Dr. Maoshing Ni
The oldest and most important festival in China is the Spring
Festival or the Chinese New Year. In China the date of the new year is
determined by the lunar calendar rather than the Western (Gregorian) calendar,
so the date of the holiday varies from late January to mid February. The Chinese
Lunar Year is the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2600
B.C., when the Yellow Emperor (See The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Medicine),
introduced the first cycle of the zodiac. This year it falls on February 1st.
A complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles
of 12 years each. The Chinese Lunar Calendar names each of the twelve years
after an animal. They were the Rat, the Ox, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon,
the Snake, the Horse, the Sheep, the Monkey, the Rooster, the Dog and the Pig.
February 1, 2003 begins the Chinese New Year of the Sheep.
2002 was the year of the "Water" Horse, which contains the elemental energies of
Water and Fire (Horse). As a result, year 2002 was not a peaceful year, because
Water and Fire are in conflict with each other. The hostility between nations in
the world reflects the tension of these two elements colliding. Another extreme
example of fire and water at work were the terrible floods and fires in the US
and around the world in 2002.
Year 2003 is the year of the "Black" Sheep. The elemental energy is Water and
the color that corresponds with the Water element is black, hence-black sheep.
In general, the Year of the Sheep is slower, especially on the heel of the
up-and-down, go-go pace of the Horse Year. The first couple of months of 2003
will be heavy with Water energy; therefore, lookout for a wet first quarter.
The elemental Water energy teaches us the virtue of patience,
understanding, cooperation, support and nurturance. 2003 will bring our
attention back to family life, relationships and community. It's a time for
reconciliation and peace making. Cooperation -- even with rivals -- along with
re-establishing old contacts, will prove profitable. Increased global awareness
of precarious political and environmental situations will hopefully bring about
more peaceful and constructive solutions. Be aware, though, that the conflicts
carried over from 2002 will remain until the fall of 2003. Also because 2003 is
considered a pivot year between two energy cycles, be prepared for surprises
from the Black Sheep! In other words, there is an element of unpredictability.
2003 is a good year to expand in new directions, although one
should not expect immediate payoff. For energy placement, the northern and
southern portions of your house or workplace are filled with good energy. Focus
your efforts on humanities, charity, arts and health. Take care of others, and
yourself, everything else will follow.
Wishing you and your family a happy, healthy and harmonious
Dr. Maoshing Ni, a Licensed Acupuncturist and a
Diplomat of Chinese Herbology, is currently in general practice with specialties
in immunology, pulmonology and gastroenterology.