Monday, April 29, 2019

45. The Ghost Living under Your Umbrella!

Now that we know a handkerchief given as a gift can bring about an unexpected ending, what are some of the other gifts that stirs up negative meaning or energy? Let’s consider the umbrella.

In Cantonese, the word umbrella sounds the same as separate which can indicate an ending or goodbye. I heard of a company sending out umbrellas as gifts to clients and friends. For some superstitious recipients, apparently they returned the favor with a small amount of money to signify a purchase rather than a gift.

The main superstition about umbrellas in Chinese tradition, however, is that it is a medium that connects us to those in the other world. During my childhood there were a lot of old movies from the 1950’s and 1960’s that were shown on television. A few of them had paranormal story lines which may or may not have been true. But the one thing they all had in common was that ghosts hide under umbrellas.  It’s the idea that the apparition will vaporize if exposed to the sun -- similar to vampires in western culture. So, if you want to escort a ghost from one place to another during the day, be sure to use an umbrella.

My grandma and parents never suggested that I pick an abandoned umbrella out on the street because one couldn’t be sure where it came from.  It really was and still is a taboo among the Chinese.

My mother told me about an incident when she was young. She was on her way home -- a route she had taken hundreds of times -- it was raining and all of a sudden she felt very dizzy. But she kept walking. Explaining the moment, she said how she tightly gripped the umbrella handle but it was as if she wasn’t doing the walking.  A few minutes later she came back to her senses and realized she was on a main street where she had never been before.  Right in front of her was a funeral house and a shop selling coffins.

Later she told a friend about her experience. They suggested that maybe a spirit wanted to go to the funeral house. Since it was daytime, the ghost hid under the protection of her umbrella to get to their destination.

That was a really good story from Mom. In fact, my Mom had a lot of contact with mysterious energies during her younger days. The ghost under the umbrella was one she could never forget. It turned out that the umbrella hadn’t belonged to her, but she couldn’t remember how she came to be holding it.

Be sure to know where your umbrella comes from. Want more strange umbrella stories? Stay tuned.

Monday, April 22, 2019

44. Gift Giving Dos and Don'ts

Traditionally, Chinese celebrate the lunar new year for a total of seven days, the final day called the “Birthday of Humans.” But even after a week of partying, people continue to visit friends and wish everyone they know good luck for the coming year. The culmination is the Lantern Festival which occurs on the first full moon after the new year.

When visiting relatives or friends during this time, gifts are brought along that signify hopeful meanings. Tangerines mean gold; new year cake supports moving to a higher career position.

Of course, there are some gift items to be avoided. Books, for example. The word book is pronounced the same as lose in Cantonese. Shoes sound the same as sigh. Cooking pot and wok means getting into big trouble. A beautiful wall clock sounds like going to a funeral -- this is also a big taboo as a birthday gift.

Among gift no-nos are two which can bring strong negative energies. I actually experienced this as did some of my friends.

Japan is one of my favorite countries to visit on vacation. I love shopping there and usually I bring back gifts for friends. One of my favorites is designer handkerchief because of the beautiful patterns. I bought a few for my co-workers back in Hong Kong. Giving the handkerchief to my account director whom I worked very closely, she expressed surprise and asked whether I knew that giving a handkerchief as a gift means goodbye? Of course, I did not.

By the end of that year I left my team and the agency. Was it just a coincidence?

A number of years later, now working in a San Francisco agency, one of my designers went back to Asia for vacation. She stopped by Japan on her return where she bought me a beautiful handkerchief as a gift. She was not aware of the superstition about handkerchief. But, six months later her family had an emergency and she had to move home to Asia.

Clearly, at least in my experience, giving a handkerchief as a gift means goodbye. No matter if the reason for parting is good or bad. My suggestion is to think twice about it. Unless, of course, you want someone to disappear from your life. Really, some people pay a lot of money to make that happen.

What about the other gift that sent people out of my life? Actually, it is much worse. Until next time.

Monday, April 15, 2019

43. Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog - What's in Store for Year of the Boar

And, finally, the prediction for final four zodiac signs for the year of the boar.

RAM - This year may seem better if the last one wasn't too smooth for you. Still, from now until May/June (April/May in the lunar calendar) pay a lot of attention and be careful, especially around health -- mainly the stomach and GI system. Other parts of the body will need to have a regular check up for peace of mind. Your emotion might the key negative energy from, most time struggle in confusing and feel loneliness, thinking too much and too extreme. But this also good for creativity, probably an only good thing for those work as creative people.Overall, it's a so so year. We have to agree, health life is the best energy of all.

MONKEY - Another zodiac may has a so so year. Even though Boar isn't Monkey's opposite zodiac but do affect by it's negative energy, a year fills with quarrel, easy verbally fight with other, even you are Mr. Nice Guy do lose control into arguing. This would happens in February/May/August/November (January/April/July/October in Lunar). This can be happens among family, and be aware elderly family member's health. Be think twice when spending money, for those autumn and winter born, your energy just going down from now till 2022. Silence is golden, learn the true behind.

ROOSTER - It should be a very stable and ordinary year to you, don't expect any surprise. Keep yourself low key rather than too show off in ability nor personals. If you're single, look out in June and December (May and November in Lunar), your romance relationship energy will going high at those two months. Ordinary days could be the best days in life.

DOG - Hmm...the negative energy from last year won't be gone so soon, it still linger on till June/July (May/June in Lunar), then with positive energy helping, your relationship and performance at work will turning better. Be patient until June and you're on the road again. One more advice, if you feeling sick, don't hesitate, go see doctor even might be nothing. Those who stand still in dark night, sure can see the dawn comes.

Are you happy or worry about what you found out about your fortune prediction in the year of Boar? Always remind yourself, all these are only references, your own fate is still in your both hands, that's where the positive energy from.

Happy year of the Boar, and happy life!

Monday, April 8, 2019

42. Year of the Boar; What's Your Sign?

Okay, let's continue with expectations for additional Chinese zodiac signs this year of the boar: 

HARE -- You always seem more lucky than the others. Positive energies may not be overwhelmingly powerful, but they are already strong enough in the areas of relationship, making money in business or career, as well as doing well investing. Is that good enough for you this year of the boar?

Look out for the coming year 2020! You will be on top AGAIN. But one note of caution: always remember, when in the prime of life or at the top of your Chinese zodiac cycle when things just keep getting better and better, none of us can avoid rainy days forever.

DRAGON -- Congratulations! You are in the number one spot out of all the eleven zodiacs this year! With the strongest positive energies backing you, achieving your goals this year will happen without a lot of effort on your part.

For those of you born in autumn and winter, you may want to change jobs or start your own business. But wait until after May or June (that's April or May on the lunar calendar). For all singles, finding your other half and falling in love is a real possibility. Do we hear wedding bells? And those of you who are already married, a baby could be arriving sooner than later. Keep in mind, it's the wise who know how to make the best choices when luck is on their side.

SNAKE -- Sorry, you are in the year of your opposite zodiac; meaning this could be a most challenging one. For sure you will be facing lots of changes -- in career, relationships, and you might be moving. If you do move to a new house, avoid the front door facing northeast or southwest. When relocating, those born in  spring or summer will fare better in the northwest. You autumn or winter babies will do best in the southeast.

If you are in love or married, try to be patient with your partner if you don't want an unhappy ending. If work is going okay or at least tolerable, don't change your job this year. During the opposite zodiac year there can be more accidents. So be sure to keep to a frequent teeth cleaning regimen. Donating blood is always a good way to keep bad energies at bay. And, keep yourself in good spirits even when the challenges mount. Yes, that's a challenge in itself.

HORSE - On a scale of one to twelve Chinese zodiac signs, this year you're in the middle at a five/six. This means that it won't be a particularly good or bad year. But as the saying goes, everything in moderation.

Horse has enjoyed a few good years over the past couple, especially 2016, the year of Rooster. This year your behind-the-scenes guardian angel continues to help out in subtle ways. No matter what, however, 2020 will see your energy slowing down a lot. So make the most of this spring which could be your last chance to use up all that good energy that's been around you. After, just take things at a more leisurely pace and don't activate any new plans during this period.

What goes up must come down. Just make a point of being well prepared as you stand at the precipice of that steep slope.

We'll talk about the remaining Chinese zodiac signs in the next blog.

Monday, April 1, 2019

41. THE YEAR OF THE BOAR -- What's in Store for Your Chinese ZodiacSign?

It's the year of the boar -- What's in store for each of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs this new year?

BOAR -- As I've mentioned before, it being your zodiac year does not bring any special favors or extra good luck. Chances are, boars this year could be facing a lot of negative emotions, feeling down a lot of the time, especially those who are now between the ages of 36 and 48.

Try cheering yourself up. Don't isolate from friends. If possible, go on a vacation in November (October in the lunar calendar) -- go northwest if you were born in spring or summer; go Southeast if you were born in autumn or winter. Do NOT travel in the wrong direction.

Also, you might be susceptible to injuries that affect your legs or mouth, particularly in November (October in the lunar calendar). Be more careful when driving. Be sure to keep up a good oral hygiene schedule that includes routine cleanings. Donating blood during the month of November would be a positive thing to do. Just try to keep yourself lighthearted and always make an effort to remain patient no matter how challenging a situation.

RAT -- If we were to rate the 12 Chinese zodiac signs during the year of the boar -- from good to bad --  rat would come in at number three. That means you can expect to have a great year in most aspects of your life.

Your relationship energy is pretty strong, especially those who are single. It's a year with a lot of potential to find your soulmate. Success or not depends on the choices you make in pursuing romance this year. On the other hand, this year may NOT be the best for  those already married. For those of you in marriages, you will probably understand what I mean as the year unfolds.

Overall, be clever, creative and open to possibility. Your relationship energy is strong.  It can be used for romance, career, friends, family and it will teach you a valuable lesson about the meaning of devotion.

OX -- For those born under the sign of Ox whose last year was kind of unstable, this year will probably not see a lot of change. You will need to work harder for your own benefit. But be aware of what's around you. Your lucky opportunities may come from a great distance. Focus on connections beyond your local community. They might bring you good opportunities that are unexpected. Those born in spring or summer will experience a gradual increase in positive energies through 2022.

The message this year for ox -- remember to always look further and aim higher.

TIGER -- Be glad because you are about to enjoy a wonderful and profitable year. Helpful people from everywhere will be attracted by your positive energy.  They will be eager to offer a helping hand in your career or business aspirations.

But if you slow down to take a breather, you may feel lonely and slightly unhappy for a while. It will be easy to lose things or misplace them.

No matter what, the year of the boar will be a great 12 months. Your job this year, tiger, is to remember just one thing:  the way you treat others is how they will treat you back. Of course, that's good advice for every year.