Originally published in the Annual Wellbeing Astrology Magazine in 2015.
The Yi-Wei, or Yin Wood Sheep (or Goat depending on which teacher you have) year starts on the 4th of February 2014 not long after midday. 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 19th of February.
The general belief is that if the Lunar New Year is after the Solar New Year then the year will tend to be unlucky, or more of a struggle. People’s outlook will be less optimistic than usual.
Yi Yin Wood is the Heavenly Stem of the year and the Sheep/Goat is the Earthly Branch. The Branches also have “hidden Stems” within them. This year 2014 they are Ding Yin Fire, Yi Yin Wood and Ji Yin Earth. This firstly tells us that the Stem has ‘roots’ in the Earthly Branch, making 2015 especially lucky for people who need Yin Wood to help their chart.
Yi Wood is like a shrub or grass, tactful and unyielding, ever growing. Yin Wood can be stronger in some ways than Yang Wood because Yin Wood is more graceful and knows how to bend under pressure then bounce back. Yi also means "the spread of growth", second in order or second grade, a hook, to twist or twisted, and also is the term used for ether. The image from Yi for 2015 is to move outwards and grow, to be both flexible and resilient. The ‘twist’ part of that image is to be wary of being manipulated or have things twisted around on you.
The Sheep is a Yin sign, but it is considered to be dry and parched Earth which can be suffocated and used for selfish purposes. Sheep people are the essence of affectionate, caring, trustworthy and selfless types. The Sheep makes friends easily with people and they can leave a quiet, but significant impact upon others. There can be another side to the Sheep, rams butting heads. They can also be very stubborn and argumentative if they feel the need, so the year ahead could also bring more quarrels.
It is interesting that the Yin nature of the Sheep means the energy is at home or hidden away, but since people tend to remember them, they can make great gains by putting themselves out into the world and making friends. This lesson for the rest of us in 2015 is that even though we may want to hold back or stay away from change, we really should embrace it and put ourselves out there.
The Twelve Lifecycles energy for 2014 is Yung, or ‘gestation luck’. Lifecycles tell us where the Stem (Yi Wood) is in relation to the cycle of the Branches, from birth to death. The Sheep has Hidden Yi, so it is a ‘bank’ or ‘womb’ for Yi. Yung isn’t really lucky or unlucky, it means honest, good social skills, doesn’t rock the boat much. This means that 2015 is a year to work earnestly and enjoy life. After the frantic Fire energy of 2014 this will come as a relief for most people.
The only Shen Sha for 2015 is Ji Du Virtue. This means doing the right thing no matter the cost. Adhering to a higher set of morals will be the order of the day and those that have avoided justice may well come askance.
If you are new to Chinese Astrology, you may not know that you have more than just the Branch (animal sign) for when you were born. While we will not be going into the effects of 2015 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.
The Sheep can form a “Six Combination” with the Horse, or a “Directional Combination” if the Horse and Snake are together. In either case, the result is Fire, though the effects of the Directional will be stronger. If you have either of these on your chart, then you will have a lot of Fire and it will be deja vu from 2014.
The Sheep can combine with the Rabbit (or the Rabbit and Pig) to form Wood. Since Yi Wood is the Stem, if you have the Rabbit or Rabbit and Pig together on your chart then the energy of 2015 will be very strong Wood for you.
The Sheep clashes with the Ox. If you were born in the Year of the Ox, then in general this clash indicates moving house or being relocated or changing jobs. Since both Signs are Earth, it means that the clashing will tend to come after a period of quiet and be unexpected, like an earthquake. This particular clash also indicates problems in business and career.
If you have the Rat or the Dog on your chart then there will be small frustrations and obstacles during 2015. The Sheep is a Harm and Damage respectively and although it doesn’t mean big problems, there will be constant issues to deal with. If you have the Dog and Ox together on your chart, then you will have a Penalty, called “upper hand bullying” which means you will attract people that try to outdo you, demean you and try to compete for no apparent reason.
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 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 Sheep and Rat don’t have much liking for each other mainly because of the Sheep’s affinity for the Horse. Work and kids will keep Rats busy during 2015 and health will be getting better. Justice is at the lowest ebb, so try to avoid those parking tickets.
Ox (’49, ’61, ’73, ’85, ’97, ’09): As mentioned before, the Ox and Sheep clash, so 2015 will definitely be an up and down kind of year. Oxen will be working hard, but parents and those in senior positions will be the focus. There may be issues to sort through, or you could be getting help from older people. Make sure to look after your appearance this year as it could mean the difference between getting what you want or missing out.
Tiger (’50, ’62, ’74, ’86, ’98, ’10): The Tiger has family issues with siblings to focus on in 2015. There will be plenty of work, and running around with kids, but your family will need top priority. Avoid legal battles and arguments where possible, and make sure to have every document checked before signing or agreeing to anything.
Rabbit (’51, ’63, ’75, ’87, ’99, ’11): As mentioned earlier, the Rabbit can form a Wood combination with the Sheep. If your overall chart likes Wood Qi, then all is good, if not then there may be struggles. In either case, combinations do tend to be lucky, so whatever happens it should turn out for the best. Affinity with children is not very well aspected for the year, but romance and love are looking great.
Dragon (’52, ’64, ’76, ’88, ’00): 2015’s Yi-Wei has the Dragon as a ‘void branch’, also known as an ‘emptiness period’. This means that there is a feeling of disquiet that Dragon’s won’t be able to put their finger on. Voids tend to mean that there will be aspects of life that require greater effort than usual. Work and property/possession require effort this year, there may be a feeling to rid oneself of excess belongings. Health and socialising are hitting their peaks however, so make certain to get out there and enjoy yourself.
Snake (’53, ’65, ’77, ’89, ’01): The Snake is also ‘void branch’ for Yi-Wei and results will be similar to the Dragons, a feeling that there is something missing or wrong, but no real reason to think that way. The effort for Snakes will need to be in the area of justice and legal matters, it is not a good time to be in trouble with the law, nor to go into lengthy contracts and agreements. Health is at a high, so is appearance and personality, so no matter that there is a void, Snakes should still feel and look good.
Horse (’54, ’66, ’78, ’90, ’02): The Horse combines with the Sheep to form Fire, but this shouldn’t have too much effect on the Horse apart from making it a luckier year, especially when dealing with others (the Horse becomes even more attractive!). Focus on your health this year, and also on doing the right thing by others and the rest of life should fall nicely into place.
Sheep/Goat (’55, ’67, ’79, ’91, ’03): When it is your own year, it is a time of lessons and learning about yourself, like a mirror being held up. These can be easy or difficult, it all depends on your attitude. Money and income may be the most stressful factor for you in 2015 even though you may feel like you are working extra hard. Love and romance are very well favoured this year.
Monkey (’56, ’68, ’80, ’92, ’04): The Monkey and Sheep don’t have any special interaction, so it should be a relatively straightforward year. Children, money and sex are the focus of Monkeys in 2015, but make sure that you put effort into getting out and looking after your health. It will be easy for the Monkey to turn into 2015’s sloth.
Rooster (’57, ’69, ’81, ’93, ’05): The Rooster is similar to the Monkey, but your focus is work and romance, just avoid mixing the two as there may be problems later on. Usually Roosters are the sign that like to look their best but in 2015 you may be tempted to let things slip, don’t.
Dog (’58, ’70, ’82, ’94, ’06): The Sheep and Dog ‘damage’ each other. This comes in the form of small annoyances, quarrels and mistakes. Stay focused and just do your best. If you have the Ox as well as the Dog, then there is a triple penalty as mentioned earlier. These can be especially frustrating for the loyal Dog. Most Dogs will have sex and socialising at the front of their minds in 2015, however, effort would be better spent working hard, or at least getting as much work done as possible.
Pig (’59, ’71, ’83, ’95, ’07): The Pig only has an affinity with the Sheep if the Rabbit is present, otherwise the effects of 2015 are fairly minimal. Children and travel will be the Pig’s goals and focus for the year, and life will be great in these areas. Work will be sporadic, so make extra effort here, since money is on the way up for you.
FENG SHUI FOR 2015
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 reduce the impact of any negative formations (in red), then to activate any positive formations that are available (in green).
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 above has the annual formations from the Flying Star, San Yuan and San He schools of Feng Shui arranged for 2015 around the degrees of a compass.
The Centre has the 3 Yang Wood star which stands for arguments and stubbornness. It is one of the negative stars in the current Period 8 and in the centre it is Wood dominating Earth. The centre can be a very touchy area to try to fix, so do not overdo any cure. Even though Fire is the usual ‘cure’ for the 3 star, don’t use any unless you are certain of your home’s base flying star chart. Some Metal would be the best course of action.
The South is home to 7 Yin Metal which represents backstabbing, disloyalty and legal problems. The base energy of the South is Fire, which controls Metal, so the 7 won’t be a particular problem for 2015. Some Water and Wood together will help create some balance between the conflicting Qi.
The Southwest has the 9 Fire star for 2015. This is very positive, especially for women as the SW represents the mother and is Earth in nature. Yang Nobleman star is in SW3 and when open or activated attracts helpful men. It is here along with White Tiger, which in this position is very bad for men, and San Sha 1 which attracts thieves, so the negative outweighs the positive. SW1 is Tai Sui, or the Year God. This brings long term bad luck when activated by open doors, renovations or constant movement. Try to keep this section closed off or quiet. The usual cure is a Dragon-headed Tortoise statue pointing in this direction, or a talisman can be obtained from a Taoist temple.
The 5 Earth ‘disaster’ star is in the West and W2 (directly West) has San Sha 2 and the Death Gate. Even though Year Virtue and Publicity are in the West as well, the entire sector is tainted with negativity. If your house face this direction, or your main door is here then you will need Metal and/or saltwater cures to drain the 5 star, and a Kuan Kung statue will help to deflect the thieves’ energy from the San Sha. Keep activity in this direction to a minimum.
Last year’s central star 4 Wood is in the Northwest in 2015. The NW is Yang Metal, and has an affinity for Yin Wood. It can indicate affairs – older men with young women as well as some illness for females. San Sha 3 is here, though is a lesser problem unless there is a door/window in this exact direction. The Scholar star is also located in the NW for 2015, which is supported in part by the nature of 4 Wood. To reduce the negative effects and boost the scholarly energy add Water along some Wood.
The North is home to the lucky 8 Earth star which is controlling to the North’s Water nature. This has a dual effect of increasing potential for income and fame, at the cost of trouble with male business partners and/or kidney/bladder problems. The negative energy of Oppression and Robbery Mountain will tend to be outweighed by the positive 8 star and the Peach Blossom (romance/socialising), Year Virtue (attracting helpful, ethical people) and Yin Nobleman (attracting helpful females). A metal water feature (depending on your natal flying stars chart) will reduce the problems of Earth controlling Water while at the same time increasing the wealth potential of the 8 star.
The Northeast has the 6 Metal star strengthened by the Earth of the Lo Shu. This is excellent energy especially for young men and boys. The 6 star relates to work and career, so if you have a son that needs help, place him in the NE or activate it with crystals and coins. There are negative San He formations – Sui Po the Year Breaker brings short term bad luck, Broken Luck when activated brings problems with not doing things properly the first time and Oppression when active can make the person feel like anything they do is doomed to failure. If you can keep the area both quiet and undisturbed whilst adding the cures to boost the 6 star, it should bring more good than bad.
The East has the annual 1 Water star and is the home to the Lo Shu 3 Wood star. This is the second area that is afflicted by the 3 star (including the centre). The East represents the ‘eldest son’, so males will gain here but the cost will be aggressive behaviour. Females sleeping in this sector may have liver/gall bladder problems as well. Since the Wealth star is coupled with the Broken Luck star, there could be problems with income for males here along with the aggression. Women affected will see an increase in gossip and backstabbing from others. It would be best to use Fire here to reduce the effects of the 3 star even though the annual star is 1 Water.
The Southeast has the 2 sickness star, which in 2015 will mainly affect women. It can indicate issues with the stomach or gynaecological problems. Since the SE is Yin Wood in nature, the 2 star can indicate control issues between young and old women (mother vs daughter in law), and poor sexual choices made by women. Anyone sleeping in this sector will have a greater chance of catching the flu and other seasonal diseases. To help, use a calabash (metal gourd) and a jar of water with six coins placed in it.