Two NEW Kinds of Prejudice

I’ve written a book on Chinese astrology called “Pillars of Heaven: Chinese Astrology Explained.” It was published in 2008. The press run was very small; there are so few of them left that there’s no use advertising them on this web site, and I will need to get more money for another printing.

On February 3, 2010, at 10:48pm Greenwich Mean Time, the Yang Metal/Tiger year started. In my book, while discussing the emotional hot buttons of the Tiger personality, I used the negative emotion of prejudice to ask aloud: what purpose do the negative emotions serve? We are now in the second decade of the twenty-first century. I think it’s worth asking the question again. Aren’t we beyond an emotion like prejudice? And if not, shouldn’t we be? I will quote from my own words:

“I think the answer is simple, but hard to swallow: because there is some survival value to it. The world is a large place. Nobody can handle even a small slice of it and remain sane. One is obliged to ruthlessly edit out of one’s attention huge amounts of the world’s sensory input — or go mad. Until one has accepted the challenge of being fully adult, fully conscious, and at least consciously philosophical, (prejudice) works as a crude, but effective filter to simplify your life for you.”

If arrogance is the emotional injury to the Tiger personality that afflicts the (assumedly) intelligent, prejudice is the emotional injury that hurts the ignorant and non-intelligent. Certainly there are more ignorant people than informed people in the world, as we all start out ignorant, and proceed to acquire knowledge — if we’re lucky. Whether there are more non-intelligent people in the world than intelligent people, I don’t know. How are you going to measure intelligence, who’s going to do all the work, and where are the dividing lines between the intelligent and non-intelligent going to be placed? Still, both intelligent people and non-intelligent people can be ignorant. Since dispelling ignorance takes work, and remaining ignorant takes no work to maintain, I think we can assume that more people suffer from prejudice than arrogance, and that prejudice is always going to be in ample supply.

If you are ignorant about an issue you are very likely going to act and react with prejudice about that issue. Informing people, making them aware of a body of knowledge about which they are unaware, is the first step in dispelling prejudice; so it is with great displeasure that I announce TWO BRAND NEW kinds of prejudice.

* * * * *

The first “new” variety of prejudice goes under the name Power Exchange.

Almost nobody knows about Power Exchange despite its being all around us, and despite having been with us for all of human history. It’s intermeshed with racism, and it’s woven tightly to gender, but it’s distinct from either of these.

Power Exchange is a social correlary to the Taoist principle of Yin/Yang: in any interaction between two conscious beings, one will be On Top, and the other will be On the Bottom. There may not, in a given interaction, be a large difference between the two participants, but there will always be either “Top” in excess or “Bottom” in excess in any issue between peoples.

One can be On Top with respect to some parts of your life and On The Bottom with respect to other parts of your life.

Yes, Dear Reader, I know that this reads very simply and very stupidly, but the implications of these simple and seemingly stupid observations are everywhere — and staggering.

Nobody is always On Top and nobody is always On The Bottom. We all have countless conscious interactions in our lives but none of them are truly neutral. You can be Topping and Bottoming to somebody at the same time. Everyone switches from Top to Bottom constantly, depending upon context and personal advantage.

Take the example of two “equals” interacting: one buying and one selling. The buyer is On Top with regards to money but On The Bottom with respect to a product or service. The seller “has the goods,” and is On Top with respect to those goods, but On The Bottom with respect to money. Both of these people are equal in value, in essential worth, but both are either On Top or On The Bottom of an interaction depending upon their needs and natures. If the people were identical then no shift from Top to Bottom would take place and neither would ANY interaction. There would be no point.

In an ideal sale AN EXCHANGE OF POWER IS TAKING PLACE. If I need something from you, I give you the Top position in that regard. If you need something from me, you give me the Top position in return.

However, if I’m giving you the Top position in our dealings, that doesn’t mean the I have no power. I’m giving power to you — exchanging power — to get a boon in return.

All people have both power and worth. You cannot exchange power if you have neither power or worth to exchange!

One of the tragedies of human culture — all human culture and every civilization known to history — is that we have equated TOP with worth and BOTTOM with worthlessness. You can see how this dynamic plays out historically with both race and gender, while being distinct from both.

Top and Bottom are both equally valuable. Not just equally necessary, equally VALUABLE.

Top does not equal strength and Bottom does not equal weakness. Top does not equal virtue and Bottom does not equal depravity. Top does not necessarily equal male and Bottom does not necessarily equal female. Top does not equal desirable and Bottom does not equal undesirable.

Have I made myself clear here? I can keep bashing at this, I don’t mind; the issue is important enough. It underlies every human interaction but is never discussed calmly and openly. It’s never even THOUGHT about; all interactions and discussions assume a position on the subject and proceed from there, never recognizing that the abuse of the Bottom by the Top poisons almost everything and infects almost everybody.

Even issues that seem clear-cut are often not. All things being equal, Male tends to be on Top and Female tends to be on the Bottom, but not always. Who’s on Top and who’s on the Bottom depend on the individuals involved, not on the sex or gender of their birth. There are many women who would be healthier, happier and flourish more by being on Top. There are many men who would be stronger, happier, and healthier by being on the Bottom.

I regard the issue of Top and Bottom in human interaction to be prior to culture, religion, or ethics. It should be, as a correlary to the axiomatic concept of Yin/Yang, although heaven knows that most of the world would vehemently disagree with the words I’ve just typed. I will give you as provocative as statement on this issue as I can: I believe that a proper and comprehensive understanding of Islam would support my view that Top and Bottom are equally valuable. I am not a scholar of Islam. There are, without doubt, scholars who can trash my view with ease — both advocates and opponents of Islam.

Sorry, I don’t care; but I think it would be hard to argue against the historical home of Islam, the Middle East, currently being a place where the most vociferous advocates of the religion also abuse the issue of Top versus Bottom the most. It matters not, for the sake of this discussion, that the most radical advocates of Islam have the ascendancy in the Middle East in reaction to the poisonous things that have been done to them by other cultures, but it is still true, that in the Middle East, male culturally means Top, female culturally means Bottom, and Bottom equals EVIL.

Lest we in the United States turn our noses up at our brothers and sisters in the Middle East, understand that Top and Bottom are just as abused here as any place else. In fact, the division in the U.S. isn’t even Top/Bottom; it’s Top/Not-Top. It’s as if people who are not On Top, don’t even exist, and certainly don’t count.

Top abusing Bottom affects every facet of our lives. It affects Money. It affects Race. It affects Gender. It affects Commerce. It affects Employment (Oh, hell, does it affect employment). It affects Politics. The issue of Top/Bottom cannot be escaped, and there should be no need to escape it. What needs to begin is making people aware that people on Top abuse people on the Bottom for as much as they can get away with.

Educating society on this subject will take years, but as a problem to be addressed it is centuries overdue.

* * * * *

People are born Tops and born Bottoms.

How do I justify saying so? Astrology is my justification. If astrology is real (and it is, Friends, yes indeed it is) then whether you are primarily on Top or On the Bottom is something you are born with, and can’t help.

Yes, yes, you can work with your nature, or fight against it to some extent, sometimes fruitfully. While your body is subject to certain genetics; you can become stronger by lifting weights, you can become taller by seeing a chiropractor, you can lose weight by exercising and/or lap-band surgery. But if your body has “average” genetics you can’t become a defensive tackle for the Chicago Bears just by lifting weights, you can’t play center for the Los Angeles Lakers by seeing a chiropractor, and you can’t become the next Heidi Klum with exercise and surgery alone.

What modern science (and many modern people) won’t realize is that mental, emotional, and psychological qualities are as fixed as physical ones.

Nobody should be shocked at this. But many people are — or they deny it. They deny it because, among other reasons, certain mental/emotional/psychological qualities tend to belong to Tops, and are therefore more valued than the qualities belonging to Bottoms.

It is one of the great lies of our civilization that the mental and emotional qualities of a person should be treated as infinitely malleable, so that, among other things, in theory everyone can be a Top, if they just want to. People perpetuate the lie because having different mental and emotional qualities is seen as an obstacle to, and a vicious denial of, the ideal of democracy.

To quote Bruce Dern in the Burt Kennedy-directed comedy, “Support Your Local Sheriff”: “Why, that’s just plain dumb and stupid!!”

Should Franklin Roosevelt have bowed down to any five-year-old who could walk, just because he couldn’t?

Should a man in South Carolina in 1845 give up and die, because the color of his skin is black?

Should pitcher Greg Maddux call himself a failure because he couldn’t last ten rounds in the ring against Mike Tyson?

Should Marilyn Monroe have been condemned for lacking 18-inch muscular arms?

Condemning someone for lacking the mental/emotional/psychological qualities of a Top is just as offensive as the preceding physical examples. If I assert that you’re born either basically a Top or basically a Bottom, and I use astrology to back me up, I’d better start proving it.

* * * * *

You can see how power is exchanged between peoples by looking at their charts. Often the Chinese chart alone is enough to tell the tale. You can also tell — and this can be a very dangerous piece of information, given the Top-centric and Top-toxic nature of our culture — who is a Top and who is a Bottom. Again, the Chinese chart is often good enough, by itself, to let you know who is who.

You can tell who is a Top, and is naturally at ease being a Top. You can tell who is on Top, and who struggles every waking moment to stay on Top. You can tell who is a Bottom. You can tell who would be happier and healthier being a Bottom. You can tell, by chart alone, who is miscast in life — often by the possessor of the chart — as a Top or as a Bottom.

There exists a community, a very small subset within the body of our culture, for whom the issue of Top and Bottom is central to their lives. I have borrowed the term “Power Exchange” from this community. This community is steeped in controversy, or would be, if Mainstream America knew more about it; for belonging to this community is fraught with social peril. Families can be torn apart and jobs and careers can be lost if one is revealed to be a member.

Many of the names of the practices in this community are known to the general public: Sadomasochism, Bondage and Discipline, Dominant and Submissive; even Master (or Mistress) and Slave exist here. The general public regards these practices as kinky, and dismisses them. The common denominator is that Power Exchange is central and in the forefront of these social and personal interactions.

What makes the Power Exchange community so important to talk about is not the extreme nature of the Power Exchange relationships and practices, but the one element of the community that is conspicuously lacking in the outside world — and should not be:

In the Power Exchange community, all power is exchanged by explicit, mutual consent.

For much of 2009 I have studied the Power Exchange community astrologically. A much longer article on this community is called for, and should be forthcoming. I will illustrate a few features I’ve gleaned from my studies, to show pertinent astrological factors as to who is a Top and who is a Bottom; and I will use examples primarily from Chinese astrology.

1. If the element of your Day Branch/Animal overpowers your Day Stem, you are at a disadvantage with a significant other.

One person in five has this feature. Being at a disadvantage with a spouse is very common. However, being at a disadvantage with a spouse does not guarantee being a Bottom — not all the time, anyway.

	4 1 6 7                                                 甲 丁
	0 3 2 5                                                午 卯 辰 丑

This is Jack Nicholson. His Day Stem is Yin Earth, meaning that he likes to harmonize and coordinate people and projects around him. It gives him a focus on pleasure. His Day Branch is Rabbit, which consists of the element Yin Wood. Since Yin Earth is defeated by Yin Wood, Mr. Nicholson is at a disadvantage with a spouse.

Let me give you a clue that will often indicate when a celebrated person is at a Chinese chart disadvantage with a significant other: check to see how much older they are than their significant other(s).

By this little metric, Mr. Nicholson wins, hands down. Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937 at 11am Eastern Standard Time, Neptune, New Jersey. The birth data is given the Rodden Rating of “A”, meaning that the birth time was from the memory of the person whose data it is, or from a parent. According to the Wikipedia, Mr. Nicholson has had five significant others: Sandra Knight (January 1, 1940), Michelle Phillips (June 4, 1944), Angelica Huston (July 8, 1951), Bebe Buell (July 14, 1953), and Lara Flynn Boyle (March 24, 1970). Four of the five women are at least seven years younger than he is. The talented Ms. Boyle is almost thirty-three years younger.

Having this factor in his Chinese chart has not made Jack Nicholson a Bottom. Remember that our culture brutalizes Bottom-ness so much that striving to be a Bottom is as foolish as giving away all of your possessions to strangers on the street: if you can avoid being a Bottom at all, nearly everyone nowadays will do so. As you will see further down, Jack has another Chinese chart feature that more than guarantees his status as a Top.

2. If the element of your Day Stem overpowers your Day Branch/Animal, you are at an advantage with a significant other.

In keeping with my penchant for highly exaggerated examples, here is a person who had a deadly and brutal advantage over a significant other — to the extent that he could even call any woman a significant other:

	3 7 1 1                                                 庚 丙
	5 7 3 *                                                子 辰 申 午

Edward Gein was the real-life inspiration for the movies “Psycho,” “Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” and “Silence of the Lambs.” His pathological and dominating means of showing his affections for the female objects of his desires was to kill and eat them.

Not everyone who has an advantage over a significant other is going to do harm to their significant other!!!! Just as one person in five will be at a disadvantage with a spouse, one person in five will have the advantage. The vast majority of those people will be perfectly decent and worthwhile people — my own father, for instance. Also, not everyone with this feature will be a Top.

I’m trying to find correlations. I’m trying to find correlations that are a solid as “Height equals Basketball Player.” Not everyone who is tall will want to play basketball, and not everyone who has these features in their charts will be guaranteed to be Tops or guaranteed to be Bottoms.

3. If you have no elemental disadvantage in your Chinese chart, you are likely to be a Top. If you have no place in your Chinese chart where you have the energy advantage, you are more likely to be a Bottom.

I need to explain what I mean by energy advantage/disadvantage:

Every piece of a Chinese chart has an element — one of the Taoist Five Elements — associated with it. Each one of these elements has one that reinforces it, one that feeds it, one that drains it, one that it checks or destroys, and one that checks or destroys it. When you check or destroy an element, you have energy advantage over it. When an element checks or destroys you, it has energy advantage over you.

Just as the ascendant represents “you” in a Western astrology chart, the piece of the Chinese chart on top of the Day Pillar — the Day Stem — represents “you” in a Four Pillars Chinese chart. When we speak of energy advantage or disadvantage in a Chinese chart, the Day Stem is the part where we judge if the person possesses either advantage or disadvantage.

Because the Day Stem in Jack Nicholson’s chart is Yin Earth, Jack is a Yin Earth. In Taoist Five Element terms, Earth defeats Water. Wherever there is Water in Mr. Nicholson’s chart, he has energetic advantage in the arena of life where that Watery piece governs. Wood defeats Earth. Wherever there is Wood in Mr. Nicholson’s chart, he is at an energetic disadvantage where that Wooden piece holds sway in his life.

	9 7 6 6                                                 庚 壬
	* 9 X 4                                                巳 亥 戍 子

This is a woman at my place of work last year. Like Jack Nicholson, she is a Yin Earth. Her Animal Year, Yang Water/Rat, is entirely Watery. Her Day Animal, which is Boar, is almost all Water as well. Other than a very small amount of Wood which occurs in every Boar, she has no Wood in her natal chart at all. As she has three places out of eight where she has energy advantage, and no places where she is at an energy disadvantage, you might expect that she is a Top, and you would be correct.

4. If your Hour Pillar feeds you, you want to take responsibility; you enjoy it. If your Hour Pillar drains, or oppresses you, you don’t like to take responsibility.

If you like to take responsibility, you like being the boss. Many people in this life are very visible Tops because being the boss simply makes them feel better:

	3 8 5 3                                                 辛 丙
	3 0 1 3                                                辰 寅 丑 辰

Another person from the workplace. The big, bold “5” in the Chinese chart means that he is a Yang Earth. His Hour Pillar is Yang Fire/Dragon. Yang Fire/Dragon is a very nourishing head space for a Yang Earth person. His Year Pillar, the way he behaves in the general public, and his Hour Pillar, the way he behaves as a boss, are exactly the same. Small wonder he really likes being The Boss, and has positioned himself as a Top in the workplace.

This is the Chinese chart factor that makes Jack Nicholson a Top. He is at an energetic disadvantage in two places in his chart, and he has no place where he is at an energetic advantage. But as a Yin Earth, he has Fire in both his Year and Hour Pillars, so he likes being the Boss.

Mr. Nicholsons Jyotish chart reinforces his desires to stay On Top:

║Sat      │SUN      │Ket      │         ║ ASC 09Can30'48
║         │Mer      │         │         ║ SUN 09Ari06'49
║         │Ven      │         │         ║ MON 06Vir04'10
║         │ura      │         │         ║ Mer 28Ari39'08
╟─────────┼─────────┴─────────┼─────────╢ Ven 01Ari45'55
║         │1937/04/22         │ASC      ║ Mar 12Sco08'41
║         │11:00am EST        │plu      ║ Jup 03Cap30'59
║         │Neptune, NJ        │         ║ Sat 06Pis43'38
║         │74W01  40N13       │         ║ ura 16Ari09'03
╟─────────┤                   ├─────────╢ nep 23Leo30'49
║Jup      │                   │nep      ║ plu 03Can32'44
║         │                   │         ║ Rah 23Sco01'05
║         │                   │         ║ Ket 23Tau01'05
║         │                   │         ║
║         │Mar      │         │MON      ║
║         │Rah      │         │         ║
║         │         │         │         ║
║         │         │         │         ║

One of the modern “innovations” in Jyotish comes from V. K. Choudhry’s Systems Approach: designating the degree of the ascendant as the Most Effective Point in every one of the twelve signs. Jack Nicholson has the degree of his ascendant at 9 Cancer 30'48. That means that 9 degrees, 30 minutes and 48 seconds of every sign is the Most Effective Point in the sign. Nine degrees and change means within the tenth degree of the sign.

Nicholson’s natal Sun is only 23 minutes and 59 seconds away from the Most Effective Point in Aries. Ten degrees of Aries is the degree of the highest exaltation of the Sun.

One seemingly negative feature of this chart, while we are on the subject of the exaltations of the planets, is the position of Jupiter. The fifth degree of Capricorn is the degree of the lowest fall for Jupiter. Nicholson has Jupiter in the fourth degree of Capricorn. However, Jupiter aspects into the fourth degree of Cancer, which is only one degree away from Jupiters highest exaltation. In Jyotish, a planet that casts an aspect into a sign devoid of planets still helps the sign if it’s a benefic and hurts the sign if it’s malefic. Cancer is not an empty sign for Jack; it is his ascending sign, and in the fourth degree of Cancer, Nicholson has Pluto sitting there, what the late, great Richard Houck described as “the planet of raw power.” Jack has Pluto in his first house sitting on one of the degrees that Jupiter influence likes the most, and Jupiter is casting an aspect onto that point that's only one minute and forty-five seconds away from exact.

While Jack Nicholson has two factors in his Chinese chart that point to his being a Bottom, and one factor in the Chinese chart that points to his being a Top, his Jyotish chart gives him the chart muscle to stay On Top.

As you might guess, Jack Nicholson does have to struggle every waking moment to remain a Top, and succeeds — so far. In a different world, Mr. Nicholson would not struggle to remain On Top so relentlessly. Having, as he does, factors in his Chinese chart that correspond both to Top and Bottom, in this hypothetical different world he could switch between being On Top and On the Bottom and, perhaps, have an even happier life than he does now.

In the Power Exchange world, there is a recognized designation called “switch,” a person who likes to Top sometimes and Bottom sometimes. I am not refuting my own assertions that everyone is primarily a Top or a Bottom. Just as, in the theory of Yin/Yang, there are no phenonema that are all Yin or all Yang, neither are there people who are all Bottom or all Top. Everyone switches between the two. The issue here is that you do switch; nobody sits on the center of the see-saw between Top and Bottom and camps out in the middle — nobody.

Egalitarianism is a valid ideal, but we should not let it fool us into believing that some people are perfectly and permanently balanced between being a Top and being a Bottom. Such people, and such a situation, doesn’t exist. The proper understanding of egalitarianism should be that, regardless of differences between peoples, everyone is of equal value and worth.

If you wonder why I haven’t given an example of a Bottom yet, I have three reasons:

  • Trying to be a Bottom in this, our modern world, is as brutal as trying to be gay in 1930. No matter that you were naturally gay; coming out in 1930 was a treacherous thing to do, and this is true of being a Bottom, today.

  • Calling someone a Bottom, when they finally understand what you mean, will be seen as a grave insult and will not earn you friends.

  • When I complete my study of the Power Exchange community, I can give unambiguous examples of people who are Bottoms and who are neither afraid or ashamed of that status. No, I do not intend to give names — the members of that study will remain anonymous.

    5. If you have headspaces that give you both energy advantage and energy disadvantage, or energy benefit and energy drain — and the two of them are in conflict — you will tend to fight to stay On Top.

    	7 9 X 1                                                 壬 庚
    	7 5 X 1                                                寅 亥 午 申

    This person has one place where she has the decided energy advantage. She has no places where she is at an energy disadvantage. As a Yin Water Day Stem, her Yang Metal/Monkey Year is the most nourishing possible Pillar for her. Having a Yang Wood/Tiger Hour Pillar is the least nourishing, most draining Pillar possible for her. As Monkey and Tiger are in conflict, this means that her most nourishing headspace and her most draining headspace hate each others guts.

    Her other animals are Horse and Boar. Both Horse and Boar get along with Tiger better than they get along with Monkey. In effect, this makes the Horse and Boar takes sides with the Tiger against the Monkey — three Pillars ganging up against one — and the excluded Pillar is the most nourishing part of her Chinese chart!

    These are the Four Pillars of Leona Helmsley. A July 4 birthday, Helmsley is exactly nine years older than a sports team-owning Top, Al Davis of the Los Angeles Raiders, and exactly ten years older than another sports team-owning Top, George Steinbrenner of the New York Yankees. there something about Independence Day that breeds Tops?

    Ms. Helmsley was not only a Top, apparently she was something of an abusive Top as well. She was, by reputation, foul-mouthed, perfectionist, and tyrannical. By the mid-1980’s she earned herself the moniker “The Queen of Mean.” The Power Exchange community would call her actions “Topping without Consent.”

    * * * * *

    None of these Chinese chart features is intended to definitively prove, by itself, that a person is a Top or a Bottom. They are indicators and have to be treated seriously as such. Much more often, they are indicators that a person is either a Bottom who is reluctant to behave like a Bottom, or a Top who has to work hard to remain On Top.

    These are the only five Top/Bottom indicators I will mention at this time: I have yet to complete my study of the Power Exchange community, and expect to find more.

    * * * * * * * * * *

    The second “new” variety of prejudice has yet to exist in the modern world, although it probably reared its ugly head in the ancient world. It’s called Chart Prejudice.

    Prejudice can only happen when an issue is taken seriously. Chart Prejudice is, of course, pre-judging someone on the basis of their astrology chart, or charts. Prejudice does take place today, on the basis of Sun Signs, but these attributes are mostly not taken seriously, even by practicing astrologers. Employers do not deny a person a job because the applicant “is a Pisces, and everyone knows that Pisces’ can’t concentrate.”

    Using the Tropical zodiac that we use today, the ancient Greeks discovered/invented/codified astrology for individual people around 160 B.C.E. Advocates of Jyotish may, with some merit, claim that they had astrology for individual people hundreds and maybe thousands of years prior to the Greeks, but our purpose is not to debate the antiquity of astrology. Suffice it to say that, very soon, astrology was taken very seriously indeed. Thrasyllus was the astrologer to the Roman Emperor Tiberius. An unnamed astrologer in ancient Rome cast a chart for a young man and upon reading the results, promptly fell on his knees and bowed to the future Augustus Caesar.

    Mild digression. I happen to believe that the centuries on either side of the birth of Christ were “littered” with Messianic figures partly because of astrology. I contend that a Messiah became necessary because astrology proved to be too efficient and accurate at predicting the fate of a person. People needed a way to escape the relentless march of fate, and a Messiah was a way to break free from an unshakeable destiny.

    Because of my experience with the findings on Hellenistic astrology from Project Hindsight, my experiences with Medieval astrology, and the centuries old practice of Jyotish, I contend that the astrologies possessed by the ancients were far more accurate than nearly all of the astrologies employed by modern people today. Unlike Art and Science, Astrology missed out on the Renaissance. Astrology’s Renaissance has been happening since about 1993, and is continuing today.

    Because of the efficacy of the older astrologies entering into the modern world, astrology will be taken seriously again. It may take years, but fewer than we think. When this happens, people will discriminate against each other on the basis of charts.

    Should people make judgments about other people on the basis of astrology? Of course they should. Will people make foolish and irresponsible decisions based on astrology — based on the misuse of astrology? Of course they will. Still, I believe it’s better to have more information than less. It’s better to make errors based on the misuse of information, rather than a dearth of information. That’s a deep-seated prejudice of mine. To help encourage the responsible use of astrology, let me illustrate the folly of focussing on one seemingly “negative” feature in a Four Pillars Chinese chart: having two opposite Zodiac Animals in one chart.

    Opposite Zodiac Animals is one of the few facts that you can get from reading a placemat at a Chinese restaurant. This is the Tiger Year. If you read your placemat, you will find that the Tiger should “avoid the Monkey.” Here is a list of the opposing Chinese Animals:

    Rat Horse
    Ox Sheep
    Tiger Monkey
    Rabbit Rooster
    Dragon Dog
    Snake Boar

    Just to remind you: everyone has four Animals in their Chinese chart, not just one. With four Animals to choose from, it is entirely possible to have one of these pairs in your chart; the probability of it happening is 33%, so the occurance is not at all uncommon. The inexperienced Chinese astrologer will see such a pairing in a chart and conclude that the possessor of the chart has a “bad” chart.

    Having two of these Animals in your Chinese chart is an internal conflict. There’s no way around that. Having two of your Animals clashing inside of you is less comfortable than not having them clash, but to call this a disadvantage is a stupid mistake. Many happy, successful, and worthwhile people have such combinations:

    The first example of “happy, successful, and worthwhile” comes from personal experience, from a friend. In deference to my friend’s privacy I will only give the Year and Month Pillars of the chart, the parts that give the opposite Zodiac Animals:

    	3 7                                                庚 丙
    	7 1                                                寅 申

    I’ve known this person from 2nd grade; we graduated from high school together. She is highly intelligent, personable, engaging, and well-spoken. While the issue of personal integrity does not come up every minute of every day, I can look back over the years on all of our dealings and all of the times I’ve been in her presence, and I can state truthfully that her integrity has never been breached that I know of. She is the Chief Executive Officer of a large Seattle-based corporation and has had audiences with both President Bush and President Obama — and they should have felt lucky to have her around, if you ask me.

    My friend is, all by herself, sufficient proof that having opposite Zodiac Animals in your Chinese chart can be a very good thing.

    While we’re on the subject of presidents, let’s bring up Barack Obama:

    	8 2 7 2                                                 乙 辛
    	0 6 5 8                                                酉 午 未 丑

    This being 2010 as I write this, I don’t know how happy Mr. Obama is at this moment, but I think that successful and worthwhile are labels that he can still wear with distinction. If Chinese chart opposition internal conflict were such a bad thing, he would be neither, as he is born in an Ox year and a Sheep month.

    I have always found it very interesting that the three most powerful Americans born in 1946 possess the Dog Year/Dragon Hour internal conflict, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Donald Trump:

    	3 3 2 7                                                 丙 丙
    	9 7 0 3                                                辰 丑 申 戍
    	3 1 8 9                                                 甲 丙
    	9 5 4 3                                                辰 巳 午 戍
    	3 1 6 5                                                 甲 丙
    	9 5 6 3                                                辰 未 午 戍

    In the near future underinformed people will look at birth charts of their fellow travelers in life and misinterpret what they see. Opposite Chinese Animals is only one of countless ways in which astrology charts will be misused — and, hopefully, also, properly used. But unless the dangers are brought up, those dangers will never be addressed. I choose to bring them up before the trouble starts.

    Ko Hashiguchi • 425-919-2169 •