January 28th 2017 is Chinese New Year! With the arrival of the New Moon, we usher in the Year of the Fire Rooster.
What is Chinese New Year all about?
Chinese New Year is celebrated at the second new moon after Winter Solstice. This particular new moon typically falls between January 21st and February 20th. As many of us know, the lunisolar calendar is governed by the sun and moon, naturally carrying with it many metaphysical implications for us here on Earth. This significant lunar-powered day is steeped in centuries of tradition, myth, and wisdom. The modern Chinese language name for Chinese New Year literally translates into “spring festival” – a time-honored celebration of ancestors and deities, and an acknowledgement of the coming of spring.
This is a time for cleansing and clearing of our altars, spaces, and homes from the energy of the last year. In Buddhist or Taoist practice, home altars and statues are cleaned thoroughly, and decorations used to adorn altars over the past year are taken down and burned a week before the new year starts. They are replaced with new decorations and sweet offerings to usher in fresh energies of good fortune from the deities and spirits. Prayers of thanks are given by Buddhists, Christians, and Taoists alike for the safe passing of the previous year, while Confucianists take time to honor their ancestors with remembrance, a time-honored ritual that I deeply appreciate.
How does the Chinese Zodiac work?
The Chinese Shēngxiào, what we know as Chinese zodiac, literally means “birth likeness”. Our Gregorian calendar is slightly off from the lunisolar calendar used in many Eastern traditions and cultures since ancient times. This gives us an entirely different and powerful zodiac (which, by the way, means “animal wheel” in Greek etymology) made up of twelve different animals, assigned to years rather than months, as our Western zodiac does. Each year falls under a powerful animal sign.
Another beautiful part of this zodiac is the presence of the influences of the elements of fire, earth, water, wood, and metal. The elements are assigned to years based on the number a year ends in; thus we now greet the element of fire, which governs years ending in 6 or 7. Each animal also has its own assigned fixed element, and Rooster carries a fixed element of metal.
Remember my fellow stargazers, in calculating your Chinese zodiac, if your birthday falls before the second new moon of winter, then your Chinese zodiac is not the same as your Gregorian calendar birth year – it’s actually the year before. Here’s an example – those born between January 25th,1979 to February 15th, 1980 fall under Year of the Goat, with Yin earth element. Those who arrived before January 25th 1979 would fall under the 1978 zodiac. With so many elements and energies here, we can dive deep into this zodiac just as we can with western zodiac. Curious about astrology? Come see my astrology class here.
What Fire Rooster may bring in 2017
Rooster is the tenth sign of the Chinese zodiac. Led by a strong instinct, this animal sign is known for being dominant, punctual, incredibly loyal, and courageous.
The Chinese zodiac is heavily governed by Feng Shui principles and based on ancient properties of Yin and Yang. This Year of the Fire Rooster is symbolized by two elements – we have Yin fire for 2017 in addition to Rooster’s fixed element, metal. Yin fire is an energy of destruction, but in a good way. Yin fire enjoys burning things down in order to start again from scratch and rebuild better than before. This is further propelled by the energy of Rooster, a hardworking and confident metal element. However, fire also brings an aspect of warmth and strategic insight.
All of this means 2017 is the year for working diligently towards your dreams and practicing patience. This is what success will cost you. So this is a good year to spend some quality time with family and loved ones, and to beware of getting caught up in old negative thought patterns. Those of you who are single, this is an energetically aligned year for starting new relationships or getting married. And if you yourself are a Rooster, 2017 is said to be an unlucky year for you. Take extra care with your health, and be overly cautious with your finances.
Ritual for Chinese New Year – Year of the Fire Rooster
Join me in greeting fire with fire, burning away the old energies of the year past, thanking them as we send them on their journey. I love the ritual of clearing my altar of last year’s energy and items to create space for the new that approaches. I suggest smudging your altar space and items you may wish to return to your altar for use in the new year. Welcome in a new gemstone with attraction properties, or a sweet smelling anointing oil, to attract the good-luck spirits as the ancients once did, with offerings of sweets and candies.
I have some beautiful New Year intentions offerings for you to invoke major manifestation energy, so that your Year of the Fire Rooster is a powerful one of luck, love, and success.
With love and fire blessings,