As we near the end of the turbulent year of the Tiger, on February 3, 2011 we enter the more peaceful year of the Rabbit. In Rabbit years sensitivity, creativity, prudence and diplomacy are rewarded. It is a time to cultivate harmony, focus on family and relationships with those dear to us, and to practice discretion in our actions. In contrast to the external focus of the Tiger, the year of the Rabbit, particularly the Yin Metal Rabbit, is a time for internal cultivation.
The year of the Rabbit is considered to be the luckiest year for a girl to be born (for boys it is year of the Dragon.) The Rabbit is diplomatic, peaceful, and effortlessly prosperous; truly a blessing to have as a member of the family. Rabbit years are years of great prosperity.
The Chinese calendar system began in 2698 B.C. on the first day, of the first year of the reign of the Yellow Emperor. The ancient Chinese were dedicated to understanding and predicting the rhythms of the world around them, as well as internally in the practice of Chinese medicine. The idea is that when we have a clear idea of the laws of the universe we can make conscious choices and take actions that bring about harmony and good fortune. These calendars were used to calculate when to plant and harvest crops, when to negotiate business, and in making the best marriage matches.
Chinese astrology can get very complicated, but basically there are two cycles of 10 stems (yin and yang aspects of the 5 elements) and 12 branches (12 animals) that pair up differently on different days. The 10 stems are: yin fire, yang fire, yin earth, yang earth, yin water, yang water, yin metal, yang metal, yin wood, and yang wood. The 12 branches are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Boar/Pig. So if you are born in 2011 you are not just a Rabbit, you are a Yin Metal Rabbit. You will also have a stem and branch for your hour, day, and month of birth. To find your Chinese Horoscope click here.
A great book that begins with an in depth description of the Chinese calendar is our teacher’s book I Ching; The Book of Changes by Hua-Ching Ni.