03/28/2008 02:45 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Tension, Disaster, Turbulence: Welcome To The Year Of The Rat

The Year of the Rat threatens to see a build-up of international tensions, natural and air disasters, and a more turbulent stock market, soothsayers and analysts say.

As the Year of the Pig ends tonight, followers of Chinese superstition will be scurrying to consult fortune-tellers, astrologers and feng shui geomancers to guide their year ahead.

Chinese fortunes are based on a belief that events are dictated by the different balances in the elements that make up the earth -- gold, wood, water, fire and earth.

Feng shui master Raymond Lo says this year will see the earth element sitting atop water, suggesting an outward solidity built on sliding foundations.

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