Inspired living

In Chinese astrology, 2018 is the year of the yang earth dog. Discover what that means for you


The wu-xu, or yang earth dog year, starts on February 4, 2018, using the Chinese solar calendar. The lunar calendar used for celebrations gives the New Year on February 16. As the lunar New Year is well after the solar change, a less smoothly flowing year is indicated.

Strength and endurance

The stem “wu yang earth” is hard earth, like a rock or stone. Wu is also seen as a mountain: strong, enduring and immovable. Wu earth people are slow and steady, but they always see things through to the end.

The dog’s energy is dry and strong. In addition to yang earth, the dog has the hidden stems of yang fire and yin metal. The yin metal element xin gives hidden intelligence and creativity. Characteristics of this animal sign include loyalty, honesty, humour, lifelong friends and being a steady worker.

The combination of yang earth and the dog indicates a year of seriousness and staying in control since wu-xu is a “commanding pillar”. The hidden yang fire contained under the earth represents a volcano, seething with emotion but unable to release it unless there’s an explosion.

Keep a watch on dragon days during 2018. The dog and dragon clash with each other, and these days have the potential to create explosive situations. April 16 to May 14 is the dragon month and is a time to be careful in all things, especially on April 18 and 30 and May 12.

Growth and stability

There are two lifecycles for 2018: mao and yung. Lifecycles show where the stem (wu) is in relation to the cycle of the branches (xu), from birth to death. The dog is storage for wu’s earth, and mao is the vault of all lifecycles.

Anything started in private this year will remain secret. 2018 is a good year for saving, storing and increasing collections. Yung takes life less seriously than mao, which means gestation or nurture. Honest and sociable, no big aspirations are the hallmarks of yung. From this perspective, 2018 is an interesting mixture of firm and steady along with happy–go-lucky.

2018 sign combinations

If you are new to Chinese astrology, you may not know that you are more than just the animal sign of your birth year, or that there is a system of Chinese astrology called four pillars, which is based on your birth date and time using the stems and branches. The most important part of this system is the stem of the day you were born, the “day master”.

Wu yang earth combines with gui yin water. For women with a gui day master, this is a good year for marriage. For gui men it is a good year to focus on career. Wu controls ren yang water, indicating a tough time if your day master is ren. Jia yang wood controls wu, indicating a lucky or unexpected income.

The dog and rabbit together can form a “six harmony combination”. This brings rabbits good luck during 2018, especially if you have two rabbits on your chart.

The dog can combine with the tiger or horse to form fire. In one sense, having this combination is good if you are a tiger, because it gives the dog’s hidden yang fire an outlet, however it makes wu yang earth much stronger so there could be issues stemming from inaction.

The strongest combination will occur if you have both the rooster and monkey on your chart. These combine to form seasonal metal strengthened by wu yang earth — the mountain generates rich metals. If you have this combination and your chart likes metal, then 2018 will be an outstanding year for you.

From a basic check of your year branch, let’s look at how the dog will affect you:

Rat (1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008): Travel is highlighted, so keep your body moving, whether it be for business or pleasure. The lifecycle mao suits you this year, so surround yourself with nice things. You may rub some people the wrong way, so try to be clear and concise in your communications.

Ox (1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009): Justice and fair play may be on your mind this year and you may deal with the desire to become a Robin Hood for those around you, especially when it comes to children and young people. The romantic feelings felt so strongly in 2017 may begin to wane. It’ll be a good time to step back and analyse your close relationships to determine whether they are still serving you well.

Tiger (1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010): The dog and tiger form a fiery combination in 2018 with love, romance and all the things that make life great on the up and up. If you’ve had a tough time over the past couple of years, or have gotten into fights over small and big things, you are now in the beginning of the end of this phase. It is time to focus on career and wealth building, and to let your love life grow naturally.

Rabbit (1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011): The dog and the rabbit are great friends, so 2018 promises to be outstanding, especially when it comes to sex. If you’re a male in a long-term relationship, be wary of chasing greener pastures as you could lose out big time on property settlements if you can’t keep your hands to yourself. If you’re a female bunny, let your hair down and have some fun, as long as it doesn’t interfere with work plans. You may travel and see the world this year.

Dragon (1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000): In 2018, the dragon clashes with the dog and you may have some troubles at Home, or have to relocate due to work commitments. Despite the clashing, married dragons will enjoy their home life and, regardless of your relationship status, you will have a better time financially. Catching the travel bug is a strong possibility as well.

Snake (1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001): Snakes may work hard this year and, while it may not pay immediate benefits, the groundwork you lay will set you up for great financial gains in the future. It isn’t the best time to put all your money into property just yet, as that is at its lowest for the snake during the dog year. Instead, work hard, save as much as you can and wait for the perfect moment to invest.

Horse (1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002): The horse and dog combine to form fire, which gives you a great boost around your outlook and energy levels. Wealth (with less work!) is highlighted for you in 2018. Just be aware of rubbing people the wrong way or coming on too strong.

Sheep/Goat (1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003): The goat has a much nicer social life this year, especially with siblings and family members. You should find yourself vindicated for any false accusations or gossip in past years. If you have children, spend more time with them to offer extra-special love and guidance.

Monkey (1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004): Health for monkeys is getting better and better and, like the goat, you may enjoy happy times with family members. There will be more opportunity to travel and see the world from this year on, but make sure to be frugal with your spending when you do.

Rooster (1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005): You may find 2018 much easier to deal with than last year. Hopefully some of the decisions you’ve made in the past 12 months will pay dividends rather than bring you more problems. Socialise, network with others and make the most of your relationships this year.

Dog (1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006): It’s your year, dog, and financial stresses will be reduced. You may even have leftover money for that amazing getaway you’ve been dreaming about. There are two sorts of dogs: daytime and night-time. If you were born during the day, try not to burn the candle at both ends as your health might suffer. If you were born at night, putting some extra effort into your work will bring great financial results.

Pig (1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007): The pig isn’t generally known as the sexiest sign of the Chinese zodiac, but your pheromones will get hearts racing in 2018. In fact, many people will find themselves attracted to you, if only because of the great conversation. Take care, though, as your health is at its lowest point this year, so you may not bounce back from even minor health issues like you used to.

Feng shui for 2018

The following interpretations and recommendations are based on two schools of feng shui: San Yuan Flying Stars and San He.

San He is based around calculations between stems and branches (similar to Four Pillars astrology). The main way to use San He is to reduce the impact of any negative formations (in red), then to activate any positive formations that are available (in blue).

The positive Flying Stars are 1 Water, 4 Wood, 6 Metal, 8 Earth and 9 Fire. The negative stars are 2 Earth, 3 Wood, 5 Earth and 7 Metal.

Even though you will have good results from following this advice, it is not a substitute for having a trained feng shui practitioner assess the energy of your house. At a minimum, your practitioner should know Four Pillars astrology and the Flying Star system.

2018 Luo Pan transparent

The luo pan above has the annual formations from the Flying Star and San He schools of feng shui arranged for 2018 around the degrees of a compass. The Chinese representation of the compass is opposite to the Western; south is always shown at the top and the north at the bottom.

The centre is the 5 Earth star in the ba gua, and has the 9 Fire star visiting for 2018. This provides a mix of positive and negative effects, since the 9 Fire represents future prosperity but it reinforces the 5 Earth. This can have the effect of making poor or irrational decisions that affect your future. Use the metal element in the form of six Chinese coins to smooth the flow of qi towards success.

The south is 9 Fire in the ba gua, and is boosted by the annual 4 Wood star. Both of these stars are yin in nature, and the 4 represents romance as well as studies. In addition, 4 and 9 together are a “he tu” combination, meaning they have a strong affinity. The manifestation for the south is inappropriate love affairs and either great success or failure in examinations. With the San He formations Oppression and Good Virtue, there may be a push-pull situation in these two areas of life. You can solve this by using a combination of earth, metal and water colours, either in the décor or more simply by placing crystals and coins in a jar of water within the south sector.

The southwest (SW) has 6 Metal, a star that has waned but is still usable for career purposes. In the ba gua, the SW is 2 Earth qi, which boosts the metal, so if your house faces this direction or you have a door here, boost the metal element. This mix of qi will work especially well for women, whether in their own career or those supporting their husbands.

The southwest is a great area for spiritual development in 2018, as it sees the blending of heaven and earth energies. The San He school shows three positive formations and one negative. Broken Luck is mixed with the Yin Nobleman, so even if there are problems, there will be someone there to help. Publicity and Travel Horse will be very good for those working in the spiritual realm.

The west has metal in the ba gua being strengthened by 2 Earth, the mother nurturing the daughter. It is very yin qi, so there is the possibility of ghost activity if your home or door faces towards the west. If so, try to increase yang by using bright colours where possible. This combination doesn’t like sharp corners or large electrical installations.

The northwest (NW) has the annual 1 Water star boosted by 6 Metal in the ba gua: the father nurtures the son. This is also a He Tu combination indicating that the occupants of the home will always have enough to get by. The Year God Tai Sui occupies the first 15° of the northwest. The first San Sha (three thieves) in the last 15° NW can create problems here if there is construction or building work carried out.

The north has the opposite energy to 2017, and can be very unlucky in 2018. The negative 5 Earth dampens the ba gua’s water, and contains the second San Sha as well as Death Gate. If your door is located in the north, then try to use a secondary door to enter the home. Avoid all construction work here as well.

The northeast has the 3 Wood star as well as the third San Sha, Yang Nobleman and Scholar formations. The northeast is 8 Yang Earth in the ba gua and 3 Yang Wood controls it. It can bring problems for young males, particularly with anger issues, or it can manifest as health problems. The negative effects are weakened because 3 and 8 are another He Tu combination, so any disharmony leads to change and growth, especially thanks to the Scholar and Nobleman stars. You can help the earth of the northeast by using fire element here, whether by using candles, burning incense or adding red to the décor.

The east has the annual 7 Metal star and is the home to the ba gua 3 Wood star. When metal and wood clash, it is an indication of accidents, worry and stress. There can be implications of thieves and backstabbing. Normally the fire element is helpful, though using the colour red may create more problems than it solves. Burn a candle here every other day if your entry is in the east. The good San He star “Peach Blossoms” is adversely affected by the Flying Stars. Good Virtue means that good deeds are rewarded, so if your office or bedroom is in the east area, make sure that you can hold your head high and good luck will follow.

The southeast has the annual 8 Earth visiting the 4 Yin Wood palace. When these two stars meet, it can mean problems with the joints and small bones; however, it bodes well for young women. If your kitchen happens to be in the southeast, it indicates success. The trick is the fire element, adding just enough to brighten 4 Wood and strengthen 8 Earth without it becoming a drain on the homes resources. Sui Po, the Year Breaker, is resident in the first 15° so avoid construction work here, but the San He Wealth star is in the last 15°, boosting the lucky 8 and creating success. People with southeast-facing homes will have a good time in 2018.