Happy Chinese New Year! Gong xi fa cai!
Welcome to the Year of the Metal Rat, 2020.
Metal is my favorite of the five elements (more accurately referred to as “phases”) in Chinese medical theory and astrology.
I suspect that it’s an uncommon practice to pick a favorite in a system so fundamentally concerned with balance and equality. But I cannot help myself.
Metal is, to me, well represented by the symbol of the Taiji so essential to Chinese medical theory (what many refer to as the yin-yang symbol).
Metal is opposites and metal is non-dual.
Metal is base, solid, corporeal and dense. Metal is ethereal and otherworldly.
Metal is stardust; metal is a sledgehammer.
Metal is often symbolized by coins or a sword. Metal is the precision and power of that which takes the mold, the substance which buys power in this world of things.
Metal is also the essence of the mold itself. Metal is emptiness, the pure potential of the form existing in the realm before shape is taken.
Metal is the element representing death, the season of autumn, the closing and finality of an end and the potential of crossing into what is beyond life.
Metal also represents the organ system of the lungs in the body and encompasses the territory of breath. Breath is life. Metal is both death and life.
Why am I spending so much time waxing poetic about Metal if it’s the year of the Rat? Shouldn’t this be a Rat-ramble instead?
First, we are ending a 12-year cycle in Chinese Astrology. The Rat begins us anew, as the Rat always does. But the flavor of Metal as a beginning two-year period in a new 12-year cycle is not routine (once every 60 years). It provides the significance, and the significance is great.
Second, it’s too easy to read someone else’s ramblings on the Rat. The personification of the animal name of a year in the Chinese Zodiac is overdone. And mostly unwarranted. There are some fun stories about how the animals found their places in this lineup of twelve, but most signs point to some common sense representations of time. The 12-year cycle is most easily represented by the twelve 2 hour periods in a 24 hour day. Rooster represents 5-7pm because that’s when the chickens return to roost. Pig represents 9-11pm because the sleeping family is snoring away like a bunch of snorting pigs. Rat is 11pm-1am because it is the hours of the day when rats are most active scurrying about.
So the zodiac signs were named to represent the hours of the day, also superimposed on the 12 months of the year, and again outward into our calendar cycling in 12 years according to the zodiac. Not because this year has anything to do with Rat-like qualities.
Rat represents the (yang) Water element. This is the year of the (yang) Metal Rat. So we have a Metal-Water Year.
Double-yang, metal-water, beginning of a new cycle of 12.
I’m greedily rubbing my palms together like I’m Dr. Evil of Austin Powers.
I’m practically salivating over the potential.
When it comes to reading an entire year in Chinese Astrology (or any form of astrology, I’d guess), it’s a generalization for reasons I’d consider obvious. It’s hard to trend a period of time as large as a year. All of Chinese Astrology is about potential, trends and likely possibilities. If you choose to engage in the theorizing, you can ride the wave of potential shining down upon us from the stars, and accomplish some awesomeness. Or better tolerate and frame your challenges. Or, at worst, it’s all a bunch of rubbish, and you’ve put a little more conscious intention in your actions. Time well wasted, I’d say.
So, in which Miranda finally gets to the point:
This year has great potential if you’d like to engage it.
Double-yang means double action. Speed, power, intensity. Globally, politically, and societally: this year will see so much more genuine change and development, as compared to the bluster and babble of previous years. Less talking now, more action. Personally: a sharp, sharp sword cutting away your obstacles. A sharp knife whittling out your ideal shapes in life. A sharp letter opener prying open your bank statement.
Which brings me to the next component: money. Many have been waiting to witness the dollar collapse. Or for the true rise of cryptocurrency. Or the hard-to-imagine return of the gold standard. This year has just the right flavor to see these types of action take place, or at least really begin to set in motion. On a societal level, the next two Metal years are likely to have a lot of interesting development in the world of finance.
On a personal level, it’s a great time to consciously review what money means to you and how you engage with it. Rethink your strategies, gain a fresh perspective. Tidy up the budget. Consider some investments. Pay some consciousness coins to your personal piggybank and set the tone for this new cycle of 12 to have a flavor of financial abundance. Ride the tide of Metal element in the ethers and enjoy the rewards of a renewed sense of financial togetherness. This is year. You reap what you sow. And if you truly embrace the non-dual, you can best represent this year of the Metal Rat by becoming a spiritually-enlightened stockbroker.
In true Metal fashion, we have an opposing flavor to worldly dollars and cents, which is the potential for a great deepening of the spirit. Being so nondual and ethereal and death-lifey, Metal also has the potential to go deep into a state of enlightened consciousness, especially when flavored by Water. This year also holds great potential for deepening on a spiritual level. What a great way to begin a cycle of 12! Practice regular meditation if you don’t already, immerse yourself in spiritual development, spend time in self-inquiry. Heal old wounds and rise to a greater state of peace through deep, meditative work.
The double yang potential of this year gives us the ability to make quick actions and great progress, if we are conscious enough to do the work. The flavor of Metal lends us supreme power through the ability to form our own mold and cast a new shape to this cycle. Metal allows us to build the shape of whatever we desire, but requires consciousness and effort to do it. Water lends us the potential for introspection, stillness, peace, and deep inner work if we invite it. General themes for the year are finance, career, travel and communication. But with the strong Metal foundation, both for the next two years and for the foundation of this whole cycle, accomplishments are only limited to our conscious involvement in the shape of our worldly existence.