Happy New Year of the Fire Rooster! Chinese New Year began with the new moon, Jan. 27, 2017. We welcome the Rooster, and bid farewell to the trickster Monkey- it was a wild ride, full of surprises, and not an easy one for many people. There are 12 Chinese animals of the Chinese zodiac family, and the Rooster is the ruler of this year. We now respectfully examine the qualities of the Rooster, and those born in the Rooster year, so we may learn more of the relationships between people, within the cycles of nature, and thereby create harmony.
First, let us again say “goodbye” to the beguiling, egotistic and clever Monkey who has given us, last year, a new president, fake news, and alternate facts. We now heartily welcome the honest, courageous and hard-working Rooster. Roosters loudly and clearly announce the coming of the new day- the Rooster is on time, and it is time to wake up! Wake up early and get organized. Maybe last year you got rich quick, by scheming like a Monkey, maybe betting on the outcome of the presidential election, but, this year, like the Rooster, it takes focused and determined effort to achieve goals and prosperity. Rooster struts around a functioning farmyard, keeping order and protecting hens, so this year we must consider our responsibility to the well-being of our community.
This is a Fire Rooster year. There are five elements (fire, earth, metal, water, wood) and the 12 zodiacal animals, which combine for a 60 year cycle. Rooster is associated with the Metal element. Fire can weaken, or melt Metal, so there is an inherent conflict relating to the elements of the year. Fire generally pertains to the light that illuminates us, like the sun, and Rooster is very aware of how he or she is seen, elegantly attired and proud. This, however, is a Yin Fire year, less bright, associated with candlelight, and starlight, and also relating to an “inner light.” Fire is the element of the heart, and associated with the emotion Joy, so we can cultivate “warm-heartedness” and optimism. Follow the path of your Heart with diligent and enthusiastic action, yet be aware of excessive sentimentality and emotional disharmony. By working attentively, like Rooster, to improve quality within one’s community, one can limit internal discord.
The Metal element of the Rooster has an aspect of clarity, refined, like the pure sound of a bell. The bell can awaken us, as the sound of the Rooster awakens us. Metal also pertains to form, or order, and can represent a “pecking order” of harmonious relationship such as in the Confucian ideal. Roosters are said to be conservative in their approach, working hard and saving, and keeping the peace and order in the farmyard for the benefit of all. In our current, ever-smaller world, the global economy and community is dependent on each other for mutual success. Self-oriented, monkey-like strategies, such as “America First”, run counter to the Rooster’s concepts of justice, and community. And, indeed, this year is a Yin Rooster, or Hen, and so the qualities of kindness and caring, like a mother for her family, are certainly appropriate to counter current concepts of hatred, lies and fear. Clarity of intention is of crucial importance to the Rooster- so be clear about your intentions, and request the same of others.
Fire relates to Joy and optimism. Market economies are fueled by optimism. In the spring and early summer as the wood element can fuel the Yin Fire, we should see global markets prosper modestly. However, as the fuel dries up in later summer and fall, optimism may wane and the economy may get volatile. (And on August 21, there is a total solar eclipse visible across a large swath of this country, and all hell may break loose…as Rooster crows the dawn twice on one day.) Being financially responsible, Rooster plans accordingly and conservatively, working with determination to create a lasting stability for self and community.
The conflict relationship of Metal and Fire, and the overall, divided quality of this country, certainly can be cause for worry and nervousness. Rooster tends to get in arguments, as the Rooster can be a perfectionist, with strongly held convictions. It is crucial to express one’s opinion and communicate one’s values, but it is, however, important to avoid anger. Loud and brash Rooster can apply some patience. And tact….possibly. Remember, Roosters love to be complimented (and you look marvelous!)
Certainly Roosters do love adornment and beauty, strutting around, and being admired. The Yin Metal quality is symbolic of gold and jewelry, beautiful on the outside, merging with the Yin Fire to cultivate warmth and joy within. There is a balance to be found, with the brash, outward dramatics of the colorful “barnyard king/queen”, and the thoughtful designer of long-range plans. Roosters are indeed organizers and good at managing finances. And they are comfortable with a schedule, for it is the Rooster that wakes everybody up on time.
In matters of health, Rooster seems to have endless stamina, but it is always important to get enough rest. We seek balance. Rooster’s planning and strategizing can cause some worry, and it is very important this year to de-stress oneself. Exercise, time in Nature away from the maddening crowd, and joyful socializing all help us find balance. The Metal element is connected with the lungs and skin. Take Corydyceps mushrooms to help boost lung function. The Fire element is connected with the heart and nervous system. Avoid excessive use of coffee. Get ample rest, and use heart-calming methods. A little bit of cardio-vascular exercise goes a long way. Try a “news fast” from time to time, and see how you feel. If you have difficulty sleeping, or troubling dreams, avoid sources of news before bed. And of course, acupuncture is a time-tested modality assisting one in finding balance and peace.
What to expect this year? Probably not World War 3, given the Yin, or small, Fire, although we seem to have some unpredictable, impulsive and vindictive people in positions of power now who do not want to be called “chicken.” The loud posturing of the self-confident Rooster may likely lead to an increase in arguments. Country may squawk at country, and politicians will continue to surprise us with arrogant and impudent rhetoric. We may be woken up by a tweet- so wake up! Be sure to communicate the truth from your heart. Be loud and clear. Tap into the great passion of the Rooster in your work. Success comes by long term laboring for the benefit of the community. Short-sighted, greedy, get-rich-quick schemes are unlikely to succeed this year. Ideological extremists, with intentions that do not have the greater community’s needs in mind, are likely to fall out of favor. Communicate honestly, in order to wake us up. Be loud, be proud. Create your beauty. Stay together. Choose love. Happy New Year!
Jeffrey Haloff LAc. operates Humboldt Acupuncture with his wife, Chelsea Colby LAc., in the newly refurbished Carson Block Building at 517 3rd St., Suite 18, Eureka CA 95501. They can be reached at (707) 268-8007 and humboldtacupuncture.com