Well we begin the month of the Rat in the midst of intense planetary action, the focus being the Eclipse cycle. The Solar eclipse was in the sign of the Pig and the Lunar eclipse, this Friday / Saturday 10th December at the beginning of the sign of the Rat. If you have one of these animals inside your Four Pillars or Luck Pillars, the energy of the element is activated. There may be sudden unexpected events happen or changes that bring to the surface issues that need to be dealt with.

The energy of an eclipse may often bring up something about the past that needs to be expressed and / or dealt with, the issue can be resolved and completed and we can move on. Experiences can sometimes be intense or difficult. The nature of an eclipse always has a past / future theme about it and they are always about growth. Feng Shui clients may be dealing with issues of letting go so they can move on, which the intensified Wood element of the month demands us to do.

On a personal level this will be relevant to the themes that the Pig or the Rat represents. Those having the ‘opposing’ animals or branches of the Snake and the Horse may also be affected. The month of the Rat is also a water element sign and as such intensifies the Wood element. This is the last month, the last kick if you like, of strong wood element before we move into Earth element next month and year. Contrary to the last month where the Pig has a flowing impact into the Rabbit, this month, although the water of the Rat feeds the wood of the Rabbit, these two branches also have a tension between them by nature of the being at right angles, or 90 degrees to each other. It is also known as a ‘square’ relationship.

The dynamics of this form of astrology are more complex and their effects with meanings often nebulous and obscure. We could say we are challenged this month to honor deeper feelings, thoughts, and impulses and if appropriate, giving them healthy expression. However as the energy of the wood element is strong and in a challenging configuration with the water element, we may be challenged to do this in a responsible articulate way.

Another manifestation of the strong wood energy can be anger or frustration which of course is also heightened during the Christmas season. Rather than reacting or lashing out, it is wise to examine the deeper issues that may be giving rise to the frustration and tension and seeking to bring resolution to these matters. This clears and energizes the consciousness, which gives intuitive clarity for the direction ahead. Care and consciousness is required when negotiating an astrological relationship of this kind. As the water (Rat) feed the wood (Rabbit) these aspects also exist in a state of tension. Any tension or challenge that may be reflected by circumstances in our life, requires attention, and demand resolution of the inherent tension. Work is required to understand the nature of the challenge and appropriate response. It is not wise to act hastily with this kind of combination, or any of the other branch combinations in a square relationship, as impulsive, ill considered actions can sometimes, make things worse and often do. A measured considered response is demanded to successfully negotiate these dynamics.What the challenge may be will also depend upon what the elements personally relate to specifically as well as where they may be impacting in the chart.

The Rabbit and the Rat are sometimes called ‘Romance Flowers’, so close relationships are implicated. However the complexity and dynamics of relationships are called to be addressed at this time, going beyond what is sometimes superficially interpreted by this signal. There have been numerous examples all over the world of relationship and scandals this year, the most recent being the downfall of potential Republican nominee Herman Cain due to accusations of harassment and impropriety.

Often the Christmas period does bring to consciousness family issues that may have been swept under the carpet, avoided, repressed and / or denied. It is important to honor the impulses and if possible resolve the issues that are giving rise to any feelings of discontentWe only meet this dynamic twice in the 12 year Chinese zodiacal cycle, the other being of the Month of the Rabbit in the Year of the Rat, i.e.: March 2008. The same characters but in reverse configuration. Last month I made reference to the themes of the Age of 8 and the Year of the Dragon being reflected by the Global “Occupy” protests and the reasons and motivations underlying this particularly that corporations should have some form of social responsibility. Then I read in the paper* that Bill Gates in a speech to the worlds G20 summit stressed the need not to forget the worlds poor in their obsession with the euro – zone economy. He urged countries to maintain their level of aid and put forward a series of financial proposals and initiatives to be used for development programs. Seems the corporate greed and domination is not across the board and there may be many countries, corporations and organizations with relevant and necessary social initiatives. One of the ways through the challenges of the current era is a social and group cohesion. Coherency in small groups brings foundation and stability as there is increasing instability in complex chaotic system of connectedness and coherence of the larger group that we know as the western civilized world.

This energizes the field of consciousness which can then personal and social integrity are required*Kissane, Karen From the nerd centre, Gates class for global charity. The Age November 6, 2011. Another current planetary influence of note is the cycle of Mercury going ‘retrograde’. It is the planet associated with the Water element and is the ruling planet if you are a Water self element person. Mercury is associated with the mind, thinking, reasoning, discrimination, knowledge, the intellect, communication, short journeys. It also rules communications equipment such as mobile phones, postage, fax, internet, emails, keys and wallets, trade, travel, transport, taxis, and cars. It Rules the signs of Gemini and Virgo in western astrology.

There are times of year that the planet appears to be going backwards and these are called ‘retrograde’ periods. The planet is of course not going backward but its skyward motion appears so, due to the cycle of the earth around the Sun and its relativity to other planets as they orbit. Retrograde time periods are times to be more patient with ourselves, others and also any area that mercury rules as outlined. Delays, missed communications, misunderstandings, loss of key, computer malfunctions are typical of the way mercury retrograde may manifest. Others are lost letters, messages etc. It is wise to proceed cautiously at these times and accept delays if they occur. It is not wise to proceed quickly or try to force and outcome as the energy is going in reverse. This could cause more problems It is a time re – think, re-design projects or areas of our lives. Then we can identify areas that may not be working and release them. Anything with the prefix re- is worth implementing at this time. Re – define, re – work, re – consider, re – evaluate, re – examine, re- emerge, re – do, re – member (to pay bills), re- search, re- move, re- invent etc. These are all worthwhile strategies during this time.

Building projects may get delayed or held up in these time periods. The reaction from the consequent frustration can be to be impulsive or cut corners. But this can bring further difficulties as the energy is moving ”backwards” and the result may not be harmonious or even further difficulties or setbacks may occur. It is wise to consider these time periods in when doing Feng Shui consultations if there is design and building process involved. During a retrograde time period we may also hear from someone from our past we have not heard from for a whileThe cycle finishes on Dec 14, and then takes a little while to get moving forward again. There is an excellent article in the December edition of ‘Horoscope’ magazine which is worthy of consideration. It’s called “Outer Planet Transits and Life Transitions”, by Brian Clark. Although you may not be versed on western or planetary astrology the article covers how to understand and negotiate principle life transitions written by one of the most senior global astrologers. Chinese astrology calls our outer planet transits and significant Life transitions ‘10 year Luck Pillars’. The influence of the outer planets (these being Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto, often affect us most impactfully when we are going thru a Luck Pillar that is an unfavorable element, a clash or a penalty (or a combination or all of these). A series of years that are an unfavorable element will then amplify the impact of the Luck Pillar. An example of this where a series of years you may find either an unfavorable element or clash etc will occur at our ‘Saturn return years of approximately 28- 30 and the midlife years starting at about 35 thru to 44. They challenge us in numerous ways to grow and expand. Many of the themes are highlighted in Brian’s article. As you read the article you can substitute ‘Luck Pillar’ and / or ‘Series of years’ for “Outer Planet Transit”.

In my Chinese Astrology classes I have made reference where relevant to the theme of these planets to help illuminate the psychological understanding and personal unfoldment inherent in the challenge of negotiating a 10 year Luck Pillar, or series of challenging years. The outer planets (Chiron, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto), as with the inner planets of Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn, are also associated to one of the 5 elements and therefore our understanding of Four Pillars is enriched.  Chinese philosophical literature makes the elemental association to each planet, but interpretation and elaboration of the inherent themes is often brief or difficult to understandEven if you have not studied Chinese Astrology, or astrology of any kind for that matter people going thru major life transitions will tend to have generally difficult Feng Shui and / or difficult Flying Star charts. For example a water star 5 over the front door is a signal of a major challenge of personal centering and coherency in a significant way as the 5 is strong energy and challenges us to center, cohere and integrate in who we are, what we stand for what we want to do. The challenge of individuation. So we attract challenging circumstances into our lives (the 5) of which this is the underlying theme. Adhering to our own authority and having this centering process be the inner guidance, our compass if you will, to direct the way forward.

In reading of Brian’s article many of you may also relate to the themes of the outer planets, particularly Chiron. Chiron is the ‘healing’ archetype of the zodiac. If your Feng Shui and astrology work has this emphasis and orientation, which I know is true for many of you, then you will find this aspect particularly insightful, not only personally, but in work with clients as the Chironic theme is one of particular relevance to the Age of 8. Many clients often have health concerns, sometimes intense and / or critical. Understanding of healing at all levels is an advantage to support them in their journey. My own Feng Shui orientation and approach sees the source of illness being with the person. A building will reflect the person, not cause the problem.

External circumstances are a reflection of our lives, not the cause. Health is the domain of the creative universe, not the causal. Placing the source of problems outside of ourselves secularizes us and our place in the world. Caroline Cooper Markus, a noted architect, states ‘our external geography is a reflection of our internal geography’. An illuminating and inspiring quote coming from an architect. As an aside, Chiron is now in the spiritual sign of Pisces, encouraging deeper ‘spiritual’ approaches to healing.  This emphasizes one of the themes of the Year of the Dragon in the age of 8, the possibility of healing and spiritual development thru the deeper connection and engagement, particularly as we are asked to do this in our personal development. As we do it for ourselves, we are able to guide others. Its 2 sides of the same coin.

I will speak more about the relevance and possible meaning of this in newsletters next year.My must read holiday book is Stephen King’s  22.11.1963, which talks about the 60’s and the Kennedy assassination and its pivotal role this era played in shaping the world as we currently know it. The planetary activity during this time at the age of 5 and 6, the peak of the current 180 year cycle, is reaching its conclusion now. So study of the 60s has relevance for the understanding of the current era and the future. Similarly the current times are challenging us to change and transform in powerful, perhaps radical, innovative ways.

Many people have reported the intensity and challenge of this year and when we look forward to the planetary alignments and Year of the Dragon in the Age of 8, needless to say it looks like its going to get pretty hot in the kitchen. The Gods are starting to turn the heat up.

But more on that next year…………..

Upcoming courses Ill be running in 2012 include:

*The Journey of the Tarot

*An Introduction the Major Arcana, begins Sydney March 31 and April 1

*Chinese Medicine for Feng Shui and Chinese Astrology

*A dynamic new program integrating the philosophies of medicine into the Feng Shui and Astrology paradigms to deepen their understanding and practice | Presented in conjunction with Tyler Rowe | 7 week series begins Melbourne March 6

Please contact me for information about these courses.

In closing I wish you all a wonderful Christmas and holiday season. I hope you’ve enjoyed the newsletters this year and found them helpful and insightful in these times. The January newsletter will be out closer to the Chinese Lunar New Year on January 23, when I imagine we will be inundated with a plethora of predictions, forecasts and ‘musings’ on the upcoming year.

My best wishes

Vic

Australian Academy of Feng Shui, Chinese Astrology & I Ching Consultant Feng Shui | Four Pillars of Destiny Chinese Astrology

PO Box 191 Black Rock Vic 3193

03 9598 4987, 0408 554 987

www.australianacademyoffengshui.com.au

vicketis@comcen.com.au