The warnings were dire.

Civil unrest, terrorist attacks, assassination attempts and continued electrical shortages.

The cautions didn’t come from the CIA or FBI. They came from South Bay consultant Y.C. Sun, versed in the oracle art of Z-Ping (a derivative of I-Ching). His succinct summary: “This year, there’s a lot of bloodshed.”

Last year at this time, on the eve of the year of the metal snake, TimeOut had interviewed Sun for his prognostications. “The ‘metal’ in a metal snake year represents weapons: guns, missiles and knives,” the story reported. “The combined energies of metal, fire and snake point to a spate of civil unrest, possibly including terrorist attacks, assassination attempts, car bombs, workplace and campus violence, earthquakes or gas explosions.”

Sun isn’t surprised by what the serpent has wrought.

“Every snake year is always like this. Nine-eleven is only part of this,” he said in an interview Wednesday. “Back in 1989, year of the snake again, that was Tiananmen Square.”

Chinese astrology has a complex system that correlates 12 zodiac animals with rotating elements of water, metal, wood, fire and earth. The last metal snake year was 1941, when Pearl Harbor was bombed.

His other predictions had included a “coup in an African country, a racial independence movement in Indonesia, social unrest in the Philippines, an expansion of the problems in the Middle East and right-wing activity in Norway, Belgium or Finland.”

As for what professionals would be in demand, police, lawyers, judges and soldiers were on list.

Sun had also pointed out that since the snake comprises many segments, it will die if the sections were not connected.

“So too we either join or we die — If we stick together in family, in the government, country and world, everybody will be able to work together.”

Now, in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks, unity is the operative word. “Because of 9-11, that put everyone on the same front,” Sun points out.

The consultant has just as much to say about the coming year of the water horse, also known as the black stallion (the color of water in Chinese astrology is considered dark, yin and black). Water also represents the heavens, and the horse represents the earth — all the way to its fiery core. With these strong opposed forces, he says, “one cannot put out the other,” and that means more conflicts.

On the other hand, “the stock market is positive, real estate is stable and steady, unemployment rates should turn around in March (and) economic recovery should do well.”

The powerful horse, a “TLC animal,” requires affectionate handling, so look for family closeness, romance (even online), marriage and “good-looking babies.”

As always, predictions are never 100 percent — more like 80 percent. Still, the yearning to prepare for the worst and best compels us to know, and for you to read on:

Disasters: Water-related disasters, such as snow and rain storms. A typhoon may hit Japan in August and flood India in October. The winter months forebode blizzard conditions in Canada, the United States and Europe. The horse’s fire portends earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, continued military bombings, oil well or oil refinery explosions.

Politics: “Terrorism returns in May,” Sun says, with bombings or explosions beginning in England, Paris and Germany. Pakistan, despite its desires to rout out terrorism, will be “out of control” this summer.

In reading world leaders’ birth charts, Sun sees health concerns for President Bush, specifically his own, and that of his wife and father. High political risks are forecast for Saddam Hussein (beginning in July, accelerating Sept. 7 through January) and Yassir Arafat (June, July, October). Late this year might mean the passing of one or two former U.S. presidents.

Bad “air” days: Days and months carry their own chi or energy, and they conflict with one another in the United States on March 10 as well as July 8 and 20. The months of June and December conflict with the year; beware of fiery events.

Business: China, lying in the favored east direction, means a booming economy, which may ripple to Silicon Valley. Horses break new trails, so look for “new fronts in technology.”

Travel: Water and horse both mean a love for travel, but bad dates are March 30, April 12, June 13, July 7, Oct. 15, Dec. 3 and in 2003, Jan. 3 and Feb. 3.

Health: Areas of concern include the ankle, shoulder, eyes, heart, kidney, lungs and blood (clogged vessels, aneurysms, clots). Also, the downside to a romantic year — sexually transmitted diseases.

Personal change: Water symbolizes creativity, travel, willingness to make changes and intelligence. Horses also like travel, so the year 4700 means a good time for changes, overseas travel and even a return to the homeland.

Events editor Vera H-C Chan can be reached at and 925-977-8428.

Y.C. Sun will be at the Cupertino Library 7-9 p.m. Feb. 20 and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Feb. 23 at the Sing Tao Chinese Radio Station booth in the Chinese Community Street Fair on Grant Avenue.