Chinese astrology has its own strange appeal, possibly because it’s so alien from the conventions of Western astrology. Out of curiosity I ordered a copy of the Tong Shu Desktop Calendar by Joey Yap. It’s an interesting production, and very different from a typical American astrology calendar! First – it’s designed to sit on a surface, like a table tent. It’s the size of a daily planner (6”x9”) and the spiral on the top lets you flip from month to month.

On the away-facing page, each month gives Feng Shui beneficial & problem areas by compass direction, and an overview of love and academic matters by compass direction. On the calendar face, little symbols printed in red or brown show whether certain things are favored on a day (new business, marriage, ground breaking, renovation, meetings, moving, contract signing, traveling). And then each day has a Chinese glyph with a notation for the day like “Destruction-Month Breaker” or “Success” or “Receive.” You don’t need to know anything about any sort of astrology to figure this stuff out, and it’s kinda fun to look over the good and bad days. There’s some extra text at the front giving prognostications for the year.

Yap is a productive fellow (see and offers a full range of books and products covering Feng Shui, Chinese astrology, BaZi, and face-reading for an English-speaking audience, along with his advisory services. I’ve been looking for a translation of the Tong Shu calendar for several years, and this is the first one I’ve found. It helps if you know your stems & branches along with the animal sign of your birth (there are free sites that will generate this information), and a little knowledge on Chinese astrology helps too (see the review of “Imperial Guide to Feng Shui and Astrology.”) Having a Tong Shu calendar is supposed to be lucky in itself, so Yap has found himself a nice racket. Some may prefer the paperback book edition with much more text and content than the desktop version.

Review by Elizabeth Hazel

Calendar by Joey Yap. Spiral-bound with cardboard table-tent, approx 28 pages. $16.80 at Amazon

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