Wising up to Chinese Astrology

What positive attributes do you have to excel in life and what negative characteristics might be holding you back? What is your ideal profession? What is your purpose in life? Who is your ideal partner? Is this the year to start your own business? Is this your relationship year? What part of the earth is most ideal for you to live in?

Many of us ask ourselves such questions in a different form during the course of our life hoping that one day the answer will miraculously appear to us. With the increasingly unstable socio-economic state of the world and the accelerated rate of change in our personal and professional lives it can sometimes feel like we’re blindly navigating our way down a myriad of foggy paths and options when it comes to choosing where we want for our lives to go and how. For countless people worldwide, Chinese astrology has provided the clarity and vision to help steer through the confusion and onto their ideal path. Layla Maghribi met and interviewed professional Chinese astrologer, Kristina Neuhauser, at her home in the UK to find out more about how this ‘ancient science’ works and got some guidance on her own future in the process.

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Q: Prior to practising Chinese astrology you started your career as an English and Russian lecturer before later re-training as a nutritionist and starting a successful business with your husband for over 25 years. What drew you to Chinese astrology?
A: Although I had been concerned with physical health and well being for many years my focus changed in the last 15 years when, after a difficult and critical time in marriage, I was looking for guidance and solutions and began to look inward at the mental, emotional and spiritual aspects of life. I had already been a practising Buddhist since 1984 and had also visited many ashrams around the world. After studying Feng Shui for three years I became a certified Feng Shui Master with the Imperial School of Feng Shui in 2000. Under the tutelage of Grand Master Chan Kun Wah I later became certified in the Chue Style Feng Shui in 2002 and in Chinese astrology in 2006.

Q: What attracted you to Chinese astrology?
A: I was fascinated by the ancient wisdom of knowing oneself and by the possibility getting in touch with our real self through understanding. It came as a by-product of my own increasing spiritual awareness coupled with my personal life’s mission to educate myself and teach others. I already found a lot of helpful wisdom in the study of the environment through Feng Shui and I then became attracted to the knowledge and awareness the ‘ancient science’ of astrology uncovered about us humans.

Q: What do you find so appealing and helpful about Chinese astrology?
A: I found that astrology helped me understand the ‘pre-configured’ nature of people around me. As a result it made me get rid of the extreme critical feelings I used to have towards people I perceived as being flawed or weak. I found that this understanding made me a more empathetic and patient person.

Q: Can you explain the basic principles of Chinese astrology and how it works?
A: Chinese astrology uses the principles of yin (feminine/emotional) and yang (masculine/rational) and the five symbolic elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Metal and Wood to explain the forces at play within the dynamic of an individual’s personality and their life’s path.
Professional Chinese astrology does not contain elements of superstition. The purpose of Chinese astrology is to make predictions in relation to health, finances, relationships and career. It is based on logical thinking, astrological charts and ancient observations and known facts about a person’s character. The premise behind having such predictions is that ‘forewarned is forearmed’ and Chinese astrology’s principle that a person’s free will is always the ultimate decision maker and an indicator of living a life more consciously.

Q: What do you need to do an astrological chart reading for someone?
A: I need the person’s hour, date and year of birth. This information then gets inputted into a complex set of ancient formulas in order for me to calculate the alignments of the planets to come up with an individual’s chart. Depending on how detailed a chart reading I am providing the results can range from basic information about the person to the ideal times to begin a new venture or a full-scale Magic Calendar which gives someone a calendar of all the most fortunate and powerful days for a particular person in the following month or year.

Q: How do people benefit from a Chinese astrology consultation?
A: Chinese astrology can provide a lot of information about one’s personality type, their driving forces, their weaknesses and advantages in life. This can help a person know what paths and options are the most promising and most supported by all the elements in the universe at particular time periods in one’s life. This can then greatly facilitate success for that person or help them avoid struggling unnecessarily.
The method I use is based on the Four Pillars of Wisdom which each represent one’s relationship with family, partner, career and finances. This method is the foundation for the Major Fate – the description of the 5-year ‘fate’ periods in a person’s life – which can be used to determine the most auspicious date to start a business, invest for the future or start a family.

Q: Can you give me some examples of how a Chinese astrology consultation can affect a person’s decision-making?
A: Well, by way of example, Fire signs are inspired by excitement; Earth types are motivated to create secure foundations; people born under the Metal element are driven to create order, while Water types are compelled to form emotional bonds; and people born under the Wood element are motivated to explore.
When a reading tells you what the prominent elements and motivating forces in your chart are it can help you in choosing the right life partner with a complimentary or compatible element to yours in their chart. It can also help with choosing the right career based on what attributes, motivating forces and life purpose your chart reveals to you and on what is universally supported according to, for example, the zodiac sign in your chart and its alignment with the zodiac sign at the time period of your reading.
Sometimes, it can tell someone something they don’t want to know which, although difficult, can also be helpful in the long-term. For example, being in a relationship with someone of an opposing element type may help to explain why that relationship is always in conflict and disharmony. Having an explanation for this can either make one realize that that person will be unable to give you what you need and that the relationship will never work the way you want it to; or conversely, if you want it to work, it can make you realize what traits or issues will remain unchangeable and consequently make you adapt your expectations accordingly. Another example is children. I have read charts where children have not been present and yet those people, understandably, refuse to accept this and subsequently spend years suffering through various disappointments, doctor’s visits and medical procedures to try and reverse this fate. Eventually, by unrelenting determination, a procedure may finally work or they realize it isn’t going to happen and then turn to adoption. In the meantime, however, they have spent a lot of time, money and energy on something that was not supported by the universe and which was set to be a long and hard struggle.
Others may choose to set up a business at a time in their ‘fate’ period that is not opportune and they will be setting themselves up for a path full of pitfalls and bad luck when they could have waited for the time in which their chart was best aligned and most auspicious to welcome in a new a business venture. As I said before, ultimately, a person’s own will determines what they do in life and nothing, particularly in our modern age, is impossible. I suppose the issue comes down to whether one wants to live their life in the most harmonious and universally supported way or whether they want to struggle and constantly swim against the current.

Q: Having calculated my chart, can you tell me a bit about me and my ideal life journey?
A: You are a Metal Rat which means you are flexible, diplomatic, diligent, good at mediating and communicating and very social. You are also prone to being arrogant, critical and aggressive and can get melancholic. You have a sympathetic heart, easily connect with others and often carry other people’s burden. Despite this, the snake in your chart makes you secretive, distant and hard to get know.
Four out of the five ancient elements are in your chart which is very auspicious and having two Ying and two Yang pillars means you are in perfect balance.
This year – the year of the Dragon – is very lucky for you because the Dragon is an ally of the Rat and therefore will be bringing you a lot of good fortune. Almost all your endeavours this year will be successful so I would use it wisely and make this year the launching pad for things you want to do and achieve.
You have a quiet and mystical wisdom and can be very persuasive and perceptive and have good business acumen. Your ideal jobs are in the intellectual field and include publishing, writing and teaching. Writing is very important in your life and, with hard work, you will be very successful and well-known in your later years. You are much more goal-oriented and don’t like looking into the details which means you are likely to need help with administrative duties.
You have deep and ancient spiritual knowledge and higher consciousness and this means it is not enough for you to be personally fulfilled only but rather, you feel obliged to serve and perform good deeds for others and to be an example.
Individuality and freedom are very important to you and, if you want them, children – 1 female, 1 male – are in your chart.
Mid 2012 to mid 2013 is your personal year which mans you will be flooded with great opportunities and will have great vitality. This also means you will have a lot of hard work and some extreme hours so it will be very important to be physically healthy. Make sure to keep your eyes wide open this year as the opportunities are rife so make sure you use this lucky period in your life well.
Thank you very much for that reading Kristina, this has certainly given me a lot of food for thought and is extremely enlightening.
Readers may be forgiven for thinking that having such a ‘glowing’ chart might make me somewhat less inclined to be critical of the reading but it wasn’t so much the ‘positivity’ that enforced my belief in the reading but the striking likeness to my real self and real-life circumstances that struck the cords in my belief system. Being as I was on the cusp of a new chapter in my life, the stream-lining of the best options in my chart, coupled with the analysis of what my relevant ‘power sources’ and weaknesses were, gave me a discerning clarity of vision for my future and courage to embark on my choices feeling – literally – universally supported.
Whether it acts as a self-fulfilling prophecy or whether it is a genuine snapshot into my future, the reading has given me the confidence, reassurance and sense of universal protection to embark wholeheartedly on my various new paths and projects with conviction. Whilst Kristina readily admits that she does not tell clients of wholly negative outlooks (e.g. if a client does not have ‘children’ in their chart) she does give clients indicators of the relative difficulty certain endeavours will face. By relating it to the planetary alignments there is an emphasis on particular ventures or plans having a ‘right time, right place’ and which may explain the reason why certain plans or projects can fail to take off at times despite best and tireless efforts. To that end, knowing if and when the time is ‘ideal’ to change jobs, move house, get married, etc. through an astrological reading can indeed be a priceless piece of knowledge to have and one that can help you understand the motivating forces in your nature better and consequently make what necessary adjustments, additions or exclusions as suitable. As for me, I have to get down to some serious hard work because, as my astrologer told me before I left her home, ‘your chart is very fortunate and all elements are aligned for you in the next 18 months so get to work as there is no excuse not to succeed!’