Dairy Cow (source: Wikipedia)

I just looked up the word rumination because I was wondering how the term entered the language; I’ve always thought of cows chewing their cuds and dreaming of greener pastures when I hear the word. In psychology, however, the meaning of rumination doesn’t evoke such pastoral images. The “Wikipedia” entry for the word sort of caught me off guard because I didn’t associate the act of rumination with distress. Click the link above and you’ll see what I mean.

Anyway, I was thinking of cows and other ruminants because the moon, Mars and Uranus are all in the sign of the bull at the moment, and in a couple of weeks, the Chinese “Year of the Ox” begins. Like Western signs, Chinese signs have genders, meaning that both Taurus and the ox are cows, not bulls. I was actually born on a cow day during the cow month according to the Chinese calendar, so I was hoping that the year ahead would be good for me. I was expecting to be in a contemplative mood for a while with the current stellium in Aquarius occurring in my fourth house, and somewhere in my mind I made a connection between contemplation and rumination. But I guess that they really aren’t the same thing.

Nevertheless, reading about rumination makes me realize that I shouldn’t allow my focus to turn totally inward during this cosmic cycle because I tend to self-diagnose psychological problems in myself when I read about psychology. I start to believe that I’m suffering from whatever condition I’m studying. I have a difficult time being objective when I delve into psychological texts: everything is about me.

So, with the stars aligning in this manner, I’m going to need to try to be more like the cow I described above, and less like the “ruminating” creature whose contemplative nature becomes an impediment toward its future success. The “Wikipedia” entry defines rumination as “the focused attention on the symptoms of one’s distress and on its possible causes and consequences, as opposed to its solutions.” I don’t want to dwell upon my problems when I could be fixing them. Frankly, my biggest problem right now is that I’m an extroverted herd animal who feels as if he’s been stuck in a pen all by himself. The isolation of Canadian winter combined with COVID-19 protocols is far more distressing to me than the notion that I could learn something about myself from looking inward. The solution to that is to find some greener pastures.

I need to spend the next couple of weeks figuring out where to go next rather than dwelling on how I got here. Despite my lineage in Chinese astrology, I’ve come to realize that I’m not really the ruminating type.

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