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Book Review: Chinese Astrology: 2019 Year of the Earth Pig

December 16, 2018

By Armand Diaz   

Long-range cosmic weather report offers advice on how to make the most of the coming year

I’m a Tiger.

Beyond that, I’ve never known or understood much about Chinese astrology, but with Donna Stellhorn’s new book, that has changed. On one level, it is a year-ahead forecast, similar to many titles in Western astrology. But Chinese Astrology 2019 goes far beyond predictions for each sign in the Chinese zodiac.

The author is both a Chinese astrologer and an expert in Feng Shui (which is, I’m sure many astro-skeptical folks would be surprised to learn, is based in large part on astrology). The book therefore provides not only a long-range cosmic weather report, it also offers specific advice on how to make the most of the coming year. For each sign, there is a general monthly forecast (including lucky days), followed by sections on relationships, career, finances, family, and other key areas of life. Stellhorn’s Feng Shui suggestions are practical and easy to implement (you won’t have to move the entrance of your home to a different side of the house).

At the beginning of each sign’s chapter, the author gives a description of the energy associated with the sign. It’s interesting to see how the characteristics of the animal are translated in ways that are relevant to humans. Even dragons find a connection with the human realm. I found it particularly notable that a positive spin is placed on all of the signs, in contrast to some of our Western ideas about them – so no worries if it turns out you’re a Water Rat. Beyond your personal sign, you can also see if the descriptions of the signs shed any light on your experiences with people in your life.

The Chinese astrology described is based on year of birth, beginning at the Chinese New Year, which is usually in late January or early February. There are twelve signs in the zodiac, and so they repeat every twelve years. There is some variation, however, as each year is also associated with one of the five basic elements in the Chinese system: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth. As a result, if you were born in 1964 you would be a Wood Dragon, while those born twelve years later in 1976 (I’m rounding off the years) would be Fire Dragons. The addition of elements adds another level of subtlety to the system.

The book ends with a few additional sections that are very helpful in understanding both Chinese astrology and Feng Shui. There is a section on compatibility between the signs, a discussion of why Feng Shui works, and a chapter on the five elements that inform Chinese astrology and medicine as well as Feng Shui. A section called the 2019 Flying Star provides helpful Feng Shui advice that we all can use.

Chinese Astrology 2019: Year of the Earth Pig is a very accessible and user-friendly book. You can go into it in whatever depth appeals to you, from a simple forecast for the coming year to a beginner’s course in Chinese astrology and Feng Shui. In fact, I think the book has some of the clearest explanations of both that I have come across, all wrapped up in a very readable form.

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