Discovering Peace and Harmony in the Year of the Rabbit

“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
– Jimi Hendrix

Chinese Astrology is an integral part of an ancient culture that seeks balance in and connection to the world around them.   As an acupuncturist, I see our bodies seek the same as we move along our individual and collective journeys towards physical and emotional well-being.  Chinese Astrology is a fun and interesting way to learn more about how we relate to the world, ourselves and each other by exploring the nature of our Chinese animal signs.

Ancient legend tells us that the Buddha summoned all the animals to come bid him farewell before he departed the earth.  According to the story, twelve animals came and he named a year for each animal in the order of their arrival…..the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and lastly the boar.   Each animal represents one year of five separate twelve year cycles composing the Chinese lunar calendar.  The lunar calendar was introduced by the Emperor Huang Ti in 2637 BC.

The Year of the RABBIT, which began on February 3, 2011 and ends on January 22, 2012, is characterized as a peaceful period, a time for a respite from conflict and aggression.  The Rabbit, being a quiet and reserved symbol reflecting kindness, sensitivity, and graciousness suggests that this year is a time to subdue the challenging nature and drama of 2010’s Year of the Tiger.  The Year of the Rabbit is a time to explore stillness and tranquility in our lives and to find inner peace and harmony.  This year should also hopefully see progress towards ending conflict in war-torn countries including Afganistan, Iraq, and Pakistan.

Rabbits, due to their unobtrusive and observant tendancies, often have good intuition and insight.  They are effective leaders in business and tend to be soft-spoken, fair, and known to rule with a velvet glove.  Their sensitive and compassionate nature lead them to careers in medicine, counseling, massage, and teaching.  Rabbits are also drawn to careers in the creative arts, as they enjoy expressing themselves thru avenues including theater, music, sculpture, and writing.  It would be common to encounter a Rabbit enjoying viewing unique pieces at a gallery opening.  The Year of the Rabbit is a good time to step back, take a deep breath, and exhale slowly.

2011 is a good year to connect with romantic partners who are sensitive to each others feelings and who can express their emotions with a relative lack of conflict.  Attraction and communication may revolve around both intellectual and artistic qualities in each other.  While the Rabbit is likeable by most, he can also be frustrating in his overall lack of willingness to enter into any difference of opinion.  He can at times be moody and detached as he attempts to maintain his passiveness at any cost.

The Year of the Rabbit is a good time to discover your inner strength as you seek inner peace.  As the rabbit is comfortable with stillness, as a wintery white snowshoe hare blends silently into the drifts around him, the Year of 2011 is a time to opt for signing up for a Yoga or Tai Qi class.  Or perhaps a time to take the opportunity to go to a Buddhist meditation retreat!   Fashions and design will take on an elegant, but understated style with loose, comfortable sweaters of soft cashmere, and silk and cotton blends draping gently over faded designer jeans.  Geometric designs and loud colors will offend the Rabbits sense of ease and natural tendency to blend into the background.

In closing, to quote anthropologist Margaret Mead, “ Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.  For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.”  The Year of the Rabbit will be a period to find your inner strength, to stand strong, and to also find the courage to trust and take that leap of faith to find your way through those winter storms.