What is Chinese Astrology? When is Chinese New Year?
Asian astrology is based on astronomy, philosophy, and traditional calendars, and is the divination of the timing of the future. In particular, it is based on a 60-year cycle documented since the time of the Chinese Shang Dynasty (1760 – 1520 BCE). This foundational cycle combines two cycles — the 10 heavenly stems (the five elements of water, wood, fire, earth & metal in their yin or female and yang or male forms) plus the 12 earthly branches, or the 12-year cycle of animals, referred to as the Chinese zodiac (Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit/Hare, Snake, Dragon, Horse, Ram/Sheep, Monkey, Rooster/Chicken, Dog, and Pig). The Chinese animal zodiac also operates on a cycle of months (the 12 animals each rule one of the 12 months) or “moons,” and of hours of the day (12 animals rule two-hour periods each, adding up to a 24-hour day).
Other Asian countries also celebrate solar/lunar New Year as the most important festival of the year, including India, Nepal, Bhutan, Sikkim, Mongolia, and Tibet. In Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan, New Year is called “Losar” (Lo translates to “year” and Sar means “new”) and falls on the Lunar New Year date. This lunar new year observance predates Buddhism and is from the earlier shamanic Bon Tradition. The Bonpos famously burned massive amounts of incense in a spiritual ceremony to appease the local deities and spirits, considered protectors and called locapalas.
Later, Losar was adopted as a Buddhist tradition and annual winter celebration. Historically the celebrations would last a couple of weeks, but nowadays it is more like a week, with the first three days as the most significant. Because it is a family holiday, many Tibetans spend time together feasting and dancing and often invite monks to visit and bless the home. The Losar holiday is about exchanging warmest greetings with loved ones, expressing kind heartedness, and welcoming guests with hospitality so those values are established to extend into the coming year.
Year of the Earth Dog, 2018
Feb. 4 is the Solar Chinese New Year date that determines the corresponding Chinese zodiac animal birth sign for individuals. For example, if a person were born Jan. 31, 2018, he or she would be a Fire Rooster under the preceding year of Yin Fire Rooster, ending Feb. 4, 2018.
The Chinese Lunar New Year, the Year of the Earth Dog, begins this year on Feb. 16 and is a day of global Chinese New Year celebrations, fireworks, parades, and the beginning of up to two weeks of observances, family reunions, and blessing ceremonies.
2018 signifies a huge shift toward the earth element and away from the chaotic and often stressful fire element of the 2016 Monkey and the 2017 Rooster. Those born in Dog, Dragon, Sheep/Ram, Rooster, and Ox years are advised to tread carefully and pay attention to to their health in the 2018 Dog year.
The 2018 Earth Dog year will emphasize all that is fair, radically positive, open, sincere, perceptive, moral, loyal, equitable, intelligent, stable, practical, reliable, honest, and grounded. The Earth Dog is a peacemaker — pragmatic, calm, serene, and much gentler than his fellow fire, water, wood, or metal Dogs, so even though the pace of this male, or yang, year will be energetic, the earth element brings more stability, practicality, balance, and gentleness.
Develop your own inner spiritual nature in the Dog year for the greatest success, and choose a positive mantra for yourself. Be pointedly devoted to that which makes your heart sing, and say “yes” to what really matters. Have no guilt or second thoughts about saying “no” to things that don’t bring you joy. Focus on following your heart or bliss to reap huge rewards. The Year of the Earth Dog is when magic can happen in all aspects of our lives, so be faithful to your own heart and destiny, and dream fully, bravely, and completely.
The Dog Brings Fair Play and Justice
Calm, patient, clear communication will be the key to success this Earth Dog year. Imagine the status quo being disrupted but then things becoming even better than what we enjoy today. The Earth Dog will ring in a welcome, grounding energy favoring integrity, justice, tolerance, and empathy. A more pronounced collective consciousness of fairness and justice, trustworthiness, equanimity, and desire for all treated to be fairly will emerge in 2018. Re-assessing our inner spiritual values and consciously integrating “higher-self” values into daily life will create a reservoir to rely on in 2018. The Dog will awaken our intuition, deep moral sense, and the values of honesty, integrity, loyalty, and generosity. These will be the very values that lead to a successful path under 2018 Dog’s guidance.
The Dog is endowed with some of the finest qualities of all the Chinese zodiac animals. The Earth Dog year will bring justice, the rule of law, the sense of right and wrong, and greater balance and support for the underdog. In business matters, quiet Dog persuasion and diplomacy will prevail. Those seeking success in 2018 would do well to apply the values of generosity, kindness, and patience. Finding your life’s higher purpose, offering a sincere helping hand, and generously reaching out to others who are less fortunate will be richly rewarded in the Earth Dog year.
The Dog Champions Underdogs Worldwide
Many “underdog” voices around the world may rise to emphasize the importance of universal understanding. Individual demagogy will be rejected by the majority. There will be an increase in social awareness and concern for the less powerful members of society. Efforts aimed at creating a more equitable society will take wing. Tendencies to take, take, take will be replaced by widespread trends of generosity, selflessness, fair play, high principles, and honoring commitments.
Business in the Year of the Dog
The 2018 Earth Dog will require more commitment and dedication to business, a hard-working approach, and taking responsibility for the greater good. Dog years are not supportive of waste, frivolity, and unnecessary expenses.
2018 is a great year to start a new business venture, provided the Dog year values are honored and integrated into the business plan. If you are investing in Dog year, it is advised to seek professional guidance and help. Companies that share success and resources will be most rewarded in the Dog year, as will those who practice sound environmental policies. Companies investing in the welfare and health of their workers and consumers through investment in recycling and renewable energy will be rewarded with increased revenues in 2018.
The Dog Brings Discipline and Resolve
From a personal health perspective, it’s a great year to create more balance in our self care, avoiding that which is truly unhealthy. Many will find the resolve to quit smoking, dramatically increase exercise commitments, or refocus on diet improvements. We will be able to be more consistent with health changes we make in 2018. Borrowing from Dog’s well-documented intelligence, our creativity is at its height and can help us forge new paths for a truly balanced lifestyle. We will be more realistic and able to sustain good dietary choices, and close the gap between work and home balance.
May 2018 Earth Dog year bless you with abundance as you align with integrity, fairness, honesty, success, kindness, balance, and deep happiness.
Michele Duffy, BTB M.F.S., of SPACE AS MEDICINE Feng Shui.
Shui Master Michele Duffy studied under the Buddhist Tibetan Bon lineage of Grandmaster Lin Yun and his students, Dr. Edgar Sung and Stephen Post, Ph.D. In practice for 18 years, Michele brings her expertise in geomancy, Taoism, mysticism, astrology, five element theory, face reading, and landform feng shui to her professional practice. Michele’s passion is for sharing her skills and knowledge to facilitate others in shifting their environments to open the way for new possibilities. Michele also offers annual empowerment charts.
For more information, visit mandalafungshui.com