2016 Year of the Yang Fire Monkey
photo credit: Bijoy Ki
2016, the Yang Fire Monkey Year
by Karen Abler Carrasco
On February 8th, say farewell to the introspective Yin Wood Sheep year of 2015, and open up to the expansive Yang year of the amazing Fire Monkey! We have another “big shift” year ahead. Switching from yin to yang, from the inner world to the big outdoors, is always a noticeable event, and when we add the expansive movement of the Fire element in bold Yang form to that shift, it becomes an even bigger jolt.
Knowing how the Five Elements of Chinese medicine work together to support each other can assist us to flow into this shift more easily. We are leaving two years in a row of Wood energy, which encouraged us to stretch up into new and unexplored territory, to use our intuition and reach for fresh inspirations. During this time, dreams of new ways to live on the earth more sustainably presented themselves, and we were encouraged to use the inner compass of intuition to make some new choices, or at least to clear away any old, irrelevant debris that no longer served us well.
We will now move through two years of the passionate and generous realm of heart-centered Fire. Wood feeds Fire in the nurturing cycle of the Five Elements, so any new choices or decisions made in the past two years will ripen and bear their fruits in 2016 and 2017. If we allowed our True Selves to make those choices, the harvest will be delightful to us, and the generous nature of Fire will encourage us to share the abundance of whatever we manifest.
Wood energy is a bit idealistic, a bit airy, and shifting away from it and into Fire energy means getting down to business–Monkey business! Hold on to your hats, folks, the circus is about to begin. The Monkey is one of the most intelligent signs of the Chinese zodiac, with an unerring talent for snatching up the best opportunity in any situation. A Monkey character can act so quickly because he acts for himself first1, and thus does not waste any time wondering how others may react. Monkey sees and Monkey does what is best for Monkey! Add to this character the powerfully bold qualities of Yang and Fire, and you have a triple-strength simian–incredibly quick, elegantly astute, flamboyantly extroverted, and ultimately successful. Failure is barely a blip on this Monkey’s horizon, just a slight delay before a more precise second or third attempt manifests the desired goal. Plus, the exuberant Fire Monkey has a big heart and is always happy to share his gains with those around him.
The Monkey’s energy is highly innovative and opportunistic. The Fire element encourages collaboration and philanthropy. These qualities acting together on the global scene means we will see some truly amazing marvels of technology, with that Monkey expertise making it happen in real time. Look for new tools and products for creating a cleaner and more sustainable environment. In money matters, the global financial scene is still rocking and rolling, requiring some careful adjustments for us all. The Monkey year brings excellent momentum for managing your finances very intelligently and personally. Being diligent and regular with your budgets and planning will bring success.
Normally the self-interested Monkey year is not focused on community well-being, but the Fire element balances this, bringing in a passion for socializing and communicating heart-felt concerns. When we collaborate with others this year, we can turn that self-interest into profound social change, because what helps one, helps us all. This is an excellent year to meet with friends and neighbors to find innovative solutions to the most pressing local problems. The Fire Monkey loves this kind of hands-on problem-solving, especially when the goal is direct action rather than mere brainstorming. Keeping such work local and small-scale allows the human heart to open more directly and the magic of its generous spirit to pour out.
Monkey energy is persistent, sometimes compulsive, and can be impatient with those who don’t see the solution as quickly. This is a good reminder to be patient with ourselves, and others. Be sure to make plenty of time for creative play, a favorite Monkey activity. Health-wise, pay closer attention to what you are ingesting. Avoid feeding the Fire of inflammation in the body, something the standard American diet already does to excess. Reduce excess Fire with the stable Earth-y actions of regular mealtimes and serenity around the table. Increase Water-y flow with calming yoga, tai ch’i, ch’i gong, and meditation. Add some deep breathing exercises into each day. The Yang energy of the year wants to fly up and out, so consciously pull down and in throughout the day to keep your balance.
It promises to be a bonfire of a year, and through it all, the wily Fire Monkey will be skillfully swinging along, constantly looking ahead for the best opportunities to make his inspired dreams come true. As we collectively embody this Yang Fire Monkey energy in 2016, we can reach for the stars. The phrase “Carpe Diem” says it all–seize the day! Large or small, profound or mundane, line up your desires this year and ACT on them. Let the Yang Fire Monkey energy carry you across the bridge between the seen and unseen worlds to reach those goals, for yourself and for us all.
1. Traditional Chinese astrology designates the animal signs as male or female according to whether it is a yang/masculine year or a yin/feminine year. It describes the quality of the energy, not the gender.
Author and beloved WSFS teacher Karen Abler-Carrasco