One of the traditional ways to make predictions about the coming year is to look at past years that share the same animal branch. The Dog is what is called an Earth branch. The branch is to the year as a flavor is to ice cream. Each year branch has its own particular taste, texture and consistency. The stems would be the topping that gives the nuance to the sundae. To continue with this metaphor, there are 5 possible stems (or toppings) which correspond to the Five Elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water. 2018 is an Earth Dog year; a sundae consisting of Earth topped by Earth.
Given that 2018 will be a Dog year and there are 12 Chinese Zodiac Animals, you can subtract 12 if you want to know when the last Dog year occurred. That would be 2006 which was a Fire Dog year.
What were you doing then?
I moved house in 2006 with my husband and these two cuties:
I try to deny my nostalgia* but the Dog brings it out in me. I have a distinct memory of the day that photo was taken – as if it just happened. But it’s 12 years down the road and my daughter Ella is out of state attending Cal Poly. My son Joe is going through the college application process and will most likely be leaving as soon as next summer to study Arabic in Morocco. This is a time for endings to make way for beginnings. My career as a stay-at-home mom is almost over. I feel privileged, and grateful to my husband Peter, that I was supported in my commitment to our family.
In 2006, my husband Pete and I were both feeling restless. We explored remodeling the house we were living in. We thought about moving to Bainbridge Island. Then we decided wanted to stay in the same neighborhood but live in a different house. We took our children out of private school and put them into public school. Those are just some of the big changes we made that year.
I can feel that same restlessness returning as we ease towards 2018, but it’s much stronger this time. To use the Chinese terms for it, I’ve got chang sang and yik ma under my Big Fate. Don’t worry I’m not contagious and it will pass, but for now it’s extremely uncomfortable – which I see as a message that change is needed.
Actually these words come from Ba Zi analysis and chang sang is a kind of rebirth while yik ma means unsettled or “time to move”. As to the Big Fate part, that means I’m in the midst of a 10 year period of this type of energy. I find it difficult to sit down. Sleep is more of a challenge than usual.
Studying Chinese Metaphysics has given me a clarity that confers an unexpected power on my choices. I don’t have to move if I don’t want to. As a Feng Shui professional, I could take measures at home to alleviate this urge to be in constant motion, but I don’t really want that. I am ready for a new phase and I see my discomfort as a reminder that change is how I’m going to get from here to where I want to be. It’s actually pretty good timing which is mostly what luck is about.
What I’m not saying is that my choice to just live with this stir-crazy feeling is the “right” one. If you were in my shoes you might want to choose differently. I respect that. I can help.
Feng Shui and Ba Zi are meant to be tools to help us navigate both good and bad times. Being stuck means you have time to consider deeply what you really want. That’s one of the reasons you might want to book a Ba Zi reading; to see how the influences of timing and your current choices are lining up with your heart’s desire.
*The word nostalgia comes from the Greek language: nostos meaning “a return home” and algos meaning “pain of body or mind”. Something like homesickness.