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  1. 2020, beginning on January 25th according to the Xia calendar, will be the year of the Yang Metal (White) Rat. Metal produces Water, and Rat is a Water sign. So the relationship between the Heavenly Stem (Metal) and Earthly Branch (Water) will be harmonious enough... with many caveats. The main problem is of course Yang Metal. A fierce warrior energy -- strong, arrogant, aggressive, it can manifest as a Terminator... Arnold was born on a Yang Metal day, by the way, and the list of famous Yang Metal dudes is positively scary -- Alexander the Great, Mohammed Ali, characters like that. Even Emilia Clarke whose protagonist led huge armies and didn't hesitate to sic her dragons on King's Landing essentially portrayed her real-life Chinese horoscope taken to the movie extreme. And, just like the Terminator, she is a mixed bag -- she starts out good and ends up bad, while the Terminator starts out as a bad robot and terminates as a good robot. Such is the Yang Metal warrior -- whether the cause that drives them is noble or ignoble, fierce determination is injected into both. Another caveat is that Yang Metal in the Heavenly Stem sits on top of Water in the Earthly Branch. Yang Metal is not some aluminum foil or manicure scissors or fine gold earrings or a diamond ring -- essentially it's a huge chunk of metal. A ship. A battleship. And the position in 2020 will be rather precarious for it, because Metal lacks the support of its Mother phase, Earth. So it will be arrogant enough but not at its peak strength -- there will be a lot of bark that won't necessarily result in bite. The most dangerous time for the bite comes in autumn, Metal's proprietary season when it's at its strongest and can back up any amount of bark with a very sharp and painful bite of its metal teeth. Let's hope not. In the Xia calendar, the Rat is the first of the 12 animals. The Hour of the Rat is also the first and begins a new day (23:00 to 01:00). 24 hours in a day and 12 animals -- so every animal rules 2 hours of every day. The Rat is unique though in that it is comprised of the “Late Rat” and “Early Rat.” Late Rat rules 23:00 to 0000. As the day changes at 0001, Early Rat begins and lasts until 0100. So the Rat sign covers two different days—half on a Yang day and half on a Yin day. The sequence of the animals is interesting in that the order in which they are lined up is based on the number of the animal’s toes (or fingers). An odd number of toes is Yang and an even number is Yin. While all other animals' front and back legs or paws have the same kind of digits of the same number, the Rat’s front legs have four fingers (Yin) and hind legs have five toes (Yang). This exactly matches the idea that the Rat represents both Yin and Yang.