The ritual of the New Year - whether Western or Eastern flavored - is very important. Along with birthdays, they call us to look deeply into the inner meaning of our lives. How is my life going? Am I living what I value and the potential that is within me?
There is a hopefulness that surrounds the New Year. It's an awareness that no matter where we are in our lives, or how we have strayed from our true calling, that we can change. 2014, the Chinese Year of the Wood Horse, promises to be an especially good year to put those New Year's Resolutions, and well-contemplated projects into action.
Most of us have probably seen place-mats in Chinese restaurants with the Zodiac animals on them. You might even know the Zodiac animal from your birth year. But did you know, that every 12 years when an animal returns, it does so under the auspices of a different element?
There are 5 elements in the Chinese Zodiac: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each element modifies the nature of Zodiac year - giving it unique qualities, and it takes 60 years to come back to that same combination again. In a sense, if you are over 60 years old - you are living in an entirely new cycle of life!
This particular year is modified by the nature of wood - which is actually probably better translated as "tree" or even "living wood." This gives a Springtime quality of upward and outward movement, beginnings, and growth to the already present able and energetic qualities of Horse.
We are well due for this change. The last two years have been ruled by "Water" which indicates a time of deep reflection. In 2013 (year of the Water Snake) this may have been especially painful for some as they waded through the deep unconscious of personal issues and internal conflicts.
Yet, if that year was well-tended to, deep contemplation and the clearing of blocks will be the very things that allow this inner possibility of Spring to occur. Much like the dark night of the soul yields a new dawn.
At the same time, Horse is by nature a fiery animal, and Wood (especially when dry), can feed its fiery nature. So if you already are burning the candle at both ends, you may need to tame your desire to do more and be increasingly conscious about where you put your energy to avoid burnout and conflict. In other words, "Hold your horses!"
Remember though, that the value of the Chinese Zodiac is not in being too literal, rather it is in its power of metaphor and its reminder to be in tune with the natural rhythms of nature. So the question Archetypal Wood Horse asks us is, What is my relationship to movement and change and what beautiful, deeply-contemplated vision do I want to manifest in the world this year?
Best Wishes on a Happy & Healthy 2014!
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Tabitha Marsh combines Massage & Acupuncture to provide natural pain relief and mental-emotional balance. She also teaches classes on Qigong & Cultivating Health & Wellbeing.