Year of the Golden Rabbit

Similar environmental issues to last year in Year of the Metal Rabbit, plus scandals
Juliana Abram offers her Feng Shui predictions for 2011

The Chinese have a unique calendar system commonly known as the Farmers Calendar or the Hsia Calendar. It is an enthralling 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 and metal - and their cycles, to determine the various aspects affecting the world in any period.

In Chinese astrology, the Rabbit, being the fourth animal to hear the call of the Buddha, has many varying attributes that make up its character. Those born in the Year of the Rabbit are generally considered to be peace loving and sensitive to the interests of others, yet they can be quite ruthless if their interests are in jeopardy, and formidable negotiators. They usually have impeccable manners and are gracious under pressure.

Yes, 2011 is the Year of the Metal Rabbit and it is influenced by two elements, metal and wood. So this coming year is represented by the image of Yin Metal sitting atop Yin Wood. In accordance with the cycles of the five elements, Metal attacks and destroys the Wood element. This dynamic elemental relationship between Metal and Wood does not augur well for international relationships. Yin Metal still carries the characteristics of weaponry, but in a more clandestine and stealthy way such as swords and knives. Essentially, this is a similar situation to 2010, except that the elements are yin and therefore, while things can appear more moderate, there is still an underlying discord. It suggests we can also expect the coming year of 2011 to be less peaceful. In fact, it will bring with it plots to eliminate those who do not conform, along with more secretive schemes and hidden agendas to topple governments and regimes.

The Yin Metal and Wood Rabbit are a discordant combination, with the metal constantly threatening the wood. So, these two elements together can also bring about certain natural disasters and unusual climate conditions.

I mentioned in last year's prediction that there would be fires and volcanic eruptions with deterioration of air quality and atmospheric conditions leading to an increase in pollution. This is precisely what occurred and with similar elements in action during the coming year, we can see a continuance of further environmental issues.

Indeed, during 1951, Mount Lamington, a volcano in Papua New Guinea, began its devastating eruption during late January that caused approximately 3,000 deaths. Bush and forest fires, in particular, could feature prominently in the coming year. Sixty years ago in 1951, thousands of hectares of forests in New Mexico , Arizona , California , Oregon , Washington and British Columbia were ravaged by fires. Four months later, a "blue sun" was still being observed throughout Europe due to the residual ash.

Continued disruption to the airline industry and environmental challenges could be most conspicuous during the months of July, September and October.

In Chinese astrology, the Rabbit is considered to be one of four animals known as the "Flowers of Romance" - it means scandalous affairs could be more prevalent. The Rabbit also influences new beginnings, activity and social interaction. So, 2011 will be an energetic year with the youth of today forming groups and collaborating to bring about positive social change.

The Chinese calendar moves in cycles of 60 years. So, if we go back to 1951 we will find that there were many such incidences, as described above, worldwide.

In 1951, three mafia bosses formed an alliance, leading to a new "liberal" faction working against the "old guard" headed by Mangano and Moretti. The new faction eliminated the Mangano men and then achieved their final act of assassinating Moretti in October 1951.

King Abdullah of Jordan was considered a moderate Arab leader and it is believed that he desired peace with Israel and dreamt of a Greater Syria comprising Jordan, Syria, and Iraq under the Hashemite dynasty.

Consequently, many Arab countries distrusted Abdullah and, in July 1951, he was assassinated by a Palestinian extremist. The assassination of Pakistan's first prime minister, Liaqat Ali Khan also took place in 1951.

The Egyptian war with Britain broke out in 1951 with various brotherhoods formed, all jostling for power by means of mutiny and guerrilla warfare. And during the same year, Bolivian voters elect Victor Paz Estenssoro as president, but the victory is thwarted by a last-minute coup.

1951 was the height of the uprising in Malaysia against the unpopular colonial laws. Guerrilla cells were established and the terrorists ramped up their campaign during that particular year which included the assassination of the British high commissioner.

As mentioned last year, war broke out between North and South Korea in 1950, but the war was raging in 1951 with Seoul being won and lost a number of times throughout that year. Sixty years on, North Korea continues to threaten world peace.

From a Feng Shui perspective, the energy of metal is at the core and this central influence is often indicative of prevailing events throughout the course of the year.

Consequently, this is a very strong signal that there will be adversities relating to this element. This means that there could be more scandals throughout the course of 2011, particularly involving young women, and we could see a greater incidence of flu epidemics. But there is always a flipside - and this period could create greater activity within the entertainment industry, along with the business of communications.

As far as the global economy is concerned, generally it can be expected to continue to improve after the turmoil that has characterised 2008 and 2009.

Unlike last year's Tiger, the wood Rabbit does not hold the seed of fire and is therefore weaker in supporting the element that governs the economy. Consequently, you will find that while the economy will be vigorous in the early months of the year, it would be prudent to adopt a more cautious approach in the latter half of the year.

The industries likely to perform particularly well during the Year of the Metal Rabbit are those related to the elements of Fire. These include finance, entertainment, electronics, electrical supply, energy, oil and gas.

These industries ought to see strong activity and realise more substantial profits. Earth industries, which include mining, insurance, hotels, chemicals and property, should see increased output and productivity, but not necessarily as significant a rise in profits as the aforementioned industries. While we will most likely see strong innovations in the water industries, such as shipping, transport and communications, the metal industries of banking, machinery, high tech, engineering and the motor industry will see some tough competition and only the strong will reap the rewards.

The businesses most likely to be challenged during the coming year are those of the Wood element, such as forestry, fashion, textiles and the media industry including magazines, newspapers and publishing. The relatively new industry of environmental protection (also placed under the Wood element) will incur some challenges which will hopefully shake up any organisations that fail to meet their stated obligations and appropriate standards.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is also based on the five elements and their cycles. Metal rules the lungs and also represents the skin and intestines. Consequently, health concerns relating to metal such as asthma, flu, sinusitis and, due to the serious lack of fire during the coming year, gastrointestinal disorders, will be foremost.

Additionally, disorders relating to the Wood element such as liver conditions could increase throughout the year. Immune system disorders and inflammatory conditions could also become more prevalent. In addition, the aggressive relationship between the elements of Metal and Wood could also bring about an increase in motion diseases such as Parkinson's.

Throughout 2011, there will be a clash that occurs for those born in the Year of the Rooster (eg 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005). It is advisable for those born in these years to be more cautious and avoid extreme sports and high adventure activities, in this way doing their best to avoid accidents during the coming year. It is also sensible to sidestep opportunities for travelling towards the East. As an additional precaution, wear a pendant of the Dog for some further symbolic protection.

For those born during the time of the Rat, (eg 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008) it is advisable to also wear a Dog pendant in order to minimise the influence of disharmony and hidden obstacles associated with the Rabbit year.

For those born in the Year of the Rabbit (eg 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999) this does not automatically equate to a good year and so it is also advisable to carry or wear a charm of the Dog as a precaution against frustrations during the coming year.

With respect to Feng Shui you will find a troublesome influence coming from the East, bringing with it difficulties and obstacles. If this part of your home or business is very active - entrance, family room, passage or living area - then this energy needs to be counteracted by placing an all-metal wind chime or metal prayer bell in this area, particularly in the months of March, June and December.

In Feng Shui, good health is always given a top priority, for without your health and vitality it is difficult to maintain harmonious relationships and a vibrant career.

In 2011, the South resonates with the force of sickness. This is also particularly strong during the months of March, September and December. Therefore you will require a string of six metal coins to be placed in this area, and this is particularly important if your bedroom, kitchen or a major thoroughfare is located in that sector.

Another destructive and scandalous influence circulates in the centre of your home this year. Hence, it is best to place three bamboo stems (those that grow in water only) in a clear glass vase at the centre of your home.

The energy of arguments is located in the North during the coming year and so it could be valuable to place a red object or the more traditional option of red paper in this area to help minimise this negative influence.

Finally, do not sit with your back against West, especially while you are working. It is also not advisable to carry out large scale construction work on established homes in the East for the coming year. Place the Dragon Tortoise to face the East as a symbolic measure of protection against the Grand Duke during 2011.

I hope you all stay well and happy during 2011 and that the coming Year of the Golden Rabbit will allow your plans to unfold bestowing your family and loved ones with great success.

Gong Xi Fa Cai