Updated: Feb 12, 2021
I will be reflecting on the tradition of fate assessment and lunar calendar traditions that come out of China. Here is a quote from my teacher, Liu Ming on this tradition from our modern context:
Honoring the tradition of the lunar calendar from Central and East Asian countries, we recognize the inherent wisdom inherent to the traditional Chinese and Tibetan astrological practices. We observe in them an empirical method that provides for reflection and meditation of patterns and cycles of meaning within the context of the vast and powerful world outside of ourselves, our bodies, our planet, all in attempts to make sense of the world in ways that are symbolic and meaningful from a personal and human perspective. These insights and reflective tools offer a rubric to hold the entire world within, an organizing principle to play with the various dimensions of self and other, personal and foreign, internal and external, all which were born prior to contemporary scientific approaches of observing and measuring the world, but which still prove valuable, interesting, and relevant to people as a means of learning and reflecting on oneself and life as an ever-unfolding journey.
From this perspective, we also acknowledge that we come to this tradition as an outsider, always looking to respectfully understand the context and personal dimensions of these academic, cultural, and personal traditions. We hope our reflections add to this tradition and do not mean to appropriate anyone's traditions, but uplift and carry them into the present and future in a way that celebrates them. We hope this sharing has achieved this humble effort.
Yin Metal Ox Year - 2021
xīn chǒu = 辛丑
Ox is natal Earth element
牛 / chǒu / Ox = stalwart, stubborn, persistent, conventional, driven, humorless, just, adverse to change, supportive, reliable, dull
Associated with 12th Moon, 1am - 3am, N60E direction
Associated with Chinese constellations of Ladle and Ox-boy
This coming year is best illustrated by the metaphor of a white ox pulling a plow through damp, heavy soil. The persistent, effortless strength of the reliable ox clears away the chaos and scattered dirt, rocks, debris, and leaves behind it clarified rows of conventionality and organization. This is the quality of the Yin Metal Ox.
There is an overall theme of a methodical, natural/effortless sifting and clearing away to give way to the new foundations for the work and projects to be given our attention in the years and cycles to come.
We come out of the phases of the earthly branches of the pig and the rat, and hit this transition phase of the ox, the earth earthly branch, in preparation for new growth and life in the earthly branches of wood in 2022 and 2023. This year is the preparation and hard work of setting the foundations after the rubble of last year's chaotic scattering and eliminating of what's no longer of use, or of value. Yin Metal Ox provides a relative peaceful re-setting to organize the essentials into strong and re-focused foundations.
This new year gives us a chance to re-focus and re-build, making a new field to plant the seeds of the strongest and most nourishing of crops from the years past. What do we want to rebuild and what is worth shoring up and re-planting? How can we find a natural groove that serves us and the community, without sacrificing the health of one over the other? How do we strengthen our conventions or rebuild them to better serve everyone, ensuring the implicit biases aren't corrosively undermining our foundations and collective success and well being?
I hope this reflection provides you some opportunity to reflect on the annual cycles in a sequence, in patterns of transformation, and in the context of your own life. Where are you in the cycle of a life? Are you in your Autumn? Your Winter? Your Spring or Summer? Is this re-setting time in alignment with a strengthening of previous investment into healthy habits and relationships, or successful projects? Or is it a time to start fresh with the tools and wisdom gathered in the chaos of challenge and failure that the past couple of years provided?
Happy New Year!