Happy New Year of the Yin Wood Sheep!
Yes, the new year of the Green Sheep 2015 began on the new moon in February, and the raucous celebration builds to the brightly illuminating full Moon. We bid adieu to the wild, galloping and unpredictable Horse, and, with firecrackers and parades, we welcome the new ruler of the year, the peace-loving, generous and compassionate Sheep!
Sheep are team players, and during this New Year of the Sheep, we are reminded of the famous ancient Chinese painting and poetry of the “Three Sheep Start Peace with Fortune,” as now is the most propitious time to work creatively together, as a team, for success and peace. We can celebrate our interdependence, as we will have more fortunate cooperation with each other this year.
This is a smooth year, following the energetic Horse. We can relax and make peace with ourselves and others. We find ourselves caring more about those close to us. The Yin, or introspective, sensitive and gentle Sheep appreciates family, close alliances, and a safe and comfortable home. It is a time to create comfort and cultivate beauty, especially in the home.
Sheep is the eighth earthly branch of the Chinese zodiac, and the number eight symbolizes good fortune and abundance. The gentle characteristics of the Sheep are revered by Confucian ideology, as the baby lamb kneels to nurse, therefore displaying correct manners of obedience to the parent. Perhaps this year we can create some respectful Confucian order in our dis-functional society. (Next year is the Monkey’s, so now is the time.) Sheep are blessed by good fortune due to their innate kindness and purity of heart. They are trustworthy but at times may be gullible. Sheep can indulge in comforts, so, this year, be optimistic, yet careful not to overspend, and invest cautiously.
Some translations may refer to Sheep as Goat, or Ram. This may be confusing. Ram can be mistaken for the western sign of Aries, the Ram, a Yang and assertive sign. Aries equates with the mighty Dragon. Goat may suggest Capricorn, but Capricorn is associated with the ambition of the Ox. Sheep relates to the western sign Cancer, the mother and nurturer. But, as Chinese astrology, medicine and philosophy aim for balance and unity of opposites, the Sheep also embodies the dynamic of the wild mountain Big Horn Sheep. So, in addition to caring for family and flock, we must also nourish ourselves by occasionally retreating to the wild mountains to renew the source of our vitality.
Sheep are known as patrons of the arts, so this year is a time to cultivate our creative nature. Nourish yourself by continuing education, beginning projects, and travel. Attending community events, artistic or musical, is appropriate. Partake in the culinary arts, enjoy and relax. The year of the Sheep is a time of peace, calm and contentment. Value family, close friends and intimacy, as life’s hectic pace slows down.
Sheep are social creatures, so be social, yet give yourself some solitary time away from the flock in order to nourish yourself and your inner peace. Sheep are peace-loving, and care greatly about the health and happiness of family and community. Yet the mountain sheep, can be extremely independent, following her own path and avoiding the status quo. So, generally, this is a year to express your unique artistic creativity, within the safety of your community. Your artistic expression can poetically reach the heights of the ineffable mountain mist, or it can grow in cultivating an earthly garden, or cooking a sumptuous meal that feeds a community, or can be a warm woven woolen blanket as a gift for a family member. This is a creatively fertile time. Create something unique.
It is a Wood Sheep, so a time for fresh growth. Plant the seeds of new endeavors. Remove blockages from growth. The Yin aspects of Wood are our roots that descend, and pull nourishment from the earth. Flexibility is another characteristic, like the Bamboo, hollow in its core, yet strong, roots firmly anchored, and bending in the wind. Be adaptable to change, be open to compromise. As the seed expresses the tree, in this Wood year, it is important to fully express our own truth. Honesty is the best policy, and justice generally prevails. End quarrels, seek reconciliation. Use compassion to free yourself from any troubled past, and move comfortably ahead. Avoid cynicism and excessive sentimentality and do the work of your heart’s path. It is also an appropriate time to take up the cause of the downtrodden, and charitable action always brings benefit.
The Sheep is an herbivore. This is a Wood Sheep year, so eat your greens and care for your Liver. The Sheep is a farm animal, yet is considered a lucky animal, as, unlike the Ox, the Sheep doesn’t work, and Sheep are friendly. The Sheep seek peace to graze where they like, and, as many animals like to eat them, they are said to be skilled at making friends of enemies. Perhaps this year you will find yourself lucky like the Sheep. If so, be grateful and consider those less fortunate.
Chinese healing tradition, with roots in the nature-based Tao, is founded on the cycles of Nature. By observing the cycles of Nature, including the 12 year astrological cycle, 4 seasons, Yin and Yang, etc., we can live and thrive in harmony with those changes. Seek a balanced approach to health, with ample rest and healthy food to nourish body, mind and spirit. The ancient tradition of Acupuncture is also intended to balance and enhance one’s vitality in order that we can more effectively accomplish our goals.
It is the year of the auspicious Wood Sheep, live long and prosper in joy!
Peace and Blessings of good health to you and yours,