The fine art of CHINESE ASTROLOGY:
YEAR OF THE EARTH OX: January 26, 2009
After being taken for the wildest ride in decades during 2008’s Rat year, who among us isn’t desperate for a little relief? Fortunately, the upcoming Earth Ox year may bring us the energetic change we all crave. The Ox is characterized by stability, endurance, responsibility, and a commitment to hard work over the long run to achieve its goals. Just the prescription to help us find firmer ground and a more stable economy.
Traditionally, Ox years have never been considered great for the stock market. The Ox doesn’t have a speculative nature, favoring instead conservative management and an honest day’s work. This makes for steady but unglamorous growth: not the stuff of dreams. But in light of last year’s harrowing financial roller coaster (Rat’s are known to be hoarders and spenders,) this more plodding quality will probably feel welcome. So while it may take some years for your 401K to recover, nudged along by this duller but more realistic quality of growth, at least the nail-biting drops and wild swings are likely to fade into the stuff of legend.
So how should you approach this year to get the best possible outcome? That of course depends on your own energetic pattern, and how well it meshes with the signature of the year. Here are some tips, based on how well each of the other 11 Chinese animal signs works with Ox energy.
Rat: You have a harmony relationship with Ox. You’ve got the brilliance, ambition, and dreams; Ox has the endurance to stay on course while, left to your own devices, you are too easily diverted. Use this year to make slow but steady gains on all those wild schemes.
Ox: What used to be viewed as intransigence on your part will now look like perseverance. People will be grateful for your strength and unflappable calm in a crisis. Just stick to your plans and keep going. Though Ox likes to pull a cart alone, the only help it will usually accept is from another trusty Ox. Have at it.
Tiger: Tigers are easily irritated by Ox’s stubbornness and their refusal to recognize the Tiger’s power. Also, Tigers work in spurts, with sudden powerful expenditures of energy followed by retreats to their den to rest. It’s their natural pattern. Having to plod along day in and day out with an Ox makes them worn out and irritable. So here’s the strategy: try to stick to a routine, even in small things (like arising at the same time every morning.) Work your muscles. Stay active and engaged in your business. Be as methodical as possible during your scheduled work times, but plan for breaks so you can retreat to your lair and store up energy. Your power and charisma will be in full force next year.
Rabbit: This will be a year for Rabbits to settle their frazzled nerves. Rabbits are diplomatic, friendly, intuitive, and enjoy luxury. They have a natural appreciation for the burden the Ox carries, and feel safer around methodical Ox. These two also share a devotion to family. This is a good year for Rabbits to tend home and family. In order not to irritate hardworking Ox, you should avoid extravagant spending on personal adornments and unnecessary luxuries.
Dragon: You had a great time last year dreaming up glorious plans under the influence of the Rat. You may have even gotten many projects underway. Now you must buckle down and work, day in and day out, to reap your rewards. It’s best to accept the monotony of this. Dragons are showy and like to be seen. In an Ox year nobody will care about your charisma. This could be difficult for you, but don’t lose heart. You still command respect and will find it a successful year. The Tiger year coming up will favor your more dramatic nature. Alchemy will be possible, as long as you avoid competing with the Tiger.
Snake: This is a lucky year for you. You will have to work, (along with everyone else in an Ox year,) but unlike last year, your work will actually be rewarded. Things feel calm, your direction becomes clear, and your wisdom will be put to good use.
Horse: The problem here is two big energies, with noble values and willing hearts, but completely different views of how to proceed. Horses are carefree and fun-loving, while the Ox is practical and responsible. However, poor Horse probably had its worst year in the 12 year cycle last year, so is ready for a break. Best advice—compromise. Humor the Ox and do your fair share. Take some time to recover; you can look forward to a wonderful year in 2010 when you team up with harmonious Tiger.
Sheep: OK, how to say this without adding to your depression? Ox is your opposite. You like to follow creative flights of fancy; Ox is methodical and linear. You see Ox as dreary. Ox sees you as flighty. The worst possible scenario for Sheep is to have to plow a long straight furrow. Since that’s what this year is all about, the best strategy for you is to get involved in some creative pursuit about which you are absolutely passionate, and keep your head down to avoid Ox’s criticism and disapproval. Painting? Jewelry making? Photography? See you next year.
Monkey: Your relationship with this year’s energetic pattern requires a bit of strategy, something that is your forte. Monkeys are quick-witted and clever. They prefer magic to labor. Since hard work and straightforward thinking is the theme this year, you will have to at least look as though you’re playing along with the program. Ox isn’t much bothered by your tendency to scheme, but next year’s Tiger will not allow it, so learn to practice restraint. You will need it in 2010. Meanwhile, best use of your talent is as a liaison or messenger. That way you stay busy, avoid boredom, and appear to respect the Ox work ethic.
Rooster: It’s been a while, but finally things line up for you this year. Like Snake, you have a harmony relationship with Ox. You are a hard worker, and ambitious too. You respect Ox and share its qualities of practicality, conscientiousness, discipline, and order. With this energy filling your sails, along with your naturally keen mind and focused attention, you can achieve great success in any endeavor this year.
Dog: Dogs are not afraid of hard work, and will go at it with fierce loyalty, but may get depressed if there’s not a bowl of food and a soft bed on the hearth waiting for them at day’s end. Your job is to make sure the rewards come frequently enough to feed your spirit. Remember, the Ox can go on forever with no breaks. That’s not good for you. Schedule playtime and adequate rest.
Pig: Pigs tend to be the most evolved of the 12 branches of the Chinese zodiac, and have the broadest view. Therefore they manage well in almost any year except the snake year, which is their opposite. Pigs enjoy family, food, and fun, and prefer not to work as hard as the Ox would like. Because of this you may feel somewhat overburdened this year, but you should do just fine if you temper your appetite and surround yourself with friends and family.