Many people have asked me for my predictions of the coming Chinese New Year. Probably more than usual because my teacher Liu Ming died about a year ago and he had been giving predictions for the new year to packed houses in the San Francisco Bay Area for about the last ten years.
As my regular readers know, I’m more of a strategist than I am a prognosticator, but I’ll try to split the difference.
On January 28th, 2017 we will enter the Fire Rooster Year. Before we get to that, let’s review the Fire Monkey Year. 1776 was a Fire Monkey year too, the USA was born in a Fire Monkey year, and this year was sort of a re-birth. Somewhat traumatic for some, especially that tail end of the year, but relentlessly energetic. It just wasn’t always the kind of energy that could be put to good use. It was a great year for creativity, especially improvisation, but you had to be willing to swing from limb to limb without really knowing where the next hold was. If you blocked the action last year, you probably slipped and hit the ground a few times. It was a year for chaos and incoherence, taboo and shock. The Monkey Year was all about beating the odds, and the survival of wildest.
The Fire Rooster Year is going to be different. We could almost say it will be the antidote to the Monkey. This year is all about getting things in order. Get on top of paper work. Crisp clean print-outs, dot every i, cross every t. We always clean before the New Year, but this year is a little different. Start organizing. You may find it has never been so easy to throw stuff away. Organize everything— Ideas, paper clips, the garage, random objects, condiments, weapons, kids, partners. Crease your pants. Iron your bathing suit! No organizational idea is too small or too crazy to pursue.
Organization is how we get the upper hand on chaos. Chaos always wins in the end, but in the Rooster Year we get to lounge in the illusion that we might get the better of it.
Another important thing about the Rooster year is its ruffled feathers. The Rooster is really good at insults. Especially bawdy ones. And this is a Fire Year so expect the insults to get worse as Summer approaches. This is how the Rooster creates intimacy, so join in. Let the insults bring you closer. Talk to each other, dig deep. Some people will resist this raucous loss of decorum, but that would be a mistake. When the insults are flying, attempting to stay aloof will end in the disaster of running around in circles like a chicken with its head cut off.
Expect a few shifts in the pecking order to cause wild dust ups, but to quickly settle back down into a new order.
This is a great year for discipline. Anything you are disciplined about will have double the payback of a regular year. If I were to sum up the Fire Rooster year in a single word it would be scheduling. Don’t hesitate to over schedule or re-schedule, make grand plans, invent intricate scenarios. Scheduling in the Fire Rooster Year is not at all about rigidity or sticking slavishly to your plans. It is about the freedom found in the process. If you need to change something, just schedule it. If you want more sex, schedule it. If you want more spontaneity, schedule it. If you want better conversations, schedule them. If you want to get stronger, smarter, richer, or better looking, just schedule it.
Every Chinese New Year starts with joyfully sharing and affirming the wish to live a long life and get super rich. In both areas the Fire Rooster Year is actually pretty dangerous. Failure to organize is likely to end in economic losses. While careful organization will produce only modest gains. Holding on to any sense of being offended is likely to have grave health consequences in a Fire Rooster Year because the roasting isn’t likely to stop. Instead, embrace your vanity, strut about listening to other peoples views with confidence and curiosity. Get up on a high perch and look for friends in unusual places. They will be key to your success in 2018, the Dog year. Now go get that worm.