Most people in the west have seen the 12 animals of the Asian zodiac at one point or another - usually on the back of a placemat at a favorite Chinese restaurant. The Lunar calendar and its animal ambassadors represent the tangible connection ancient Asia felt to the natural world - as one with it rather than separate from it.
Each one of the 12 animals chosen for the annual calendar has a specific constitutional nature which gives a general idea as to how the year it represents will behave. However, to mitigate the risk of being too general, each year was also assigned an element (Wood / Fire / Earth / Metal / Water) in order to give a more exacting idea of the year's personality. When we multiple 12 animals by 5 elements - we have a 60 year cycle. A Fire Dog is a completely different beast than an Earth Dog; same animal, same constitutional nature, but different personality. You'll need to watch out for the bite of one and want to cuddle with the other.
This is the year of the Wood Horse. Because of wood's association with springtime and everything green, it's also correct to say "Spring Horse" or "Green Horse". Whatever the kids are calling it, saddle up because it's going to be AWE-some!
What's in Store for Us
To understand the personality of 2014, we must first break down the individual parts of the cycle we’re in: Fire, Wood, Yang, and Horse.
Fire is the Horse’s constitutional element, which is that of relationships, connection, spirit and consciousness. It’s the element of the Heart, joy, and when the sun, our closest star, is at its noon zenith in the sky, sending all shadows into hiding.
Wood is the element of growth and new life. The 5-element cycle starts at wood because it’s the element of birth, spring, and new beginnings.
As a Yang animal; the horse is an animal of movement and activity. Yang represents the heavens, the light side of the mountain, and activity. Yang is kinetic energy whereas Yin is potential.
- The Horse is a majestic beast with a wildly beautiful nature.
- When running at full speed, all four of the horses hooves leave the ground allowing it the ability to temporarily break all rules of gravity and fly. It’s not earth bound quite the same way other animals are – it doesn’t have the same attachments.
- This was an animal that historically was not put to work in the fields; that was left to the Ox. The horse represents transportation. The warrior with the superior horse had the upper hand in battle – therefore, the horse was the warrior’s best friend.
- There’s a wild nature to the horse; when left to its own the horse is a pack animal with a free nature yet maintains a very high emotional IQ. Its intuitive and emotive nature is what keeps it free when wild.
- When brought into a relationship with humans, because it’s so highly intelligent – the horse represents moving forward. Whenever it’s been introduced as a “working” animal into societies, we see a technological advancement. The stirrup is often sited as one of the top 10 greatest inventions – because it allowed man to harness the power of the horse.
- The term “healthy as a horse” represents its reputation for stamina and ability to adapt to a variety of situations.
So what happens when we put this all together? A pretty damn good year.
When all the individual parts of the cycle are reassembled, we're looking down the barrel of a Promethean year full of creativity and epic new beginnings. Take comfort in the fact that your trusty steed is here and that YOU are the knight in shining armor!
The past two years were water; a time of appropriate deep reflection where issues from the subconscious realm of water percolate up into the conscious fire mind so that we can see with clarity the action we need to take on what we’ve been wrestling with just below the surface. The time for wallowing is done! Really – enough already. This is the time to step out of antique emotional clutter and forgive those painful memories, shoulda-woulda-couldas, and regrets.
Wood is the material substance that allows fire to burn; this year acts as diesel fuel to give the impulsively passionate nature of the Yang Horse the energy and substance to move forward – whether you want to or not! However, this is forward movement full of grace, optimism, and light. There’s an intrinsic beauty to the flow of 2014.
Many of us have a deep fear of horses; however, many of us fear change even more. The year of the horse is all about the ride; the beauty of the changing scenery and the journey. It's not about the destination, but about working through challenges with our heads held high. Riding a horse gives you a superior line of vision because of your vantage point in the saddle; you’re able to see further along the horizon and move much more quickly than usual. The mighty steed is what carries the warrior to victory!
The Horse represents the heart, each having its own unique cadence and rhythm. This is the year to follow your inner voice like never before; don’t ignore it. Feel your cadence, go where your spirit moves you, and listen to your intuition. Fire brings light and has a tendency to turn up the volume on events - everything in the room gets a little louder and a little hotter. Because your heart fire is going to be stoked by the abundance of wood, the volume on your intuition may get turned up to the point where you can’t ignore it. Follow your intuition with fearless abandon; it's the horse’s intuition that keeps it alive in the wild.
Because your heart will be louder than your head for a change; enjoy the feeling of the trust fall and believe with your heart. Embrace a revitalized and renewed sensitivity for the good things in life – especially people. Love of all type is in the air this year; personal friendships, business partnerships, romantic relationships, and self. There’s enough to go around for everyone; this is the year to put “foster social connections” on the top of your to-do list.
This is also the year to look at your relationship with your finances. Lasso them in and tame your spending habits; don’t hide from your bank account or bills. A tamed and trained bank account can carry you to amazing places; don’t let it run wild.
A Few Words of Caution
Wood and Fire elemental years often exhibit stubborn and impulsive tendencies. Though this is the year of intuition, remember to control your impulsiveness, think through the consequences of your actions, and respond deliberately. This means watch for an uptick in STD’s; you don’t need to cage your stallion, just keep him on a short lead.
Anger will be public enemy number one this year. When wood is unbalanced it emotionally manifests as a hot uprising of emotion; however the emotional virtue of wood is benevolence. Tap into your benevolence to transform anger into compassion, anxiety into peace, and confusion into clarity.
If you've contemplated meditating, now is the time to start. You're the only one who can transform your anger, anxiety, and confusion. These are all things that will be riding a little closer to the surface than before and we may be feeling them more acutely than before. Use them as teachers. Healing means coming to a place of comfort; when we experience emotions that pain us, it means we're being given the opportunity to experience healing - but it's a choice. You're welcome to remain in anger, anxiety and confusion. But you're equally as welcome to step into compassion, peace, and clarity.
Wishing You a Fantastic Year!
Here's to wishing you love, light, your highest good, and plenty of horsey kisses throughout our next trip around the sun together!