We are moving out of the Year of the Water Snake and moving into the Year of the Wood Horse on January 31, 2014 (be aware that the Tibetan New Year is also based off of a Lunar calendar and the new year (Losar) is on March 2nd). Many cultures celebrate the New Year based on a lunar calendar.
The (Chinese) Lunar New Year and Losar do not align with the calendar New Year (January 1st) but instead are based off of the Lunar/Moon-based calendar. The system is based off of 12 animal archetypes (like the western system) and 5 elements which move in a yang-yin pattern in the pattern: yang wood, yin wood, yang fire, yin fire, yang earth, yin earth, yang metal, yin metal, yang water, yin water. For example: we are finishing the year of the water snake (yin) and before that we were in the year of the water dragon (yang). The horse is yang and therefore, we are moving into a yang wood year = The Year of the Wood Horse (yang).
Wood is about growth (think green, spring, tall straight pin trees, wind, movement, action, new ideas, leadership) and when wood combines with Horse it is a swift moving horse, indeed! What kind of saddle do you need to ride your horse this year? Are you willing to get in the race or does life seem to be moving to fast? Are you preparing to sit on the sidelines or have you already saddled up? Perhaps you are preparing to ride bare back and throw caution to the wind! Are you sending your horse mixed messages by stopping and starting?
What are these horse analogies pointing to? This year is about you deciding if you are committed to the path you've laid before yourself. Once the year gets started it will be challenging to change directions. It's also helpful to consider if you are prone to get carried away because this is a year that is likely to increase tendencies to over-spend, over-indulge and move into excess.
It's not helpful to look at your birth animal (I was born in the year of the pig or the year of the tiger, etc.) to see if you will have a "good year." It could be helpful to consider your feelings about the element wood (or you could consider wind or air also). Do you feel irritated or frazzled when wind is strong? Are you open to considering the positive qualities of this element? If the wind comes up can you move with it or slow down instead of moving against it? Some traditions say that messages are carried on the winds, there are voices on the wind or warnings. Wind can be incredibly strong and destructive, it can be cleansing like nature's broom, it can shape snow and move water, it can be gentle and cooling on a hot day. Wind can sneak up on you because its shape is only defined by the movement of the objects it touches. Just like wood when growth seems invisible to the naked eye, wind is invisible but the effect is not. See the reeds bending in the wind? What kind of wood will you be? Unbending or supple? To ride a horse at a full gallop in an endless open field takes a large amount of relaxation, trust and openness. The result can be freedom!
It could be a great year of equine therapy! The Front Range offers many opportunities to connect with the Horse*