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2016: Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey
The Year for Expressing Yourself Clearly

Chinese Year of the Monkey

Go Forward Click for how the Year of the Monkey affects you!

Welcome to the Chinese New Year for 2016. This New Year begins in February on Monday 8th on the second Aquarian New Moon of 2016 – this new Moon is the beginning of the traditional lunar Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year is a festival that always begins two New Moons after Winter Solstice, with the Sun and Moon in Aquarius. This year begins a new zodiac animal cycle, the year of the outgoing and tricky Fire Monkey. Chinese tradition employs both Solar and Lunar calendars and for the Solar calendar the year begins on the 4th of February but New Moon day of the 8th of February begins all the major cultural Lunar New Year celebrations.

2015 was Year of the Wood Goat, a full on year ruled by the Sheep/Goat energies. The possibilities of conflict were all there with clashing elements of Wood and Earth. I said last year that "Discord will continue in the international scene. There will be strong attempts to reduce conflicts this year. But conflict in the Middle East may continue, with the potential for clashes to escalate into another type of Gulf War." Certainly the Middle East turned into an even bigger problem with the rise of ISIS and the takeovers of sections of both Syria and Iraq by the armed militias of the ISIS groups seizing US equipment when the Iraqi armies fled before them, giving ISIS a huge firepower advantage.

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Please bear in mind that the Chinese year begins in February

The combination of elements this year is of Fire on top with the Monkey (Metal element) below. Fire and Metal clash so according to the Chinese cycle of birth and destruction Fire melts and conquers Metal and they are therefore in a difficult cycle. Normally that conflict means disharmony so there will be international conflict. However, they may not be as bad with Yang Fire sitting on Monkey, this a symbol of the setting Sun and Metal represents the west direction. It's the end of a cycle of older conflicts and the chance for something new later in the next dawn. Conflicts will be more easily resolved with compromises coming after sunset.

Go to Top The Monkey's Qualities and Mythology

The Monkey is considered by some sections of Chinese astrology to be both Yin and Yang. The Monkey God found in both Chinese and Indian mythology lives a life span of several thousand years. In the first 800 years he is found to be not always so benevolent, but as he ages he becomes charming and helpful. There are many expressions concerning monkeys: Sharp as a Monkey and Crafty as a Monkey are two. He is crafty, agile, clownish, an animal that surprises and baffles or tricks us. Monkeys in the monkey forests of Asia are not to be trusted as they, while looking attractive and innocent, will suddenly reach out and snatch your bag or wallet as many a dismayed tourist in Asia has found out.

Leaping from branch to branch, the monkey symbolises the world of consciousness and the mind. Indeed there is a meditation method that helps to control the perpetually roving expressions of the mind and emotions. Controlling the "monkey mind" is the teaching of many meditation masters.

The Chinese story of the Monkey and how he came to be king is a lengthy one. Monkey was a rock from the beginning of the world and as he first absorbed the rays of the Sun and Moon he grew and grew until he swelled and burst, giving birth to a stone egg. The egg split and from it emerged a living stone monkey. He had all the five senses and learnt to travel; thus he travelled to the mountains where he fed on the fruit of trees and drank water until he climbed to the mountain tops where he met other monkeys and became good friends with them. One very hot day during a trip to the centre of the forests, accompanied by other monkeys and gibbons, they discovered a pure, sparkling, deep stream. They decided to jump in to find the source. All of them agreed that whoever found the source would be proclaimed king. Stone Monkey dived in first and went all the way to the bottom. There he found the source, which was a palace of flowers and fruits and a land of happiness. Monkey hurried back to tell the others and they immediately proclaimed him the king. All the monkeys plunged into the water to live in the beautiful palace. Stone Monkey declared himself king of all and took over the palace's throne. Even though he then had everything, he began suffering from anxiety and depression. He had learned of old age and death, which had not previously troubled Stone Monkey. He decided to leave his riches and go in search of fulfillment and immortality. On that search, little by little, his body and mind changed until he ended up transforming into a human. He then understood himself and the world much more clearly, transcending his former anxieties and difficulties.

In India the Monkey god is called Hanuman. Hanuman is one of the most celebrated and worshipped figures in Indian religion, but mention him outside of India and you are likely to be met with a blank stare. Who is Hanuman? As is the case for many of the Indian gods, different stories are told explaining his birth. In one interpretation, the god Shiva and his consort Parvati decide to transform themselves into monkeys and indulge in amorous games in the forest. As a result, Parvati became pregnant. Shiva, conscious of his responsibilities and desiring to conform to the laws of nature, directed the wind god Vayu to carry the offspring from Parvati's womb to that of Anjana – one with the form of a monkey who had prayed to be granted a boy child. In another version of the story, Hanuman is the offspring of Anjana and Vayu. And in another version, he is the son of the King and Queen of the Monkeys. Because of his bravery, perseverance, strength and devotion, Hanuman is regarded as a perfect symbol of selflessness and loyalty. He helps individuals to counter the bad karma of selfish action, and grants the believer fortitude and strength in his or her own trials during life's journey. He is also invoked in fights against sorcery; protective amulets depicting him are extremely popular among Hanuman devotees.

This story on Monkey wouldn't be complete without mention of Monkey Magic, the Chinese/BBC TV series (first shown on ABC TV in 1981). Monkey is described in the theme song as being "born from an egg on a mountain top", a stone egg, and so he is a stone monkey. He is a skilled fighter who becomes the brash king of a monkey tribe and, as the song says, was "the funkiest monkey that ever popped". He achieved a little enlightenment, and proclaimed himself "Great Sage, Equal of Heaven". After demanding the gift of a magical staff from a powerful Dragon king (and to quiet the din of his rough antics on Earth), Monkey is approached by Heaven to join their host, first in the lowly position of Master of the Stable (manure disposal), and then as "Keeper of the Peach Garden of Immortality".

Monkey ate many of the peaches. which took millennia to ripen. He managed to become immortal and ran amok. Having earned the ire of Heaven and being beaten in a challenge by a cloud-dwelling Buddha, Monkey is imprisoned for 500 years under a mountain in order to learn patience. Eventually Monkey is released by the monk Tripitaka, who has been tasked by the Boddhisatva Guanyin to undertake a pilgrimage from China to India to fetch the holy scriptures. Monkey is now considered a cult classic in countries where it's been shown. Among the features contributing to its appeal are the theme song and the memorable battles, which for many Western youngsters were their first exposure to Chinese-style fantasy action sequences.

Note that the monkey in Chinese stories uses the wind to fly and the god Hanuman is the protector of people and is the brave and strong perseverer. This gives us some clues to the qualities needed to handle events in 2016.

Go to Top The Monkey Born and Their Qualities

The Monkey (years: 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016) is intelligent, clear-sighted and very keen of mind. He is very able, being gifted in many areas of life. Monkeys like movement, ideas and the discussion of new things. They detest feeling excluded or ignored by others, and this can shake their self-confidence. They like socialising and are a wow at parties. They have a natural ability for expressing themselves in clear, precise language. And they are remarkably adaptable, showing a fresh, young, enthusiastic side as well.

There are, according to some researchers of Chinese astrology, differences in the descriptions of individuals born in the Monkey year and the actual character of Monkey as described in Chinese studies. Sometimes, given the variations in the trickster quality of the monkey character, it's not surprising. Monkeys are jokers, actors and manipulators of ideas, but they don't always conform to the idea of the bad character side of Monkeys. It's considered that, of all the 12 signs, Monkeys are able to get the best out of the world. What we see in Monkeys is they share a brand of vivacity, fantasy and honour that is different – and they can change from a joyful, playful type into a serious and haughty type in a matter of minutes, confusing those who thought they knew that person.

The Monkey is a generous person and also wants to be chivalrous. He takes great care of others and is tactful and adroit. He is often too rational, which can place him in a difficult position with friends.

Monkeys adore children and are known as the eternally young zodiac sign. In fact it's often said that the monkey is both a child and an old man at the same time. Young monkey children are intelligent and often gifted, so educating them is not hard. To keep him or her involved in family, you must above all interest him. He needs dialogue and surprises. Best professions are as politicians, diplomats, writers, storytellers, salesmen, actors, orators, or as thieves.

Go to Top Falling in Love With a Monkey

Monkey people are known to behave with great charm and kindness and, as they love to please, seem wonderful to a new partner. In love they throw themselves into the new love with intensity. They are easily carried away, and can seduce you with the flick of a wrist. However, they love the temptations and the conquest. When they do settle, which is not easy, they like a lively social life and are surrounded by friends. But often they are also alone in their friendships, as their intelligence is too sharp and their minds too rational to stay with enthusiasm and commitment. They are quick to sense in their loved ones a change of heart or the slightest slackening of interest, and this makes them withdraw and even sometimes just run away. A monkey can love the other person and yet subject them to a reign of criticisms about perceived faults. A disaster area for the partner. Monkey people often marry young, because of a need for passion and a lack of clear-sightedness when too young.

Go to Top Celebrity Monkeys
Famous people born in the Year of the Mpnkey:
  • Business and Religious: Pope John Paul II, Nelson Rockefeller, Howard Cosell, Susan Wojcicki.
  • Politicians and Campaigners: Captain James Cook, Lord Chamberlain, Lyndon B. Johnson, Julius Caesar, Harry Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Queen Sirkit of Thailand, Salvador Allende, Anita Hill, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Timothy McVeigh.
  • Entertainers and Film Celebrities: Hugh Jackman, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Federico Fellini, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, George Lucas, Danny De Vito, James Stewart, Jacques Tati, MacAuley Culkin, François Truffaut, Elizabeth Taylor, Omar Sharif, Anouk Aimee, Peter O’Toole, Louis Malle, Will Smith, Naomi Watts, Gillian Anderson (X-Files), Cuba Gooding Jnr, Lucy Lui, Daniel Craig, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jerry Hall, Carrie Fisher, David Copperfield, Bo Derek, Patricia Arquette, Brendan Fraser.
  • Musicians: Celine Dion, Joey Yung, Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Julio Iglesias, Gustav Mahler, Charlie Parker, Ravi Shankar, Isaac Stern, Little Richard, Kylie Minogue, Lisa Marie Presley.
  • Writers and Artists: Bertrand Russell, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, Amadeo Modigliani, Jack London, El Greco, Anton Chekov, Leonardo Da Vinci, Paul Gauguin, John Milton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Simone de Beauvoir, Aubrey Beardsley, Sylvia Plath, Arthur Hailey, Rebekah Brooks.
  • Cowgirls: Annie Oakley.
Go to Top What is the Monkey Year all about? The Elements of the Year

The Monkey is a strong Metal element and hidden inside is Yang Metal, Yang Water and Yang Earth. Yang Metal is a destructive element, representing a sword like weapon. Yang Water is powerful ocean water with strong energies. It indicates clashes related to the ocean, or conflicts at sea. The tension around the disputed territories in the South China Sea may well escalate. With Yang Fire sitting on top of Metal there are problems. in Feng Shui, Fire melts Metal and so they are on the destructive cycle and have a fighting relationship. Normally such conflict means disharmony. In particular, Yang Fire symbolises the straightforward, quick-tempered person ready to explode. So there will be international conflicts and clashes.

The last time we had a Fire Monkey year was 1956, which saw the outbreak of the Suez crisis with Egypt nationalising the Canal. This lead to the bombing of Egypt by Britain and France, and an Israeli invasion of Sinai in October, 1956. There were also revolts against the Soviet Union in Hungry and Poland, both brutally suppressed. The Soviets declared martial law in Hungary and made mass arrests. In Hong Kong came the nationalist riots of October. Pakistan became an Islamic republic. Japan was admitted to the UN. At the 20th Soviet Communist Party Conference, Khrushchev denounced the Stalinist era and policies. Fidel Castro landed in Cuba with a revolutionary force aimed at overthrowing the Batista government. The world's first commercial nuclear power plant opened in England in October, 1956. Martin Luther King emerged as the leader of the campaign for desegregation in the Civil Rights movement in the US. Prince Rainier of Monaco married Grace Kelly, the US film star. The Olympic Games were held in Melbourne. It was also the year of the first CND march in Britain (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). And the Sydney Opera House design by Jorn Utzon was revealed.

And as Yang Fire symbolises the Sun, it also generates optimism and happiness, so it was a very good entertainment year. 1956 saw success for Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Doris Day. Elvis Presley recorded Heartbreak Hotel making him a star. Popular songs that year were Blue Suede Shoes (if these lyrics were not influenced by the Monkey year then I'll eat my blue suede hat), Hound Dog, I Could Have Danced All Night, On The Street Where You Live and The Poor People of Paris. Marilyn Monroe changed her name from Norma Jean to Marilyn Monroe, and Doris Day recorded her famous song Que Sera Sera. Rock and Roll came into vogue that year.

Films released in 1956The Seventh Seal by Ingmar Bergman, The Man With the Golden Arm by Otto Preminger, Around the World In Eighty Days by Mike Todd, War and Peace, by King Vidor, The King and I, The Ten Commandments and Lust For Life.

In the area of science, the Neutrino (an atomic particle with no charge) was produced at Los Almos Laboratory, and the Antineutrino discovered by four other scientists. The Bell Telephone Company began the development of visual telephones and the Transatlantic telephone cable service was inaugurated.

Go to Top Positive and Negative Qualities

There are both positive and negative qualities of the Monkey Year 2016, which indicate a year where anything can happen. There's not too much point in storing up material goods or food, or planning your life too far ahead. The Monkey influence puts everything into a state of flux. Things will be accomplished, but largely through personal or individual efforts. Group movements, such as revolutions, will not make as much of a mark during this year. This tricky Monkey animal bursts with exuberance, and brings a lightening-fast pace and fantastic motivation to people. Fire is hot air and this element is related to birds, aeroplanes and flying objects, so 2016 would be the Flying Monkey year, and this is manifest as drone technology. Expect drones to be everywhere. The year increases communication, humour and wit, helping us get through stressful times with ease. Business will flourish, as long as you take new directions. The Monkey's gift is the ability to find unconventional solutions to old problems. Daring to be different can lead you to success.

Go to Top What's Your Health Issue In 2016?

In Chinese metaphysics, Yang Fire represents the Sun, the heart and blood circulation. Hence a Fire year is likely to bring sickness of the heart and the blood, and inflammation problems. Metal in the human body is related to the lungs and breathing. With Fire attacking Metal there is increased likelihood of flu outbreaks and any other issues to do breathing or skin problems.

Monkey health issues: Circulatory and heart troubles, prone to diabetes, arthritis, anxiety and panic issues, obsessive-compulsive disorders, antisocial personality disorders, bipolar disorders, narcissistic personality disorders. In the last 3 years we have experienced Fire and Earth years. Fire is blood circulation, carbohydrates, energy and sugars. Earth is stomach and muscles thus these years made people gain weight more easily. With the arrival of the Metal element its a good chance to remove the excessive weight. So it's a good year for the exercise, diet and weight-watch industries.

Go to Top Which Way The Economy?

The Fire and Metal elements of 2016 are expected to bring prosperity to industries related to these elements. The Metal element is a symbol of money to the Fire industry, which is about energy, entertainment, the stock markets and finance. The second best industries in 2016 are Water ones. Water industries include transport, communications and shipping. Earth industries can also benefit as Earth produces Metal. These are property, construction, hi-tech industries and mining. Metal industries are banking, engineering, and computers. Competition is very strong this year and the Monkey brings many competitors onto the scene. Because Fire melts Metal, watch over the issue of currency; we may see many significant changes in international currency or the value of certain world currencies. So the industries that perform well in the Monkey year will be those related to Fire and Water elements.

Generally the Yang Fire Monkey year (Fire on top and Metal below) is symbol of optimism, flexibility and progress. There is still conflict and disharmony in international relationships and it won't be a peaceful year but people are more optimistic, open-minded, confident and definitely innovative this year. The opportunities for new inventions and developments in new technologies are very good in this Monkey year. The Year of the Monkeyis a good year to break free and take calculated risks as there is nothing more powerful or rewarding than following your heart's desire. The energies will support these changes. Natural disasters such as fires, explosions, nuclear issues and wind events like tornados and hurricanes will still be prevalent. These will affect the economies of some countries.

Go Forward Click here to read how the Year of the Monkey affects you!

Yin Yang Richard Giles is a Feng Shui practitioner and astrologer who is available in Australia for consultations on your home and business. He has been involved in astrology for more than two decades and writes for several Australian magazines. He is also the director of the Earth Healing School of Queensland, running practitioner courses in Earth Healing and Geomancy. Click to contact Richard Giles.


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2016 Year of the Monkey: part 1 | part 2 | FengShui Your House | Chinese Zodiac | Feng ShuiYour Year Ahead

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This page was last modified on Saturday, 13 February 2016