At this time of year, there are celebrations in many cultures, including Imbolc, an ancient Irish tradition connected to the birth of milk sheep as a source of nourishment and the growing light toward springtime. The Greek Dionysian celebrations and Roman Saturnalia are the ancient origins of Carnevale. They were moments of renewal when social obligations were dissolved and the hierarchical orders were overturned to give space for playfulness, chaos and debauchery. The tradition of using masks at Carnevale might have originated in the Egyptian celebrations in honor of Isis, which were imported by the Roman Empire.
The next full moon, February 8 is the New Year of the lunar calendar, traditionally used in many countries of Asia, including China. According to this system, 2016 is the year of the yang Fire Monkey. Powerful! As you may know, every year is connected to an animal/lunar zodiac sign (there are 12), a Taoist element (there are 5, each one associated with a planet: water-Mercury, metal-Venus, fire-Mars, earth-Saturn, wood-Jupiter) and is also categorized as yin (feminine) or yang (masculine).
So here we are, moving from the yin Wood Sheep of 2015 to the yang Fire Monkey of 2016. Changing gears! The Monkey is associated with the zodiac sign Leo in the western tradition. It’s a creative, fun, vivacious influence, full of expression, quick thinking and leadership capacity. It’s already a fiery sign, and this is increased twice, by the fire element of this year, which brings passion, joy, energy and dynamism, and by the masculine-yang influence.
It is a year full of exuberance that moves with speed and determination. The Monkey increases communication and a sense of humor that can help us to move beyond stressful moments with ease and tranquility. Unusual solutions for old problems could come forward, and we can achieve successes – even in the most incredible plans – through strong personal effort, if we dare to try diverse strategies. A spirit of risk and rebellion is present. Physical movement is also useful.
It’s important not to go too far beyond our capacities, especially during the heat of summer. It is also important to verify the authenticity of words exchanged in velocity, basing our evaluations on facts and not emotions. Sometimes it is necessary to calm the monkey-mind that jumps from one thing to another without stabilizing and deepening an effect. Anyhow, it is useful to keep moving. If something doesn’t work, seek another path instead of staying stuck in analyzing the past.
It’s a year of movement and achievements, a year to speed ahead with new and innovative ideas put into action, daring to launch new projects, to be playful and courageous.
2016: L’anno della Scimmia di fuoco yang