Year of the Metal Rabbit, 2011


Hang on. It’s almost over.  If you’re reeling from the harshness and unpredictability of this past Metal Tiger Year, you’re not alone. Many of us, including this exhausted Metal Tiger, are more than happy to say goodbye to the turmoil of 2010. What’s coming up is a completely different flavor of qi.

Rabbit qi is gentle, convivial, sensual, and smooth.  This will be a good year to drop your ambition, make friends with your neighbors, turn your attention to family and home, and perhaps do some traveling, particularly if it involves gaining a deeper appreciation of the natural environment.  Finances should benefit from conservative management and a long-range view.  Rabbits are defensive players, always maintaining more than one escape route.

Though Rabbits are associated with the Wood element, the coming year is a Metal year. This creates a conflict between metal and wood (think pruning shears and axes,) and will give an edge to the year that might make it difficult at first to feel the Rabbit’s gentleness and sensitivity.  We had this same conflict in 2010. But unlike the Tiger, which gets dangerous when threatened, the Rabbit prefers to avoid conflict by withdrawing.  You should do the same.  Expect to feel a taste of the Rabbit’s magic, intuition, and sensitivity in March, but it won’t fully blossom until the Dog month in October.

Here are some coaching thoughts for each of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac:

RAT: Because Rabbit qi is small and agile, you may mistake this coming year for your turf.  Not so.  Just because you’re clever, strategic, and constantly planning your next move, doesn’t mean everyone else wants to be part of your plan. Best use of this year for you is to take care of your health, enjoy and nurture your home, and keep a steady course while you rest up and strategize for the Dragon year in 2012, when all your dreams will come true.

Ox: You’re all about predictability, hard work, and stability. Rabbit is all about pampering and sensuality.  Try allowing yourself just a wee bit of pleasure this year. Nothing terribly indulgent mind you, perhaps a cushy new ergonomic work station.

Tiger: Tigers don’t really understand Rabbit qi. It’s a furry animal that can move with impressive speed, but no matter how you look at it, it still looks like lunch. Your best strategy is to exit the stage now and let the gentle intuitive Rabbit qi move things forward in a yin way.  Your muscular energy will only look inappropriate now, so go back to your forest den and rest. You will be called upon again in the Dragon year, 2012, to provide complementary alchemical energy for the Dragon’s heavenly magic.

Rabbit: The more the merrier. That’s how Rabbits view things. Plenty of friendly parties, snuggling in front of the fire, new clothes, and new finds for your wonderful collection of esoteric things. It should be a good year. Be yourself.

Dragon: It’s almost your time, but not quite. Last year made you testy because you couldn’t really be center stage. And this year is more for gathering your qi. Make your connections, lay your plans (employ the strategic abilities of a Rat, please) and do your inner work so that when you are called upon in 2012, you will be your best self–you know, not the petty egotistical self serving version who just wants to be recognized, but the true heavenly magician who can bring luck and blessings to all.

Snake: Rabbit can either bring out your autocratic dominant side, or your deeply intuitive, wise, creative side.  Choose the latter.  Develop your artistic nature, spend time in meditation, tap into your inner wisdom. This will position you properly for the flamboyance and good luck of the Dragon year.

Horse: It’s important to remember that you have a yin, quiet, peaceful side to your nature in addition to the bold, passionate, adventurous side. And like the Rabbit, you love the camaraderie of family and friends. The Tiger year brought out your enthusiasm, passion, and courage. Let the Rabbit year bring out your gentleness. Munch sweet clover with good friends under an apple tree in your home pasture.

Sheep: Well it’s about time. We hope you survived the past two years. If you’ve been taking our advice and lying low, pursuing your creative work and trying not to “manage” people, you’ll be able to step out now into the Rabbit year as a full team member. Your job is to enjoy your role as diplomatic envoy, team manager, and all round event planner. Your sensitive nature will be respected, your management skills will be appreciated, and all the bullies will back off. Enjoy.

Monkey: Though you can’t have any serious fun yet, nothing could be as bad as last year, when everyone completely ignored you. Rather than moping about this and getting into trouble, best to spend the Rabbit year preparing for a grand 2012, when you will be called upon to be the Dragon’s speech writer and spin doctor–your perfect role.

Rooster: A conflict year for you.  Rabbit and Rooster are in opposition to one another.  But you are in harmony with the 2012 Dragon, so could you refrain from being arrogant and judgmental this year? It will suit you better to devote yourself to a personal training regimen, hone your skill, refine your considerable intelligence and do what you do best—clarify your long term vision.

Dog: Tiger was a good year for you, and so also will be the Rabbit year. You’re on a roll. Best to keep up your good work so you’ll be ready to deal with possible obstruction and conflict in 2012. Indulge in a new cozy bed by the fireplace so you can retire to it in the Dragon year.

Pig: Party time! You and Rabbit really know how to wine and dine.  You may be feeling morose after two years of work and scary drama. Your peaceful nature is willing to bear up under this weight, but you really could use some relief, and now you’ll get it.  Home will feel good, you can enjoy the company of family and friends, and you’ll be put in charge of the wine list and asked to bring several delectable types of pate’.  Doesn’t get much better.

Narrye Caldwell is a Doctor of Traditional Chinese Medicine, astrologer, martial artist, teacher, and writer. She can be found at, and is available for consultations.

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