Welcome To The Year Of The Metal Rat!

Saturday, January 25th is the second new moon following the winter solstice.  For Asian cultures this is the New Year and the start of the spring festivals and planting season.  This year the Earth Pig surrenders to the Metal Rat, which is the first animal in the 12 year zodiac, it’s the start of another new cycle, just as 2020 is the start of a new decade. Let’s take a quick look at the clever Rat.

A bit about the Asian Zodiac –

Each year of the Asian (Chinese) calendar corresponds to one of the 12 animals (Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep , Monkey, Rooster, Dog and the Pig). Besides the animal, we also cycle through each of the 5 elements (Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood) to create a full 60 year cycle. By the time you cycle back to the animal year and element that you were born in you will be 60–so, don’t hold your breath.  Each animal carries its own unique personality and disposition, couple that with the elemental energies and can get an idea of the nature of the how the year may play out.

Rats are the first animal in the cycle. Legend has it that all the animals were invited to a great celestial party by the Jade Emperor, the clever Rat hitched a ride on the back of the Ox and was the first to arrive at the party.  The Rat falls under the rule of the water element in 5 Element theory (五行—wǔ xíng). When we look at the full 60-Year cycle according to the Celestial Stems (天干—Tiān gān), 2020 is a Metal year.

Were you born in the year of the Rat?

If you were born in any of the following years you are a Rat – 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008 and now 2020. The exception is that Chinese New Years fall somewhere between mid January and early February, so you may fall into a different year depending on your specific birthday date.

The Rat’s personality and nature –

Rats are quick thinking and clever. They enjoy peaceful lives and aren’t opposed to company, but enjoy great times of quiet and solitude.  In the Chinese culture, they represent abundance and wealth – which in health is a great thing, but watch out for disharmony that may appear as hoarding.

Rats are likable and tend to be upbeat, optimistic and full of energy. Rats are sensitive, yet may have difficulties with communication and need to work to connect with others.  They can come across as rude and aloof.

Correspondences and compatibility-

The Rate is the 1st animal in the Asian (Chinese) Zodiac system.

Lucky numbers – 2 and 3

Colors – Gold, blue and green

Flowers – Lilies and violets

Compatibility – Dragon, Ox and Monkey

Incompatibility – Goat, Horse and Rabbit

Here’s to a wonderful year!