Did you check your phone for today’s weather or traffic? Well, now is also the time to check the dynamics of the year ahead. Here’s the outlook for the upcoming Year of the Brown Boar (or Pig), which begins on February 5th2019.
The dynamics of the year are rooted in Five Element theory, which looks to nature to explain health and society, and personal, political and business trends. You might find something interesting in these associations that resonate for you or motivate you to take action.
THE NATURE OF PIG: First we consider the animal associated with the year: 2019 is a Boar or Pig. Its nature is considered Yin and Water. This particular year is also considered Yin, and is designated as Earth. Yin Water plus Yin Earth is considered particularly Yin! Earth and Water are in contention, and together make mud, so we might consider this the year of the Muddy Brown Boar! This can point to literal mud (after the California fires came the rain which was followed by mud and mudslides) or a lack of clear thinking. It might even include social or political mud-slinging, which has become unfortunately more common but may be less tolerated. We may continue to see rising waters and more flooding.
The Boar is the final animal (of 12) in the Chinese zodiac system. The story goes that when the animals were all summoned, Pig stopped along the way to eat a meal, and thus was the last of the animals to join the assembly. Because of this, Pig is associated with endings and bringing things to completion. Lawsuits, investigations and projects would do well to be wrapped up in order to move on to the next grand cycle of 12 years. As you’re finishing up projects for this year, it will be time to start planning for next year. Launch your new projects and plans in the auspicious Rat Year of 2020, which is the beginning of the next 12 year cycle.
There may be negativity surrounding the Pig or Boar in Western language (dirty, gluttonous, unpleasant, ugly). A German expression, “it’s all under pig”, refers to a bad situation. But this creature has, in fact, many admirable qualities. Pigs are considered intelligent, determined, and sensitive (enough to sniff out truffles). Another German expression meaning “to have pig” means things are good or lucky. Pigs are resourceful foragers and can adapt to many climates as long as they have enough water. They are social animals by nature and live in female-dominated groups, another aspect of their Yin nature. They are also fond of relaxation and comfort, which gives us the expression “happy as a pig in muck” (to be joyful or content, or in a position of ease). If you’ve wondered why pigs are happy to be covered in muck, it is their strategy of protecting their skin from sunburn and keeping cool (maintaining their naturally Yin state) when the weather turns hot.
Yin and Yang are often interpreted as opposites, but they are actually interdependent and can transform to become the other. Yin carries the seed of Yang, and Yang carries the seed of Yin. Think of Day incrementally becoming Night and Night incrementally becoming Day. In acupuncture theory, women are said to be Yin on the outside and Yang inside, and men are said to be Yang on the outside and Yin within. So while we all have Yin and Yang within, the Yang aspects of societies (war, commerce, technology, male dominance) have been overwhelmingly emphasized for a very long time. The balance may now be slowly starting to change.
THE POWER OF YIN: We are seeing the rising power of Yin, particularly for women. Women are finding and asserting their Yin strength, not merely assuming a masculine version of it. Look to the #MeToo movement, and in the record number of women that entered and succeeded in our recent election. In fact, men would do well to explore their Yin nature and cultivate Yin qualities like compassion.
Yin issues are coming into focus socially, such as healthcare, women’s health and reproductive rights, family care, elder care, and rights and care for the disenfranchised. This urge to give and receive more caring, nurturing and compassion reflects the social nature of Pig. Social gatherings will have a more meaningful impact on participants at work, with families, or in our communities. Think of the power of the Women’s March. This is also a good year to deal with family issues, to let go of old hurts, forgive and reconcile. Earth energy wants to be understood, and when we make the effort to understand each other, we can be more supportive and caring and in better relationship, mutually supportive. Families and communities thrive in these conditions.
WORK & SOCIETY: Pig energy traditionally benefits all the caring professions: healing and health (acupuncture!), therapy, counseling and social work. Shelters are poised to receive generous funding and more volunteers. Treatment of children will gain more visibility, from immigrants to those in poverty or homelessness, or being exploited for labor.
The Boar energies encourage retirement for those that are close to that age. Boar values the rest that comes at the end of sustained effort. This coincides with the aging Baby Boomers who are retiring, wanting to retire or starting to think about retiring.
FAMILY & FRIENDS: Family dinners and social gatherings, cooking with friends and enjoying meals together will be highlighted this year. You may find yourself wanting to explore old family recipes or traditional meals. This is a year for enjoying your home and family, for nurturing each other and hanging out together, being comfortable in your space. This is a good time to reconcile with family members, forgive past hurts and help each other. If you want a reason to take naps and spend time just being, then you’ll be in the flow of the Pig vibe.
HEALTH NOTES: In acupuncture theory, the imbalance of Earth and Water can lead to Dampness. This can result in weight gain or digestive disturbance, respiratory infections or nasal/chest congestion. The Earth flavor is sweet, and the temptation will be to choose flavor over nutrition. Your body will be happiest with cooked and warm foods that are easy to digest. Soups and stews are nourishing. Eat at regular times, and stop eating at 7:00 p.m. If you must have a sweet dessert, keep it light and in a small portion. Warming spices such as ginger, cardamom and cinnamon will be appreciated in many dishes.
The muddy combination of Earth and Water can also negatively affect Kidneys and Bladder. We might see Urinary Tract Infections, small kidney stones and other kidney issues such as lethargy, low back pain, knee pain, teeth issues, or even a low sex drive.
YOU’VE GOT TO MOVE IT, MOVE IT: Pig energy can be sedentary, so it’s important to maintain exercise routines. Bouncing on a rebounder, shaking Qi Gong to move lymph, yoga, Pilates and tai chi are all good forms of exercise this year (or any year, really). You might enjoy these more if you join a class or group, because Pig energy is social. We are healthiest when all the Elements are expressing their gifts, but there is no Fire in this 2019 Earth and Water year. A lack of Fire in 2019 makes blood circulation more challenging, underscoring the need for exercise and good dietary choices. Circulation problems can manifest in varicose veins, hemorrhoids and perhaps even heart issues.
LISTEN FOR THE TRUTH: Boar is considered an honest creature, so truth will be valued, even though it may be hard to come by. Muddy water is hard to see through, so dangers may be hidden. Confusion may result from unscrupulous persons who try to deceive. Because water can clean and flush out debris and toxins, those who lie won’t ultimately be successful for long.
Disclaimer: This forecast is based on the animal symbolism in Chinese astrology and the ancient principles of Chinese Five Element theory, and only intended for entertainment. Users are solely responsible for their own interpretation or application to their own circumstances. Further, this is not intended to be a substitute for legal, medical or psychological advice, evaluation or treatment. Many thanks to Lillian Bridges, Lotus Institute 2019