Do you celebrate or at least acknowledge Chinese New Year? I guess being an astrologer has led me to recognize and acknowledge this interesting zodiac system. Like the one most of us know of, it has 12 signs. The difference being that, instead of each sign lasting only a month, each of these 12 signs last a year and each of the 12 signs has 1 of 5 elements combined with it every 12 years when it becomes its turn.
I’m an Earth Rat. So this year, when the Year of the Rat begins, is lucky for me, but this is the year of the Metal Rat. It takes 60 years, passage through all 5 elements, to make it back to the exact element and animal you were born in. That happened for me in 2008.
Each of the 12 signs have very interesting meanings and attributes, but the addition of those five elements makes each animal that much more distinctive. For example, Rat itself is identified with the element of water and has the general positive energies of intelligence, being charming, imaginative, passionate, sentimental, affectionate, honest, practical, placid, materialistic, and being able to learn quickly from experience. On the downside, the energies can cause a person to be calculating, mean, secretive, restless, quick-tempered, a nitpicker, a grumbler, a gossip, overly ambitious, and having ulterior motives. These energies exist in any Year of the Rat and we have the choice as to which ones we tap into and use.
This year in this Year of the Metal Rat, we have the combination of water and metal which endows those born under this combination – and this year – with integrity, ambition, and the ability to persevere in carrying a project through to its completion. The downside is that it can cause people to be too inflexible, leading to rigid attitudes that can stifle creative thought. This is a year to be more malleable and open to compromise.
For those who might be wondering how the date for the Chinese New Year is determined, in most cases, it falls on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice. This year that second New Moon happens on Friday, January 24th. While most of our calendars may show the Year of the Rat beginning on Saturday, the 25th, the truth is it actually begins as soon as the New Moon occurs on Friday. Happy Chinese New Year!
Speaking of that New Moon happening on Friday, January 24th, it will occur at 4:42 p.m. EST. Both the Sun and Moon will be in Aquarius and will provide some interesting energies for those using the New Moon for new beginnings since it gives a great deal of discretion, discrimination, and careful thought. It makes the mind positive, self-reliant, original, fairly active, humane, and well-balanced.
The Moon in Aquarius, but itself, is very imaginative, if it is channeled into creative endeavors. Otherwise, it can deteriorate into gossip and rumor spreading which can cause some unfortunate backlashes.
Freedom is so important it can become an issue between partners. This, among other things, can cause mental tension and anxiety. So look at this New Moon as a time to remove restrictions, even those you impose on yourself, that are keeping you from those feelings of independence and freedom. Once achieved, it feels like a huge weight has been lifted and a breath of fresh air.
Whether you celebrate it under the name of Imbolg/Imbolc, Candlemas, or the mundane name of Groundhog day, February 2nd is a day about the waxing light and the coming of Spring. We are now half way between the Winter Solstice and the Vernal Equinox when Spring begins. Most of us look forward to the Earth awakening and growth beginning once again. Light a candle, see the light and feel the warmth. Spring isn’t that far away.
Once Mercury enters Pisces on Monday, February 3rd at 6:37 a.m. EST, we have access to energies that can increase our memories and give us better concentration.
This is a time when you can amaze yourself with your intuitional/psychic abilities. It as thought you have access to a fund of mystical information. You will say things that you have no apparent source of proof for, but more often that not, you’ll be correct. You won’t know how you knew…you just did.
This placement also increases the creative imagination so whether you’re a musician, painter, sculptor, or writer this can be very helpful in your endeavors. Even when your mind seems at a standstill, the most creative things can come to you.
The one drawback is that you may find yourself extremely sensitive to your surroundings and the people in them. You may find yourself sympathetic to other people’s situations, but may also feel uncomfortable. This can make you silent, shy, and wishing for seclusion.
There can be other situations and circumstances that make you say too much. This is a time of finding the balance – when to remain silent, when to speak, and, when you do speak, how much to say.
This can be a very interesting transit for those interested in self-observation.