While the western world has already moved on to 2017, in the Chinese culture the new year is initiated by the Second Moon after the winter solstice, which marks the date of the 28th of January this year.
Celebrations traditionally run for about two weeks within the Chinese communities around the world, with great parades that display lively colours, charming folk melodies and dances.
2017 is going to be the year of the Fire Rooster according to the Chinese Zodiac and the philosophy of the elements, both related to the Chinese calendar.
The Chinese Zodiac is a repeating cycle of 12 years, each year being represented by an animal and the attributes that said animal evokes in people’s perception, dating back to an ancient Chinese culture. In the same cyclic order, these creatures are associated with one of the five elements, wood, fire, earth, water and metal: they help shape and define the attributes of these animals in a more precise way, giving us an insight on how to approach the upcoming year.
The Fire Rooster is therefore a proud, generous, trustworthy, punctual and responsible creature, which is perceived as a good omen, bringing positive energies to face changes and reach practical solutions to challenges, all qualities that will restore hope and confidence in all of us especially after a difficult 2016 Metal Monkey year (during which the Tarot card of the Tower has caused enough trouble).
As a matter of fact, the ability of the Fire element of the 2017 Rooster to melt the Metal element of the previous year will fulfil our need of reconstruction, bringing a great restoration and beating the darkness with its bright light.
Of course these predictions are only a useful tool to guide our actions towards success, our attitude will be fundamental in order to reach satisfaction: motivation and team work are going to be the key to achieve results, together with focusing on ourselves and making less chaotic and more consistent steps to reach our goals.
As long as everything combined flows smoothly, the energy brought by the Rooster will make us feel like a real cockerel in its farmyard, walking proud protecting its chickens, head high and satisfied of its flock.
The rooster is a warrior, brave when faced with adversity, proceeding like a samurai. It teaches us to use strategy in order to achieve psychological advantage over our adversaries, preferring the use of diplomacy to that of force and arrogance.
It is a sacred creature in many cultures and religions around the globe, charged with a powerful spiritual symbolism. In certain parts of Indonesia the “sacred cockfight” is a Hindu religious ceremony that favours the pacification of the demons, while in several myths the cock has the power to revive the dead or to make a wish come true.
In Shamanism cultures the rooster is used as a shield against evil spirits by Shamans during religious rituals, because of its strong and bright spirit able to build a great barrier against negative energies.
Concerning Judeo-Christian traditions, as quoted in “A Treasure of Jewish Quotations” by Joseph L. Baron- 1985, the Talmud says about animals “had the Torah not been given to us, we would have learned modesty from cats, honest toil from ants, chastity from doves and gallantry from cocks”. Animals are associated with given characteristics projected on them by humans, and religious books such as The Book of Proverbs identify a spiritual purpose in animals and use them as a vessel to teach the disciples how to behave correctly.
For Christian nations the parts of a house have a spiritual meaning: while the roof is linked with Gods and the spirit of our ancestors, the lower portion is linked with natural spirits because it is usually occupied by animals, in which the rooster is particularly admired because of its courage and perseverance. In the Bayeux Tapestry (http://www.bayeuxtapestry.org.uk/ ) of the 1070s we can find the portrayal of a man installing a rooster on Westminster Abbey, as its image represents the perseverance of those who preach the word of God.
Regarding Islam, we find evidence of the divine and spiritual nature of the rooster in these words of prophet Muhammad: “when you hear the crowing of cocks, ask for Allah’s blessing for they have seen an angel”.
For Taoism the cock is a yang symbol together with the fire element, therefore representing action, the light of the sun, the day, brightness and warmth.
The Fire Rooster will convey its positivity in medicine as well: considering the rooster’s nature of pride in its appearance, it will invite us to apply this pride to ourselves by making changes for the
better in our lifestyle, such as beginning a healthier diet, quitting smoking and alcohol and practicing yoga. Also drugs will likely be replaced by improved alternatives focused on holistic medicine and herbs.
The Huangdi Neijing is a true guidance for Chinese doctors and gives an outline on Chinese medicine. In its first part, the Su wen (素問) we can understand that the dominant energy of this new year is going to be dryness (Zao): we’re going to deal with dry and flakey skin and hair, which can cause conditions such as dandruff. The cause is the excess of the Metal element that threatens wood, and as a result we and our pets are more prone to suffer from tendons inflammation, conjunctivitis, digestive problems and allergic reactions. The wind will be our biggest enemy, together with air pollution. In order to protect ourselves and our pets from these possible occurrences, we need to include more fruits, vegetables and fresh dairy products in our diets.
In addition, the most active acupoint is SP2 (Dadu, 大都) treated with needle or gently massaged for a period of 7 complete breaths. Why not try to massage this point on you and your dog or cat’s feet when cuddling on the sofa? Cuddling is one of the most effective forms of touch as it involves full body contact with your pet. We’re going to specifically talk about Tui-Na in another article. At this point it’s useful to focus on the tonification of the Small and Large Intestine meridians by using a gentle movement of the thumb in the direction of the natural flow of the channel. On the other hand, it could be useful to disperse pathogenic wind by treating wind points (Feng), or to tonify blood (Xue) by treating LR14 (Qimen, 期門), SP6 (Sanyinjiao, 三陰交) and BL17 (Geshu, 膈 ).
Dry cough or stool in our dogs and cats can be treated with the addition of fresh tomatoes, citrus fruits, olives and lamb meat to their diet. Licorice and mallow root decoction usually used in herbal medicine are also suitable for animals, as long as we pay attention to the amount we use. Feng shui guidelines for this upcoming year suggest the use of royal purple and blue tones, as they are considered healing colours. The use of crystals like amethyst for dreams and psychic awareness is recommended, as well as topaz to improve inspiration. Surround yourselves with myrrh incense in your houses, and embrace the fragrance of oak trees when you walk in a park. Chinese astrologers have predicted this new year to be propitious for the development of family and domestic life, so we hope that all the helpless and unprotected homeless animals will find a loving
family in 2017.
Happy New Rooster Year,