2017 Year of the Yin Fire Rooster

Rooster illustration by Kris Sexton

Happy New Year! Welcome Year of Yin Fire Rooster!

Based on the Chinese divination system,  Four Pillars of Destiny, 2017 is the year of the Yin Fire Rooster. This system takes into account the energy flows of each hour, day, month and year based on the 5 Elements, Stems and Branches and Yin and Yang of Chinese cosmology.  Each of the four aspects is called a pillar. The Year pillar applies to the entire year and, therefore, its influences are universal and affect everyone.   

Through the application of the Chinese 5 Elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood)  and Yin/Yang Theory, this year’s Rooster also embodies qualities of Yin and Fire. Each person has a Four Pillar chart based on their birth. Each house, office, town, city, county, and country also is said to have a four pillars chart based on the year, month and day it was founded or constructed. The study of these four pillars for the home, office, and land is Feng Shui.  (For a more detailed discussion of the four pillars, refer to the end of this article.)

The Rooster is inherently a Metal Element animal. In Chinese cosmology, it is associated with the West and the season of Fall. Thus, this Rooster is Metal overlaid with Fire.  These elements conflict in Chinese 5 Element theory – Fire melts Metal, and thus can be said to have an adversarial relationship. For the year, this portends conflicts and disharmony of all sorts, especially in international affairs. The Fire Element indicates the unstable nature of the Fire, flickering and unstable, with the ability to reap destruction. This year’s Fire is Yin which indicates more of a candle flame than an erupting volcano, but, remember, it takes only one spark to set fire to entire towns.

The Metal is a symbol of guns and other metal objects including those used in war. Potential military conflicts can develop in Rooster years, especially Fire Rooster years.

In Chinese Metaphysics, yin fire represents the heart and blood circulation.  It also refers to the brain, nerve system and the eyes.  Hence a Yin Fire year is easy to bring sickness of heart, blood, inflammation problem, brain, and nerve problem such as hypertension and stroke. Metal in the human body is related to lungs and breathing. With fire attacking metal, there is a chance of flu and other breathing organ or skin problems.  Yin metal attacks yin wood which is related to small bones in the body, so it is also necessary to beware of accidents causing injury to back, bones, limbs, fingers, and toes.

In the cycle of the year, Yin Fire is supported by the Wood of Spring, and is compatible Fire of Summer. This compatibility can boost our outgoing natures and even boost the economy as people will tend to be optimistic.  However, the Fire comes into conflict on the yearly cycle of Fall and Winter. Thus, we can potentially see financial crisis develop in the Fall because the generative nature of Fire is Challenged first by metal and then by water in winter. In fact, there may even be a very Bullish market through Spring and Summer, only to turn severely Bearish as Yin Fire is oppressed by Yin Metal of the Fall. The Metal Rooster will be powerless to oppose this trend. Therefore, financial conservatism is in order with potential preparation for a downturn in markets this fall.

Personal animal signs that should take caution are the Rabbit and Rooster. Rabbits are the antithesis of the Rooster and should wear a Dragon amulet to ward off effects of the Rooster.  Being born in the year of the Rooster is said to insult the year. Caution should be taken and high-risk activities avoided such as skydiving, bungee jumping, or high-contact sports. Roosters should avoid travel this year to destinations east of their home city.


Last year’s Yang Fire Monkey saw a great deal of chaos with the effervescent Monkey throwing all sorts of things around very quickly. This year, the more methodical, dependable rooster will, in effect, go around and gather up the things strewn by Monkey and put them in their proper place. The Rooster is a bit flamboyant; many species have brightly colored plumage. Based on the Rooster’s behavior, the euphemism “cock of the walk,” means someone who dominates others in a group. The Rooster is dependable and relied on to herald the rising sun every morning – not the evening sun, not the 10 o’clock sun, but sunrise. This predictability can be comforting. The rooster’s crow at sunrise is said to ward off evil spirits. He is methodical with great attention to detail as he hunts for grain, clucking to the chickens when he finds it. He is faithful to his flock, and, if attacked, defends them with his very life. He will fight predators far greater in size than himself to defend his flock. It is one of the few animals of the 28 mansions that is most commonly assigned to the male of the species, although this designation is less distinct in Chinese mythology. According to Wikipedia:

Rooster is Fenghuang in Chinese: 凤凰; are mythological birds of East Asia that reign over all other birds. The males were originally called feng and the females huang but such a distinction of gender is often no longer made and they are blurred into a single feminine entity so that the bird can be paired with the Chinese dragon, which is traditionally deemed male.

The fenghuang is also called the “August Rooster”, simplified Chinese: 鹍鸡. Since it sometimes takes the place of the Rooster in the Chinese zodiac. In the West, it is commonly called the Chinese phoenix or simply Phoenix, although mythological similarities with the Western phoenix are superficial.

The month of September is the Rooster month. Expect Rooster to really kick up his spurs in September of this year. In past years, Mother Teresa, Mao Tse Tong, Princess Diana and President William McKinley died in Rooster months of different years. And the worst terrorist attack in American  history happened in a Rooster month, September 11, 2001.

Chinese cosmology works with both Lunar and solar calendars. Rooster and the 12 animals follow the lunar path, the New Year being the second full moon after the Winter solstice. However, it is thought to be auspicious the closer the solar and lunar calendars coincide. For 2017, we see that the New Moon comes before, and near to the Solar New Year, Li Chun, or February 4, therefore, it is said to be ‘complete.’


In the Chinese Zodiac, there are twelve animal signs. As mentioned earlier, each year is paired the quality of one of the animals, and one of the 5 Elements well as Yin or Yang. Over a 12 year period, each animal will reign one year, paired with a different Element and alternate Yin or Yang. Thus, the rhythm from Rooster year to Rooster year will be 12 years. However, to arrive at another year with the same animal sign,  element, and Yin or Yang, 60 years will pass (5 Elements x 12 Animals). The most recent Rooster year was 2005. Previous years were. 1993, 1981, 1969, 1957, 1945, 1933, 1921, 1909, 1897, 1885, and so on. The previous Yin Fire Rooster years were 1957, 1897 and 1837.

The Rooster’s crow at sunrise portends the new day. As such, there have been many notable firsts in Rooster years. These firsts are scattered among issues of politics, science, technology and social issues, much like the resourceful Rooster searches for grain wherever it may be found.  In 2005, the Kyoto Protocol was signed, an international acknowledgment of and commitment to stem greenhouse gasses. In 1993, the Holocaust Museum opened in Washington DC and the Oslo Peace accords were signed.  In 1981, IMB launched the first Personal PC. In 1969, Neil Armstrong became the first man to walk on the moon and this same year is said to be the birth of the internet.  In 1957, the USSR launched satellites Sputnik I and II. In 1897, the first football game between Black colleges was played and the first nuclear plant was opened in Pennsylvania. In 1837 the Institute for Colored Youth was founded in Pennsylvania.

Past Rooster years have been good for women, although the nature of achievement seems to be individual achievement rather than global or universal advancement of women’s rights. Golda Mier was elected the first female Prime Minister of Israel. In 1969 while Mary Alice Robertson was the first woman to preside over the US House of Representatives. In 1897 M H Cannon becomes the first female state Senator (Utah). In 1837, Mary Lyons founds Mount Holyoke Female Seminary.

The bellicose nature of the Rooster has also manifested in Rooster years. 1969 saw 250,000 people March on Washington in protest of the Vietnam War.  The year 1957 saw the Vietnam War escalating with serious insurgents by the Viet Cong against the Government under Ngo Dinh Diem. 1945 saw many landmark battles of WWII. Having begun construction in Rooster year of 1933, concentration camps of Auschwitz, Birkenau and Buchenwald were liberated by Allied forces 12 years later, in the Rooster year of 1945. Also in 1945, US and Soviet forces met at Torgau, Germany while the famous flag was raised over Iwo Jima. 1897 is also the year when Bram Stoker’s novel “Dracula” was published in London.  Dracula is a novel about vampire and blood and Yin Fire is related to blood. Likewise, 1777 was a Yin Fire Rooster year that saw dozens of landmark battles of our country’s Revolutionary War. The Articles of Confederation, our country’s first Constitution, was signed in 1777 and the flag of the United Stated was first flown in 1777 in the battle at Cooch’s Bridge, Delaware.

Politically, Rooster years have reflected the Rooster’s penchant for stern, if not dictatorial leadership.  Mao Tse Tung delivered his famous speech On Correct Handling of Contradictions Among People in 1957 which laid out his views on Communist Government, while the Communist Party was founded in China in another Rooster year of 1921. Hitler became leader of the National Socialist German Worker’s Party in a Rooster year and then was appointed Reich Chancellor of Germany and given Dictatorial powers in and other Rooster year, 12 years later. Three US Presidents who shaped history, Ronald Regan, Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Andrew Jackson, were all inaugurated in Rooster years. Of these Presidents, two were wildly popular. Jackson, who, in 1839, ordered the Trail of Tears, was not popular. Donald Trump was inaugurated in Yang Fire Monkey year because it came before the New Year on January 28, 2017.



First, let’s discuss the general properties of any Chinese year. Each year is ruled by an animal sign, an Element (from the 5 Elements of Chinese philosophy) and it is either Yin or Yang. The cycle is regular, following the creative cycle—Earth creates metal, Metal enriches Water, Water feeds Wood, Wood creates Fire and Fire creates Earth.

Each year, certain phases of the Chinese Zodiac roll into power, one at a time. Although they are given animal names, they are but phases of a complete cycle of change. They correspond to constellations in the Chinese Zodiac.  These are by no means the only constellations in the Chinese Zodiac, but following a complex formula, the Big Dipper and the placements within the 360 wheel of the entire zodiac, they are the ones considered to influence the years. Every year, this animal will also take on the qualities or flavor of one of the Five Elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Wood and Water. Each year will also alternate between Yin and Yang. Thus, in a 60 year cycle, (very important in Chinese cosmology) we experience each animal, and each element influencing that animal five times. The repetition also flows from Yang to Yin endlessly. Last year was the Yang Fire Monkey, so this year is the Yin Fire Rooster. The most recent Rooster year was 12 years ago, 2005,  and the last Fire Rooster was 60 years ago, 1957. A good way to determine how you will be affected by Rooster is to look at how past Rooster years played out in your life.

In Chinese cosmology, a complex system of formulas comprises the divination for each year. In addition to the cycle around the 12 Animals of the Zodiac, the day on which the new moon falls will divulge the information which portends the influence of the year. This information has four aspects or pillars and the animal is one of these pillars. Other pillars are determined from month, hour, and day.


In the Western astrology, the Sun sign is considered “You,” and a suitable comparison in Eastern astrology is assumed to be the year pillar. The year pillar is also the most easily accessible without complicated software, and the animal sign attached to it is somehow easy to relate to. However, the year pillar is much more universal in Eastern Astrology than the sun sign in Western astrology. EVERYBODY born in your year has the same year pillar. The Four Pillars in Chinese astrology are not based on the movement of the planets and the Sun through the Zodiac as in Western astrology. Expert Western and Eastern astrologer, Malvin Artley, says it best:

 Hence, … we see that to find direct correspondences between Chinese and Western astrology is not so cut and dried. It is better if one reads the Chinese chart more on its own merits, and then see how the Eastern and Western systems support and complement each other. It has been my experience that they rarely contradict each other.[1]

Mr. Artley breaks down possible correspondences to Eastern and Western Astrology in this way:

 The Year Pillar: The outer planets, meaning those from Jupiter outward in this case, especially since the year pillar has a twelve-year cycle, roughly corresponding to Jupiter’s cycle. It also has a sixty-year cycle when one combines the elements with the ‘animals’.

The Month Pillar: It might be easy to call this the moon sign equivalent, but if we remember that the sun sign has a thirty-day duration (a month) and the moon instead changes sign every 2 ½ days, roughly, then the month pillar corresponds more closely with the sun-sign in Western astrology. Actually, I see this more as a combined soli-lunar influence.

The Day Pillar: This more closely corresponds with the moon, as each of the twenty-eight lunar mansions has roughly a one-day sojourn by the moon, although that is widely variable in Chinese astronomy. This again, though, is a combined soli-lunar influence, because the day also represents the degree of the sun, since the sun ‘moves’ a degree a day.

The Hour Pillar: This is the closest we come to the ascendant in Western astrology, although if we want to be really Virgoan (which is a very good thing in such cases) and particular, the Minute Pillar would represent the ascendant, or ascending degree. The hour pillar would then represent the rising sign in general, but not the degree, keeping in mind that the Chinese ‘hours’ are two Western hours in length.[2]

The more traditional interpretation of the Four Pillars are as follows:

Year Pillar—Who you are in how one interfaces with culture at large

Month Pillar —Ancestors – primary conditioning – how others see you

Day Pillar—The self – health, wealth, associations, how you see yourself

Hour Pillar – The hidden self – how one acts under pressure

Thus, consider your Day and Hour pillar when planning your year and anticipating how things might affect you..

So All the Best for Yin Fire Rooster Year! Health, Wealth, and Happiness!!


"The highest goodness resembles water

Water greatly benefits myriad things without contention

It stays in places that people dislike

Therefore it is similar to the Tao"


Lao Tsu, Chapter 8, Dao de Jing




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