Year of Pig signals conflicts before new world order: soothsayers

Friday, February 16, 2007

This article ws posted on 15 February 2007 1815 hrs at Asia Pacific News.

HONG KONG : The world can expect a roller coaster ride of conflict and unrest, natural disasters and a plunge in global stock markets once the Year of the Pig begins, Chinese soothsayers say.

As the world says farewell to the Year of the Dog on Sunday, believers in Chinese superstitions have been busy consulting fortune tellers, feng shui geomancers and a wealth of new books for the year's fortunes.

Chinese fortunes are based on a belief that events are dictated by the different balances in the elements that make up the earth -- gold, wood, water, fire and earth.

Feng shui expert Raymond Lo said that according to ancient Chinese belief, the Year of the Pig is symbolised by two elements -- fire sitting on top of water.

"Fire sitting on water is a symbol of conflict and skirmish, and this may bring a relatively less peaceful year with more international conflicts and struggles," he said.

Lo said the last time such an arrangement appeared was in 2002, the year that followed the September 11 terrorist attacks.

"It is anticipated that there will be more international conflicts and disharmony, which will even lead to regional warfare, uprising and unrest, or the overthrow of governments in certain countries," he said.

The elemental arrangement for 2007, with fire standing on top, could represent openness, optimism and warmth, but it can also bring fire disasters and huge explosions, Lo said.

The Chinese calendar moves in 60-year cycles, meaning the world will experience in the new year events similar to those that took place in 1947.

In that turbulent year, the Cold War began in earnest when then US president Truman declared his anti-communist doctrine and the Soviet Union rejected a US plan for atomic weapons control, sparking the nuclear arms race.

That year saw the same elemental arrangement with yin fire dominant in the Year of the Pig.

"So it will not be surprising that there will be more gun battles, murder with guns, bombing attacks in the year 2007," Lo added.

-- World faces unrest and disharmony but all ends well --

The lunar calendar is based on the cycles of the moon and associates each of the 12 years forming a partial cycle with an animal. The pig is the last in the zodiac sequence that begins with the rat, followed by the ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster and dog.

Fortune-tellers base their predictions on the relationship between the zodiac animals and the characteristics of each animal year.

They also take into account the changing balance over the years in the five spiritual elements that Chinese philosophy believes form the core of the universe -- gold, wood, water, fire and earth.

Feng shui expert Lee Sing-tong predicts serious conflict in the Middle East this coming year.

"Religious wars will turn intense. There will be large-scale warfare or explosions," said Lee, a third-generation feng shui master.

He also expects serious diplomatic conflicts in the East, for instance between China and Japan, and says the problem will be most acute until May 5.

Fortune teller Alion Yeo, who predicted nuclear testing in North Korea last year, said there is a chance that the power of Pyongyang's leader, Kim Jong-il, will weaken.

"This will most likely happen between June and July. I can see their leader is in bad luck during the period. This means something will be changed: someone might replace him or he might fall ill," Yeo said.

"There might be a chance that he would leave his position or hand over his duty to someone else," he added.

The Year of the Pig will largely be a smooth one for the United States, although Yeo predicts an interest rate hike in the third quarter and a big accident between June and July.

"It could be a big fire or an explosion. It would be something that draws the world's attention and causes the stock market to fall," he said, adding however that the market would quickly recover.

Yeo also predicts a strong earthquake, at least 7.0 on the Richter scale, in a Japanese city between March and April. But the number of wounded would be limited by the earthquake resistance of the country's architecture.

Although Yeo anticipates global unrest, he expects a mediator will come in to balance the tense situation between conflicting countries.

"I don't think it will be that bad this year. Although there will be a lot of unrest and disharmony, problems will be solved in the end," he said.

Lo agreed. The pig belongs to the water element and is the birth month of wood. The pig symbolises the germination of plants and when new life is born.

"The pig year can bring a new beginning of international relationships and social orders, this could bring new regimes with new governments in some countries," he said.

And Lee predicts the birth of someone of national importance to China.

He said this person will be born on June 30 between 5.00-6.59 am Hong Kong time (21.00-22.59 GMT) somewhere in the east or south of the country.

"This date of birth is very rare. It only happens once every 60 years. It is very difficult to see such a good fate," he said.

Lee said he did not publish this prediction in his latest feng shui book for fear of inciting mothers to plan their pregnancies to occur at that time.

"I don't want to ruin the natural order. I don't want someone planning their pregnancy artificially. Heaven might not allow it," he said.

"But this child would be a prodigy, very intelligent and talented. This person would have the quality to become China's leader or a prime minister," he added.

- AFP/ir

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