Category: Chinese Zodiac Written by Robert Wilkinson
I recently gave a short talk about the Year of the Metal Ox in Chinese Astrology, since that’s the “birth year” of our new Astrological organization Astrology Arizona. Today I’ll give you my brief notes on this important Chinese Astrology year!
The Year of the Ox began on 11/12 February 2021 at the New Moon in Aquarius, and ends 31 January 2022 with the New Moon at 13 Aquarius beginning the Year of the Water Tiger. Because the Chinese zodiac and timing are based in the Moon, it means that each year begins on a different date, since New Moons don’t fall on the same day year after year.
In Chinese Astrology there are 12 animals, just like the 12 divisions in Western Astrology. However, the 12 signs are very different In Chinese Astrology, even if some seem closely aligned. The Sacred Animals in Chinese Astrology are in this order: Rat, Ox (Buffalo), Tiger, Hare or Rabbit (Cat), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep (Goat), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Boar (Pig). There are several stories of how this order came to be, with one of the most common being that this is the order the animals presented themselves to the fully enlightened Buddha Gautama Siddhartha as he prepared to teach the Dharma.
Each has particular qualities in general, which are modified by its element. Unlike Western Astrology, Chinese Astrology has 5 elements. In this order, each element is “overcome” by the next element, i.e., Metal is “overcome” by Water. Water is “overcome” by Wood. Wood is “overcome” by Fire. Fire is “overcome by Earth. And Earth is “overcome” by Metal.
Each year has a metal attribute, as well as a “hard” (Yang) or “soft” (Yin) quality. The following table holds across the years, so that we may assign 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990 etc. as Metal years, whereas 1966, 1976, 1986, 1996 etc. are all Fire years. Here’s the order of the qualities:
If the year ends in 0 it is Yang Metal; If the year ends in 1 it is Yin Metal.
If the year ends in 2 it is Yang Water; If the year ends in 3 it is Yin Water.
If the year ends in 4 it is Yang Wood; If the year ends in 5 it is Yin Wood.
If the year ends in 6 it is Yang Fire; If the year ends in 7 it is Yin Fire.
If the year ends in 8 it is Yang Earth; If the year ends in 9 it is Yin Earth.
Because there are 12 signs and 5 elements, it yields a different combination each year for 60 years, after which the pattern repeats itself. In the case of the 2021 Metal Ox, we last had a Metal Ox year in 1961, and before that 1901, and before that 1841. Next year will be a Water Tiger. We also had Water Tiger years in 1962, 1902, and 1842. Whatever your sign/element combination, it is the same as 60 years before you were born, and will not occur again until you’re 60 (or 120!)
So this year and our new organization have Metal as the element, and Ox as the Sacred Animal. We’ll begin with taking a look at the general qualities of the Ox. Remember that each animal repeats after 12 years, so we had Ox years in 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, and 2009, but only 1961 had the Metal quality.
Ox Beings are known for their honesty, diligence, dependability, durability, strength, determination, and resilience. Oxen are the hard workers in the background, intelligent and reliable, and don’t much care about praise or taking center stage. They are earnest, straightforward, and simply who they are.
They gain recognition through their hard work. They believe that everyone should do what’s asked of them and stay within their bounds. Though they are kind, they are not persuaded by emotional appeals. An Ox rarely loses its temper unless pushed past a certain point, and even then, thinks logically and tries to see the way forward.
They are conservative rather than bold, big on fulfilling their duty and expecting others to do the same. Once ideals and ambitions are set, Ox holds them for life, and values both family and work. Their character is stronger than titanium, and when pushed, tell it like it is. Their greatest strength is the ability to get things done, alone if necessary. It is unafraid to get dirty doing what it has to do.
Having great patience and a desire to make progress, they achieve their goal by consistent effort. They like a plan before taking action, so that their strength is used for best results. That’s why this sign succeeds when others fall short. They will pull that cart for as long as it takes to get where they’re going.
They resist outside influences, and persist in doing what they have to do according to their ideals and abilities. They are pleasant, and don’t want to be disagreeable, but they won’t give an inch. They’ll just smile as they get the job done they’re supposed to do.
According to Paula Delsol in her book Chinese Astrology, the Ox is quiet, patient, precise and methodical, original, intelligent, and inspires confidence. It is contemplative, but also has the qualities of leadership, having a “formidable eloquence” and an unwillingness to be thwarted by circumstances. It is conventional, but ingenious, even though it loathes being challenged.
The Metal Ox
So if these are some of the qualities of the Ox, what about the Metal quality? Metal is hard, reflective, valuable, and useful for sawing or chopping things into pieces which can be used to build solid structures. That implies that the Metal version of Ox energy is hardworking, durable, active, busy, and due to the “reflective charm” of Metal, popular among friends. As Metal is the toughest element, people born in a year ending with 0 or 1 are also very tough people, hard as iron, true survivors, and able to "get it done." There are some schools of Chinese Astrology which attribute Yang Metal to gold, and Yin Metal to Silver.
According to Suzanne White, Metal Ox people have charisma and a magical quality about them which glows. People are drawn to the Metal Ox’s warm public personality, which is naturally charming and social adept.
This Ox is ambitious and wants to achieve the best they can. Metal Oxen don’t sit around waiting for the phone to ring; they are determined to achieve something, and being faithful, loyal, and true, expect others to be these.
The Metal Ox is dutiful and usually content, and even jolly, unless they don’t accomplish what they want as fast as they want. This Ox doesn’t do well with criticism, and will always meet others on the terms others meet them. If they shout, the Metal Ox will shout back. If they want to dialog, the Metal Ox will dialog.
This Ox is loyal and big on duty, is fairly conservative, wants things to run smoothly, and people to be honest. The Metal Ox doesn’t welcome or accept public criticism because they want to be happy doing their job, and their reliability isn’t dependent on other’s opinions. Basically, the Metal Ox wants to do what it has to do, and doesn’t welcome anything which is unhelpful to getting the job done.
Metal Ox people have great artistic ability, as well as creative imagination and always good intentions. Still, the Metal Ox is a serious soul and very intuitive, a great listener and better advisor even though resistant to criticism. This is a very reliable creature, phenomenally hard working and a good provider.
Paula Delsol has a section where she offers a quick take on each zodiac sign for each animal, and she says “If the Buffalo is Aquarius, it is a “Subtle Buffalo,” an iron hoof in the velvet glove.”
Qualities of the Year
So if these are the qualities of those born in the Year of the Ox, and especially the Metal Ox, what can we expect in the coming year? I found a variety of sources, and of course, most draw parallels between the personal qualities and the qualities favored for the year.
I found that the year of the Ox is time for honesty, hard work, duty, and discipline. And like the Ox plowing the field, success is attained through diligent work and conscientious effort.
We find the Ox is a powerful animal who has the ability to transform the negative challenges of Metal Rat year 2020 into positive outcomes in 2021. The Ox can save us from the destructive actions of the Rat, and help us rebuild whatever we need to, because Ox is a builder. This is a year to follow through and bring to completion what was started in Rat year. Establish routines, use tried-and-true methods, and stay with a structure that can bring a bountiful harvest in Autumn.
From a USA Today article, it says it looks like we'll still be working extra hard in 2021, but in an Ox year, our hard work should pay off. Here the parallels between Ox and Taurus are very clear, since it seems Ox years are good for all things related to money, property, development of resources, and persistent effort.
In a year of an Ox it is said to be a good year to:
Start a company. If you've got a great idea, can make or sell something more affordable than your competitors, or even have been laid off and can't find a job, now's a good time to start a business – especially if you can do it on the cheap.
Hire people. (Ox wants reliable people, so that would be a primary quality. Again, they do their duty, and expect others to do the same. Ox people do not like shirkers.)
Rent or lease new space. (This could be related to “staking out the field to plow” before hitching up the power of the Ox)
Borrow money. (Personally, I think that’s more dependent on your credit score and specific transits than simply trusting the concept of the year of the Ox)
Negotiate. (Ox is both persistent and pleasant, and Metal doesn’t give an inch. Be agreeable as you stick to what you know is your bottom line.)
Gain market share. (Ox likes to move forward into accomplishing their work. It just plows and plows and plows until the whole field is done. Ox can pull a wagon further and longer than any other creature. Slow, steady, and persistent effort are sure to be rewarded.)
I read one story by a woman who wrote about how the Year of the Ox 12 years ago worked out for her and her small business. She said “We worked really hard. We tried a lot of new things (we called it our ‘spaghetti year' and threw a lot of ideas against the wall to see what stuck). I found new clients, new lines of business, and 2009 was one of the best years I ever had! I'm hoping that this Year of the Ox will do the same for you. Or as they say for Chinese New Year: "Gong xi fa cai," which means ‘wishing you great happiness and prosperity.”
And finally, I found this from Forbes in the article “Chinese New Year: What the Ox Means for Business.” In it we read:
“Probably not the most universally loved animal of the 12 on the Chinese calendar, the rat lived up to its stereotype as a generally unloved, unfavorable symbol of all that has gone horribly wrong over the past year.”
Continuing, “the Year of the Ox, if not as cute and cuddly as a rabbit or as mystical as a dragon, the ox is at least an animal that is respected and honored for the role it plays in society and the workload of mankind. Oxen “are honest and earnest. They are low key and never look for praise or to be the center of attention. This often hides their talent, but they’ll gain recognition through their hard work.”
About the worst thing that can be said about oxen is that they lack pathos, which in the grand scheme of things is not so terrible. “They think logically and make great leaders,” the website says and there’s no doubt the world needs really great leadership in 2021.
Is all of this enough for the business world to hold out great hope for the changing of the lunar calendar year? Nevertheless, the outlook — again, if one follows such things — is encouraging. “The year of the ox brings career advancement, success in business, prosperity, and wellness for all zodiac signs,” a Chinese New Year website reports. “This year predicts new career opportunities, so don't let anxiety or negative thinking affect you.”
A Few Great Metal Oxen of History
Manly P Hall, Linus Pauling, Walt Disney, Renoir, Dvorak, William James, Andre Malraux, Margaret Mead, Barack Obama, Princess Diana, George Clooney, and Michael J Fox.
While this isn’t a comprehensive piece on the whole of Chinese Astrology, the Chinese zodiac, or the Chinese metals, I hope this has helped you to a basic understanding of the qualities of the Metal Ox!
© Copyright 2021 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca with persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
© Copyright 2021 Robert Wilkinson - https://www.aquariuspapers.com
About the author:
Robert wilkinson An internationally-known astrologer, author, public speaker, metaphysician, and futurist, with over 25 years experience as a counselor and educator. He has presented hundreds of public talks on all aspects of Astrology, the Eastern Wisdom tradition, the Western Wisdom tradition and promoted many mass gatherings and cultural events. Some of his specific areas of interest and expertise include personality profiles, degree patterns, integrative astrology, various aspect harmonics, among others.
Reprinted on crystalwind.ca. with persmission from Robert Wilkinson.
CrystalWind.ca is free to access and use.
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