As the year of the metal or golden rabbit approaches, there may be growing unease among those born in the year of either the rabbit or the rooster. In traditional Chinese astrology, all rabbits - whether metal, water, wood, fire or earth - 'offend the grand duke' (fan tai sui) this year. Rabbits are those born in the years 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987 and 1999. In fact, all of the 12 zodiac animals offend the grand duke in the course of each of their years. In the coming year, those born in the year of the rooster - 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005 - directly clash with the rabbit, the ruling animal of the year. The clash refers to the animal that is six years - or six animals - away from the animal of the year. Thus, the rooster clashes with the rabbit; the monkey with the tiger; the dragon with the dog; the rat with the horse; the ox with the sheep; and the snake with the pig. Some people believe misfortune will befall all rabbits and roosters in the Year of the Metal Rabbit. However, this is not necessarily true for the rabbits, unless wood is the worst element in their eight characters, or Chinese astrology, chart, which is composed of two characters each for the year, month, day and hour of birth. For instance, you could be born in the wood rat hour, metal rooster day, fire snake month and wood rabbit year. To ascertain which element is positive or negative for you, you would need to consult an astrologer. Next week we will discuss the possible negative consequences for roosters in the upcoming year.