January 22, 2023 marks the start of the Lunar Year of the Yin Water Rabbit one of 12 signs of Chinese Zodiac. In this post we take a look at some of the symbolism and share links that you can explore to learn more about the Rabbit Year.
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. Ming also emphasized that astrology is about looking at metaphors and their meaning.
Claudia Anfuso of Consider Astrology, points out: “Chinese Astrology looks at the sequence of time to gain insight about our place in the orchestration of life.” Click on the link above to read her detailed Rabbit Year post, co-written with Erin Langley LAc.
The Rabbit is characterized by gentleness, intuition, imagination, and sensitivity. In East Asian folklore rabbits are connected to the moon – an embodiment of Yin energy and femininity. They often live in burrows, hidden, evoking the deep submerged consciousness. After the intensity and chaos of the Tiger year, the Rabbit year offers a calm peaceful hiatus and an opportunity for introspection and vulnerability.
Rabbits are communal and collaborative. The Rabbit year is a good time to network, to build and strengthen relationships. Rabbits are also nervous/skittish and have a keen need for safety. According to Tiger’s Play Astrology: “Water is associated with fear, so the fear for survival and the instinct to burrow in search of safety is the most intense in the Water Rabbit. “
In the system of the five Taoist elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood, we shift from last year’s dynamic Yang Water to the calm and gentle Yin Water, evoking underground streams and connecting to deep hidden resources. The Rabbit’s innate element, Yin Wood, points to flexibility, renewal, and inner potential. As Wood element is said to be fed and supported by the Water element (think of watering plants to help them thrive), the combination of the two create an opportunity for deep nourishment and growth in the new year.
In Chinese medicine, the Water element is associated with the Kidney/Bladder organ system and with the emotion of fear. Rabbits are delicate creatures that like to hide and avoid confrontation. Kidneys in Traditional Chinese Medicine are associated with ancestral strength and vitality. All this points to the Rabbit year being an excellent opportunity to support and protect our our kidneys and to opt for gentle and nourishing health interventions. As always, acupuncture and slow and easy movement practices can be beneficial!
Qi Gong instructor and astrologer Rae Diamond, offers some lovely health and spiritual practice – focussed Rabbit year reflections here.
According to Consider Astrology the Yin Water Rabbit year will be especially auspicious for those born in the years of the Rat, Goat, Dog, Pig, and Rabbit, while those born in the years of the Ox, Snake, Horse, and Rooster will experience some challenges.
Some famous people born in a Rabbit year are: Albert Einstein, Frank Sinatra, Edith Piaf, George Orwell, Margaret Atwood, Ingrid Bergman, Brad Pitt, Michelle Obama, and Jill Biden.
Tiger’s Play Astrology offers one of the most extensive Lunar New Year reflections. Its author, Gregory David Done, writes: “The Year of the Yin Water Rabbit is a deep dark portal, a threshold to a great liminal space, what “happens” between things, the limbo, the bardo between death and rebirth…”
We wish you all a Rabbit year filled with peace, creativity, wonder, and deep healing!