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MARTHA SEZ: ‘2020 will be reasonably lucky for all signs, even Rats’

The Chinese Lunar New Year began January 25, 2020. We were ushered out of the Year of the Pig and into the Year of the Rat while I wasn’t paying attention. The Year of the Rat will end February 11, 2021, making it 13 months long, which is unusual.

By assiduous study of a placemat in a Chinese restaurant years ago in Houston, Texas, I learned that I was born in a Pig year. This doesn’t sound too good, but horoscopes generally refer to a person born in a Pig year as “the noble Pig.” Pigs are known to be compassionate and loyal. Rats are intelligent, resourceful and quick-witted.

In case you have not had the educational benefits I have enjoyed and don’t already know about the 12 Chinese horoscope animals, they are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and finally Pig. Every 12 years your animal year will come up again.

What are Rats like? To give you an idea, some famous Rats are William Shakespeare, Richard Nixon, Peter the Great, Jimmy Carter, George H. W. Bush, Prince Charles, LeBron James, Cameron Diaz, Rosa Parks, Ozzie Osbourne, Mark Zuckerberg, Mary Tyler Moore, Queen Elizabeth, Jeffrey Dahmer, Coco the Clown, Pope Francis and Eminem.

If you are a Rat, you might expect this to be your lucky year. It is, after all, your year. However, it’s the total opposite. Your animal year is considered to be unlucky.

According to chinesenewyear.net, “It’s seen as a hurdle you have jump over. The way to protect yourself from evil spirits and bad fortune is to wear red underwear every day for the entire year. Even in modern times, it’s still treated as a real concern.”

If you are a rat, don’t worry, though: 2020 will be reasonably lucky for all signs, even Rats.

What about politics in this election year? According to Beth Borray of “Think Magazine,” There will be monumental efforts to gain global stability while strong pockets of undercurrents attempt to ’cause the mountain to fall.’ There are indicators that more females will come to political power this year.

While it is neither here nor there, I really wish that journalists would stop referring to women as “females.” It sounds as if they’re talking about chimpanzees.

Five elements influence the Chinese zodiac: Wood, Earth, Water, Fire, and Metal. This is a Metal Rat year. Metal denotes wealth and material prosperity. The next Metal Rat year will be 2080. This is determined by multiplying the 12 animal signs by the 5 elements.

For example, I was born in a Fire Pig year. My great nephew Henry was born the year I turned 60, and he is thus a noble Fire Pig, just like me. I would tell Henry, but I’m not sure how he would take it.

Of course, not everything can be explained or predicted by the animal years of the Chinese zodiac. There is a lot more to it. For example, different parts of your house, called guas, are designated to control specific areas of your life. If you have a cactus in your reputation gua, it will make people respect you; but if it gets accidentally moved over to your love and romance gua, then you will be a lonely old recluse until the cactus dies or somebody kicks it over or moves it again.

You can write down a wish and place it in the appropriate gua and your wish will come true, but you have to be careful to word it correctly. For example, you might write “I want a Jaguar,” meaning a car, only to be pounced upon by a big cat that has escaped from the zoo.

I wonder: Who interprets the way your message is worded and critiques where it is placed? The feng shui police?

Also, the Grand Duke Jupiter is in the north side of your house right now, and if you sit facing him he will take offense. The Grand Duke Jupiter will bring bad luck for any slight, real or imagined. Did the “check engine” light just come on in your car? Maybe you spilled something on him.

You might think that being born in a Fire Pig year would be auspicious, but not really. Dragon years are the most auspicious, Pig years not so much.

If you are feeling nervous about the year ahead, protect yourself with a Buddha statue, and have hope for good times to come amidst misfortune.

Have a good week.