US Federal Reserve Board
Born: 13 August 1946
Sign: Fire Dog
Day Master: Yin Earth (Ji)
Japanese Prime Minister
Born: 21 September 1954
Sign: Wood Horse
Day Master: Yang Metal (Geng)
GOOD, HARD RIDE
|Mulch has been written about Ben Bernanke's
chair apparent, but we'd wager you've not read this
before: Janet Yellen's wu xing are mouth-watering.
Which is reassuring (in case you were wondering).
Wu xing refers to the five elementary energies - a
sort of feng shui DNA. The closer they cluster, the
better. Yellen's weightings look pure Goldilocks:
a 'just right' balance of safe, sensible, sure and
steady, with enough off-kilter to keep it real. Her
Fire Dog fortune chart's ears have pricked up of
late, with the expectation of some big-time tailwagging
all next year. Sure, any dumb Mutt should
do well, but the Fire breed leads the packing order.
Not that it will be a walk in the park: September
threatens to seriously stress-test Yellen's mettle and
cool, while the final month feels exhausting. But
overcoming challenges is part of what makes a
good year grrreat. And Yellen's charts inspire confidence.
We only wish the Sheep that takes over
in 2015 didn't look like such a bah-humbagger.
||If the Hi-ho that gets to set the course of the bourse
next year has even half the fire power of the Wood
Horse that ignited Japan's markets in 2013, it will
be a ride to remember. Japan's Horse, of course,
was Shinzo 'Three Arrows' Abe, who must be one
of the few leaders of a major developed economy
to have enlisted feng shui in support of his
policies. [Promising his radical revivalism would
deliver change as profound as the Snake's skinshedding
was probably an understatement.] Even
if we'd checked Abe's charts ahead of time, we
doubt we'd have foreseen his triumphant return.
But the influences and ascribed traits they suggest
are certainly in keeping with his performance. We
rate this a 'rein at times' year for Nags, but Abe has
enough giddyup to earn a 'good, hard ride'. It will
be tough, at times, especially during the final six
months, and it won't come cheap. Yet the PM's
greatest challenge and danger may well be the
Wood Horse in his mirror: himself.
Music Director, HK Sinfonietta
Born: 05 October 1960
Sign: Metal Rat
Day Master: Yang Fire (Bing)
|Jack Ma Yun
Founder and chairman, Alibaba
Born: 10 September 1964
Sign: Wood Dragon
Day Master: Yang Water (Ren)
|We don't know about you, but we've only got to
hear Yip Wing-sie's name and we start tapping
our feet and going: 'Tum-tiddle-tum-de-tah.' Even
at such a remove, she works on us like some sort
of Pavlovian belle (note-perfect, of course), so we
can't begin to imagine the buzz of playing in the
Sinfonietta that's been under the spell of her baton
since the Water Horse of 2002. Yip is pretty much
how we imagine appassionato personified, with
just enough allegrezza. Not that we expected to
see much when we sat down to look at her charts,
given the rather gnaw-sious Rat outlook for 2014.
But while it won't be the easiest passage Yip has
ever had to play, she seems singularly well suited
to discovering the Beethoven's Ninth amid the
most lamentable dirge. Patience is the key, especially
when it's F# minor, and July and December
threaten to be particularly pizzicato. Encouragingly,
this may be the year for Yip to focus on some of her
more innovative interests. Over to you, Maestro!
||Jack Ma fervently believes small is beautiful. Yes,
the same Jack Ma who's preparing to float his
Alibaba group in what will be one of the most
humungous IPOs ever. Ma has no trouble reconciling
such contradictions. But then he is a Dragon.
Here's another (and they're not hard to find): Ma is
worth about US$3.5bn, yet his charts suggest the
savings of a struggling English teacher. Ma's success
is extraordinary; and his management style seems
uncommonly sensible. He's driven by a clear vision
- and, increasingly, guided by a strong conscience.
So we'd be happy to report that the float will be
wildly successful (in its own "small" way) and will
be in Hong Kong (with CLSA as lead bookrunner,
course). Instead, we see a sea of troubles that puts
us in mind of the Odyssey - though you couldn't
ask for better than Ma's Wood-Water combination
at the helm. After all, a man who can steer a
supertanker as if it were a jetski is going to have
no trouble with a mere Scylla and Charybdis.
|Rio de Janeiro
Host of Fifa World Cup Final
Born: 01 March 1565
Sign: Wood Cow
Day Master: Yang Earth (Wu)
China's most powerful celebrity
Born: 16 September 1981
Sign: Metal Rooster
Day Master: Yin Fire (Ding)
|Who knew Rio was known for so much? There's
Copacabana; Giant Jesus; that T&T&Y&L Girl from
Ipenema; dental-floss bikinis; Sugarloaf; Carnaval;
samba; hillside favelas (slums); drug gangs; veganhell
churrascarias; Portuguese tarts; pastries - and
one of the most gutting, final-minutes defeats in
World Cup futebol, when Who?-raguay humbled
Brazil in 1950. The quadrenniel pitch battle of the
'beautiful game' returns to the 'marvellous city' midyear,
with the final in the same (rebuilt) MaracanÃ£
stadium. It will be a good test ahead of the 2016
Olympics. How's it looking? Much as you'd expect
from the charts: a little too chaotic for comfort, but
definitely moving forward. As a Wood Cow, Rio's
people relationships can quickly turn nasty. Quiet
conciliation is advised - rather than using teargas
and rubber bullets against people protesting hefty
fare rises. Like any great sporting drama, this one
will go to the wire. Certain disaster is averted with
external support. Hand of God, perhaps?
||Depending on where you put your tongue, "bing"
in Chinese can be anything from ice to an almighty
blaze (such as the zodiac's yang-fire third heavenly
stem). Put a "fan" in front of a brace of bings then
and you might expect a red-hot big noise and lots
of sparks. Meet Fan Bingbing. Barely 32, the luxlabel
pinup is China's most powerful celebrity
(Forbes) and may be the world's top-dollar actress.
But it's her chart, not her art, that has us transfixed.
It's feng shui full-metal jacket: twin Fire flashes
(albeit soft yin) encased in Metal, with a whetted
wick. It surely suggests some serious psychic
tension. More awe to Fan if she's tamed it (and
she rates her life a perfect 10). Two trials threaten,
though laser-focus Fan is probably immune to the
first: a "bird flu" of ennui set to sap many a Rooster's
snap. But treachery is a horse of a different coat
and the risk is that a cabal of 'friends' lays a trap
primed with humiliation. Look to Sun Tzu: Doubledoublecross
and give 'em both BB barrels!
|Note: The Day Master is the heavenly stem of your fortune chart's birth-day pillar and is said to reveal your true nature.