www.harmonyastrology.com THE RAT (Born 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996) Good fortune continues to befall Rats. If you have worked hard this year, it is time to reap the fruits of your labour. If not, you must double your effort in the following 12 months because you will be well advised to keep a low profile in 2009. Be audacious in the execution of well-planned ideas. Rats may find themselves re-reading existentialist classics this summer because the Rat sign is in a position that offends Taisui, the god of this coming year. Consequently Rats will be beset by feelings of loneliness and isolation, but take this as a blessing if you are a freelancer or a one-man team because it will help you focus on your work. Avoid staying overseas for long periods because luck is not plentiful when you are away from home. Rats must be cautious with their money since xiaoren, or mean people, may try to lead them astray with dubious investments. Concentrate on accumulating wealth through work or business rather than via investing or speculating. Taisui will also affect romantic prospects. A male Rat may be stressed by women in the new year. Rats of both sexes would do better to plan rather than have a wedding. For a married Rat person, nurturing companionship with your spouse is more important than passion. Rat pack: the late North Korean leader Kim Il-Sung, actors Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore and Britain's Prince Charles. THE OX (1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997) The lucky stars will shine brightly for the Ox sign in the Year of the Rat. Though this offers respite from bad times, you need to be diligent to prepare for the uncertainties of future years. Steadfast animals are worthy of emulation and a relentless effort will keep you in good shape to fight battles. Oxen benefactors abound this year and you may get an overdue promotion. Good fortune will bring many deals, but it is wise not to be greedy and become distracted. While those of the Ox sign will be rewarded handsomely this year, they must be mindful about spending because wastage stars are present. Only a prudent attitude to personal cash will enable you to avoid frittering away your hard-earned gains. Romance luck will be present at work. This is not good news for a married Ox and it may not benefit single Oxen either - you need to capitalise on this auspicious period for making money and you don't have time to fall in love. Ox team: actor George Clooney, model Heidi Klum, the late Princess Diana and pop singer Boy George. THE TIGER (1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998) This is not a strong year for Tigers - the isolation that is characteristic of this animal will be at full force. You may encounter tough obstacles at work and experience enormous stress while overseas. Be humble and maintain cordial interpersonal relationships while travelling to avert trouble. You will experience great loneliness at work and at home. You will feel restless or work will demand you to be mobile; either way, travel can bring only short-term contentment. Turn solitude to your advantage; it presents an opportunity for reflection and it is always good to consolidate plans before moving on. Avoid attending funerals. Fortunately, this year's weaker luck will not greatly affect your wealth. Instead, you will display skill in earning a living and finding solutions to money problems, though, for men, some female acquaintances may cause extra spending. If you are still alone, bear your single status for another year. There will be no miracles. If you are already attached, the sense of loneliness may negatively affect your relationship. Do not demand too much of romance this year. Sometimes, it is better to allow each other more freedom. Tiger pride: Queen Elizabeth II, head of the Iranian revolution Ayatollah Khomeini and actors Tom Cruise and Jodie Foster. THE RABBIT (1926, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999) For a second year running, dark stars overshadow your lucky ones. It will take dexterity to negotiate the path ahead, but confidence in your abilities will give you more leverage on life. The key factor is hard work. You will be tempted to relax but that would devalue your past contributions. Lucky stars dwell in your work domain, so do not waste that good fortune by taking it easy. Constraints, real or imagined, can be overcome. Practise caution in investing. You may still encounter unexpected setbacks but the surest way to gain is to save your hard-earned money. Business people should exercise prudence on capital outlays. You may not intend to spend excessively but it will pay to calculate with extra care. The Rabbit is one of the two signs that will enjoy excellent romance luck. Immerse yourself in a loving relationship; it's a good year to get married. If settling down is not on your agenda, the abundant romance may be a double-edged sword. Handle it with integrity as it will boost your career; merely indulging in taohua, or attraction luck, will cost you dearly. In the warren: rocker Sting, Cuban leader Fidel Castro, Suzie Wong actress Nancy Kwan and singer Whitney Houston. THE DRAGON (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000) Dragons will have more unlucky than lucky stars this year, but they can still be in a good position to enjoy the fruits of previous labour. However, the presence of unscrupulous people in your workplace may cause conflicts and create unpleasant rumours. Remember, this is not personal, it is just your bad luck. To minimise the negative impact, practise benevolence and be magnanimous. On the positive side, you can continue to ride your ability to perform well in whatever you do. Your talent will be appreciated by many and an improvement in status can be expected. Be above-board in all activities, including complying with traffic laws, for you could easily become embroiled in legal tussles. Wealth luck is good. For those who are employed there is a strong chance of promotion. For business people, your enhanced reputation will bring greater earnings. As long as you adhere to basic discipline in wealth management, it will be an enjoyable year. You will continue to enjoy the benefits of last year's romance luck, but remember: respect your partner, especially in the second half of the year, when the honeymoon stage begins to wear off. The Dragon's den: actors Maggie Cheung Man-yuk and Al Pacino, author Douglas Adams and John Lennon. THE SNAKE (1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001) Good fortune awaits the Snake, who suffered the most last year. Benefactors will be present to lend you a helping hand. With courage you will expel past negative influences and be daring in executing your plans. Ride on the leverage of others and seek assistance often - you are owed these opportunities. Express gratitude to your benefactors and your kindness will be reciprocated. A minor illness star is present, so do not ignore your health as sickness would slow your progress and achievements. Generating income will not be difficult but there will also be many opportunities to fritter away small amounts of money. Control the impulse to shop aimlessly and protect your belongings from theft. Given the lack of luck in romance, do not take your partner for granted, despite surviving last year's low point. Singles should leave bad experiences behind and be pragmatic in looking for love. Missing the boat this year will result in a long wait for fulfilment. Snake charmers: actors Kim Basinger and Liz Hurley, former first lady Jackie Onassis and chairman Mao Zedong. THE HORSE (1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002) Horse people will experience the weakest luck of any sign because they are clashing with Taisui, the year god. If you failed to maximise the good times last year, this is not the time to be wild. Plodding along is the best you can hope for from this inauspicious year. Plan with extreme caution and look before you gallop. With a lonely star directly on top of you, assistance may be lacking. Since luck is no longer on your side, your ability to handle whatever comes your way will depend on your personal efforts. Utilise the Horse's strong willpower to meet challenges. Remember: jumping hurdles and fences makes a Horse stronger. A sense of hollowness will kick in but focusing on physical tasks is a good way to dispel it. Fortunately, your wealth luck will not be adversely affected. Mobility will enhance your earnings but plan well before taking off. Practise caution in maintaining your relationship. It is not a good year to talk about marriage but be more understanding of your partner. Change is good for those who are unattached because it represents a chance to start anew. Stable mates: film luminaries Ang Lee, Clint Eastwood and Barbra Streisand and pop singer Janet Jackson. THE GOAT (1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003) Luck will improve for the Goat. With benefactors and help available, being creative and adventurous will maximise good fortune. Working hard will also double your achievements. There is an opportunity for promotion or a better reputation in business but surprise interruptions at work should be met with patience. Although you will be able to find a solution for every problem, there will be some minor setbacks in terms of interpersonal relationships. Practise humility and pragmatism when dealing with others and your lucky stars will shine brighter. While wealth luck is strong, chances to spend heavily exist too. That is fine if you are buying a property or some other big-ticket item; otherwise, be mindful of random spending. Romance will be excellent - this is a year to turn courtship into marriage. Those who are unattached should get ready for love. Be willing to step out and indulge - all work and no love makes a dull Goat. Acting the Goat: British novelist Jane Austen, actors Robert De Niro, Ben Kingsley and Zhang Ziyi. THE MONKEY (1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004) Monkeys will be bedevilled by unlucky stars. First, you will experience wild fluctuations in fortune. To counter this, keep a low profile, avoid taking on new projects and do not get carried away during a momentary spell of good luck. Second, rumours and accusations will circulate behind your back. The best way to deal with them is to reciprocate with kindness. If such acts of benevolence are beyond you, simply walk away from the perpetrators. To protect your weak luck, avoid attending funerals. Spending prudently would be wise because wealth luck is not particularly strong. Make a comprehensive assessment before taking the plunge in any investment as there are many banana skins in your path. Luck is stronger for your formal income than for speculative projects. It is an ordinary year for romance, so effort will be required to keep the passion alive between you and your partner. If you are not in a relationship, a romance may develop from an existing friendship. Monkey troop: performer Christina Aguilera, tennis champion Venus Williams and actor Tom Hanks. THE ROOSTER (1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005) You are embarking on a period of good fortune, so spread your wings far and wide. Although benefactors may not enter your life, you can ride on your own luck. Significant achievements will be gained at work and finding harmony is easy if you can refrain from getting into arguments. Indeed, contentiousness will be the only setback for Roosters. Crowing too much about your own achievements is undesirable so perform kind deeds to safeguard your good luck. After several difficult years wealth luck is strong, marking a new dawn for the Rooster. Prudence is initially required because you have just risen from a low base but investments will bring good returns. Building good interpersonal relationships will also help your wealth luck. Of all the signs, Roosters will have the best year for romance. With plenty of taohua, it will be a pleasant time for those looking for love. They will also be able to make use of their attraction luck to gain mileage at work. Needless to say, it will take discipline for those already attached to focus only on their existing relationship. Dawn chorus: actors Renee Zellwegger and Michael Caine and musicians Yoko Ono and Van Morrison. THE DOG (1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006) Those born in the sign of the Dog will reap only what they sow this year and cannot afford to rest on their laurels. With a status-enhancing star present, you may get a promotion or some form of recognition, but hard work is a prerequisite. Avoid too many changes and stay faithful to your job. If you are in business, stick to your original principles. Wealth luck is not superb for the Dog and monetary rewards will be proportionate to the amount of work put in. You may enjoy good returns from investments that are carefully planned and executed. Gambling luck is absent, so avoid speculations. Romance luck is fair and, again, you will need to make an effort to keep the fires of passion burning. Sincerity and honesty will improve the bonds with your partner. The Dog who is unattached must be proactive in looking for romance as opportunities will not present themselves. Pedigree chums: pop stars Mariah Carey and Michael Jackson and model Naomi Campbell. THE PIG (1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007) It is not a good year for those born under the sign of the Pig, who will experience abrupt failures. To minimise this, plan thoroughly before acting, don't be adventurous and avoid taking on new projects. Practise pragmatism and take everything one step at a time to ensure safe progress. Health is an area for concern as the Pig is the sign most susceptible to illness. Maintain a good health regimen and avoid places of high-risk to your well-being. A wastage star is the main cause of weakness in wealth so avoid making new investments. At the same time, you will need to make a conscious effort to resist spending lavishly, which you would regret later. You will not enjoy good luck in love. For an existing relationship, both you and your partner need to ignore the minor hiccups and be generous in sharing emotions. For those who are unattached, move slowly. Pig-pen pals: actors Emma Thompson and Winona Ryder, actor-director Woody Allen, rocker David Bowie and performer Elton John.