As we move towards the end of January, the Chinese New Year is upon us. Unlike the Western calendar that begins anew on January 1 every year, the Chinese New Year falls on January 25. The Chinese zodiac follows a 12-year repeating cycle. Every year one of 12 animals becomes the foremost influential energy for the year ahead, with the 12 animal years always progressing in the same recurrent order. This year of 2020 is the first year in a 12 year cycle and is the year of the metal rat. As we will see, 2020 promises to be a year of new beginnings, business opportunities, and the planting of seeds for the upcoming 12 years.
Quick Background on the Chinese Zodiac
Though there are a few variations, the legend of how the animals became assigned to the twelve years in the cycle continues to be one of the most widely spread tales regarding the zodiac. According to legend, the Jade Emperor decreed that the animals were to be chosen as calendrical signs, challenging that the first 12 to arrive would be those selected.
The rat, being a very energetic and productive creature, got up extra early on the day of the race and started his journey to reach the emperor. On the way, however, he encountered the ox. Realizing that the ox was a faster creature than he, the rat quickly contrived a plan. Rat promised to sing to the ox as an exchange for a ride on his back. The ox agreed to this arrangement. When the ox arrived with the rat on his back, expecting himself to be the first in the race, he realized the rat had outsmarted him by jumping into first place before the ox could stop him. Thus, the rat became the first animal in the 12-year calendrical cycle.
The 12 animals of the zodiac are as follows: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig. When a new year begins, the zodiac animal also correlates to qualities and elements that further specify its nature. This year, the rat is under the metal element. Now we will take a look at how the metal rat energy will shape the year ahead.
The Rat: The Beginning of Cycles
Like many ancient cultural systems designed to predict and interpret energy, the Chinese zodiac functions as a cycle, and like all cycles, it features a beginning and an end. The placement within the sequence where a current year falls can reveal much to us about the possibilities and setbacks for the upcoming year. The year 2019was the year of the earth pig, the last year in the previous 12 year cycle, and therefore carrying 'old energy' of a period preparing to close.
The system is very similar to the turning of the seasons on earth. Whereas 2019 was comparable to the cold and dark ending of the winter, 2020 is the coming of spring. The rat is an energetic entity bringing with him our plans and goals for the coming seasons. Those projects, strategies, and visions that we initiate this year have the power to set the tone for the new cycle of 12 years we are entering.
The rat energy is all about planting seeds. Rat energy tends to be divided, as we will need to think about planting seeds that will produce benefits for us right away while also planting seeds that will continue to yield results well into the future. Planning well relates to a basic need in life: We need to both care for our immediate needs of survival, such as hunger, rest, and connection, and we also must allot some of our energy toward later periods of our life.
The concept of wisely allotting our energy will be a significant theme this year as the rat tends to be idealistic but may also fall victim to distraction once we have decided what to focus our energies on and which seeds to plant. We must diligently follow through by nurturing our connections, investments, and projects. If you have ideas and dreams that you have been incubating over the past many years, the forward-moving wave of energy provided by the rat will give you the perfect opening to make it happen.
Indeed this year will be a promising opportunity to find new connections with likeminded people, to start new businesses, or to try out new hobbies that may present the opportunity to meet new people with similar interests. While the year of the rat is not closely associated with romantic relationships, these still can flourish. Love is most likely to be found in situations related to our business goals, networking, and expansion of our interests.
As the energy of movement and productivity sets in, it is important to pace ourselves as well. The rat moves quickly, expressing that time is of the essence. This year we work to remain focused, but the optimism and idealism of rat can conceal worry or anxiety below the surface. In order not to fall prey to the energy of fear, this is an excellent time to take up practices meant to ease the mind and calm the nervous system. Consider practicing meditation, yoga, or tapping. Mindfulness practices can alleviate anxiety and address the root causes.
The Metal Influence: Money, Resources, and Organization
The element of metal will modify and add another layer to the energy of the rat. Metal has to do with organization, structure, and the allotment of resources when paired with the rat. As we have discussed, this year will be an excellent opportunity to begin a new project or business venture. Taking into account what resources we have available and how to distribute or retain those resources will be a necessary task.
Most people tend to think of resources primarily as money. However, resources can present themselves as the network of people you have access to, the knowledge you have acquired, the opportunities that present themselves to you, your funds, and perhaps most importantly, your energy.
In terms of how we acquire and spend money in 2020, the rat year implies a focus on expenditures that will build us and increase our value. Spending money on courses and education, valuable equipment, and programs will be fundamental decisions to cultivate your success. Indeed, the year will focus on investing in the practical, yet this does not mean you should not invest in fun, happiness, or pleasure.
Many of us will find it our tendency to spend money on luxury items like clothing, new furniture, or home remodeling. The question to ask yourself is whether or not these expenses are necessary and whether they will bring you joy. Consider making your pleasure spending on experiences more often than things. Though we will be focused on success and activity this year, we must also make room for fun. Work hard, play hard, as they say.
How Metal Rat Year will affect Each Sign
If you are unaware of your Chinese zodiac sign, a quick google search should do the trick. Keep in mind that the zodiac works with the symbolism of agriculture, so we will repeatedly see the concepts of planting, tending, and harvesting. Once you know which of the 12 zodiac animals represents you, here are brief overviews of how the metal rat energy will affect each sign:
Rat: This is your year! It's time to leave behind the past 12-year cycle you have lived. This year will bring significant changes to your life. Now is the time to carefully assess all aspects of our life. What is holding you back? You've spent 12 years cultivating skills, wisdom, and experiences. Time to do something brand new. Every new thing will bring opportunity this year. Keywords: career, talents, abilities.
Ox: you are in the final year of the seed saving period and the last year of your 12-year cycle. Now is the time to capitalize on everything you've for which you have been working. Take a close look at what you have been accumulating and begin the process of determining what you might take with you into the next new year. Keyword: declutter.
Tiger: You are in the 2nd year of your 3-year seed-saving cycle. If you are thinking of making changes, there may be delays this year. Try to hone in on maximizing the skills and opportunities you already have. The time for significant change is not necessarily this year. Try to develop your patience and faith. Now is an excellent time to go for a transfer or a promotion. 2020 is a year for contemplation and reflection — keywords: resources from others, psychic ability, spiritual epiphanies.
Rabbit: Currently, you are in the first year of your 3-year seed saving cycle. You are transitioning from a year of arduous work to a period of accumulation. Ask yourself how you can maximize the impact of your time. How can you work more efficiently? Rabbits are quick, witty, and excellent problem-solvers. Pay close attention to the needs and desires of others that could offer clues on opportunities. Keywords: love relationships, deep connection, partnerships.
Dragon: You find yourself in the last year of your 3-year harvesting period. You are still hard at work to gain momentum in your career, and you are being supported int his by your surroundings. Your hard work is paying off, and you find yourself surrounded by abundance if you are willing to see it. The abundance around you will require action. You may feel as though you are scrambling to make the most of a plethora of opportunities. Keywords: routines, habits, health, and work-life balance.
Snake: This is the 2nd of your 3-year harvest period. The year 2020 surrounds you with abundance. Your focus is on the work of harvesting. Last year may have been a difficult one, but this year you will be presented with more opportunities. Start the year by making a list of your desires, dreams, and goas. Keywords: creativity, children, romance.
Horse: Horse signs will face the most challenges in the upcoming year. The energy of the rat can work in opposition to the nature of the horse. Horse signs need and desire a great deal of attention, which is directed now toward the rat. Horse signs tend to be reliable, well-liked, and beautiful individuals. If you find that others aren't as readily willing to listen to you, you must persevere. Now is an ideal time to tap into those herd instincts by finding others who are working towards a similar cause. It is the first of your 3-year harvesting period. You will begin to see the benefits of your work. Keywords: home and family.
Sheep: 2020 is the last year of your 3-year seed-tending period. You are still working very hard to cultivate the things in your life you have chosen to focus o. Metaphorically speaking, you are still weeding, watering, and tending the garden of your life. Opportunities are beginning to present themselves to you. The conditions are perfect to start taking those opportunities. It is still essential to be vigilant of negative thoughts or energy in your life. Remain focused on weeding those negative energies out. Keywords: thinking process, communication, siblings, learning, local politics.
Monkey: This year is the 2nd of your seed-tending period. You are smack in the middle of the seed-tending process and must keep the garden well-watered and weeded. This year is one of vigilance and focus. Be wary of distraction. Luckily for monkey signs, you are well adapted to juggle many things at once. Though you are a natural multitasker, all opportunities require work. Pick and choose carefully which endeavors on which you will embark. Keywords: analysis, money-habits.
Rooster: 2020 is the first year of your seed-tending period. You just finished the seed-planting cycle and will finally begin to see the opportunities present. There is still plenty of work to do like the ideas, dreams, and projects you have planted are still tender and new. You will need to continue pouring energy into the ventures of your choosing. Keep what is viable and release what is wasting your time. Keywords: physicality, confidence, how you present to the world.
Dog: You are entering the 3rd year of your seed-planting season. The last two years were likely difficult ones. You may find yourself desiring new horizons yet can't quite assess what is working yet. Now is the time to have faith. You will begin to see the first signs of growth in the things you have started. Pour as much time and energy as possible into those things showing promise. If it's not working, consider leaving it. Be willing to try new jobs, new relationships, etc. Keywords: hidden self, shadow work, personal limitations.
Pig: Many of you under the sign of the pig will be relieved to know this year promises to be much more positive than 2019. Last year was your first year of seed planting, and thus, you found yourself toiling away in the barren soul. You started from nothing in the previous year, and you have been working very hard. Luckily for you, nothing is set in stone yet. You still have time to adjust or change directions. Now is the time to create bucket lists and vision boards and to process your desires and goals for the next 10 or 12 years ahead. Keywords: friendship, technology, the future.
Happy New Year!
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