January 25, 2020 is the start of the Chinese Year of the White Rat (or Mouse). The Rat is the first animal in the Chinese Zodiac system and this is the beginning of a completely new 12-year and 60-year cycle and is therefore considered the beginning of a new era. It is also the start of another decade, all of which makes it an especially important year for new beginnings and new possibilities. It is time to bring out new ideas, new plans and say yes to new opportunities. It is a good year for reinvention and starting over.
Rats are considered mostly positive animals to the Chinese and are appreciated for their cleverness and the ability to always find food. People born in the Year of the Rat are considered charming, adaptable, witty and sociable. Rats favor their young, so this is a year of youth empowerment and reclaiming one’s youthful self. People will feel younger and livelier. According to the legend, the Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride, jumping off right before the finish line to come in first. The energies of this year will no doubt inspire some of the tricksters and opportunists in society, so be wary of anything that sounds too good to be true!
This is a Yang Water Year with Yang Metal on top. These two elements are considered compatible and harmonious, as the Metal Element feeds the Water Element in the Parent - Child cycle of the Five Elements. This means that there is the potential for a peaceable year. However, there is an underlying, hidden aggression that these two powerful Yang elements bring to the year that should not be ignored and may emerge if provoked.
Yang Water is represented by the ocean, or large water, which also includes large lakes and large rivers. There is tremendous power in water this year and it is expected that there will be major flooding events caused by high tides, rising sea levels or larger than normal waves. Be prepared for saltwater intrusion into fresh water. Low lying coastal areas, particularly cities on the coast, will be very vulnerable to the flooding that comes from storm surges, possible tsunamis from large earthquakes, or from icebergs calving. There will be blizzards and rain events are likely to be deluges. It is anticipated that there will be more atmospheric rivers and large snow events will cause avalanches. Major rivers will also likely overflow their banks or lakes will rise, particularly near cities and flood expensive homes. Have your sandbags ready!
Yang Metal is the autumn and Yang Water is winter. This combination forecasts some very strong storms in these seasons. There will be extreme cold in many places; some that will be unused to such low, freezing temperatures. Because Metal and Water push into Wood in the Five Element Cycle, which in weather is Wind, you can expect some major windstorms, especially in the fall and this will also drive small water, which is rain and snow, making all the usual storms involving wind and water more Yang and therefore more dangerous. This will undoubtedly cause plane and car crashes due to the effects of severe weather conditions.
Water is an element that wants clarity and therefore truth, so past deceptions and secrets will continue to rise up to be seen and deep personal process work can be accomplished. Another interesting metaphor of 2020 implies that people will be able to “see” better and will have more clarity about what is true, especially regarding the past. This may also be literal, where vision improves in those who have vision problems.
The Year of the Rat is a very good year for improving health. People will feel more vital, alive and awake. Minor health issues can clear up easily and more serious or chronic illnesses can stabilize, as Yang Metal enhances the immune system and the Lungs. When people do get sick this year, they can recover quicker and easier. People will also heal from broken bones faster due to the strength of the Water Element.
People will want to take charge of their own health and there will a renewed focus on a healthier lifestyle, as the Metal Element increases the dedication to self-improvement. The Yang aspects of this year will make people want to exercise more in a natural way. Swimming, especially in saltwater pools or directly in the ocean is recommended and spending time in and around water will be very healing. Sleeping more is also recommended and insomnia should improve this year.
The cold weather, wind and the viruses of the fall and winter seasons will lead to cold conditions in Chinese Medicine, like circulation problems in the extremities, arthritis and tightness in the neck and shoulders from Wind-Cold. This may also lead to bouts of dizziness and heart palpitations. Remedies involve warming the body, like taking baths or soaking your feet are good, and remember to wear gloves, hats and scarves. And this is a particularly good year for drinking hot beverages like Tea with Lemon and Honey and for taking distilled spirits medicinally, as in Hot Toddys or Hot Buttered Rum, or pouring Brandy into your Coffee. Chicken Broth, Bone Broth and Vegetable Broths are also good for enhancing the immune system.
Many people will feel their ambition rise this year. But a realistic and somewhat skeptical appraisal of the steps necessary to accomplish goals will also be needed, as luck will be gained through discipline and consistency. This is also a good year for Higher Education and for people who hold advanced degrees. Significant life experience will also be more appreciated and the stories from elderly/older people will help younger people see the cycles within history. This will help alleviate some of the anxiety and stress of the last few years when events are seen in a bigger context. Wisdom will be much more appreciated and honored this year. Clairvoyance will also be enhanced this year and many people will gain insight through their dreams and in meditation.
There is an interesting dichotomy in the social aspect of this year. People may find themselves vacillating between being alone due to the Metal Element and to sometimes feeling too close to others from the Water Element. There will also be a desire to find time to think deeply about things and then a desire to share those thoughts with people that you trust. The Rat is a sociable creature, so be sure to make time for some enjoyable gatherings.
Overall it will be a very dynamic year. Mother Nature will be in charge and she will be temperamental, so be prepared by stocking emergency supplies in your homes, offices and cars and stay warm when the storms come. Luckily, many people will experience enhanced health and vitality and the winds of change will be blowing, altering the status quo for years to come!
©Lillian Bridges, Lotus Institute, Inc., 2020