In the East every year, in a 12-year cycle, is assigned an animal totem, because it is said that 12 different animals—the ox, tiger, hare, dragon (!), snake, horse, sheep, monkey, cock, dog, boar, and rat—all came to bid farewell to the Buddha at the time of his parinirvana or death.
In any case, these 12 animal totems are combined each year with the five elements, which in turn are ruled by five main planets: wood is ruled by Jupiter, fire by Mars, earth by Saturn, metal by Venus and water by Mercury.
It is said that the Buddha was born in the Year of the Horse, so this coming new year, which begins Sunday, March 2, is thought to be auspicious for practicing meditation.
This is because, (although it is also an excellent year for action, travel and adventure because personal and worldly events may happen at a swift pace), it is meditation practice that will keep everyone sane. Without mindfulness-awareness practice individual lives and politics may become more confusing than usual.
But it is also a time for unimpeded freedom, innovative ideas (I hope green ones!), and good will.
Jupiter, being the biggest and most powerful planet, empowers the Wood Horse to explore many fields and to welcome the new. It is a year for each of us to prioritize getting active no matter what the season: getting out into nature, climbing mountains, swimming in oceans, strolling through parks or forests, or ice skating on lakes.
It is a time for a fresh start for both body and mind!
Love elephant and want to go steady?
Editorial Assistant: Bronwyn Petry/Editor: Waylon Lewis
Photos: Wikimedia Commons