The Yin Ox stamps in and the Yang Rat squeaks away, but the Metal Element from these years prevails, which in our body is associated with:
The Lungs, representing the respiratory system and yin meridian, the breath that keeps us alive, just not happening through our nose from which the vital Chi/Qi/energy flows in and out, but also our skin. And the Large Intestine, representing the eliminating system and yang meridian, getting rid of the waste from within, generating evolution and change. May we apply this perfect mechanism of our internal selves into our external lives.
Last year the world changed with the Covid pandemic, that affects the lungs!… This brought sadness and grief, indeed a process of letting go, but also appealed to the courage and the confidence to deal with challenges and changes in these uncertain extraordinary times. Interesting, as these are the emotions and virtues of the Metal Element (sadness & grief, courage & confidence, respectively).
The Ox, in Chinese culture, is a hardworking zodiac sign. It usually signifies movements so, hopefully, the world will be less static than last year and get moving again in the second half of the year. Feng Shui master, Thierry Chow
Also known as a good time to settle domestic affairs and put your house in order.
Some believe that Metal Ox can be years of recovery…
Being a yin year may be softer than the previous one, although it’s always up to each of us. After all, is not what happens, but how we react to the happening.
Ox is the 2nd animal of the Chinese Zodiac, being this the lunar number, reinforcing the feminine/yin qualities… And in her phases, the Moon has two horns.
In numerology, we are in year 5 (2+0+2+1). Representing transformation, freedom, the balance between the material and spiritual world, look at the 5 Elements with their constant interaction resulting in nature’s perfect balance. The 5 Elements are also associated with the five senses (the Metal with the scent), and look at our bodies: five fingers and toes in our hands and feet!
The special dynamic energy of number five, the shamanic number, and the five stages of a woman’s life, for this reason, I created the 5 Steps to Heaven, Jade Egg Holistic Practice Training.
As usual, we started the Chinese New Year on the New Moon, but this Aquarius New Moon was indeed special, as we had six planets in Aquarius, a rare happening indeed marking this New Era of Aquarius that is upon us!
The last time we had so many planets in Aquarius was in February 1962 marked with the Hippie movement rising with so many demonstrations against war and injustice, the fighting for women, civil, gay rights, racial and gender equality, etc…
Is a Light Revolution for equality, unity, a better world starting in the digital format?
Well, the Aquarius is the activist, rebel, revolutionary, who reminds us of the striving for our individuality within the collective needs, the philanthropic, the one who will be always standing for freedom.
But the Ox energy is quite different, although the blending and balance of these East and West astrological aspects can be promising!…
Ox enforces the law, things have to be straightforward and clear, his diligence and discipline don’t accommodate tricks or shortcuts, and his honest and reliable nature likes stability.
The Ox (also known as the Buffalo) has the patience and determination to fulfil their goals through consistent effort, self-sacrifices if needed, with a deliberate plan before taking action that leads to success, which they like to savour and be recognised for.
What recognition do you want to have in your life this year?
Some say the Ox can be conventional, although is a very independent mind and not swayed by the opinions of others, or influenced by the environment, and he doesn’t like opposition and failure.
I think it’s great to persist with our ideas, but indeed let’s bring in the yin qualities of open mind and flexibility to bring balance to the journey, otherwise, we may get caught in rigidity making things much harder than needed.
“The ox is grounded, loyal, gentle and trustworthy.” Astrologer Jupiter Lai
In China, it is considered an animal of strength that is associated with a good harvest and fertility.
Besides the remarkable stamina of the Ox, which comes along with his resilience, humility, kind-hearted and methodical approach to life, the Metal Ox is also known for being self-sufficient and resourceful, less objective and more intuitive, harmonising the logic and vision.
Beware of the “passive and calm Ox”, because when he loses his temper, will act like the bull and attack anyone on his way! And this can cause irreparable damage… For you don’t find yourself in such a situation grounding and breathing is the key!
As you cultivate your grounding on a regular basis, you don’t just develop strength but can consciously create energetic boundaries which keep you more protected or less affected by others, also breathing, not only has a calming effect, but a good deep breath brings oxygen to your brain!
How can you do this?
- Qigong – is all about rooting and breathing! as Tai Chi. Walking and standing barefoot on Mother Earth, breathing towards Her, She is the greatest and closest ally! And Dancing.
I’m calling the Golden Ox Year as it also has a Divine Power associated with it, after all, “a good harvest” can be interpreted as ‘good luck’, and part of the Ox legends say that he used to be a messenger of Heaven’s, travelling between the spiritual and mundane world, is that perhaps why Jade is the healing crystal for the Ox?
Jade is indeed known to be the “Heaven Stone”, but I’ll bring the Earth Element aspect of the Jade supporting grounding and its fertility properties, whatever will birth into new life or birth into new achievements and dreams.
The Jade Egg can be an amazing tool, (and indeed being taken as a jewel and talisman) when properly used to strengthen your yin qualities and so much more!… Being Venus the planet associated with Metal Element, and the planet of Divine Feminine, love and sacred sexuality, can be indeed an anchor for this year!
More Divine aspects of the Ox:
Was seen as altruistic as it serves mankind, also by being an auspicious animal, given the Ox a reputation for granting wishes.
Once figures of oxen were thrown in the river to prevent flooding.
One of the Taoist Immortals rides an Ox.
Buddhist say the Ox represents Buddha nature.
In China, many people do not eat beef as the Ox is respected for the help it gives in working land.
This of course takes me to India, the female aspect of the Ox, the Cow, whom for the Hindus is sacred, representing the Mother, the fertility and abundance, they worshipped as the Mother of all Gods, so it’s just not only about don’t eat beef, you can see cows (and bulls) walking freely in the streets, with offers and prayers done to them.
The Buffalo was also sacred in the Native American tradition, associated with prayer and abundance. Adapted from Jamie Sams in Medicine Cards:
In the Lakota tradition, it was the White Buffalo Calf Woman who brought the sacred pipe to people and taught them to pray. The appearance of White Buffalo is a sign prayers are being heard, that the sacred pipe is being honoured, and that promises of prophecy are being fulfilled. White Buffalo, signs a time of abundance and plenty.
But if your hand is closed in a fist, you cannot receive the bounty of abundance…
So how do you relate to the Ox, Buffalo, Cow?
You can think about the animal, whatever you had physical contact with, or how it is coming to you throughout the day (images, words…), through meditation, shamanic journey, and dreams.
Tune in to the energy in the air, and also bring the aspects of the Ox that can support you this year to make the most of it!
*** I have had so many sweet stories since I was a child in the countryside where my grandfather lived, from the time living in India, but also encounters with the special Scottish bull and African buffalo in their lands, indeed powerful and confirming so many of the things mentioned above.
Wishing you a Shining Gold Ox Year! Reinforce your goals, let the abundance flow, allowing the gentleness of your powerful feminine to glow!
My motto is: Steady & Strong Here I come!
Ox Zen painting by Kris Deva North.
White Buffalo Calf Woman by Katherine Skaggs.
***For those who like stories.
On my travels to India I made many friends of cows, bulls and water buffalos these last 13 years, but was these two Oxen/Bulls, who were indeed special, on my first trips, and these Cows on the last ones:
*** I was in the Himalayas and used to see this magnificent big bull everyday walking through the market, I always moved out of his way but my eyes and thoughts towards him were always of contemplation. One day the street was busy, and I found myself standing still in front of him, so close that we were eye to eye, so I just gently brought my hand to his nose, he got even closer and started to licking my hand and then wanted to come to my face! Although ‘I love you too Amigo, but not on my face…!’ Just imagine a cat’s tongue but much bigger and sticky all over you!!
*** Now on the edges of the desert on the holy town that became home, one night I was walking to my place that was in a few back streets from the market, and I spotted this enormous bull, who besides being really old, his back legs weren’t working anymore, so was like he was dragging them… I felt like he was following me at his slow pace, but didn’t give much attention. I was outside of my place talking with a friend for a while, and the bull arrived, it may have taken him half an hour!! And there he was just looking at me with his deep eyes, and I felt he wanted some healing. I got closer and just placed my hands close to his body without touching, when he had enough he walked away, and of course I was intrigued with the sense of relief I felt from him. Next day when I looked for him I didn’t find him… I got to know a few days later that he went to sleep in his shelter and didn’t wake up, a “peaceful death” they said.
*** Kali was the name I gave to the cow that came to me crying (literally) with a hole in her leg and pregnant. The place I was staying allowed her to stay there, and when I took her to the doctor who wanted to amputate her, I begged to give her a chance, as had to be another way. After good food, lots of healing, twice a day leg care and prayers, when we went to the next appointment they couldn’t believe that she actually had recovered, not totally, but enough to no need to be amputated anymore! Me and her developed such a deep connection, that before I left India that time, she had been sent to a shelter and I went there to say goodbye. As I found her in this field full of cows, bulls and buffaloes, our goodbye was so tender that she followed me all the way, and just stayed on a gate staring at me, I missed her and I wish I could have taken to my garden in London!
*** Pushpa was the name of the cow I witnessed borne, it means flower as she was so sweet when she looked at me (I was already a friend of her mum Raki, the cow from our place). Who would tell me that one month after this was my best and cheerful company during the lockdown in India?… I used to cowsit for her when her mum went for the daily walks, and we played a lot. She became famous worldwide through my video calls with family and friends.
As I was leaving India, for a stressed travelling during the height of the pandemic restrictions, suddenly Raki and the other cows came back earlier from their walk, I felt like a farewell and big blessings to my journey which went miraculously well against all the odds!
Now in Scotland, on my first trip to teach in Edinburgh:
*** I was so curious to see the typical hairy scottish bulls, so with my organiser and sister there we went to buy carrots to give them in the field in the countryside outside of the capital. Used to hug cows in india, here was a totally different story, I remember how strongly he hold his ground, but eventually ‘he let me in’ keeping some distance and a lot of respect, but also made a friend!
The two times I was in the South African wilderness, I had the most powerful encounter with the famous African Buffalo:
*** Who will attack a person looking into the eyes, and could pace hunters and other predators in order to get away with it. My first experience was when I first saw an African Buffalo, he came so close to the car and was the only animal I had to put down the camera to look him in the eyes… and how incredibly strong this was! Then I asked him permission and just feeling the yes I went ahead with the photo. The second experience was randomly coming out of an elephant huge reserve who was there on the road waiting for us? The splendid buffalo! This time was a few minutes looking into each other’s eyes, like a transcendental meditation, and then off we went.