Predictions for 2017 – The Year of the Yin Fire Bird

e99b84e9b8a1e58da0e6989fe6a087e5bf97-77190153The Yin Fire Rooster (known to philosophical types as the “Red Phoenix” or “Fire Bird”) confidently crows his welcome into our lives on February 3, 2017, overtaking the anarchistic, trickster Red Fire Monkey who with gleeful mischief has bombarded us with more surprises than we could imagine during 2016 (Chinese New Year is actually celebrated on the New Moon in Aquarius – January 27, 2017).

We are in the middle of a 3-year Metal period (Monkey, Rooster, & Dog). Both 2016 and 2017 carry strong Fire element energies. In traditional thinking about the relationship between the elements, Fire controls Metal. Consequently, many of the problems of the Monkey year will continue in 2017 with just as many opportunities to come up with solutions. Fire and Metal types will feel this acutely. But there are differences.

Fire of course, heats things up and makes people happier and optimistic. Passion, excitement, impulsive action, creativity, and enthusiasm will be evident everywhere. As opposed to last year’s Yang Fire Monkey though, this Fire Bird is Yin, more like a flickering, unstable candle flame than a full-out blaze. Hence, we can be subject to states of creativity and emotional sentimentality and sensitivity that flare up and subside, unlike the quick temper of Yang Fire. This energy is more tense and nervous. Tempers can accumulate and explode, making serious situations potentially more dangerous.

The Rooster is Yin Metal, related to gold, precious gems and jewelry, implying wealth and luxury. This Fire Bird drives us to preen our feathers, flex our muscles and strut our stuff whether we’re in the barnyard, the schoolyard, or the courtyard. To Rooster, appearance is of the utmost importance. Personal grooming and our wardrobes will definitely demand more of our attention. Wanting to make a good impression extends itself into the workplace, not to mention the love and romance arena. Those who find validation in either place (and the lucky ones who find it in both!) are promised long-lasting happiness. This could be a great year for the arts, entertainment, and fashion.

A dedicated timekeeper who thrives by clockwork, precision, and order, the Rooster’s territory is circumscribed. As the only ruler of the roost, he often creates alarm with his wake-up calls, especially concerning our livelihoods. This is a year when money will not come to us without effort. Keep a schedule at work, make wise investments and cultivate your savings instead of fantasizing about get-rich-quick schemes and other speculative ventures.

In Chinese medicine, Metal energy is related to the lungs, large intestine, and skin; Fire rules the heart and the small intestine. Spiritually, the heart is our Commander-in-Chief. It’s all about the blood vessels and capillaries, inflammation, our capacity to savor and enjoy, as well as our speech (Fire rules the tongue). Words, thoughts, and the feelings behind them have power.This is a year where it is of utmost importance to speak truthfully, straight from your heart.

The combination of Fire and Metal can cause flu, potential breathing problems, skin and digestive problems, internal and external inflammation, and heart palpitations. Be aware that imbalance in these organ systems can manifest in difficult negative emotions. Associated with the Lungs are depression, grief, and sadness. Giddiness, impatience, hatred, and cruelty reside in the heart. If we cultivate our courage and healthy self-esteem as well as loving compassion, respect and patience, our health will definitely benefit.

In particular, Yin Metal is connected to fog or stagnant air that is retained and not exhaled. This year, breathing and the lungs’ function of exchanging qi with the universe can become compromised due to atmospheric pollution (literal and emotional!). This is a year when getting into clean, fresh air is extremely important. Practice Qigong in the woods, in the mountains, by the sea, or a fresh lake or river. Do pranayama regularly to clear your air passages. Clear your aura with meditation and mantra.

Make conscious efforts to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels down by cultivating more awareness about what you eat as well as your stress levels. Nourish your Heart and Lungs by feeding your Liver and Spleen. Use cooling supplements like turmeric, aloe vera juice, and medicinal mushrooms (see an excellent brand here), and eat a low-fat, anti-inflammatory diet.

As symbolic of jewelry, Yin Metal is charming and beautiful on the outside, but internally, it has a very cold and hard metal quality. Yin Metal is like a dagger, not a sword. It attacks Yin Wood that is related to small bones in the body. Particularly for Rabbits (who are Yin Wood), it is also necessary to beware of accidents causing injury to back bones, limbs, fingers, and toes.

Lots of interesting developments happened in the most recent Yin Fire Rooster years, 1957 and 1897. The Vietnam War escalated in 1957 with serious insurgencies by the Viet Cong against Ngo Dinh Diem’s government. In 1897, Qing Dynasty China was ruled by the Empress Dowager and was declining with aggressive invasion by Russia and other western countries. In this Yin Fire Rooster year, keep an eye on the relationships between China, Russia, and the U.S. There were remarkable scientific milestones. In 1957, the first satellite (Sputnik 1) was launched by the Soviet Union in October. In 1897, the word “computer” first appeared and aspirin was invented.

There were more than the usual numbers of explosions and fire disasters in 1957 – a coalmine gas explosion in Virginia, a 42,000 pound hydrogen bomb accidentally fell from a bomber near Albuquerque, a nuclear disaster occurred at the Mayak nuclear reprocessing plant in Russia, and a fire happened at the Windscale nuclear reactor in England.

Industries that will perform well in the year of the Fire Rooster will be those related to Fire and Water elements. In the 5 Element theory, Metal is money for Fire as well as the mother of Water. Fire industries are energy, the stock market, finance, and entertainment. Water industries are transport, shipping, and communication. Earth produces Metal so real estate, construction, and mining will be active. Metal industries like banking, engineering, computers, and cars will be active but too much competition will not create much money. Wood industries like textiles, paper, and environmental technology are active because Wood creates Fire but the money for Wood industry is Earth and unfortunately, it is absent. Consequently, Wood industries (particularly traditional publishing) will not do so well either.

The Yin Fire Rooster is also a rare year as it contains both “Nobleman” and “Academic Stars”. Every baby born from 2/3/17 to 2/16/18 will automatically possess these good stars. Nobleman will give a person life support from others, and Academic Star is a symbol of intelligence and a strong appetite for knowledge and study.  They appear together only twice in the 60 year cycle – Yin Fire Rooster year and Yin Water Rabbit year (2023).

Despite all of the conflicts between Metal and Fire, The Yin Fire Rooster is a symbol of optimism and innovation, particularly during the spring and summer months of 2017 when Fire becomes more prominent. There is sure to be conflict and disharmony in global relationships but people are confident and creative in bringing solutions to the obstacles that arise.

Natural and environmental disasters will give people an opportunity to step up and transform themselves into more caring, human beings. On our best days, we will rise to the occasion and see that we are all living in the same “barnyard”- Planet Earth and (among the cosmically enlightened) our beautiful galaxy.

If you feel the restrictions of your own personal chicken coop, cultivate a cheerful attitude and disposition. Strengthen your resolve to be the best human being you can be and you will transform the somewhat mundane Rooster into a beautiful Fire Bird.

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Predictions by Animal Sign are here

Predictions for 2016 – Year of the Yang Fire Monkey

The first day of the Yang Fire Monkey year is February 4, 2016. But Chinese New Year is actually celebrated on the New Moon in Aquarius – February 8, 2016.

monkeySmart, shrewd, and ready for fun, this year’s Fire Monkey can’t be more different from last year’s Yin Wood Sheep. Anything can happen. The Trickster archetype is now in charge and Monkey business rules. If you don’t have a sense of humor about yourself or occasionally veer toward the naughty, you’re going to be very uncomfortable with all the crazy things going on.

But it doesn’t stop there. Perhaps because monkeys so uncannily reflect our human world, from Hanuman to the Monkey King they occupy a special place in Eastern mythology. Many of the stories glory in portraying Monkey as an impulsive, foolish, vain troublemaker. As in most traditional “Hero” tales, after getting his comeuppance through various trials and tribulations, a transformation occurs and eventually, Monkey redeems himself. So the Monkey archetype in these traditions symbolizes repentance, devotion, courage to hold on to a vision, and the promise of liberation.

Baby Monkey

                       Wudang Mountain, China ©Sharon Smith 2011

And then there’s the “monkey mind” – spiritual lingo for the ADHD that seems to be endemic these days. As clever as Monkey is, he has one main difficulty – taming the restless mind. A short attention span, jumping from branch to branch, grabbing whatever fruit is appealing, and making judgments based on appearances will prove to be delusional fulfillments at best. On the other hand, things can turn on a dime so we have to be willing to let go of our ego attachments and change course if something’s not working.

2016 is the first year of three consecutive Metal animals (the others are Rooster and Dog). In traditional thinking about the relationship between the elements, Fire controls Metal and the flavor of the year is Fire. Metal symbolizes a destructive weapon like a sword. So this year, the damaging aspect of the Metal element is kept in check somewhat by Fire.

Fire of course, heats things up. Passion, excitement, impulsive action, creativity, and enthusiasm will be evident everywhere. But Metal also represents the West direction and connects with the weakening sun (the Monkey rules from 3-5 PM). So even though Fire increases Monkey’s tendency toward hotheaded Yang behavior, it’s not so strong since the sun is setting.

Conflicts created by the relationship between Fire and Metal can be resolved since the heat dissipates as the sun goes down. On the positive side, a sword symbolizes cutting through illusion to find the truth, a noble Monkey endeavor! In the Year of the Fire Monkey it’s good to keep in mind that even though easily excited, people are openhearted, sincere, and if given a chance, calm down quickly.

Nonetheless, it will be difficult to escape conflict and disharmony in international relations. Conflicts will flare up rapidly and then subside. The last Yang Fire Monkey year was 1956 when there was a crisis with the Suez Canal that led to the bombing of Egypt by the U.K. and France. Israel invaded the Sinai Peninsula in October 1956 and there were also rebellions against the Soviet Union’s control in Hungary and Poland that were both brutally suppressed by Soviet forces. Although 2016 may not be a peaceful year, people will bring the Monkey’s optimism creativity, and innovation to solve global problems.

Fire rules the Heart and the Small Intestine in Chinese medicine. It’s all about the blood vessels and capillaries, inflammation, our capacity to savor and enjoy, and our speech (Fire rules the tongue). Spiritually, it’s our Commander-in-Chief. Metal represents the Lung and Large Intestine and relates to the nose and breathing mechanisms as well as the skin.

The combination of Fire and Metal can cause flu, potential breathing problems, heart palpitations, internal and external inflammation, skin and digestive problems. Be aware that the negative emotions associated with these organ systems are depression, grief, sadness (Lungs); and giddiness, impatience, hatred, and cruelty (Heart). Words, thoughts, and the feelings behind them have power. Speak truthfully, straight from your heart. If we cultivate our courage and healthy self-esteem as well as loving compassion, respect and patience, our health will definitely benefit.

Make conscious efforts to keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels down by cultivating more awareness about what you eat and your stress levels. Nourish your Heart and Lungs by feeding your Liver and Spleen. Get into the fresh air as much as possible. Practice Tai Chi, Qigong, Meditation, and Yoga to stay grounded. Use cooling supplements like turmeric, aloe vera juice, and medicinal mushrooms (see an excellent brand here), and eat a low-fat, anti-inflammatory diet.

Conventionally, Metal has to do with coins (money). Industries that will perform well in the year of the Monkey will be those related to Fire and Water elements. In the 5 Element theory, Metal is money for Fire as well as the mother of Water. Fire industries are energy, the stock market, finance, and entertainment. Water industries are transport, shipping, and communication. Earth industries (real estate, construction, mining) will be active and productive (Fire creates Earth) but the money element for Earth is Water which is not in and of itself, strong this year and definitely not obvious. Wood industries (particularly traditional publishing) will not do so well either.

The Monkey is a “Nobleman” (protective angel who comes to help us & smooth our way) for those born in years of Yin Wood or Yin Earth. This means any birth year ending in 5 or 9 (1955, 1959, 1965, 1969, 1975, 1979, 1985, 1989, and 1995, 1999, etc.). Tigers will have trouble but Monkey’s best friends (Dragon, Snake, and Rat) will shine.

Can you hang on for the wild ride? If so, you’ll come out without a scratch. On the other hand, those who can’t handle the stress might come undone! Thrive by taking a page out of the Monkey’s playbook. Be playful. Be creative. Be strategic. Be willing to travel to further your interests. Call on Hanuman and the Monkey King for assistance. Most of all, cultivate your sense of humor.

Predictions by Animal Sign are here

 

Predictions for 2015 – Year of the Yin Wood Sheep/Ram

The first day of the Yin Wood Sheep year is February 3, 2015. But Chinese New Year is actually celebrated on the New Moon – February 19, 2015.

Sheep, County Kerry, Ireland, 1996

Sheep, County Meath, Ireland, 1996 ©Sharon Smith

Last year’s raucous Yang Wood Horse has given way to a more peaceful Yin Wood Sheep. This is not the sturdy, stubborn tree trunk we encountered in 2014. It’s more like bamboo or the branches of a willow tree – able to relax, compromise, and move in the wind. Yin Wood is connected to flowers, grass, leafy plants and vegetables, sprouts, low bushes and scrub that need sunshine, nutritious earth and water to grow. It represents a compromising attitude, making it easier to reach solutions and find agreement between conflicting interests.

Sheep are herbivores and eat grass. Their strong herd instinct can be overridden if they have intense curiosity about greener pastures and are brave enough to wander off. They tend to have mild demeanors and are quite friendly. Like their human vegan counterparts, they profess to like community, are focused on the common good, and will fight for it if they are called to do so.

Don’t be fooled by Sheep’s ability to tolerate difficult conditions and a paucity of food. Sheep are tough.. Their docility is deceptive and they have very strong survival instincts. You’re under illusions if you think you can cross a sheep! Play your game? Not an option. You can count on them to go their own way when push comes to shove. Take the lead of the gentle but strong Sheep this year and move away from power struggles, cultivate inner peace, and develop your spirituality and creativity.

Year of the Ram

©Sharon Smith Aswan, Egypt 2014

Yin Wood is the Seed, the source of creativity and inspiration. But dehydrating Fire is present this year, and there’s no Water to nourish the plants. Our kidneys could be weakened, affecting our immune systems. Protect your bones with supplements, exercise, and qigong bone breathing and tapping. This dryness, interestingly, is reflected in a connection to the desert in Sheep years. The last 2 Gulf wars in the deserts of the Middle East began in 1991 and 2003, both Sheep years. It is not surprising that we are seeing more potential world problems as ISIL stakes its claim in the Middle East.

Wood represents Liver Chi in Chinese medicine and relates not only to the liver but also the gall bladder, eyes, tendons and ligaments, joints, and nerves. Particularly connected with the neck, spinal cord, and the back, Yin Wood can cause injury to susceptible Sheep. Anger, frustration, and resentment are the negative emotions associated with this organ complex and the virtues of kindness, generosity, and forgiveness are present when Wood is balanced.

Chinese medicine often refers to the Liver as the “General” because its main function is to direct the inner body processes and coordinate them into a functioning whole. In the Taoist meditation tradition, the Liver is referred to as the “second in command” after the Heart. Nourish your Wood energy by taking care of your kidneys (Water element). Drink lots of water and healthy green juices, watch your diet, eliminate fatty foods, eat more greens, and cleanse your liver with daily doses of citrus, particularly lemon juice.

Sheep Year’s Yin Wood combines with Earth. According to the creation and controlling cycle governing the relationships between elements, Wood controls Earth. Even though this is a fighting relationship often creating open conflict, don’t forget that the peace-loving Sheep is in control. It’s likely that disagreements may be more easily resolved with compromise and concessions. Aligning yourself with Yin Wood energy means taking on the qualities of a flower that can easily adjust its direction as the winds blow.

To understand the energy of the Sheep Year, it’s useful to know that the Hour of the Sheep is from 1-3 PM. At this point in the day, the ground has absorbed lots of heat so the peaceful Sheep also contains some Fire. We call this “Yin Fire”. As the last Fire sibling of Snake & Horse (the 2016 Year of the Monkey begins the Metal cycle), 2015 is a turning point year.

Sheep’s month is July. This is the time when your tree (Wood) begins to bear fruit. If you have been hard at work growing something under the sunny Fire energy of the last 2 years, this is the year when you will see the fruits of your labors. Metaphoric mangos, coconuts, and money are falling from the trees! Enjoy!

In addition to Yin Fire and Yin Wood, Sheep contains Yin Earth in the Chinese philosophy of the 5 Elements. The Earth energy is strong as the month of July is supported by summer Fire (Fire creates Earth). In Chinese medicine, Earth element involves the spleen, stomach and pancreas, related to cells and muscles. Such strong Earth might also upset the balance in those organs. Diabetes will be in the news as well as pancreatic cancer. Be aware that the negative emotions associated with this organ system are worry, anxiety, and stress. Watch carbohydrate intake and make stress management as natural as brushing your teeth.

During the Earth months of July, October and January, (months of Goat, Dog and Ox), Earth is exacerbated. This might prove difficult for people with these animals present in their Chinese astrology chart. These are also the months when there is greater possibility of earthquakes, landslides, avalanches, building collapses, etc.

Fire-driven optimism will affect economic growth and Fire businesses – energy, air travel, sports, exercise & health, fashion, beauty, advertising, the media, entertainment of all kinds, and restaurants will continue to do well in this last year of the Fire cycle. Prosperity will also come to Wood & Metal industries – textiles, recycling, scrap metal, paper, publishing, hi tech, banking, and engineering. Earth industries will not do so well (construction, real estate, agriculture).

The Sheep is a “Nobleman” (protective angel who comes to help us & smooth our way) for those born in years of Yang Wood, Yang Metal, or Yang Earth. This means any birth year ending in 0, 4, or 8 (1950, 1960, etc., 1954, 1964, etc., 1958, 68, etc.).

As a farm animal, Sheep doesn’t do much but look for a tasty blade of grass, laze around in the heat of the day, and have her fleece trimmed occasionally. So you can see, a Sheep has no real worries. The Ox is the animal that actually does the farm work and consequently, Ox doesn’t much like Sheep. This is a strong clash between two earth energies. If you’re an Ox or have Ox in your 4 Pillars chart, this is a difficult year for you. President Obama, take note!

Child with Sheep, the Sacred Valley, Peru

Child with Sheep, Sacred Valley, Peru, 2006 ©Sharon Smith

 

This is a year to come down from our high horses and smell the roses. When faced with conflict, think of what’s best for all beings involved, especially the earth. We will all be better for it.

 

Predictions by Animal Sign are here

Predictions for 2014 – Year of the Green Wood Horse

An ancient Chinese proverb says, “A horse brings victory”, and indeed the Horse is considered one of the most fortunate animals in the Chinese zodiac.  Horse symbolizes movement, traveling and quick success.  Able to outrun, out-jump, just about out-anything all the other creatures in the Chinese pantheon, there is perhaps no other animal that humans value and admire more.  Their strength, beauty, and daring inspire us to show what we’re made of, move forward in life, take a chance, and dare to be beautiful all at once!   Horses, carefree by nature, need open space. If they find themselves constrained by rules and regulation, a proud Horse naturally rebels, refusing to be tamed or penned in.

A fascinating beast for sure…

HorseThe first day of the Green Wood Horse year is February 4, 2014.  Wood introduces a new principle — the process of emergence, growth and upward moving chi. The Horse is at the gate and ready to move. Subterranean reality is now ready to be birthed. All the life that’s been gathering in the decay and decomposition that has taken place since 2008 (2 years of Earth- Rat and Ox, followed by 2 years of Metal – Tiger & Rabbit) has been saturated with 2 years of Water (Dragon and Snake). Now it’s ready to break through the crust of the earth and SPROUT! For some water-logged folks, this is a tremendous relief.

Last year’s Water Snake is the first of the 2 Fire animals, but Snake’s Fire is Yin, more like the early morning sun. The Fire of Horse is Yang, more like the sun at mid-day.  This energetic quality is much more powerful and volatile. And because this is a Wood Year, possibly more impulsive and dangerous since Fire has more Wood to burn. You have to wonder whether there is too much!  Certainly, there will be a lot of strong activity and movement this year.

Wood represents Liver Chi in Chinese medicine and relates to the liver, gall bladder, eyes, tendons and ligaments, joints, and nerves. Anger, frustration, and resentment are the negative emotions associated with this organ complex and the virtues of kindness, generosity, and forgiveness are present when Wood is balanced.  Chinese medicine often refers to the Liver as the “General” because its main function is to direct the inner body processes and to coordinate them into a functioning whole.

In Taoist meditation, the Liver is referred to as the “second in command” after the Heart.  Make sure you have enough Wood to burn.  Take care of this aspect of your energy by watching your diet, eliminating fatty foods, eating more greens, and cleansing your liver with daily doses of citrus, particularly lemon juice.

It’s important to balance your Fire energy also since it can easily go haywire with so much Wood feeding it.  Balanced Fire energy is neither a Fire raging out of control, nor a weak Fire flickering and struggling to stay lit, but something more like a warm, evenly burning candle flame.  Remember that Fire is represented in the body by the heart so be prepared to hear more about heart health, inflammation, blood pressure, and blood disease. For those who have tendencies in this direction, it’s important to reduce stress by meditation and stress management techniques.  Tai Chi, Qigong, and Yoga, will help enormously, smoothing out Horse’s rough edges. Supplement your diet with Omega 3s, vitamins C & E to reduce cholesterol, and ubiquinol or COQ -10.

Yang Wood is a strong tree – unbending, a bit stubborn, headstrong, and uncompromising. Combined with the amount of Fire represented by Horse, this year can produce some difficult situations both personally and on the world stage. Previous Wood Horse Years occurred in 1954 when the French were defeated in Vietnam & the CIA sponsored a military coup in Guatemala leading to 35 years of civil war; and in 1894, which was the beginning of the Sino Japanese war.

Remember that Fire represents the aggressive aspect of Wood. So beware of letting your tendencies to stick to your principles tip over into ego-driven, inflexible stubbornness. Do your best to refrain from acting impulsively and creating conflict.  Work to compromise and find solutions.

Fire generally is optimistic and will continue to drive the economy and heat up the stock market. In the last Yang Wood Horse year (1954), the stock market reached its highest peak since the Wall Street crash of 1929.  Fire businesses – energy, air travel, sports, exercise & health, fashion, beauty, advertising, the media, entertainment of all kinds, and restaurants will do well this year. Some good money luck this year goes also to Wood people. Earth element is “money” to Wood people so anything to do with real estate, property, home improvement, and earth related activities bring profit.

There is the possibility of natural disasters as well. Fire controls Metal in the 5 Element Theory and Metal is Lung energy, skin, breath, and the air around us. We probably haven’t heard the last about Fukushima (Radiation/Fire in the Ocean, a perfect manifestation of last year’s Water Snake).  The Wood energy is dry with Yang Fire burning under it.  So more possibility of forest fires as well.

flying horseAnd love? Definitely.  Chinese astrology considers Horse “The Flower of Romance” or “The Peach Blossom” and Horse will keep your social life buzzing if you are at all interested in making a new heart connection or solidifying a present one.

So get ready…This Horse Year gives us an amazing and refreshing change of pace.  Change happens quickly, victories are sweet, adventures prove memorable, and romance is in the air.  What could be better?

Don’t miss out! No matter your animal sign, get on your trusty steed and trust your instincts to take you on the ride of your life!

Predictions by Animal Sign are here

Predictions for 2013 – Year of the Black Water Snake

year-of-the-water-snake

The Snake is nothing but a baby dragon that is said to have fallen to earth. It shares some of the dragon’s intelligence and drive. However, it is a more cunning and shrewd creature, prone to observation and keeping a lower profile. The Chinese think that if you have a Snake in the house, you’ll never go hungry. The survival instinct is that strong and persistent. We would do well not to underestimate its power, ambition, and drive and must keep in mind that it is able to swallow an animal much larger than its size.

Snake sports a forked tongue and the Chinese consider this an indication of potentially dangerous words that can affect one’s reputation. Remember that snakes won’t attack unless they are disturbed. As long as you respect them, you won’t have to worry about poisonous snakebites.

The first day of the Black Water Snake year is February 4, 2013 with the official New Year arriving on February 10, 2013. We are in the Yin phase of the Water element this year and the Yin Water sits on top of Fire, the element of Snake. Yin water is full of potential — quiet, embryonic, waiting to emerge. It is gentle, humble, and accommodating. But beware. Even though a situation may seem flexible on the surface, don’t be deceived. The other side of Yin is secrecy, cunning, and deception. Secrets are often the real motivation behind actions, and hidden agendas abound.

Water represents Kidney Chi in Chinese medicine and has to do with the blood, urinary system, bones, bone marrow, ears, and sexual energy. The Fire below it causes steam and evaporation. Unless one practices internal alchemy (the process of transmuting sexual energy into an elixir of life force), this can signify aging, which according to Chinese medicine, is the process of dehydration. Expect more research to emerge on life extension and anti-aging. Fire is represented in the body by the heart so also be prepared to hear about heart health, inflammation, and blood disease. For those who have tendencies in this direction, it is important to supplement the diet with Omega 3s, vitamins C & E to reduce cholesterol, and ubiquinol or COQ -10.

The Snake’s Fire contains Yang Metal, Yang Earth, and Yang Fire, causing the Snake to act unpredictably. It is travelling energy, with lots of movement and activity. Just like the snake itself, during the Snake Year, situations can suddenly change from placid and calm to dangerous. The twisting, turning movements of the Snake cause sudden upheavals and surprising turns of events. Previous Snake Years occurred in 1941 (Pearl Harbor), 1989 (Tiananmen Square), and 2001 (the 9/11 terrorist attack).

Metal (banking, machinery, engineering, computer, and high tech industries) and Earth (real estate, mining, environmental cleanup, oil and gas) element industries will do well this year. Wood industries – textile, environment, paper, and news media will be moving cautiously ahead. Fire uplifts and expands and is related to the economic mood as well as the stock market. With Yin Water, there is a touch of caution, but the Snake year will be a much better year economically than any for quite awhile, and this optimism will be carried into 2014, the year of the Wood Horse. In general, the Yin Water Snake year is an optimistic one with enthusiasm for new innovations and progress.

Weatherwise, it indicates continued climate change and warmer temperatures affecting the planet’s ecology. The warming of the oceans (Fire under Water) will increase the possibility of coral reef die-off and changes in the fish and sea mammal population. When this year’s Fire combines with a Fire Month (February and August- Tiger & Monkey), it could be dangerous as the excess fire energy can potentially cause explosions, electrical storms, blackouts, or fire disasters.

You might think that last year’s Water Dragon was a more impressive reptile, but don’t sell the Water Snake short. In Hindu mythology, Kundalini is the serpent goddess that lies dormant, asleep at the base of the spine. When she awakens, she undulates up the spine often causing quite intense, sometimes painful, experiences and extraordinary mental and spiritual understandings and awakenings. And then of course, we can’t forget the serpent in the Garden of Eden. In fact, in almost every culture’s mythology, a snake appears representing wisdom, healing (the caduceus carried by Hermes), initiation and sometimes secret knowledge associated with transformation, death, and regeneration.

So don’t be afraid to shed your skin and slither out of your comfort zone. Follow the path of your personal Kundalini and see where it takes you. You won’t be disappointed.

Predictions by Animal Sign are here

Predictions for 2012 – The Year of the Yang Water Dragon

 Chengdu, China                                                     ©Photograph by Sharon Smith
All rights reserved

The Yang Water Dragon arrives officially on February 4, 2012. The only legendary animal in the Chinese astrological pantheon, the Dragon is a mythical creature symbolizing power, creativity, and what the I Ching calls the “Superior Man”. Dragon initiates the big things that can happen only from taking the big risks. Ambitious, grand, and self-sufficient, mystical and untouchable, Dragons deliver the best fortune of all the animal signs with drama, beauty, and unpredictable flair and creativity.

Surviving on the ground, swimming in the water as well as flying in the air, Dragon is the Guardian of the Eastern Gate of Heaven and related to the power found in the springtime “Wood” energy  — the creative force of upward moving chi.

Known as Wind and Thunder, this is the energy that makes things happen.  In ancient times, Dragon energy brought much-needed spring rains. After a winter of hibernation, the Dragon leaves its lair in the swampy earth and ascends to Heaven, flying through the clouds and bringing on the spring rains. The mechanism and timing of this mysterious event was completely unpredictable.

A clear understanding of the nature of Dragon power can be found in Hexagram #1 of the I Ching.  Observe the powerful Purple Dragons who represent the supreme creative force of Heaven.

Hexagram #1

Line 1 – Hidden Dragon.  Do not act. Power is concealed in the deep; action is unwise. Wait for an auspicious time when your Dragon nature is ripe and ready to emerge. Your power is in hibernation.  This is like the Emperor-in-Waiting.  Martial artists are very familiar with this condition.  Remember the great film, “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”?

Line 2 – Dragon appearing in the field. It furthers one to see the great man! The storm clouds are gathering. Time to start moving on your intention.

Line 3 – All day, all night, active. Start to pursue your goal.

Line 4 – The flight across the abyss is not sure.  He who is resolute suffers no reproach.  Dragon starts to fly but with no conviction. One needs to be sure. Either retreat or go forward but in all cases, be sure.

Line 5 – Flying Dragon in the heavens. It furthers one to see the great man! Ah! Now we’re cooking; nature is supporting the dragon’s flight and the place of power is clear. All is well.

Line 6 –The Dragon flies too high.  Arrogant Dragon will have cause to repent. If arrogant, you will certainly fall.  Don’t push!

The last 2 years were Metal sitting on Wood (Metal Tiger & Metal Rabbit), signifying great conflict and danger. This year, the energy changes and we have Yang Water (very strong water) sitting on Earth, sometimes known as “water dam” – storing water.  This is still a relationship of conflict as Earth controls Water (Dragon contains Earth, Water, & Wood elements), but with less hostility and indication of war.

The combination, however, does indicate the possibility of more natural disasters like earthquakes and floods.  Since the moving energy and vitality of the land is actually called “Dragon” in a metaphysical sense, this is nothing to sneeze at!  In addition, many Chinese people believe Dragons rule moving bodies of water.

Note that the most serious earthquakes on record happened in the years of Dragon – in 1952 (Water Dragon) in Kamchatka USSR (8.25 magnitude) and California (7.5 magnitude).  In 1964 (a Wood Dragon year), there was a magnitude 9.2 earthquake in Alaska and a 7.6 magnitude quake in Japan.  The Fire Dragon year of 1976 saw a 7.8 earthquake in Tangshan, China and 1988 saw smaller quakes in Nepal and Russia. The Metal Dragon year (2000) manifested a 7.0 quake in Azerbaijan & a 7.9 quake in Sumatra.

And since the Dragon (along with the Dog) is one of the guardians of Heaven, it is related to a kind of “no-man’s land” — a strange place, a twilight zone if you will, where a “Nobleman” (helpful deity) refuses to visit. Helpful deities act like rescue angels, saving people from tragedy and sudden death. But in Dragon and Dog years, this doesn’t happen.  There are some examples of serious disasters that occurred in hours of Dragon, such as the 2004 Southeast Asian tsunami that occurred in the hour of Dragon at 8.30 AM on 12/26.  The 9/11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center in New York in 2001 also took place at 8.40 AM in Dragon hour.  The Dragon hour (7-9 AM) is a very powerful time in a Dragon year. Use it to meditate and focus your attention.

In general, water is associated with wisdom, communication, energy, and skill.  The Chinese character for Yang Water is the ocean.  Acting like a wave of powerful transformative energy, we will see great progress in social movements and passion around political change as people strive to act from their intuitive wisdom. This will not be without struggle since Water is sitting on Earth, the element that controls it.

It’s worth noting that the average adult human being is 50-65% water with men topping women at 60 -65%. Water represents the Kidney chi in Chinese medicine and has to do with the blood, urinary system, bones, bone marrow, ears, and sexual energy. Expect more information about these aspects of human and planetary health to be present in the news media.

But Water and Earth together are the definition of a swamp.  Watch out for viral outbreaks and don’t eat any food that is suspect.  Food poisoning, malaria, and more proof of toxicity related to environmental pollution could become common.  In addition, there is absence of Fire.  Take care of your heart and make sure to supplement with CO-Q10 or ubiquinol and extra anti-oxidants.  Add the color red to your wardrobe and use it as an accent in your home.  Use lights and candles to brighten up your living space and make sure your workspace is well lit.

Dragons are known for their sexual power but in this respect, they are similar to the western astrology sign of Scorpio.  Although sex is important, it’s deep, true love they’re really after.  Having said that, watch for the baby boom coming.  Many Asian people who are thinking of starting a family, bet on the Dragon to take care of them later in life.  After all, with all of that ambition, power, creativity, what kind of son would be better? Unfortunately, they still don’t see Dragon ladies as such a valuable asset.  You can be sure that obstetricians and fertility clinics will be busy in January, February, and March of 2012.

And although the Dragon year is a powerful one, the Earth/Water combination makes people a bit more cautious since Water is related to fear and is being contained by Earth (worry). With the absence of Fire, people will be looking for more stability and more likely to play it safe with their investments. With so much water, there will be expansion and prosperity in wood industries – publishing, forestry, textiles, fashion, paper, media, food, etc.  Earth will also do well – real estate, mining, environmental cleanup. Ironically, Water industries (shipping, alcohol, transportation, and communication) not so well, since Fire is “money” to Water and Fire is absent. Financial markets, energy, air travel, and entertainment are all Fire industries and also are not favored since Water tends to suppress optimism.  Metal industries (banking, machinery, engineering, computer, and high tech industries) will be active since Water is produced by Metal but they will not be so profitable.

Keep in mind that the Water Dragon is the mellowest of all Dragons. After the simple pleasures of the Rabbit year, it will provide you with the energy and drive you need to accomplish your goals and live the life you’ve always dreamed of. The Water Dragon is chock-full of powerful potential.  Courage and generosity are on the rise.  Bold progress can be made if fear and pessimism can be overcome. Hard work will yield genuine success. But this Dragon will not abide trickery or monkey business! Connect yourself with the good of all as you face your personal destiny.  If we can all do this for the sake of others as well as the health of the planet, you may find the entire world transformed for the better.

 

If you ignore the dragon, it will eat you.

If you try to confront the dragon, it will overpower you.

But if you ride the dragon, you will take advantage of its might and power.

                                    Chinese proverb

For predictions by animal year, click here.

Predictions for 2011 – The Year of the Metal Rabbit

The Metal Bunny hopped into our lives on February 3, 2011. In Chinese astrology, Rabbits are traditionally considered to be artistic, gentle souls who quietly go about their business, avoiding any hint of conflict.  They really don’t want to rock the boat.  Prolific and creatively gifted, they are known for their good taste and diplomatic skills as well as their incredible luck.  Sounds nice, doesn’t it?

Although these characteristics are certainly there, you’re in for a surprise if you’re expecting a smooth ride. Mythologically, rabbits are full of contradictions – symbolizing cleverness and foolishness, femininity and androgyny, cowardice and courage, rampant sexuality and virginal purity. Be forewarned:  This year’s Rabbit is one tough bunny!

The Rabbit shares the Wood element with Tiger and Dragon.  Wood is upward moving chi, connected with the spring season. Rabbit comes smack dab in the middle of it when trees and plants are flourishing. Flowers, grass, and branches of trees, the Rabbit represents youth and movement and brings a very energetic year with young people driving movements for change and reform in politics, the environment, and the social establishment.

As we experienced last year, Metal sits on top of Wood.  But this time, it’s Yin Metal, whereas last year it was Yang. Yin metal is “small” metal but with all the same connotations that metal evokes. It is still shiny and valuable, but more like a delicate bracelet than a gold bar. Still sharp, but more like a small knife or dagger than a sword.  The Yin Metal Rabbit is a “steel magnolia” — beautiful and charming on the surface, but tough as steel at its core.

And whether in a yin or yang phase, Metal’s nature is to control (some would say destroy) Wood. Obviously not an easy relationship! Interestingly, the Rabbit represents the small bones of the neck and back and with a Metal dagger pointing there, watch out.  Expect the Rabbit to maintain the peace externally even though conflict, disharmony, tension, betrayal, shifting loyalty, and the possibility of surprise attacks still remain.

Since Rabbit is considered the symbol of trees and the environment, we can expect that Metal attacking Wood in 2011 would also cause accidents leading to more environmental devastation. Recall last year’s volcanic ash cloud, fires in Moscow, and the BP oil spill.  It’s likely that the environment will suffer again this year. July, September, and October are the months when Metal is strong and Wood is under attack and could suffer setbacks.

Metal represents the Lung energy in Chinese medicine and by extension the air we breathe. The conflict involving Wood and Metal that began last year with the Metal Tiger indicates more health issues related to air quality, asthma, passive cigarette smoke, flu, TB, etc.  Since Wood is under attack, Fire is weak, affecting blood circulation, heart rhythms, and the health of the stomach (Earth element not getting enough chi from Fire….).  Add Co-Q10, anti-oxidants, B vitamins, and fish oils to your diet to help deal with stress and keep your skin and internal organs healthy.  Engage in regular colon cleansing, Chi Nei Tsang (abdominal massage), and practice qigong by healthy trees or clean water.  Whatever you do, make sure you get enough exercise. Real rabbits require a minimum of four hours of exercise a day and they can suffer from osteoporosis if they lay around too much.

We know how prolific Rabbits can be and in Chinese astrology, the bunny is also known as “Peach Blossom” or “Flower of Romance”. Sex is in the air bringing more than the usual number of scandals from the famous and the infamous. This is good for the entertainment industry as well as for fashion and beauty businesses.

Asians consider the Rabbit Year a financially lucky one so expect a basically positive year with frequent ups and downs and bunny hops but ending on a positive note for the year. Precious metals (gold, silver, and platinum), oil, gas and other natural resources will do well.  Anything related to Wood (paper) will not have such a good year –newspapers, lumber, real estate, and currency dealers. Industries related to Fire and Earth elements will also do well as Metal energy is money energy for Fire and Earth energy produces Metal – hotel and mining industries will be quite productive but might not generate profits since Water is lacking..  Businesses relating to water such as shipping, communication, liquids, and spa will conservatively move ahead.

Bunnies need to move around and this year, you will be following their lead.  People will act cautiously and look for predators as they dart back and forth. Remember that one of the positive aspects of Yin Metal is justice and loyalty.   Hopefully, this energy will help our world’s leaders to make wise decisions to minimize disagreements and conflicts and to preserve peace and harmony.

After Tiger’s turmoil, the Rabbit will provide the time to rest and catch your breath, to enjoy art and music, your friends and family, and the finer things in life. This is the best way to handle Bunny Nature.   Create a safe, peaceful lifestyle surrounded by beauty so that you can calmly deal with whatever comes your way.

Here’s to a great journey through the Rabbit Hole!

For predictions by animal year, click here.