Saturday, February 17, 2007

Year of the Fire Pig, Or: The Smoldering Boar

The Chinese New Year begins on Sunday, February 18th, just after the New Moon in Aquarius, and promises to be a heady, if happy time. The pig, or boar, is the last of the symbolic animals corresponding to the twelve terrestrial branches of the Chinese lunar calendar, and "represents all the bounty that humanity has built over the years," according to a poster I spied in a local bookstore window. "This will be a year of happiness and prosperity for everyone who savors the joy of living."

Onr of my favorite sites for all types of lore, Myth*ing Links, makes this important distinction between the Year of the Pig and specifically, a Fire Pig year:

"The fat, happy Pig is the 'laughing Buddha' of the Chinese Zodiac signs: naturally pleased, whatever he does. He likes his creature comforts; is sensual in all endeavours. Tolerant, compassionate, generous - he has difficulty controlling his passions but hides neither faults, mistakes, nor his self-indulgence. Egocentric, chaotic, destructive at times, one of Pig's essential drives is his love for freedom and beauty. The eternal optimist, his attitude is, 'Don't worry, be happy'.

What to Expect in the Year of the Fire Pig

"The Chinese Fire Pig symbol (Fire over Water) contains a special character that forms an accelerant. The year has potential for situations to gather speed; to burn out of control. In Chinese astrology, clashes of Fire & Water have powerful, uncontrollable effects, while transformation takes place. Situations flare up quickly and propel out of control.

"The Water element denotes clandestine affairs, 'behind the scenes', danger. It can indicate physical floods & large scale water problems - potential for extensive damage and destruction.

"Fire Pig has harmonious elements, but harmony is lost when situations are out of control. Fire Pig years have been fraught with incidents: wars, political takeovers, enormous unrest."

However, prediction is in the eye of the astrologer, and this site by Shelly Wu takes a different tack:

"Pig years are known for their respite from strife, patience and passivity, but also for indulgence, sensuality and fleshly delights. As the last sign of the zodiac, the Pig represents 'resignation', accepting human nature as it is - content to live and let live.

"Finishing touches, tying up loose ends, last stands, curtain calls and closures will be the urging of the year. So, prepare to finish projects, complete goals and even say some goodbyes. Put your ducks in a row, cross your T's and dot your I's in 2007 and the proper Pig will be gracious to you.

"All things that occur this year can be looked on as closing or final conclusions in some way. An auspicious year to complete projects, bring projects to fruition or arrive safely after completing a long life journey....

"...Pace yourself during this Fire year to avoid burnout and try not to keep such a hurried pace. Add the Earth element to your life and home to sooth frazzled nerves, slow down and facilitate relaxation. Gardening, working with clay or pottery, sharing time with your animals and all manner of worship/church/temple or meditative practices will increase the Earth element in your life."

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