Say goodbye to the Tiger; it’s time to hop into the Year of the Rabbit.
For many people, Lunar New Year, which falls on January 22 this year, is a time to consult the stars to find out what lies ahead in the coming months.
Most people know the basics: The 12-year Chinese zodiac calendar cycle is represented by 12 different animals – the Chinese zodiac signs. Your zodiac animal is determined by your year of birth.
But that’s only the start. For faithful followers of the system, a year isn’t just categorized by its animal. There’s also a complex sexagenary cycle made up of 10 heavenly stems and 12 earthly branches.
Every year, a heavenly stem (one of five elements, which fall into the yin or yang category) is paired with an earthly branch (one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals).
Gui Mao is the 40th element of the Chinese sexagenary cycle – the Heavenly Stem “Gui” represents water, whereas the earthly branch “Mao” represents Rabbit. That makes 2023 the Year of the Water Rabbit.
“Gui Mao Rabbit Year is quite a special year – when all the elements in a year are yin,” says Thierry Chow, a Hong Kong-based geomancy consultant known for blending traditional Chinese geomancy with modern design elements.
“It’s also uncommon to have the combination of water and rabbit. The rabbit represents wood. Water nurtures wood (according to Chinese geomancy).”
She says industries with wood as their main element – like culture, publishing, agriculture and furniture – would benefit. Fire industries, on the other hand, including digital and technology businesses, may suffer as fire is afraid of Water.
“The Year of Water Rabbit is going to be a gentler year. We’ll have time to take a breather. We’ve been in the tunnel for the last few years, and the light is getting bigger now,” says Chow.
Followers believe that for each Chinese zodiac sign, luck will depend largely on the positions of the Tai Sui – the stellar deities thought to rotate parallel to and in the opposite direction of Jupiter.
To calculate how each person will be affected in a particular year, a Chinese geomancy consultant will look at one’s birth chart, which is composed of a wide range of elements – such as the day and time of their birth – to see how they may interact with the year’s elements.
These combinations play an important role for those who follow them, helping them make huge life decisions for the year ahead, such as whether they should get married or start a business.
Different geomancy masters may interpret the data differently. Still, there is a general consensus on what the year means for each zodiac animal based on the positions of the stars, especially Tai Sui.
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If your zodiac sign clashes with Tai Sui – aka the Grand Duke of Jupiter – in a particular year, the experts say you might find yourself dealing with disruptions.
For those who may be in conflict with Tai Sui this year, Chow says they should remember the calendar is a rotating cycle.
“It’s like playing musical chairs – whoever sits in the spot gets Tai Sui. You’ll change your position next round,” says Chow, whose zodiac sign will also be in an unfavorable position with Tai Sui this year.
To resolve clashes, one could go to a Chinese temple and make offerings to representations of Tai Sui.
“Even if you don’t believe in it 100%, I feel like it gives you a nice kickstart to the year psychologically,” says Chow. “When things happen along the way, you’ll remember you did that, and it will give you a little cushion.”
Now, it’s time to get specific.
To determine what the Year of the Rabbit could mean for you, find your year of birth and the corresponding animal in the above gallery before reading Chow’s predictions below.
People born in the Year of the Rabbit will be facing their “Ben Ming Nian” – their own zodiac year – in 2023. Followers believe there will be more disruptions and instabilities in the year to come as a result.
“People born in the Rabbit year have to expect big changes health-wise, career-wise and relationship-wise. It could be a bit nerve-wracking, especially for those whose birth charts don’t favor Water,” says Chow.
“But do remember it never is all bad. It may mean an opportunity to grow.”
Rabbits should try to attract positive energy and join happy events when possible.
They should also travel to destinations to their south – doesn’t matter if these southern destinations are within their city or outside their country – says Chow.
It’s set to be a pretty good year for Dragons out there. No unlucky stars are affecting their year.
“There are no outstanding concerns, except maybe health for those born in the summer and autumn. They could easily feel stressed,” says Chow.
But the geomancy expert urges Dragons not to make rash decisions at work.
“It doesn’t mean overthinking. Just let things sit longer before you make a decision,” says Chow.
Single Dragons could meet potential romantic partners this year. Their lucky colors are metallic, such as gold or silver.
As for traveling, head west for better fortunes, says Chow.
People born in Snake years will enjoy good news and abundance as the travel star, Yi Ma Xing, and the fortune star, Cai Xing, will reign over them this year.
“Opportunities, new directions and advancements will come to you at work,” says Chow. “But Snakes need to find balance in life and take a break when needed.”
Romantically, Snakes may find love while out traveling this year. Chow advises them to wear blue or gold and travel to the west or north.
“This year, Horses will have the Peach Blossom Star (Taohua Xing) shining over them. That’s always good news,” says Chow.
Professionally, they’ll find new opportunities and meet a lot of guardians who will assist them.
They’ll enjoy good relationships. She says this might be the right year for those wanting to get engaged or married.
But Chow issues one reminder for Horses: Pay attention to their family’s physical and mental health.
“They can wear colorful clothes like pink, orange and a bit of yellow. In terms of traveling, they can head to their south,” says Chow.
This year, Goats will greet Tai Sui.
It’s generally a positive influence on their luck, but at the same time, it could also mean that the year will be exhausting too. That’s why Goats need to care for themselves and rest when needed.
“Save some time to get to know yourself better. Career-wise, you need to stay humble and keep a low profile. Observe more. Opportunities will present themselves at the right moment,” says Chow.
On the relationship front, people born in Goat years will enjoy a smooth year.
“They’re more likely to meet new people, new friends, and even new loves this year,” says Chow, adding that a bit of gold and a visit to the west could add to their luck.
Good news for Monkeys: they will be in harmonious union with Tai Sui this year.
Chow says they will be showered with admiration from those around them at work.
But that doesn’t mean they should live recklessly. Instead, the geomancer says, “they should play safe this year, especially those who love extreme sports.”
In terms of relationships, they are prone to arguments and drama, which could be avoided by improving communication this year.
Yellow and beige are the color palette for Monkeys in 2023, and they could look towards the west for travel inspiration, says Chow.
Roosters need to brace themselves – they will be clashing with Tai Sui this year, meaning the coming months could be unstable and present plenty of changes.
Advice from Chow: Embrace the chaos and travel more.
“Muster as much positive energy as you could and be more aware that you may be easier to attract conflicts this year,” she says. “But understand that these changes are for the better.”
To alleviate the blow, they could wear more yellow and brown and visit places in the west or north.
Being in union with Tai Sui, people born under the sign of the Dog will likely enjoy a pleasant year with significant advancements in career and finance.
But Dogs must remind themselves to be humble and listen to others, especially friends and people they trust, says Chow. They’ll tell you important things that will greatly benefit you this year.
“Their lucky colors are silver and blue, and their lucky place is to their north,” says Chow.
Pigs will be greeting Tai Sui, meaning it should generally be a positive year.
But, on the flip side, greeting Tai Sui could also affect one’s health because of the extra workload.
“You have to balance your work and play time equally,” Chow says.
People born during Pig years may enjoy professional success if they are willing to focus on teamwork.
“Relationship-wise, it’ll be a very good year for you. You will meet new friends and potential new love,” says Chow.
To enhance fortune, Pigs could wear pink and purple more often and plan a trip to the south, she adds.
People born in the years of the Rat will be in conflicts with Tai Sui, also known as Xing (torturing) Tai Sui, next year.
“Generally, it means a tougher year,” says Chow. “But when there is yin, there is always yang, too. So remember, it never really is all bad.”
Rats should be more cautious about health and work. They could be prone to minor injuries and miscommunication this year.
Chow urges them to wear cheerful colors – like pink and orange – and visit warmer places.
Oxen will enjoy an exciting year with the travel star and fortune star shining over them.
“They will find new opportunities and their finances will reach a new level. They’ll probably travel more for work and personal reasons. But since they’re traveling and working more, they need to be aware of their health,” says Chow.
Those who are single and looking for love may have some good luck this year.
Meanwhile, when choosing a travel destination, they could journey to the north, says Chow.
For those born in Tiger years, their “Ben Ming Nian” is over.
“That means, whatever tough times and instabilities they’re experiencing, it’s going to get better soon,” says Chow. “But patience is key because changes won’t be immediate.”
Tigers, especially those born in spring and summer, should take time to recover in the first half of the year and only make big decisions in the second half of the year, she says.
They should take things slowly in relationships and “save themselves some me-time.”
Wearing yellow, blue and brown could cheer them up. They could also travel to their north and west, concludes Chow.