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The year of the Fire Monkey is just around the corner, Feb 8th, 2016. For those of us turning 60 this Chinese year, then the year of the Fire Monkey is a very special year indeed as you will be coming back to your yearly birth pillar, which is the Fire part AND the Monkey part (Feb 12th, 1956 through Jan 30th, 1957–Lunar Calendar). You see, there are five monkeys total that we must contend with, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water of the traditional Chinese five elements. For the rest of us who are simply born under the year of the Monkey, then what we’re looking at is a return to home base so to speak. “What makes me happy?,” “How is my health?” These are common questions during the return of the 12 year cycle that closely corresponds to the Year Star or rather Jupiter’s return for those practicing Western methods. You also get your 1st house profected year as well, which will happen sometime around your 12 year cycle. But now I’m getting off on a tangent…The point is, is that the cycle of 12 can be a place where you can easily take stock of what you’ve got in life…how far you’ve come so far. 60 is where the Jupiter return and Saturn return roughly coincide, thus highlighting its’ significance even further.
Fire Monkey–this is an intelligent and bright animal, beginning the Metal years corresponding to the West and the Metal element. But the Fire in the stem is unrooted in the Monkey making this pillar even more dynamic. Rooted means that the Fire from Heaven in the stem would find either the same element or resource element as the primary element in the animal (a.k.a. branch). This would then support the Fire from heaven. However, since the Monkey contains Yang Metal, Earth and Water, the Fire is unsupported. What you have is a contrast of elements and a more complicated system. The Fire from Heaven makes the Metal in the Monkey useful as Metal is the wealth element to Fire–this can sharpen the Monkeys talents and put them to work. As the seasons progress throughout the year, the Earth and Water components of the Monkey will vary in strength. Overall, though, the Monkey is primarily a Metal animal. In this pillar, four of the five elements are represented, all in the Yang polarity. The Wood element is left out.
What are we to make of the Fire Monkey in 2016? At a personal level—the Fire Monkey will mean different things to different people (which is always the case and should go without saying…), however, in general, those born in the year of the Tiger or perhaps the day of the Tiger (or both) will experience heightened difficulties and challenges throughout the year as the Monkey and Tiger clash. For Monkey people—health issues. Being that we are talking about a year that will most likely contain the Jupiter return (Grand Duke) for those born under the year of the Monkey, though, we must also consider a few positive attributes for the year, after all, Jupiter often brings some form of good luck or happy news. Here are the years:
Monkey years—1932, ’44, ’56, ’68, ’80, ’92, 2004, ’16 & ’28
Tiger years—1926, ’38, ’50, ’62, ’74, ’86, ’98, 2010 & ’22
For those born in the year of the Snake, the Monkey can be a good luck symbol as they are are best friends (six combinations). If Water is favorable in your chart and you are born in the year of the snake, then you can expect some benefits throughout the year as the Monkey and Snake combine to form Water. If the Monkey is unfavorable in your chart and you are born under the Snake, then you could expect a reprieve as they will combine, thus reducing the effect of the Snake and hopefully Water will be favorable in this example. It really just depends on the Four Pillars chart as a whole and the general flow of the chart, which can change with the luck cycle.
As far as the Rat and Dragon are concerned, they form a trinity with the Monkey and when all three are combined, we get a complete Water trinity. Sometimes they are the three great friends and sometimes they are the three destroyers. Think of one of your children who is normally quiet and reserved. Now bring two friends over and see how the change becomes evident when they are tearing up the house! These three together are the most powerful combination possible for the Water element. But does this mean that if you are born in the year of the Monkey then you should marry someone born in the year of the Rat or Dragon?? Of course not, but that’s the popular advice, unfortunately. Sometimes the combination in the year branch just makes matters worse. There is a general rule of compatibility with animals forming a trinity, though, but this has been quite overstated and blown out of proportion throughout the years. Sometimes you may need to partner with someone who has Four Pillar animals that clashed with one of your animals, which will then reduce the negative effects that those animal(s) have in your chart. Think about that!
One of the best ways to predict how the Fire Monkey will behave in your life is to go back to the Monkey years and see how those years were in general. And, if you are able, go back and look at the Monkey months, days and even hours and see how they stack up as well. Of course, this will vary considerably with the lunar calendar and with the Four Pillars chart in question. One of the best ways to predict anything is to establish a firm pattern and either go with the flow or avoid it like hell. It’s really very simple once the rules are established firmly in your mind
Here’s a hypothetical. Let’s say that we have a person born on a Water Rat day, in a Water Ox month in a Water Dragon Year. This person is at least a strong Water self. With the year of the Monkey, he or she will gain the Water trinity but only for the year and will most likely move to a dominant self (depending on the luck cycle as well). To fine tune this example a bit further, we would look to the month of the Pig and Rat especially when the Water element is dominant. When the person is aware and awake, they can better take advantage of opportunities.
I think that the general tone of the Fire Monkey year will be exciting as most Monkey years are. The Fire element adds a spiritual dimension to the mix and perhaps we will be asking tougher questions of ourselves this year as the Fire will make the Monkey more serious and focused on what’s important. This is when the “how to” comes to light and this is where the Monkey intrinsically shines the brightest, which is solving complex problems by inventing creative solutions. Have a Happy Year of the Fire Monkey. Thaddeus