2016: Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey

The Year for Expressing Yourselves Clearly

By Richard Giles

Welcome to the Chinese New Year for 2016. This New Year begins in February on Monday 8th on the second Aquarian New Moon of 2016 –  this new Moon is the beginning of the traditional lunar Chinese calendar. Chinese New Year is a festival that always begins two New Moons after Winter Solstice, with the Sun and Moon in Aquarius. This year begins a new zodiac animal cycle, the year of the outgoing and tricky Fire Monkey.  Chinese tradition employs both Solar and Lunar calendars and for the Solar calendar the year begins 4th February but New Moon day of 8th February begins all the major cultural Lunar New Year celebrations.     

2015 was a full on year ruled by the Sheep/Goat energies and the possibilities of conflicts were all there with clashing elements of Wood and Earth.  I said last year that – “Discord will continue in the international scene. There will be strong attempts to reduce conflicts this year. But conflict in the Middle East may continue, with the potential for clashes to escalate into another type of Gulf War.”  Certainly the Middle East turned into an even bigger problem with the rise of ISIS and the take overs of sections of both Syria and Iraq by the armed militias of the ISIS groups seizing US equipment when the Iraqi armies fled before them giving ISIS a huge firepower advantage.

The combination of elements this year is of Fire on top with the Monkey (Metal element) below. Fire and Metal clash so according to the Chinese cycle of birth and destruction Fire melts and conquers Metal and they are therefore in a difficult cycle. Normally that conflict means disharmony so there will be international conflict.  However, they may not be as bad with Yang Fire sitting on Monkey, this a symbol of the setting Sun and Metal represents the west direction.  Its the end of a cycle of older conflicts and the chance for something new later in the next dawn. Conflicts will be more easily resolved with compromises coming after sunset.


The Monkey is considered by some sections of Chinese astrology to be both Yin and Yang.  The Monkey God found in both Chinese and Indian mythology lives a life span of several thousand years.  In the first 800 years he is found to be not always so benevolent, but as he ages he becomes charming and helpful.  There are many expressions concerning monkeys –  Sharp as a monkey and Crafty as a monkey are two.  He is crafty, agile, clownish and an animal that surprises and baffles or tricks us.  Monkeys in the monkey forests of Asia are not to be trusted as they, while looking all attractive and innocent, will suddenly reach out and snatch your bag or wallet as many a dismayed tourist in Asia has found out.

Leaping from branch to branch, the monkey symbolises the world of consciousness and the mind.  Indeed there is a meditation method that helps to control the perpetually roving expressions of the mind and emotions.  Controlling the ‘monkey mind’ is the teaching of many meditation masters.

The Chinese story of the monkey and how he came to be king is a lengthy one.  Monkey was a rock from the beginning of the world and as he first adsorbed the rays of the Sun and Moon he grew and grew until he swelled and burst giving birth to a stone egg.  The egg split and from it emerged a living stone monkey.  He had all the five senses and learnt to travel and thus he travelled to the mountains where he fed on the fruit of trees and drank water until he climbed to the mountain tops where he met other monkeys.  He became good friends with them.  One very hot day during a trip to the centre of the forests with other monkeys and gibbons they discovered a pure sparkling deep stream.  They decided to jump in to find the source.  All of them agreed that whomever found the source would be proclaimed king. Stone Monkey dived in first and went all the way to the bottom.  There he found the source which was a palace of flowers and fruits and a land of happiness.  Monkey hurried back to tell the others and they immediately proclaimed him the king. All the monkeys plunged into the water to go and live in the beautiful palace.  Stone Monkey declared himself king of all and took over the palace’s throne.  Even though he then had everything he began suffering from anxiety and depression.  He had learned of old age and death which had not previously troubled Stone Monkey. He decided to leave these riches and go in search of fulfillment and immortality.  On that search little by little his body and mind changed until he ended up changing into a human.  He then understood himself and the world much more clearly transcending his former anxieties and difficulties.

In India the Monkey god is called Hanuman.  Hanuman is one of the most celebrated and worshipped figures in Indian religion, but mention him outside of India and you are likely to be met with a blank stare.  Who is Hanuman? As is the case for many of the Indian gods, different stories are told explaining his birth. In one interpretation the gods Shiva and Parvati decide to transform themselves into monkeys and indulge in amorous games in the forest.  As a result Parvati became pregnant.  Shiva, conscious of his responsibilities and desiring to conform to the laws of nature, directed the wind god Vayu to carry the offspring from Parvati’s womb to that of Anjana – one with the form of a monkey who had prayed to be granted a boy child. In another version of the story Hanuman is the offspring of Anjana and Vayu.  And in another version, he is the son of the King and Queen of the Monkeys. Because of his bravery, perseverance, strength and devotion Hanuman is regarded as a perfect symbol of selflessness and loyalty. He helps individuals to counter the bad karma of selfish action, and grants the believer fortitude and strength in his or her own trials during life’s journey.  He is also invoked in fights against sorcery and protective amulets depicting him are extremely popular among Hanuman devotees.

This story on Monkey wouldn’t be complete without mention of ‘Monkey Magic’, the Chinese/BBC TV series (first shown on ABC TV in 1981). Monkey is described in the theme song as being “born from an egg on a mountain top”; a stone egg and thus is a stone monkey. He is a skilled fighter who becomes brash king of a monkey tribe, and as the song says was “the funkiest monkey that ever popped”.  He achieved a little enlightenment, and proclaimed himself “Great Sage, Equal of Heaven”. After demanding the gift of a magical staff from a powerful Dragon king, and to quiet the din of his rough antics on Earth, Monkey is approached by Heaven to join their host, first in the lowly position of Master of the Stable (manure disposal), and then as “Keeper of the Peach Garden of Immortality”. Monkey ate many of the peaches which took millennia to ripen, became immortal and ran amok. Having earned the ire of Heaven and being beaten in a challenge by a cloud-dwelling Buddha, Monkey is imprisoned for 500 years under a mountain in order to learn patience. Eventually Monkey is released by the monk Tripitaka who has been tasked by the Boddhisatva Guanyin  to undertake a pilgrimage from China to India to fetch the holy scriptures.  Monkey is now considered a cult classic in countries where its been shown.  Among the features  contributing to its appeal are the theme song and the memorable battles which for many Western youngsters were their first exposure to Chinese-style fantasy action sequences.

Note that the monkey in Chinese stories uses the wind to fly and the god Hanuman is the protector of people and is the brave and strong perseverer. This gives us some clues to the qualities needed to handle events in 2016.


The Monkey is intelligent, clear-sighted and very keen of mind (Years: 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004). They are very able being gifted in many areas of life. They like movement, ideas and the discussion of new things. They detest feeling excluded or ignored by others and this can shake their self-confidence. They like socialising and are a wow at parties. They have a natural ability for expressing themselves in clear precise language. And they are remarkably adaptable and show a fresh, young enthusiastic side as well.

There are according to some researchers of Chinese astrology differences in the descriptions of individuals born in the Monkey year and the actual character of Monkey as described in Chinese studies.  Sometimes, given the variations in the trickster quality of the monkey character its not surprising. Monkeys are jokers, actors and manipulators of ideas but they don’t always conform to the idea of the bad character side of Monkeys.  Its considered that of all the 12 signs Monkeys are able to get the best out of the world.  What we see in Monkeys is they share a brand of vivacity and fantasy and honour that is different – and they can change from a joyful, playful type into a serious and haughty type in a matter of minutes confusing those who thought they knew that person.

The Monkey is both a generous person and wants to be chivalrous.  He takes great care of others and is tactful and adroit.  He is often too rational and this places him in a difficult position with friends.

Monkeys adore children and are known as the eternally young zodiac sign.  In fact its often said that the monkey is both a child and an old man at the same time.  Young monkey children are intelligent and often gifted so educating them is not hard.  To keep him/her involved in family you must above all interest him.  He needs dialogue and surprises. Best professions are as politicians, diplomats, writers, storytellers, salesman, actors, orators or as thieves.


Monkey people are known to behave with great charm and kindness and as they love to please will seem wonderful to a new partner.  In love they throw themselves into the new love with intensity . They are easily carried away, and can seduce you with the flick of a wrist. However, they love the temptations and the conquest. When they do settle; which is not easy, they like a lively social life and are surrounded by friends. But often they are also alone in their friendships, as their intelligence is too sharp and their minds too rational to stay with enthusiasm and commitment. They are quick to sense in their loved ones a change of heart or the slightest slackening of interest, and this makes them withdraw and even sometimes just run away . A monkey can love the other person and yet subject them to a reign of criticisms about perceived faults. A disaster area for the partner. Monkey people often marry young because of the need for passion and their lack of clear-sightedness when too young. 

Famous people born in the Year of the Monkey:

Business & Religious: 
Pope John Paul II, Nelson Rockefeller, Howard Cosell, Susan Wojcicki.

Politicians and Campaigners:
Cptn James Cook, Lord Chamberlain, Lyndon B. Johnson, Julias Caesar, Harry Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt, Queen Sirkit of Thailand, Salvador Allende, Anita Hill, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Timothy McVeigh.

Entertainers and Film Celebrities: Hugh Jackman, Tom Hanks, Mel Gibson, Federico Fellini, Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, George Lucas, Danny De Vito, James Stewart, Jacques Tati, MacAuley Culkin, François Truffaut, Elizabeth Taylor, Omar Sharif, Anouk Aimee, Peter O’Toole, Louis Malle, Will Smith, Naomi Watts, Gillian Anderson (X-Files), Cuba Gooding Jnr, Lucy Lui, Daniel Craig, Jake Gyllenhaal, Jerry Hall, Carrie Fisher, David Copperfield, Bo Derek, Patricia Arquette, Brendan Fraser.

  Celine Dion, Joey Yung, Joe Cocker, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Julio Iglesias, Gustav Mahler, Charlie Parker, Ravi Shankar, Isaac Stern, Little Richard, Kylie Minogue, Lisa Marie Presley.
Writers and Artists:
Bertrand Russell, Lord Byron, Charles Dickens, Amadeo Modigliani, Jack London, El Greco, Anton Chekov, Leonardo Da Vinci, Paul Gauguin, John Milton, F. Scott Fitzgerald,  Simone de Beauvoir, Aubrey Beardsley, Sylvia Plath, Arthur Hailey, Rebekah Brooks.

Cowgirls: Annie Oakley


The Monkey is a strong Metal element and hidden inside is Yang Metal, Yang Water and Yang Earth. Yang Metal is a destructive element representing a sword like weapon. Yang Water is powerful ocean water with strong energies. It indicates clashes related to the ocean or conflicts at sea. The tension around the disputed territories in the South China Sea may well escalate. With Yang Fire sitting on top of Metal there are problems. in Feng Shui Fire melts Metal and so they are on the destructive cycle and have a fighting relationship. Normally such conflict means disharmony. In particular Yang Fire symbolises the straight-forward quick tempered person ready to explode. So there will be international conflicts and clashes.

The last time we had a Fire Monkey year was 1956 and it saw the outbreak of the Suez crisis with Egypt nationalising the Canal leading to the bombing of Egypt by Britain and France and an Israeli invasion of Sinai in October, 1956. There were also revolts against the Soviet Union in Hungry and Poland, both being brutally suppressed. The Soviets declared martial law in Hungary and made mass arrests. In Hong Kong came the nationalist riots of October. Pakistan became an Islamic republic. Japan was admitted to the UN. At the 20th Soviet Communist Party Conference Khrushchev denounced the Stalinist era and policies. Fidel Castro landed in Cuba with a revolutionary force aimed at overthrowing the Batista government. The world’s first commercial nuclear power plant opened in England in October, 1956. Martin Luther King emerged as the leader of the campaign for desegregation in the Civil Rights movement in the US. Prince Rainier of Monaco married Grace Kelly US film star. The Olympic Games were held in Melbourne. It was also the year of the first CND march in Britain (the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament). And the Sydney Opera House design by Jorn Utzon was revealed.

And as Yang Fire symbolises the Sun, it also generates optimism and happiness, so it was a very good entertainment year. 1956 saw success for Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, and Doris Day. Elvis Presley recorded ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ making him a star. Popular songs that year were ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ (if these lyrics were not influenced by the Monkey year then I’ll eat my blue suede hat), ‘Hound Dog’, ‘I Could Have Danced All Night’, ‘On The Street Where You Live’ and ‘The Poor People of Paris’.  Marilyn Monroe changed her name from Norma Jean to Marilyn Monroe, and Doris Day recorded her famous song ‘Que Sera Sera’. Rock and Roll came into vogue that year.

Films released in 1956 – ‘The Seventh Seal’ by Ingmar Bergman, ‘The Man With the Golden Arm’ (Preminger), ‘Around the World In Eighty Days’ (Mike Todd), ‘War and Peace’ (King Vidor), ‘The King and I’, ‘The Ten Commandments’ and ‘Lust For Life’. In the area of science the Neutrino (an atomic particle with no charge) was produced at Los Almos Laboratory, and the Antineutrino discovered by four other scientists. The Bell Telephone Company began the development of ‘visual’ telephones and the Transatlantic telephone cable service was inaugurated.

There are both positive and negative qualities of the Monkey Year 2016 which indicate a year where anything can happen. There’s not too much point in storing up material goods or food or planning your life too far ahead. The Monkey influence puts everything into a state of flux. Things will be accomplished, but largely through personal or individual efforts.  Group movements, such as revolutions will not make as much a mark during this year. This tricky Monkey animal bursts with exuberance, and brings a lightening fast pace and fantastic   motivation to people.  Fire is hot air and this element is related to birds, aeroplanes and flying objects so 2016 would be the Flying Monkey year, and this is manifest as drone technology. Expect drones to be everywhere.  The year increases communication, humour and wit helping us get through stressful times with ease.  Business will flourish as long as you take new directions.  The Monkey’s gift is the ability to find unconventional solutions to old problems.  Daring to be different can lead you to success.


In Chinese metaphysics, Yang Fire represents the Sun, the heart and blood circulation. Hence a Fire year is likely to bring sicknesses of heart, the blood, and inflammation problems. Metal in the human body is related to the lungs and breathing.  With Fire attacking Metal there is increased chance of flu outbreaks and any other issues to do breathing or skin problems.

Monkey health issues:  Circulatory and heart troubles, prone to diabetes, arthritis, anxiety and panic issues, obsessive-compulsive disorders, antisocial personality disorders, bipolar disorders, narcissistic personality disorders.  In the last 3 years we have experienced Fire and Earth years.  Fire is blood circulation, carbohydrates, energy and sugars.  Earth is stomach and muscles thus these years made people gain weight more easily.  With the arrival of the Metal element its a good chance to remove the excessive weight. So its a good year for the exercise, diet and weight-watch industries.


The Fire and Metal elements of 2016 are expected to bring prosperity to industries related to these elements.  The Metal element is a symbol of money to the Fire industry which is about energy, entertainment, the stock markets and finance.  The second best industries in 2016 are Water ones. Water industries are transport, communications and shipping.  Earth industries can also benefit as Earth produces Metal. These are property, construction, hi-tech industries and mining. Metal industries are banking, engineering, and computers. Competition is very strong this year and the Monkey brings many competitors onto the scene. Because Fire melts Metal watch over the issue of currency – we may see many significant changes in international currency or the value or certain world currencies.

So the industries that perform well in the Monkey year will be those related to Fire and Water elements.  Generally the Yang Fire Monkey year (Fire on top and Metal below) is symbol of optimism, flexibility and progress.  There is still conflict and disharmony in international relationships and it won’t be a peaceful year but people are more optimistic, open-minded, confident and definitely innovative this year.  The opportunities for new inventions and developments in new technologies is very good in this Monkey year.  The Year of the Monkey  is a good year to break free and take calculated risks as there is nothing more powerful or rewarding than following your heart’s desire.  The energies will support these changes.  Natural disasters such as fires, explosions, nuclear issues and wind events like tornados and hurricane will still be prevalent.  These will effect the economies of some countries.


Feng Shui for the year – in the Chinese system there are five elements and nine stars. The Flying Star system helps a Feng Shui practitioner analyse your home and business. Flying Stars move each year to interact with the Stars of your home.  These are general guidelines here – if you need specific help contact myself or the nearest Feng Shui practitioner. 

What happens in 2016? The number 2 which is Earth Mother and female, nutrition and food, is in the centre of the home.  This means female issues and equality for women is high in 2016. Environment issues and food safety will also be prominent.  Health issues revolving around stomach and spleen can be evident.  To counter the negative side of the 2 use metal in the form of six metal coins hung on red ribbon from the centre.  The good Stars are numbers 1, 4, 6 and 8 are found in the SouthEast, West, South and SouthWest respectively. With the best Number 8, if you have your bedroom, office or front door in the SouthWest, its a good year ahead for you. Number 1 in the SouthEast is good for romance.  Flowers, plants and the colour green work well here.  Number 4 in the West is good for education and study – use bamboo in water or images of bamboo. Number 6 in the South, and to help it use earthy things such as crystals, pottery natural fibres and earth colours.  Number 9 is in the East and it covers future success.  It would be a good place to study.

The difficult numbers 5, 3, or 7 are in the NorthEast, NorthWest, and North respectively.  For Number 5 Star, the sickness star, use metal wind chimes hangings and saltwater cures (the saltwater cure is a jar with water, salt and copper or other metals in it).  The worst months will be in February, May, November 2016. For the Number 3 in the NorthWest using water in images or just a water jar filled will help, or try red paper up on the wall.  The Number 7 in the North indicates you also use water images here or place 3 pieces of bamboo grown in a clear glass vase of water.

The Grand Duke, the energy of the Monkey direction this year is in the WestSouthWest, hence it is not favourable to dig the earth or undertake substantial construction work in this direction.  Its also not recommended to sit with your back against the South as you will be sitting against the unfavourable energy called “Three Shars” or “Three Killings”.  The NorthEast is the ‘Crash position’ against the Grand Duke which is also not good to sit.


What Chinese zodiac signs work this year?  The Monkey is a strong Metal element and it clashes with the Tiger (Wood: 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2009)). Tigers need to watch their spending this year and their health. Emotional problems may be an issue. Focus on children and loved ones to dissipate any negatives. In a Monkey year there is more action and travelling. For people born in year of the Tiger, Horse, Dog, Pig, Rabbit and Goat they will  move about more.  As so many people travel about, it triggers more traffic accidents (cars are metal).  The Chinese animals combining well with the Monkey year are the Snake, the Dragon and the Rat – they are into a year of harmony and can do very well this year.  For Monkey its a year of learning and lessons – this can be easy or difficult, it depends on your conditioned attitudes.

Quick summary – its an amazing year for Rats, Dragons and Monkeys – brings charm and confidence.  Unstable but dynamic!  A positive year for Goats, Rabbits and Oxen – improvement in most areas of life. Progress finally! An exciting year for Roosters and Horses – but tricky situations abound. Enjoy the stimulation! A complex year for Tigers, Snakes, Pigs and Dogs – strong focus and objectivity brings the best results.

What is The Penalty in Chinese Astrology? The Penalty – facing the wrong direction, the direction of Monkey which is WestSouWest – is a hidden danger and causes irritation, worries and serious misfortune related to the Fire Element.  These include relationship problems and health issues.  These penalties can be serious and dangerous, and the Chinese way of protection recommends to carry the pendant of Snake to neuter the Metal of the Monkey year.  The Rooster is a “Flower of Romance” in the year of the Monkey. The Monkey is also the “Academic Star” for people born in a Yang Fire year.  So 2016 is also a good year for babies – all born this year will have the “Academic Star” meaning good intellectual qualities and a strong desire to learn.  Education is important to them.

What’s in Store for each of the Twelve Animal Signs in 2016? 

This is a guide only to the year.  Remember that this is just a simple picture – for complete forecasts for 2016 look at your Four Pillars Chart which is your full Chinese destiny zodiac chart.  It uses the Year, Month, Day and the Hour of your birth to get a true picture of your character.  Try visiting –  http://www.feng-shui-institute.org/free4pillars.htm for a full calculation of your chart.  NB:  When the animal is listed here its element is in brackets. 

THE RAT (Water): (1924, ’36, ’48, ’60, ’72, ’84, ’96, ’08)  This year of the Monkey you will benefit much from.  In the areas of work, money and career you will do best.  Watch the way you operate and do not bend any rules to get where you want to go.  How you go about your work life is important to yourself and others this year.  Be honest and correct.

THE OX (Earth): (1925, ’37, ’49, ’61, ’73, ’85, ’97, ’09)   The Ox had a tough year in 2015 and now its time to settle down into a better routine. Your work is important and you will attract more help in that area. You will experience more movement such as changing jobs or moving house.  Keep a good eye on your health as that is a weaker area this year.

THE TIGER (Wood): (1926, ’38, ’50, ’62, ’74, ’86, ’98, ’10)    The Tiger is directly opposite the Money in the Chinese zodiac and you may expect to have a tougher time.  Watch the risks with money – do not overspend and watch your health issues.  Your main focus is to go into family and friends to make things better.  Its suggested you wear the pendant of the Snake.

THE RABBIT (Wood): (1927, ’39, 51, ’63, ’75, ’87, ’99, ’11)    The Rabbit doesn’t have a great affiliation with the Monkey so this year is not to be a great one.  You may feel its moving to slowly for you.  Working with older people and romances are the two things that will help you this year.  Give yourself time to get out of the routines of life and enjoy some peaceful environments. 

THE DRAGON (Earth): (1928, ’40, ’52, ’64, ’76, ’88, ’00, ’12)   Another Chinese animal that benefits greatly from the Monkey year.  If the Rat is present in your Chinese astrology chart you will do very well.  There can be issues of trust for you this year.  Make sure you understand everything that is going on around you.  Your love and romance are the strongest drives this year – don’t let career suffer. 

THE SNAKE (Fire): (1929, ’41, ’53, ’65, ’77, ’89, ’01, ’13)    The Snake can have some problems this year unless there is Water in your Chinese chart.  Generally the energy of the Snake gets you through the year.  There may be arguments with family that become too big. Health has to be watched.  Take this year as an opportunity to travel and move to places you haven’t been before. 

THE HORSE (Fire): (1930, ’42, ’54, ’66, ’78, ’90, ’02, ’14)    This year for the Horse is a good one.  Make sure that as you attract people around you this year that they may put a burden on you and you become too exhausted to help properly.  This is a favourable year for all Horses as the Fire in their charts benefits from the Monkey energies.

THE SHEEP/GOAT (Earth): (1919, ’31, ’43, ’55, ’67, ’79, ’91, ’03, ’15)   Most people born under this sign will have a successful year in family and career issues.  This doesn’t always bring huge wealth but it does will bring some of your efforts to the notice of others.  During 2015, the Sheep year, the work you did will now bring some results.

THE MONKEY (Metal): (1920, ’32, ’44, ’56, ’68, ’80, ’92, ’04, ’16)    Success for people born in the Monkey year will not the most important thing.  You have a year of lessons and learning more about yourself.  In general all will be well with you Monkeys.  Justice is one of the areas to watch this year.  Take care of yourself and your health and look to your relationships and to your children and grandchildren as the most important place of your focus in this year.

THE ROOSTER (Metal): (1921, ’33, ’45, ’57, ’69, ’81, ’93, ’05)    The Rooster also benefits from the Monkey year. Your career and workplace will be most important for you.  There will be travel involved this year that comes with workplace issues.  If it goes well you will be rewarded. Put emphasis on family and love life as there are issues there waiting for in 2016.

THE DOG (Earth): (1922, ’34, ’46, ’58, ’70, ’82, ’94, ’06)    This year its most important to focus on family and social life . The presence of Fire in your chart will bring you some helpful attention this year.  Work and career may not be as successful and the best is to put more effort in those areas of your life. 

THE PIG (Water): (1923, ’35, ’47, ’59, ’71, ’83, ’95, ’07)     The year ahead for Pigs is not as bright as you may hope.  You experience similar to what the Snake does in 2016.  Best to double check every thing you do to make sure there are not mistakes in your work day.  There can be conflict between what you feel you need to do for family and being free to do what you want for yourself.  If your love life is not working and you’re not feeling supported then you need to look at changes. 

May you prosper, experience abundance and be successful in 2016.

Richard Giles,
Feng Shui Practitioner and Astrologer,
PO Box 489, 

Ph:  (07) 5435.0158
email:   ricgiles@powerup.com.au
Visit the Webb –   http://richardgiles.info

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