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 Chinese Zodiac 2019 - Year of the Pig

While the astrology and horoscopes of the west look at the time of a person's birth in any given year, Chinese astrology places significance on the year itself. The Chinese zodiac is a 60 year cycle, containing five sub-cycles of twelve years, in which each consecutive year has its own animal symbol and horoscope.

2019 Year of the Pig

By moving into the Year of the Earth Pig on 5th February, we are not just moving into another lunar year, but one of the most important in a 12 year lunar cycle for all of us. For the Year of the Pig is the final year of the natural 12 year lunar cycle, so it is a year of completion, endings and for summing things up. It is also a year when the Pig encourages us to rest on our laurels a little. After all, the Pig doesn’t believe in breaking into a sweat if you don’t have to!

Each 12 year lunar cycle begins on the Year of the Rat and ends on the Year of the Pig and it is five of these 12 year cycles that make up a complete 60 year lunar cycle, or the sexagenary cycle, with all 12 years completing in the five elements - Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Within a 60 year cycle, all 12 years will repeat as a Wood year, then a Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. This 60 year cycle always begins on a Wood Rat year and the cycle we are currently in began in February 1984. This means we are in the final year of the third 12 year cycle, with two more 12 year cycles to go. This current sexagenary cycle will end in 2044.

When one lunar year ends and another begins it is not just that we move from the energy of the Dog to the energy of the Pig, but where we are in a current 12 year lunar cycle. In addition, each year alternates between a Yin and a Yang year. Yin is a more passive energy described as feminine, while Yang is a more aggressive energy described as masculine. We need both and it is that constant cycle between Yin and Yang years that creates a balance. We have a more aggressive and active Yang year, followed by a Yin year, when we have a chance to regroup and let things play out in a more passive way. Then, to make sure things don’t become stuck we have another Yang year, firing things up again. So it is not just that we are moving from the Dog to the Pig energy or that we are moving into the final year of this current 12 year lunar cycle, but the Yin/Yang energy is changing.

The Year of the Dog was a Yang year. Active, assertive and a masculine energy. The Year of the Pig is a Yin year, so is more passive and less active and is a slower and more relaxed energy. And they don’t come more relaxed than the Pig and this will be a contrast as we move out of the month of the Ox, on 5th February. Every lunar year ends on the month of the Ox, so we will always start a new lunar year having spent the previous four weeks under its domain. However, this year this is more marked. The Ox is all about working hard, putting in the effort and not taking shortcuts. If the Ox invited you around for a meal it would be out in the garden, getting its own vegetables, cutting down wood for the fire and spring cleaning the house. The Pig would rather just order in ‘Uber eats’.

So what is the Pig energy? The Pig is known for its honesty, its love of all things indulgent, of taking the easy route and making life as uncomplicated as possible. In the Year of the Pig, there will be a natural drawing away from conflict, drama or from anyone or anything that tries to make things more complicated than it needs to be. The Pig thrives on honesty and can’t abide untruths, anything false or not genuine. The Pig is also a risk taker, if it is something that feels exciting and speaks to him. If there is an opportunity to try something new, the response is more likely to be ‘why not’? That is because the Pig isn’t hung up on getting it right or gaining approval and believes mistakes are part of life.

The Pig is a philosopher and sees the experience as being more important than the outcome. Yet in saying that, the Pig is a rich energy and for some this will be a lucrative year or a year that is rich in the things that you value. The Pig is a Yin energy, so is therefore passive rather than active, but compared to other Yin signs, he is the least likely to rush into solving problems. The Pig likes to mull things over. Partly because it gives the Pig time to think things through and partly because he hopes that if he waits long enough, the problem might go away or resolve itself. The Pig's motto is ‘let’s just see how things play out’.

Yet the Pig is highly principled and when it comes to a cause that is important, he will be at the front of the queue, marching for justice or taking responsibility. The Pig doesn’t abide dishonesty and works to expose truths, so in politics, business or life in general, more people who aren’t operating ethically might be exposed during the Year of the Pig, while those that are genuine will get rewarded. And the Pig loves to be rewarded.

The Pig is a philosopher, highly intelligent, with a hungry mind and a thirst for knowledge. This makes this a good year for higher learning, gaining more knowledge or just learning more through books, movies or from embracing life. The Pig is not a confrontational energy and he is all about enjoying life and its pleasures. He hates pretension and posturing, so be yourself and authentic in all you do.

Whatever year this brings you to in your personal 12 year lunar cycle, this is a year of completion, consolidation and bringing things home, with a new 12 year lunar cycle beginning on 24th January 2020. This is when we begin the Year of the Rat and the fourth 12 year cycle in this current 60 year lunar cycle.

 About Chinese Astrology

People are often referred to by their zodiac animals, so babies born this year will be Rats and expected to have personalities to match.

Legend has it that it was originally Buddha who gave the sequence of years to the dozen animals who attended the farewell meeting he called before he left the earth.

In each of its years, the animals of the Chinese zodiac have an association with one of the five elements of metal, water, wood, fire or earth. Once they have all gone through these five elements, the 60 year cycle is complete, and starts again. The elements also affect the individuals born in their years. But their basic personality traits of the animals remain the same. Here is a run down of the twelve zodiac animals and their characteristics.

From all this, you can see that Chinese Zodiac is not a predictive art as it is for western practitioners. Instead it is an art that is interpretive and philosophical. It is perhaps a way to help us understand ourselves, our partners, and all the other people in both our work and social lives.

Western Astrology is very different from Chinese astrology. Chinese Zodiac is arguably the most developed and the most followed branch of astrology in the world. The portion of Chinese astrology that the Western world is most familiar with is the Chinese Horoscopes.

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