Natural Living: Happy Chinese New Year!

Monday, Feb. 8 marks the Chinese New Year and the start of the Spring festival in Asian cultures. The Chinese New Year always lands on the second new moon following the winter solstice. This year we celebrate the lively energy of the Red Fire Monkey, saying goodbye to the stubborn but gentle Wood Goat.

The Monkey represents the ninth year in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac. Like the houses of the zodiac in Western astrology, the animals of Chinese astrology are thought by many to dictate one’s personality traits and in the big picture even impact world events in any year they rule. If you were born in one of these years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, you are a Monkey, but keep in mind the Chinese lunar calendar differs from ours so if you were born at the beginning of the year, double check your sign.

The leading characteristics that best describe the Monkey is flexible and clever. Monkeys tend to be intelligent, adventurous, playful, witty and agile. However, the curious nature of the monkey predisposes them to mischievousness, while the naughty nature of the monkey brings forth the prankster.

This year will be a trying time for Monkeys, bringing challenges with great lessons. If they will choose to learn from these lessons, great fortune will come in the future. One of my teachers recommends you wear a red ribbon around your waist if it’s the year of your animal zodiac to ward off negative energy.

The energy of the Fire Monkey will affect us all according to Chinese culture. Here are the key words that may describe 2016: erratic, unpredictable, clever, irrepressible, ingenious, resourceful, adventurous, magical, quixotic, selfish and amoral. This is a time to keep your wits about you because anything, absolutely anything, can happen. The year of the goat in 2015 taught us to stay calm, and now it will be a test of your ability to remain calm and composed in the face of relentless and unexpected challenges. There’s always another side to the chaos and that’s magic and transformation if you allow it to flow.

This coming year may challenge many of us to see how flexible and positive we can be. It will be important to keep your sense of humor and be brave as we may see big challenges and transition on global levels, bringing forth political tension, rallies, human rights awareness and activism. The energy of Fire is intense, passionate, and calls forth our need to connect with one another. This may look like people banding together to bring positive change in the world.

How you handle the coming year is largely a matter of harmonizing your own nature with this Monkey energy. Being flexible and having the ability to transition well will bring positive energy into your life. This is a second opportunity to clear all negative energy from your plate and put into action the changes you want to see in your life. Set your intentions for an amazing 2016 Year of the Fire Monkey and feel the rewards.

Xinnian Kuaile! (Happy New Year)!


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