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OF COURSE, everyone who considers the Chinese Calendar his/her Fortune Bible knows that 2008 was the Year of the Rat under the earth element — or Year of the Earth Rat — which started on February 7, 2008 and will still end on January 25, 2009.

In effect, under the Chinese Calendar, we’re still in my year — the Earth Rat year.

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I don’t really have confidence in astrology. I don’t agree so much that people should rely their fate in the study of the positions of the moon, sun and other planets in the belief that their motions affect the behavior of human beings.

As far as it is concerned, what I only know is that when its full moon, many people are subjected to thoughtlessness. Or to be quite frank and honest about it, LUNACY — that period when many turn to be unintelligent, ridiculous and reckless.

I was born in 1972, and it’s one of the years identified under the Rat. Believe me, I’ve heard too many times that I’m LUCKLESS. They said that people who were born under this year will live to be UNLUCKY all the time.

Why not? To be able to feed (steal food in homes, hahaha!), they have to gnaw at wooden planks to get at stores of food. This means that before they even find luck, they have to work hard to get there wherever it is.

And because they are considered as pests, people always run after them to extinguish them, which means they have to be on the run constantly too. Translated to life, people born under the Rat sign have to constantly work hard for their life goals, their dreams.

Hmmm… close enough comparison… but not quite. Like what I’ve said, I don’t think much of the Chinese Calendar when it comes to my fate. People make their fate and what they want it to become.

But I have nothing against those who believe the Chinese Calendar as their guide to life. As what one Chinese fortune teller said, PRAYER for guidance is what people should do to be able to achieve their hopes and dreams. That’s where my belief is. There is a Higher Being who knows better.

So much talk about the Year of the Ox however, compelled me to also check out what the Chinese Calendar has in store for people who were born under the sign and under mine. Next to that, while driving last December 28 to BM Road to attend a JCI Regional Party, I noticed that most houses we passed by have changed their paints to shades of yellow, green and orange.

Instead of looking like really cool and beautiful houses, they’ve become unattractive abstract paintings to me in lush green garden settings. Aren’t the green gardens enough for GREEN?

What’s going on? Then I found out on television that this year’s lucky colors are these. If you want luck to come to your homes, you have to freshen the paints. Use yellow, green and orange.

The Rat Year begins first in the cycle of 12 animal signs. It starts the sequence and relapses every 12th year. The Chinese Calendar says it is often a “time of renewal.”

A Rat Year is a time of hard work, activity, and renewal.  This is a good year to begin a new job, get married, launch a product or make a fresh start.  Ventures begun now may not yield fast returns, but opportunities will come for people who are well prepared and resourceful.  The best way for you to succeed is to be patient, let things develop slowly, and make the most of every opening you can find.  People born in an Earth Rat are said to be logical realists, shrewd, charming, ambitious, and inventive.  Of course, the entire horoscope must be considered when making any personality assessment.

Unlike how we think of the rat as an animal who destroys our home and steals our food, in the Chinese Calendar, it is respected as a “courageous, enterprising person.”

People born in the Year of Rat are clever and bright, sociable and family-minded.  They have broad interests and strong ability in adapting to the environment and able to react adequately to any changes. They are gifted in many ways and have an easy going manner.  They are active and pleasant, tactful and fantastic, and are able to grasp opportunities.  They seem to have interests in everything and hope to participate in doing it and usually do it very well.

I’d say AMEN to the quote. I think I’m about to turn into a BELIEVER of the Chinese signs and everything they represent. Hahhaha!

Many have the misconception that when the year 2009 has the same animal sign as Rat are, most likely their luck is going to be worse than usual. This is not the case for Rat this 2009.

According to what I’ve read, seen and heard in the news, this year is going to be filled with good news and opportunities. The year 2009 is a great time for Rat People to transform their dreams into reality – to pursue the dream job, the dream position, the dream salary, the dream business, etc.

They should not feel that their dreams are far to reach as “they will get the support, meet the right people and find the appropriate resources that can bring them to their goals. What’s important is keeping their hearts and mind open to opportunities.

No matter how good the stars align for people born under the Rat sign, they still have to do their part in order to gain the best out of what they can do.

If there’s anything we should watch out for, it’s that there will be more disputes, arguments, betrayals and misunderstandings than usual. The key to get out of these dilemmas is to always try to be humble, calm and objective. Avoid being stressed out and be focused all the time to avoid accidents and skirmishes.

The Sign of the Rat

An opportunist with an eye for a bargain, Rats tend to collect and hoard, but are unwilling to pay too much for anything.  They are devoted to their families, particularly their children.  Quick-witted and passionate, they are capable of deep emotions despite their cool exteriors.  Their nervous energy and ambition may lead them to attempt more tasks than they are able to complete successfully.  Rats are blessed with one of the best intellects going.

The sign of the Rat is the first one in the cycle giving Rat people exude great leadership qualities and are good at taking the lead.  They don’t mind a lot of responsibility and they demonstrate a strong presence that other people respect.  For those with the Rat nature, status and monetary satisfaction are the greatest motivation.

The affect of the sign of the Rat is energetic, and demonstrates enough endurance to fight most any sickness.  Yet, all Rats tend to be tense, full of nervous energy, and prone to stress.  Yoga and meditation would benefit Rats by calming their aggressive natures and helping them manage stress.

Rats make good homemakers who are always willing to do household chores.  Because this is a sign of acquisition, the Rat person’s house is presumably bursting with various knick-knacks collected over the years.  Most Rats are cheerful, domesticated individuals who find happiness at home with their family.

The Chinese say others should always listen to the advice of the Rat.  Because of their intellect and observatory powers, Rat people possess prudence and perception.  They can anticipate problems, and are always able to see the big picture.  Status, money, title and recognition are important to the Rat.  They have keen sense of observation that allow them to foresee upcoming business opportunities as well as potential occupational problems.  The Rat makes a better boss than an employee.  Rats work better in flexible situations where they can be freely creative.

Cunning and thrifty, Rats have a knack with money and are apt to save for rainy days.  When capable, the Rat is a great money saver, and in strapped times he knows how to make something out of nothing or how to make things advantageous for himself.

Generally friendly and sociable, the Rat is one of the extroverts of the 12 Animal signs.  They have a special gift for easing the minds of others.  It is not surprising that Rats have a lot of friends.  To the people they love, Rats can be amazingly charitable, popular and supportive. Although Rats like to be in the driver’s seat, they do need partners who can keep up with their active lifestyles.  Rat people are romantic, and are always happier to have someone to share with.

Famous people born under the year of the rat are Alyssa Milano, Cameron Diaz, Charlotte Bronte, Daryl Hannah, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jennie Garth, Kristen Scott Thomas, Lauren Bacall, Lucrezia Borgia, Teng R. Formoso (you have to find me here!) Margaret Mitchell, Margot Kidder, Mata Hari, Nancy Wake, Olivia Newton-John, Sinead Cusack, Stevie Nicks, Toni Collette, and Tracy Pollan.

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