2018 The Year of the Earth Dog: Chinese Cosmology (not Astrology)
Where western Astrology is based on planets, Chinese Cosmology is based on Taoist concepts of Tai Ji, or in other words, the essential Qi (energy) presented as Yin and Yang in their continuous cycle of mutation and renewal. Another important concept to understand in Chinese Cosmology are the 3 powers, Heaven, Man, and Earth. In Dao De Jong, Lao Tze comments:
Man follows the laws of the earth;
The earth follows the laws of heaven;
Heaven follows the laws of Tao;
Tao follows the laws of its intrinsic nature.
Therefore, knowing the renewing energies for the next year helps us to guide our steps harmoniously on Earth, following these laws.
Each year, new energies become regent, making their characteristics more influential in our lives. These energies are divided into Celestial Trunks and Earth Branches.
The Celestial Trunks are 10 energies represented by the 5 elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) in their polarities of Yin and Yang. Earth Branches are a combination of these energies in their cycle of growth and decline in their 12 phases. However, for better understanding, these energies were linked with an animal that represented the performance of these energies.
In 2018, which for the Chinese calendar begins on February 3 at 6:39 p.m., we will have the regency of Earth Dog. In addition to the element Earth in the Celestial Trunk, the Dog also has as predominance the Earth element. Thus, the characteristics of the Earth, especially Yang Earth will be in evidence.
Yang Earth energy is symbolic of: security, stability, solid foundations, reliability, wisdom, consistent accumulation, monks, sages and guardians, rest, authority; and its less positive attributes of stubbornness, isolation, impediments, barriers, and endings.
There are two other types of energy besides Yang Earth that the Dog represents - Metal and Fire, both with yin energy polarities. These have harmonic relationships with the element Earth, which will make the year fluid. The Dog has for himself the symbolism of the guardian, capable of self-sacrifice for the common good, able to appreciate the inner beauty, is loyal and faithful, and maintains the inner joy even in times of difficulty.
What to expect from the Year of the Earth Dog
There will be a great quest for stability. This search can bring an increase in conservative social movements. As an energy that brings characteristics of a lot of rationality, Earth energy will bring a tendency toward idealism, dogmas may be defended aggressively, and some people may close their circle of trust, avoidance of dialogues and discussion about beliefs, and a tendency toward isolation and loneliness.
However, as one of the most humanistic energies of Chinese cosmology, the Dog will emphasize the importance of universal values and solidarity, loyalty and fraternity. To overcome the difficulties and limitations, you will need to work as a group. The year favors meeting between friends and companions who share the same ideals/ideas.
This year also calls attention to family: cutting ties and small misunderstandings can be worked out with the emotional stability that this year provides. Family for ancient china was not only by blood, but by any group of people engaged in the same vital activity. So, the sense of community will become stronger and engagement in various small communities that we live in (work colleagues, neighborhood association, condominium, club, among others) will be beneficial.
At the same time, it is necessary to be careful with whom you associate because barriers can also come from these circles. The key is to partner with people who are trustworthy and share the same value base.
As a year that emphasizes our foundations, ethics, morals, values, education, and health are fundamental issues that must be reviewed and improved so that they can be solid foundations for our existence.
Liberal arts and sciences will be highlighted; courses, seminars, and lectures will be popular; public space can become a place for philosophical discussions and exchanges of ideas. There may be significant changes to educational programs, schools and universities, aggregating and englobing the community. The emergence of new authors and philosophers, as well as reprints of texts by great writers and classical poets who have been forgotten should awaken and nourish this collective consciousness.
It will be a good year for lifestyle changes, to quit smoking, finally exercising, moving to a new house, starting a business, and changing jobs. However, these changes must be made on solid principles; they should be well planned and executed in small steps each day. Therefore, everyone will need perseverance. It is a good time to organize personal and professional life with confidence and efficiency.
It will also be a year of good job opportunities, but pay and recognition may be low. In business, transparency and reliability will thrive. People will be searching for referrals; they will not be prone to believe only in advertising or in image. Individual competence may find resistance and skepticism.
As for investments, it is a good year to restructure and consolidate preferably low risk investments. The real estate market tends to remain active; it is a good time to buy but not to sell. A year to pay off debts, clean up the budget and not run up any unnecessary expenses.
Success in relationships will depend on the ability to share experiences, ideals and emotions; and avoid isolation. It is a good year to find lasting relationships.
The year also refers to endings so, it is necessary to evaluate what no longer has a future and leave these projects in history, without sticking to them out of stubbornness.
In all ways, this will be a year to keep your feet on the ground and your head out of the clouds. Take careful and well-planned steps; learning how to manage the energy available for personal projects will be vital. It is a year to train patience, serenity, acceptance, resilience and constancy. Use creativity to find solutions to blocks and barriers. Finally, when encountering difficulties, do not face them down, go around them.