Gong xi fa cai 恭喜发财!
Happy Lunar New Year from all of us to you and yours! Lunar New Year, which falls on 2/16/18 this year, is one of the oldest Chinese Festivals, renowned for its colorful celebrations of dancing dragons, fireworks, and music. It marks a time to celebrate the new agricultural season, family reunions, and good fortune for the year to come.
But what is with naming these years after animals and elements, you ask? Well, Chinese New Year is directly connected to the cyclical Chinese Zodiac, but unlike the standard astrological Zodiac, the Chinese Zodiac is year-based instead of month-based. Each year is named for one of 12 animals and one of the 5 elements.
Just as fire turns things to ash to be buried into the earth for rebirth, the transition from 2017 to 2018 will be about starting anew. Tomorrow, we'll say goodbye to the volatile Fire Rooster and welcome in the mellow Earth Dog to “let the good times roll.” 2017 was all about creating chaos and, to a certain extent, destruction...and boy has it been a year of just that – some good…some not so good. But now, with the help of the loyal Earth Dog, it’s time to harmonize and transform the ashes into fertile soil. The anchoring Earth element is going to be the lynch pin of 2018, bringing stability and grounding to the year.
In essence, while you may have felt a bit like a sparrow in a hurricane (or even a fire storm?) in 2017, 2018 will feel more like a comfortable breeze allowing you to settle on some big life choices and actually move forward with them. Some basic themes to keep in your mind this year:
Foundation, Balance, Reprieve, and Fluidity.
Earth Dog years are great years for building foundations - a foundation for a house, a new business, a relationship, or even a family – whatever you’re going to start creating, you’ll have all your bases covered as the steady earth dog keeps your foundation strong. To enhance this stability, as often as the weather allows, be outside on the earth in your bare feet, and soak in the energy of the earth. Or, if yoga is your thing, making a morning ritual of outdoor sun salutations will enhance your connection to the energy of the year.
The Earth Dog is a fantastic balance of loyalty and independence, making this a great year for finding or deepening committed relationships, whether it is a romantic relationship, a friendship, or a business partnership. This balance will allow the relationship to be cohesive and strong – with each person feeling free to be themselves but also maintain commitment to one another. Give yourself time this year to communicate with your loved ones and be honest about who you are and what you need. The Earth Dog will be with you and provide a harmonizing factor, which makes for healthy and loving communication.
To my fellow fire signs, you may find this year a little too slow for comfort, but this will ultimately be a good thing to allow you to slow down, live in the moment, and find some reprieve. The energy of the Earth Dog is literally telling us all just to chill out a little. Perhaps this even means letting somebody else take the reins for a little while so you can step back to examine the bigger picture and reflect (shout out to all my fellow control freaks out there! This will be hard!)
Lastly, procrastination, negligence, and over-planning are all words that you must immediately remove from your vocabulary this year. The Earth Dog will have none of that! It’s time to start moving your energy and your life! However, it’s also a time for you to allow life to move itself, allow yourself to be open and flexible to opportunities. Just as the earth needs water, this year requires fluidity. The best time to start any kind of exercise is today – but this year is REALLY a good time to start a new movement routine, especially “flow” type movement such as yoga, tai chi, martial arts, and the like.
All in all, 2018 *should* be a relatively peaceful year for most people, so cheers!