The Year of the Yang Fire Monkey is almost upon us. With the coming of the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice, the Chinese New Year begins on February 8, 2016.
When there is a change from an inner “Yin” year, like last years’ Yin Wood Sheep, to an expansive “Yang” year, we can count on some surprises. Last year was a year to stay close to home and enjoy our family and community. It was a year for inner cultivation. Now those energies are dispersing, making way for a big shift to the bold, outward fire element.
Monkeys symbolize irrepressible curiosity and creative energy that makes this year a potent opportunity to initiate, welcome and celebrate change. It will be an auspicious time for new endeavors, inventions and for drawing on courage to take risks. It is said that the Monkey is filled with humor and wit; we can draw on this to help navigate through stressful times with more levity and ease. Plus, the Monkey is able to find unconventional solutions to old problems. All these qualities can mean a year where anything can happen.
The Fire Monkey is considered generous, intelligent, very active and strong-minded. On the shadow side the Monkey can be a bit of a trickster. This mischievous animal moves with a fast pace and is filled with exuberance.
“I am burdened with what the Buddhists call the monkey mind. The thoughts that swing from limb to limb, stopping only to scratch themselves, spit and howl. My mind swings wildly through time, touching on dozens of ideas a minute, unharnessed and undisciplined.” – Elizabeth Gilbert
On another note, the Monkey plays an important role in the stories and mythology of several eastern traditions. Sometimes portrayed initially as foolish, vain and mischievous, the Monkey eventually learns valuable lessons, makes changes and finds redemption. In some stories, the Monkey symbolizes themes of repentance, responsibility and devotion.
This is an auspicious year to act on our creativity, play more and cultivate patience. It can also be a year with lots of monkey business ahead. We’re so lucky to have our qigong practices to keep us steady and grounded. The Five Element Circulating Method Meditation is especially practical for supporting us during times of great change. Adding in daily breathing exercises will help keep us connected to earth.
I am optimistic and curious about this year of the Yang Fire Monkey. There are several new endeavors I am exploring, plus, I am married to a Monkey. Leonard will come full circle through the 12 Chinese Zodiac animals and five elements this year. Celebrating that will certainly create some fun adventures.
Wishing everyone a wonderful year filled with humor, play, inventiveness and maybe a bit of mischief. To all you Monkeys out there – Happy Birthday!