The beginning of a new year is an invitation to welcome in the new and let go of the old. What is your passion and purpose for this New Year? How can you express the Fire of your Heart and creative spirit? This year at the peak of the Fire, I will be running a retreat with my daughter Rosa Lia in the warmth of Portugal, to connect with your fire “Purpose and passion – ignite your fire“
I have also done a Zoom video of a ceremony I did to welcome in the Tiger year.
Yang water tiger and Imbolc
On the 1st of February we moved into another new Chinese year and on 4th February into the year of the Yang Water Tiger. February seems a more appropriate time to begin the new year than January. The days are feeling lighter. On sunnier days, there are signs of the world awakening from its deeper winter slumber. Indeed, traditionally, the new year was celebrated by Celtic peoples on 1st February, the same day as the Chinese, with the festival of Imbolc. Imbolc means “the belly” and symbolises the rise of fertile energy. It is the beginning of the lambing season and a celebration of the ripening womb of the earth and of pregnancy. During Imbolc, Brigid the goddess of healing and beautiful writing is honoured. She is the goddess of Fire – embodying passion, creativity and the increasing warmth of longer days.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese New Year involves celebrations over a couple of weeks and culminates with a festival of lanterns on 15th February. The lanterns are usually red, symbolising the rise of Yang Fire, and the imminent warmth of longer days leading into spring and summer. This is interesting as it is close to the western Valentine’s Day – a day of red hearts and roses, warmth and love.
Moving from Yin Metal Ox to Yang Water Tiger
Last year was the year of the Yin Metal Ox (my birth year sign). There is a huge contrast between the Tiger and the Ox. Although not so dissimilar in size, the Tiger being about 3 to 4 foot high and the Ox about 4 to 5, they are different in so many other ways. The Ox, slow moving and hard-working, the Tiger fiery and more impetuous. The Tiger is a carnivore with large teeth and claws who tends to hunt alone and at night, the Ox an herbivore with hooves, moving slowly in herds. I wrote about the slow moving, hard working Ox last year. I thought that perhaps as they are calmer than the Rat, the first sign for the Chinese in the cycle of twelve signs, that 2021 would be a quieter year. However 2021, like 2020, was also a year of upheaval and uncertainty. Hopefully, the Ox energy reminded us to stay moving slowly, connecting with the day-to-day rhythms of our life, so that we didn’t get too caught up in the constantly changing outer world, but were able to stay connected with our core strengths.
Nature of the Tiger
For the Chinese, the tiger is the symbol of the brave. It is the symbol of good fortune and wisdom. They see the Tiger, rather than the lion, as the King of animals. Tigers are creatures of action, but, like the hunter, they are cautious and stick to their goal. They are valued for their independence, self-esteem and adventurous spirit.
Tiger’s striped coat reflects his ambivalent nature. They can be a leader or a rebel – a force for good or evil. They can focus on their goal, and make wise decisions, but they can also be impetuous. Although wise, they can be arrogant, although daring they can be aggressive, although decisive, they can also procrastinate. This ambivalence can be a strength – the stripes reflecting the balance of Yin and Yang which confers great power. And the female tiger can be ferocious especially when protecting her young.
In its native position, the Tiger is Yang and Wood . Wood is the energy of Spring, with its courage and movement to activity after the winter. Wood can be passionate – the tree reaching for the sky. However it can also become stuck in the earth. In 2022 in the cyclic movement of the signs the Tiger finds itself in Water and Yang. Water is the most Yin sign, but it is in its Yang aspect. This means that this year’s Tiger will still be fairly Yang, adventurous and outgoing while also having some Yin (Water) reflective and intuitive qualities. Yin and Yang together express the powerful nature of the striped tiger – their ability to be fiery, independent and courageous as well as reflective and wise.
There have been many famous Tigers over the years with a variety of professions. These include the writers William Wordsworth, Oscar Wilde and Agatha Christie, HG Wells and Emily Bronte. Tiger politicians include Presidents Eisenhower and de Gaulle and Ho Chi Minh. Marilyn Monroe, Queen Elizabeth II and Germaine Greer are all Tigers. Yang Water Tigers include. John Steinbeck, Georgette Heyer and Tom Cruise.
How do you connect with the Tiger?
To celebrate this Chinese new year I am doing a zoom on Friday 11th February at 7pm UK time. We will welcome in the qualities of the tiger and help you to connect to your dreams for this year. We will reflect on some of the qualities of the Tiger and then I will lead you into some movements and meditation. First we will release what we want to let go of from last year. Then we will connect with the qualities of the Tiger which we can use to support us in the coming year.
Bring any objects you want to use for your meditation.
Here is the link for the Zoom recording of 11th. Before you watch it you might want to ponder these questions.
Questions to ponder
What do you want to let go of from last year? Any fears? Frustrations? What can you release?
What characteristics of the Tiger can you take with you into this new year? What qualities attract you most? Having courage to do what you need to in the coming year? Being able to envisage expanding your horizons and adventuring in the future? Finding your passion?
What are your dreams for this year? What would you like to happen?