The world needs an ox. Boy does it need an ox. Grounded, loyal, gentle and trustworthy, the ox fixes and stabilizes, heals and unifies. And on Friday, the ox will finally arrive as our friends in East Asia celebrate the lunar new year and mark the start to new beginnings.
The ox is known to work hard and plan and because of that some see this ox year as one that will take the negative challenges of last year – a rat year that brought a world-wide pandemic – and transform them into positive outcomes. But the ox year can’t do it alone. We have to put on our ox hats and work at it too. There does seem to be light at the end of this COVID tunnel, but like an ox, we must stay focused and persistent, ensuring that we reach our goal of ending this pandemic.
Although many are positive about the upcoming year of the ox, seeing its reliable nature as something that will get us through the next few months, there are some doubts. In particular, feng shui master Raymond Lo warns that it could be a “bleak” year. That is because this year’s ox isn’t just any old ox but a metal ox. In Chinese astrology, a new year doesn’t just usher in a new animal, it also brings forth a new element. In addition to being associated with an animal, each year is also associated with one of the five astrologic elements (metal, wood, water, fire and earth). For 2021, that element is metal. But at the same time, each zodiac animal is independently associated with one of the five elements. And a ox’s intrinsic element is earth. According to Lo, mixing an earth ox with a metal year “is a symbol of a harsh and cold atmosphere that incites disharmony, conflict, assassination, and terrorism.” But Lo has never been a “glass half full” kind of feng shui master and if you ask me, Lo seems to be a little too focused on 1901, another metal ox year that saw the assassination of U.S. President William McKinley, the attempted assassination of German Emperor Wilhelm II, and an attempted coup in Portugal. Let’s hope these are all things of the past.
What does year of the metal ox mean for you? That depends on how your zodiac sign interacts with the ox. To find out your wealth, career, love and health prospects for 2021, click here (Don’t know your Chinese zodiac sign? Find out here).
But most importantly, the lunar new year is a time to cherish your loved ones. That’s hard to do in person right now, but maybe this weekend you, your friends and family can each order in some dumplings (traditional new year food in northern China), hop on the Zoom, and reminisce about the good times you have had together and plan for more in the future! With that, I wish everyone a happy and healthy new year and 恭喜发财! (gong-see-fah-tsai – “may you be happy & prosperous!”)
Since many will be missing outdoor lion dances this year, here is a great performance from Hong Kong, 2019.