“Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore.”
― L. Frank Baum
(I think this quote best reflects how I feel about The Art of The Blog.)
Ok, Yes …I can do this … but it sure as heck will be a unique learning experience with three tech-savvy sons offering critiques and chuckles along the way!
So … Why Blog? Well … Why not?
First business – To usher in the Chinese New Year as we are officially in the Year of the Green Wood Horse!
The 15 day celebration of the Chinese New Year began yesterday, January 31st, with the first new moon of the calendar year. The day marks the end of the Year of the Water Snake and welcomes the start of the Year of the Wooden Horse. For those who don’t know their yin from their yang or who haven’t visited a Chinese astrologist recently, here’s some stuff to ponder:
- The Chinese zodiac – or Shēngxiào – is a calendar system originating in the Han dynasty (206-220BC), which names each of the years in its 12-year cycle after an animal: the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig, in that order. According to the system, the universe is made up of five elements – earth, water, fire, wood and metal – which interact with the 12 animals, resulting in the specific character of the year ahead.
- People born in the Year of the Horse are said to be a bit like horses: Animated, active and energetic. They are quick to learn independence and have a straightforward and positive attitude towards life. They are known for their communication skills and are exceedingly witty. ( Hey!! I’m a Horse … )
- If none of this rings true, don’t worry. The animal signs of each year merely indicate how others see you or how you choose to present yourself. There are also animal signs for each month, known as inner animals, signs for each day, called true animals, and animals for each hour, or secret animals. (Whew, too much pressure!)
- According to superstition, in your zodiac year you will offend Tai Sui, the god of age, and will experience bad luck for the whole year. To avoid this you should wear something red, which has been given to you by someone else. In general, the lucky colors of Team Horse are green, red and purple; the lucky numbers are three, four and nine; and the lucky flowers are giant taro and jasmine.
- The Year of the Horse is a year in which people are likely to stand firm on their principles, making negotiation difficult. Years of the Wooden Horse are also associated with warfare. The last time the Year of the Wood Horse occurred was 1954 — and it just so happens that the United States tested the hydrogen bomb on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands that year. Just something to think about.
- If you were born in the Year of the Horse, you’re in good company. Fellow members of the horse club include Genghis Khan, Mongol ruler; Franklin D Roosevelt, the 32nd president of the US; Louis Pasteur, a 19th-century scientist; Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon; the singer Aretha Franklin; and the model Cindy Crawford. If you have Wood or Fire elements in your natal chart you will do well this year, if not – try to buddy up with someone who does (be sure to update your online dating profiles.)
- The industries that are predicted to do well this year are those associated with the Wood element, including education, healthcare, and agriculture, as well as those that fall under Fire, like marketing, entertainment, restaurants, and (of course), social media. My view? Tweet and Post til your fingers hurt, and if you are thinking of taking a class … Do it. Since education is a Wood industry, which is associated with growth, 2014 will be a good time to learn something new. (Ah! Blogging!)
- Last notes … In order to stimulate the correct feng shui for the Year of the Wood Horse, consider rearranging the furniture in your home or office to face South, making sure your computer faces that direction too. You’re also going to want to make yourself more yang — the sun, light, and male elements in Chinese philosophy — by adding active elements to your home life. Suggestions include playing music in the house and having sex more often. (Hey, I don’t make this stuff up.)
So with ALL of that clarified, Gong Xi Fa Cai (Mandarin) … Gong Hey Fat Choy (Cantonese) … Happy New Year!