Hello Everyone! Welcome to my Astrological outlook for the 2017 Lunar New Year which occurs on the New Moon in Aquarius Friday, January 27, 2017 @ 7:07PM EST.
Though it is not super common, as a practitioner of the Chinese arts and Western Tropical Astrology, I like to observe the thematic elements of the Lunar years from both the Western and Eastern perspective. I find they both reflect each other, and the container of the Lunar year is an effective one for analyzing the overall themes of a given year. Though I consider myself more of a dabbler in Chinese Astrology than an expert, I have spent enough time with it to make observations about the character of the energies. I hope that my readers find this perspective useful, as I do. To keep it organized, I’ve broken this article into sections to make it a little easier to digest the breadth of information.
The Fire Rooster, in brief:
2017 is the year of the Fire Rooster, in Chinese Astrology. The Fire Rooster is a proud, courageous, opinionated and noble creature. This energy’s pitfalls are being overly-critical, intolerant, impatient and arrogant. Expect a year of opposition, ego clashes, and frustration over the details. A lot will get done. There will be loads of unexpected surprises (Fire element), and plenty of arguments, explosions, and uproars. Stay grounded. Remind yourself of what’s REALLY IMPORTANT at every turn, not just what your ego is getting all emotional about.
Fueled by what is showing up in the planetary movements from the Western perspective, this may be a year where we can feel like we’re running around like a “chicken with its head cut off.” Pad your schedule and expect rapid shifts in plans.
The political upheaval USA society is experiencing will continue to accelerate and intensify as the year progresses. It is not likely that there will be a lot of people seeing eye-to-eye because the Rooster will prefer to stick to its agenda and perspective in the face of adversity rather than show any kind of humility or admission of guilt. EVERYONE will feel like fighting and the energy favors it. Try to seek positive outlets for the energy of Fire – such as creativity & inspiration.
This is a good year for taking action and for manifesting new structures from creative new ideas. The biggest challenge that we face will be how to work from the HEART and not just the mind… but being heartfelt will be rewarding in the long run. The appropriate motion of the energy at this time is to be heart-based (North Node in Leo for the majority of the year), even though it will be very easy to fall into rational-argumentative mode.
We have to learn that pain is sometimes a part of growth. We can’t reason our way out of everything – and being reasonable often doesn’t actually address suffering. Love is what helps and heals. Authentic, brave, fearless love.
Utilize Rooster’s courage for positive ends. Do not fall victim to false bravery – which is a product of the divisive mind. Pay attention to the ideology you subscribe to and ask yourself, “Is this in full alignment with my heart?” Don’t be afraid to stray from the flock, but keep the larger perspective of connection. This is a naturally independent energy, but we run into trouble if we are TOO headstrong, or TOO mob-oriented. Show tolerance, flexibility and authenticity with self.
Rooster is a very resourceful creature. Typically this is a sign that is good with money, and gathering resources. The Fire element may challenge this for 2017… possibly making spending a bit more reckless and resources a bit more uncertain than they usually might be under the Rooster’s attention – but with inspiring causes, I sense that people are willing to financially invest now more than ever. Like most things under this energy -- money will come fast and go as quickly as it arrived.
The Fire Rooster from the Western Perspective, Themes According to the Aspects:
So, naturally I feel there is already a lot of synergy to the planetary flow that is contained within the above explanation – but I would like to cover certain aspect patterns more specifically – both that are thematic throughout the year (e.g. they are in the sky for a long period of time), and also that show up strongly in the chart specifically for the chart of this New Moon/Lunar New Year. For ease of organization, I will break those down one-by-one.
· “Hammer of Thor” pattern between Pluto, Uranus and the North Node / Notes on the North Node’s 2016 Transit in Virgo:
This is a pattern that is active during the month of January, primarily, but stands out to me because it is such a powerful energetic formation, with the North Node (point of fate, the direction of the soul’s work) of the chart sitting very near to the ascendant set to Washington D.C. time. The North Node is nearing the end of its transit in Virgo, which has been riddled with trials challenges. A “Thor’s Hammer” pattern in astrology indicates a “do or die” situation of great consequence and fate. We NEED to work on the North Node lessons, or we will be struck, unpleasantly, by Uranus (rude awakenings) and Pluto (destructive change). Basically, we are being forced to focus on how to create FUNCTIONAL, CONSTRUCTIVE evolutionary change – or else.
This is a difficult pattern, but one that I believe can be the saving grace of this chart – as it shows the karmic need to SEEK SOLUTIONS AT ALL COSTS to the on-going crisis created by Uranus & Pluto for nearly a decade… and also is functioning to pick up the pieces where last year’s astrological conditions were unfavorable for this growth to occur in real time.
Why is this important?
Last year, in the year of the Fire Monkey, the biggest astrological theme was oriented in a mutable T-Square – a stressful configuration involving Jupiter, Saturn, the North/South Node & Neptune – all in Mutable (change-oriented) signs. This energy was EXTREMELY CHAOTIC, especially because of the influence of Neptune in Pisces very near to the South Node, also in Pisces – the illusions, fears, and subconscious stuff was UP big time, and all systems were eroding under this force. This was fitting for the Monkey year, because Monkey is a creature known for its unpredictable, trickstery ways. We were basically all collectively caught in a stream of consciousness spiraling out of control. There was no telling where things would go next, and from a certain perspective almost everything just seemed to go from bad – to worse – to even worse than that.
But it also served a very important purpose – and that is to reveal what is hidden, to dissolve what is broken, and to witness the extent of demagoguery (very much ‘Up’ for correction under the transit of Saturn in Sagittarius). If nothing else, it has been an extraordinarily revelatory time – inwardly and outwardly – that has called many of us to deeper action, discernment, contemplation, and as a result – unprecedented evolution and transformation. The Fire Monkey was not so much an energy of pressure, per se, but one where things moved so strangely, so unpredictably, we had to practice being nimble on our feet, flexible, and yielding. If we did not move with what happened (no matter whether we wanted to or not), we were forced to through the sheer instability caused by all involved factors.
In a way – it was a year where everything fell apart.
In a way – it was a year where we got a LOT of transformation done in a short period of time … BECAUSE it was all falling apart.
What we were dealing with, really, was a wild, maddening, dissolution of a paradigm. Saturn (the structure & belief system) was overtaken by the influence of Neptune & the South Node in Pisces (illusions, deceptions, and an oceanic force that tends to make it hard to “see”) – and this process was empowered by the expansive qualities of Jupiter, making it all the more intense. But the beauty of it is that it was also a time of great VISIONING – and when things fall apart we have the great opportunity to rebuild something better in its stead.
The Virgo North Node, so powerfully placed in the USA chart at the time of the Lunar New Year, is like the guiding force of how to best orient ourselves in the wake of the disaster. Simplification, structure, routine, organization, planning, staying grounded, and tending wisely to daily life are all virtues that will assist us TREMENDOUSLY during this year. While last year this message got largely overshadowed by Neptune’s overpowering pull over the South Node in Pisces (leading us collectively more to a place of disillusionment and confusion than to solutions) – this year we have a chance – and an obligation – to correct the situation and to implement these skills for the betterment & health of our basic daily lives, and also the face of society as a whole. Not saying it will be easy (it won’t) – but I am saying that persistence is key.
· Uranus/Pluto/Jupiter T-Square
Building upon that point, one of the major aspect patterns for the first 10 months of 2017 is a challenging T-Square formation between Jupiter, Pluto and Uranus. At the time of the Lunar New Year, Mercury is also involved in mix, making it a year where our thoughts tend to be more intense and serious than usual.
Jupiter being involved in the mix here will have a tendency to accentuate and increase volatility & unrest for the majority of the year. It will also keep us on the move and accentuate the unpredictability of our overall schedule and responsibilities. Jupiter-Uranus tends to make things VERY extreme and extra busy and Jupiter-Pluto can make us overly ambitious. With all of the “fire in the sky” Jupiter may serve to exacerbate the issue and create a lot of over-doing, over-active, over-stressed energy. With Mercury involved we’ll feel that it’s all VERY IMPORTANT and NEEDS TO BE DONE IMMEDIATELY – but it may or may not be so. Pick your battles, and definitely make sure you account for the mishaps, accidents, and annoyances due to having a poorer than usual attention for detail. It can be an overwhelming time, give yourself permission to step back when necessary.
· Saturn Trine Uranus (& Nodes) / Grand Trine in Fire
Another aspect pattern which will be active for the majority of 2017 is a trine (flowing) pattern between Saturn in Sagittarius and Uranus in Aries. Once the North Node moves into Leo in May, there will be a full GRAND TRINE IN FIRE. What does that mean?
Basically, this is a fast manifesting energy. Saturn creates things, Uranus awakens, invents and evolves. Saturn in Sagittarius is all about ideals and philosophy, Uranus in Aries is all about independence and absolute freedom – so it’s definitely a feisty energy. The nature of a trine is one that flows easily, so we may find that we speak and act before we think. Once the Leo node joins the mix, incorporating the influence of pure stamina & will power, this Fire trine will be an unstoppable force.
The positive of a grand fire trine are the qualities of leadership, inspiration, illumination, etc… but the negative is reckless action, aggression, etc. All of the intensity I have already spoken of will only be fueled by this energy – for better OR worse! This also adds to the lightning-fast flow of events that we will undoubtedly observe throughout the Rooster year.
· Saturn Square Chiron
Active on and off throughout 2017, this combination of energies will cause us to remain feeling sensitive and vulnerable to situations, regardless of all other factors. There will be a tendency to be defensive and act out / feel easily triggered.
Chiron shows where we are wounded and feel weak, and is in the sign of sensitive Pisces. Saturn represents AUTHORITY inner and outer. A blatant metaphor for this is that authority figures will attempt to prey upon weaker, more vulnerable individuals. But there is also another important meaning and it is that we must recognize tendencies to feel victimized and reclaim the INNER AUTHORITY to overcome martyrdom complexes.
Dialogue around victimization is one of the major thematic currents of our time, and is actually one of the root causes for the situation that the USA has found itself in today. There are people on one end of the spectrum that believe strongly in holding everyone and everything delicately – using the correct acronyms, hearing everyone out, and just generally CARING A LOT and people on the complete opposite end that seem to have no interest in acknowledging the evolution of social issues what-so-ever and find the afore-mentioned movement distasteful.
For me, the square between Saturn & Chiron illustrate this issue perfectly. On one hand we have Saturn, the side that feels the past beliefs were fine and we all need to stop being so soft and on the other side we have Chiron, the side that feels EVERYONE must be saved, converted, and showered with unconditional love. The thing is that both Saturn & Chiron represent a need for refinement. They are aspects of life that have become a little too extreme in their expression. There is a place in between that can open up the possibility of more tolerance on the whole, but it requires us all to really overcome our addiction to victim mentality.
The solve here seems to be in taking real time action. Chiron in Pisces will find the most healing through active service to those in need, and Saturn will feel motivated by putting ideals into real time action. If you walk your talk, and aspire to take control of your destiny -- then you’ll find out the truth of the matter sooner. “Healing reality checks” is what this aspect seems to suggest.
Venus in Mars are also both in Pisces, very near to Chiron & square to Saturn at the time of the Lunar New Year, which to me implies that this is going to be a very real struggle in our daily lives, not just in our abstract thoughts. We will meet with situations that make us feel victimized and out of control through people we interact with daily, and will be given the opportunity to choose whether we become frustrated and reactionary – or whether we can gather the inner strength to take a stand, and claim our position wisely and tactfully.
· New Moon in the 6th House in Aquarius
The Lunar New Year often (if not always) seems to fall in the sign of Aquarius which relates to hopes, dreams, friends, community, shared purpose & humanitarian ideals. Perhaps this in itself represents the energy of the lunar new year’s influence as one that reflects the overall social & emotional (moon) flow of a year.
Since the New Moon is falling in the USA’s 6th house for 2017 issues surrounding work, our environment, health, routine, etc. are going to be very important. Structural change is a given – and so with it also happening to be a “1” year numerologically – the feeling is that this is a year to establish a new structure, routine, and perspective for the health of all. Since the 6th house can refer to mentors & students… we might also be learning some important lessons in the process. It’s all about learning by doing and constructive development.
I’ll also note that the New Moon falls exactly on the 4th house cusp for the Universal Chart… which indicates a new cycle around the deep inner identity of the planet. So this year may mark a significant new beginning worldwide, as the power paradigm in the USA shifts.
Working with the Energy – Understanding the Flow of Chinese Astrology and How to work with the element of FIRE:
In Chinese astrology, there are twelve animal signs and five elements. Each year we go through one animal sign paired with an element (and yes, like Western astrology, this does also break down more specifically into the month, day and hour as well). The animal signs have elements attached to them innately (e.g. Rooster is naturally a Metal sign) in addition the element of the particular year (in this case, Fire). The interaction of these elements indicates a lot about whether or not it can be considered an auspicious or troublesome year.
Each element runs for two years – first with a yang version and then a yin. This year is the YIN Fire Rooster, while last year was the YANG Fire Monkey. Both Monkey and Rooster are metal element which is unfavorably effected by Fire (Fire controls Metal). This year, being a Yin year, means the energy is more inwardly projected. Last year, being a Yang year, means the energy is more outwardly projected. But although the Yang Fire of last year was extremely intense (unpredictable and uncontrollable, as both Fire and the Monkey can be), we should definitely not underestimate the Yin Fire – since, as I have mentioned, the dominant energy themes in the Tropical charts are also very FIERY! Yin fire is symbolized by the illuminating light of a candle. But how easy it can be to knock that candle over and set the whole house ablaze. Fire is an element that requires extreme care.
What is useful about the Chinese system is that the same principles function the same across disciplines. So what you can understand from astrology can also be practically applied to things like Chinese medicine, feng shui, philosophy (Book of Changes), and all other Chinese arts.
One of the things I have been speaking about quite a bit in my Qigong classes since the time of the Winter Solstice has been about the nature of the Five Elements in the Chinese Cosmology. The Fire element is the most difficult element to manage – it is the element of the heart and of passion – and in doing spiritual work it is so important to learn to CONTROL OUR FIRE by gaining control over our emotions and our more extreme traits. This how one develops wisdom and balance in their life – learning how to take action accurately and intelligently.
People born during fire years can have boundless energy – and also can exhaust themselves with their unrelenting movement. The beautiful thing about Chinese cosmology, is that we can work with the other elements to create balance when one element is very strong. Because FIRE is so dominant this year, I thought it might be helpful to provide this guide to utilizing some of the other elements to balance Fire.
Strengthen EARTH – The Stabilizing Element
In Chinese medicine theory, EARTH is seen as the central element – the one which connects all of the other elements, and absorbs excesses. Connected to the spleen & stomach, the element of earth must be in balance before other areas of imbalance can truly be addressed. During a year where one element is very strong, it is especially important to tend to our earth in order to keep balanced.
Earth energy in Chinese Cosmology is nurturing, grounded and compassionate. It is connected to the planet of Saturn. Saturn can be understood as the STRUCTURE of our being and of our lives. Knowing that earth is the central element, and that Saturn is the structure – we can basically understand that the health of our entire lives depends on the health of this structure. The health of our body depends on remaining grounded and keeping natural rhythms and flow throughout our body with appropriate diet, exercise, and time spent alone, in nature, digesting our emotions and life experiences. The health of our lives depends on Saturn, our inner authority, remaining strong and firm, but never too rigid. Weakness in our inner authority causes most of our energetic leaks. Rigidity here basically just causes us to make more effort than is necessary – from the perspective of the body, we can see this as over-thinking, over-doing, worrying, excessive mind function. Thus, the basic advice is that in order to be STRONG in life, and anything within it, we must strengthen our foundation of self. This means DEEPLY connecting to, understanding, and respecting the needs of self. When we have our energetic form in good working order, we can DIRECT our will as necessary with less wear. It is helpful then to practice grounding exercises – to spend time in stillness, or simply walking outside – in order to INTEGRATE.
Earth is also the element of RECEPTIVITY. The action of earth is to STABILIZE. Stability is ESTABLISHED through RECEPTIVITY – being in a receptive state vs. a doing state, at least once a day, is a way to strengthen earth, the inner authority, and correct imbalances throughout the energetic and physical system.
Cultivate WATER – Water CONTROLS Fire
Water is the element associated with will power – this is precisely what is needed to manage the emotional fire at times when we feel we are on the brink. It is stated in some Taoist books that “One moment of anger can destroy 3 years of practice” -- rage and anger can be destructive, and it is so easy for these emotions to become habitual if we do not consciously employ our will power to redirect ourselves before a spill over begins.
Water energy is associated with the Kidneys – this organ is the source of our essence (jing) and is associated with the dantien (lower energy center), or sacral center in the body. We can think of water energy in the body like a water wheel – we want it to be flowing steadily – not dried up, frozen, or torrential. The emotions associated with the Kidney are fear and anxiety – but when in balance we can be courageous, persevering and overcome obstacles. To maintain the health of the KIDNEYS it is important to REST adequately, keep the creative flow going evenly, and be aware of not over-exerting ourselves & our creative juices. Work when inspired, take a break when not. Quiet introspection is very helpful to cultivate water energy, as this helps return our spirit to our being, and strengthens our essence.
If water energy is weak then the propensity for emotional outbursts is much higher, because anxiety can easily trigger the fiery energies. I am sure we have all experienced feeling totally upset about something – but all we really needed was a good night’s sleep.
Water is also connected with the planet of Mercury – using flexibility, wisdom, and yielding energy, we can regulate and strengthen this element – utilizing a soft, flexible approach can be helpful. There is power in yielding.
Cultivate Metal – Metal SUPPRESSES Fire
Metal is an element of structure, ethics, and discipline. Metal is an element of great inner strength and integrity of being. During the Fire year Metal can become more fluid and become too lax or weak… so it is important to maintain its strength without being too rigid. Metal is associated with the Lungs and the emotions connected to the lungs are grief & sadness or conversely – openness and the ability to relax, let go, and be happy.
It’s important to maintain a positive attitude and create a sense of order. This should help mitigate depressed emotions and insecurity that might arise if too much fire has created an excess of activity & exhaustion. Metal reminds us to remain INTEGRAL in all that we do… so if we believe in being givers of light and bringers of positive change, we must make the conscious concerted effort to maintain OURSELVES accordingly – to keep ourselves in a place of balance and lightness through self honesty and character. We need to DO the work that keeps us healthy, and develop routines that encourage a greater sense of well-being.
Breathe in the fresh air and work towards creating a life that cultivates inner harmony.
It is safe to say that it is going to be a very intense year. This is one of the longest articles I have put out on my website, but I hope that it serves as a useful guide for the whole year of 2017. Definitely take the time this New Moon to set intentions for the 2017 Lunar Year – and what shifts you would like to make in your life in order to live a life of more balance, happiness, and peace overall.
Many blessings to all and Happy New Year!