[Pixs of model for illustration only]
I jab the doorbell button of Sifu Sabrina’s condo and my mobile buzzes. The caller ID shows a picture of her.
I answer the call. “I’m outside.”
“Come on in. I left the door unlocked. I’m in the kitchen.”
I slip off my sneakers, turn the knob and enter. Crossing the living room, I step into the kitchen to see Sifu Sabrina at a white counter (pix below). She gestures to a chair at a dining table.
“I had a fantastic party at a friend’s place.” She steps toward me with a kettle in one hand (pix below). “Let me pour you some nice, hot coffee.” She exhales a little-girl giggle. “Sorry, I can’t give you a choice of tea, coffee or me.” She hands me a mug and returns the kettle to the stove. “So, what you wanna write in your blog this time?”
“Chinese horoscope signs that are in conflict with Tai Sui for 2016.”
Sifu Sabrina moves with a sway of hips towards the dining table and sits across me. “For the Monkey year 2016, the Tiger, Snake, Pig and Monkey are affected. Tai Sui may cause hardship, suffering and misfortunes for people born under those signs. They should not attend funerals or get married in 2016.”
“Therefore, those affected people should pray at a temple, right?”
The corners of her mouth upturn into a smile. “Righto!”
I take a sip of my coffee. “What else can be done?"
“People under those horoscope signs can also carry a pi yao amulet or display a picture of this mythical animal in the affected sector.” Her gaze meets mine. “Tai Sui faces different directions every year. For 2016, it’s South-West. So, don’t sleep with your feet or head facing south-west. In the living room, if your sofa or armchair faces south-west, change its position immediately. Avoid renovations in the south-west sector of your home. If your main door faces south-west, never slam the door shut. Open and close it gently. For protection, hang a painting or display a statue of the pi yao in the south-west sector of your living room. That also applies to your office.”
“What’s a pi yao?”
“It’s supposed to be the pet of Tai Sui. It looks like a winged lion with one horn.” She holds her mug with both hands, takes a sip and exhales a breath (pix below).
I cluck my tongue. “I’m a bit skeptical about this Tai Sui thing. Who is he? What is he? A deity? Or is Tai Sui an ancient myth created by temple-owners to make money? You know, to scare people so they’ll pay big money to go through the Tai Sui-pacifying ceremony. And in what way have people -- including innocent children -- under certain animal signs offended him every year? What've they done to him?"
“Tai Sui refers to the post of ruler of earth. That’s traditional Taoist belief, mind you. There’re sixty deities who’ll assume the post by rotation. Meaning, a different deity will act as Tai Sui each year. For 2015, it was Yang Xian. Come February 8, the deity Guan Zhong (pix below) will assume duty.”
“Tai Sui is often referred to as Grand Duke of Jupiter. Some modern astrologers say that Tai Sui is merely the mass of energy radiating from the planet Jupiter. Any comment?”
Sifu Sabrina glides me a thin glare. “Whether you want to believe in Tai Sui is up to you.” Her eyes sparkle like jagged emeralds. “But ignore Tai Sui at your own peril.”