Illustration by Rebecca Zisser (source: Axios)

The Year of the Rat is almost here!

Chinese Lunar New Year, the celebratory day to welcome the upcoming Rat year, is on January 24 where I live (although many people will be celebrating on January 25 because they don’t understand how time zones work, and that’s when the new moon arrives in China). The Rat year itself doesn’t actually arrive until the sun enters 315° of the tropical zodiac, a degree that corresponds to the Chinese start of spring: the beginning of Tiger month. In 2020, that happens early in the morning of February 4 in this part of the world.

I was born during a Rat hour, so the rat does figure prominently in my Chinese horoscope. I was also born during a yin wood Cow day which is good because this is a yang metal Rat year and those two elements are supposed to well work together. From what I’ve read, it’s a romantically promising year. Ha!

Anyway, the last Rat year was 2008 and that was a good year for me; I felt as if I was on an upward trajectory at that time. Yesterday’s ingress of Saturn into my fourth house for the first time in three decades promises the same, so I’m optimistic about my future. Yesterday, I took advantage of these auspicious events and started the process to become a yoga instructor: something I’ve wanted to do for ages.

I’m going to wait until after the new moon to actually book my yoga instructor course because in Western astrology, it’s always more favorable to initiate something of importance during the first phase of the moon. It is interesting to me that I will be embarking upon this project during a fourth-house new moon because my natal Mars in Aquarius resides in the fourth house and I connect the influence of the red planet in that sign with my lifelong sideline as a fitness trainer. I’ve been leading group exercise classes at the YMCA, my home-away-from-home. since right around the time Saturn moved into my fourth house in 1990/1991.

Anyway, I hope that the Year of the Rat is a good one for me. Chinese astrology is at least as complex as Western astrology, and I’m not an expert on the subject. Nevertheless, from everything I’ve read, I gather that it’s supposed to be a much better year than the one I just had.

It’s all uphill from here!

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