Malvin Artley has been a practising astrologer for more than 10 years. He is an
accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers.
His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His
special interests are the human subtle energy system and all
the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all
aspects of Chinese occultism. He has done extensive work with Chinese
astrology and the cycles they use and seeks to synthesize the great
Western and Oriental systems on such matters.
Malvin lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He also works in the engineering trades and sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.
Chinese New Year 2008 [part 2]
The Year of the Granary Rat
Malvin Artley continues his examination of the Chinese Year of the Rat in 2008. This year is the beginning of a new zodiac cycle. Malvin outlines the nature of the Rat in Chinese Astrology and draws out the examples of Rat years in the past, showing how they apply to this one.
Kung Hey Fat Choi, Everyone!
(May prosperity be with you)
It is good to be back with you again. As you have seen, this is a multi-part article. In this part we will have a look strictly at the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Yellow (Granary, or Earth) Rat. In Parts Three and Four we need to look at several factors from the Western astrological side for the New Year, because those factors support what the key words from the Chinese astrology tell us. There is more than the usual happening astrologically at the inception of this year. As I think we will see, 2008 is going to be an important year in many ways. It will be a year full of change, reversals, power plays, learning to save for a rainy day (those rainy days will be ending in the latter part of this year for Australia – sorry, folks), and learning about who our true friends really are. The story, though a long one, is from the book I am in the process of writing (the reason I took my sabbatical), so I left it in its entirety. For the time being, at least, I will keep my correspondence to you to the full moon letters, which I am reinstating in a week or so. It is a year of beginnings, but often with a twist, folks. So, with that, let the Year of the Granary Rat begin!
The Rat in Chinese astrology always begins a cycle in their Four Pillars astrology. The first of the twelve animals, it was said to have tricked its way into being named as the animal to begin the cycle of the Great Year (the 12-year Jupiter cycle). The story goes (to be very brief):
So the story goes. There are many variations of this story, of course.
Rat Years, as with all the zodiac animals, occur every twelve years, beginning in 1900 (for those of you who want to see if you were born in a Rat Year), so 1936 is a Rat Year, for instance.
- The Rat's season is Winter,
- its direction is North,
- its ruling planet is Jupiter,
- its lucky gemstone is the carbuncle,
- it rules the eleventh Hsiu (lunar mansion, or constellation) – the Void –
- and it belongs to the Northern Celestial Quadrant, called the Black Tortoise.
The 11th Hsiu is associated with the Sun or Neptune and Sunday, which is considered inauspicious.
From The Imperial Astrologer *, we have the following synopses on the Rat:
“RAT: (From the 12 Animals section) The Rat represents charm, adaptability, creativity and inventiveness. Rats are quick witted, bright and sociable-ostentatious. They can also be irritable and upwardly mobile. A crafty and opportunistic character who will use friends before eventually losing or dropping them, Rats are erratic in financial matters. They are bright and gregarious, with a love of gossip. They can be nasty when riled. Especially good with detailed and complex calculations, they have a remarkable command of abstract notions. The Rat represents Commencement, the beginning of cycles, with a 1st House connotation in Western astrological terms.”
In addition to the 'standard' interpretations of the Rat, we also have to consider the larger mythology of the Rat:
“RAT: (From the 28 Animals of the Lunar Mansions section) All of the interpretations from the Twelve Animals section apply here as well. Rat meat is said to be a cure for baldness. Rats are said to be able to divine a person's luck for the whole year and predict happenings 1000 miles away. It is a Yin animal [notionally] and it is an emblem of timidity and meanness, though also of sharp intelligence. It is one of the Five Feared Household Animals, and was said to be able to bring on insanity. It is inauspicious in astrology. The Rat is said to bring disturbed sleep and debauchery. It is an indicator, too, of writers and historians.”
I think historians are going to have a good time with 2008 when all is said and done. As you will see in the second part of this article (on line tomorrow), much of what is said about the Rat above holds true both in the Western astrology and in what tends to happen every time a Rat Year comes around. Since we are talking about the Earth Rat here, let's have a look at what happened the last time we had a Year of the Granary Rat – 1948 – to gain some perspective.
1948 was a huge year, historically. The World Wars were finally finished and a new, colder version was just starting. Much of the world was undergoing reconstruction after suffering the decimation of WWII. About a week before the lunar New Year started, Gandhi was assassinated and the year started with much of the world in mourning his death, not to mention trying to put a World War behind us. In addition, and to name but a few events, we had the Chinese Revolution (Tibet was invaded the year after), the establishment of Israel as a country, the Marshall Plan, the communist takeover of Czechoslovakia, the establishment of the International Court of Justice, the partitioning of Korea, the partitioning of Berlin, the Stalinist purges of the Jews in Russia, the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Irish independence, the international war crimes tribunals, Dewey defeats Truman (we all know what really happened), Hell's Angels was founded, the first Project Blue Book (a year after the Roswell event), the establishment of Echelon (electronic surveillance), the transistor was invented, the first television broadcasts took place, two-year community colleges were established in the US (trades schools) and Marilyn Monroe was proclaimed “Artichoke Queen” in Salinas, California. Aside from a couple of points, 1948 was a year of beginnings that changed the face of the world in the most profound ways, from the tiniest (transistor) to the large (Marshall Plan and Communist takeovers).
Even 60 years before that, in the 1888 Year of the Granary Rat, there were some inventions and events that changed the world in many ways. We saw the patenting of Coca Cola, the first electric automobile, the development of the pneumatic tire, slavery was abolished in Brazil, the Department of Labor was established in the US, Eastman Kodak was founded, electrocution was first used as capital punishment, the Fraternal Order of Moose was established, shorthand was developed, we had the first beauty contest, the first contact lenses and The Secret Doctrine by H.P. Blavatsky was published. Let's not forget the first ball-point pens, either.
Earth Rat years seem to have a capacity for life-changing events and brilliant application of the soul's wisdom. Such years can also bring about some of the worst and most separative instincts in people, too. The two most recent Granary Rat years set the stage for major dispensations of spiritual teachings to the West, primarily, and to the world at large, secondarily. The publishing of The Secret Doctrine introduced esoteric Buddhism to the West and really introduced the seeds for the New Age movement decades later. The communist takeover of China in 1948 and the subsequent invasion of Tibet in 1949 saw the spread of Tibetan Buddhism throughout the world in the decades to follow. It has been a horror to the Tibetan people, to be sure, but the blessing to the rest of the world in having the Tibetans in our midst has been immense. Earth as an Element is about karma. It is the Saturn Element in Chinese astrology. Earth as an Element sets things in place and also brings them to closure. It is also one of the more meditative of the Elements, tending toward circumspection. 2008 will be a year of many closures and commencements, all under Law and with great opportunities for those who can recognize and seize them. How many people would have seen the possibilities inherent in the lowly transistor, for example, or how it would change world culture in the years to come? Were it not for that little invention, you probably would not be receiving these letters.
So, with all this information in mind, what do I see for 2008? Earth and Fire will dominate the first half of the year. There is thus a decided emphasis on finishing up, finding one's inspiration and moving on to greener pastures. Speaking of greener pastures, the rain will tend to dry up and stay that way for the next couple of years, in Australia at least, starting in the second half of the year. Earth is fairly strong all year. It will be weakest in the 7th month. Earth 'controls' Water in Chinese astrology. Next year is an Earth Year as well, so water concerns will come to the fore. Are you listening, ministers? Water types (especially in the Day Pillar**) will be more stressed this year. They had more control in the past two years. Now the tide has turned and events will conspire to moderate things. It is time for Water types to look within and not so much out in the world. The types that will do well over the next couple years are Wood (Earth is Wood's 'Money Element') and Metal (Earth 'feeds' Metal). Fire types might feel drained this year, especially, but they can bring some good work to fruit if they apply themselves.
Government will change in the US (more on that in Part Two). The Neocon agenda will fade into the background. Don't take that as a good sign. It will simply be working where few people will see it. Such a scenario is typical of Rat Years. Security issues, especially monetary ones, will have to be strongly examined. Saturn (Earth) rules restriction and security. We already see what is happening with the financial wobbles in the world, especially in the US. Earth, of course, governs mining. Australian industry should boom in the mining sector. The forestry sector and the Green Movement can both highly benefit over the next couple of years as well. The most productive part of the year will be the second half. Count on the first six months of 2008 being a time of readjustment and moving on. After that we can all get on with business. 2008 is what is called a 'double blind' year, meaning that the start of Spring (Li Chun) does not take place in that particular year. It is an inauspicious indication and points to stuck energies and issues, an inability to see one's way clear and lessened potential (Spring is about growth and rebirth). That is, of course, a collective indication. Individuals can take full advantage of the year if their own makeup, astrologically speaking, fits in well with the Year's dynamics. Look for bright lights in the populace to appear. Crisis draws out the Soul in people, and Earth as an Element has a way of bringing about events that conspire to do just that (introduce crisis). Remember the old saying: “Necessity is the mother of invention.” In addition, the tendency is for people to have to pay the price for their 'sins' in Earth Years.
I will keep things brief here because there is so much to cover, but I wanted to take a brief look back as well as forward and see how we fared last year. I compiled the specific forecasts I made for last year. A lot of it was quite general, but of the specific forecasts, I had the following for 2007:
- The Howard government may well be in for a big battle this time around come time for elections.
- National governments will have to answer more to the people than they have in the past.
- Governments in the world are going to have to make some big concessions this year if they want to keep the populace happy.
(They didn't and paid the price)
- It will be a wetter year.
(It has been in Oz)
- Weather patterns will be more moderate
(Well, they moderated, whether or not they were more moderate)
The preceding points were relative to the world. The following apply more to personal matters, and you can gauge your own experiences last year against them.
- Last year (Dog) was like a huge mirroring effect in that life constantly seemed to hold us to account for ourselves and our respective pasts, not that we necessarily saw it that way. Many people felt victimized to a greater or lesser extent. This year will see a reversal of that, even though there will still be issues around the past to tidy up.
- Beware of hidden perils if one is to leave a pre-existing situation
The preceding is not to see how I did as a forecaster, but to show that Chinese astrology works and can work quite well in a given situation. To get even more specific about the year to come, we will have to cover that in the next part of this article. See you all there.
6 Feb 2008
In the next section of this article, Malvin Artley continues his exploration of the Granary Rat 2008, with particular emphasis on the Western and Esoteric factors at work.
Read part three of The Chinese New Year, the Year of the Granary Rat
- Wealth without work.
- Pleasure without conscience.
- Knowledge without character.
- Commerce without morality.
- Science without humanity.
- Worship without sacrifice.
- Politics without principle.