Each year has a different energy – we can feel it. If you think back to one of your favourite years –how did it feel? Full of lots of joyful events? A big move, perhaps, and all of its excitement or lots of travel and an air of adventure? Then think about a year that wasn’t quite so plain sailing…when things didn’t quite go to plan, or maybe it was overshadowed by particular events or issues.
Each year has a different feel for us individually, as well as collectively. As the Chinese New Year is marked today by welcoming in the Year of the Earth Pig, the Chinese Calendar has a brilliant way of helping us understand the energy of each year.
Riffling through the basics
As an overview of how the Chinese Calendar works – each year is ruled by one of the 12 animals from the Chinese Zodiac. 2019 will be the Year of the Pig, taking over from 2018’s Dog Year…
Every two years also has a different influencing ‘element’. There are 5 elements in traditional Chinese philosophy – water, wood, fire, earth and metal. We’re heading into the second year of the ‘earth’ cycle.
In tandem with this, the years alternate between being a yin year and a yang year. Yang is the masculine energy (also associated with day, sun, right…) and yin is associated with the feminine energy (and the other polar opposites of night, moon, left and so on). And the Year of the Earth Pig is a yin year…
Ok, so we’ve unearthed the basics of the Chinese Zodiac, and I’ll talk about what this all means for the coming year shortly…(and expose all of those precious truffles!)
Ideal immersion into our intentions
But first let’s look at why the Chinese New Year is an ideal time to designate as the start to our intentions rather than the Gregorian start of the year…and why getting on track with your running intentions now is a great time to see them through the year. With this momentum, applying these intentions and habits to other aspects of your life will have an all-round positive gravitas!
The Chinese Calendar is lined up with the moon. Specifically, it’s lined up with the new moon, and more specifically still, the Chinese year starts when the new moon is in the Aquarius sector of the sky. (Each of the 12 constellations of the Western Zodiac corresponds to a different region of the sky; interestingly though, they’re not equally spread, unlike the zodiac periods that we think about for our ‘star signs’.)
So it’s the new moon in Aquarius which signifies the start of the Chinese New Year, and this always falls between 21st January and 20th February. This year the new moon occurs on the night of the 4th-5th February (in the west), but wholly on the 5th in Asia, so this is the date given.
A watery new start
Starting any new project with the new moon adds that little je ne sais quoi to it! The new moon symbolises new beginnings, setting new intentions and it’s about planting new seeds.
The Aquarius new moon is a fabulous time to get motivated with your aims, and for setting high hopes – such as during the Immersion! – because the water sign of Aquarius is about building community and sharing our energy with like-minds! Creating new habits around this time is ideal, because new habits require us to let go of (or perhaps just modify a touch ; ) our old patterns.
Let’s throw the Pig into the mix (or should that be in to the water and mud?!)
The Pig year is a brilliant time to evaluate your actions. Hold this thought for a minute!
The Pig is considered to be a fortunate sign to the Chinese, and it symbolises wealth. (That’s why we have a Piggy Bank! : 0 ) Hurrah, you might say! And hurrah indeed – if we take action. Keep holding the thoughts…
The Pig nature is also very generous and has a kind heart. Its good nature sees the good in others. And yet it’s not all rose-tinted about it all – the Pig is really quite down-to-earth (particularly this Earth year!) and is a logical problem-solver. This means that this year will be a particularly fortunate one for getting organised, planning and then doing! (Perhaps this equates to you to taking your running training plan one notch higher and targeting some key races…?)
But let’s take a moment more and look back a little further…in order to move forward again. (I’m always a fan of a good review before striding forth! Not least because we have to work out where we are before we can work out where we can possibly get to…)
Each year, clearly, builds on the previous year, which builds on its previous year and so on and so on. We are all a function of our yesterdays, after all.
The last couple of years have been about us waking up to our true path (thanks to the Fire Rooster from 2017) and in 2018 the Earth Dog has asked us to overcome any hurdles to enable us to become faithful to that new path…just like all dogs want to be (when treated well)!
(If last year gave you a bit of a bite on the backside at any time – like a disgruntled hound might! – maybe there were trials that you needed to meet, greet and arguably, conquer!?)
This year is asking us to take action on that path that we’ve already embarked upon.
So, if you’ve been heading along a health and fitness route for the past couple years, perhaps you’ve been keen to address certain aspects of your health or to step up your running know-how, now’s the year to action on these things and integrate them into everyday.
Add the real New Year energy to these commitments to yourself and you’ll be a-mazed how much more easy it is to integrate these things into your lifestyle.
Being kind, caring and good to yourself
Oh, and recall that I said that the Pig was a kindly soul? Well, think about this in terms of being kind to yourself…there’s nothing like tending to your earthy roots with love, care and attention.
What’s more though – all of this kind-hearted earth energy may well just see us – all of us – taking more action to help heal and restore the earth herself… and building on the increasing awareness of the state of our planet (and our collective behaviour on it) from the couple of years which has seen us all offering some very faithful dog energy back to restoring our home to the happy state that it needs to thrive. It’s all energy!