The new moon on January 27, 2017 (in the United States, which will be January 28th in many parts of the world) marks the beginning of a new year under the Oriental lunar calendar. As you probably know, each year is symbolized by one of twelve animals and each of those animal years cycles through affinities to the five elements – fire, earth, metal, water and wood. This will be the Year of the Fire Rooster (or Fire Chicken, as it is called in Vietnam), which occurs every 60 years.
For the past several years, I have posted predictions for what may occur in the world during the upcoming year. Rather than claiming to be any more (or less) psychic than you are, my approach has been to assume that the traditional cycles are valid. Then, by looking at what occurred in previous Rooster years, we should be able to extrapolate forecasts for the coming year. The posts of previous predictions are available for review, and most have been quite accurate. If you would like to check what was prognosticated for 2016’s Year of the Monkey, you may do so by clicking here.
This year I am taking a slightly different approach and dividing the prognostications into two parts. This first part is intended to be general, and look at matters in different areas of the world, which is pretty much the format I have used in the past. The second part will focus on the political situation in the United States since it seems that will have a major influence on what occurs this year and for many years to come.
First, let me say that this Oriental system of astrology is not really intended to make detailed predictions based on years. The system is actually much more complicated and there is an animal-element rulership of each hour and each month, in addition to that of the year. When looking only at the year, as we are doing here, one can imagine a pervasive annual vibration that interacts with the vibration that each person acquired from the year of his or her birth. When those two vibrations come together, the resulting wave forms may be considered positive, negative or neutral. Still, they only set the underlying tone. It is the actions of each person that ultimately lead to a good or bad result for the year.
In this year of the Fire Rooster, the underlying tones for the various signs are:
Rat – This is a good year when the native will not be greatly affected by what is happening to others.
Ox or Buffalo – This will be a year of surprises, but the results should generally be good.
Tiger – This could be a difficult year, though the native should be able to turn to good friends for help.
Cat or Rabbit – The native will find much that happens this year to be ridiculous and will not be very happy.
Dragon – This should be a good year for material and career gains, though there could be nagging health problems.
Snake – Snake natives may find that this is a year of ups and downs, with a generally neutral result.
Horse – This should be a time when things generally go well and important lessons can be learned from the times that are less positive. The Horse native should watch for health issues.
Sheep or Goat – Being lucky in love but unlucky in everything else seems to be what is in store for these natives.
Monkey – Even though it is a Monkey year that is just ending, it has been a difficult one for many of these natives. The Rooster year should be better.
Rooster – This is their year, but it will be a tough one for many. Much hard work will be necessary to generate positive results.
Dog – This may be a very difficult year for these natives, especially with respect to matters of health. Note that Donald Trump was born in the Year of the Dog and his health is discussed in Part 2 of these predictions. Generally, Dog natives should try to keep a low profile in a Rooster year,
Pig – For those born in the Year of the Pig, this should be a generally good year with some hard times along the way.
Now, let us review what has occurred in previous Rooster years. I was planning to begin the review with the last Year of the Fire Rooster, which was 1957, but the prior Rooster year, 1945, was an eventful one, so we will start there.
In 1945 we saw the death of Franklin Roosevelt and the succession of Harry Truman to the presidency; the end of World War II, following the detonation of two atomic bombs over Japan; and the fact that a B-25 bomber struck the Empire State Building in New York City. With respect to wars ending, it is interesting to note that in yet another Rooster year, 1921, the U. S. Congress declared the end to World War I – two years after the Treaty of Versailles, which the U. S. did not sign. German dictator Adolph Hitler, who had become Chancellor during the previous Rooster year (1933) took his own life in 1945 as Allied troops advanced on Berlin.
The most recent Year of the Fire Rooster came in 1957. That was the beginning of President Eisenhower’s second term. It was the time of the Cold War and the beginning of the Space Race. Congress approved the “Eisenhower Doctrine” which provided that countries in the Middle East could request American economic or military assistance if they were threatened by Communist forces. The Soviet Union launched the first artificial satellite, Sputnik. The first attempt of the United States to launch a satellite failed when the Vanguard Rocket exploded on its launchpad. Both the United States and the Soviet Union successfully tested intercontinental ballistic missiles, though the U. S. announced a two year moratorium on nuclear testing. That moratorium was probably a good idea because it was not a good year for nuclear safety – in July there was a partial core meltdown at a reactor in Simi Valley, California; in September a contamination incident occurred at a Soviet nuclear fuel reprocessing plant; and in October a fire at the British atomic bomb project destroyed the core and released some radiation into the environment. The Civil Rights Commission was established, and race relations were spotlighted when federal troops were sent to Little Rock, Arkansas to enforce the segregation of Central High School. A fire in a Missouri nursing home killed 72 people, and more than 400 died as a hurricane demolished the town of Cameron, Louisiana. In Europe, the Common Market was established. In Latin America, a military dictatorship ended in Venezuela, just as the reign of Haiti’s dictator, “Papa Doc” Duvalier, began.
The next Rooster year was 1969, which was also eventful. The Vietnam War was raging in Southeast Asia, and was bringing greater divisiveness to the United States. The burgeoning counterculture made its presence known in major music festivals like Woodstock and Altamont. The even younger generation was treated to the first broadcasts of Sesame Street. Russia was in the spotlight as it ratified the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, along with the United States and many other countries, and there were border clashes between Soviet and Chinese troops. In Libya, Muammar Gaddafi led a coup that deposed the king and established an Islamic republic. In the U. S., cigarette advertisements were banned on radio and television and the use of DDT was banned in residential areas.
In the Rooster year of 1981, attention was focused on the Middle East. Israel annexed the Golan Heights, Iran released the American Embassy hostages it had been holding and Egypt’s President Sadat was assassinated. Pope John Paul II was wounded by a gunman in Rome, but he survived. Ronald Reagan began his first term as President of the United States, and he was also wounded by a gunman in an incident that left his press secretary, Jim Brady, paralyzed for life. Sandra Day O’Connor was chosen as the first female justice on the Supreme Court. Technology was emphasized as MTV began to broadcast, the game Pacman was extremely popular and the first MS-DOS computers were manufactured.
The next Rooster year was 1993, a year in which a great deal of activity was undertaken to try to end divisiveness. In Europe, the European Union was created, in North America the NAFTA trade agreement was signed and Israel reached an accord with the Palestinians. South Africa adopted a constitution providing for majority rule. An exception was China, which unilaterally broke the nuclear test ban moratorium. Jim Brady, who was injured in the Reagan assassination attempt mentioned above, had since that time been working to get legislation for background checks and some restrictions on the sale of firearms, and now, 12 years later, the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act became law. In Waco, Texas, a religious sect known as the Branch Davidians were suspected of violating weapons laws and they resisted an attempt by law enforcement officers to serve search and arrest warrants. That led to a nearly two month long siege and standoff that ended with an attack that left 76 people dead. In Russia, a dispute between the Parliament and President Boris Yeltsin became a constitutional crisis and there was intense street fighting involving the military, leaving hundreds, or perhaps thousands, dead and wounded. In the United States, Ruth Bader Ginsburg was appointed to the Supreme Court.
The most recent Rooster year was 2005, another year in which steps were taken toward peace and unity. In Ireland, the IRA ended its decades long campaign of violence, and a bloody civil war ended in Sudan. The Palestinian Authority held an election and elected Mahmoud Abbar as its leader, while Israel began evacuating settlers from from the Gaza Strip. The peace process in the Middle East was stymied, though, when former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri was assassinated, which led to several weeks of protests. The European Union suffered a setback and abandoned plans to ratify a proposed constitution that had been rejected by voters in France and the Netherlands. In Iran, newly elected President Ahmadineijad openly pursued that country’s nuclear ambitions. In London, terrorist bombings killed 52 people and injured some 700 others. Pope John Paul II, who had been attacked in an earlier Rooster year, passed away and Pope Benedict XVI was chosen. Justice O’Connor, who had been appointed in an earlier Rooster year retired, and was replaced by Samuel Alito. The most devastating natural disaster was a major earthquake in Kashmir that killed more than 80,000 people and left more than 4 million homeless.
It is, of course, impractical to make predictions for the whole world. It is sort of fun, though, to try to pick out some of the areas that may seem important in the coming year. First, let us look at what may be the best news, which is that Rooster years tend to be a time when wars end. The Middle East is the place where the most visible armed conflicts are happening, so it seems that those hostilities will diminish and the influence of ISIS will be diminished. Nevertheless, there will probably be continuing, and some new, civil wars throughout the region. The situation should improve in Syria, in particular. The focus may then shift to the Israeli-Palestinian problems, and there should be some meaningful movement to resolve them.
Nuclear energy could be a serious problem in the coming year, possibly because of an earthquake or fire damaging a nuclear facility or because of a rash action by North Korea. This may also be the year when it becomes more obvious that the North Korea’s nuclear program is causing health problems for its citizens.
Speaking of health problems, we might expect a virulent strain of bird flu in a Rooster year. Such an epidemic would likely begin on the Korean peninsula or in eastern China and rapidly spread throughout the northern hemisphere.
China‘s economy should continue to improve, with growth of perhaps 8% this year. Taiwan will also have a good economy, though it will be somewhat constrained by political uncertainties. Disputes concerning sovereignty and control of the South China Sea will continue, though they may be attenuated by the Philippines acceding to many of the Chinese claims.
The economy of India may suffer as droughts hit several parts of the country, and there could be a major earthquake in the northern part of the country, or perhaps in Pakistan or Nepal.
The future of the European Union will be a major concern this year. The EU was formed in a Rooster year (1993) and its proposed constitution was rejected in another (2005). Now, nationalist movements among its members threaten to further weaken the union – especially if Britain moves forward aggressively with its “Brexit” plans. Refugees from North Africa and the Middle East will continue to be a problem for Europe, even if the conflicts in the Middle East ease during the year. Many countries will greatly reduce the number of refugees that will be accepted. Financial problems in Spain and Portugal will also be of concern.
Russia will play a prominent role in international affairs during the coming year. Vladimir Putin will remain in power and do all he can – which is more than we like to think – to extend Russian influence. Russia could play an important role in reducing the armed conflict in the Middle East. While neighbors like Ukraine and even the EU have reason to be concerned, others will not feel so threatened. One boost to the Russian economy may be greatly increased tourism from China.
This coming year will be the final year that Raúl Castro will serve as president of Cuba. The reforms he has begun will continue and his successors will establish closer relations with the United States.
Many things occurring in the United States will affect lives around the world, and those are considered in Part 2 of these predictions.
Since we are entering the Year of the Fire Rooster, we may expect natural disasters stemming from fire, wind and water. While some areas of the world will experience severe drought, others will have to deal with flooding. The United States should have more tornadoes than usual.
Looking at the financial markets, we see that this could be a very volatile year. Stock markets are generally down in Rooster years. We will see the DOW Industrial Average finally move above 20,000, but then it will retreat. Stock prices should move upward, though with many down days, until late Spring. They should then turn negative and stay down until mid-Autumn when they will begin to recover some, but not all of their losses. Interest rates will remain low and the unemployment rate is expected to rise. It should be a good year for precious metal prices to increase. Economic competition will intensify between the United States and China. Cyber security will continue to be a major concern.
During this Year of the Rooster, 5, 7 and 8 are considered lucky numbers, while 1, 3 and 9 are unlucky. Gold, brown and yellow are the preferred colors, with white and green to be avoided.
Remember, what is “predicted” here is not supposed to be fatalistic. It merely defines the underlying “tone” upon which this year’s “symphony of events” will be composed. How any one of us will be affected will depend on our actions, not the movement of stars or lunar cycles. Chapter 33 of the Tao Te Ching tells us:
He who knows others is wise;
He who knows himself is enlightened.
He who conquers others has physical strength.
He who conquers himself is strong.
He who is contented is rich.
He who acts with vigour has will.
He who does not lose his place (with Tao) will endure.
He who dies but does not really perish enjoys long life.
Gong xi fa cai!, as they say in Mandarin. Happy New Year!