Sunday, 26 January 2014

Horoscope Shopping in the Year of the Horse

I don’t know about you, but whenever I am scheduled to go away for a vacation, am planning an outdoor party, or have a tee time booked for a round of golf, I do a little “weather shopping” in the days leading up to the occasion.  “Weather Shopping?”, you ask… come on, don’t pretend you don’t spend hours searching multiple weather forecast sites, looking for one that convinces you the weather will be just as you want it on the day of your event. predicts 60% chance of rain….well, then I’ll go check which predicts only 20% of rain, isolated thunderstorms, and just a light breeze – yeah that sounds much better.

In similar fashion, I’ve recently found myself “horoscope shopping”, trying to find the most positive – or in my case this year, the least damning predictions for the approaching Chinese New Year.  In Singapore, Chinese New Year and the festivities surrounding it are a big deal.  (read last year’s post for some observations).   And while there are numerous traditions bringing families together, and rituals to welcome good luck – there are also warnings for danger in the new year.

Chinatown in Singapore
This year, Chinese New Year comes on January 31, and welcomes the Year of the Horse!  Depending on which Chinese Astrology web site you consult, you’ll likely read that the horse symbolizes everything from graciousness, dignity, and momentum – to energy, self-improvement, and intelligence.  Within the walls of SAP, I’ve heard  sales leaders, co-workers, and even the Industry analysts I meet with, proclaiming the year of the horse as one of innovation, progress, prosperity, and re-invention.    But – they must not have been born during the year of the Tiger, because at every turn, I hear that the coming year of the horse brings bad luck for Tigers like me. 

Predictions for Tigers in 2014
In fact, according to Grand Master Tan Khoon Yong, Tigers are ranked last among the 12 zodiacs during this year of the horse!  And while many of us might view astrology as “hocus-pocus mumbo jumbo”, do we really disregard it altogether?  Personally, I don’t buy into the daily or weekly horoscopes, and honestly don’t think I’ve read one since my co-workers in Singapore pointed me to my Chinese New Year reading last year.  

Last year, however, these same co-workers decorated their desks and left offerings for the Lion Dance that comes to the office just before New Year.  Lion and Dragon dances are common around the new year in Singapore, with the lion accepting offerings in exchange for casting out evil spirits and leaving behind good luck.   For my co-workers, in addition to a red envelope of cash, they left four packets of numbers with the expectation the Lion would choose a number from each packet.  The four “lucky” numbers that were left behind were played in the next lottery drawing… and they won!

So, I’m not taking any chances… I’ll be decorating my desk for the Lion Dance this week, and am continuing to “shop” the internet for a more optimistic take on my year ahead.  At this point, The Chinese Fortune Calendar and Huffington Post are both getting a nod from me, as they predict significantly better years than the Grand Master… but can I really disregard the GRAND MASTER?

Don’t know your Chinese Astrology Animal?  Find out here – then go see what the Grand Master predicts for your Year of the Horse… and if you’re a Tiger like me, you might want to do a little more “horoscope shopping” over the next few days in the hopes of finding some good news!

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