2024 Year Of The Wood Dragon

2024 Year of the Wood Dragon

2024 – Year of the Wood Dragon

Happy New Year! Lunar New Year on February 10th brings us the Year of the Yang Wood Dragon.

Introduction

The last few years have been challenging for a lot of people. Part of that is due to the ending of a 20-year period in Feng Shui. Endings and beginnings of big time cycles in Chinese metaphysics are often chaotic, and the last few years are a good example. 

First we’ll see what the 20 year cycle brings in, and then move on to what to expect in the Year of the Dragon. It’s important to consider the 20-year cycle, because it has an over-arching effect on all 20 of the years within the cycle.

The New 20-Year Cycle: Fire Energy

2024 marks the start of the new 20-year period. During these cycles, we tend to see major changes that affect our lifestyles. During the last time period, from 2004-2023, we saw technology take over our lives, with the internet, cell phones and social media becoming so entwined in people’s lives that they often can’t step away from their phones for a few minutes. If you take your phone to the bathroom, you’re a prime example of this. 

This next 20-year period from 2024-2043 is governed by Fire energy. Fire is associated with passion, innovation and technology. This will bring more technological change. The advent of AI (artificial intelligence) and blockchain technology (mostly used in cryptocurrency right now) look primed to become the technologies that will permeate our lives over the next 20 years. Haven’t heard about these things yet? You will. 

It’s the Wild West in both of those areas of tech right now, but if you think back to 20 years ago, it was the same in the technological landscape of the time. The internet was still young. Facebook was created in 2004, and YouTube in 2005. Despite them being so common in most people’s lives now, they didn’t even exist in 2004 when the last 20-year period started. 

That should give you some idea of how to think about this. AI and blockchain technology already exist, and are in their infancy. We don’t even know what new technologies will be created next. 

AI and automation will replace a lot of jobs currently done by people. Blockchain technology can replace almost all functions of banks and financial institutions, as well as other types of paper-trail-based transactions, without needing the people currently doing those jobs.

People in these types of jobs are at the most risk of being replaced, and would be wise to learn new skills that can’t be automated. 

If you look at the big picture, there are a lot potential opportunities, but also a lot of potential risk, as in any new field of technology.

Considering the wealth, power and influence of the current tech giants, there is the potential for more consolidation of wealth and power in their hands. Concentrations of wealth and power historically often lead to abuse of that power. 

We also don’t know what will happen. Blockchain technology is exactly the opposite. There is no concentrated power. Transactions on the blockchain happen in a specific chain of events validated by different independent computers, with no human interaction. For the transactions to complete correctly, there is no way to interfere, so it’s a diffusion of power. 

We’ll continue to see the entities with concentrated power fighting to oppose blockchain technology, because it threatens their power and control. This is already happening, and we can expect more of it. Financial institutions like banks are fighting the adoption of cryptocurrencies because it’s a method of exchanging value that they can’t centralize, control and profit from. This implies that there is a good chance we’ll see big changes in the way financial transactions occur in the future. This could sound a bit scary, but if all the middlemen are cut out, what happens to expenses and who makes the profit? Interesting food for thought. 

These are examples. People are already creating these new technologies. There are companies building alternate financial applications on the blockchain, and metaverses and virtual reality environments may become the new social media. Maybe 20 years from now we’ll all be wearing virtual reality glasses and interacting with friends and family members in the metaverse.

I don’t know know how it’s going play out, but I’ve got an inkling of what’s coming. I want to give you an idea of how vast the potential changes could be, so you can be informed and prepare. 

It’s also a given that unless some crazy event knocks out all electronics, social media in some form is here to stay. New technologies present new opportunities to build followings. If you have a business, and think you’ve missed the boat on being an influencer, there is still plenty of opportunity. With us being bombarded with more information from every angle, people will look to those they trust to provide them reliable information. 

That means there is opportunity to build followings of email lists, social media, etc., where people can get to know you and trust you for reliable information. 

An email list is the best, because you own and control it. Nobody can change an algorithm and mess with your list. So if you have a business, and don’t have an email list, it’s time to build one. Make sure to educate people and give them useful information so they get value from it, and you’ll be the one they go to for help.

There will also be opportunities as new social media like metaverses develop. Will we  have virtual storefronts in the metaverse years from now? Who knows, but the first people to adopt these new media may become influencers in those media and gain a new source of customers.

The Year of the Yang Wood Dragon

2024 is the Year of the Yang Wood Dragon. 

Every year is either Yin or Yang, and they alternate. Since 2023 was a Yin year, 2024 is a Yang year. Yang is faster, brighter, more active and powerful than Yin. That already tells us a bit about the year. Big events will be more Yang, so they may be fast and powerful. 

Next, let’s consider the nature of the Dragon before we discuss the elemental natures involved. The Dragon is strong, ambitious, majestic and powerful. It is typically associated with the emperor. The Dragon is considered auspicious, wise and associated with luck and prosperity. 

The Dragon year contains those energies, so there may be opportunities to pursue ambitious goals and succeed at them this year. 

Heaven and Earth

According to Chinese philosophy, we have the concepts of Yin and Yang, and Heaven, Earth and Humanity. The way these energetics combine determines the energy for the year. 

Each year, we have Qi, or energy arriving from Heaven (the universe), and Qi arriving from Earth (the planet). 

In the cosmology of “Heaven, Earth and Humanity”, we the people, being “Humanity”, live in between Heaven and Earth and are affected by their energies and the energy of the year. 

The Heaven energy in 2024 is Wood, and the Earth energy is the Dragon, which is associated with the Earth element (the element, not the planet). 

Since the color green is associated with the Wood element, you may see the year referred to as the Green Dragon.

Nature of the Elements

The Nature of Wood 

We’ve had Wood energy the last two years. It came from the Earth energy (the planet)  of those years. This year, the Wood energy comes from Heaven. 

The atmospheric nature of Wood is wind and warmth. On earth it refers to plants. Since this year is Yang Wood, it’s like big sturdy trees, as opposed to grasses or small plants. 

Yang wind is strong powerful wind, rather than gentle breezes, although we’ll most likely have them, too.

Big trees don’t have the ability to bend like smaller plants, so they can fall down, especially if they have shallow roots in strong wind. This implies that people who cannot bend this year are more susceptible to “breaking”, and people should be cautious to avoid falling. There is the potential for falls this year to break bones. 

Wood is the starting element of the year, and refers to Spring, growth and change. The nature of wind/ Wood is change, since wind never stays in one place. Wood energy is growing, spreading and dispersing. This provides good potential for starting and/ or growing businesses, projects, etc., and sharing it with others. 

Nature of Earth 

Earth is associated with dampness. Its atmospheric nature is clouds and rain. Change is also inherent in this energy, since clouds and rain are always moving and changing. 

On earth (the planet), Earth refers to the actual earth and soil. The damp nature is like mud. Yang earth, though, isn’t a small mud puddle, which would be more of a Yin nature. Yang Earth is big earth, like mountains and giant boulders. Because of the changing and moving nature of both Wood and Earth this year, there is a strong possibility of earthquakes. Because it’s a Yang year, the earthquakes could be big and very damaging. There could also be mudslides and sink holes that involve moving earth. 

We’ve already seen a few earthquakes, even though the energy “officially” changes in February. We know the exact date and time that the energy changes, but it’s not like somebody flips a switch and suddenly it changes. 

The energy starts transitioning before the official new year. Because the Five Elements are always moving and changing, the new energy starts to come up before the official new year date, and particularly in powerful Yang years. As of the official new year, the energy will be fully transitioned to the new energy of the Yang Wood Dragon. 

Implications

Wood and Earth are the two strongest elemental energies this year. 

Wood represents kindness, compassion, healing, and medicine, especially natural medicine. It should be a good year for businesses in these industries, and any other industry related to wood or working with wood, trees, and/ or plants, like farming.

Earth is associated with trust, truth, and the center. It is a harmonizing force. As seasonal energies change within the year, earth comes in and harmonizes the transition from season to season. 

People who are perceived as kind, compassionate and trustworthy have good support from the elements and should do well this year. People and institutions who are not will most likely have a harder time. 

Earth industries like real estate, mining, pottery, and others related to earth should have a good year.  

Fire and Metal are fairly neutral this year.

Water is the weakest element this year. Water industries like plumbing and shipping could suffer, and there could be big problems from storms. 

Weather

As already mentioned, the atmospheric nature of Wood is wind. The Earth element is in charge of clouds and rain, and its nature is dampness. 

When you combine those two elements, that gives a good idea of the weather to expect. Clouds, rain, humidity, and wind. Because it’s a Yang year, there is the potential for big and damaging wind and rainstorms this year, as well as flooding and mudslides.

There could be a lot of damage due to wind, earthquakes and/or mudslides. 

Temperatures should be more normal. Excessive hot weather can be attributed to climate change, rather than the energy of the year.

Emotions

Wood’s negative state of mind is anger, and Earth’s is overthinking and worry. People with Liver and Spleen excesses may be more prone to these emotions, while those with deficiencies in these organs should benefit. 

It’s a Yang year, so the negative emotions could be excessive. It’s likely we’ll see a continuation of the anger that we’ve had over the past several years, but with more overthinking and worry, rather than fear. 

As Water is the weakest element this year, people with Kidney deficiencies could still be fearful. 

But Wood and Earth both like harmony, and the Dragon is bold and courageous. People who take leadership roles that are courageous, trustworthy and promote harmony could gain good support this year. 

Although people may worry about it, there is the possibility of people starting to trust one another again and do more to get along with each other. 

Practices like meditation, Qigong, Yoga, etc., that help calm the mind can help people balance their emotions and be more harmonious. There’s so much change energy this year, that people who have difficulty adapting to change may struggle.

Health

The strongest organs this year will be the Liver (Wood) and Spleen (Earth). Those prone to excess in these organs could have problems, especially when wind and/or dampness are part of the pathology. 

There is the possibility of conditions associated with Liver wind this year, especially in people with excess Liver conditions. For those who tend to have a lot of anger, this could be a challenging year. These people will need calming and relaxing herbs and treatments. 

Any conditions involving wind could move fast and change quickly. They may require more aggressive treatment to stop them.

According to an ancient medical text, the Wood element is associated with falls (think of a tree falling). So people whose balance is not good should be careful.

Due to the wind and dampness, respiratory colds this year will be the wet kind, with mucus. Any conditions involving wind and/or dampness may be exacerbated this year. 

We may see joint problems due to wind and damp.

People with poor diets and digestive issues will have more problems due to dampness. Following a proper diet is important this year. 

The weakest organ this year will be the Kidneys (Water) because both Wood and Earth weaken the Water element. Wood is associated with falling, and the Kidneys generate the bones. People who fall could be more at risk of broken bones this year, especially if they’re older or Kidney deficient. Those with Kidney deficiencies will benefit from tonifying treatments and herbs.

The Heart/ Small Intestine (Fire organs) and the Lungs/ Large Intestine  (Metal) are fairly neutral this year, so we shouldn’t see anything out of the ordinary with those organs.

Final Thoughts

Overall, there are a lot of potential opportunities this year. The Dragon is considered an auspicious year. There is a lot of opportunity in also knowing what the new 20-year cycle brings.

There is strong moving and change energy this year. The Yang nature of the year implies big dramatic changes. If you want or need to make changes in your life, this is the year to do it. 

It is a good year to set and work toward big goals, because the Dragon is a courageous creature. The Wood organs (Liver and Gallbladder) are about analyzing and decision-making. This is a year to consider options, analyze them, and take courageous action. There may be a tendency to overthink because of the strong Earth/Spleen energy. Make sure to avoid getting stuck overthinking. This is a year for action. 

Setting goals alone won’t do anything. With a Yang year, and all of the moving and changing energy, big goals with action specifically toward those goals is the path to success. Make sure to focus on want you want to achieve, rather than blowing around aimlessly like a leaf in the wind.

Remember to stay focused and take focused action. 

It could be a wild Dragon ride. Buckle up and be like a Dragon to take charge of your direction in the winds of change to achieve success and big goals. 

Note because it’s a big misconception: if you were born in a Dragon year, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good year for you. Or a bad one. How the energy of the year affects each individual depends on their Ba Zi or Chinese Astrology chart. “Ba Zi” means “Eight Characters”. Each individual’s chart has the energy of the Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches, for the year, month, day and hour you were born. The year is only one of the eight characters. Most years for most people are a mixed bag, with some years good, and some not so good. 

The energies of Heaven and Earth for the year affect us all. The advantage of forecasts is to know what to expect and how to prepare ourselves and our patients each year, so we can take advantage of opportunities in the year and avoid problems.

Happy New Year of the Dragon!

 

 

 

 

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Health Tips For Fall & Winter

GoldmanWellnessCenter.com

Healthy Habits for Fall & Winter

Each season has its own energy. Adjusting our diet and lifestyle activities to stay in harmony with the seasonal energy can help us to stay in good health. Read on to learn the best health tips for Fall & Winter.

The Energy of Fall & Winter

Even though we live in a temperate climate here in SoCal, and don’t have extreme seasonal changes like other areas, we still do have seasons. If you think about trees that lose their leaves in fall, that gives us a clue about the energy of fall.

The energy of those trees goes down into the earth to rest and recharge in winter, to prepare for the more active growing times of spring and summer. They rest and recharge.

And that’s exactly what we should do. As the days get shorter, it’s best to follow that cycle, rest more, go to bed earlier, and sleep more. 

Keep your more active times to the middle of the day. It’s easier to get burned out overdoing it this time of year. 

Get good sleep. This is not the time of year to sacrifice sleep for “doing more stuff”. Remember we want to recharge our batteries to prepare for next spring and summer’s more active energy, and not getting enough rest now can impact energy levels down the road.

Dietary Tips For Fall & Winter

One of our modern conveniences that messes people up with eating is that we can get most fruits and vegetables all year. It’s best to eat what’s in season where you live.

When you see watermelons in January, they come from Chile, where it’s summer. They are not in season in the northern hemisphere. Watermelons are energetically cold, and mother nature grows them for us when it’s hot to help us cool down in hot weather. People in South America can eat watermelons in January, because it’s their summer.

If watermelons cool us down, what do you think happens if we eat them in winter? It will cool your body and make you feel colder in the cold weather.

Granted, we don’t get all that cold here in San Diego, but bodies adapt to the local climate over time. You know how we can pick out the tourists in shorts in December, when we have down jackets on? That’s because our bodies have adapted to the local climate.

If you don’t know what’s in season locally, look at the labels in the grocery store that tell you where the fresh fruits and vegetables were grown. They have to show that on the labels and packaging.

More grocery stores have sections with locally grown produce. That’s another way to find out what’s in season, along with farmer’s markets.

Foods that are in season in fall and winter tend to be denser, heavier, more nourishing, and have more substance to them, unlike the light fluffy lettuces and such that grow in summer. 

To make it even easier, here’s a list of the kinds of foods in season that are best to eat in fall and winter. 

  • hard winter squashes: pumpkins; squashes like acorn, butternut, kabochas, spaghetti, etc.
  • root vegetables like sweet potatoes, yams, carrots, onions, parsnips, beets 
  • dense winter greens like kale and chard
  • fruits like apples, pears, persimmons, pomegranates and citrus

Sound like stew yet? It should! because that’s the other important point about fall and winter eating: eat more soups, stews, and cooked foods. Avoid salads, smoothies, and too much cold, raw, uncooked foods, as they tend to be cooling. 

In winter it’s best to eat all or almost all of your food warm and cooked. Avoid salads unless it’s made with kale which is warming, unlike lettuces which are cooling.

The energetic temperatures of foods (e.g., watermelon is cold, kale is warming) is a huge topic. If you follow the rule of thumb and eat what grows in season locally, you’ll be on the right track.

Now you know the best health tips for Fall and Winter.

Enjoy!

If you have any questions, just ask!

Posted in Chinese Nutrition, Food, Health, Nutrition | Leave a comment

The Benefits of Far Infrared Therapy

Far Infrared Therapy

The mat you see on the treatment table in the picture above is a Far Infrared Therapy Mat. It’s got up to 21 different layers in it and contains amethyst, jade, and tourmaline crystals. It produces Far Infrared (FIR) heat, hot stone therapy, and produces negative ions (also produced by waves at the beach – they make you feel good). It has advanced EMF shielding for protection.

What is Far Infrared Therapy?

Far infrared therapy is a type of heat therapy that uses FIR to penetrate deep into the body’s tissues, muscles, and bones. The heat can penetrate up to 8 inches into the body.

This heat is absorbed by the body and has been shown to increase blood circulation, reduce inflammation, and stimulate the immune system. It also promotes relaxation, relieves stress, and improves overall health.

Far infrared therapy (FIR) works by emitting far infrared light, which is a type of electromagnetic wave that has longer wavelengths than visible light. So you can’t see the light it produces. The Mat has advanced EMF shielding and protection, so there’s no danger from EMFs.

The Benefits of FIR

  • Reduces Stress and Fatigue: FIR therapy is known to reduce stress and fatigue by promoting relaxation and improving overall well-being. It can help reduce the levels of cortisol, a hormone associated with stress, and increase the levels of endorphins, which are natural painkillers and mood boosters.
  • Improves Blood Circulation: FIR therapy can improve blood circulation by increasing the production of nitric oxide, a natural chemical that helps widen blood vessels and improve blood flow. This can help reduce the risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and stroke.
  • Relieves Pain and Inflammation: FIR therapy can relieve pain and inflammation by increasing blood flow to the affected area and reducing swelling. It is commonly used to treat chronic pain conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and back pain.
  • Boosts Immune System: FIR therapy can stimulate the immune system by increasing the production of white blood cells and antibodies, which are essential for fighting off infections and diseases. This can help reduce the risk of infections and improve overall health.
  • Detoxifies the Body: FIR therapy can help detoxify the body by increasing sweating and promoting the elimination of toxins through the skin. This can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve overall health.
  • Promotes Weight Loss: FIR therapy can promote weight loss. It is known to be effective in reducing cellulite and belly fat, which is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. By heating up the cells to a certain temperature, they’ll dump fat into the surrounding tissue that can then be transported out of the body. FIR and red light therapy are the only scientifically proven natural way to get rid of cellulite. 
  • Improves Skin Health: FIR therapy can improve skin health by increasing blood flow to the skin and promoting the production of collagen, a protein that is essential for healthy skin. It can also reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and improve overall skin texture and tone.

 

The mat lives on the treatment table and is included in all treatments!

My patients are loving the mat. Nobody wants to get off the treatment table because it’s so relaxing!

Several people have asked about getting their own mat, so here’s the link if you want to check it out. Here’s a link to the one I have in the office. It comes in different sizes and there are mats with different crystals and features. I like this one the best. It’s on sale at the moment, and the price is great. They’re normally 2-4 times higher (or more) in price, so it’s a screaming deal.

They have other mats, in different sizes, so look around their website to see what works best for you. If you have questions, let me know. I’m glad to help.

Click here to check out all of their mats.

If you haven’t tried the FIR mat yet, come in and try it out. It’s the best and fastest way to de-stress!

You can schedule a 30-minute stress reduction session to try it out.

The mat is also an integral part of body sculpting, which is a natural and safe way to get rid of cellulite. No dangers of liposuction, fat freezing, etc. For more information about Body sculpting, click here.

Note: The Far Infrared Mat cannot be used if you are pregnant, or have a pacemaker.

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2023: Year of The Water Rabbit

 

Happy New Year!

January 22, 2023 is the Lunar New Year of the Yin Water Rabbit, following the Yang Water Tiger Year in 2022. The energy of the two years is in some ways similar, and in some ways opposite. Both years share the energy of Water and Wood.

The biggest difference is that last year was a Yang year and this year is a Yin year. Yin and Yang are opposites, and we really see the difference in these two years. Yang is strong, bold, and powerful, whereas Yin tends to be more quiet, calm, and reserved. 

We see this clearly in the nature of the animal of each year. 

Look at the contrast between the two animals representing the energy of Wood: the Tiger (Yang) and the Rabbit (Yin). They’re pretty extreme opposites. One is a top-of-the-food-chain aggressive predator, and the other is a shy prey animal. That’s a pretty extreme contrast.

Let’s start by looking at the nature of these two animals to give us a sense of the year to come.

Tigers are fast and aggressive when they have bursts of energy and are not sleeping. Interestingly, Rabbits also tend to sleep and sit still a lot, and also have bursts of energy. Because they are prey animals, rabbits can move fast when they need to, but they don’t do it too much because that attracts the attention of potential predators.

I have good friends with a pet rabbit and have had lots of opportunities to observe its behavior. Observing animals and their behavior is the best way to learn about their nature and thus learn about the nature of the animal energy of the year.

Rabbits are very sweet, gentle animals; the opposite of Tigers. So that’s our first clue about the energy of 2023. Being prey animals, they also tend to hide and stay very quiet and calm. But they can also get nervous very quickly. Think about it: rabbits are prey for land hunters and large birds, so they’re vulnerable from land and air. That’s why they can get nervous easily and tend to stay quiet and hide.

So, does that mean you need to hide in 2023? No! We’re analyzing the nature of the animal to understand the nature of the year’s energy. The main characteristics are quiet, calm, and gentle. After the craziness of the last three years, that’ll be a welcome change!

It will be a good year to get some quiet and gentleness back into our lives. To stay in harmony with the Qi of the year, make sure to take time to be quiet and get and/or keep your life in balance.

After all the negative emotions of the last few years, it looks like 2023 will be a year where finally people may become kinder and gentler with each other. Gentleness is one of the main characteristics of Rabbits. Focus on being kind and gentle with others and it will probably be rewarded.

One could also say that Rabbits are productive since they’re known for producing large litters quickly – you know the saying about “breeding like rabbits”? That means they’re producing, so it should be a very productive year!

Analysis

Lunar New Year 2023 arrives on January 22nd and brings us the Year of the Yin Water Rabbit. You may also see it referred to as the Black Rabbit since black is the color of Water.

Let’s dive in and analyze on a deeper level.

According to Chinese philosophy, we have the concepts of Yin and Yang, and Heaven, Earth, and Humanity. The way these elements combine determines the energy for the year.

Every year is either Yin or Yang, plus the energy of Heaven and the energy of Earth. We’re the Humanity that lives between Heaven and Earth.

Heaven and Earth

Yin and Yang alternate, so there will never be two Yin or two Yang years in a row.

Last year was a Yang Water year, so we know 2023 must be a Yin year. There can, however, be the same elements two years in a row because of the cyclical nature of the Heaven and Earth energies. They don’t usually match up, but they do for 2022 and 2023.

As it happens, this year we have the same Heaven and Earth energies as last year: Water and Wood.

The Heaven energy is Water. In the Chinese Zodiac the Rabbit follows the Tiger and represents Yin Wood.

Combined, that gives us the Yin Water Rabbit.

The Heavenly energy this year is Water, and the Earthly energy is the Rabbit, which represents the Wood element. Notice that there are two animals for Wood, the Tiger, and the Rabbit, which represent the Yang and Yin aspects of the Wood Earth energy.

We the people, live in between Heaven and Earth and are affected by their energies and the energy of the year.

Parents and Children

Let’s first consider the relationship between the Heaven and Earth energies of Water and Wood. According to the Yi Jing (AKA the I Ching or Book of Changes), Yang gives birth to Yin, meaning Heaven gives birth to Earth. This year, the Heaven energy is Water and the Earth energy is Wood.

In the five Elements creation/production cycle, Water gives birth to Wood, or is the parent of Wood. Since our elements in 2023 are Water and Wood, we have a parent-child relationship, which is the natural and harmonious flow of Qi.

The parent “gives birth to” and supports the child. This is the natural relationship between the elements and there is no conflict between them.

We have the correct order of flow between Heaven and Earth, and within the Five Elements cycle, with no conflicts or counter-flow between them. This is harmonious.

What Does This Mean?

Since Heaven is “above us” (the sky and heavens are up above us), it relates to things and/or people “above” us, or that have power over us. This can mean parents, bosses, or entities such as the government that generally have some sort of power or control over us.

The last few years have not been harmonious, but 2023 bodes well for improved relationships between those “above” us and those “below.” The natural flow of energy in the relationship between these two elements means there should be more support from those above to those below, just like a parent supports a child.

In 2023, we should expect more gentle support and the “parents and children” to get along well. Since the nature of the Rabbit is shy and gentle, we can hope for less aggressive relationships between governments and citizens, employers and employees, and parents and children.

Tigers are big, bad, and proud apex predators that may huff and puff about how big and bad they are. We should see a different attitude this year. This year we should see more of an attitude like “I’m a soft cuddly Rabbit, aren’t I nice? Please don’t eat me.” Taking that approach with people will serve much better overall this year. 

That’s not to say you need to act scared or like prey. It just means that a gentle approach should work better this year than huffing and puffing and roaring. 

Nature of the Elements

The Nature of Wood / Rabbit

The Rabbit should be quiet for the most part. Make sure to take time to be at peace and keep life in balance, and advise your patients to do the same.

Next, let’s consider the nature of the Yin Wood element represented by the Rabbit. Yin Wood is like flowers, bushes, grass, and small trees or bamboo. They’re flexible, yielding, and bending, unlike Yang Wood which represents big, sturdy, unbending trees.

Yin plants are calm unless something external affects them, like a storm. Because they’re Yin Wood, they can be flexible and not break under pressure. Be flexible and be prepared for changes and new opportunities.

Between the calming influence of the Rabbit and its Yin Wood nature, overall, it should be a quiet, productive year. But Rabbits, being prey, can be startled easily and run to hide. Remember to be flexible. Any startling events shouldn’t be too bad because there is so much harmonious energy this year.

Nature of Water

The Water energy in 2023 is Yin water. The nature of Water is cold, and also represents actual water. In the case of Yin Water, it represents clouds, dew and mist, rather than bodies of water like oceans, rivers, etc.

Implications

When we look at the Water and Wood together, because of the harmonious parent-child relationship, they should get along well.

Water gives birth to Wood. We water plants to feed and nourish them so they’ll grow. Wood needs Water to grow and thrive. This is harmonious.

Wood also is the start of Spring and the beginning of the new year’s energy cycle. This year will be a good year to start new things, so if you’re thinking of beginning a project or business, or planting a garden, this is a good year to do it. There is good support for them to grow and thrive.

Whereas the Tiger was good for big, audacious goals, the Rabbit nature favors smaller projects that can be incubated and completed quickly, like rabbits having fast, frequent litters of babies.

That doesn’t mean avoiding big projects or goals. Break them down into small manageable steps this year.

Wood also represents kindness, compassion, healing, and medicine. The Rabbit nature favors gentle medicine like herbal medicine, rather than the dramatics of the Tiger. It should be a good year for businesses in these industries, and any other industry related to wood or working with wood, trees, and/or plants, like food or farming.

Water industries like plumbing and shipping should be strong, although there could be problems from storms. If they are affected by storms, it will be milder than last year.

Metal is again the weakest element this year, so industries associated with metal, metal-working, and/or that use metal may suffer. Metal is also associated with truth and justice, so it may not be a good year for progress in those areas. That doesn’t mean we won’t see any truth or justice, just that they’ll have a harder time this year because the element is weak.

Weather

According to ancient Chinese texts, the atmospheric nature of Wood is wind. The Earth element is in charge of clouds and rain. But because Yin Water is more like clouds, mist, and dew, the weather will be more like an Earth year, even though Water’s nature is cold. It may or may not be in the form of rain. More likely we’ll have mist, fog, and humidity, with cold and wind.

Expect temperatures to be on the cool side all year, and very cold in winter.

There is potential for big winter storms, because the Water element is cold and associated with winter. Tornadoes could also be frequent because of the wind, and because it’s a Yin year, they should be less severe than last year.

Storms like hurricanes and typhoons that combine wind and water could be particularly damaging. But overall, they should be less damaging than last year because of the milder Yin nature of the Rabbit.

Spring is associated with the Wood element and wind, so there could also be bad storms involving wind, or damage from wind, without the water involved. Again, these should be milder due to the Yin nature of the year.

Caveat: Global warming has noticeably affected the weather the last several years. We see the effects of this as unseasonal weather that is out of character for the year.

However, the predictions are still fairly accurate overall so we can use them as a guide. This is what the weather should be like in general, but any excessive weather that is out of character like severe hurricanes or very hot weather can be attributed to global warming, rather than the energy of the year.

Emotions

Wood’s negative state of mind is anger, and Water’s is fear. People with Liver and Kidney excesses may be more prone to these emotions, while those with deficiencies in these organs should benefit.

However, since it’s a Yin year, the negative emotions should be more benign, and we should see less extreme anger and fear than in the last several years.

Water (fear) gives birth to Wood (anger). We may see some anger this year, especially if people are scared. Rabbits are timid creatures and if scared will sit very still or run and hide. They will bite, but it takes a lot to get them this upset. Any anger we do see should be short and fairly mild due to the Yin year and the nature of the Rabbit.

It’s unlikely to be a violent year overall, since Metal, which is associated with violence, is weak this year.

Wood’s nature is wind. Wind represents change, because wind is always moving and never stays in one place. Unlike the big changes we saw last year (e.g., post-pandemic opening, many lifestyle aspects changed), the changes should be more subtle. Since it’s a Rabbit year, we could hop from one small change to another, rather than the dramatic Yang changes of last year.

Wood’s positive mental state is kindness and compassion, and Water’s is wisdom. I’m not sure how much of that we saw last year, but we should continue in the same direction this year.

Rabbits are still and quiet a lot of their time. Continue practices like meditation, Qigong, Yoga, etc., that help calm the mind and develop stillness, compassion and wisdom.

If you teach any of these disciplines, it’s a good year to share them and help others. There is strong support for these practices again this year.

Health

The strongest organs this year will be the Liver (Wood) and Kidneys (Water). Those prone to excess in these organs could have problems, especially when Wind and/or Cold are part of the pathology.

There is the possibility of strokes and conditions associated with Liver Wind this year, especially in people with excess Liver conditions. Those who tend to have a lot of anger should be cautious because this could be a more dangerous year for them. These people will need calming and relaxing herbs and treatments.

The Wood element is associated with falling down; like a tree might fall. So, people whose balance is not good should be extra careful. The strong Water energy this year should help those with weak bones (Kidneys), but they should still be careful to avoid falling.

People with Yang deficiencies and/or cold in the body will need warming herbs this year, and we may also see more joint problems due to Wind, Cold, and/or Damp.

There may also be problems with Dampness due to the Yin Water nature of mist and dew. This should benefit people with problems due to Dryness. It could be a problem though, for those with Dampness, especially combined with Wind and/or Cold. This refers to dampness in general, including, but not necessarily just joint problems. Any organs affected by the dampness and/or cold could be affected.

The weakest organ this year will be the Lungs (Metal) because both Water and Wood weaken the Metal element. Those with weak Lungs will continue to benefit from Lung tonic herbs.

It’s a Water year, so we should see more patterns featuring Cold rather than Dampness because the Earth element, associated with Dampness, is weak. But due to the nature of Yin Water, we’re likely to see external colds and respiratory illnesses with Dampness and coughing.

Cold should be the bigger issue. The dampness is potentially an issue because it’s a Yin Water year. We would see dampness, rather than dryness, because of the Water energy. Remember, Water’s nature is cold, but because it also refers to water in the form of clouds and mist, there is the possibility of dampness.

The Earth element is weak this year because both Water and Wood weaken Earth. The Earth organs may need some support, especially in people with weak digestion and improper diet. Following a correct diet is important, as well as strengthening Spleen, Stomach and digestion.

The Heart/ Small Intestine (Fire organs) are fairly neutral this year, so we shouldn’t see anything out of the ordinary with those organs.

The Yin Wood Rabbit is much gentler than the dramatics of the Tiger, so focus on balance and maintaining health. It will be a good year to help patients focus on gentle health maintenance.

Final Thoughts

In general, it looks like we’ve got an even better year ahead and may start to see more positive changes happen.

The advantage of forecasts is to know what to expect and how to prepare ourselves and our patients each year, so we can stay in harmony with the year and avoid problems.

Note, because it’s a big misconception: if you were born in a Rabbit year, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good year for you. Or a bad one. How the energy of the year affects each individual depends on their Ba Zi /Chinese Astrology chart. Most years for most people are a mixed bag.

The universal energies of Heaven and Earth affect us all. We can change the world for the better by creating positive change in our little corner of the world and then it ripples outward. We can all help by being sources of wisdom, kindness, gentleness and compassion in the world. There is great support from the universe for it this year.

I wish you good health, long life, peace, prosperity and happiness.

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6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Change Your Life & Stop Worrying

 

6 Things You Can Do Right Now to Change Your Life and Stop Worrying

Worry gets into all the crevices of our lives. We worry about our jobs, our kids, our relationships, money, and a million other things every single day. It’s no wonder we feel like we’re not getting things done the way we’d like.

Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be this way. To change your life and stop worrying, ask yourself these quick questions:

What Are You Really Worried About?

Many times, worry is a mask for something else entirely. A hard look and some pointed questions might be necessary to get to the heart of the matter. On the other hand, once you have a clear understanding of what the real issue is, it’s easier to address the problem and stamp out the worry completely.

Is This Even Possible?

Worry inflates everything to monster proportions. If your worry seems slightly ridiculous, it probably is. Take a step back and ask yourself just how likely this outcome is. Worry can’t stand up under this kind of scrutiny.

Is This Something I Can Control?

We’re very good at worrying about something we can’t change. Seriously, what difference does it make if it snows tomorrow? Nothing we do can keep the flakes from falling. Accept sometimes you’re just going to have to go with the flow and adapt to the circumstances.

Does this Affect Me Today?

Worries about the future can really derail your life today. If you’re worried about something far off, it’s time to take a step back. Ask yourself a fundamental follow-up question if you’re concerned about the future: “Is there something I can do today that will prevent this outcome tomorrow?” If so, now you have a plan of action. Get to it!

Am I Spending Too Much Time?

Obsessive worry doesn’t help anyone. If you find yourself circling back to the same concern over and over, you might need help breaking out of this cycle. Consider talking to someone, such as a good friend or even a counselor or trained professional, to help you break out of this vicious cycle.

Why Do I Care What Others Think?

If you’re worried about the opinions of others, why? If you’re concerned about impressing your boss, there are better ways to do this than worrying. More often than not, though, you’re going to find most people’s opinions really don’t matter. Don’t let them get to you.

Once you have the answers to these questions, you’ll find it’s easy to get your thoughts back on track. Worry becomes a thing of the past when we’re mindful of it, and don’t let it become obsessive. Imagine the difference a life without so much worry will make.

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2022: Year of the Water Tiger

2022: Year of the Water Tiger

Lunar New Year 2022 arrives on February 1st and brings us the Year of the Yang Water Tiger. The energy actually changes on February 4th. You may also see it referred to as the Black Tiger, since black is the color of Water in Chinese energetics.

What does the Tiger have in store for 2022?

According to Chinese philosophy, we have the concepts of Yin and Yang, and Heaven, Earth and Humanity. The way these elements combine determines the energy for the year.

[Note: If you want to skip the technical part, just skip this section. It’s here for people who understand and/or want more info. 🙂  ]

Heaven and Earth

Every year is either Yin or Yang, and they alternate, so there will never be two Yin or two Yang years in a row.

Last year was Yin Metal Ox, so we know 2022 must be a Yang year.

The element that precedes the specific animal is the Heaven energy, or the Heavenly Stem. (“Heaven” is not meant in any religious sense. It means the sky/universe, as opposed to the energy of the planet.)

The animal represents the Earth energy, or the Earthly Branch.

The Heavenly Stem this year is Water, and the Earthly Branch is the Tiger, or Wood element.

In the cosmology of “Heaven, Earth and Humanity”, we the people, being “Humanity”, live in between Heaven and Earth. Because we’re just little people living in between the gigantic energies of the planet and the universe, we’re affected by them and the changing energy every year.
 

Parents and Children

Let’s first consider the relationship between the Heaven and Earth energies of Water  and Wood. Heaven, or Yang, gives birth to Earth, or Yin, so we have the Heaven energy of Water giving birth to Wood. This is the natural and proper flow of Qi.

In the five Elements creation/ production cycle, Water gives birth to Wood, or is the parent of Wood. Since our elements in 2022 are Water and Wood, we have a second parent-child relationship, which is again the natural flow of energy, so they should get along well.

The parent “gives birth to” and supports the child. This a natural and harmonious relationship between the elements and there is no conflict between them.

We have the correct order of flow between Heaven and Earth, and within the Five Elements cycle with no conflicts or counter-flow between them.

What Does This Mean?

Since Heaven is “above us” (the sky and heavens are up above us), it relates to things/ people “above” us, or that have power over us. This can mean parents, bosses or the government, that generally have some sort of power or control over us.

The last couple of years have not been harmonious, but 2022 bodes well for improved relationships between those “above” us, and those “below”. The natural flow of energy in the relationship between these two elements means there should be more support from those above to those below, just like a parent supports a child.

We can expect to see things shift from the attitudes of 2021 where employers and governments tried to over-control people, and the people weren’t having it, because that was the energy present at the time. Some of the effects of this energy that come to mind are the shortage of employees and many unfilled job openings. The “children”/ employees didn’t want excess control, so they quit.

In 2022, we should expect more peaceful support and the “parents and children” getting along better. Employers should start to treat their employees better, so we may see more job openings filled in the coming months as employees feel better supported.

Nature of the Elements

The Nature of Wood / Tiger

Now let’s consider the nature of the Tiger. It’s a big cat. If you’re a cat person, or live with a cat, you understand the nature of the Tiger. (I’m owned by a cat, and he’s on my lap right now helping me write this.)

Cats are highly intelligent and generally represented as regal, especially the big cats like tigers. They are the rulers of the universe in their own minds.

Since cats are meticulous about their grooming and appearance, being well-groomed this year will be expected. The opposite look may be detrimental for success this year.

Cats sleep most of the day, and when awake, may chill out or have intense bursts of energy. They can sometimes be a bit demanding when they’re awake and want something.

Think of tigers in the wild. They sleep, hunt (big burst of intense energy), eat, meticulously groom themselves, and sleep some more, with maybe some play time in between. They’re sprinters, rather than distance runners.

Next, we need to consider the nature of the Yang Wood element, because the Tiger represents it. Yang Wood is like a big tree, like a Redwood or Giant Sequoia. They’re not flexible like smaller trees or plants, but hard and unbending.

The nature of the Earth energy in 2022 will be like a cat. It should be sleepy /calm most of the time, with periods of intense sprints of activity.

It may be somewhat demanding to keep up with when it happens, because it may be unyielding, but remember, it’s a cat, and will want a nap sooner rather than later. The intense periods should be short.

Plan for this and take care of yourself so when the bursts of intensity come you can flow with it. Then take a nap. Be a like a cat to stay in harmony with the energy.

Trees are also calm unless something external affects them, like a storm. Trees are considered to be in alignment with Heaven and Earth and are very tranquil. That’s one reason it feels good to be in a forest or near trees. 2022 is an excellent time to be in nature with trees. This calming influence of big trees (Yang Wood) should also bring some calming energy to the year.

Nature of Water

The Water energy in 2022 is Yang water. Yang Water is like the ocean, the Great Lakes or a very large river like the Amazon, Mississippi, or Yangtze. It’s big, powerful water. We’re not talking about puddles or clouds or mist, but its exact opposite.

It can be powerful, washing away everything in its path, when it’s stirred up.

Implications

When we look at the Water and Wood together, because of the harmonious parent-child relationship, they should get along fairly well. The intense times may be like a parent saying “go clean your room”, but then should calm again. It’s not necessarily a bad thing, just intense.

Water gives birth to Wood. We water plants to feed and nourish them so they’ll grow. Wood needs Water to grow and thrive. This is harmonious.

Wood also is the start of Spring and the new year. This year will be a good year to start and grow new things, so if you’re thinking of starting or growing anything, this is a good year to do it. There is good support for it to grow and thrive. It should be good for new and growing businesses.

Wood also represents kindness, compassion, healing, and medicine, especially herbal medicine. It should be a good year for business in these industries, and any other industry related to wood or working with wood, trees, and/ or plants, like food or farming.

Water industries like plumbing and shipping should be strong, although there could be problems from storms.

Metal is the weakest element this year, so industries associated with metal, metal-working, and/or use metal may suffer. Metal is also associated with truth and justice, so it may not be a good year for progress in those areas. That doesn’t mean we won’t see any truth or justice, just that they’ll have a harder time this year because the element is weak.

Weather

According to ancient Chinese texts, the atmospheric nature of Wood is wind. The nature of Water is cold, and also represents actual water, like oceans, rivers, etc. It refers to water, rather than rain, because the Earth element is in charge of clouds and rain. So even though it’s a water year, that doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll have excessive rain. The Water element is more about coldness.

That tells us about what sort of weather to expect: cold and windy is a good summary.

Temperatures may be on the cool side all year, and very cold in winter. (Caveat: global warming does have an effect, so it’s become a little more challenging to predict. This is what the weather should be like in general, but any excessive heat can be attributed to global warming, rather than the energy of the year.)

Because it’s a Yang year, the winds will be strong and the cold in winter may be severe, especially if there is wind involved.

There is potential for devastating winter storms, because the Water element is cold and associated with winter. Tornadoes could also be frequent and severe because of the wind. Storms like hurricanes and typhoons that combine wind and water could be particularly damaging.

Spring is associated with the Wood element and wind, so there could also be bad storms involving wind, or damage from wind, without the water involved.

Emotions

According to the ancient texts, Wood’s negative state of mind is anger, and Water’s is fear. People with Liver and Kidney excesses may be more prone to these emotions, while those with deficiencies in these organs should benefit.

A lot of people’s Kidney Qi has been damaged by the ongoing fear state of the pandemic. It’s possible the strong Water energy, associated with the Kidneys, should help strengthen the Kidneys and lessen the fear this year.

As humans, we’re affected by both the Heaven and Earth energy, but because we live on the Earth, we’re more affected by the earth energy, which is Wood. Water (fear) gives birth to Wood (anger). We may start to see anger this year, particularly related to ongoing restrictions or things related to the pandemic, especially if people are scared. It may be that people become tired of the fear and this generates anger, especially when the fear is generated by those “above”.

It’s unlikely to be violent, as Metal, which is associated with violence, is weak this year.

Wood’s nature is wind, which represents change, because wind is always moving and never stays in one place. We’ll most likely see some change this year, especially regarding issues people are angry about. It is possible there may be big changes, because it’s a Yang year and that always makes the elements more powerful.

Wood’s positive mental state is kindness and compassion, and Water’s is wisdom. It’s possible we’ll see a shift in attitudes more in this direction. Practices like meditation, Qigong, etc., that help calm the mind and develop kindness and wisdom will be especially beneficial. There is strong support for it this year, and they can help shift people from anger and fear to the positive mental states of kindness, compassion and wisdom.

Health

The strongest organs this year will be the Liver (Wood) and Kidneys (Water). Those prone to excess in these organs could have problems, especially when wind and/or cold are part of the pathology.

There is the possibility of more strokes and conditions like MS and Parkinson’s this year. Be cautious if you tend to have a lot of anger, especially if you have high blood pressure, because this may be a more dangerous year for those in this situation. These people will need more calming and relaxing herbs and treatments. Anger management and relaxation are very important for these people.

According to the ancient books, the Wood element is also associated with falls (think of a tree falling). So people whose balance is not good should be very careful. The strong Water energy this year should help those with weak bones (Kidneys), but they should still be very careful to avoid falling.

People with Yang deficiencies and/or cold in the body will need warming herbs this year.

The weakest organ this year will be the Lungs (Metal) because both Water and Wood weaken the Metal element. Those with weak Lungs will need strengthening.

Even though it’s a water year, we should see more cold than dampness, and the Earth element, associated with Dampness is weak. We’ll most likely see more external wind-cold attacks than colds with dampness. This bodes well for coming out of the Covid situation, where the excessive dampness was the primary pathogen.

People with ongoing Lung deficiencies from Covid will need Lung tonic herbs to help them recover faster.

If people have problems with dampness, it will be more from weak digestion and improper diet than from external sources like weather. Correct diet is important, as well as strengthening Spleen and Stomach and digestion.

The Earth element is weak in 2022, so more support may be needed in this area.

The Heart/ Small Intestine (Fire organs) are fairly neutral this year, so we shouldn’t see anything out of the ordinary with those organs.

Final Thoughts

In general, I think we’ve got a better year ahead and may start to see some positive changes happen. The last couple of years were tough ones, as we all know. It wasn’t fun to put the bad news out there. And, the energy is what it is. I’m only the interpreter analyzing what ancient Chinese teachings tell us about the nature of Yin, Yang and the Five Elements. Over the ten or more years I’ve been doing these predictions, they’ve been fairly accurate. That’s the gift from our ancestors and the power of our medicine and the philosophy it’s based on.

The advantage of having this information is to know what to expect and how to prepare. We’re forewarned, and know what to expect for ourselves and with my patients each year, so we can prepare, stay in harmony with the year, and avoid problems.

Just a note, because it’s a big misconception: if you were born in a Tiger year, it doesn’t necessarily mean it’s a good year for you. Or a bad one. How the energy of the year affects each individual is dependent on each person’s Ba Zi /Chinese Astrology chart. Most years for most people are a mixed bag.

This analysis is of the universal energies of Heaven and Earth that affect us all. My personal hope is that the wisdom of Water and the kindness and compassion of Wood will prevail, or at least show up, as they’ve been missing in action for a while now!

We can all help by being sources of wisdom, kindness and compassion in the world, and not letting fear and/or anger take over. There is great support from the universe for it this year.

 

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2021 – Year of the Metal Ox

2021 – Year of the Metal Ox

Lunar New Year in 2021 brings the Year of the Metal Ox. After 2020, I’m sure we’re all glad to say goodbye to the pesky Rat! 

Lunar New Year this year is on February 12th. The energy actually changes on February 4th. There are different calendars – solar, lunar, etc., and the explanation is complicated, so just go with it. February 4th is actually the start of Spring and the new year. 

Let’s analyze what the Ox has in store.

According to Chinese philosophy, we have the concepts of Yin and Yang, and Heaven, Earth and Humanity. These are the building blocks of the universe. 

Heaven and Earth

Every year, the energy of the year is determined by the energy of Heaven and Earth. We the people, being “Humanity”, live in between Heaven and Earth and are affected by their energy and the energy of the year. 

The Heaven energy for 2021 is Metal. 2020 was also a Metal year, because we have a Yin year and a Yang year of each element. 2020 was Yang Metal. 2021 is Yin Metal. Thus we have the year of the Yin Metal Ox. 

You may see the year referred to as the White Ox, since the color of Metal is white, and some people refer to the Heavenly Qi/ energy by color. 

The Earth energy in 2021 is the Ox. In the five elements of Chinese philosophy, the Ox is associated with the element of Earth, so the Earth energy is Earth. That might seem a bit confusing. In the five elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, the Ox is an Earth animal. The Rat was a Water animal.

So the Earth energy this year is… Earth. The Earth (the big round ball we live on) gets along best with its own element, rather than an element that weakens or drains it. So the Earth energy of the Ox is in harmony with the big Earth energy, because they’re both Earth. That’s good. Any time there’s a conflict between the Heaven and Earth energies, it makes it harder for us, the little people who live between those two giant energetic forces. 

Parents and Children

We also need to consider the relationship between the Heaven and Earth energies of Metal and Earth. In the five Elements energetic cycle, Earth gives birth to Metal, or is the parent of Metal. Since our elements in 2021 are Metal and Earth, we have a parent-child relationship, so they should get along. The only issue is that Heaven in general is “above” earth, or considered to be in a superior or parental position to Earth, which is considered “below”, or subordinate to Heaven. If you think about it, it makes sense, since Heaven, or the Universe, is much, much bigger than one small planet of earth.

But the Heaven energy in 2021 is Metal, which is the child of Earth, and a backward relationship. Even though they are parent and child, the backward nature of this relationship may mean that the child tries to control the parent. 

It’s unlikely to succeed, though. Because the Earth energy is Earth, Earth is very strong in 2021. The parent Earth is strong enough to resist any attempts by the Metal, the child, to control it. This will drain the Earth a little, from having to exert a bit of effort to resist an over-controlling child. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, since the Earth energy is so strong, they should balance each other out somewhat. 

What Does This Mean?

Since Heaven is “above us” (the sky and heavens are up above us), it relates to things/ people “above” us, or that have power over us. This can mean parents, bosses or the government, that generally have some sort of power or control over us. 

The implication is that those in power “above” us may try to control us, but because the Earth energy is so strong, it won’t work. Because we live on Earth (the planet), we’re more affected by the double Earth energy. That makes the people “below”  stronger and able to resist any attempt by those “above” to control us. 

Earth is a harmonizing element and likes to get along with everybody. So any attempts by those “above” to control, will most likely be resisted, and told in no uncertain terms to find a way to work together. 

Nature of the Elements

First, let’s consider the nature of the Ox. Oxen are hard-working animals that work well with others and in teams. They get hard tasks done. They’re also basically cows. Cows are fairly relaxed animals. They hang out in the sun, graze on grass, and chew their cud. They can be a little stubborn at times, but when they work, they work, and when they relax, they relax. So overall, the Ox year should be a good year to work well with others to get hard tasks done, and in between, be able to chill out and relax. 

Nature of Metal 

Metal is hard and can be sharp and violent. It won’t be as bad as 2020, though. 2020 was a Yang Metal year. Yang Metal is like a big sword, or a steel girder that holds up buildings – very strong and inflexible. 

Yin Metal is softer and more flexible – more like a butter knife or metal jewelry. So even though there is the potential for some violence, if it happens, it will be mild. People should be less stern and more flexible this year. 

Metal is also in charge of justice, and defining right and wrong. Think of the scales of justice – they’re made of metal, which is exactly their nature. 

Nature of Earth

The Ox is an Earth animal. Earth’s character is harmony, trust and tranquility. The Earth Element is in charge of transformation and transportation. We see this in the body through the Earth’s transformation of food in digestion. 

Implications

When we combine the natures of Metal and Earth, we have an idea of the character of the year. Because we live on Earth, and are more affected by the Earth’s energy, it should be a much more calm and peaceful year. We can expect people to work together to promote harmony, transformation and justice. And we can expect people to be more flexible and trusting than the sharpness and rigidity we saw in 2020. Most likely, we will see a continuation of the movements to transform and right old wrongs and promote more justice, equality and harmony, because that’s the nature of the energy this year.

Since Earth is the center, and represents the cooking fire, it can also represent the home. Because of its transformation and transportation functions, we’ll probably see people continue to transform their homes, as well as people continuing to move to new homes. 

Weather

According to an ancient Chinese medical text, Metal’s nature is dry and cool. And even though its nature is dryness, it’s also in charge of fog and dew. In Metal years, we tend to have a weird dichotomy of dry weather and humidity. 

Earth creates dampness and is in charge of clouds and rain. When excessive, it can cause flooding. Because the earth energy is so strong this year, there is the potential for big rain storms and flooding. 

As for temperatures, Earth is neutral in temperature, and takes on the nature of its companion element of Metal. Since Metal is cool by nature, temperatures should be more on the cool side. Weather will most likely tend toward cool, damp and rainy.  

We can have earthquakes in Earth years. Because it’s a Yin year, they should be on the smaller, mild side. If they do happen with wet, rainy weather, there could be mudslides. 

Emotions

Metal’s state of mind is anxiety. Grief and depression are also associated with the Lungs (which are the Metal Element organ). We certainly saw a lot of that in 2020, where the Yang Metal made those emotions worse. We’ll continue to see more of the same in 2021, although maybe not as severe. But the emotions of Earth are overthinking and worry, and the Earth energy is very strong in 2021. So even though there may be a bit less anxiety, there will be more overthinking and worry. 

Water is also strong this year, so we’ll still see fear, which is the emotion of Water. It’s not quite as strong as it was in 2020, so hopefully, the fear will subside some. 

Fire is the weakest organ in 2021, and its emotion is joy. With all of the other emotions just mentioned, it may be harder for some people to feel joy. Deliberately doing things that make you happy will make it easier this year.

One of the best things we can do is to relieve stress and do things that help you relax and be calm. Practicing Qigong, meditation, and anything that calms the emotions will continue to be very important. And play time, of course! Many  adults don’t make enough time for play and doing things simply because it makes them happy. 

Health

Unfortunately, 2021 isn’t going to help us get out of the Covid situation. (It should be better in 2022.) Because of the strong Metal and Earth energies, we’re still looking at the potential for Lung excesses with dampness. Colds and flus will be on the damp side, rather than the dry side. 

Interestingly, the ancient texts also says Metal can cause aging and falling. So older people will still be more at risk this year.

There’s also potential for Spleen/digestive and Intestinal problems with dampness. Focusing on a proper diet will be important not only to keep the body and immune system strong, but to avoid digestive problems with dampness.

The weakest Element this year is Fire. Fire was also weak in 2020, so we’re still likely to see people with heart problems and obesity (Spleen dampness) continue be those most susceptible to more severe cases of Covid.

Since Fire is weak, patients with Heart deficiency conditions will need more support. And the Small Intestine will be susceptible to dampness and deficiencies. 

Wood is weak this year. People who have Liver and/or Gallbladder deficiencies will need more strengthening. 

Water is fairly neutral this year, so there shouldn’t be anything out of the ordinary with the Water organs. 

Business

Because Earth is strong, industries related to earth should do well. That’s good for real estate, home improvement, decorating, and construction. Other industries like pottery that use earth should also fare well.

Metal is also strong, so industries that work with metal and justice (associated with metal) should do well. 

Businesses associated with water will be neutral.

Wood industries, and health care, which is associated with Wood, are weak. That doesn’t bode well for the current pandemic situation. I suspect it will just have to run its course. Make sure to eat well, get plenty of sleep and take care of your immune system. 

Fire industries, including tech and the stock market, are most likely not in for a good year, since Fire is the weakest element this year. 

Summary

Like most years, the Year of the Ox will be a mixed bag. We’ll still have to contend with Covid and the fear, anxiety, stress and depression that went along with it in 2020. 

On a more positive note, people should be able to get along better, have more trust (because that’s Earth’s nature), and work together better, to make positive changes and transformations in areas that need more justice and harmony. 

Despite the negative emotions and still having to deal with Covid, there is great potential for healing some of the hate and distrust of the past few years. 

Final Thoughts

I hope you find this helpful. I do this analysis every year to be forewarned of what to expect for the year. Then I know what sorts of illness that patients will present and be better able to treat them.

I’ve been doing this analysis for many years, because I find it fascinating, if stressful. There’s always stress when making public predictions.

Even though I stress about it every year, the predictions usually to turn out to be pretty accurate. Whew! (No, I didn’t predict the pandemic, but the rest of it was pretty accurate.) Why? Because ancient Chinese texts give us the tools to understand and make these predictions.

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The Healing Sound of the Lungs

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My Radio Interview

I was recently interviewed on on MindBodyRadio, on the Daily Show with Chris Sawyer. It’s about 10 minutes long. If you’d like to listen and hear some more about me, how I got into Chinese Medicine, and how it can help people, listen here:

https://mindbodyradio.com/daily-show/episode/Wendy-Goldman

Enjoy!

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2020: Year of the Metal Rat

2020: Year of the Metal Rat

Welcome to the Year of the Rat! Not only is 2020 the start of a new decade, but in  Chinese astrology, the Rat is the start of a new twelve year cycle. There are twelve animals in the Chinese Zodiac, thus the twelve years in the cycle, beginning with the Rat.

Being that this is not just the start of a new year and new decade, but the start of a new 12 year cycle, it’s an excellent time to plan and set intentions for this next cycle of life.

60-Year Cycle

The cycle also incorporates the five elements. The natural flow of the elements is wood -> fire -> earth -> metal -> water. Then the cycle starts over again.

Each animal goes through a cycle of each of the five elements, so when we combine all of that, we have five 12-year cycles to make a complete 60-year cycle. Then a new 60-year cycle starts.

Since the natural flow of the five elements starts with wood, which represents the start of new growth, the start of a 60-year cycle starts with the Wood Rat. The second 12-year cycle starts with the Fire Rat, and the third cycle starts with the Earth Rat. Since this is the year of the Metal Rat, we’re starting the fourth 12-year cycle in the current 60-year cycle. (This means a new 60-year cycle starts in 24 years, after we complete the next cycle that starts with the Water Rat.)

Heavenly Stems and Earthly Branches

The Heavenly Stems are the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. They give us the energy coming from “Heaven” or the heavens or universe for the year.

The 12 animals correspond to the Earthly Branches, or the energy of the earth (the planet, not the element) each year.

Each year is either Yin or Yang, and they alternate. We’ve just finished a Yin year, so this year is Yang.

The Heavenly Stem this year is Yang Metal, which is why it’s a Metal Rat. Some people call it a White Rat, since white is the color of Metal.

According to the The Yellow Emperor’s Classic of Medicine, written about 2,000 years ago, the nature of Metal is cool, dry, hard and forceful. It can cause “sternness and killing”, as well as “aging and falling”. Metal also represents justice, or right versus wrong.

That gives us a good idea of the nature of a Metal year. Since it’s Yang Metal, we have to factor in the Yang nature. Yin Metal would be softer and flexible, like jewelry or metal wire. This year is Yang Metal, so it’s big, strong, powerful, sharp and inflexible, like a meat cleaver or a sword. The nature of the element tells us the nature of the year.

This adds up to the possibility of violence. We tend to have more violence in Metal years, and the fact that it’s a Yang year makes it potentially stronger, or worse. The justice nature of Metal gives the potential for violence where people think they’re right and others are wrong.

Since the Heaven energy also represents what’s “above” us, it can mean violence coming from governments, or people in positions of power over others (“above” others). But it’s more likely against other governments, if it happens, rather than governments against their people. Since Metal is the parent of Water, and the child (Water) refers to the people “below”, Metal and Water are in a natural parent-supporting-child relationship. Because their relationship is harmonious, it’s unlikely that governments will be violent against their people. It may be that there are cases where some countries think they’re right and others wrong, and then there could be the potential for violence. Because the Metal and Water elements are in harmony this year, we may see more “saber-rattling” rather than actual conflict.

Next, let’s consider the Rat. Rats are intelligent, prolific and resourceful. People don’t tend to like rats because we associate them with garbage and uncleanliness, but they’re smart little survivors. Think of why rats are so successful in mazes –  they’re Water nature, and water always finds a way to flow through. So perhaps we’ll see some smart new strategies emerge this year.

The Rat represents Yang Water. So we have the combination of Yang Metal and Yang Water. Metal gives birth to, or produces Water. Metal is the Heaven energy, and is in the position of being “above” its child, the earth energy of Water. The parent is “above” the child. Since this follows the natural flow of the five elements, this is a harmonious relationship.

2109 was Yin Earth and Yin water, which makes mud. And since Earth restrains Water, there wasn’t much flow or movement, and a lot of stagnation instead.

Metal gives birth to Water, so 2020 will have more movement and flow, and less stagnation overall. Things that were stuck should start moving again.

The Nature of Water is, of course water. It also represents cold, specifically “piercing cold”. It causes frost, ice and hail. It’s also considered “hard and stern”. This seems a bit counter-intuitive, because water feels soft, but water can do great damage. And it’s Yang Water. Yin Water is like clouds and rain. Yang Water is like the ocean. It’s big and powerful and impossible to stop once it gets moving.

Yang Metal is very inflexible, because it doesn’t bend easily. On the other hand, Water is very flexible, and always finds a way to go where it wants.

Metal is like a knife that cuts, and Water washes things clean.

Water is associated with wisdom, so hopefully the Water energy will bring some flexibility and wisdom this year. But the hardness and sternness of both elements may just steamroll over wisdom. There could be big movements this year, with lots of people caught up in the flow.

Water is very strong this year. So “children”, or those “below” or with less power are strong enough to stand up to their “parents”, or those “above”, especially when it’s an issue of justice or right and wrong. We’ll likely see continuation and strong growth in the movements of those who feel like they’ve been abused by those in power and want justice, like the #MeToo movement, women’s rights, and the youth movements around gun control and climate change. These are also movements spurred by wanting justice (Metal), and fear, which is the emotion associated with Water.

Because Water is the “child” and we’re at a new beginning in a new cycle, there is a lot of support for youth movements and new things. And the Yang nature of the Water could make those movements become unstoppable groundswells or tidal waves. It should be an interesting year, particularly with the U.S. presidential election this year.

Weather in 2020

I have to start this section with a caveat. Australia having massive fires in 2019, a Yin Earth/ Yin Water year, is not what should happen. If anything, it should have been problems with mud, water, and flooding, not fire. Fire energy was very weak in 2019. The planet is out of balance, and showing symptoms.

I’m not being political here, only diagnosing the problem. Global warming is interfering with the natural flow of energy. It’s like a body being out of balance that has symptoms that wouldn’t be there when it’s in balance. It’s like a person who eats too much ginger too often and feels hot when they shouldn’t. The planet is now out of balance, and showing heat symptoms.

Weather predictions based on the energetics of the year have been fairly accurate in the past, and overall, they should still dominate the weather. However, because of the planetary imbalance, there could be heat symptoms, when there shouldn’t be any this year.

With the coolness of Metal and the piercing cold of Water, it should be a colder than normal year. It should be a bad winter, with many problems due to freezing, hail, and ice. Metal’s nature is dryness, but it’s also in charge of fog and dew. And Water represents actual water. Even with the dryness of Metal, there will probably be more rain this year. We’ll probably get alternations between dry weather and humidity.

Because it’s a Yang Water year, rain and snow storms will probably be big and damaging, with lingering ice, cold and frost. Because of the fog and dew aspect, there may be more accidents in foggy weather, and more blizzards with white-outs.

There may also be problems with flooding, especially on the coasts of big rivers, lakes and oceans, since it’s a Yang Water year. Because there’s more movement this year, if bodies of water move, it will be a Yang movement, and big. There could also be tidal waves.

Health in the Year of the Metal Rat

There could be more accidents involving metal and water this year because both elements are so strong. Pay attention when using knives, driving, boating or water sports.

Metal also represents armored creatures, which are insects. There could be problems with insects and insect bites.

Water represents scaly creatures, so be careful around snakes and dangerous reptiles.

Metal’s state of mind is anxiety, and Water’s is fear. We usually think of anxiety associated with the Heart and sadness associated with the Lungs, the Metal organ. These emotions usually emerge when the associated organs are out of balance. But there could be more problems with these emotions this year, especially in people with preexisting conditions. If there is violence this year, it will cause more anxiety and fear.

When we consider the five elements and their associated organs, we can see how strong or weak each organ is this year.

Metal and Water are strong. So Lungs and Kidneys should be strong this year. Patients with Lung and/ or Kidney deficient conditions should feel better this year. Patients with Kidney deficiency-type asthma may feel better, although anyone worse with cold will have a harder time in winter. People with excesses in either of these organs will have more problems. There could be more problems with excess bone problems like spurs. And since the lungs rule the skin, the may be more issues with dry skin and skin excess conditions.

There could be more injuries caused by metal and water, like knife cuts and falls due to slippery surfaces. Because the Water/Kidney energy is strong, even though there may be more falls, bones should be strong and heal well because the Kidney energy is in charge of bones.

The Wood element is strong this year, since Water is the parent of Wood. Metal does weaken Wood, but overall, Wood is strong. So people with Liver/ Gallbladder excess may feel worse, while those with deficiencies may feel better.

Fire and Earth are both weak this year, since Water and Metal weaken their energies. People with Heart deficiencies may feel worse and have more problems. As mentioned above, there may be more anxiety, as well as worry and overthinking, since the Earth element is weak.

People with weak digestion will need to be more careful about their diets and eating correctly this year. It will be easier for Spleen/ Stomach and digestive problems to occur, especially in cold weather. It’s a good year for people to learn how to eat correctly according to Chinese medicine and protect the Spleen and Stomach. Eat more cooked, warm foods, like soups and stews this year, especially in cold weather.

Final Thoughts

Rats are intelligent animals so this is a good year for learning and study. More importantly, water represents wisdom, not just intelligence, so it’s a good year to cultivate wisdom. The water / Kidney energy in the body is a deep level of energy, so practicing to cultivate deep wisdom is very good this year. Meditate, practice Qigong or other spiritual practices to cultivate that deep wisdom.

Metal is very materialistic, and with the potential for violence and emotional upset this year, practicing to gain wisdom, and calm and balance the emotions can help with the harsher aspects this year.

Along with cultivating wisdom, remember that this is the beginning of a new cycle. New beginnings aren’t always easy. There’s the potential for the Yang Water to wash away the old and bring in change and new energy for the next 12-year cycle. Remember to plan what you want your next 12 years to look like and take advantage of the new energy and new cycle.

There are no straight lines in the Taiji (Yin/Yang) circle because the energy is always moving and changing. When we get to an extreme, i.e., the fattest part or the thinnest part, it flips into its opposite, which is not always a peaceful process. So even though it seems that this year may have its challenges, it’s only a phase and the energy will change. 

 

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