2016: Year of the Yang Fire Monkey

The Chinese New Year began on February 8, this year in the sign of the Yang Fire Monkey.  Chinese medicine is based on the universal energies of yin and yang as well as the five elements; Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water.  There is a 12 year cycle in Chinese astrology, with each cycle represented by an animal.  The animals in the Chinese zodiac are as follows: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.  Each animal has certain characteristics that are related to the person that is born within the year of a specific animal sign.  For example, a birthdate of 04/17/1968 has the Chinese astrological sign of the Monkey.  The time period of that cycle is from January 30, 1968 to February 16, 1969.  The qualities of the Monkey sign will greatly influence the overall population, environment, and universal energies for the year 2016.

Yin and yang represent two opposing universal energies that work together to create harmony and balance in life.  One energy cannot survive without the other. They must never be separated. If yang becomes more abundant than yin, this creates an imbalance. If the imbalance is never rectified, disease and disharmony will occur. The Chinese believe in order to have good health, we need to balance our energy internally as well as externally with nature. Yin symbolizes a passive, nourishing, feminine energy that is dark in color relating to night-time, sleep and rest; Yang represents the lighter side that correlates with the sun, daytime, activity, and is a masculine, powerful, fiery energy.

In the year of the yang fire element, power and strength will be key elements this year.  Fire is associated with yang because it is a rising, expansive, powerful, and dynamic energy.  This energy moves quickly and can be hard to control.  Fire can be very pleasant when it is in a controlled setting, like a fireplace, or campfire.  It can also create havoc, fear, and destruction when burning uncontrollably.  We can attribute these same qualities to what happens internally (within our bodies) and externally (our environment).  When the fire element is balanced in our lives, we experience warmth, comfort, joy, romance, creativity, connecting with spirit, focus, power and strength. Once the fire element becomes out of control, we experience aggression, anxiety, hate in the heart, impulsiveness, and obsession.  Essentially, people will burn themselves out because they are not containing their energy.

Ironically, the fire element is associated with the heart and the color red.  Buddhists believe the spirit resides in the heart.   When we connect with our spirit we are able to stay true to ourselves and fulfill our destiny. In the Buddhist religion, daily meditation is essential in order to connect with your heart/spirit and promote a sense of peace.  Meditation is yin in nature and will harness the yang energy. The Buddhists refer to the yang energy of the mind as “Monkey Mind”.  Everyone has “monkey mind”. It is based on our daily stresses, fears and anxieties.  If this continues without much rest, the mind becomes very noisy and agitated.  You may skip from one thought to the next, experience forgetfulness, and lack concentration, because the mind becomes jumbled. The longer the “monkey mind” is untamed, the more intense the negative emotions and thoughts will become.

In essence, when we reflect on some of the characteristics mentioned, the monkey seems to be a perfect fit!  Monkeys can be agile, noisy, jumping around, hyper, cute, playful, funny, alarming, and mischievous.  The Yang Fire Monkey will be a year of creativity, new projects, growth and development.  Being a masculine, active, fiery energy, it gives us the strength, and focus to tap into our creativity, accomplish goals, and make long term goals a reality. If the energy is well balanced, one will experience positive aspects of the yang energy.

However, if the yang energy is untamed and the fire burns uncontrollably it will result in the negative aspects of this sign.  Health conditions related to too much Yang are headaches, sore throats, rashes, high blood pressure, stroke, viruses and heart conditions. Matters of the heart in terms of relationships can be more intense this year because of the fire element. Be sure to take care of loved ones but also make time for your own self-care and love.  Don’t forget to be playful like the monkey on occasion. The motto “all work and no play” is a path to an unhealthy lifestyle.

Keep in mind that the energy is strong, powerful, and dynamic. Be sure to ground yourself to keep stability and the yang energy rooted.  Yoga and meditation are wonderful ways to anchor the yang energy. A day at the beach or the spa is beneficial in keeping the yang in check. Acupuncture is very effective in grounding the energy especially when you feel like you are out of balance. For more information on living a balanced life, call the office to schedule a 15 minute complimentary consultation.

Have a Happy, Healthy, and Prosperous 2016!