Feng Shui consultant, Mina Zheng. HOPES for prosperity, wealth and good fortune are usual for the Chinese who celebrate a new lunar year, but does this year – the year of the goat or sheep – herald different tidings for different people as it kicks off?

The year of the sheep which is also the year of the ram or goat – all are correct – starts on 19 February 2015 and is the most important Chinese holiday in the year.

Also known as the Spring Festival in China, throngs of Chinese migrate home each year for a family reunion abandoning all work and professional commitments.

Work takes a back seat as celebrants relax for 15 days over the festive season. Chinese New Year to the Chinese is akin to Christmas in Australia.

Every year has one of 12 the Chinese zodiac animals assigned to it. Since 1900, those with birth years 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 and 2015 are said to have been born in the year of the goat.

Melbourne Chinese Feng Shui consultant, Lok Tin Yung says the year of the goat, and a “wood” goat at that, will be filled with issues relating to religion and trust.

“Each animal year comes with an element, and this year is the wood. This means there will be plenty of religious world issues around,” he said.

“Also the wood element will stir up the earth so we should expect to see more earthquakes.”

My Yung also predicts bad energy in the “west”.

“Places like Europe, or the western part of a country will have some trouble. And don’t renovate the western part of your house,” he said.

Sydney Feng Shui consultant, Mina Zheng said while there may be new conflicts in the year of the goat, she believes there will be balance between good and bad news.

“Unlike the year of the horse last year, which had a lot of fire exemplified by the Asian air disasters for example, this year has a set of balanced elements,” Ms Zheng said.

“If you have physical or emotional conflicts from last year, this is the year to repair them.”

Ms Zheng also said the “balanced” year of the goat will be a contrast to the passionate year of the horse.

“It is a realistic year. New artistic talent will emerge. This is the time to develop your own creativity also.”

While this bodes well for most people, those born in the year of the goat may have a hard time.

Mr Yung, Ms Zheng and Chinese New Year adviser to the City of Sydney, Lin Abbott agree those with the same sign, will have a “clash of polarity”.

“Those born in the year of the goat won’t be very lucky. Best not to have any investments and don’t lend your money to anyone. Chances are you won’t get any money back!” Mrs Abbott said.

“In fact those who are goats should take a trip. A round trip or a full circle will bring you back some luck.”

Mr Yung says goats will be very busy and receive pressure from “every direction”. Even newborns this year will have inherited a stubborn streak.

But goats are not the only ones who need to tread carefully this year.

“Each animal has a better chemical reaction with some animals and not with others. The ox will clash with the goat, so if you are a goat, don’t marry an ox!” Mr Yung said.

Mr Yung even cautioned those born in the year of the ox to steer away from high risk investments and to look out for changes in their jobs and home.

Those born in the dragon and the dog years should drive carefully as penalties and fines await them.

“The dog in particular will be working very hard to get noticed,” Mrs Abbott said.

Those who are seeking a romance in the year of the goat should note that not everyone will be lucky enough to be shot by Cupid’s arrows.

New partnerships and relationships are forecasted for those born in the year of the rabbit and pig.

Mr Yung and Ms Zheng agreed however, people belonging to the “troubled animal” categories could still experience good fortune as the Chinese chart is complex and specific information such as hour of birth could turn things around.

“For the rest of the world, be careful making investments. The fluctuations are wild this year. There won’t be a Lehman Brothers, but don’t put all your eggs in one basket,” Mrs Abbott said.

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