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

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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.

The Astrological Weather – December 2011

As we wait for the calendar to turn to  the now-mythic year of 2012, the astrological clock continues to tick.

On December 10, a lunar eclipse at 18 Gemini occurs on the same day that Uranus goes direct.  Watch out for rogue Aquarians!

No, seriously, the days leading up to this eclipse are important days for all signs, particularly, Aquarians as well as those born in the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra & Capricorn as well as those Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, and Sagittarius folks born between the 8-13 of March,  June, September, and December.  Those whose Ascendants occupy these signs are also affected. The rest of us will also feel the effects more or less depending on the aspects this eclipse makes to our personal horoscopes.

A lunar eclipse by definition occurs when the Moon (representing the emotions) which normally reflects the light of the sun (the ego)  at the time of the Full Moon is blocked by the Earth (the body). Occurring in 19 year cycles, lunar eclipses signify a major culmination of an energetic cycle.  Since the light is blocked, we are called on to trust that terrifying experience of being in the dark, of not knowing what the next step is, and to trust that we will evolve. This as a great opportunity for healing.

Mars in Virgo squares this South Node eclipse of a Gemini Moon, and there’s more than the usual amount of nervous tension.  Virgo and Gemini are the signs ruling the nervous system so if you’re feeling overly sensitive, high strung, and stressed out, you’re not alone.  Details, details, and more details. The forest and the trees seem to be at odds. Your brothers, sisters, cousins, neighbors, and people in your immediate environment know exactly how to push your buttons and might be a source of disappointment or frustration.   Try to stay balanced through so much unpredictability.  Remember Mercury is still retrograde until 12/13 so don’t be in a hurry to sign on the dotted line.

Pay attention to the symbolic meanings of seemingly minor digestive upsets, sore throats, and coughing fits. These manifestations of your physical body reveal the state of your energy in more ways than the obvious. As much as you might feel your body is just a vehicle at this time,  be aware of your needs for rest, physical and emotional nourishment, and downtime.  Medieval astrologers would have advised you to make a point of eating more root vegetables (they develop in the dark) as well as nourishing broths.  Sleep?  Much harder to manage with your nervous system on overload. As much as you want to stay in touch, try turning off all electronics after 9 PM if you want to have a chance at some decent rest

The rest of the month sets the stage for the intensity of 2012 which will be defined by the Uranus/Pluto square.  The Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement are just the beginning of a wild ride.

Blessings to you all!

Buddha, Tibet, 2011                                               ©Sharon Smith                 All rights reserved

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December’s Important Dates (EST)
12/10–A Red Letter Day!  Lunar Eclipse at 18 Gemini;  Uranus direct at 0 Aries

12/13 –   Mercury direct at 3 Sagittarius

12/18 –   Venus in Capricorn squares Saturn in Libra

12/20 – Venus enters Aquarius

12/22 – Winter Solstice – Sun enters Capricorn at 12:30 AM

12/24 – New Moon at 3 Capricorn

12/25 – Jupiter direct at 0 Taurus

12/29- Sun conjunct Pluto at 7 Capricorn

Hexagram 63 -Already Crossing – Uranus in Aries

Hexagram 63 – Already Crossing, After Completion, Water over Fire

 

Already Crossing.  The Small Fox.

Make an offering and you will succeed. Advantageous Trial.  Harvesting.

Wise Words! Initiating things opens the Way. Completing them brings disorder.

 

All of us know that a devastating earthquake and tsunami hit Japan on March 11, 2011 at 2:46 PM.

But you might not be aware  that this event coincided with the very last degree of Uranus in Pisces, the mutable water sign. In this sign, Uranus has a symbolic affinity with earthquakes and tsunamis (it was also active in the chart of the 2004 Indian Ocean disaster). On this day, Uranus completed its 7-year stay in Pisces, waved good-bye and approximately 15 hours after the devastating quake and subsequent tsunami, entered Aries for the next 7 years starting a new 84-year cycle.The destruction and subsequent suffering in Japan is beyond our imagination, and the threat of a pervasive nuclear accident still (as of this writing) a dreadful possibility with implications for our entire planet. Our hearts and prayers go out to the people of Japan.

Uranus’ movement from the medium of water, creativity, emotional reality, and spirituality to the medium of fire and idealism is a major shift.  The first degree of the cardinal signs of Aries, Cancer, Libra, and Capricorn is known as the “World Axis” and 0° Aries in particular is important as the spring equinox and beginning of the entire zodiac.

As you may have read elsewhere on this blog (see  Not Yet Crossing) Uranus is the planet of liberation that is often described as “The Awakener”.  Its job is to liberate us from our conventional ideas and behavior, shake us out of our complacency, and show us another reality. Out of the blue (a true Uranian color!), totally unpredictable in its manifestation, it teaches us through upheaval about freedom and humanitarianism. It rules technology and innovation and works through electrical impulses.

When Uranus arrives at the end of a sign,  there is a sense of urgency, a quickening.  In one seemingly fated moment, everything can change utterly. As we cross this boundary from Pisces into Aries, we move into a new cycle of personal liberation and action.  The consequences of the earthquake and tsunami are a clarion call for us to take the action needed to heal our planet’s fragile ecology.  If nothing else, this disaster reiterates one of the major lessons of Uranus in Pisces — that we’re all part of the ocean of humanity and every wave affects us.

Aries represents raw energy, youthful enthusiasm and taking action to achieve one’s goals. It’s about being a warrior, going off to fight for a righteous cause, and coming back a winner.  Ruled by Mars, Aries is about all things traditionally male  – testosterone, survival, war, metal, knives, iron, self-assertion, winning, physicality, the aggressive side of sexual energy, the color red, and in-your-face idealism among other yang qualities. With Uranus here, all of us (but especially men) will be challenged to find out what it means to be a warrior in the 21st century and evolve the male archetype.  What is worth fighting for and what is the best way to fight for it?

Be aware that you might notice more energy, a restlessness, an uncontrollable impulsiveness, or perhaps a new connection to your sexuality.  If you were born at the beginning of the cardinals (March 21 – 25, June 21-25, September 21-25, December 21-25) or have early cardinal degrees rising or planets in those degrees, this will affect you strongly.

March –  Important Dates (EST) :

3/1 –Venus enters Aquarius

3/4 –   New Moon at 13 Pisces

3/9  –   Mercury enters Aries

3/11 – Red Alert! Uranus enters Aries – 7:52 PM EST

3/19 – Full Moon 28 Virgo – 2:10 PM EST

3/20 – Spring Equinox- Sun enters Aries – 7:21 PM EST

3/21 – Sun conjunct Uranus in Aries

3/26 – Venus conjunct Neptune in Aquarius

3/27 – Venus enters Pisces

3/28 – Jupiter opposes Saturn

3/30 – Mercury retrogrades at 24 Aries

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.

 

KNEES….

With 4 out of 10 planets residing in Capricorn during January and the Solar Eclipse on January 4 at 13˚ Capricorn, I thought it was time to finally write about Knees.  Yes, Knees!

If you didn’t already know, Capricorn is the zodiacal sign that rules our knees. As a Tai Chi and Qigong teacher, I’ve heard about plenty of  knee issues as well as had some of my own.

The knee is the largest joint in the human body and very complicated. A hinge joint, it permits flexion and extension as well as slight medial and lateral rotation. Since the knee supports nearly the whole weight of a human being’s body, it is the joint most vulnerable to both acute injury and the development of osteoarthritis.

We all have the tendency to hold lots of toxins in our knees. I heard a well-respected Iyengar Yoga teacher once say that the knees are a “cesspool”.  And in Mantak Chia’s Universal Tao system, hitting the backs of one’s knees with a bamboo, rattan, or stainless steel wire hitter, is a regular practice to stimulate blood flow to this important joint (contact me if you are interested in learning about this).

But I digress.

Many people have accepted the cultural programming that their knees (as well as other joints) will inevitably give out at a certain point.  With Pluto in Capricorn until 2024, I’m sure we will be hearing a lot about modern medicine’s latest developments in knee replacement surgery.   And many of us will probably know people who decide to throw away their old creaking knees for the shiniest, brand new model.

But what can we learn from our knees and their problems?

If you ascribe to a holistic view of health, you know that our knees have to do not just with our physical ability to bend. Whether consciously or unconsciously, there is some meaning that we attribute to their function. In an evolutionary sense, our knees carry the memory and experience of all of the bending and flexing our ancestors did — both our genetic ones as well as the collective.

Even if you don’t do these things now (and especially if  you have no intention to do so), think about how many people through the ages have bent down on their knees – working, asking for someone’s hand in marriage, atoning, and praying or prostrating themselves before a spiritual teacher or statue. Getting down on one’s knees implies submission to something higher.  No wonder we develop issues there! So consider what authority issues you might be having the next time you experience a painful twinge.

Another valid point of view comes from Chinese medicine which is posited on the belief that whatever is happening externally in the body is a reflection of the health of the inner organs.  The knees are related to the kidneys so if our knees are weak or we tend to have pain or motion problems, it can be a sign of weak kidney qi.  And guess what the emotional energy is that is associated with the kidney?  Fear.  Fear makes us weak in the knees.  Seems like I’ve heard that somewhere before.

So what can we do to create the conditions for healthier knees? These are things I’ve found to be helpful for me and others with whom I’ve worked:

  • If you are overweight and have knee problems, there’s no way around it. Your knees (as well as your heart and all your other organs) are suffering from carrying a heavy load.  Make a commitment to love your knees and lose weight with a healthy diet of fresh, natural foods. There is a study that showed that even an 11 pound weight loss can make a difference in your pain level and any tendency you may have toward osteoarthritis.
  • Don’t give up exercising but pay closer attention to your knee alignment when you do.  Whether you practice yoga, Tai Chi, or work out at the gym, be aware of your structural integrity.  Bring awareness to your knees by working with them.  Find a teacher who knows about alignment if this is foreign to you. Visualize them well-lubricated and happy.
  • If your knee condition stems from an injury, see an acupuncturist/herbalist to help boost your kidney function and stimulate the flow of Qi and blood.
  • There are many helpful supplements —  Hyaluronic Acid, Shark Cartilage, Red Seaweed Extract, Fish Oils, and Vitamin D. And don’t forget the standbys – Glucosamine Chondroitin and MSM.  Check out my friend and teaching partner, Letha Hadady’s  “Natural Remedies for Bone/Joint/Ligament Health here.
  • Here’s a homeopathic regimen for stubborn knee problems that helped me.  Try it for one month and see what happens.  Take 5 pellets of Ruta Grav 30cc twice a day. Also take 4 pellets each of these tissue cell salts three times a day – Calc Fluor, Calc Phos, Silicea.  Take them together but not at the same time as the Ruta Grav.
  • Qigong and Tai Chi to circulate your qi in your joints and bones and release negative emotions.