Tai Sui is a Chinese term for the stars directly opposite Jupiter during its roughly 12-year orbital cycle. Personified as deities, they are important features of Chinese astrology, Feng Shui, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism to a lesser extent.
The 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac are based on divisions of the Jovian orbital cycle, rather than—as with the western zodiac—the apparent motion of the sun relative to the celestial sphere. The star thought to oppose Jupiter during each year of the cycle was personified as a Heavenly General (zh:甲子神列表) or Cycle God. These were believed to assist the Jade Emperor in controlling the mortal world. Their number was later quintupled to 60, based on the combinations of the twelve divisions (reckoned using the earthly stems) with the five Chinese elements of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Each of the gods' features and attributes signifies the well-being of that year. For example, if the Tai Sui of the year holds a pen,[who?] it signifies political unrest for that particular year.[why?] On the other hand, if the Tai Sui of the year holds a spear or sword,[who?] it signifies the need to work hard and excel for that year.[why?]
In Taoism, those whose birth sign or other features clash with the Tai Sui of the year will face misfortunes or disturbances for the whole current year. They are advised to conduct a prayer session with a priest to propitiate the deity, ensuring peace and good fortune during the year. Each year, this applies to people born under 4 out of the 12 zodiac signs. In 2017, for example, it applied to people born in the years of the Rat, Rabbit, Horse and Rooster. Talismans thought to protect against Tai Sui[clarification needed] are sold in many areas.[where?]
In Chinese culture it has been traditionally considered taboo to build a house facing Taisui (or in the directly opposite direction) in the corresponding year of the Chinese zodiac. A similar belief is associated with moving houses and the line drawn through the old and new dwellings.
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