2017-Year of the Yin Fire Rooster
by Karen Abler Carrasco
Had enough “monkeying around?” Are you starting to feel the big adventures and choices of last year unravel into a hundred annoying details to get the same results? That’s because the Yin Fire Rooster year is HERE NOW! The shift in energies can already be felt strongly, well before the official January 28th, 2017 start date. Some Chinese New Years’ energies take the first few months to shift our focus and realign our momentum, especially the yin ones. This yin year, however, announced itself “at the crack of dawn,” just like the Rooster itself.
Suddenly, in the midst of all the new explorations and projects into which the curious, insatiable Yang Fire Monkey year of 2016 lured us, we find ourselves getting bogged down with the mechanics of daily life. The forward momentum stutters and slows; our questing attention is corralled by the mundane. The people around us seem to press in on our sensations more keenly, their opinions feel more strident. Making and keeping appointments requires more effort. Even just getting food and preparing it seems to take more time and be more worrisome.
Yet, we are also more touched by the small everyday kindnesses we witness, and there is a growing, unifying wave of togetherness. If you pay closer attention this year, you will actually feel your tender heart expanding, growing more confident in making little overtures of love to everyone around you.
Welcome to the paradoxes of the Yin Fire Rooster Year, 2017. It will be a year of plummeting inward (yin rooster) while expanding outward (fire element) at the same time. Both the monkey and the rooster years are about “me”, “my” and “mine,” with one important difference: while the monkey can’t help but follow the path that pricks its curiosity regardless of who else is in the way, the rooster feels deeply its responsibilities to the entire barnyard. The rooster tends to the roost, and the flock who lives there. To any problem or task that needs doing, the rooster says “If not me, then who?” Remember the tale of the Little Red Hen? “Who will help me make the bread?” she asked. And then she did it herself. However, contrary to the traditional ending of that story, where the industrious hen refused to share her final product with the lazy farm folk who didn’t contribute, this year’s fire element warms everyone’s hearts, and sharing feels better, and more secure, than hoarding.
The Rooster year is yin, even though an actual rooster may appear more yang with his flashy stance and loud crowing. That cockiness, however, is serving to secure his own small, internal, yin world. The rooster is picky and critical, so the Rooster year is a finicky one. In it, we become overly sensitive to anything that comes near to our own sphere of influence. We can transform this into a positive quality by steadfastly remaining focused locally, letting the global arena take care of itself. The “roosters” that live in those distant areas will hopefully be doing the same, so we must trust them to take care of their own “barnyards” while we husband ours. There is certainly more than enough work to do to feed our own communities. Start scratching the rich ground for resources and peck away at local problems.
This year, concentrate and dole out your energy, or ch’i, wisely. We will be diving into the inner realm of emotion, and feeling compelled to focus on the “up close and personal” aspects of our lives. It will be a year of defining our boundaries, refining the details, strengthening our supports, cleaning out the “bugs” and putting things into a certain order. Be impeccable. The pun in that has great meaning here–be un-peck-able. Make things water tight, error-proof, ship shape. The more you refine and perfect your affairs–finances, relationships, health, career, possessions, the stronger and more profound your position in life becomes. The Rooster character loves elegance in all things, so refine every arena of your life and every object in it. Lavish your time and attention on completing any task to the best of your ability and take delight in adding small touches of Beauty to each.
This is not the same thing as decluttering. It is a call to scrutinize absolutely everything that you rely on for life and happiness. How sturdy are your underpinnings–housing, vehicles, savings, etc.? How smoothly do your daily routines flow? How healthy are your sources of food and friendship? This is the year to pour more loving, nurturing ch’i into the things that truly sustain you. For example, how well do you know your immediate neighbors? If you are like most U.S. citizens, not well enough. What if there were a disaster of some sort? You would WISH to gather family and close friends to you, but the reality is that those strangers next door would be the ones on hand to help and collaborate for survival.
This yin Fire year means our deeper heart leads the way. Use it for discerning what to keep and what to let go. Expand it by opening up to everyone you encounter throughout your day. Share your feelings about your experiences and ask others to share theirs. Learn to enjoy hearing divergent opinions, realizing that the more variety a community supports with loving kindness and tolerance, the greater its security grows. The more our neighbors feel loved and secure, the safer and more happy we all become. Harmonious living for all can grow exponentially from just one instigator—the Yin Fire Rooster, year 2017. This Rooster greets the new day with all the elegance, strength and vibrancy of its entire being, in service to the community. Let us all do the same.