• Matthew Truhan, L.Ac.

Year of the Metal Ox

So nice we can say it twice: Good Riddance! We got through 2020 into 2021, and today we move past the Year of the Metal Rat and into the Year of the Metal Ox. The Chinese Lunar New Year is a 16 day festival starting on New Year’s Eve (last night, 2/11), preceded by a seven day preparation period. The festival culminates with the Lantern Festival on the 15th day.

The Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac follows a system of the 10 Heavenly Stems and 12 Earthly Branches. The Earthly Branches were built on the cycle of Jupiter and correspond to the 12 animals of the zodiac. The Heavenly Stems flow through the yang and yin aspects with the five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water. The Ox is the second animal in the zodiac system. The legends say that when a great party was called for the animals, the rat made it first by riding the ox’s back and jumping ahead at the last minute, leaving the ox in second. The Ox is itself Yang in nature and associated with the Earth, but it's pairing this year with yin aspect of Metal puts the focus more on the Yin. If your birthdate falls from now to this time next year, and your age will be a multiple of 12, you are an Ox. If you happen to be turning 60, congratulations for you have returned to your element and animal.


Oxen are highly revered in Chinese culture because of their importance in agriculture. They are seen as hard workers, honest, and never in need of praise. Oxen generally don’t show off their talents, relying on their work achievements to gain recognition. They believe everyone should do the work that is intended for them. They are kind and rarely lose their temper, and being logical thinkers they are good in leadership roles.


The Year Ahead

The zodiac year of the sign is usually one with more trouble and obstacles (great, more obstacles). There may be unexpected challenges in work and school that can leave you emotionally drained. This is the year to maintain and improve those relationships with friends and family to help get through the tough times and improve that connection. Working on the morale this year will also help you get through times of trouble.


Metal Ox (turning 60, 120….why not!)

They will have some obstacles, but finances should be good. Retirement should not be a problem.


Water Ox (turning 48, 108....you go!)

Gotta respect the Water Ox, with lots of love from family and friends.


Wood Ox (turning 36, 96)

The year may start rough, but overall, you should have a good year.


Fire Ox (turning 24, 84)

You are ready to have fun, gain friends, and be social. There should not be any financial worries.


Earth Ox (turning 12, 72)

There should be financial comfort, but they cannot hold onto money. They are detailed and good leaders. Life enjoyment will come later in life, rather than earlier.


Other signs

In general, the ox keeps its head down and does it’s work, which is what the year should be. This isn’t the year to get into anything too big, but to ride it out. The year should be calmer than our Year of the Metal Rat (oh please be!), with the outlook for the Year of the Water Tiger in 2022 to be even better..


The Metal element is shiny, clean, pristine. The goal for this year is to maintain order and cleanliness, especially in the bedroom where the hard working ox rests after a long day. The Metal element also corresponds to the Lungs, so this year is to continue strengthening and working on the Lung system; this may be the year to quit smoking, for instance!


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