Happy Chinese New Year!
2009 – Year of the Ox
January 26 marks the New Year in China, and there will be much celebrating and fireworks. The fireworks are to scare away any evil ancestral spirits from coming into the New Year. In addition, the Chinese sweep there homes on Jan 25th in order to sweep away any lingering evil qi (energy) from the old year coming into the New Year. So the New Year marks a time of new beginnings.
The following gives a little background and folklore about the Chinese Zodiac system which has 12 signs, like it’s western counterpart.
12 is a powerful number in numerology: 12 apostles, 12″ in a ruler (the distances from the king’s [ruler’s] elbow to his middle finger tip), 12 = a dozen. 12 is a combination of the powerful trinity 3 x 4: a stable number – 4 legs on a table or chair, 4 corners in a square or rectangle, the usual foundation shape for a building.
Also discussed here is what the Ox brings to 2009. The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. Ox people (born in the Year of the Ox) hate using credit cards. These traits bode well to carry us through this recession. KB
Background and Concept
The Chinese animal signs are a 12-year cycle used for dating the years. They represent a cyclical concept of time, rather than the Western linear concept of time. The Chinese Lunar Calendar is based on the cycles of the moon, and is constructed in a different fashion than the Western solar calendar. In the Chinese calendar, the beginning of the year falls somewhere between late January and early February. The Chinese have adopted the Western calendar since 1911, but the lunar calendar is still used for festive occasions such as the Chinese New Year. Many Chinese calendars will print both the solar dates and the Chinese lunar dates.
In the United States, the years are dated from the birth of Jesus Christ, for example, 1977 means 1,977 years after the birth of Christ. This represents a linear perception of time, with time proceeding in a straight line from the past to the present and the future. In traditional China, dating methods were cyclical, cyclical meaning something that is repeated time after time according to a pattern. A popular folk method which reflected this cyclical method of recording years are the Twelve Animal Signs. Every year is assigned an animal name or “sign” according to a repeating cycle: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar. Therefore, every twelve years the same animal name or “sign” would reappear.
A cultural sidelight of the animal signs in Chinese folklore is that horoscopes have developed around the animal signs, much like monthly horoscopes in the West have been developed for the different moon signs, Pisces, Aries, etc. For example, a Chinese horoscope may predict that a person born in the Year of the Horse would be, “cheerful, popular, and loves to compliment others”. These horoscopes are amusing, but not regarded seriously by the Chinese people.
The animal signs also serve a useful social function for finding out people’s ages. Instead of asking directly how old a person is, people often ask what is his or her animal sign. This would place that person’s age within a cycle of 12 years, and with a bit of common sense, we can deduce the exact age. More often, though, people ask for animal signs not to compute a person’s exact numerical age, but to simply know who is older among friends and acquaintances.
According to Chinese legend, the twelve animals quarreled one day as to who was to head the cycle of years. The gods were asked to decide and they held a contest: whoever was to reach the opposite bank of the river would be first, and the rest of the animals would receive their years according to their finish.
All the twelve animals gathered at the river bank and jumped in. Unknown to the ox, the rat had jumped upon his back. As the ox was about to jump ashore, the rat jumped off the ox’s back, and won the race. The pig, who was very lazy, ended up last. That is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle, the ox second, and the pig last.
Ox Horoscope for 2009
The Ox is the second sign of the Chinese zodiac. Like its predecessor and complement, the Rat, it signifies new beginnings. The main difference is the Ox is associated with building to last and slow but sure action. Even more so than last year we all have to make good choices, as that which is begun now is likely to have long term consequences.
As with last year, this is an Earth year. The difference is this one is yin rather than yang. It is thus likely to be less tumultuous. On a personal level, better results are more likely to be achieved by reacting to circumstances and going with the flow rather than aggressively charging forward and initiating a lot of action.
Unfortunately Earth has a destructive relationship with the Ox’s fixed element, Water. In fact this is the fourth in a run of six years governed by an unlucky conflict of elements. This fact should come as no surprise to those who have followed US and world financial markets or the unspeakable horror that has persisted in Iraq.
The combination of Earth and Ox, however, is not at all a negative combination. Its primary characteristic is durability. It suggests an environment dominated by cautious pragmatism rather than quixotic dreaming. Things will get done.
Interestingly this is an equally good time for thinking and all kinds of intellectual endeavors. Planning, scholarship and research, for example, are favorable activities. It is also an auspicious time for the arts; although, under Earth’s influence, applied arts such as design and graphics may do best.
Furthermore, they will generally be successful if done in harmony with the spirit of the Earth Ox. This applies both to the type and amount of new projects as well as the approach to accomplishing them. That means focusing on just a few, long term projects. It also suggests proceeding in a cautious yet determined manner. Finally, it counsels avoiding taking unnecessary risks and yielding to the temptation to seek short term gains.
There is likely to be a focus on career and self improvement this year to the detriment of family. People thus need to be attentive and creative so that this area does not suffer. It is, however, a relatively good time to begin a new romance. Those in a relationship may want to consider raising it to the next level, to include marriage.
Since this is an Earth year, those people born in a Metal year will generally fare better than others of their animal sign, while those born in a Water one are likely to do worse than those born in Wood, Fire, and Earth years.
The year 2009 will be a period of lasting accomplishments. This is true for individuals, societies and the human race in general. There may be times when motivation appears to be lacking. In fact the big challenge everyone faces is to generate the enthusiasm and desire to act. Those individuals and organizations that do will create enduring benefits for themselves and the world.