I’m not much of a believer in Chinese astrology. Tell me that I’m intuitive and reticent—apparently the traits of the snake, my zodiac animal—and I’ll readily agree, but I’m pretty sure I also embody traits that correspond to the other animals in the cycle.

However, in the interest of being “explorative”, I thought I’d find out how the past year was supposed to be for me, and if there are any accuracies—coincidental or otherwise.

Way Fengshui very kindly shared their forecast for the snake in the Year of the Pig (which ends on Jan 24, 2020, because if you haven’t been paying attention, we’re moving into the Year of the Rat) and I wasn’t quite sure what to think at first glance. According to them, the luck ranking of the snake for the Year of the Pig was 10 out of 12. And I do find the past year to be pretty sh*t.

But lest I start lamenting about the things that keep me up at night, allow me to compare the forecast against my experiences over the past year as objectively as I can.

1. Wealth (1/5 star)

“You’ll be affected by the Major Wealth Loss Star and are likely to suffer significant monetary losses. Avoid impulse buys or risky investments and err on the side of conservatism. Some legal hassles may also surface, but they can be readily solved through monetary means.”

You know the Roll Safe meme where the dude goes: “You can’t be broke if you have no money”? It pretty much sums up my take on my wealth (or lackthere of) the past year. I mean, the more we have, the more we stand to lose, and I just didn’t have enough to have suffered “significant losses”.

But while I often gave into impulse buys (i.e. buying clothes that closely resemble the sets I already have in my closet), I’m not actually broke and didn’t run into any financial trouble though I failed to err on the side of conservatism. Given how careless I can be with money, I must say I’ve had a pretty good year in terms of wealth.

2. Romance (1/5 star) 

“The appearance of the Major Wealth Loss Star is likely to make you spend irrationally in your relationship, and you ought to remind yourself that love should not be based on money. Frequent overseas trips will reduce the amount of time you have for your partner, so you may have to put in extra effort to maintain your relationship. Disagreements between married couples are more prevalent this year, which means open communication is crucial.” 

Money has never been a point of contention in my relationships and I’ve never had to splurge on something I can barely afford just to please my partner, which is what I would assume to be “spending irrationally in my relationship”. Also, a bulk of the trips I took were with people I was seeing, and I reckon that the adventures we embarked on together brought us closer together instead of further apart.

But in the grand scheme of things, I won’t say that matters of the heart were smooth-sailing. Not because I didn’t get to love and be loved, but because for a good part of the year I was steeped in agonising romantic complexities—the sort I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. But I also wouldn’t agree that my luck in romance has been bad. Much as I’ve had some pretty dark days over the past year, I’ve had some really incredible ones too.

3. Career (3/5 stars)

“With the Voyager Star present, you’re more likely to change jobs or be posted to a different country. While the frequent travel may be physically and mentally demanding, it will provide you with more opportunities to develop your career. That said, you may be quite distracted, so pay attention to the details when signing contracts or settling legal documentation.”

I haven’t been on the lookout for a new job and so am unable to relate to the forewarnings. You know what they say: even if a divine being wants to help you win the lottery, you first have to buy the ticket—and I didn’t even take that first step. I suppose this is where I declare that I really enjoy what I do for work. (Don’t mind me—my bosses are reading this.)

I was offered a few press trips the past year and so would agree that I’ve been presented with “more opportunities”. I had to turn all of them down except for one, though, but on that trip I made a few helpful contacts. There weren’t any (important) legal documents I had to sign so I can’t say if I wasn’t cautious enough, but by and large I am easily distracted and wouldn’t blame my inattentiveness on my “luck”.

4. Health (2/5 stars) 

“Frequent travels for work are likely to take a toll on you. You may also suffer from gastrointestinal problems because you’re always rushing for time and skipping meals. Therefore, be very careful with what you eat and consume highly nutritious foods to keep your body strong. Do a full body check-up and be aware of your surroundings when travelling.” 

I’ve been experiencing gut issues but, given that it’s a common ailment, reckon that it happens to people of every other sign. I did however suffer from a horrid bout of coughing that lasted months—it got so bad that for weeks I’d wake up in the middle of the night choking to tears—so I’ll agree that my health has been poor. I mean, the cough was so bad that at one point, the CLEO team suggested that I try consulting a bomoh because the meds didn’t seem to be helping.

But to be fair, I haven’t exactly been taking care of my body and don’t even have the basics of sleep hygiene down pat. I just may be quite lucky that I haven’t been sicker.

5. Luck (2/5 stars)

“The gathering of unlucky stars marks a difficult year and you will encounter challenges in all aspects of your life. Still, be assured that the Resolution Star will aid neutralise bad luck. The appearance of the Voyager Star means that your best chances for growth are overseas, but you should consider the feelings of your loved ones if planning to leave. Pay more attention to the elders in your family and care for their health so that they may enjoy their retirement years.”

As mentioned, I found my past year to be pretty sh*t and so consider the luck ranking to be accurate. But I will also have to admit that the challenges I faced were #firstworldproblems—the distress was really because I was on an emotional roller coaster for a good part of the year and my mental health took a hit. I absolutely did not have issues in all aspects of my life, and much as I’d love to play the “Woe is me!” card, I know that things could be worse.

Has this comparison swayed my (dis)belief in Chinese astrology? Not really, but I will concede that a general reading can be much more accurate than a detailed one—it does after all “cast a wider net”. In fact, it’s exactly why I went to find out what my luck ranking in the Year of the Rat will be, and according to Way Fengshui, the snake will rank fourth out of the 12 signs in the upcoming year.

And I’ll say this: I may not be a believer… but I am strangely secretly excited about the road ahead.