February 19, 2015 marks the beginning of the Year of the Yin Wood Goat (or Sheep). The Chinese horoscope is based on a cycle of 12 animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat/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 Chinese astrology this sign represents a domesticated mountain goat, and the Yin Wood Goat is thought of as a female baby goat – playful and adorable. Goats are identified with artistic expression, social harmony, fairness and cooperation. They are idealistic and egalitarian.
During the last (yin) wood goat year (1955), President Eisenhower sent “advisers” to Vietnam, the Warsaw Pact was signed by 8 European Countries, the FDA approved the polio vaccine, and Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on the bus.
Famous goat personalities include: Michelangelo, Franz Liszt, Mark Twain, Barbara Walters, George Harrison, Joni Mitchell, and Federico Fellini.
While 2014, the year of the (yin) wood horse, was a time of child-like vigor and direct action without much careful thinking, the goat brings gentleness, adaptability, great capacity for compromise, and effective non-verbal communication. Wood goats in particular are sincere, disciplined and industrious, making this a great year for renewal and improvements on the personal and global levels. Following are prognostications offered by Daoist scholar Liu Ming.
General Recommendations: As the newborn goat starts jumping and playing hours after being born, the new year’s shift to wood goat energy will happen quickly in the Spring. This year offers a fresh start and an opportunity to refine our vision and reshape our environment. Begin re-visioning early so that projects can grow in the summer. In autumn, refine and perfect your new vision and in winter, let it take root for the future.
Goat energy brings a strong aesthetic awareness, not as a decorative quality, but as an expression of deep meaning. Child-like straightforward innocence and honesty are very important for success in this year.
World Politics: Goats flourish best in small egalitarian herds. It is a good year to act collectively to help others and to create social change. Many treaties are signed and alliances are made in goat years, but sometimes the goat’s idealism and naiveté result in betrayal and plans falling through without contingency arrangements. Nevertheless, this year's energy offers us the opportunity to nurture peace and basic human rights within our own hearts and communities, and thence, within the larger world.
Business and Finance: Innovation and an expanded way of thinking about success will be the most effective strategy. It is a good time to reinvent and redefine the meaning of wealth and prosperity. Sustainability, green practices and supporting local economic structures appeal to the goat’s sense of idealism and community.
Health: The wood goat year offers everyone a chance for healing and recovery. Education and self-care practices will play a big role in improving health. Plant medicine will be an effective tool. Exploring new practitioners and medical modalities is a good idea. This year, developing a relationship of trust between client and practitioner can play a major role in the healing process.
Spirituality: Goats are very successful herd animals, and in the goat year spiritual practice in community is key. Strong charismatic spiritual leaders will not be necessary, and will be scrutinized with caution, especially if they do not walk their talk. Many people will form and join new spiritual communities; new places of worship and religious practice will likely manifest worldwide.
Relationships: The wood goat represents innocence, so friendship will dominate while romantic love will be largely absent. Group settings will be good places to find a partner, but even then, romance will arrive slowly and friendship will be favored. In the spirit of renewal, the wood goat year is a good time to let go of stagnant relationships. This is an important year for listening to children and giving them extra loving care and encouragement. Kids should be patiently taught responsibility, kindness and teamwork.
The wood goat year will end and the fire monkey year will begin on February 8, 2016