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The Chinese New Year of the Metal Ox begins in February

Those of us in Feng Shui celebrate both the Western New Year and the Chinese New Year. In Chinese astrology, every year is identified with one of 12 animals (Rat, Ox, Tiger, etc.) and one of 5 Elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, Wood). On February 4th (the solar Chinese New Year), the year of the Metal Ox begins. (The lunar New Year begins February 12.) The observation is that both the animal and the element infuses each year with its own specific characteristics.

This year’s animal, the Ox, is a reliable, dependable, and tenacious animal; characteristics which we all appreciate. The Ox will always complete what they’ve started no matter how long it takes (think of the oxen plowing fields). Because of the Ox’s temperament, this is not a year for wild unknown risks but rather a practical outlook will be the best course of action. Sometimes the Ox is referred to as “winter earth” since it doesn’t exude a lot of warmth.

In terms of the elements, the Metal energy is not being well-supported this year because the Ox is an Earth animal sign and that elements is too gentle. Furthermore, the Metal this year is of a Yin (inward, gentle), as opposed to Yang (outward, strong), nature which leads to issues going underground. Secrecy and surreptitious activities result from this lack of support. The Yin Metal can be harsh and self-serving, dangerous and destructive.

When considering these conditions, it will be important for everyone to be practical this year. Stay the course. Err on the side of stability. Be patient with setbacks. Success will eventually emerge due to the Ox’s sense of responsibility and integrity.

To help in this combative situation, sometimes an outsider needs to be called in. In this case, the remedy for the Metal Ox is the Ox’s best friend-the Rat. Those two animals have some inexplicable synergy. By “be-friending” the Rat, the Ox will look favorably upon you. The way to take on the Ox’s buddy is to get a figurine of a Rat and display it prominently-on your desk, on a nightstand, an altar, or carry it with you. Typically, these figurines are carved out of stone, they’re very small, affordable, attractive, and readily available online.

Another way to soften the impact of the Metal Ox is to acquire good karma along the way by meditating, doing good deeds, being helpful, reaching out to those who can use a hand, and being patient with yourself and others. In other words, be like an Ox-slow and steady-but overlaying with your own warmth and kindness.

For more, listen to our Feng Shui and More podcast episodes 31 (Year of the Ox) and 33 (Chinese New Year customs). Available via our catalog, or anywhere you get your podcasts.