Richard Giles, writer, astrologer and Feng Shui consultant, was born in Adelaide, South Australia, spending his childhood in sunny bliss in the climate of the City of Culture. The Vietnam war and conscription turned him towards another way of life. Spiritual journeys in Thailand, India and Indonesia with Buddhism and meditation led him to a new analysis of the world. He took up the study of astrology and more recently Feng Shui.
Richard lives in sunny Queensland in the cool mountains in the hinterland of the Sunshine Coast, where he works as an astrologer and Feng Shui practitioner doing consultations and continues writing for various magazines and newspapers.
2006: Chinese Year of the Fire Dog
The Year to Come Out of the Kennel
Welcome to the Chinese year of the Dog. Chinese New Year is the main holiday of the year for more than one quarter of the world's population and the Chinese New Year commences each year in February, according to our Western, Gregorian calendar. Using their traditional Solar calendar, the Chinese start a year on the 4th February, which begins the new zodiac animal cycle. Notwithstanding, the New Moon day of 30th January 2006 (Australian and Asian time) is the official Lunar New Year celebration, when the dragons and fireworks come out into the streets. This occurs on the 29th of January in Europe and USA, due to timezone differences.
2005 was the year of the Wood Rooster and it's been quite a rollercoaster year. Now in the cycle of twelve animals comes the faithful Dog. The Dog in Chinese astrology expresses its principle qualities of loyalty, faithfulness and unselfishness. The Dog is active and honest and is appreciated by his superiors and those under him due to giving priority to the collective interests of all rather than his own. His best role is as a prophet of future events and he barks to draw attention to the events of the day as well as to the injustices of the world. He does look to how wrongs can be corrected. He's forever on guard to look after his property and so anxiousness is a characteristic of his personality. Money is important for his family and so he will earn it to support them; however, he thinks of it as mere 'paper'. He delights in anything to do with the occult, the mysterious, the bizarre and the unusual so he yearns to investigate these things in his life.
Wild and Romantic
The Dog's favourite places are wild, romantic landscapes and the remote regions of the world. He feels at home in the wilds of Tibet or Mongolia, the windswept islands of Scotland and the jungles of the Amazon. For this reason he is an explorer, but he also prefers the comforts of peaceful evenings by the fire where it's far from the business of the everyday world. As a profession he is suited to be a manager or head of companies, but he cares very much about the quality of the work environment. He can be a priest, nun, missionary, teacher, nurse, magistrate, judge, lawyer, doctor, scientist, researcher or preacher. More than any other animal of the zodiac, the Dog is always asking itself, "What am I doing here on earth and what is my purpose in it all?"
A special feature of the Dog-born person is that he or she is the one who sits at the gates awaiting nightfall, wherein the Dog will prowl and keep watch. He is a faithful watchdog and is the guide and guardian in the underground invisible worlds and thus, lying at the gates of the underworld, is a figure of the subterranean world of life and death and is symbol of initiation into the rites of death and rebirth. He pleads mankind's cause with the gods and especially brings questions for us all about our life purpose. Cerebus, of Greek mythology, was the dog who lay at the cave entrance by the River Styx, the river that souls crossed in their passage from life to death, guarding the Gates of Hell and Pluto's underworld. In the Egyptian Book of the Dead it was the dog who guided souls on their journeys into the next world. This year then, will bring a certain edge to us questioning why we are all here.
What will make the Dog year a special one and what will be the qualities of the coming year?
This Year of the Dog is composed of two elements, as is normal in the Chinese zodiac. Each animal has its own element – the Dog is an animal ruled by Earth. The yearly quality moves through the Chinese Five Elements every ten years, so this year is a Fire Dog year. It's Fire burning on top with the Earth underneath. The last time we had a Fire and Earth Dog year was 1946 at the end of World War Two, the first year of peace and recovery. The United Nations General Assembly had its first meeting in London in 1946 and elected its Secretary General. The verdicts of the Nuremberg Trials were first handed down and many Nazi war criminals condemned to death. Leaders of many world governments stepped down as the war ended and new leaders took their place – France, Argentina, Italy, Albania, Hungary, Japan, Sarawak and Czechoslovakia all experienced changes in leadership and status.
In the arts, the first Cannes Film Festival in France was held and the Emmy awards for film were founded in 1946. Buckminster Fuller designed the first Dymaxion House. Picasso founded his pottery works in Vallauris, France. Irving Berlin staged the musical comedy 'Annie Get Your Gun' in New York.
In the scientific fields, the Atomic Energy Commission was formed. The US Navy tested the first atomic bomb at Bikini Atoll. Pilotless missiles were first tested and constructed en masse. Admiral Byrd took his famous expedition to the South Pole. Sun spots were found to emit radio waves and the first electronic brain computer was built in the USA.
Optimism and Honesty
With the Fire sitting on top of Earth, in the Chinese Five Element cycle of birth and destruction, Fire gives birth to Earth. This is more a symbol of support and harmony and may bring a relatively more peaceful year with less international conflicts than in the past few years. Fire sitting on top in 2006 is Yang Fire which is like the Sun. It symbolises optimism, openness, caring and warmth. There's likely to be more open and honest attempts at peace talks and negotiations leading to more harmony in the international and national arenas, something which has been lacking lately.
The earth underneath, in the Dog, has the symbolism of the 'Gates of Hell'. This carries spiritual and religious implications for all of us. The year 2006 will likely focus on seeking more spiritual meaning and answers and more people will be drawn to religious and philosophical questions and growth.
The Fire Dog is very socially conscious of rights and wrongs, so we can expect that this coming year will bring a strong focus on injustices in the world, on political policies that are wrong and the ordinary person will be more questioning of their leaders and their leaders' decisions. Issues over the war in Iraq for example and any possible invasion of Iran or North Korea will be strongly contested by public debates; any decisions that the public perceives are done for the wrong reasons will bring much debate and media discussion. Many will throw their principles on the line for what they see as truth in international and national politics. Debates in many countries could be fierce and accompanied by much barking and noise as the Dog exerts its strength in the principles of justice for all.
With Fire over Earth, the earth can be strengthened, but if it gets out of balance we'll have the earth erupting, so expect many great fires, the eruption of volcanoes (fire in the earth) earthquakes, landslides, explosions due to earth causes or perhaps to fossil fuels, and other influences emanating from the earth that can upset the balance of the environment. Many environmental issues could come to a head this year as our consciousness of the connections between our economic system and the world's climate become clearer.
Global Warming Debates
Expect great debates about the role of mankind and our combined impact on the natural world to reach peaks in 2006. Many people will make changes in their lifestyles under this influence to help save the planet. Expect more environmental shifts in government policies forced by people pressure. It's to be expected then that there will be more cooperation among countries this year, aimed at setting up an effective system for the protection of global interests, such as resolving environmental conflicts, global warming issues, religious differences and the prevention of disease. The ongoing debate about the Kyoto Treaty may be resolved in 2006.
The Dog character in Chinese is one of what is called the 'Stars of the Arts'. This indicates that great academic achievements are possible this year, as well as issues around the role of humanity, so new knowledge about humanity will come to light. Illumination of mankind will be an important outcome from this knowledge and we will all benefit. Discovery of new truths about ourselves is very possible, especially related to our past on the earth. Since fire rules illumination and the earth is our home, many new truths will surface about the origins of mankind this year. The much touted connection between science and religion (or spirituality) will be made very clear this year and bring us a revolution in science and its place in the world. Movies such as 'What The Bleep...' will be accepted in the mainstream and more will come forward to express the same truths.
What sorts of people have been born in Dog years? A look at some famous ones will give you ideas on what to expect this year.
- Sophie Loren was a Dog – she pioneered independent women's images in film.
- Marconi pioneered radio transmission
- Benjamin Franklin a scientific experimenter
- Bizert, Gershwin and Debussy wrote amazing music for their times
- Elvis Presley transformed modern music
- Bridgitte Bardot changed attitudes to sexuality in cinema and then went on to champion the cause of animal rights
- Robert Louis Stevenson wrote adventure literature
- Vladimer Lenin helped to transform Russian politics and ideology
- Yuri Gagarin was the first man in space and
- Von Zeppelin gave us the helium balloon as transport.
Because the Dog is a bit of a worrier and suffers from anxiety, it's not a good year to be over-extended financially. The occurrence of natural disasters and alterations in the environmental status quo, brought on by earth shifts and changes, plus new policies from governments to reduce the effects of pollution and mankind's impact on the world, will transform economies drastically (in some countries). It's best then, in the Fire Dog year, not to overextend your credit and to look after long term planning for yourself in the future. This revolves around the state of the world's weather, as well as long term climate change. Look to longer term contingency plans for yourself and your family. What would you do if a New Orleans style disaster happened to your city? Could you cope with losing your home and all your financial assets? Where would you go? Who is your community that you would turn to for help? Make plausible plans based around these types of events. Draw up possible escape routes from cities or urban areas and see where your personal support lies amongst the people you know.
This is not meant to scare you, dear reader, but to prepare you for all possibilities in the coming future. The Fire Dog year is a good one to start where support for people issues and personal justice is high and people are looking for greater purpose in their lives. The Chinese Year of the Fire Dog is going to be one where many environmental problems will come to a head but also a year where you can see the greater possible future for yourself and family and to make sure you know why you are here on earth and what the true soul purpose is for your existence.
Click here to read how the Year of the Fire Dog affects you!
Aries, the Ram
Taurus, the Bull
Gemini, the Twins
Cancer, the Crab
Leo, the Lion
Virgo, the Virgin
Libra, the Scales
Scorpio, the Scorpion
Sagittarius, the Archer
Capricorn, the Sea Goat
Aquarius, the Water Bearer
Pisces, the Fishes