“The first animal that arrived was the talkative rat!”
Do you smell a rat? If not, you’re probably not paying attention, because the Metal Rat (aka the Iron Mouse!) Year has arrived!
The first day of the Yang Metal Rat Year is January 25, 2020 with the Chinese New Year occurring on February 4. This is the first day of the Tiger month and the beginning of spring in the Chinese calendar.
The White Metal Rat is a very different animal from the Yin Earth Pig we grew to know and love. Quick, alert, and clever, the Rat’s characteristic qualities are evident in the Chinese folktale in which he uses his shrewdness to conquer Ox and become the first animal in the zodiac. You see, Rat told Ox about a contest to select the 12 animals of the Taoist zodiac only because he wanted to hitch a ride on Ox’s back. Ambitious Ox trudged and struggled on (as Ox tends to do) carrying Rat on his back over difficult terrain. When confronted with turbulent rivers, Ox swam over them being careful of the precarious position of his tiny passenger. Once on shore, Rat quickly hopped off and was declared number one in the animal sequence for accomplishing such a magnificent feat. In the Buddhist version, the first animal to arrive at the dying Buddha’s bedside would become the first animal of the zodiac. In a similar scenario, Rat jumped off Ox’s back as he neared Buddha’s bedside, becoming number one.
Rat became the initiator of the 12-year cycle used in Chinese cosmology. In charge of the first hour of every day (11 PM – 1 AM), Rat has his feet in 2 days and can be both Yin and Yang. Rat is Water and this year the Rat has the flavor of Yang Metal. This is a very different energetic vibration than what we had with 2019’s Yin Earth Pig with Earth over Water, a “controlling” cycle. 2020’s elemental nature is Metal over Water, a “creative” cycle.
Yang Metal is very strong and is symbolized by a large weapon, strong wind, or a ship. It is the image of a warrior wielding a big sword, fighting for fairness and justice. It is steadfast and brave but if not guided by a moral compass, can be heartless and tyrannical. Rats are extremely intelligent and quick-witted with a very creative strategic sense. They are resourceful, nimble, and alert and have astounding memories. On the downside, their Yin Water energy can make them gloomy and scheming. Add it all up and what we have this year is Mighty Mouse – a fully armed Rat!
In ancient China, people believed that it takes many years to master swordsmanship and that mastery is spiritual as well as physical. In this Yang Metal year, those who have come through hardship and difficulty and exhibit integrity and character will do well. Manners and courtesy will come back in style as well as the military values of honor, courage, duty, service, loyalty, civility, discipline and integrity. All are associated with Yang Metal. Needless to say, lazy, undisciplined people who don’t practice what they preach will have a hard time.
A nocturnal creature, Rat is heavily influenced by the cold and dark Water element. Related to the Kidney energy, wisdom and sexuality are also important in a Rat year. Meditation and contemplation will help us extend kindness to others, allowing us to achieve the best possible outcomes in Rat’s year. In China, it’s known as the “Flower of Romance” so it’s likely to be a hot and sexy time and you won’t be able to keep up with all the sex scandals in the news.
Yang Metal emboldens passionate people everywhere who are willing to fight for their beliefs and ideology. We will witness more impassioned protests, angry demonstrations, and riots over issues of social injustice and inequality. This year lacks Earth and Fire and there is no Earth supporting this bravery. Significant bluffing in politics and deal-making will be prevalent and only when we move into the Metal seasons (September 2020 – January 2021), will these actions have teeth.
With this imbalance, there will be more pessimism and fear, the negative emotion associated with Water. Since Metal gives birth to Water in the cycle of the five elements, the excessive amount of Water this year can cause many problems. Mental health will be on the front burner. Water and Metal are cold and wet and are dark as opposed to light. The lack of Fire means a lack of warmth and illumination. The lack of Earth means we will lack a grounded, reality principle. Weakness in the stomach/spleen system (Earth element organ) causes worry that can lead to digestive problems, issues with the pancreas (diabetes), and immune system. Lack of Fire causes issues with the heart, blood circulation, and overall vitality.
Flooding and windstorms are likely since the Yang Metal Rat is like a tempest in a teacup – a big wind stirring up the water. 1960 was the last Yang Metal Rat year. There were major earthquakes with one in Chile that triggered a tsunami killing 1600 people and leaving 2 million people homeless. This was a pivotal year in the U.S. when John F. Kennedy was elected President and sit-ins became common in the U.S. propelling the civil rights movement into the forefront of social concerns. 17 African countries declared their independence. International tensions were nerve-wracking with the Soviet Air Defense system shooting down an American spy plane.
In general, the lack of Fire (Water’s money) will not be conducive to a growth economy. But looking at the cycle of 5 elements, Fire industries (energy, power generating, restaurants, and entertainment) can expect some prosperity because Fire controls Metal, and Metal is Fire’s money. Since Earth controls Water, and Water is Earth’s money, real estate, land development, mining, insurance, computer software, and technology might be stable. Metal industries will be active (automobiles, engineering, banking, and machinery), but do not generate money this year, because Metal creates Water. Wood and Water industries (shipping, transportation, and communication, fashion, media, books, and environment) will not do well this year since Earth and Fire are absent.
The Rat is a “Nobleman” year for those born on the day or year of Yin Earth or Yin Wood or if you were born in years ending in 5 and 9, such as 1955, 1959, 1965, 1969, 1975, 1979, etc. This vibration is very fortunate, attracting energy that offers rescue and support. The “Nobleman” star often brings a solution to obstacles and dangers, helping to make the year feel more comfortable and smooth. If 2020 is your Nobleman year, go for your heart’s desire!
Rat is good at scurrying around for resources and cleverly storing them for the future. Shrewd Rat wants to cover all his bases. Frugality is the name of his game. There is no Earth to slow things down now, making people feel like they are truly in a rat race. We will have the tendency to dart about promoting ourselves (as well as our schemes), but it will be prudent for us to move away from our compulsive self-centered survival needs and cultivate a more sympathetic nature.
The Yang Metal Rat year can give us the courage to ask difficult questions, to step up and occupy our true authentic selves. The Iron Mouse has gathered energy and is ready to battle for what’s right. Our job is to patiently wait to arrive at our destination and be prepared for what’s coming up. Try not to let yourself be absorbed by the strong winds surrounding you. Enjoy the sunshine whenever possible and cooperate with the rodent by training and educating yourself and 2020 will be a breeze. Respect this small, powerful creature and you will have learned to survive anything.
Predictions by Animal Sign are here