January 25, 2020 is the start of the Lunar Year of the Yang Metal (white) Rat, one of 12 signs of Chinese Zodiac.
The late Taoist scholar Liu Ming described these 12 Zodiac signs as “12 shapes of Qi”, ways that individual/societal awareness and focus may shift through the years.
Year of the Rat begins a new 12-year astrological cycle, and thus it is a good time to reflect on all we have achieved in the last 12 years. The new year presents an opportunity to start fresh, to begin new long-term projects.
The Rat is a planner and likes to take things apart into small pieces, break things down. Rats’ perspective is that of a small animal, so figuring out the minute details is their strength. Rat Qi is inquisitive and prone to careful data collection and in-depth analysis. When the Rat is challenged, it may turn risk-adverse, stingy, and fearful about lack of supplies or loss of precious possessions.
At their best Rats are observant, resourceful and highly co-operative, so an essential lesson of the Rat year is: join efforts with others and carefully work out the finer aspects of your plan or project. The Rat Qi reminds us that there is power in numbers.
Of the five Taoist elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, this is the year of the Yang Metal Rat. Metal element is associated with the Lung/Large Intestine organ system in Chinese medicine. We are encouraged to pay special attention to the health of our lungs and elimination in the Rat year. Respiratory issues such as asthma and colds may be more prevalent. As skin is considered to be the organ associated with the Lung system, we may experience more skin condition flare ups. Grief is the emotion of Lung, so we may also notice new layers of grieving surfacing this year. So many good reasons to get more acupuncture to keep our balance as we start this new cycle!
Metal element has a connection to money (metal coins), weapons, and precision tools of trade. Metal element’s innate quality is resilience and determination.
The Rat’s innate element is Water — the quality of fluidity/pliability and continuity. According to Five Element Theory Metal generates/supports Water or is said to be the “mother” of Water. This relationship brings the benefit of enhancing and fortifying the favorable innate qualities of Rat Qi.
Because rats appear when food (grain) is present, in Asian traditions the Rat has been associated with prosperity/ample resources, though not necessarily wealth in the form of money. Rats work together in packs to organize and consolidate resources pointing us to the benefits of cooperation in society and the strength of tiny diligent efforts. Rat Qi elevates and protects the small and the weak.
This Year is most favorable for those born in the year of Dragon, Monkey, Rat, and Ox.
Some of the famous people born in a Rat year: William Shakespeare, John F. Kennedy, Al Gore, composers Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Pyotr Ilych Tchaikovsky, actors Scarlett Johansson and Julia Louis-Dreyfus, athlete Shaquille O’Neal.
For more in-depth analysis, we recommend the following articles:
Tiger’s Play Astrology, which declares: “The Rat realization is – WE DON’T ACCOMPLISH ANYTHING ALONE! All humans must make alliances, and our alliances make or break us.”
Lillian Bridges article encourages: “It is time to bring out new ideas, new plans and say yes to new opportunities. It is a good year for reinvention and starting over.”
Wishing everyone a healthy and prosperous year!
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