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2016 Forecast: Monkeys know best…really… (Part 1)

There are domains in which expertise is not possible. Stock picking is a good example. And in long-term political strategic forecasting, it’s been shown that experts are just not better than a dice-throwing monkey – Daniel Kahneman

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: My forecasts are done as a matter of academic interest, and I make it public as a form of intellectual accountability. Under no circumstances do I in any way recommend you ACT upon such information, and I shall not be responsible for any losses, financial or otherwise, as a result of reliance on the information presented here.

Forecasting for individuals is usually the easiest part of doing an Annual Forecast. As for the high (and possibly dark) art of forecasting global events, financial disasters – disasters of all sorts really – it is always difficult to be exact on what will happen in a  given year, geopolitically, economically, but nonetheless, the fun surely is in the trying? So without further ado, let’s look at 2016’s chart:


2016 BaZi chart

2016 BaZi chart

As always, I will discuss the technical considerations of the chart, before moving onto the industry specific forecast.

New idea…let us assume that the Day Pillar represents not just the interpretation point of the annual chart, but represents the COMMANDING IDEA of the year. In 2015, Xin Hai 辛亥 was the day pillar, and so the commanding idea would appear to be “REBELLION”. Can’t say that wasn’t really the theme, given the ISIS attacks, and the rise of ISIS, as well as the high number of civil wars going on in various countries around the world. In which case, for 2016, the commanding idea is A HERO WILL EMERGE/A NEW BEGINNING. (how very Star Warsy)

Bing Chen is seen as a nice, pleasant and good pillar in the study of the 60 Jia Zi. Bing signifies benevolence, magnanimity, the beautiful rising sun shining over a verdant lush hill. [Google search this phrase on Google Images to see the visual representation]. It signifies new beginnings, a brand new start, and hope.

Coincidentally, America marks possibly a new start with the arrival of a new American President in 2016 after 8 years of clod plodding with Obama. Could this be the hero, the white knight that 2016 is heralding in?

But it is worth noting that the 2016 American Presidential race may turn out to be a more interesting race than before as there will be a serious competition of ideas for what will America be in the 21st century.  In the chart, there are three Fire Elements clearly present: Two Bings and one Ding. This suggests as follows:

  • One candidate who is focused on  the economy, whilst advocating a more aggressive foreign policy approach (and less liberal policy overall domestically). This is the 丙申 in the year.
  • One candidate who is focused on the long-tail game, adopting a more strategic approach to everything, less economy focused and more socialist in mindset. This is the 丙辰.
  • One candidate who is ALL ABOUT THE MONEY, and capitalism. This is the 丁酉.

Who are these candidates? We’ll have to wait till the race starts proper but at the very least, there will be a competition to define what new hope/new beginnings means in 2016.

A small caveat however is that Bing Fire in 2016 is not as nice as it should be, which may suggest the need to qualify the COMMANDING IDEA or at least dilute it, to account for the broader overall perception of the chart.

Thematically, 2016 shows a more prominent conflict of values than 2015. In 2015, Wood was overwhelmingly dominant, with little to compete with it. 2016 however is quite a different story: there is a clear battle between Metal and Wood in the 2016 chart, as evidenced by the two Spring season Branches sandwiched between the two Metal season Branches. (Tiger-Dragon squeezed between Monkey-Rooster). So in 2016, benevolence and justice once again will battle for dominance in the year. Geo-politically, we can already see signs of this problem with the ongoing refugee crisis being played out against the backdrop of the Paris massacre. Justice vs Benevolence – who will win in 2016? On the balance of things, Wood appears to be weaker than Metal, since Metal is heavily rooted. But,  the effect of Water in the equation must be considered. This is because although there is a prominent Metal-Wood clash, there is also a significant Water combination present in the year vide Dragon-Monkey partial Three Harmony Combo.

So whilst Metal is strong by virtue of rooting, Water moderates the effect of the Metal on the Wood (as well as giving the Wood some support). Thus, whilst the battle that plays out in public is that of Justice (and in this case, it is Retributional Justice since Geng is prominent, not Xin) prevailing over Benevolence, we can expect behind the scenes, wisdom, intelligence and hopefully some smart people, are trying to find a way to create a win-win outcome.

The above represents a reading of the chart using purely the elements, without a focal element to define the entire chart. Another way to derive information from the annual chart is to read it like a person, using Bing as the Day Master.

Once we use Bing as a focal point for interpreting the annual chart, we get quite a markedly different perception. The most glaring thing about the 2016 chart is that there are two Bings and one Ding, and the hour is Rooster. This means both the Bings are in sunset, and the Ding is rising in prominence. This alone is not a very good sign. The fundamental determinant of the quality of Bing Fire is brilliance, as determined by the hour of birth. A Rooster Hour is the WORST possible hour for Bing Fire. Think of the sunset. It is beautiful, but in a heart-wrenching way. We think of  dawn as a start of a new day, of new possibilities, whilst sunset signifies the end, albeit, a benevolent one. (riding off into the sunset and all).


How do we reconcile this ‘sunset’ idea with the COMMANDING IDEA of 2016, which is a new hope/a new beginning/the hero emerging?

Well, there’s a few possible outcomes. The first is that there is great hope that things will get better (planet, politicians and everything fixes itself somehow), and that hope is eventually killed off, and mercenary thoughts prevail at the end as 丙辰 gives way to 丁酉.

OR, it is possible that both these ideas exist in tandem. Someone rides off into the sunset (Obama?) even as someone new, promising some entirely new take on the dire state of affairs plaguing the world, starts to emerge.

Water of course, is going to be the key decider here in terms of how we decide to read the outcomes. Water is the product of the most significant combination name the 申(子)辰. How  we decide to read the other two interactions, namely, the Dragon-Rooster 辰-酉 combination (producing Metal) and the floating Rabbit 卯 courtesy of the seasonal combination, may also factor in but really, Water is what decides the outcomes given its significance.

On a broader level, this means that Power Play becomes a significant aspect of the theme for 2016. Politics will take the fore. The great powers, more than ever, will do battle in the theatre of global politics. Money will become less important, Influence instead becomes what matters the most.

Now, the problem with reading the impact of the Water element is that Water is the only one of the Five Elements that is interchangeable. Gui becomes Ren becomes Gui becomes Ren. So we read the Water in 2016 as Gui or Ren? (especially since we have BOTH?). Do we give prominence to the Monkey, where REN is in Growth, or do we lean in favour of Gui because of the silent push of the Rat?

And of course, the problem is Ren vs Gui brings very different implications to Bing vs Ding.

My inclination is to read it as 7 Killings for the Ding, and negative Direct Officer for the Bing (meaning, I chose to read the impact of Water in the chart in the form of Gui Water). This denotes highly mercenary Ding (Indirect Wealth + 7K) and a diminishing, over-controlled Bing desperately trying to do right but drowning in the waters of righteousness.

TL:DR version: it looks like things will get better, it looks like the politicians will get better, but in the end, that Machiavelli fella wins. In movie speak, the opening episode is Star Wars: A New Hope, except in the final instalment, Luke Skywalker doesn’t prevail, Darth Vader kills Palpatine and becomes the new Emperor.

This is NOT Steve Jobs.