With such a disastrous 2020, many are hoping that the “ox would turn the heavens and earth” (牛轉乾坤, a pun on a Chinese idiom signifying a reversal of fortunes used as a Lunar New Year of the Ox greeting). According to Taiwan’s soothsayers, however, don’t bank on it.
The 2021 Good Luck Bible (2021開運聖經) predicts another calamitous year for the world, full of natural and human disasters ranging from bad harvests to political crises and surging unemployment. Meanwhile, the prognosticator Wisdom Tsai (蔡上機) foretells large-scale international scandals, increased bullying by stronger countries and a continued shift toward authoritarianism. Major financial emergencies may be in store, while COVID-19 will mutate even further and devastate humanity.
If that’s not depressing enough, Tsai writes that even the pandemic refuge of Taiwan may no longer keep the virus at bay, which may take on a new form and attack the heart, liver, brain or nervous system.
Illustration: Tania Chou
“It might feel as if there’s nowhere safe to hide in the world,” he writes.
According to Tsai, those born in the Year of the Rat, Dragon and Horse may take solace in the fact they fall in the top three, respectively, in overall fortune and will still be able to enjoy abundant personal gains and happiness. These lists usually vary by fortune teller, but Yu Yang (雨揚) also has Rats and Horses in her top three, along with Roosters. Hsieh Yuan-chin (謝沅瑾) points to Rats born in 1996, who will meet a benefactor that will take them far in life.
Now for the bad news: According to Tsai’s list, Sheep are the unluckiest, followed by Pigs and Rabbits. Alas, Yu agrees about the Sheep, while Hsieh says Sheep born in 1955 should be especially careful.
Of course, all three diviners provide tips to improve one’s fortunes, otherwise these books wouldn’t be so immensely popular — the Good Luck Bible is already sold out on several major online bookstores.
Hsieh’s tips pertain to all zodiac signs and involve placing objects in certain directions in one’s house. For career and love opportunities, he suggests leaving a rose quartz in the south of your home, while those who want to be promoted should place a metal statue of a rearing horse, its hooves facing the entrance.
Those looking for romance can obtain a red thread from a Yueh Lao (月老, Old Man Under the Moon) temple, and put it in the northeast corner. Also, they should keep the south side of their house tidy (no garbage bins or junk). But don’t overdo it. Excessive spotlessness will completely cleanse one’s love life and cause nothing to happen, Hsieh warns.
Back to the poor Sheep: Tsai says they must be extremely vigilant as one small misstep could lead to a major catastrophe. They are prone to be bad mouthed, set up, falsely accused of something or dragged into other people’s problems. Keep a low profile, refrain from being too competitive and stay out of people’s business, Tsai writes. If you’ve done anything illegal or made anyone upset, it might come back to haunt you.
“Do not ignore any minor problems, no matter how insignificant they may seem,” Tsai writes. “You need to take action immediately.”
Yu echoes Tsai in that everything will become quite unpredictable for Sheep. They won’t receive much support at work, will be scolded by their superiors and will lose clients. Yu warns Sheep against using retail therapy to deal with the situation, since there will be money problems, too.
Sheep should also regularly communicate their woes and misfortunes to their romantic partners, otherwise things may go south in that department as well. Attending weddings, celebrations, parties and religious ceremonies may also lessen the bad luck.
Those born in the year of the pig, who place 11th and 10th on Tsai and Yu’s lists, will suffer from serious indecisiveness, leading to missed opportunities. Tsai writes that they will be prone to overcomplicating situations and also have difficulty executing their plans. On top of that, they will be easily misled, swindled or talked into risky behavior — from fraud to loansharking, kidnapping and even murder.
Tsai writes that it is best to keep the plans for this year as simple as possible, and enlist the help or advice of others in any endeavor.
Yu writes that Pigs should watch out for the health and well-being of their family members, and also be extra careful while walking on the street. They should be thrifty this year as there might be unexpected expenses such as car accidents or medical bills, and also watch their drinking and their driving, as well as mixing the two.
The silver lining is that both Yu and Tsai predict a decent year in love for Pigs despite their other woes.
Ultimately, on a personal level an individual’s luck over the next year will depend largely on their mindset and stress management, Yu says.
“Those on the bottom of the list need not despair … Although Chinese zodiac fortune telling is well-founded, there are many other factors that can affect your luck. As long as you remain confident and summon the universe’s positive energy, I believe that everyone can turn calamities into blessings.”
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