Here we are again! Try saying that out loud in different cadences and tones. Make it sound celebratory or mournful. Energized or exhausted. Comedic or tragic. You can hear in your voice that it’s a fine line, right?*
One more trip around the sun. Here we are again where the daphne is just starting to bloom.
Unthinkingly, I neglected to water my Yuletide camellia (which is just outside of the window where I usually write) this fall and so there are no flowers. It really bothers me. I’ve tried keeping the curtain closed so I can’t see it, but it’s so dark at this time of year that letting the light in is preferable even with the disappointment. On the bright side, I’ve accomplished more this year than I have in some time and so a few things have fallen by the wayside. Yang and yin.
It’s that time of year where we do the counting up. What goals did we accomplish last year? Or perhaps more in sync with our current state as a nation, what were the failures? As a culture we’re good at tooting our horns, but not at celebrating our achievements privately – for our private selves. We also dislike acknowledging our failures. Americans like to emphasize the surface. At my house we call it the Narrative. The Narrative doesn’t include emotional disclosure. If my meaning is unclear look to our current President for an example of living the Narrative.
“I don’t like to analyze myself because I might not like what I see.”
Donald Trump 2014
That’s quite a deep and honest statement coming from him, don’t you think? It reminds me of a woman I knew who actually stopped wearing glasses at the point in her life where she didn’t want to see the outcome of her choices any more. No matter if she couldn’t drive ever again. As Dr. Phil would say: how’s that working for you?
This time of year is also where we set goals for the coming time cycle whether that’s a month, three months, a year or an even longer period. Everyone has the most goals in January. The list diminishes as the priorities of the year emerge. Aspirations are like the seed in the wet, cold ground; just waiting for the right moment to push through the surface. Some seeds won’t make it and others will emerge too weak. If you’ve ever planted seeds you’ll know that it’s a good idea to plant 20 when you want 10 good healthy plants. The caveat is you can’t hold back on thinning them out or they’ll choke each other. Yin and yang.
Speaking of thinning them out, this coming year of the Dog has been on my mind. The phrase that comes to mind is “culled from the herd”.
Every time I see one of those wildlife shows where an animal is hunted down by a predator I think of that phrase “culled from the herd”. I have the same response with those ubiquitous commercials on television, especially during the winter holidays, where they show dogs, cats and other animals that have been tortured in various ways by humans in order to solicit donations. I cannot watch that stuff without crying. I can’t go to animal shelters either because I feel like I need to adopt all of the animals. I’m that “emo” (as my kids would say).
While 2018 is not going to be that grim, there will be breakups, stoppages, bullies and the bullied. A feeling of restlessness might even make these ideas attractive. For many of us this year may be about a separation from others. If that is so, it is also true that it is about uniting with others. Yang and yin.
How the year of the Dog manifests for you will be related to the presence and particular position of the Sheep, Ox or Dragon in your chart. For example, if it’s in the month pillar it may be about the job or workplace. If it is about work, consider that maybe now is the time to go for the career you really want rather than settling for the one you have. How the situation plays out is up to you.
I recommend taking the approach of the Dragon. Be magical. Rather than choosing one of your tried and true solutions, come up with an approach that is different than what you would normally do – it might even be the opposite. If thinking outside of the box is not your strength, align yourself with someone who seems to find success in disregarding or changing the rules. Try envisioning the outcome you want, however unlikely or outrageous, and trace your steps backwards to see how you got there. You might be surprised at what you can come up with.
*Tip of the hat to Dan Leno and Peter Ackroyd’s Limehouse Golem