Predictions for 2018 – The Year of the Earth Dog

The first day of the Earth Dog Year is February 4 with the Chinese Lunar New Year occurring on the solar eclipsed New Moon in Aquarius on February 16, 2018. We welcome the sociable Brown Earth Dog into our lives as he takes the reins from 2017’s boss, the Red Rooster. They couldn’t be more different.

An old Chinese proverb says, “If a strange dog follows you home, your house will be blessed with prosperity.” Considered man’s best friend, Dogs are found everywhere we are, helping us be more human. Whether functioning as rescue workers in disastrous situations, guardians of property, farm workers, hunters, guides for the blind, or as just faithful pets and companions, Dog energy is an important part of our human landscape.

Dogs honor commitments and are direct and frank, emotional and spontaneous. They have no time for the superficial and frivolous. In the Earth Dog year, being helpful, caring for children, showing love and loyalty, and fighting for justice, integrity, and ethical behavior is the name of the game. And of course, it’s time for the underdog! Be alert for more than the usual number of ideological crusaders motivated by outrage and self-righteousness. And if a Dog has a bone to pick with you, watch your friendly Dog turn into a ferocious beast.

Dog is considered to be Earth and the year’s element is also Yang Earth. Big and in your face, 2018 carries very strong Earth energy. You might call it a massive mountain! Many will feel a huge obstacle blocking their progress and will need to find a way around or through it, exerting extra effort to reach their destination. Challenging to say the least, try not to live from a reactive place. Wisdom and strategy are necessary to find the best way to handle obstacles of all kinds.

The Yang Earth Dog brings to mind Hexagram 52 in the I Ching – Mountain over Mountain (“Keeping Still”). The positive quality of this massive mountain of earth energy is meditation, stability, and spiritual studies. The I Ching counsels that through meditation, one reduces the influence of what is inferior and increases the possibility of receiving assistance from the invisible plane. The negative manifestation of this image is inertia; slowness to change, laziness, and a conservative approach that blocks progress.

We have just completed two Fire years – Monkey & Rooster. Everything heated up. Excitement and passionate idealism were prevalent. But now the Fire has burned up, gone out and become Earth. All of that passion, excitement, and impulsive action has died down, transformed into Earth. The economic optimism evident in the previous two Fire years will disappear. Some experts say that Earth is the “grave of Fire”.

This has many implications from health to finances. Pay attention to your heart and blood circulation since they relate to hidden Fire and can affect your Earth element organs (spleen, stomach & pancreas) especially if you have a weakness there. The sensory opening of the Earth organ system is the mouth. In addition, Earth represents cells, muscles, and the nutrition necessary to maintain life. The negative emotions associated with the Earth element are things like too much thinking (worry, anxiety, free-floating stress), boundary issues, and inability to think clearly.

With so much Earth energy this year, emotional eating will be an issue with diabetes, weight-loss, toxicity from the environment, the food supply, and eating a healthy diet being major concerns. Be aware that excess Earth is also related to disorder on the cellular level manifesting in cancer. Think boundary issues on the micro level.

Don’t be a lazy dog! It’s time to prioritize stress management. Get off your haunches and move! Take advantage of this Earth time to create a stronger connection with the earth by spending more time in nature and cultivating your root. Hiking, Tai Chi and Qigong practice are all perfect! Nourish your Spleen system by feeding your Heart and Liver and paying closer attention to your diet. Take advantage of the Liver energy rising in the spring, to do a Liver detox so that the Wood element can better control the Earth tendency toward internal cellular disorder.

Previous Earth Dog years (1958 and 1898) teach us about how this energy might manifest politically and environmentally. Big events happened in Asia. In 1898, Qing Dynasty China was ruled by the Empress Dowager and continued declining with aggressive invasion by Russia and other western countries. The reform movement began there in 1898 but lasted only 100 days. The Dog year, being the “grave of Fire” can also mean that stubborn conservative elements resist progress and change. The Vietnam War escalated in 1958 and a great famine began in China that year, not ending until 1961. An estimated nearly 30 million died through a combination of a series of natural disasters and poor planning. America experienced a recession in 1958 with unemployment growing, NASA was created, and the microchip was developed paving the way for the development of computers.

Dangers relating to mountains (avalanches) and movement of the earth (landslides and earthquakes) are possible. On July 9, 1958, a 7.9 earthquake triggered a mega tsunami in Lituya Bay in the Gulf of Alaska. The most significant and largest known mega tsunami in modern times caused a massive 90 ton rock fall that created a sudden displacement of water that washed out trees to a maximum elevation of 1710 feet.

Worried about your investments? Industries performing well in the year of the Earth Dog will be primarily related to the Wood element since in the 5 Element Theory, Wood keeps Earth in check and Earth is a symbol of money to Wood. Fashion, media, paper, books, education, publishing, and anything having to do with the environment will have some success. Fire industries are next since they produce Earth – energy, finance, and entertainment. Since there is excess Earth, those industries will have to be competitive to get ahead (real estate, farming, mining). Metal (banking, machines, cars) and Water industries (transport, communication, & shipping) are not supported.

Whereas last year’s Yin Fire Rooster contained the protective “Nobleman Star”, 2018’s Earth Dog has no angels coming to the rescue when there is danger. In the Chinese calendric system, the Earth Dog is known as “Fai Kong”, an exceptionally tough, strong character that doesn’t surrender. Expect compromise to be difficult. As much as the Earth Dog wants peace and harmony, it might not be too easy to achieve.

Despite all of the obstacles, the Earth Dog is one of the best times to cultivate spiritual understanding and a more ethical, just society. On a personal level, loyal and honest to a fault, Earth Dog energy is very attractive and charismatic and whether mutt or pedigree, very responsive. Give this lovable beast your love and devotion, feed it well and you will have a friend for life. And if romance comes your way in 2018, you will be a lucky Dog indeed! Just remember that the Dog, though tamed, is a carnivorous animal whose characteristic voice is a loud bark.

Predictions by Animal Sign are here

 

 

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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 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 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

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.

 

December 2010- The Astrological Weather

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period…..”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities
1859

The optimism, hope, and expectation of the New Moon in Sagittarius on December 5 combines with a strong planetary emphasis in Capricorn to make this holiday season even more complex than usual.

The beginning of the month starts out with a bang as Uranus, planet of revolutionary change, goes direct to finish out its time in Pisces on the day of the New Moon.  This is the end of a major cycle (see Not Yet Crossing), and most of us are weary of the old and chomping at the bit to be released from whatever version of suffering we have been experiencing. We are excited about all kinds of possibilities.

We would like to believe (oh, how we want to believe!) that better times are around the corner and we are itching to welcome them in. All of our dreams and hopes are on the line here, and energy is available for us to aim high and reach for the stars.  Take a risk.  Spread your wings.  Direct your energy with laser-like precision to reach your target.  Release the arrow from its quiver and enjoy watching it fly directly to your target.  Don’t be afraid to send a message in a bottle.  You never know who might pick it up.

But what about those nagging fears?  What if it’s all pie in the sky?

Fortunately, during this long transit of Pluto in Capricorn, we have learned that magical thinking is delusional.   Idealism and strong belief needs to be backed up by pragmatic action, and Mercury’s conjunction with Pluto on the same day provides us with the depth we need to ground our vision.

With Mars energizing this same pattern on 12/13,  these planets are screaming loud and clear, “Show me the money!” This is also a critical day for travel so be careful as you move through your day.  Particularly if your ascendant or your sun sign is in the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn.

Mercury goes retrograde on 12/10. Use your time well before then to plant your seeds, back up your hard drive, make sure your car’s in tip-top shape, and check the details and paperwork for your travel plans.  If you find yourself in a jam despite all your efforts, realize that it’s just the universe asking you to slow down.  There’s a good chance that things might not go smoothly since Mercury backs up into Sagittarius on 12/18 and can’t be bothered with all the small details.

All of this is the prelude to the main event on 12/21 — the Full Moon/Lunar Eclipse in the last degree of Sagittarius/Gemini immediately followed by the entrance of the Sun into Capricorn.   A lunar eclipse is by definition, a time when the moon’s light is blocked and some major cycle is over. The Moon represents the feeling sense,  intuition, our emotional disposition, and sense of security and stability.  During an eclipse,  we are called on to trust the state of being in the dark. If your Ascendant or Sun sign is in the last degrees of Pisces, Gemini, Virgo, or Sagittarius, or the early degrees of Aries, Cancer, Libra, or Capricorn, reflect on the past 19 years and be willing to let go of whatever no longer works in your understanding of your life path.  Pay close attention to your body’s needs for rest, nourishment, and downtime.  Make a point of eating more root vegetables and nourishing broths and getting as much sleep  as you need.Taoists believe that the solstice and equinox points are energetic gateways to heaven. Times of transition like sunrise, sunset, noon, and midnight, they signify different moments in the transformation of “chi”.  Approximately three days before and 3 days after the winter solstice is the time of maximum Yin energy.  A womb-like experience, it signifies a time of gestation before birth where you have a very strong energetic connection to the forces of nature, particularly the earth force. Don’t be afraid to go to this dark, extreme Yin state. The seed of yang is there. Make like a bear in winter.  Stay quiet and soft, and when you’re ready to be roused, go toward the light, toward love and happiness.


Blessings and Happy Holidays!

December’s Important Dates (EST) :

12/5 –A Red Letter Day!  New Moon in Sagittarius; Mercury conjunct Pluto in Capricorn; Uranus Direct at 26 Pisces

12/7 –   Mars enters Capricorn

12/10 –   Mercury retrograde at 5 Capricorn

12/13 – Another Red Letter Day! Mercury conjunct Pluto again; Mercury conjunct Mars; Mars conjunct Pluto

12/18 – Mercury backs up into Sagittarius

12/21 – Full Moon and Lunar Eclipse at 29 Gemini followed by the Winter Solstice

12/26 – Sun conjunct Pluto in Capricorn

12/30 – Mercury goes direct at 19 Sagittarius