Many Bhutanese and Himalayan people believe there are five properties that shape their lives. The five life forces are critical and they reveal anticipated outcomes for family members in a given calendar year.
1. Amongst the five, sok (སྲོག་), meaning life force, is the most vital for everyone. It represents the status of life strength. The life essence resides in the heart and it relates to our vitality. If one’s sok is weak in the almanac, then there is a danger of illness or accidents, including fatal ones.
2. Lü (ལུས་), or body, determines the general state of one’s health including good health and bad health. If one’s lü or body score is negative or weak in a certain year, one may become ill or have health problems.
3. Wangtang (དབང་ཐང་), or charisma, refers to our personal power and prestige. It influences our wealth, possessions, and also the ability to realize our goals. This is of special importance for women. If wangtang is low or negative, one will struggle to succeed in one’s projects and in achieving goals. One would be subjected to difficulties.
4. Lungta (རླུང་རྟ་) generally rendered as wind horse, is linked to one's fortune and luck, either at the time of birth or for a given year. It reflects our capacity to keep bad circumstances away. Lungta acts as coordinator and binder of all life forces. If one’s lungta is weak, one will be unfortunate and unlucky. One’s reputation may be at stake and it may be difficult to achieve anything. New projects such as starting a business will be unsuccessful.
5. La (བླ་) is linked to our mental and emotional stability. It is a protective force. Sometimes la becomes disconnected and wonders from the body and must be brought back through ritual actions. La can be stolen by mischievous spirits. When this happens, one becomes sick. If la is low or negative, then there will be mental disorders. One’s mind will not be stable. In general, there will no peace of mind. When la is bad we can face danger. When we enter house that contains unhappy spirits or ghosts, we can sense their presence.
To find the status of these five properties of life, one can take the animal sign of one’s birth and consult the status in an annual almanac, which is the easiest means of calculation. In the almanac the five properties are presented with following scores for the specific year for each animal sign:
1. 000 means the best
2. 00 means very good
3. 0 means good
4. 0X means neutral
5. X means bad
6. XX means very bad.
Phub Dorji Wang is a freelance writer on Bhutanese religion and culture. The article was edited and improved by Karma Phuntsho.