Malvin Artley continues his discussion of Ming Shu in the light of the Four Pillars, the I Ching and other little known, revealing secrets of Chinese Astrology. Malvin also publishes a regular astrological newsletter, to which you can subscribe by clicking the link at the end of this article.
This is classed as a doubly-bright year, meaning that the Li Chun (commencement of Chinese spring) comes after the start of the New Year and after this year ends. It is an extraordinarily auspicious indicator and augers a year of great prosperity for everyone. But, given the phase (Branch) of the Great Year this has to be modified somewhat. The tendency for this particular combination is for people and governments to squirrel away the gains of the year and to not give them out for general distribution. If the governments of the world are prepared to "share the wealth" with the people and with their neighbors, this can be an extraordinary year indeed.
A Year of Spiritual Bounty
The Wood in the Year Stem, along with the doubly bright year, could mean fantastic opportunities for growth and advancement. At a material level this can, and probably will, mean that great fortunes can be made this year. But it also means this in a spiritual sense as well, and anyone prepared to work toward that end can make terrific strides in their inner life this year. It is a year of the Soul, after all, as indicated by Jupiter. It is to be a year of bounty - unless public confidence flounders. So, cast ye your doubts aside and get on with the business at hand, for this is to be a plum year.
It would seem, being a Wood Year, that all types of activities regarding the plant kingdom and trees in particular would be indicated. Such is not the case, though. Whenever a particular element is found in a Pillar it is said the activities indicated by that element should be given sway and not interfered with. Wood is about the growth of the verdant covering of our world. Only a foolish leader would endanger himself and his realm in the old days by authorizing the cutting down of trees and by starting major forestry projects. The planting of trees and shrubs is very favorable, but the pruning and cutting of timber is not. It will be very interesting, as well, to see how the various Green movements in the political spectrum fare over the next two years. Their fortunes have been bolstered over the last two years (water years) and in these two coming years they will be in their element, both literally and figuratively. National parks have suffered in countries like the US under the present administration. Will the record be set straight this year and more attention given to the remaining forests? Or, will leaders such as Bush reap rewards of a different kind under their present policies?
The Mourning of Women
Jupiter is in retardation of the place where it should be found in terms of its lunar station (Xiu) and the Branch number. It should be found in the station Tung Pi (Lunar mansions 27 and 28), but is instead in Xiu 26 (Wei). In the old days the omens for the realm were not good when this was the case. Indications were that the leaders of the army of the corresponding realm would be wiped out and that the royal house would collapse in ruins. Indications for the Xiu of Wei are that of drought, but prosperity, the mourning of women and epidemics. We are already seeing the seeds of some epidemics in the bird flu of Vietnam, recurrence of SARS and Mad Cow disease in the States. Whether or not these will fully manifest remains to be seen. As for the mourning of women, this generally referred to the after-effects of wars and the collapse of the army of the realm. There are still drought conditions in many areas of the world, including parts of Australia and there is talk of a recurrence of the El Nino pattern this year, which always brings drought to Australia. Jupiter is retrograde in opposition to Venus in this New Year chart as well, which is a further indicator of the destruction of armies (the failure of an army to achieve its directives), since Venus governs the course of warfare in Chinese astrology.
There is another side to this 26th Xiu, though. Aside from the general indicators of the retarded Jupiter there, the trends for that lunar mansion are generally favorable. Jupiter goes direct just before the Wesak Moon of May and it will eventually catch up to its appointed place before the year is out. The indications for the year after going direct are for right conduct being rewarded, the flourishing of one's business activities, the acquiring of new property, the promises of riches after a successful career and happy, harmonious relationships. So, although this year is set to get off to a rocky start, the overall prognostications for the later 2/3 of the year are generally very good.
Important Full Moon in May
We need to have a brief look at this May full moon, though, because it will be a particularly powerful one and will be an eclipse at that. The particular series of Saros cycles that full moon belongs to is marked by a greater than normal forcefulness and it is about taking power. On the day of that eclipse there is a double emphasis on the Wood Element and we find the Element of that month (Yang Earth) being controlled by the Element of the year. There is said to be a great force and strength manifesting in the area of relationships with that class of eclipse and there may be evidenced very large efforts of a group nature, whatever that may mean. The month in the mundane interpretation of the Chinese Pillars is descriptive of states within larger nations and smaller nation-states, with the implication being that they will come under the thumb of greater powers during this period. Watch world events very closely after this coming full moon of May, because there will definitely be shifts in power in the world and there will be people in power making their plays for dominance within certain areas.
Just after that in early June, Venus begins its new 2nd- order cycle. This will be the time when the new relationships brought about by the Wesak eclipse will be put in place for the next 8-year period, and the scales of justice will hopefully balance. Venus is the "Great White" in Chinese astrology and it governs the course of justice as well as the outcome of wars and the punishment of criminals. It is high in the evening sky at the moment and it is in its Western Hesperus phase, which indicates stability and the garnering of wisdom. But, it will soon begin its descent to the horizon, and when it gets close to the Sun just prior to its conjunction there will be a period of intervening change and instability, which will coincide with the post-Wesak eclipse period. It will be an altogether "interesting" time, and one full of opportunities for letting go of old paradigms in the personal realm and the institution of new ones. This year is also known to be the start of the true new Millennium in some quarters, and from the preceding it is not difficult to see why, being such a potent setup for the wiping away of the old and the commencement of the new. Of course, there are many other cycles at work this year as well, but we do not have the space to cover them here.
The Monkey in the Tree: Vigorous Growth Cycle
The symbolism of the Metal Monkey in the year Pillar for 2004 is also reflective of this new cycle of Venus about to start. Venus is known as the Metal Planet (note carefully that this is metal, and not mental). Metal, as a Chinese Element, carries with it the qualities of strength, courage, decisiveness, directness and a progressive attitude - not normally qualities that we attribute to Venus in the West. The 9th Branch of this year is thus colored by the qualities of this Element. This is quite a powerful manifestation of this phase. The "Monkey in the Tree" is a very vigorous and agile symbolism and it adds further strength to the expression of the year. We should bear in mind that, although the Year Pillar applies to large bodies of people, it also applies to every individual as well, because there is no nation without its people. So, if the nation is full of stamina and its leaders are decisive in a positive way, then everyone will benefit in the long run. Again, the only problem will come in if the leaders of a nation are only in office for their own gain and seek to keep the status quo of power rather than moving the nation into a phase of growth and expansion, as should happen this year. Everything should grow vigorously this year. If it does not, then look to the leaders and start asking a lot of questions.
Read part four of The Year of the Monkey, where Malvin concludes his discussion of Ming Shu in the light of the Four Pillars, the I Ching and other little known, revealing secrets of Chinese Astrology.
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