As many of you know, I practice a somewhat unusual form of Chinese medicine, informed by my Daoist teacher Liu Ming with whom I’ve studied for much of the last 15 years. Every year, Ming gives a great talk on the auspices of the upcoming Chinese year. While you may find many “placemat astrology,” three-sentence summaries in your local Chinese restaurant and online, Ming’s interpretation is not so much fortune-telling as detailing the true historical and astrological significance of the year. Rather than asserting that people born in another sign (say, Ox) are going to have a “bad” year, while people born in another will have more advantages, he prefers the metaphor of a meal, where a given set of food is served, and since each of us have different food preferences and tastes, we’ll each have a different gustatory experience. Same goes for the qi profile of the year. The year presents with a certain kind of energy that is neither good nor bad, it all depends on our individual tastes and preferences relative to our experience of that energy.
This year, which begins on February 19, is the Year of the Goat. Each year is also informed by one of five elements, and the element this year is Wood, a metaphor for youth and Spring among other things. So the flavor or “qi profile” of the upcoming year is the image of a baby or youthful goat.
Given the youthful, playful energy, one might say that it’s a relatively immature energy, not fully formed, but open to education (thus a good year for getting unhooked from stagnant situations, hitting the reset button, starting fresh, getting educated in something new, being an amateur and being ok with not being an expert). Think “fresh start” in all areas. Goats also thrive in family life, and create “family” in many ways, thus making the energy of this year a good one for deepening social connections with your literal, social, political, and religious “families.” Goats and their accompanying energy are also quite adaptable.
Success is generally found in groups, recruiting the help of others and working diligently together toward success. Sustainable, innovative, local businesses appeal to a Wood Goat year. The last time we had a Wood Goat year was 1955, so you may wish to check on the happenings of that time to get a sense of the qi of the year.
Given that we each have a year (animal) we were born into, an element (wood, fire, earth, metal, or water), and a yin or yang proclivity (as well as a specific time, month, and day), the interpretation of the year specific to your own astrology is a more complex calculation. This is precisely why placemat astrology is a joke (and why I won’t go into massive detail in this email). If you wish to learn more about the Wood Goat year and its auspices for your particular sign, the audio for Liu Ming’s talk will be available through his site at http://www.dayuancircle.org by the end of the month.