Happy New Year 2016

red_monkey_2016Happy Chinese New Year!

Year of the Red Monkey
February 8, 2016 to January 27, 2017

Each year, a new animal is represented and this year it is the monkey! (El mono in Spanish!) I love monkeys, so I am excited to see some fun and playful monkey energy this year! This last year was the year of the GOAT and since I am a goat, it was considered an unlucky year for me. Unlucky? Hmm.. I didn’t think it was that bad. But I am eager to escort in a new animal just the same!

According to Chinese customs, it is unlucky when your zodiac animal comes up. For the monkeys born in 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 and 2016, that means you! Don’t despair, though… here is an article to give you some ideas for having better luck this year.

the Chinese zodiac

Eric and I had Chinese food for lunch today, so I thought I would share this explanation that they put in the middle of the placemat…

If you are not sure what you are, you can either read the placemats in just about any Chinese restaurant or you can look yourself up with an online Chinese zodiac calculator.

So what is the Chinese New Year animal based on? We know that there are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac from our handy Chinese placemats, but the patterns of the animal and element that is chosen for each year was developed thousands of years ago. It is part of a special calendar called the sexagenary cycle, a 60-year cycle that began with the Yellow Emperor in China. I am not going to tell you all about it today because it is a mighty deep river of content, but if you are curious about these patterns, check out the Wikipedia page on Stems and Branches! It’s pretty amazing stuff! I tried to find a book about it on Amazon and there was only one book available in English! Wow. For something so ancient and so powerful, I believe that it is worth more intense study. More to come on that!

For now, I will just say that every two years we get to focus on a different element and this year, 2016, and next year, 2017, that element is FIRE. Yeah, that hot stuff… This year, it is YANG FIRE which means that we are going to have some destructive things going on! Kali has always been one of my favorite deities, along with the Tower card in Tarot, so I am no stranger to destruction! Like the fields that burn in the Midwest to prepare for new crops, a little fire is good for giving us some fertile ground for our personal growth.

Now it’s your turn… do you know what animal you were born in? If not, check out the calculator and let us know!





  1. Thank you for posting this overview of the zodiac and for the great link as well. You are right, there is much to explore in greater depth should one have the time and motivation!

    • Hi Pam,

      The Stems and branches are such a rabbit hole! It’s really amazing. I am trying to put together a series of posts on this topic, but I am stymied because there is just so much and I don’t know where to start. Thanks for listening and responding.
      amy recently posted…Happy New Year 2016My Profile

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