and in depth knowledge is required to properly interpret them and understand what they mean. Nonetheless, it suffices for the reader to simply understand that each of the numbers represents a planet which is associated to the Five Elements ( think of the Five Elements ‹ fire, wood, water, earth and metal as five frequencies of which everything is made) and are innately associated to a variety of natural phenomena. These associations stem from thousands of years of experience and observation of natural patterns. In 1998, we are in the 2nd Annual Cycle which is within the 7th Twenty Year Cycle (1984-2003).

The Nine Star Charts give us insight into how annual planetary movements affect us on Earth. Based on these charts, I would like to give my readers a general overview of what 1998 may bring for us globally, regionally within the U.S. and personally within our homes or offices.

This year, from a comparison of the 2nd Cycle and 7th Cycle charts, they indicate that the strongest energies are in the West and East. The West has the stars of 4 in the 2nd Cycle and 9 in the 7th Cycle. The 4 star is associated with the wood element, southeast, development, travel and scholarship. The 9 star is associated with the fire element, south, fame, rash decision, and celebration. The East has the stars of 9 in the 2nd Cycle and 5 in the 7th Cycle. The is similar to the West except for the 5 which is associated to the earth element, the center (China is also known as the Middle Country), trouble and violation.

This combination of stars indicate that there is likely to be heated communication and economic exchange between Western countries such as the U.S. with Eastern countries such as China. In their interactions, both countries are likely to celebrate new developments, fame and wealth. However, with the 5 stars, there is likely to be questionable ethics or illegal business dealings involved. This may send a ripple effect into the stock market causing it to be more volatile. Nonetheless, this instability triggers economic and political criticism that may force global internal government reformation and tax systems to change, especially in the U.S.. Having triple 9 and double 5 in the East indicates weapon deals, fire disaster, or riots in respective regions such as the Middle East and Asia. Especially in the month of January and May, there may be air crashes or violence in Eastern countries.

The center stars of 2 and 7 are both ³yin² or feminine energies. The 2 star is associated to the earth element, to female (especially Asian), and to the stomach or uterus. The 7 star is associated to the metal element, shrewd, violence, and the mouth. This infers that females from the central regions of global countries are more aggressive, tending to travel and explore the world, but are also prone to argument or sexual troubles. Having the 2 star energies in the center also indicates there may be more uterus, stomach and digestive problems arising in 1998. This will cause medical, health food, environmental and purified water businesses to also improve.

In the Southeast such as Southeast Asia, the 1 (associated with the water element, wealth and sex), 6 (associated with the metal, money, and head) and 5 stars are all masculine energies or businessmen who travel to the Southeast to attain high profits but not without facing trouble from under the table deals or adultery.

Stimulated by Western and Eastern business relations, there is a likely trend of people, especially young Asian immigrants, traveling from the West such as the U.S. and Canada to the East, to return to their home countries, to marry or be involved in extramarital affairs. The adultery is liable to infuriate wives, cause great calamity, injury and an increase in sexually transmitted diseases. People located in or from northern regions are especially vulnerable to this problem as there is double 2 and triple 7 in the north. Nonetheless, 1998 is an excellent year to get married and we shall see a greater number of marriages this year. This means wedding businesses such as bridal, photography, entertainment, and caterers are likely to see higher income.

Global regions such as the North, South, Southwest and Northeast are unstable in '98. Countries such as Mongolia, Korea, and Brazil may suffer natural disaster, chaos, or experience extreme hot or cold climate or accident in naval, air or train transportation. Furthermore, it is their respective north, south, southwest and northwest regions that are more vulnerable to these troubles.

Within the U.S., it is similarly the north, south, southwest and northeast regions such as Chicago, IL; San Antonio, TX; Los Angeles, CA; or Boston, MA that may have abnormal weather conditions such as hurricane or increase social problems such as robbery, homelessness, or cancer. On the East coast in areas such as New Jersey or Washington D.C., there is probable fire disaster or UFO sightings during early winter and early summer. In the southeast states such as Florida and Georgia, there is high potential for scholastic and business development, however, this success usually relates to sexual affairs. The northwest states situation should proceed with extra precaution because they are vulnerable to lawsuit, burglary, and finger pointing. So overall, it is the western coast states that should experience improved economic development.

Within our homes, having an east/west orientation should bring very positive events. Newlyweds, or new businesses that have a door, master bedroom or office in the east or west that are positively stimulated through feng shui, should bring them great happiness, benefits and prosperity all year long. Houses that are oriented on a north/south or northeast/southwest axis need to make sure they adjust the energies to minimize or prevent unexpected conflict, illness or disaster. People who are in a weaker cycle of their life are more vulnerable to trouble in buildings with negative energy. This year, bedrooms located in the southwest and northeast directions can induce adultery, female argument or stress, respiratory problems, muscle pain, and moodiness, especially to those over the age of 50. It is important to remind readers that these are general tendencies and the Nine Star charts are only one aspect of feng shui. There are other energies created by you, your house and your environment that should also be considered. Nonetheless, as the lunar new year approaches with its new energies, the awareness to adjust ourselves accordingly can only contribute to our well-being.

About the author: Jenny Liu holds a Bachelors Degree in Environmental Design from UC Berkeley and a Masters Degree in Architecture from UCLA. She is an expert in the 5,000 year old Chinese philosophy of Feng Shui who also shares her knowledge through seminars, workshops, periodicals and the Internet . Awarded for her Master's Thesis on Feng Shui, Ms. Liu is a fourth generation practitioner with her own consulting firm. For more information, please see her website http://www.liu-fengshui.com/  or for the library of her articles http://www.spiritweb.org/spirit/feng-shui.html  If you have questions, you can also reach her at (626) 282-8536.

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