Gong Xi Fa Cai! Welcoming the Year of the Metal Ox
恭禧发财 Happy Lunar New Year, friends! Yesterday, billions of people around the world celebrated the beginning of the Year of the Metal Ox while bidding farewell to the tumultuous year of the Metal Rat.
The Lunar New Year occurs every year on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice, beginning another turn of the wheel; 12 cycles of the moon/~354 days. In China, it is also known as the Spring Festival, marking the turning point from winter to spring. Lunar New Year celebrations are centered around generating good fortune using various types of symbolism. Such as:
Fireworks to scare away monsters and misfortune
Putting checks, coins, and/or cash into red envelopes for children to open
General sharing of wealth
Spring cleaning to usher out the old and make space for the new
Red Red Red!! Wearing Red, Red Hair Accessories, Red Lanterns, Red table cloths, Red decor - the color of good fortune
Eat a dumpling and a sesame ball
Festivals, music, dance, food with loved ones and neighbors
Many are having to find new ways to celebrate old traditions this year amid concerns of safety, but they are still finding ways to commemorate this tradition with virtual celebrations, gatherings, and games.
What does the Ox Represent? How can we apply it to our own lives to live in harmony within, with each other, and with the world?
"Mine is a stabilizing force that perpetuates the cycle of life. I stand immobile against the test of adversity, resolute and unimpeachable. I seek to serve integrity, to the burdens of righteousness. I abide by the laws of nature patiently pushing the wheel of Fate. Thus, I shall weave my own destiny. I am the Ox."
First, if you're uncertain why each year in the lunar calendar is associated with an animal and element, click HERE to read bout the Chinese Zodiac!
In the tradition of Chinese Zodiac, all animals have important roles, but the Ox is considered to be of utmost importance to the survival of humanity (pretty appropriate for 2021, no?) The Ox is also associated with:
Prosperity through fortitude and hard work
Stability and cyclicality
Integrity and righteousness
The Ox is
Dependable, calm, methodical
Immovable against adversity
Generally fair-minded and a good listener but not often malleable
Charitable by nature
The backbone of society
Also in the Tradition of the Chinese Zodiac is an elemental attachment to the animals (wood, fire, earth, metal, water). This year is the year of the Metal Ox.
When we think of metal, we think of making things pristine, shiny, and clean.
Typically, metal personalities are a bit tempermental and find it difficult to adjust to new environments. They like order, definition, structure, and discipline - living life according to reason and principle. They thrive on meticulousness, self-control, and rationality and require passion, spontaneity, and social involvement to balance themselves out.
So, in this upcoming lunar cycle carrying the energy of the Metal Ox - this is a time to
Focus on balancing hard work and fortitude with boundaries and grace. Your inner work is yours, your loved one's inner work is theirs. You are not required to do emotional labor for anybody else, only to give them love and a soft place to land.
Be steady and mindful in your work while being open and flexible to that which life presents you. Success will be achieved by weaving together stability, conscientious intent, and methodical effort.
Truth Will Out! Be impeachable with your integrity; with others and with yourself. Have those tough and honest conversations.
Be resolute for righteousness; a beacon for justice with a fair mind and a forgiving heart.
Clear out, pare down, and simplify - donate old clothes and homeware. Do that deep clean your home desperately needs.
Do that deep clean your mind and soul desperately need. Examine your thought patterns and programs - what is no longer serving your highest good? The wise women and men know what must live and what must die. What relationships are ready to be let go? What buried trauma is ready to be addressed and healed? What other shadows are ready to have the light cast on them? What rust can be scrubbed away so you can shine your brightest?