Thu, Feb 19, 2015 - Page 12 News List

Soothsayers see a turbulent year ahead

Fortune-tellers predict that the Year of the Sheep will be a time of rapid change and upheaval, and that Tsai Ing-wen had better be careful as the presidential elections approach

By Ho Yi  /  Staff reporter

Illustration: Tania Chou

As the clock struck midnight yesterday, the galloping Horse gave way to the restless Sheep, marking the start of the Lunar New Year. While the Sheep — or as some prefer to call it, the Goat or Ram — is a zodiac sign known for its nurturing qualities, soothsayers in Taiwan predict that it will be a time of rapid change, with little room for indecision. We should also expect conflict around the globe, political upheaval, unstable global markets and natural disasters.

The sheep occupies the eighth position in the Chinese zodiac, which is based on a 12-year cycle. Each year is represented by a different animal sign and people born in those years are thought to have certain characteristics akin to that animal. Sheep are thought to be kind, caring, introverted and sensitive. Gotohoroscope.com lauds them as nurturers because they are said to have a talent for understanding the feelings of others and enjoy taking care of those around them.

Fortune-tellers in Taiwan, however, see this year being more restless than tranquil. Astrologer Tao Wen (陶文) believes that the Year of the Sheep will be marked by much turbulence. The best way for individuals to face this year’s challenges is to plan ahead, be prepared and better oneself by learning.

Discretion must also be exercised in order to avoid conflict.

Chang Sheng-shu (張盛舒), a fortune-teller, says that the coming year will bring opportunity and change. More attention will be directed towards addressing existing problems and those who are willing to take advice and work as a team are more likely to succeed, he says.

According to the Chinese zodiac, each animal sign is believed to affect different people in different ways. People born during the Year of the Sheep should exercise caution. Though this is their year, obstacles are expected to lie ahead. While it might seem like nothing good is coming your way, it is a time to consolidate and empower yourself for a brighter future.

SOME GOOD SIGNS, BUT MOSTLY BAD

Other zodiac signs that need to be more watchful this year are the Ox, Dog and Rat. The practice of pacifying the god Taisui (太歲) is recommended in order to avoid the worst of the bad fortune.

On the other hand, for Roosters and Monkeys, this is an auspicious year in terms of finances. Good fortune also awaits Pigs, Horses and Rabbits.

Tao predicts that as an adverse star comes into a leading position, the world will experience a period of political turmoil and social upheaval. Extreme weather will become the norm and droughts will occur across the globe.

Echoing Tao’s divination, fengshui consultant Tsai Shang-chi (蔡上機) foresees continued tension between China and its neighbors. Trouble will also flare up in Northeast Asia, particularly between North and South Korea, as well as in Russia, and militarism might be making a comeback in Japan.

Zooming in on Taiwan, the overall outlook doesn’t look too promising either. According to Tao, an omen indicating corruption is seen in the nation’s fortune, suggesting deep-rooted problems that will only worsen if left unsolved. On the bright side, reforms are likely to occur from the bottom up.

Tsai believes it is a year of crisis for the nation’s political leaders, who will be even less popular than they were last year. The implementation of policies will be difficult, while ministers are likely to resign, and cabinet reshuffles might be the order of the day. No surprise there.

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