2011: falls of dictators
By Janet Shin
The year 2011 will be remembered as that of fallen dictatorships. Six dictators left their seats of power either as a result of death or by people’s protests against the despotic governments. They were Hosni Mubarak of Egypt; Muammar Gaddafi of Libya; Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d’Ivoire; Ali Abdullah Saleh of Yemen; and Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia. It was ignited in the Arab world at the end of 2010 in the “Arab Spring.” It was led by people’s demonstration and revolutionary movement.
Then Kim Jong-il’s sudden death in December seems to be the climax of this historic flow. We are constantly watching North Koreans crying and paying respects to their former leader, which just shows the transience of life and absurdity of forced ideology. There are continued doubts over the exact cause, time and location of Kim Jong-il’s death and it doesn’t inevitably mean the advent of a “Pyongyang Spring.” Ironically, one might feel how enormous Kim’s existence was, to make news all over the world with his death.
With this series of events, one might question if there were any fateful causes. I was certainly asked to read Kim’s saju to figure out whether his death was destined. It may also be interesting to read the destiny of 2011 to see the situation from a different angle.
First of all, 2011 was called the year of the white rabbit with reference to the 12 zodiac signs. Considering the sexagenary cycle of heavenly and earthly energy in the lunar calendar, 2011 can also be named the year of “sin-myo,” or yin metal-wood. According to the color description of the five elements, metal represents white. For that reason, it was simply called white rabbit.
Wood: Blue or green
Earth: Brown or yellow
Likewise there is no divinatory secret about why 2010 was called white tiger, because it was the year of the metal tiger or “gyeong-in.” And 2012 will be the black dragon as it is the year of water dragon or “im-jin.”
Then what kinds of significance lie in the symbolic combination of sin-myo, when it comes to saju. This is one of the 60 combinations of heavenly stems and earthly branches. The yin, yang and five elements are allocated to each of 10 stems and 12 branches. And they generate peculiar energy respectively. By having these energies every year, month, day and time, saju develops a certain destiny to a human’s life, as it is considered that a human is the most important creature in universe.
We experience fickleness of fate whether positive or negative every year because each year emits a certain fateful energy to influence an individual life and social phenomenon. That’s the reason why we read our saju as an annual event.
The deeper we study theories of the five elements, the more we find a certain truth in the universe. Though named elements, the five here are actually the “being” or “movement” of energies. They interact among themselves, by either generating or restricting;
Wood makes fire by burning (wood generates fire). Fire creates ashes from wood to nourish the earth (fire nourishes earth). Earth contains metal and makes metal solid (earth generates metal). Metal purifies water (metal generates water, water comes from rocks). Water allows wood to grow (water nourishes wood).
In regards to the five elements restrictions;
Wood absorbs the earth’s energy (wood restrains earth). Earth blocks water (earth restrains water). Water extinguishes fire (water restrains fire). Fire melts metal (fire restrains metal). Metal axe chops wood (metal restrains wood).
Consequently, if a year has a combined energy of a metal stem and wood branch, it implies that the wood is chopped by the metal. In Oriental understanding, the monarch is usually compared to the heaven and people the earth. However, what happened to the combination of the yin metal stem and wood branch in terms of the saju letters of “sin” and “myo,” is actually a severance of the metal stem by adamancy of the wood branch. The metal monarch attempts to dominate the wood people, but the wood people revolt against the tyranny and expel the power eventually. The rabbit, out of the 12 zodiac signs, also symbolizes innocent people.
Saju, based on the eternal cycle of birth, death and rebirth, sets 12 stages of life and applies them to fate.
5. Prime years
6. Declining stage
10. Totally vanished life
Among these 12 stages of life, the combination of sin-myo (yin metal and wood) is the stage of a “totally vanished life.”
We may also interpret our individual lives using these 12 stages of the life cycle.
How was your life this year? Did you experience futility in a certain way?
Remember, the totally vanished life stage will be followed by a new birth. This connotes the beginning of a new era. It is you and how you incubate, cultivate and develop further that shall determine your future.
Information: Are you interested in learning more about the ancient Chinese teaching about the “Four Pillars of Destiny?” For further information, visit Janet’s website at www.fourpillarskorea.com, contact her at 010-5414-7461 or email email@example.com.
The writer is the president of the Heavenly Garden, a saju research center in Korea, and the author of “Learning Four Pillars.”