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MARTHA SEZ: Planning for the new year, monkeys and all

December 29, 2016
By MARTHA ALLEN , Lake Placid News

Christmas is finally over.

Yes, it was a lot of work and it cost a lot of money, but, as far as I'm concerned, it was worth it. Sometimes the more you put into a thing, the more you get out of it. Now we are in that in-between time with Christmas just past and the New Year up ahead that always feels like a no man's land to me. It's a time for self reflection, at least for those of us who engage in such things.

Every year I say to myself, this time will be different. This time I really mean it. And truly, I do. I know perfectly well what I need to do to improve, and my intentions are good, but somehow I lose track, seldom making it out of February before I have thrown my resolutions to the wind and fallen right back into my old ways.

Well, I did quit smoking. I can say that. So maybe there is some hope.

For 2017, the Chinese New Year will begin January 28. It is based on the lunar calendar, so it won't fall on the same date every year. This is just one more instance in which the Chinese are inscrutable. It is to their advantage to be inscrutable. I would like to be inscrutable too, but that is not my way.

According to the Chinese zodiac, this will be the Year of the Rooster. Past patience and hard work pay off in a Rooster year.

Every year is represented by an animal. There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, each of which comes up in an orderly progression every 12 years. Of course, it gets more complicated than that, because it is inscrutable, but that's the gist of it.

Since we are still in the Year of the Monkey, we have time to prepare for the Rooster Year, by doing things to prevent bad luck.

If you were born in 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981 or 1993, you were born in a Rooster year, and you had better be careful not to incur the wrath of the Grand Duke Jupiter Tai Sui, a terrifying body of energy that for some reason gets infuriated with people born in the animal year that corresponds to the present year.

In practice, this means that this year Monkeys and next year Roosters, to be on the safe side, must use particular doors and face certain directions at work and at home and and should also purchase various protective or remediating amulets and knickknacks.

You can't just go to the on-line Chinese good luck charm site and order anything that appeals to you, however. No way!

For example, I am drawn to certain carved dragon figurines, but, as a Year of the pig person, I can't take the chance of placing a dragon in my home. When it comes to lucky talismans, "Few Pigs can withstand the Dragon," according to noted feng shui expert Lillian Too.

In much the same way, if you were born in the year of the Rooster, you can't sit facing the Grand Duke Jupiter Tai Sui, who will be residing in a certain part of your home and/or workplace (in the Year of the Rooster, this will be in the west), without getting him really steamed. Do not sit, stand or work facing west or even sleep with your head pointing west if you know what's good for you.

Through Jan. 27, if you were born in the year of the Monkey, Tai Sui is in the Southwest part of your building, but it is probably too late now to avert serious misfortune, even if you were to go online and buy the correct good luck charms.

I don't know how it would be in China, but this kind of thing can be difficult to explain here in the Adirondacks, at home and even more at work. You can't watch television unless you rearrange all of the furniture? You have to use a different door at work, perhaps even taking the precaution of climbing in and out a window? Your computer screen must face west so your back is to Grand Duke Jupiter? No one is going to tolerate this, feng shui notwithstanding.

Remember what KarmaWeather tells us about the Rooster year: "Forgotten thoughts arise out of nowhere, amid a disconcerting atmosphere, both stiff and motley."

I don't understand it, but it sounds good.

Have a good year.



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