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Thriving Through the Rest of the Earth Ox Year

Time sure flies, even in this plodding Earth Ox year! We're already almost in the last quarter of this Chinese Solar Year and initial plans are already afoot to welcome the upcoming Metal Tiger year from the perspective of astrology and changing Feng Shui energies. The Earth Ox year has certainly been a challenging and confusing year for many. Alas, the reality is that we still need to face the remainder of the next four months; so let's revisit some key reminders (mostly based on simple 5 element deductions) on how we can make the best of the next 4 months or so.

The Earth Ox year is best visualized by a pile of cold, stacking earth. Hardly a picture of growth, rosy health or clarity in thought! The excess of the earth element is difficult for most of us in terms of BaZi; even those whose favourable element is earth have likely found this a challenging year. The year has brought with it the danger of disease, natural disasters and slow growth in the world economy. While most of us can't really expect to achieve successful fruition of our endeavours this year, nonetheless we should think long term. This is a good year to start new endeavours and initiate new ideas and goals. The earth allows us to "germinate" and "seed" new projects and take a new direction in life.

However, as plants take time to grow, we should also guard against having too high expectations of quick success and achievement. In fact, if you haven't already discovered by now, longer term visions, goals and plans work much better this year than endeavours that thrive on rapid turnover and quick results-this is a good way to work with the earth element. Also, any endeavour that involves the wood element such as teaching, designing, agriculture- most of anything that involves growth and creativity-- will thrive. A dose of creativity in any endeavour will ease any blockage or obstacle that we encounter.

As fire energy is outwardly weak this year, using the qualities of fire will also help. The fire element will warm-up the cold earth, making it slightly easier to manage. So, we should stay passionate and joyful. Look for and do things that make you happy. Stay happy! As the Ox (being a graveyard animal sign) also makes us more contemplative and inward, this provides a great opportunity to explore spirituality, or perhaps even religion (since these belong to the fire element). Invest in self-cultivation and study. Look for ways to improve your life and its current circumstances, to the extent of maybe even taking a new direction if such a time has arrived!

The excess earth not only makes us contemplative but also blurs communication while causing excessive stress and worry. This is especially so with charts that already have an excess of metal and water. In addition, those with excess earth will also feel pressured and misunderstood; even to the extent of being paranoid and suspicious. As one key benefit of understanding astrology is taking stock of what is happening internally, those afflicted with such excess earth should always look at the brighter side of things and acknowledge that most of one's fear, suspicion and negative thinking this year can be mostly or perhaps even entirely baseless. As the Earth Ox is hardly conducive for clear communication, it is better to be open, clear and forthright when communicating since the chance for miscommunication is already so high.

Lastly, we need to be continuously mindful of health as the Ox has brought increased health risks and higher mortality rates. We should observe good personal hygiene, take precaution of health risks (such as H1N1), eat healthy, and also get adequate exercise and sleep. To stay psychologically healthy, we also need to be physically healthy!

Toh Kong Eu
MA Cosultant

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