Chinese New Year of the Metal Ox

    Welcome to the Chinese New Year! On February 12, the Metal Rat from last year will be replace with the Metal Ox for this year. So, the quarrelsome Rat is gone and the hard-working Ox is here. What will that mean for 2021?

    First, let’s get to know Chinese Astrology a bit. The Chinese New Year begins on a different date each year and is astrologically based. It starts at sunset on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice, in China. There are some differences between Western and Chinese Astrology, but there are some similarities too. Both of them use 12 different signs but the Chinese named them animals.

    The biggest difference is the elements. Western Astrology uses four elements: Fire, Earth, Air and Water. Chinese Astrology uses five elements: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth.

    The Chinese have a 60-year system and here is how it works. Each year the animal changes but the element stays the same for two consecutive years. For example, last year was the Metal Rat and this year is the Metal Ox. Next year, 2022, will start a new element and animal combination and will be the Water Tiger. So, 12 animals x 5 elements = 60 and then the cycle begins again. When a person is 60 years old, that year will be the same combination as when he or she was born.

    I want to reflect back on last year of 2020 with the Metal Rat, which was a rough year for the entire world. We had a global pandemic with lockdowns that created an economic crisis for most people and businesses. The US had a extremely contentious presidential election with resulting riots that are continuing as I write this article. Looking at the personality of the Rat, it’s not a surprise. The Rat is easily agitated, grouchy, petty and prone to arguments. The element Metal didn’t help things out much. Metal is rigid, solitary and extremely self – reliant. It’s a tough combination and surely described the difficult year of 2020.

    Let’s get to know the Metal Ox and how that will make 2021 different. The personality of the stable Ox couldn’t be more different than the irritating style of the Rat. I happen to be a Gemini Ox, so I know this animal well. The Ox is dependable, patient, fair and a good listener. The Ox is the workaholic of all the Chinese animals. The tireless Ox prefers to stick to a routine and standard conventions. A typical Ox person is often in a position of authority and responsibility. The Ox has an uncluttered mind who prefers traditions and fixed patterns. No surprises with the Ox. The element of Metal will make the Ox even more determined. After the shocking year of 2020, most people in the world want  stability now.

    The challenge of the Metal Ox is to not take things too seriously. Many could work themselves into exhaustion and need to remember to also be happy and play. We might need to schedule in play time in 2021, because it won’t be the natural approach. Balance will be important for this year.

    I say goodbye to the hot-headed Rat and welcome to the secure and hard-working Ox.  We all need to get back to work and focus on our intentions for 2021. The Ox will absolutely help us get things done!


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