Say Hello to the Ox

Yin Metal Ox

Say hello to the Ox. The second sign of the Chinese zodiac, this Yin Metal Ox makes his entrance February 12, 2021 and remains through January 31, 2022

Animal years, according to the ancient lunar Chinese calendar, are grouped, not into decades as in the Western world, but into cycles of 12, beginning with the Year of the Rat and ending with the Year of the Pig. Each year is governed by one of the twelve animals of the Chinese Zodiac, and each has its own particular character.

Those born in the year of the Ox are considered strong, reliable, fair and conscientious. Their calm, patient, manner inspires confidence in others. Although they tend to say little, they can be very opinionated and stubborn.

How was it determined that animals would make up the lunar Chinese calendar and in what order?

According to ancient Chinese zodiac legend, the Jade Emperor (The Emperor in Heaven in Chinese folklore) ordered that animals would be designated as calendar signs and the twelve that arrived first would be selected. On the day of the race, the rat got up very early and rushed to the gathering site. The steadfast Ox led the way, happily thinking he would be the first sign, but at the last minute, the opportunistic Rat scampered over the Ox’s back to arrive first, becoming the first animal of the Chinese zodiac, making the Ox second.

chinese zodial wheel

In Chinese culture, the Ox is seen as a sign of integrity and responsibility. Honest and loyal, they form strong bonds with their partners and families and make good, lifelong friends.

In addition to the 12-year rotation of the animals, the classical Chinese Five Element Theory also plays a part in the energy of the year. This theory holds that the Elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal, significantly modify the quality or nature of whomever or whatever they represent. The Element Water encourages qualities of sensitivity and persuasiveness, Wood enhances creativity and imagination, Fire produces dynamism and passion, Earth instills stability and practicality and Metal adds strength of will. The Metal influence of 2020 continues in 2021.

Ancient Chinese philosophers and scientists understood that while the world is in a constant state of change, it is moving through a distinct framework of cycles, each having an opposite and equal value, such as night and day, cold and hot and birth and death. This concept of duality forming a whole is referred to as Yin and Yang, explaining how seemingly opposite, or contrary, forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world. Yin contains the seed of Yang and vise versa and they constantly transform into each other. Just as a state of total Yin is reached, Yang begins to grow. Depicted by the Yin/Yang symbol, Yin is considered more passive while Yang is considered more active. The quieter, more grounded and passive Yin energy of 2021 will come as a welcome relief from the fast, active, hard-driving Yang energy of 2020.

The Ox denotes the hard work, positivity and honesty that will be manifested in all of us in the coming 12 months. This Yin Metal Ox year invites us to remain prudent and calm. Rather than making big changes this year, consider remaining in more of a holding pattern. Always remember to strive for a balance of Yin and Yang. The year of the Metal Ox will be a time for emotional, spiritual and economic innovation.

May this New Year bring balance in your life,
inner strength that never weakens,
joys that never fade, and hopes that never diminish.
Wishing you a Happy Chinese New Year and an auspicious 2021.