I was born about where the years of the Dragon and the Rabbit meet. With such fortune, I am under the impression that I have a choice in the matter. And 2017 being the Year of the Fire Rooster, which promises to be a good year for the Dragon but difficult in almost all aspects for the Rabbit, it’s not hard to guess which one I’ll be.
I take horoscopes in stride, but it’s become my habit to check them out, as doing the crossword and Sudoku puzzles, in the dailies. I’m fascinated with astrology, but more in its relation to karma and reincarnation. I thought these were outside influences, but they seem to me now to have been worked into my DNA.
In my younger days I went through a phase when I was consumed by books about extraterrestrial beings and outer space, a frontier that captivated my imagination and expanded my view of the universe into the afterlife.
I, along with some classmates, also went through the fortune-teller stage. One of our college friends had an aunt who was one with a reliable reputation, but I tried to be conscious of the thin line between fortune-telling and the occult. We usually went in pairs and made a day of it, but I don’t remember any of her predictions.
Right or wrong
Anyway, when one day it became clear fortune-telling does not tell us with any certainty what decisions in life were right or wrong for us, we lost interest and moved on.
“There is no ‘right’ path to success,” as William Zinsser says, in his book “Writing Places.” He says, as College Master at Yale, that he warned his students “the road ahead would have more turns than they imagined—plenty of time to change jobs and careers and whole ways of thinking … I told them to enjoy the day and its friendships and its unscheduled pleasures…” I may have worried too much unnecessarily myself, but I did manage to enjoy my youth, its friendships and unscheduled pleasures.
From where I began, I’d never have imagined I would be where I am now. How could I have guessed? If I’d known I’d have learned so much more from my mistakes, I would have not been so fearful of them.
Boy, do I know better now —how truly circuitous is the path of life!
When I was single and dating, I’d check my compatibility with the animal signs of my dates. Despite the astrological precautions, my marriage prematurely ended. The next time I married I was well aware he was to me the most incompatible animal in the Zodiac, and it didn’t matter a whit. Well, indeed, it needed some work, but we were both willing to do it. Here we are now, after 30 years, on fairly easy street, our bond stronger than ever.
Around Chinese New Year, we hear a lot of predictions regarding the fate of all 12 Zodiac animals for the year, from feng shui experts who also offer antidotes for every kind of bad luck. The other day I read in the papers predictions for our country, based on the horoscopes of our leaders and other political personalities.
The Fire Rooster happens to be the sign of the president as well as his chosen heir, Bongbong Marcos. One prediction says that, with the exception of health issues for the president, this will generally be a good year for both of them—whatever that means for humans made of body and soul.
On the other hand, for Vice President Leni Robredo, whose sign—Snake—is the polar opposite of the president, there is “turbulence” ahead in the next two years, but the last four years would be favorable to her. Should I choose to be the Rabbit, whose traits I seem to possess more than the Dragon, I’m in for hard times, too. But, again, how does all that translate for a God-loving human being’s life?
I believe hard times, like mistakes, are tests of the spirit, a purifying and cleansing process that erases accumulated bad karma; once one has undergone it without bitterness and anger, one’s fortune drastically changes for the best. It’s an opportunity for spiritual gains, which in the final analysis constitutes the one great challenge we face in this earthly life.
In my case, whichever sign I take refuge in, Vergel’s sign somehow offers a counterforce—when my sign, Dragon or Rabbit, is headed for the dumps, Vergel’s Dog is on the rise—and as positive as can be this year. When I’m up, he’s down; it’s better than compatibility, it’s a blessing, and there’s always plenty to count if we look hard enough, whatever the charts say.
Let’s all be grateful for another year of life, and welcome the hard times as well as the good. That’s life. Kung Hei Fat Choi!