On February 5, we leave the Earth Dog and enter the 2019 year of the Earth Pig, closing a major 60-year cycle in the Chinese calendar — it takes 60 years to roll through every animal sign and element in both yin and yang aspects. 2019 brings us Ji Hai, the Yin Earth Pig. The last Ji (yin earth) Hai (pig) was 1959, so those born in that year are celebrating their 60th birthdays.
Characteristics of the altruistic Pig are optimism, gentleness, kindness, and honesty. The Chinese believe that the barnyard pig’s temperament is much like humans, as pigs enjoy listening to music, and are highly intelligent. Zodiac Pigs also enjoy luxury, comfort, and good food.
Ten Heavenly Stems, Twelve Earthly Branches
Ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches, in combination with the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, determine the qualities of a given year. The heavenly stems are derived from the elements of the Chinese quinary, or five-element system. Each element has a “yin” and “yang” aspect — passive and active — that make up the ten heavenly stems. For example, yin water (gui water) is represented by gentle rain, clouds, mist, dew, fog, and small streams and rivulets. Yang water (ren water) is lakes, oceans, and rivers. Yang water is in continual motion. The 12 animals are the earthly branches.
In 2019, the yin earth element (think of nurturing garden soil — gentle, maternal, supportive) combines with the pig or boar, associated with water; yin earth over water. While earth over water would normally be conflicted, the yin aspect of earth softens the relationship, bringing more harmony. That said, this is still an unstable combination (earth over water), so harmony is tenuous and delicate. The Pig’s water below can break through the flimsy yin earth above.
Some experts believe that the combination of fragile, yin earth over water could bring earthquakes, landslides, flooding — even sinkholes. The last time this heavenly stem (yin earth) and earthly branch (pig) met was 1959, when an historic earthquake (7.2) in Yellowstone Park permanently altered the regional landscape. A 7.9 earthquake in Kamchatka, Russia devastated that region, and the Malpasset Dam in Southern France collapsed. Taiwan and New Zealand had major 7.2 and 7.3 quakes. Chinese astrologers would suggest keeping your seatbelts fastened if you live in earthquake-prone zones.
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Bulls, Bears and Pigs
According to expert Raymond Lo, the fire element is absent in 2019, and it is fire that drives economic prosperity and public enthusiasm. From 2013 to 2017, fire played a prominent role, bullishly driving stock markets, investment growth, and optimism. 2018, the last year of the fire trend, was a yang Earth Dog year (wu xing), ominously called “the grave of fire.” Perhaps “birth of the bear” would be a less foreboding handle.
The 2019 yin earth smothers any surviving fire, and the watery pig will finish it off. Chinese astrology experts will likely recommend investment in industries based on wood, which loves water (pig) and nourishing yin earth. Wood is the mother of the missing fire element, so theoretically, wood and earth-based industries would be auspicious choices, although this is not intended as, nor is a substitute for, professional investment advice.
Wood industries are classified as educational businesses, publishing, carpentry, botany, the floral industry, timber, furniture, anything related to paper, textiles, health care products and medicine, wood furniture, gardening, office supplies, fashion, media and books, agriculture — just in time for recently legalized hemp products containing CBD, a.k.a. cannabidiol.
Earth-based industries include real estate, architecture, building materials, supplies, and construction, antiques, renovation, warehouses and storage, stone quarrying and mining to name a few.
2019 Tai Sui — The Grand Duke Jupiter
One model of Chinese astrology and feng shui, called “Flying Stars,” is a system of different “stars” changing position in the lo shu grid each year on Chinese New Year. There are several stars, but significantly, it is the Tai Sui, also called the “Grand Duke Jupiter,” that is of highest significance.
In essence, each year’s Tai Sui is the star opposite the planet Jupiter — the ancient wisdom-holders who developed the Flying Star system implemented 12-year cycles based on Jupiter’s orbit of the sun.
Sixty celestial generals each take a turn in the 60-year cycle; in 2019 the Tai Sui is Xie Tai, an historic Ming Dynasty general known for his integrity and honesty.
Loyalty, integrity, and truthfulness are 2019 themes, and paying extra attention to these virtues pleases the general.
Each year Tai Sui moves to a new compass point — in 2019, Tai Sui’s direction is northwest. Flying Star experts advise to avoid sitting facing the northwest (Tai Sui sees this as confrontational) and to place the head of the bed in any other direction besides northwest.
It’s also recommended to avoid beginning new construction, renovation, and landscaping in the northwest. A Flying Star astrologer would even advise against driving a nail into a northwestern wall to avoid offending the Duke. Keeping the northwest sectors of home and office tidy, and adding healthy, green plants, encourages peace with the Tai Sui.
The animal signs impacted most by the 2019 Tai Sui, according to the Flying Star model, are Pig (as Pig is facing Tai Sui — the case for every yearly animal), Monkey and Snake. These animal signs are advised to avoid disputes and rash actions. Remedies include wearing red agate, hanging a metal wind chime (indoors) in the northwest, or placing a laughing buddha statue in the area. Favored signs are Tiger, Rabbit and Goat or Sheep.
Another remedy is to wear or carry a tiger charm — this helps appease Tai Sui, as it is General Xie Tai’s favorite animal. Those who observe feng shui principles will be placing a special Tai Sui plaque in the northwest. 2019’s lucky colors are red, orange, yellow, and white.