The Rat in the Year of the Wood Dragon 2024

Rat Pic by @elliespinelli

Who is a Rat?

Years:         1948, 60, 72, 84, 96, 2008, 2020.
Month*:      December
Hour:          11:00 pm – 01:00 am
Day:            you’ll need a Chinese Calendar. 

* Caution: Chinese Solar Months can start as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year.

What is a Rat?

The Rat is yang Water but with a hidden stem of yin Water, that is to say they are 100% Water, the only Chinese Animal that is so pure. All Water on this planet, unless interfered with by outside forces, is connected with and on the same level as all other Water. Sea level at Zeebrugge is the same as sea level at Miami. If I spill my cup of tea here in Surrey and you spill yours in Taiwan, sooner or later they’ll mix. It may take aeons but they’ll mix. Perhaps that clarifies the connection between Water and communication.

Someone said that we have two ears and one mouth for a good reason: that we should listen twice as much as we speak. The issues relating to Water are listening and speaking while keeping the ratios right. The Rat can easily miss this. Some of us are elected primarily to talk and the yang Water of the Rat says it’s you. The Rat is the talker of the Chinese Zodiac. As you know, an unbalanced or distressed Rat tends to clam up or run off at the mouth. Which will it be?

Interestingly both Prince Harry and his father Prince Charles, the Prince of Wales are Rats. Charles’ career has been one of juggling his often outspoken opinions with the privilege of his position. I observed some while ago that Harry’s lessons might correspond; wise Rats tend to blurt or have learned to be shtum. Under considerable provocation Harry seems to have learned from his father’s example. Uncle Andy (1960 Metal Rat) not so much; he may embody the equal & opposite Rat quality of secrecy; the Rat who sits among the rafters above the dinner table. He will be under the bus when the Queen dies, as soon as Charles’ feet are under the desk btw.

The Rat is supreme in the realm of ideas. It is said that when you can tell Fire and Water apart, you are their master. The blue of the sky at mid-summer, for instance is not Water but Fire. Who can identify this consistently? The Rat who is a planner and a plotter and a deep thinker, is the most likely candidate. He thinks ahead, sometimes to the detriment of his awareness of the present. This makes him a good chess player but not so great at poker. He is apt to be too controlling for games that require openness – even to good fortune. That sort of uncertainty can be painful. Your average Rat wants the credit and to get that he has to be in control.

In conversation you may find that the mature Rat second guesses in a very distinctive way: typically he gets his correspondent to commit to a position before he states his; a very useful quality in a teacher but not everyone’s cup of tea in a collaborator. The Dragon and the Monkey, even the Ox, may find this reassuring but it drives the Horse and the Tiger wild and to some extent even the Dog. 1936 Rat Derek Walters is just this kind of Rat teacher and very effective too.

Being big talkers and travellers, Rats are traditionally suited to work involving communication: sales, oratory and persuasion. In the collaboration with the Rabbit, Rooster and Horse that Derek Walters called the Flowers of Love, the Rat is the talker, the chatter-up if you will, where the Rooster provides the glamour, the Horse the passion and the Rabbit the accommodation. A Rat with the assistance of these other Animals is effortlessly successful and charismatic. Whichever of this quartet may be missing at any given time indicates his weaknesses.

None of the others however is ever much at ease alone in the company of the Rat. The Rooster appears to be on another planet which can make the Rabbit resentful, especially if that Rabbit is parent or child to the Rat; yang Water is a little too much for the Rabbit’s delicate yin Wood. Creed, Black Panther and Just Mercy star Michael B Jordan has just these dynamics to juggle.

An unbalanced Rat talks too much and listens selectively. A balanced one gets it exactly right; he is fascinating talker and a skilled listener. But this wilful deafness can be a point of pride. Blessed with an orderly mind and excellent retention, a Rat can consider his ignorance of a subject a reflection upon the subject rather than upon himself. This sort of Rat needs to learn to value the convictions of others, especially if they are derived from premises he does not accept.

The mature Rat is often a guardian, a watcher. Sometimes he is self-appointed and unbalanced, a Rat can display a particular blindness that leads him to believe that his opinion is an absolute. This is more accentuated and less well-informed in his partner the Ox in what some call the House of Creativity (or cleverness perhaps). The relationship between the Ox and the Rat is less that of partners than of pupil and tutor but the Ox can be a particularly obdurate and dominating learner, sometimes drawing conclusions to which he is not entitled and sticking like a limpet to any conclusion he can justify. In these circumstances the Ox is not so much partner or even student of the Rat as tormentor. When Ox and Rat are together it is the Ox who calls the tunes.

A very conscious Rat can make good use of his blindness to the value of other people’s positions. She is likely to be able to explain things that baffle others and to derive laws from this gift. To have no explanation however is to open up to chaos. If he knows this about himself he can master even the most abstract discipline.

The Rat is versatile and multi-talented though not as notably so as the Pig of whom he is often jealous or the Dragon who can baffle him despite their mutual affinity. The yang Water of the Rat can speak of profligacy with money. Rats are brilliant small businessman but often poor tycoons. In the power triad with the Dragon and Monkey, the Rat may appear to overvalue the hands-on deftness of the Monkey to the detriment of the Dragon because he finds the Monkey easier to control and may envy the Dragon his magic. Twin Rats Robert Plant and John Bonham and Monkey Jimmy Page of Led Zeppelin (formed in the Monkey Year of 1968) may be a good example of this creative tension.

And it is this potential for envy that is the other big weakness of the Rat. Often in dispute with Horses, the full-on spontaneity of Fire draws resentment from certain Rats. He can’t admire what he can’t himself master. This can lead to him not getting credit for originality of mind. Consider Water Rat Alan Turing of Imitation Game fame who was not exonerated of the “crime” of homosexuality let alone appreciated until decades after his miserable death. And finally the Rat can be a fickle partner but an attentive parent, albeit one who may have favourites. The awakened Rat is absolutely even-handed; that in itself is quite a gift.

Richard Ashworth © 2024

Rat in The Wood Dragon Year 2024

Jeung Sing Ambitious Star

Only connect.

In the Wood Dragon Year, the Rat may be the most fortunate beast of all. You are likely to apply your native articulacy and strategic sense to build the assets – material and otherwise – suggested by the Jeung Sing Achievement Star that blesses you at this time. Jeung Sing refuses to be second best whether in competition, relationship or sport. This year Rats want to win. And they can.

Best prepare now by planning and listing priorities. Keep them specific and realistic. Remember that it is your call as to what actually is realistic and play to your strengths which include the ability to plan with accuracy and flexibility and to communicate. Communication can solve any problem.

Fortunately the Dragon is on your side. Together with the Monkey he is your best associate. You might not be drawn to the Dragon but together you zing. He’ll need support too by the way – one of their most trying months could be January when you are quite able to cruise through without hindrance. Your intimate the Ox takes charge then and you simply follow the bouncing ball. Consequently in January you are particularly grounded and reliable.

Rats are talkers, some by habit, some by necessity. But they are also the keepers of secrets. Elementally, conversation and especially emotional disclosure – something you’re usually good at – are Water. All Water is in contact with all Water, it has no shape other than its container. And the Dragon together with the Monkey brings you tanks of it. This is a year of discussion. At the year’s end you may be a very different and more fulfilled person. This will follow an openness to change.

The Rat is the listener on the beam above the exclusive dinner party as well as the one making the speeches and the danger of excess Water is that you could be indiscreet this year. You might even if you are not very self-aware, give away your own or the secrets of others. You may also find that your usual careful choice of words fails you from time to time. But the nett result is that you are more open than you have been for ages. Trust that. You may sometimes find the words that come out of your mouth surprising (see Hexagram 27 for some guidance.)

February may find you conjuring new plans. The Tiger Month may not be your most successful but it may be the most interesting. Don’t ask too much of your supporters/ subordinates/professional intermediaries/children. Not everyone has your clarity of vision.

March is about parent/child relationships. You will have seen plenty of this during 2023 so outages are few. You are most likely the parent in this dynamic, could be the other way round. Just remember that blame is both disempowering and illusory and that yours is theirs and vice-versa. These upsets are presenting themselves for healing. Open to it, it clears the decks.

This may be a time when you cement some important and close relationships. Those are the moments.

April – the Dragon Month is when you go orbital. It’s likely to be ferociously busy, particularly on the Monkey Days 8th, 20th April, May 2nd. Your part will be to keep objectives in view. Stay disciplined to keep things on track.

The summer is when the biggest financial openings arise; choose wisely amongst them. There is a risk in June, July and August that you bite off more than you can chew. Fire makes for haste. In June it’s simple ambition; in July you may be proving a point to a 3rd party who may actually not care much one way or the other. That could easily cost you money. Aim to be conscious of such mixed motives. You are driven all year, be sure you know what those motives are and align with them.

January and July may also bring romantic attention to lady Rats; June to male ones. Gay men may be in demand all year. Otherwise your focus is probably not much on this area of your life. So be sure to give your partner plenty of acknowledgement especially if you can’t give them much attention.

September presents you with a plethora of opportunities to widen your influence. Accept invitations. October may call for stamina and November for attention to dependants. December is all yours.

Your health is broadly good this year though there is risk of stress and increased weight. Try to stay conscious of these areas.

All year you are likely to be making wealth for others, your task is to make sure it works for you too. Plan ahead and broker that into advantage. 2nd-in-command does not suit you. Nor does a rigid plan that fails to take advantage of new circumstances. But above all open and communicate. Only connect.

Romance: some

Wealth: big opportunities.

Health: pace yourself, eat appropriately.

Hexagram: 27 Yi: The Corners of the Mouth.

This forecast is prepared by comparing your own Chinese year Animal with the Wood Dragon of 2024.  Your Year Animal is just one of the four that make up your Ba Zi or Four Pillars of Destiny. A fully-drafted ba zi can indicate possible futures and probable pasts as well as moments of decision. Knowing these moments can heal and prevent heartbreak as well make success and happiness more easily achievable. What is a ba zi? 

© Richard Ashworth 2024

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© Richard Ashworth 2024