Year of the Wood Horse–2014

tang-horseI thought I could stay safely hidden with the covers over my head, my preferred position during the 2013 Snake year. But the forward impulse of the Yang Wood Horse has finally coaxed me from my den. So, even though I’m late out of the starting gate, the first order of business is to offer my two cents about what this year will be like. (I was reminded today of the late great Seabiscuit who was also often late out of the gate, and you all know his reputation for famous finishes.)

Let’s talk about the Wood part first. If you’re not familiar with Chinese Astrology, it helps to know that there are five variations of each “animal” following the Five Element cycle of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Wood has the qualities of youth, creativity, growth, exuberance, freshness, ambition, and drive. We all might find this intoxicating, coming as it does after two water years which swept us into dissolution, chaos, and transformation. Now, if you played your cards right during the run up to this year, using the time to reflect, plan, deepen into your true self and let go of whatever was ready to be released, while at the same time harboring the seeds of your new dream, then you’re perfectly aligned to let this new Wood Horse energy fill your luffing sails. On the other hand, if you over exerted yourself and fought stubbornly against the quagmire of Water energy, especially notable in the past Snake year, you might feel exhausted right now and have trouble stumbling out of the gate.

Either way, it’s important now to handle this tender wobbly Wood qi properly in order to align yourself with its potential. Horse energy is adventurous, physical, open-hearted, extroverted, passionate, social, joyous, productive, and spirited. So what we have when we hitch this energetic profile to the Wood element is a lot of power, enthusiasm and vigor, combined with immaturity. This is unformed potential–yang energy that requires training. Allowing this Horse to bolt out of the stall, without instruction and a gentling hand, is asking for trouble. Think injuries and accidents. Best approach is to let the qi mature for a few months. Exercise some personal discipline by holding off and restraining your ambition until later in the Spring.
With that gentle warning in mind, as long as you employ some discipline and training, this will be a great year to take action on all of the plans you made during the Snake year. Here’s how this might translate for each of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac:

Rat: You and Horse have completely opposite views of life. Your qi is dedicated to careful planning and analysis. Horse operates totally on physical instinct, passion, and courage. You think this is foolish, but nobody will listen to you this year. You also find the Horse’s obsession with sports and physical prowess a waste of time. So, rather than let yourself get out of sorts, the preferred strategy is to enjoy some time sitting on the sidelines. Let everybody else gallop ahead while you wait it out, hoard your money, and practice patience as an art form. A Tiger friend can mediate the Horse energy for you and keep you safe.

Ox: Just because you’re big and strong doesn’t mean you understand the Horse’s physical prowess. The Horse is dedicated to brilliant displays of power and speed. You, on the other hand, are committed to hard work and endurance. Horse flexes its muscles for joy. You work for family and stability. So you may be annoyed this year by the intensity and erratic quality of the qi. Try to keep a steady pace and avoid getting irritated by what looks like grandstanding to you.

Tiger: Finally, after two difficult years, you get to move ahead with a compatible team mate. Hopefully you stayed in your den last year, using the time for personal reflection and planning. Now you can announce your new flagship enterprise and gather support. Horse appreciates your honorability (unlike Snake who finds it naive,) and your values based ambition will be rewarded this year.

Rabbit: You and Horse are both intuitive but in very different ways. Horse intuition is physical instinct. Yours is psychic. It’s easy to miscommunicate. Also, horse is physically robust and you’re not. You’re better off staying out of the way of those flying hooves. Perhaps a quiet spiritual retreat this year?

Dragon: Don’t confuse the Horse’s terrestrial display of power for an opportunity to take over and make a grand display. Your power is supernatural, not physical. You’ll do fine this year, but consider sharing the stage, being generous in your praise of others, and deepening your friendships.

Snake: Two years ago you were the emperor’s advisor. Last year your quiet authority, philosophical view, and dedication to spiritual practice won the respect of all. This year your introverted approach won’t be recognized or appreciated but you’re not looking for that anyway. Just continue to work your magic through withdrawal and conservation.

Horse: You’re front and center this year, which would seem at first a good thing, but be careful of your natural tendency to act on impulse. Horses are so capable of running on heart alone, they sometimes forget to notice if they need rest and end up hurting themselves. You’ll love the freedom offered this year, and traveling is auspicious. Just make sure you check the ground for gopher holes.

Sheep: This should be a wonderful year for you. Your team spirit and sense of fair play are key qualities that help everyone else harmonize with the fast moving Horse energy. And your calm problem solving ability keeps everything running smoothly. People turn to you for advice. They recognize you as a gentling hand around the exuberant and fast running horse. Enjoy.

Monkey: Well, there’s a number of ways you can play this. But of course that’s always true for you right? Let’s see—how can you manipulate to get the best opportunities? You could pretend, just for once, to exercise restraint. Yes, just hang back, especially early in the year. You could make a game of it. That should do it. Then jump in mid year, and save everyone who’s completely overdone it and gotten in over their heads. You’ll look like a hero–a classic monkey move. Have fun.

Rooster: Your analytical, thoughtful, and precise approach to life won’t win you any friends this year. The qi will be moving along with a reckless abandon that you disapprove of and find daunting. Your best approach is to practice patience, and refrain from criticizing others. You’re quite capable of sustaining a long term approach and delaying gratification. Exercise that super power now.

Dog: OK pal, you’re free this year to go off leash. Have fun, the qi will feel familiar and friendly to you. It’s like an old friend has returned and let you out of the house. Go have some adventures, take a trip, enjoy the rewards of having stolidly carried out your duties for the last couple of years.

Pig: Focus on the fact that you made it through the Snake year. This year will either be about repair, or a renewal of fun and good cheer, depending on how you managed last year. Don’t overdue it; take your time. Lay the groundwork for 2015 when you will be asked to host the party and reintroduce everyone to the arts of tea and fine dining.

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