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  • Days:   3 Days
  • Type:   Workshop
  • Presentor:   Grand Master Raymond Lo
  • 08 Feb

    Chinese Year of the Monkey

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    Unlike the numerical Western calendar - the Chinese have a unique system that provides us with information about prevailing elemental influences at any given point in time. It makes use of the five elements – water, wood, fire, earth, metal - and their cycles, to determine the various aspects that affect the whole world.

    In Chinese astrology, the Monkey is the ninth animal to hear the call of Buddha and this enthusiastic and playful animal has many attributes that make up its character. The Fire Monkey generally holds the power to inspire others, is charming and quick witted. Although somewhat lacking in patience, this person has lots of appeal when they engage their warm heart. The ingenuous Monkey uses their confidence to make the most of every situation and achieve their goals.

    2016 is the year of the Fire Monkey and it is influenced by two elements - Fire and Metal. The coming year is represented by the image of Yang Metal sitting below Yang Fire. In accordance with the destructive cycle of the five elements - Fire controls Metal. Therefore they are elements in conflict. Even though these elements are in discord and Fire controls the Metal with its explosive nature – the year of 2016 will still feel the influence of the Metal element in its foundation.

    As a consequence, in the Chinese year of the Fire Monkey we will continue to see some tension in international relationships. However, even though there is some disharmony and conflict around the world, the optimism and cordiality of the Fire element will prevail. Consequently there is even better opportunity for compromise and resolving differences in a peaceful manner than there was last year.

    There are always disasters occurring around the world however, the emphasis throughout 2016 will be on explosions, fires and accidents including in the air and on the sea. Australia experiences a range of 'natural disasters' including bushfires and the influence of the Fire Monkey was felt prematurely (as is the case with Yang elements), during the latter stages of the Chinese 2015 year. Fires raged across a number of Australian states. In WA the town of Yarloop was quickly razed and a firestorm swept through the surrounds of Esperance killing four people. Other fires also destroyed homes and livelihoods in Victoria and South Australia. Looking back on an international level, the McKee refinery fire on 29 July 1956 was a severe fire-related event, and considered to be in the top 4 fires (9/11 being the worst) where a large number of firefighters were killed in the United States. In this event nineteen gave their lives.

    The Chinese calendar moves in cycles of sixty years so, the last time we experienced the Fire Monkey was in 1956. During that year you will find many examples of the aforementioned disasters.

    The passenger ship Badora sank in the Bay of Bengal with 202 people on board. Only six survived. In June 1956 the Australian collier Vicky lost power in rough seas and sank off Wilsons Promontory in the Bass Strait. Eight crewmen were lost. The 1956 flood of the Murray River saw a deluge of water swamping many towns in three states of Australia. The flood is still considered one of South Australia’s great catastrophes.

    Sixty years ago on June 30 a mid-air collision occurred when a United Airlines flight struck a Trans World Airlines over the Grand Canyon, resulting in all 128 people on both flights perished, is one such example. It was the first commercial airline crash to result in more than 100 deaths. Whilst it served to highlight and improve airline protocols it is still considered one of the world’s 20 worst airline accidents.

    On December 3, 1956 a destructive explosion at Bush Terminal Brooklyn, New York occurred killing ten people and injuring 270. Downtown Cali in Colombia experienced the first unnatural catastrophe in the August of 1956; an explosion taking the lives of a thousand people wounding12000 more. In September of that year, the British set off the first atomic explosion at Maralinga, South Australia.

    As with everything in life there is the flipside and 1956 also produced some great innovations. A successful 20th century invention, the hovercraft was invented by Christopher Cockerell in 1956. Originally called "mistake out" and later named ‘liquid paper’ Bette Nesmith Graham invented and launched her new business in 1956. A couple of Australians also produced some successful life-changing inventions. Percy Raymond Begg of Adelaide collaborated with metallurgist Arthur Wilcock to develop a gentler set of stainless steel teeth braces allowing for gradual adjustments and a lot less pain for patients. In addition, Albert Fuss invented the Pneumatic broad acre, lightweight air seeder in the same year.

    The general consensus is that the element of Fire is the driving force behind the economy. Given Fires position of presiding over the Monkey it influences the pervading public sentiment throughout 2016. Fire will radiate like the sun and its overall impact will be one of warm heartedness, open-mindedness and in general optimism within the market place so ride this wave of confidence particularly through to July. However, there will continue to be an undercurrent of nervousness particularly in the latter half of the year.

    The industries most likely to perform well during the year of the Monkey are those such as the entertainment, gymnasiums, restaurants, finance and energy related industries. These should see positive gains and good rewards for their efforts. Also, progressing into positive waters are the travel, transport especially shipping and communication industries.

    Property, construction, chemical, insurance, agriculture, software and even the mining industry, despite some recent pessimism will continue to see productivity increases when operated well however, the returns aren’t outstanding.

    Some of the industries most likely to be challenged during the coming year are banking, engineering and computer businesses. These sectors will experience pressure and see a lot of competition during 2016. Although profits can be made, considerably more effort will be required to achieve this and the profits will be weaker than expected. Even though the fashion, textile, print and publishing, media and food industries will appear to be busy in the market place strong returns on investment will be absent.

    Traditional Chinese medicine is also based on the five elements and their cycles. Fire rules the heart, circulation and also the shoulder and small intestines, whilst Metal governs the lungs and skin.

    The Monkey, being of the Metal element and symbolising the breathing organs could also bring with it more health problems relating to this area of the body. For instance, we could see a rise in the incidences of the flu. If you are particularly susceptible to lung issues then be extra cautious this year. On the other hand there could be a rise in problems related to the Fire element. If you are susceptible to heart disease, blood pressure or inflammatory diseases, ensure you take appropriate measures particularly in February and May.

    Throughout 2016 there will be a clash that occurs for those born in the year of the Tiger (e.g. 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010). For those born in these years it’s highly likely life will be a little more turbulent. You may experience a sense of un-wellness and at the very least you will feel somewhat restless, frustrated and interested in travelling more frequently and in general, making changes in your life. It is advisable to be more cautious during the coming year and avoid extreme sports and high adventure activities, thereby doing your best to avoid accidents throughout the year. It is also sensible to sidestep opportunities for traveling towards the southwest. And…as an additional precaution, wear a pendant of the Snake for some further symbolic protection.

    For those born in the year of the Monkey; (e.g. 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004) this does not automatically equate to a good year as you are offending the Grand Duke. So it is also advisable to carry or wear a charm of the Snake as a precaution against disturbances during the coming year.

    The animals in harmony with the Monkey year are the Snake, Rat and Dragon so…put on your party shoes.

    It is important to remember that this current Feng Shui period represents and predominantly impacts young people, particularly boys. This has been the case since 2004 and this emphasis on our young will continue for some time. We are seeing many tragic circumstances where disenfranchised youths are taking up arms and fighting a war in another country. However, our young generation are also positively impacting on society and being recognised for their efforts in a way that we have not previously seen.

    With respect to Feng Shui you will find a troublesome influence coming from the northeast bringing with it difficulties and obstacles. This energy needs to be dealt with (especially if your main door or bedroom is in the west) by placing an all-metal wind chime in this sector of your home or office. The worst months will be February, May and November.

    In the North you will find the energy of scandals and so it is best to place 3 bamboo stems (or stems of any plant that grows in water only) in a clear, black, green or blue vase at this point of your home or office.

    At the core of 2016 throughout the world resides the influence of sickness it is therefore reasonable to expect more outbreaks, particularly in the north-eastern countries including northeast China. This force also extends to our commercial and residential properties. The midpoint of your home or office will then require a string of six metal coins to be placed in this area, particularly if this is a major thoroughfare or an often used location within the office or the home.

    The northwest suggests anger, frustration and even theft. Placing red objects or simply red paper in this location reduces this impact on your life.

    Finally, do not sit with your back against south especially whilst you’re working. It’s also advisable to not carry out large-scale construction work in the southwest for the coming year, as this is the location of the ‘grand duke’. Should your home face Southwest then place a Dragon Tortoise to face this direction.

    I hope you all stay safe, well and happy during 2016 and that the coming Year of the Fire Monkey will allow your plans to unfold bestowing your family and loved ones with great success and fulfilment.

    Gong Xi Fa Cai

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