Year of the Persistent Dog

The New Moon today marks the beginning of Chinese New Year. Known as the Spring Festival, the celebration of this holiday extends until the Full Moon at the beginning of March. Because of the way the Chinese lunar calendar works, each year this holiday falls on different days in the second half of January or the first half of February.

What is Animism?

Indigenous cultures and pagan groups which maintain practices that are more closely aligned with pre-industrial outlooks often believe in a worldview called animism. In an animistic tradition, the Goddess or Spirit is immanent in all creation: animals, plants, rocks, humans. To know the Goddess we are called to know all creation. There is a sense of unity in the organic world. This animistic attitude helps us to tap the power and influence of the symbolism of the Chinese Astrological Calendar.

Western societies and large cities around the world are frequently called modern. They rely on technology, machinery and the built environment for organization and meaning. In some respects, in China and in Asian communities around the world modern and animistic sensibilities seem to coexist.

Earth Dog 1958, 2018

The Chinese Lunar New Year dates back to 2637 B.C. and is observed by one-fifth of the world’s population today. The Chinese Calendar focuses on twelve animals—including both domestic and mythical. Even though each animal appears every twelve years, because there are five different elements associated with each animal—metal, water, wood, fire, and earth—2018 will be the first Year of the Earth Dog since 1958. It is said that the Earth Dog Year will be communicative, serious, and responsible. Working cooperatively with those we feel affinity for is a good goal to pursue.

Here are a few tidbits I have picked up from commentators. During this Dog year there will be opportunities for sound advice and justice as well as efficient and constructive thinking. Persistence and holding to a set of values that appreciates diversity are supported. It is a sensitive time when we can intuit how to inspire others to high moral standards and unfailing idealism.

Avoid exhaustion due to over-performing as well as demanding excessive dedication and loyalty from others. Good advice in any year but especially front and center now. Further, we will value our individualism and self–respect, and will feel more comfortable speaking, without reserve, straight from our hearts. Do not abuse powers bestowed on us and delegate duties with a keen eye for other people’s potentials. Never be totally crushed by defeat or overconfident in victory.

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