Welcoming the Year of the Fire Monkey

I can't think of a better way to usher in the New Lunar Year than meditating with deep
in-breaths and deep out-breaths with the New Moon in Aquarius. This seems like a perfect way to incite the cosmic flames, welcoming in the year of the Fire Monkey.

The Chinese Lunar New Year falls on the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice, which is February 8th this year. Each Lunar Year pairs a Taoist element (earth, wood, metal, water, fire) with one of the 12 zodiac animals.

The main shift to note is that we're moving into the Fire element after two previous Wood years. Visualize the growth of a tree from seed to sapling, to a proud mature tree. Wood energy is a combination of water and earth. There's a slowness to it--growth that the watchful eye cannot always see. But as the same tree ages and completes its life cycle, it continues by becoming fuel for the fire.

The significance is in the transmutation of energy this year. There's a quickness that fire brings to the table, the manifestation and expression of ideas into action. Fire takes energy, and fire gives energy, simultaneously and immediately--unlike wood, which holds energy. So as things take shape, we must be mindful not to burn out with all that fire.

The second aspect of the Lunar New Year is the Monkey Medicine this year carries. Monkey energy brings an increase in communication, playfulness, and humor. They are social beings, good with their hands, and very swift. I've heard so many stories about tourists getting their wallets or glasses snatched up by monkeys in the jungle! This playful energy asks us to be alert, think quick, act fast, and most importantly - laugh at ourselves when we can.

Basically--in what I've read about the Fire Monkey is that anything can happen, and quickly too. Fire Monkey is the wild card. So when we find ourselves missing our wallet or keys in the trees, it will be a good reminder to pay attention, enjoy the humor in life, and to keep moving mindfully ahead!

"I am the seasoned traveler
Of the Labyrinth.
The genius of alacrity,
Wizard of the impossible.
My brilliance is yet unmatched
In its originality.
My heart's filled with potent magic
That could cast a hundred spells.
I am put together
For mine own pleasure
I AM THE MONKEY."

         -Theodora Lau