Between January 31 and February 4 2014, according to Chinese Astrology we are moving into the year of the Wooden Horse. This has a strong association with the Chinese Five Elements fire sign and together they symbolise drive, passion, ambition, movement and galloping ahead. This might be a somewhat welcome change in energy as we move from two unsettling years of water signs, that generate introspection, reflection, slow energy, shedding, letting go and sometimes stagnancy.
Traditionally, I have not been a big fan of Astrology, unless you count the teenage years of seeing whether my stars indicated a romance with the latest hunk on the school bus. That said, I am increasingly interested in energy, at a subtle and Universal level. So, when I read about Chinese Philosophies offering energy predictions for 2014, I found my curiosity piqued and wanted to explore what this might mean for our health, happiness and healing.
Now, I endeavour to lay down a caveat at this point, which is that we can make information fit anything that we want to hear. My husband would call this Confirmation Bias, which is a tendency to interpret evidence that supports our existing beliefs or philosophies; or in my speak, we lean towards or attract that which we desire to be true, in order to feel comfortable. I do acknowledge that such things as Astrology predictions can be interpreted to suit our needs. Although with this caveat laid down firmly in our stable, I feel able to step back from the stable door, consider the racetrack in front of us and consider how we might apply horse energy to our year ahead. I see this is an interesting possibility for our journeying through life and tapping into our limitless potential. So if you're willing to stay open minded, please read on.
What does the Wooden Horse mean to us, practically?
If you think about horse images, it might bring up a race-horse or a working horse pulling a cart, as examples. Either way they symbolise partnership, working in harmony with something or someone, creating movement, transportation, propulsion. The theme, therefore, that the horse can offer us is movement, activation and purpose. After two years of stillness, reflection and perhaps a sense of destabilisation in some areas of our lives, the horse's high energy gives us an opportunity to wake up and get going. Here are some quick pointers that help us make the most of the shift and some thoughts about what to be mindful of as the horse trots into our awareness:
How to have the ride of your life
1. Purposeful action - time to turn dreams into reality
We may well have noticed how the last two years have been full of dreams, notions, ideas and that, for many of us, never quite the energy to bring them into being. Lots of ideas, no action. Well, this new, horse year is ripe for changing that energy. It's time to dust off those dreams, inspirations and creative genius moments that you felt lethargic about last year. Reignite them and use them as a way to create direction and purpose. If you haven't got any dreams, then now is a great time to start a Vision Board and work with your loved ones to talk about what you would like to happen this time next year. Get excited about the opportunities to do, be or have something different in your life. Particularly if you have found yourself dissatisfied with your 'lot' recently. Get clear on your desires, because this is the year to make them happen. So as the Everley Brothers once sang, "All I have to do is dream."
2. Trust your heart - do what you love
Start listening to your intuition and heart more. Do more of what gets you excited, what makes your blood flow, as this is the best way to have a more fulfilling experience of life. They might only be small things, although no one is about the judge the size or shape of your dreams and desires. Just have some and get excited about them. During the year of the horse, your intuition (that inner voice, that knowingness you get from your heart, not your head) will be strong and you will find yourself propelled by its guidance. Look out and listen for opportunities, as they will be aplenty and follow their lead as this is the year for stepping out, stepping up and trusting what your heart is telling you.
3. De-clutter - make space for the new
After two years of potential stagnancy, stillness and introspection, it is time to clear out what is no longer serving a useful purpose for you. That might be physical clutter in your house, office or outside space, or it might be a mental or emotional de-cluttering that you need to do. Either way, getting rid of things that we've consciously or unconsciously horded over the last couple of years, we make room for this new, optimistic, high energy motion that will have us 'chomping at the bit'. If we are to make the most of this year's energy, then we don't want to be held back by clutter that is undermining us or simply getting in the way, otherwise it will become a hurdle too high to jump over.
4. Be inspired
This is a fabulous time to let our inspirations run free. With the pessimism that has tainted our waters, the horse gives us permission to use our creativity, inspiration and spontaneous natures to create new, better and different. Have the courage to take yourself out of the old, comfortable boundaries or rules that kept you imprisoned and feel what it's like to be set free in the field of possibilities. See what comes up when you allow your mind the space to be adventurous, energised and uplifted.
Caution - horses
1. It's a big change - take care of you
Going from the sleepy hollows of the water snake to the high energy horse, can be a bit of a shock to the system. So, be mindful of the shift in gear and look after yourself in the early months ahead of us. It'll feel strange to feel so revitalised and to see that your 'get up and go' has already 'got up and gone'. Whilst there's no doubt it will be lovely to not procrastinate, if you have a tendency for doing too much, then this year could be exhausting for you. Be aware of your limitations and needs and inject plenty of self care.
2. Keep hold of the reigns
We may run the risk of overdoing things; not just the activities to make our dreams reality, also overspending, overeating and stretching our general gluttony for the abundance on offer. In our enthusiasm for running the race of our lives, we may forget to fuel up effectively, reset our fences and use our good old logical left brain to think things through. If you are naturally rational and analytical, remind yourself to stay grounded and utilise your structured talents wisely, as they will help you stay reasoned and anchored rather than wild and impulsive. Trust your intuition and keep hold of your reigns so that the direction you go in is purposeful and delivers the best and right results. There could also be a danger that the spontaneity takes us wildly off course, creating unhealthy diversions unless we stay grounded.
3. Fences need flexibility
As you get ready for 'starter's orders', remember that if you are a structured, control and rule oriented person (like me to some extent), then this wild horse energy could feel a bit uncomfortable. Almost like you're riding bare-backed with no reigns to hold onto. Whilst you don't want too many rules in place to restrict the horse's energy, you do need to have some boundaries in place to help you feel safe and make the most of the opportunities. This might simply be, have some 'How's it going?' chats with friends or family to review your new world. It might be setting some time out where you rest and fuel up. However your fences might look, make sure they have flexibility and are not too rigid in their structure. Fences are important although watch out that they don't restrict your horse's expressive and creative energy.
See you the other side and look forward to accompanying you on the adventure.