Chinese New Year takes place on Friday, January 31st, moving us out of the murky depths of the Water Snake into the year of the Wood Horse. This is an extremely significant shift, some arguing that it is possibly the most extreme and transformative shift in the full 60-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac. After two back-to-back water years, we suddenly find ourselves propelled into the powerful, catalytic, active principle of the Horse.
Overview of the Water Years
To understand why this is such a powerful shift, let’s look at the energy of the Horse in comparison to the two predecessor years of the Dragon and the Snake.
Dragon years are considered to be dramatic and full of unpredictable events. It is said that everything in a Dragon year is felt ten-fold. This most recent year of the Dragon coincided with 2012, a year full of unknowing, being in the void, and a great turning in the cycle of the planet and the consciousness of humanity. This year was filled with big shifts, some definite trepidation and fear, chaos, a shaking up of the natural order, and a closing of an era.
Today marks the final day of the Year of the Snake. The Snake is viewed as a symbol of transformation and spiritual growth. With the snake in the element of water, we may have found ourselves crawling on our bellies through the darkness, experiencing the unsettling, internal world of spirit. We may have experienced a deep examination of our subconscious and a necessary shedding of that which no longer serves. It would be common in such a year to feel a sense of powerlessness in our search for meaning, and yearning for a sense of connection.
In summary, our deep soul-searching has led us through a process of destabilization and letting go. Transitioning in to the Year of the Horse, we are moving from the degenerative phase into a generative phase, one that will manifest tangibly in active and powerful ways.
The Energy of the Horse
The horse is a powerful totem, full of impulsiveness, passion, keen intuition, and the ability to take charge and bound forth into what comes next. Fire is the ruling element of the Yang Horse, and paired with the element of Wood, makes way for a year of budding, new growth, dynamism, movement, and great leaps forward.
Horses take us through the gateway, make communication possible, and are associated with both natural power and supernatural powers. The horse has many lessons to teach us about wielding our power appropriately, compassionate understanding on an emotional level, and responsibility towards ourselves, others, and the earth.
The horse energy inspires us to pay attention and trust our own intuition, as the profound lessons we have learned during the water years will come forward to be utilized. The horse urges us towards inspired action and surges us towards greater freedom.
The propulsion of the horse energy is supported by clarity of vision. It urges us to map what we want for our lives, know the steps towards getting there, and begin to ride the wind towards an expanded sense of freedom and awareness previously only dreamed of.
Many of us may struggle with trust as we move swiftly forward into hopeful, vibrant energy. Know that you have all the necessary tools in your tool belt. The deep and profound lessons learned in two water and two metal years have equipped us to be able to move forward with grace, confidence, and power.
A renewed sense of connection through our communities and networks is of utmost importance during this time, as we will need others around to lean on, dialogue and reflect with, and hold us in our power and in our integrity.
It will be important to steer clear of any old stories, scripts, baggage, or regrets that hold us in a pattern that no longer serves. The time for those things has come to pass, and they have no place where we are going.
A Horse Divination
In closing, I bring you a final message from the horses of the four sacred colors, as relayed by Jamie Sams and David Carson in the Medicine Cards.
Black Stallion says: “I am from the Void where answers live. Ride on my back and know the power of entering the Darkness and finding the Light.”
Yellow Stallion represents illumination and urges us to share the answers we have found with others through teaching.
Red Stallion is a reminder of the gifts of joy, and balancing work and heaviness with levity and exuberance.
White Stallion is the embodiment of a balanced medicine shield and shows us that our true power is grasped in the wisdom of remembering who we are.