Saturday, February 13, 2010

Happy Lunar New Year!


February 14th 2010 marks the beginning of the Year of the Yang Metal Tiger. The Chinese horoscope is based on a cycle of 12 animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig) and 5 elements, (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). Thus, a particular animal-element combination recurs only once every 60 years. In previous metal tiger years: (1830) the US congress passed the Indian Removal Act, France invaded Algeria, and the French July Revolution took place; (1890) The Japanese Meiji Constitution took effect, the US Congress established Yosemite National Park, and the Battle of Wounded Knee occurred; and (1950) the Korean War began, China invaded Tibet, and Mauna Loa in Hawaii and Mt. Etna in Sicily erupted. Famous metal tiger people include: Ludwig van Beethoven (1770); Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria (1830); Dwight Eisenhower, Ho Chi Minh, and Charles de Gaulle (1890), and singer Stevie Wonder and Olympic medalist Mark Spitz (1960).

The white (=metal) tiger is one of the most potent magic symbols in Asian shamanic traditions. The tiger is dangerously powerful, intense, unpredictable and fearless. The metal element adds a quality of precision to temper the raw strength of the tiger but will not reach its full strength until September-November. Thus, this year is one with great opportunity for direct and forceful actions, but, especially in the early part of the year, there is much potential for mishap and instability. Following are some prognostications given by Liu Ming, a wise and witty scholar of Daoist philosophy and astrology, who annually gives a talk on what might be expected in the upcoming year.

  • General Recommendations: Delay actions if possible until after April when the Tiger energy will be less chaotic, more focused, and more productive. If you are a tiger or dragon, enjoy your power but be wary of impulsiveness and excess. Horses, roosters, dogs, and pigs can expect a good year. Small animals –rats, rabbits, snakes, and monkeys—as well as oxen and sheep should lie low to avoid the Tiger whirlwind.
  • Globally, instead of Earth-Oxen year earthquakes, the Tiger will bring heat and unpredictability. Expect volcanoes and explosions as well as water-related catastrophes.
  • Politically, it will be a poor year for diplomacy – tigers neither make nor keep treaties. Influenced by uncompromising and aggressive Tiger energy, world leaders are likely to listen to their military advisors.
  • In business and finance, competition will be fierce on all fronts but the recalibration of “big” and “small” that began in 2001 will continue. Big conglomerates have so far driven a growth economy, but increasingly, small businesses that retain integral ties with their local roots – local pride, sense of community and concern for environmental protection – will find opportunities to succeed. Hard work and good products may become the basis of a new economy as conglomerate power becomes slow to react and unreliable.
  • In regard to health, the Tiger is tremendously powerful but has little immunity to the slightest infection. Metal is associated with the lungs. This year, be prepared for lung diseases, flu, widespread virulent contagious infections, allergies, and recurrent illnesses. Pay attention and make good choices for your health. This is an especially good year to adhere to a regular health practice.
  • In the Inner Realm, self-righteousness and spirituality are a call to war in Metal Tiger years. Instead, use the daring of the Tiger year to examine the spirituality inherent in your own heart. This is a good year to plunge yourself in a meditation practice, go on a retreat, and dig deeply.

The Metal Tiger year ends and the Metal Rabbit year begins on February 3, 2011 – a good time for recovering from the excesses of Tiger energy.