Even though we in America and Europe celebrate our New Year on January 1, the Asian New year can begin anywhere between January 21 and February 18, depending on the year. It is totally dependent on when the first new moon appears in the sign of Aquarius (late January through mid-February). For example, last year (year of the horse) began on January 27, 1990, whereas the prior year, (year of the snake) began on February 6, 1989.
Those of you who were in Southeast Asia on January 30, 1968 know all too well what happened. January 30 marked the beginning of Tet which is the Vietnamese New Year. On that day, as Asia celebrated the year of the monkey, a massive coordinated assault was launched against America and her allies serving in South Vietnam. The surprise assault occurred during an agreed upon truce and cease fire to honor Tet; tens of thousands of Vietnamese rejoined their families, exchanged gifts, and celebrated the new year.
Military intelligence had little idea of the impending assault. We now know that the North Vietnamese government had issued a country-wide announcement, that because of a peculiar unforeseen conjunction of the earth, moon, and sun, the Tet holiday would begin on January 29, 1968, not January 30 as the lunar calendar had originally shown. This ploy was to allow the people to celebrate Tet a day earlier than scheduled, allowing the offensive to take place on what was considered "the perfect day," the true first day of Tet, in the year of the monkey.
The Oriental nations attach a great deal of importance to each of the 12 animals associated with a particular year, which run in a sequential order.
The art and practice of Ming Shu, known as "characterology" or, in some circles as Chinese astrology, traces its history to the most famous of Chinese Emperors, Huang Ti, known as the Yellow emperor. There was also a Red Emperor, White Emperor, and Green Emperor. At the time of their reign they were not associated with a color. This would evolve later when historians determined the developmental stage of China they served.
Even though Oriental character analysis traces its roots back several thousand years, it was not until approximately 1,000 years ago that specific animals were named for each year. Prior to that time the 12 signs were referred to as the "12 Earthly Branches."
It seems as if everything of significance can be traced to a legend to enhance the story; Chinese characterology is no exception. Legend has it that Buddha, seeing the need for a reorganization, summoned all of the animals in the kingdom for a meeting; however, only 12 animals showed up.
Buddha honored each of the animals in the order of their arrival and endowed each one with a year of its own. From that year forward, each year bore the character of the animal it was named for.
The order of the animals are: 1) rat, 2) ox (buffalo), 3) tiger, 4) cat (rabbit), 5) dragon, 6) snake, 7) horse, 8) goat (sheep -- lamb), 9) monkey, 10) rooster (cock), 11) dog, 12) pig (boar).
Each one of the 12 animal signs associated with a specific year has a specific character, quality, and personality trait which the person born within that year will carry. Likewise, each year will take on the character of the animal, as well. This is why the Tet offensive was launched on the first day of the year of the monkey. The person who is born on the first day of a new year, or an action which takes place on the first day of the new year, is destined for success.
Monkey years produce people and events which know few scruples. The Monkey is an opportunist who won't hesitate to lie or engage in some type of double-dealing to further its cause. They will continue to be dishonest as long as they can get away with it. Lying, cheating, and stealing are predominant in Monkey years. Monkeys are masters at pulling the wool over the suspecting eyes.
Now, if you were born in the year of the monkey, don't get mad at me. I'm only reporting what history has shown for several thousand years. Besides, the monkey is also intelligent, clever, enthusiastic, achievers, skilled in business, passionate, witty, youthful, and inventive. It will be shown that no one sign has what is to be considered the ideal. Regardless of what animal sign you were born under, you have your equal share of "good" and "bad" traits. Yang and Yin.
As you study Chinese characterology (astrology) you will be amazed. You'll see yourself and family members' personalities revealed before you. Even though I do not like to use the word astrology to describe this ancient science, the populace, as a whole, seems to regard it as such.
Unlike astrology, the Chinese system does not deal with individual months (Aries, Taurus, et al.). However that is only partially true as the month associated with the year will pinpoint the character further. When one adds the time of day, it sharpens the edge considerably.
As in traditional Chinese medicine of which acupuncture is a part, the most significant factors to consider (besides Yin and Yang) are the five elements. These elements which we will delve further into later this year, are known as fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. When one really becomes involved with Chinese characterology, it becomes extremely important to recognize the element associated with the year, as well as the animal sign.
This year, 1991, is the year of the metal goat, which favors domestic tranquility, love, peace, harmony, and serenity. Because the year of the goat is a Yin year as well, political differences historically have been negotiated. This is not generally true in dragon years (World War II) and other strongly Yang years. Politically and financially 1991 is a year on the brink of catastrophe, but equilibrium will be restored despite a lack of wisdom.
Of considerable significance are those people born under the sign of the fire horse. This is a year which only occurs every 60 years, which throughout history has produced children who create a tremendous amount of disharmony and disruptiveness for their family. The last time the fire horse appeared was 1966. The incidence of abortion in both Japan and China rose to staggering numbers during that year as parents elected to abort rather than suffer the possible wrath of conceiving a child born in the year of the fire horse.
Since each year has a significant amount of information to disseminate, I am limited in what I can share with you in the pages of Dynamic Chiropractic. The areas of business, social, family, compatibility. and a host of other traits are of extreme interest and you will see, upon your study, are incredibly accurate.
Compatibility is and will always be a major concern for most of us. Even though it is too late for most of you from a spouse standpoint, you are constantly coming into contact with individuals such as employees, patients, etc., where a need for compatibility is of the utmost importance. Remember, whatever your animal sign, there is no sign combination which you should avoid at all costs. However, you will find some signs are considerably more compatible than others.
To determine which sign you share the highest and lowest degree of compatibility, consider the chronological order of the animal signs.
|4. Cat (Rabbit)||1927||1939||1951||1963||1975|
|8. Goat (Sheep)||1931||1943||1955||1967||1979|
|12. Pig (Boar)||1935||1947||1959||1971||1983|
|*Denotes fire horse year|
You will always be most compatible with #5 and #9 and least compatible with #7.
Assuming you were born in the year of the rat (1948), you will be most compatible with dragon (#5) and monkey (#9) and least compatible with horse (#7).
If you were born in the year of the snake (1953), you would number that year beginning with #1 snake. Therefore, #2 would be Horse, #3 goat, #4 monkey, #5 rooster, etc. Snakes would then be most compatible with #5 rooster and #9 ox, and would be least compatible with #7 pig (boar).
This compatibility formulae can be used for any sign, assuming you number the sign you want to establish as #1 and keep the order as illustrated.
There is an incredible amount of knowledge and detail to character analysis to be gained from the study of this subject, and I highly recommend you investigate this fascinating topic further. I might add, it is a very easy and entertaining subject to explore.
Since there is such a tremendous amount of information which may be shared regarding the character of each sign, and space is of a premium, I will gladly send you the information regarding three books available through your bookstore, which I recommend.
Remember, those of you born in the beginning of a year, up to and including February 18, may belong to the preceeding sign, depending on your date of birth and when the new year actually began that given year. Anyone born past February 18 will belong to the sign chronologically listed above.
The year of the goat promises to be a fabulous year.
To confirm your sign or should there be a question, or to receive information regarding the reference books mentioned earlier, please send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to:
John A. Amaro, D.C., F.I.A.C.A., DIPL. AC.
P.O. Box 1003
Carefree, Arizona 85377
Click here for previous articles by John Amaro, LAc, DC, Dipl. Ac.(NCCAOM), Dipl.Med.Ac.(IAMA).