Chicken (source: The Poultry Guide)

The Chinese New Year unofficially arrived yesterday. The reason that I say “unofficially” is that the celebratory day is different than the actual Chinese start of spring: the ingress of the sun into the Tiger month, roughly forty-five days before the astronomical spring solstice.

I often find myself explaining Chinese astrology to people, including Chinese people who believe that they know more than me because they’re Chinese. That’s like saying I’m an expert on hockey because I’m from Canada. I’m sure that anyone who knows me also knows that isn’t the case.

Chinese astrology is at least as complex as Western astrology. I don’t consider myself an expert on the subject, but I do understand the fundamentals of the discipline and how they relate to the mantic art I practice. One of the most interesting correspondences between the two systems is the use of genders or polarities to describe signs. On February 3, shortly before noon in this part of the world, the year of the Rooster begins. But the rooster is actually a hen because Rooster is a yin (or feminine) sign.

For that reason, I call the sign “Chicken.” I also call the Ox “Cow.” I often visit this website where the author has taken the time to explain the genders of Chinese signs in a manner that makes sense to me. He views the yin and yang orientations of the Chinese signs like I view the internal and external orientations of the Western signs.

2017 isn’t just a Chicken year. It’s a Fire Chicken year. Fire is supposed to be my lucky element, and Chickens, Cows and Snakes all work well together (I was born on a Cow day in a Cow month in a Snake year). Chicken contains metal, too, which is my other lucky element. According to the site I just mentioned, your lucky elements are the ones that you don’t possess in abundance. I’ve got barely any fire or metal in my birth chart.

So this upcoming Fire Chicken year should be especially lucky for me. Maybe I’ll sell my book. Maybe I’ll win the lottery. Maybe I’ll do both! Whatever happens, I promise to share the wealth if I’m feeling fortunate. In 2017, the fried chicken is on me!

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