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 3]
The Year of the Granary Rat
In this the second major section of his article, Malvin Artley continues his examination of the Chinese Year of the Rat in 2008.
Greetings, my Friends!
What in the world are we all doing – and what are we all doing in the world? It is a question I have asked myself many times, especially over the years of this decade. Given the fact we are beginning a new cycle – this is both a Rat Year and a “1” year in numerology – it seems entirely appropriate to ask the preceding question of myself and for all of us yet again, for so many of you have related to me that you feel a need for a fresh look at things or for life to be different somehow.
I recently attended a teaching session given by the local Rinpoche* here in Adelaide (I say that with all veneration, love and gratitude – the man is held in very high regard in the world of Buddhism) and he was speaking on the realization that we have but a short time in this blessed life we have been given, and that we should tend to our practice today as if we had little time left to live. Basically, he was giving teaching about the impermanence of life and the fact that we all-too-often blithely go about our business never giving any thought to the fact that our lives can be changed irrevocably or ended in an instant, rendering all of our fond plans as so many leaves in the wind. If that were to be the case and we knew that we could have done so much better at life spiritually, what shape, then, would our succeeding life/lives take if we had this brilliant opportunity and squandered it in pointless activity? Rinpoche's main point was that we should live now as if we were planning a trip, taking every care that when we reach our destination we would have a brilliant vacation (much better life the next time around).
Of course, I am 'westernizing' what Rinpoche said and he certainly put it more eloquently, but that was the gist of his message on that day. Kind of makes you sit up and think, you know? People talk a lot about 'living in the moment', but give little care to think that every isolated moment leads to a conclusion of some sort down the track, as it were. What merit is there in what I/we do in a day-to-day, moment-to-moment basis? That is the basic question, especially if we look at the whole idea of New Year's resolutions and taking a fresh look at life at the beginning of each year. Questioning our daily activities in that manner really brings one's thoughts to a fine point of focus and essentializes one's life very quickly. We want the best possible outcome at the end of our days here (and in every day, for that matter) for ourselves and for those whom we love, do we not?
All this is not to say that our lives should be strictly about work. Even Geshes need a break occasionally. However, the main game in life certainly does take a dramatic turn and emphasis when one directs one's thoughts to what we are really here to do and how we do it – hence, the reinstatement of my letters, from my perspective. Service, Dharma work, good deeds, mitzvah, acts of grace, courtesy and kindness, benevolence – labors of love – we have many names for meritorious acts in life. There is a special joy in service, and it tends to gather a lot of momentum the more we engage in it. Our acts of kindness and service in life always draw the attention of Those who would aid us in the work. Count on it, for there is great solace and refuge in that kind attention.
Appropriate and Auspicious
It seems appropriate and auspicious that I should re-institute my regular letters to you at the start of the lunar New Year, and in a Rat Year on top of that since the Rat begins the cycles in 4 Pillars Chinese astrology. It has been a while since my last regular letter and a lot has happened with me in the intervening period. I have made some good progress on the reason I took my sabbatical (the book), but in the larger scheme of things I think we can all see that the past months have seen a lot of changes on the world stage, too –
- a new government in Australia
- the bursting of the housing bubble in the US with the whole sub-prime mortgage lending debacle
- general financial instability on the world markets (begun by the 'China Correction' stock crash at the beginning of the Year of the Pig)
- the re-emergence of Russia as a super power after a period of relative quiescence
- the resignation of Tony Blair
- the fires in Greece
- the crisis in Burma
- Bhutto's return and subsequent assassination in Pakistan
- the writer's guild strike in the US
- and the reunion of Led Zeppelin (on a lighter note).
The world and many people's personal lives (thank you for those of you who have shared your stories with me) are still quite unsettled and the world stage will be that way for a while yet, especially over the next few years. All in all, life ticks along, though, and experience is opening us to greater possibilities and the 'coherent plan in the universe' gradually unfolds in its own time and in its own way (Thank you, Sir Fred Hoyle). Because of all that is going on – and there is quite a bit which will be revealed as the body of this letter unfolds – we will not be able to go into detailed explanations of various factors right now. I will give more detail in later letters as the need arises. Hopefully, however, what is set forth here will be clear enough to give you an overview of what is happening for those of you who are not astrologers. Aside from that, it is good to be back with you.
Secret Motives Unmasked
From the story in Part One about the Yellow Rat, we see that one of the main themes to be taken to heart this year is that there can very well be some sudden and complete changes in life (for the next two years, really) Note that the bold maroon-colored text in the story and the associated chart information outlines the key points for the year. There are good reasons to expect many changes this year, aside from the Chinese astrology and the instability in the world at large.
In that vein, there are several key points in addition to the Chinese astrology that need to be addressed and enlarged upon in this letter because those point to factors that will condition the whole of the year, astrologically considered. The first of these is that the year begins on an eclipse – a total, North Node solar eclipse on the 18th degree of Aquarius, the symbol for which reads: “A man's secret motives are being publicly unmasked.” We will get to the meaning of all that in due course.
Pluto and the Eclipse
The other matter to be addressed is the fact that Pluto is now hovering around an Aries Point (the first degree of Cardinal signs – Capricorn in this instance) and will be activating that point for the whole of this year. Every time we have the activation of an Aries point by any of the outer planets (Saturn/Uranus/Neptune/Pluto), the field is ripe for big changes to occur on the world stage, especially if an eclipse has taken place on an Aries point in the few years preceding the contact. Well, guess what? We had such an eclipse at 0 Libra (an Aries point) in September 2006. Now, normally planetary activations of eclipse points need to occur with either a conjunction or opposition of the transiting planet to the point in order to bring forth the full energy of the eclipse. We do not have a full-blown activation of the 2006 eclipse with Pluto, but since Pluto hovers around the square to that point the Mars trigger on 18 Aug 2008 could potentially bring some fireworks with it. Let us address the Feb 7 eclipse and Pluto, then, and we will see that the Western astrology does very much affirm what is given in the Chinese astrology for this lunar year.
Beginning with the eclipse, there are actually two to be considered here – the one that inaugurates this year and the Sept 2006 eclipse mentioned previously. The dynamics of the Feb 7 eclipse figure are of no great note except for a stellium including the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Neptune and Chiron. This eclipse will bring a lot of healing and insight along with it, as well as a fair amount of initial confusion and possible upheaval. However, as was stated, it is a North Node total eclipse, hence it is a particularly strong one (5 out of 5 on the rating scale) . This one might rock your world if you have a planet or angle on or opposite 18 Aquarius. Other than that, the only activating planets are largely Mars and Jupiter, so this eclipse has more of a one-off emphasis. There will be an activation of it by Mars on the 10th of June this year, so we will see what that brings aside form the eclipse event itself. Really, to get the most from an eclipse, in a manner of speaking, you cannot go past a good outer planet activation. Without that sort of activation the eclipse energy is big at the time, especially if it is the significator of an event – as it is with the New Year – but past that its effects wane rather quickly and it never really gets “completed” by the outer planet. Since this one is a powerful eclipse, as we have seen, it will condition the whole of this year as a result. Mercury is the lord of the eclipse and it has particular significance for the US (Moon), UK (Venus), China (Pluto), Israel (Saturn), Iran (ASC), Iraq (ASC) and North Korea (Pluto). It is classed as a 10 North Saros series eclipse, which means that communications are a major emphasis for the year and that disquieting events can come into a person's life via media or a young person. There is the likelihood that people can feel drained throughout the year off and on due to psychic causes as well.
Insecurity in the US
For the US, the eclipse will affect the populace, mainland security, security issues in general and highlight governmental problems, especially with Pluto on the Aries point in the eclipse figure and since the eclipse falls on the US Moon. I see a lot of insecurity in the US this year. People are going to really have to take a close look at their basic needs and exactly what it is that helps them to feel secure and looked after. I do not see a huge financial collapse this year. The bigger ones will come in a couple of years or so. The economy will certainly be slower, however, and the general sense around the place will be one of uneasiness. The elections will be particularly interesting, and I think you will find that by the time of the elections people will be after stability – not change. I would look for a Republican to be elected if that is the case.
It would not surprise me in the least to see a moderate Republican in the oval office next year, so – looking at the trends and the undercurrent of the public emotion – that is my current thinking on the outcome of the election in the US. For those readers who would dearly love to see one of the Democratic candidates get the nod, sorry, but I have to call things like I see them. Unless something happens that completely puts the public off the Republican party, which is possible and which would be similar to what we had in Australia in our elections last year, and unless the candidate can stand for stability and security – of which the Republicans had a better track record pre-Bush – do not look for idealism to win the day in the US elections. 2008 will be a year in which some of the stark realities of people's lives will hit home, not just in the US, but world-wide.
Financial Developments in the UK
Venus activations (UK) by eclipses tend toward events that center around the financial sector, banking, entertainment and the fashion/cosmetics industry. I would look for a financial 'event' in the UK this year, although there could be some brilliant developments in film and media. Eclipses always portend change, and with a North Node eclipse the change is usually about a new impulse of some sort rather than an ending. Such eclipses tend to bring people together somehow, although the event surrounding the coming together can seem rather tumultuous at the time.
Pluto activations (China/North Korea) tend toward events involving the underworld, atomic energy, reforms, riots, crimes, mining, renewal, shows of strength and force and purges. These two countries – China and North Korea – are the wild cards in this eclipse picture. The whole scenario with North Korea has been very tense in recent years. Perhaps China will indicate the way for North Korea to reform itself and become a more meaningful member of the world community. Perhaps we will see major reforms of the mining industry in both countries. China has certainly had its share of mining disasters in recent times. Then there are the Olympics in Beijing.
So much can happen, and a lot of what does happen will depend upon financial pressures this year and in the years to come. The world is so volatile at the moment that we really cannot second-guess an outcome about anything. I will leave that more to the psychics. Israel's basic structures and ways of doing things will be changed somehow this year. That is another country where I see deep insecurities arising this year. It need not be so, but change has been needed in that area of the world for a long time.
In part four of this article, Malvin Artley concludes his discussion of the Chinese New Year of the Granary Rat 2008.
Read part four of The Chinese New Year, the Year of the Granary Rat