Originally published in the Annual Wellbeing Astrology Magazine in 2014.
The Jia-Wu, or Yang Wood Horse year starts on the 4th of February 2014 not long after 6am. This is based on the Solar calendar used for Feng Shui and Astrology, not the Lunar calendar used for celebrations, which gives us new year on the 31st of January.
This particular Stem-Branch combination is the beginning of the second half of the 60 year cycle used in measuring Chinese time and is considered the peak of Yang. This means that feminine energy will become stronger over the next 30 years, a greater emphasis on creativity and expression rather than logic and doing.
Jia Yang Wood is the Heavenly Stem of the year and the Horse is the Earthly Branch. The Branches also have “hidden Stems” within them. This year 2014 they are Bing Yang Fire, Ji Yin Earth and Ding Yin Fire. This gives us strong Wood sitting on the strongest form of Fire.
Looking at Jia Wood, it characteristics are like a tree, tall, sturdy, stubborn, and ever growing upward. The Chinese ideogram for Jia also means "the sign of growth", first in order, armour, number one, beetle/crustacean/turtleshell. So Jia energy indicates people keeping themselves well protected but also wanting to be the first in everything and being very competitive.
The Horse burns fast and bright and moves quickly, strong on outward shows of responsibility and duty, but tends to shy away from this in private. With such strong Fire, the Horse energy is egotistical and needs to be the centre of attention, but then its own attention will wander. This is also the sign of the philanderer in the Chinese Zodiac, so 2014 could put a big strain on many relationships (see the Feng Shui section as well). The strongest impulse of the Horse is to be free; so on a personal level many people will find the courage to make those changes necessary to have more freedom in their lives.
The Twelve Lifecycle for 2014 is Sai, or ‘death luck’. Lifecycles tell us where the Stem (Jia Wood) is in relation to the cycle of the Branches, from birth to death. Obviously the strongest form of Fire means death for the strongest of the Wood Stems. Interestingly though, this energy can bring very good luck. It generally means being worried about the small things. Getting bogged down in the trivial creates indecision, which then creates bad luck. Those that make definite choices this year and get out of the rut will have the best luck of all because they will be working in alignment with the freedom loving Horse.
The two Shen Sha for the Jia-Wu year are Affair Sha and Tai Ji Wealth. Affair Sha is bad luck in affairs and extra-marital relationships. You will be caught out! It is a very good energy however for networking and building platonic relationships with the opposite sex, just don’t act on those impulses. Tai Ji Wealth isn’t winning the lotto money; it is ‘down to earth’ work income. For people who are prepared to make the effort, Tai Ji Wealth will reward them.
If you are new to Chinese Astrology, you may not know that you have more than on Branch for the date and time you were born. While we will not be going into the effects of 2014 on the “Day Master’s”, it would be well worth your while to google "free Chinese Astrology Calculator" and check your whole chart, because you will actually have 4 Branches, one for the Hour, Day, Month and Year you were born.
If you have the Sheep/Goat on your chart along with the Snake you will have a very strong Fire combination. This will mean either a very good year for you or a very bad year. If you start the year badly, then use some Earth colours (yellow, orange & brown) in your everyday clothing, as this will help to reduce the effects of Fire.
The Horse can combine with either the Dog or Tiger (or both if you have them) to form Fire. Once again, this will be an all good or all bad kind of year for you because of the strong Fire Qi. If your year starts out poorly in 2014, then use some Earth colours (yellow, orange & brown) to reduce the effects of Fire.
Lastly, the Horse can combine with the Sheep/Goat to form Fire. Once again, this can be either lucky or unlucky (no in-betweens) for the person with the combination.
The Horse clashes with the Rat. If you were born in the Year of the Rat, then in general this clash indicates moving house or being relocated or changing jobs. Since it is very strong Fire clashing with very strong Water then life will definitely be unstable and full of difficulties.
If you have an Ox and/or the Rabbit on your chart then there will be small frustrations and obstacles during 2014. The Horse is a Harm and Damage respectively and although it doesn’t mean big problems, there will be constant issues to deal with.
The Horse is a “self-penalty” and really doesn’t like to see another Horse (stallions fighting is the image to remember). This means that if you already have a Horse on your chart, then make sure you think things through before acting or speaking because you could find yourself in trouble even when you didn’t mean to.
If you have any of the clashing, harm, damage or penalty signs on your Four Pillars chart, then one way to smooth the year out is to ‘buy’ karma points by giving to charity. According to one Buddhist date selection method, the best time to donate is the last day of the lunar cycle, which is on the 30th of January just before the new moon.
From a very basic check of your Year Branch, we can look at how the Horse will affect you -
Rat (’48, ’60, ’72, ’84, ’96, ’08): The Horse and Rat don’t have much liking for each other and this will be apparent in 2014. Health will be at its lowest ebb for Rats this year, make certain that you take care of yourself. Kids and family are well aspected in 2014, so set aside time for those you love.
Ox (’49, ’61, ’73, ’85, ’97, ’09): Income and cash-flow will be at its most difficult this year, but property and long-term investments are reaching their peak. Be the conservative Ox we all know and watch your finances carefully. Romance and relationships in general are very good for the Ox in 2014, so enjoy the company of others as much as you can.
Tiger (’50, ’62, ’74, ’86, ’98, ’10): The Tiger combines with the Horse which in general bodes well. Career and work is at a peak for Tigers, so money should also follow. The Tiger’s health is getting better, but stay close to family and especially look after your parents if you were born in 1950 or 1974.
Rabbit (’51, ’63, ’75, ’87, ’99, ’11): As mentioned earlier, the Rabbit is “damaged” by the Horse. This will mean that others will tend to judge the usually good-looking Rabbit as lacking in style and substance. No matter, because karma and justice are on the Rabbit’s side in 2014 as long as you stand by your ethics. Love and romance is also on the up for the Rabbit no matter how they are judged.
Dragon (’52, ’64, ’76, ’88, ’00): 2014 will be a bit like last year for many Dragons. Keep a close eye on your money and the rest will follow. Health is looking better than it has for a while and romance and all types of relationships will grow. It should be a fairly good year ahead for Dragons.
Snake (’53, ’65, ’77, ’89, ’01): After having an ‘interesting’ year in 2013, life should settle down for most Snakes. Like the Dragon, money matters will be the most crucial, but an enjoyable family life and good health will more than make up for a lack of money.
Horse (’54, ’66, ’78, ’90, ’02): The Horse is one of the four self-penalising signs and with their impulsive nature, they can make their own lives very difficult in 2014. Travel, justice and love are at a low this year, so all travelling Horses need to take care, especially in a foreign country. Try to be a bit more conservative than usual. Work and family should provide a nice distraction from the Horses need to create trouble as they are well aspected.
Sheep/Goat (’55, ’67, ’79, ’91, ’03): The sad news for the Sheep is that even with a Fire combination with the Horse, sexual energy is at its lowest during 2014 so it’s more of the friend-zone. Work and travel are very well aspected though, as are ‘seniors’, so take advantage of any mentoring help you may receive in 2014 to advance your career.
Monkey (’56, ’68, ’80, ’92, ’04): 2014 should be another good year for most Monkeys, with you being able to attract wealth the most easily of all the signs. Work, kids and relationships in general are looking great as well; just make certain to look after your health. There is an old saying – “you can get all the money, but the doctor will come and take it away”. Don’t let this be you.
Rooster (’57, ’69, ’81, ’93, ’05): The Rooster doesn’t have any major interactions with the Horse this year, so it should be a fairly quiet one. Romance is very good for the Rooster in 2014 and it will be easy to get lost in your significant others’ eyes so Roosters should focus on improving their interactions with both younger and older people for balance in their relationships.
Dog (’58, ’70, ’82, ’94, ’06): Horse and Dog together makes Fire, and the normally slow will need to move faster to keep up. If the extra Fire energy doesn’t hurt your Day Master (remember to check online) then the Dog will have a wonderful year as most aspects of life are well-balanced.
Pig (’59, ’71, ’83, ’95, ’07): Last year saw Pigs clashing with the Snake, and other people sticking their nose where it wasn’t wanted. 2014 is quite different, and life will calm down for Pigs. Money and income are the least favoured energy for Pigs this year, so it’s head down and hard work to bring that bank balance back into the black. Family life and health are very good for Pigs this year, so this should help to reduce any heartache over finances.
FENG SHUI FOR 2014
The following interpretations and recommendations are based on two schools of Feng Shui - San Yuan Flying Stars and San He.
San He is based around calculations between Stems and Branches (similar to Four Pillars astrology). The main way to use San He is to “Approach the auspicious and avoid the inauspicious”. In other words to reduce the impact of any negative formations (in red on the Luo Pan), then to activate any positive formations that are available (in green on the Luo Pan).
The good Flying Stars are 1 Water, 4 Wood, 6 Metal and 8 Earth (the best being the 8 because we are in Period 8, 2004-2024). The bad ones are 2 Earth, 3 Wood, 5 Earth and 7 Metal (the worst being the 5). The annual Flying Stars are best used in conjunction with the natal Flying Star chart of your house.
Even though you will get good results from following this advice, it is not a substitute for having a trained Feng Shui practitioner assess the energy of your house. At a minimum, your practitioner should know Ba Zi astrology and the Flying Star system.
The Luo Pan (Feng Shui compass) above has the annual formations from the Flying Star, San Yuan and San He schools of Feng Shui arranged for 2014.
The Central Palace has the 4 Yin Wood star which stands for intellect and romance. It is one of the positive flying stars however in the current Period 8, it indicates Wood dominating Earth, which in turn indicates problems for young boys and perhaps selfishness in romantic relationships. The centre can be a very touchy area to try to fix, so do not overdo any cure. Try to use some Wood here (bamboo in water for example) to help bring out the positive side of the 4 star. Don’t use any Fire unless you are certain of your home’s base flying star chart.
The South has the timely and lucky 8 Earth in the Flying stars which is supported by the 9 Fire of the Lo Shu. Unfortunately it also has the annual Tai Sui. The 8 star wants to be stimulated and needs movement but with Tai Sui bad luck is activated by movement. The usual cure for Tai Sui is a dragon-headed tortoise statue, or you can purchase talismans from Daoist temples to keep the affliction away. This will help to bring out the best in the 8 star. It is best if the South is at the back of your house for 2014.
The Southwest has the 1 Water star for 2014. This is a very positive direction for the year in the case of future well-being, however since the natural energy of the SW is the 2 Earth, it may indicate some illness for females which some Metal (coins, metal sculptures etc) will help with. The Nobleman star and Travel star are here as well, so it is best to keep this sector open and airy.
The 6 Yang Metal star is in the West and it has the Robbery Mountain Sha for 2014. The 7 Yin Metal star is the Lo Shu base energy here, and the two together is called “fighting swords”. It indicates arguments and struggles for power, and with the Robbery Mountain indicates a problem area. One fix is to use ‘soap-water’, some grated soap or a squirt detergent in a jar of water hidden in the West to lubricate relationships and reduce the amount of sparks flying around. This will especially important if you face the West or have your front door here, or if there is a particularly obvious mountain formation.
The Northwest has the 5 Earth disaster star. This is an interesting sector for 2014 as the Lo Shu 6 Metal drains much of the negativity from the 5 as well as having the “Year Virtue” which helps to attract kind and giving people, and the Scholar star. It is still advisable to keep the area quiet regardless, as the first of the three thieves (San Sha) is also here. Add a saltwater cure, or some additional Metal to keep the 5 energy in a dormant state.
The North has a big clash between the 9 Fire and 1 Water stars. Some would say that there is a balance between Yin and Yang, however this will not be the case for the majority of people, especially if you have real water in the North direction (eg ocean, lake, creek). To reduce the impact of this clash and bring the very positive side of the 9 star out use plants and Wood, including the colour green. Avoid using red or blue in the North for this year if possible. The central 15 degrees of the North has three Annual afflictions – San Sha (the central thief), Sui Po (year breaker) and Wealth Loss. Make sure to keep the area very quiet, if there are doors here keep them closed and do not start any digging or renovations in this sector. Kuan Kung statues (also called Guan Di or Guan Gung) will help to reduce the effects of the San Sha.
The Northeast has the 7 Yin metal star strengthened by the 8 Earth of the Lo Shu. This indicates thieves and backstabbing, especially with the last of the San Sha being in this sector. Make certain to keep this area well locked up, especially if your office or back door is here. The annual Good Income and Heaven Blessing stars will reduce most problems but it is better to be safe than sorry. Water will help to reduce the effects of the 7 star, so try to add some blue to the décor, or even just a large bottle of plain water will help.
The East has the annual 2 Earth star and is the home to the Lo Shu 3 Wood star. This combination is called “bullfight sha”; imagine two bulls butting heads, not giving ground. It basically makes people very stubborn, and somewhat aggressive in their behaviour. It will mainly be active if this is the front door or the main bedroom. The calabash/gourd is the usual cure for the 2 stars sickness/gossip aspects, but extra Metal is needed for this clash to drain the 2 and control the 3 Wood. Avoid Water and/or Fire in the East for 2014.
The Southeast has the aggressive 3 Yang Wood star for 2014 with the 4 Yin Wood Lo Shu star. When the Wood stars are paired like this it indicates gossip, arguments, emotional instability for both men and women. When the energy is really active, it can indicate domestic violence (on both parts). Do not place Water or Wood in this sector for the year. Use some Fire (how much depends on the base flying star chart of the building), even burning a tea-light candle once a week will help to reduce the negative energy.