Get. Excited! I’ve waited 12 years for my Lunar New Year animal, the Ox, to once again come into prominence in the collective consciousness: Yaaasss! While 2020, the Rat Year, was a true year of purging for everyone on the planet, its vibrations were amplified incredibly for people born in the Year of the Ox (folks born in 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009) because it was a time to draw the past 12-year cycle to a close. The sweat equity Oxen are known to put into all aspects of their lives (you’ll never find a more tireless worker than an Ox!) has translated into rich dividends to be reaped; we’re talking major life transformations for the better, and my own life story charts this trajectory. It’s truly a lucky time, especially as I view my horoscope and see transiting Jupiter in Aquarius crossing over the exact degrees of my natal Jupiter in Aquarius, my Aquarius Moon, and my Aquarius Ascendant! I know this incredibly fortuitous Cosmic Timing has me poised for unparalleled success, especially in my career! And I give great thanks to all my Holy Powers for this!
Chinese New Year in Chi-Town
I’m a Chicago native, as all of you reading this know by now, and I’ve always enjoyed the City’s official Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown, located in Chicago’s South Side (the stomping grounds of a young Al Capone, I’ll have you know, before large groups of Chinese immigrants began moving in towards the middle half of the twentieth century). Whichever Zodiacal Animal’s energies were being welcomed on a given year, the festivities were kicked into high gear with troupes of martial arts performers, Chinese beauty queens, lion dancers, various high school marching bands from the vicinity, Irish bagpipers such as the Shannon Rovers, every Chicago politician currently in office or hoping to run for office, and, yes, even Ronald McDonald himself! You could always feel a palpable sense of the currents of good feng shui energy being poured out, like a river’s flowing waters, onto South Wentworth Avenue and into the hearts and lives of all parade participants and spectators. It’s one of the times of year that makes me most proud to be a Chicagoan, to see that, no matter your background, the Lunar New Year is cause for everyone to celebrate. (The following photos were ones I took at the 2018 Lunar New Year Parade in Chinatown.)
Lunar New Year Celebrations, Hawaiian-Style
Regular readers of this blog will also know that I spent 4 glorious, soul-stirring years living on the culturally diverse, beautiful, and bustling Hawaiian island of Oahu. Residents there really know how to elevate Asian Lunar New Year celebrations. No matter a family’s racial or ethnic background or their socioeconomic status, they would fervently welcome the Lunar New Year’s energies, as imparted by its particular animal, and ensure that everyone from wee babies to grandparents living in a multigenerational home were poised to have a successful year, thanks to adopting the correct feng shui cures. Everywhere you went, you would see homes and businesses aligning themselves with the energetic currents to welcome health and prosperity. You could buy feng shui/Lunar New Year decorations, including specific types of live plants, at every retailer, from giant grocery stores to small mom-and-pop shops to mainland-based drugstore chains like Long’s Drugs, where I would go to buy my annual kadomatsu, or Japanese “money-making” tree, to place by the front door.
The cultural influences of East and South Asian cultures are very pronounced on Oahu, and feng-shui principles were widely adopted across industries in the work force, even in the academic environments that employed me. And when it came to real estate development, it would be unthinkable to go forward with building plans without first consulting a geomancer! The incredibly beautiful Byodo-In Temple, nestled in Oahu’s majestic Ko’olau Mountains on the windward side of the island, was built in 1968 after extensive consultations with Buddhist geomancers, who were flown in from mainland China. Walking around the temple’s lush and tranquil grounds definitely imparts the sense of being in an Otherworldly place, a Shangri-La, and my sad low-res photo certainly doesn’t do it justice; you simply must experience it for yourself!
All these memories of Lunar New Year celebrations came flooding back to me, surprisingly enough, during a visit last month to my local Walmart, of all places! To my utter surprise, there in a main aisle stood a massive Lunar New Year of the Ox celebratory kiosk, laden with all kinds of decorations. Naturally, I had to grab quite a few, from tableware to cheerful wall signs to a hand-drum festooned with Ox imagery (and red tassels, of course). I was quite giddy unloading everything before my hapless cashier, who didn’t know what her Asian Zodiac animal was when I asked her. She was happy to learn of my interest in all things Ox, and wished me a Happy New Year in advance. Blessings from total strangers are ones that I truly take to heart, for often go the Gods in a stranger’s guise. Now the decorations cheerfully adorn my home office space, lending me their fortuitous money-making and health- and wellness-promoting mojo.
We Are the Oxen, Hear Us…Bellow!
There seems to be definite overlap in character traits between what a person born in the Year of the Ox shares with a Sun or Rising Sign Taurus person of Western Astrology. Hardworking and steadfast, with an almost plodding strength; honesty, tenacity, patience, reliability, loyalty, affection; family-centric but no-nonsense, a nurturing parent who wields a disciplinarian hand and a spouse who believes in fidelity; a conscientious person; a person who inspires others to be their best; a person slow to anger who can explode in terrifying ways once the boiling point is reached…yep, those are all Ox and Taurus traits to a tee.
In Western Astrology, the Sign of Taurus is assigned to Fixed Earth. In Eastern Astrology, a given year’s Animal can express its energies via 1 of 5 Elements (Wood, Earth, Fire, Water, Metal) known from ancient Taoism. The Year 2021 happens to be a Metal Year, so that’s why this is the Year of the Metal Ox. Metal Oxen people are very Yang; they love to keep themselves busy and are very sociable and popular, standing out from other Oxen, who might be inclined more towards introversion and a love of privacy. (I’m a Water Ox, known for having an aptitude for creativity in addition to being highly ambitious.)
Masters of Manifestation
Oxen, like their Taurus counterparts in the West, excel at manifestation. One of the happiest memories I cherish in my heart when I lived in Hawaii was regularly getting together with my spiritual group, which grew out of my sculpting class, believe it or not. A group of seven women, we consciously poured our spiritual intent into the rich, Hawaiian clay that our hands molded for our art projects. Specifically, I was dedicated to creating statues of various Goddesses (between 2004-2006), so I really had a spiritual impetus to my work. When our pieces were firing up in the outdoor kiln at my teacher’s enchanted, Hobbit-like house in the rain forest-enshrouded town of Wahiawa, we would stand together in a circle and do what I came to call our Manifestation Chant. We actually had yoga poses to form as we said the following words, which I am happy to share with you all:
Take steps to achieve it!
Leave it to Goddess,
Prepare to receive it!
Whatever goal you’re hoping to achieve, I encourage you to memorize this little but powerful Manifestation Chant and to recite it while you devise steps/poses with your body to create a sense of muscle memory for it. And don’t forget the all-important part of “Leave it to Goddess”: in other words, once you’ve taken the real-world steps needed to make your dream a reality, emotionally and mentally disengage yourself from it and let the Divine handle it for you! Once you truly do let go/detach yourself from the outcome, paradoxically, it will then be yours to seize. And So It Is!
May the steadfast strength of the Ox bless you in all of your endeavors now and throughout the year! So Mote It Be!