Happy Chinese New Year, February 14, 2010 - Welcome the Golden Tiger!
Yes, Chinese New Year is upon us, the Earth Ox bids us farewell, and we greet the Metal (Golden) Tiger. Once again, it is time to learn about the dynamics of the new Ruler of the Year, so that we can live and thrive effectively, harmoniously and joyfully in this time of the Tiger. The Chinese calendar has been in place for 4707 years, and we can certainly draw from its wisdom, so that we can better understand and navigate the challenges of our lives.
First let’s take a quick glance back at the year of the Earth Ox. The Ox is a hard-working, patient, conservative, and goal-oriented animal, planning and then toiling in the field so that everyone is fed. Perhaps you followed the example of the Ox last year, and worked diligently toward your objective. President Obama, born in the year of the Ox, exemplifies these characteristics as he worked to get the economy on stable ground, reform health care, and secure our country. Possibly though, the Earth Ox has moved too slowly and conservatively for some, not shifting quickly enough away from the policies and practices of the former regime. That debate can continue as we enter the new year of the Tiger.
Chinese astrology gives us a new energetic each year. Truly, this is a gift. Not just a number, 2010, but a Metal Tiger- how exciting! It is a system that evolved from the observation of the cycles of nature and our place within it. And to continue to observe nature’s cycles within the context of Chinese astrology is certainly fascinating. For instance, I write this now on 1/10/10. Yesterday, in terms of Chinese astrology, it was a Sheep day, which clashed with both the Earth Ox year and Ox month. In the hour of the Monkey (that sometimes annoying trickster), the Earth quaked intensely at 6.5 on the Richter scale in, and around, Eureka, CA. If you had consulted with me, or any respectable Chinese astrologist, as to whether Saturday, 1/9/10, was an auspicious day to, say, get married, looking at this double-clash, you would have been told, “certainly not!” The quake, however, was surprising and somewhat unsettling. So, let’s learn of cyclical changes, in order to understand our place within the cycle of time.
We now welcome the year of the Metal Tiger. The Tiger is a noble and powerful creature. We study the attributes of the ruler of the year, so that we may act in harmony with the energetics of the times. The Tiger is referred to as the “King of the Beasts”, the most powerful animal of the earthly realm. According to the Chinese, the Dragon represents the power of the heavenly realm, and these two, rule heaven and earth. It is said in the Book of Changes, “Clouds Gather in the Presence of Dragons; Winds Rise in the Wake of Tigers.” These powerful creatures engage in a cosmic dance of Wind and Water, or Feng Shui, not as adversaries in a battle, as is often portrayed, but as elemental partners. We can certainly expect the winds of change to blow during this Tiger year.
While the Ox toiled diligently through the seasons, the Tiger acts with grand, sweeping gestures. The Tiger personality is bold, daring, intelligent and optimistic. Courageous, vivacious, rebellious and unpredictable, the Tiger is individualistic, choosing his or her own path through life. They are playful, passionate, and can be quick-tempered.
Those born in the year of the Tiger are energetic and imaginative, and they can take up humanitarian causes when they perceive injustice. However, they may have suspicious natures, which can cause either indecisiveness, or hasty and impulsive action. Largely with a good sense of humor, a keen imagination, and enthusiasm, Tigers generally apply their vigor to daring, often unconventional projects with intensity. However, the tiger can and does act stealthily at times, secretly operating on a hidden agenda.
So, then, what can we expect from this enigmatic Yang Metal Tiger year? Typically, Tiger years are associated with volatility and boldness. Changes will occur swiftly and dramatically. According to the Five Element System, the Metal element is in conflict with the Tiger’s native Wood element, Yang is a quality of action. A conflicted Tiger may feel cornered and may act in a brash and drastic way. This year could be one of conflict and disagreement. Historically, the last Metal Tiger year, 60 years ago, saw the beginning of the Korean War. It is likely that we continue to see an opposition of ideologies. The Tiger’s regal attitude sometimes turns into a rigid belief, as if they know what is best for everybody. But, at heart, the Tiger needs to be relatively wild and free to follow his or her own path, the path of enthusiasm. For this is a bold, vigorous and optimistic time, and the renewed vitality can inject new life into stalled or delayed projects. And the Tiger does have humanitarian intentions, often injecting spirited passion into charitable work.
The year of one’s birth greatly influences the relationship that one has with the Tiger year. The hour, day and month also affect the dynamics of your experience. Consult a qualified Chinese astrologist for more info. For now, I shall briefly touch on Tiger’s relationship with the astrological family this year.
Basically, all the animals should take advantage of opportunities when presented. The Tiger year brings renewed optimism and fast-paced action. Act confidently, with appropriate timing and gain benefits. Avoid haste and rash decision-making. Stay fearless. A Tiger will attack the timid. Use your unique talent and follow your unique path. Work hard, but also rest. The Tiger moves in bursts of great energy and then takes a “cat nap”. Follow this example, and restore your vitality. The Tiger also enjoys a high-protein feast occasionally, so eat well and be grounded.
The Metal Tiger has been traditionally associated with swords and military action. However, it is also true that the Chinese Wealth God, Hsai Shen, rides a Tiger. Tigers bring fortune. Metal can be refined into jewelry, or a bell, creating art and beauty. And it is also true that Manjushri, the Buddha of Wisdom, rides a Tiger and carries the Flaming Sword of Truth. We can use the double edge sword of truth in a compassionate and altruistic way by following the example of the Buddha of Wisdom. The metal of the Tiger can also be used for healing purposes, most obviously with the ancient Chinese medicine of Acupuncture. Take care of yourself during this dynamic year so that you can function effectively and thrive like a Tiger. And as Bob Dylan says, “May you have a strong foundation as the winds of changes shift.” Have a great year! Gong Hay Fa Choy! (May You Be Very Happy to Receive Alot of Money in the New Year!)
Licensed Acupuncturist Jeffrey Haloff operates Humboldt Acupuncture in the heart of Old Town, Eureka, with his wife Chelsea Colby. Jeffrey is available for Feng Shui, and Chinese astrological consultations, in addition to Acupuncture and Chinese herbal Medicine. Call 707-268-8007, with questions about a Tiger year tune-up.