“The Year of the Rat threatens to see a build-up of international tensions, natural and air disasters and a more turbulent stock market, soothsayers and analysts say. As the Year of the Pig ends tonight, followers of Chinese superstition will be scurrying to consult fortune-tellers, astrologers and feng shui geomancers to guide their year ahead. 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 master Raymond Lo says this year will see the earth element sitting atop water, suggesting an outward solidity built on sliding foundations. “The earth on top is Yang earth which symbolises a mountain, and mountain gives a sense of stability and firmness. But such floating earth in the ocean is weak in foundation and the stability appears to be fragile,” Lo said. “This elemental relationship will bring a year which apparently is more stable but there are a lot of underlying tensions and confrontations.”