Originally published in the Annual Wellbeing Astrology Magazine in 2016.
The Bing-Shen, or Yang Fire Monkey year starts on the 4th of February 2016 at around 6pm. 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 8th of February.
Bing Yang Fire is the Heavenly Stem of the year and the Monkey is the Earthly Branch. The Branches also have “hidden Stems” within them, for the Monkey they are Wu Yang Earth, Ren Yang Water and Geng Yang Metal. This means that 2016 is all Yang above and below, so it is a time of action and movement.
Bing Fire is like the sun, the centre of things. Whether this is on the world stage, or just at home, Bing likes to be the boss and in control, or at least the centre of attention. Bing also brings mood swings, from happy to sad, calm to angry, passionate to cold and unfeeling.
The Monkey is strength and gentleness in one package. Inventive with an agile mind, an insatiable curiosity and a quick wit. Monkeys love the finer things in life which can cause a strain on the budget at times, but their charm and grace ingratiates them with people of influence. The Monkey brings out finer qualities in life – arts, music and sport are all important, better than mere survival.
Having Bing and the Monkey together indicates a year of hope, positivity, showmanship and entertainment. 1956 was the last Bing-Shen year, a year that had Elvis creating controversy with his hip shaking moves, Australia had both a new television network and the Melbourne Olympics, Norma Jean became Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot hit the spotlight, the very first Eurovision song competition was run, Grace Kelly became a princess; and most positive of all, racial segregation laws in the USA started to be overturned in the Federal Court.
The Twelve Lifecycles energy for 2016 is Bang, or ‘sickness luck’. Lifecycles tell us where the Stem is in relation to the cycle of the Branches, from birth to death. Bing has no ‘root’ in the Monkeys Hidden Stems, so its energy is waning. While Bang does bring illness, and those people who were born in 1956 should take special care of their health, it also brings empathy and social values. 2016 will be a much better year for human rights and equality throughout the world.
There are three prominent Shen Sha for 2016 – Academic, Wen Xing Literacy and Hidden Wealth. The Academic star brings potential for education and study. Efforts bring success and passing exams. Wen Xing Literacy attracts educational mentors. Hidden Wealth means sudden and unexpected income, money that arrives when it is most needed.
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 2016 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 each for the Hour, Day, Month and Year you were born.
The Monkey and Snake together can either form a Water “Six Combination” or a “Damage”. The difference will be whether or not your chart has a Water Stem (either Gui or Ren) to be the catalyst. If you have the Snake and a Water Stem, the combination will help make Water Qi stronger on your chart, but it will also dampen Bing Fire. This could be a year of clashing in amongst some good luck. If you have the Snake but no Water, then the Damage will be stronger. A Damage indicates a year of small frustrations, nothing major, but there will be some setbacks.
The Monkey can combine with the Rat to form Water. Even without a Water Stem, the overall vibration will be stronger in Water, which will upset Bing Fire. If your chart likes Water then it will be a lucky year for you, but if your chart likes to have Fire, then there will be problems.
The strongest combination will occur if you have both the Rooster and Dog on your chart. These combine with the Monkey to form Directional Metal. Depending on your Day Master, this could be an extremely lucky year, especially because Metal represents the annual Bing Stems money and wealth.
The Monkey clashes with the Tiger. If you were born in the Year of the Tiger, then in general this clash indicates moving house or being relocated or changing jobs. This particular clash also indicates living in the past and being unable to let go. If you have the Tiger and feel that you are feeling low or depressed make sure to seek professional help because these feelings will increase as the year progresses.
If you have the Tiger and Snake together on your chart, then you will have a triple Penalty, called “ingratitude” which means that the more you try to help others, the less you will receive. People will just expect you to serve them. This is in addition to the Damage and Clash properties mentioned above.
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 Monkey will affect you -
Rat (’48, ’60, ’72, ’84, ’96, ’08): As mentioned earlier, the Monkey and Rat will combine to form Water making 2016 quite lucky especially in the areas of work, career and money. Be careful of justifying the way you reach your goals however because you may hurt those you love along the way.
Ox (’49, ’61, ’73, ’85, ’97, ’09): After the battles of 2015 clash with the Sheep, the Ox’s life will settle down into a nice routine. You will attract helpers in your work life, but make certain that you look after your health.
Tiger (’50, ’62, ’74, ’86, ’98, ’10): The Tiger will be clashing with the Monkey and may suffer from emotional problems. This will have the added risk of overspending and health problems. Focusing on family, children and your loved ones will dissipate the negative energy and allow you to see what is really important in life.
Rabbit (’51, ’63, ’75, ’87, ’99, ’11): Rabbits and the Monkey don’t have much of an affinity for each other, so life in 2016 may feel rather slow and tedious. Romantic relationships are featured strongly this year though, as well as working with older people and parents. Enjoy the peace and quiet.
Dragon (’52, ’64, ’76, ’88, ’00): In 2016 the Dragon could potentially form a combination with the Monkey, but only if the Rat is present. If your chart has no Rat, then there will be a feeling of unfulfilled potential. There will also be issues of trust, make sure to keep yourself covered to avoid being stabbed in the back. Love and sex are strongest in the Dragon’s mind this year, unfortunately allowing work and career to suffer.
Snake (’53, ’65, ’77, ’89, ’01): The Snake without a Water Stem (Ren or Gui) will have many problems in 2016. In general your radiant personality will get you through most issues, but there will still be arguments with family members and some minor health problems. Take the opportunity to travel and meet new people, experience new things which will take you out of the rut.
Horse (’54, ’66, ’78, ’90, ’02): The Horse tends to shine in a Monkey year, and since the Horse is a Fire Branch, Bing will make life even more favourable. Be aware of attracting those people that are needy and take more than they give, because you may find that you leave yourself too exhausted to function properly.
Sheep/Goat (’55, ’67, ’79, ’91, ’03): Sheep people have a very nice year ahead for family life, career and work. This doesn’t necessarily translate into lots of money, however there will be periods throughout 2016 that bring cause for celebration. Hopefully the lessons you learned and hard work you performed in 2015 will yield great results this year.
Monkey (’56, ’68, ’80, ’92, ’04): 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. The lowest ebb for the Monkey in 2016 is in the area of justice, any indiscretion will be harmful and Monkeys may find their authority at work being questioned. Romantic relationships on the other hand will be blissful and dealing with children will bring comfort and happiness.
Rooster (’57, ’69, ’81, ’93, ’05): Career is on top for Roosters this year, and success will come especially if your work involves travel. This success may not bring immediate compensation, but will pay off in the long run. Family and love life may not be at its peak, but these areas will still help with your overall happiness. If you have the Dog on your chart as well as the Rooster then the effort you put into work life will pay big dividends.
Dog (’58, ’70, ’82, ’94, ’06): Social and family life are the big winners for the Dog in 2016. Dogs have Fire in their Hidden Stems, so they will stand out in the crowd thanks to Bing. Work and career will have setbacks or at the least you will need to put more effort in than usual to get the same results.
Pig (’59, ’71, ’83, ’95, ’07): The Pig and Monkey ‘harm’ each other so Pigs will have a few frustrations like the Snake in 2016. There is more likelihood of making simple mistakes too, so go to the extra effort of double checking important tasks. You may have conflicting feelings between family life (responsibilities) and being free to do whatever you want. There is no wrong or right in this case for the Pig, and if you feel that the love you share isn’t being reciprocated then changes will need to be made in your life.
FENG SHUI FOR 2016
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 blue).
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 2016 around the degrees of a compass. The Chinese representation of the compass is opposite to the Western, South is always shown at the top and the North at the bottom.
The Centre has the 2 Yin Earth star or Kun Trigram. This star represents the Mother, so equality for women and environmental issues and will be the strongest vibration in 2016. The 2 star can have a negative side as well. Kun is three Yin lines, representing an open mouth. It brings gossip and a tendency for overeating and weight gain. The Earth within an Earth sector will show health problems to do with the stomach, spleen and pancreas. If you are already overweight, now is the time to lose it. Use Metal here, especially the gold calabash/gourd.
The South is 6 Yang Metal visiting the Fire sector. 6 represents the Father, the South is the middle daughter, so men may be tempted to extramarital affairs with younger women. This configuration is called ‘fire burns heaven’ and can be very unlucky for men in general. If this is a bedroom or front door location, then it may be best to use another space or entry. The cure is to use Earth, so crystals, pottery and the colours brown and yellow are all good here. The middle part of the South has San Sha 2, the main ‘three thieves’ direction. Avoid building or renovating if this is your front or back direction and use a Kuan Kung statue to deflect thieves and backstabbers. The White Tiger indicates worries and problems, but only if there is a main door at this exact location.
The Southwest has the good 8 Earth star, and since this direction represents the Mother, it indicates excellent luck for women. Even with San Sha 3 and Tai Sui, if your home faces the SW then you will have a lucky year. If the SW is your facing direction, then money will be good. If it is at the back of the house, then health and relationships will be good.
The West has some very good energy – Peach Blossoms brings socialising and romance and the Yang Noble star brings helpful people and supporters (mainly men). The 4 star is good, and since it is the ‘guest’ in the house of Metal, it indicates good luck in regards to education, study and romance. Metal and Wood do clash, so there could also be times of conflict if your home faces this direction, or your bedroom is in the West. Use flowers here for romance, for study use bamboo growing in water.
Last year’s central star 3 Yang Wood is in the Northwest in 2016. Like the West, the guest here is controlled by the host, so in general brings good luck. The problem is that Yang Wood can be aggressive and represents the eldest son, where the NW is the Father being in control. This is a bad area to have young males located and will bring rebellion and bad luck for them. There are two ways to deal with this to smooth things over – the first is to support the son by using Water (blue, black or even just plain water bottles), or if male children are getting too much trouble, use Fire and Earth to bring Wood ‘back into the fold’. Red crystals will help here. The first 15 degrees of the NW has Death Gate and Oppression together, if there is a door located here, then make sure to use it as little as possible, or keep it closed.
The North is Water in the Lo Shu and is supported by the problematic annual 7 Yin Metal. This basically solves itself because the cure for reducing the legal problems and disloyalty associated with 7 Metal is to use Water. Robbery Mountain Sha doesn’t like doors or windows, and since 7 Metal is the star of thieves, it is best to keep this particular part nice and quiet.
The Northeast has the 5 Earth disaster star strengthened by the Earth of the Lo Shu. What a mix in Qi for 2016 - Travel, Scholar and Good Virtue are all here as well. The end result will be up and down, both good with bad if you have a prominent NE. Use Metal and saltwater cures (a jar with water, salt and either copper or brass mixed together) to drain the 5 star of its potency. Sui Po is the ‘year breaker’ and is activated by loud noise, building/demolition or renovations. Avoiding these activities will reduce any problems.
The East has the annual 9 Fire star and is the home to the Lo Shu 3 Wood star. This means that the eldest son will be drained of energy, however the 9 star is related to future success. Considering the potential clashing in the Northwest for male children, it would be best if they avoided the East as well. The Mentor star is directly in the East and will help to reduce any negative effects though. This would be a good place to study from in 2016.
The Southeast has the annual 1 Water star visiting the Yin Wood palace. This is very good for young girls as well as for study and creative endeavours. The 1 Water in 2016 can be used for romance as well as attracting physical pleasure, so try to keep the energy moving. Since San Sha 1 is in the last 15 degrees of the SE, avoid any digging or renovations though. Flowers, plants and the colour green will all help to increase the positive Qi.