2014 the Year of the Wood Horse


Yasha Jampolsky was kind enough to speak to me about what we have in store for us in the year of the Wood Horse in 2014.  This is looking specifically at how the energy of the Horse year affects us all.  Last week I also posted about the influence of the Horse year on each animal. Read about your individual Chinese zodiac animal and the relationship with the year of the Wood Horse here!

AC:  Please tell us about what we have in store for us in this new Wood Horse year and how it compares to the previous Snake year.

YJ:  To begin, I’d like to explain the difference between the Lunar New Year and the Solar New Year and how they are used for two different purposes. The Lunar New Year is generally celebrated by most Asian communities. It's usually the first New Moon of the year and the date can vary as much as 3 or 4 weeks from year to year, as early as mid-January or as late as mid-February. This is the official New Year celebration that most people are familiar with. The Solar New Year is the midpoint between the winter solstice and the spring equinox. It’s based on the agricultural or farmer’s almanac. In ancient agrarian times activities were entwined with movements of the sun. They became very good at observing the sun and created an almanac calendar for when to plant and all the various tasks that had to do with growing food. Similarly, it is believed that all the chi on the planet comes from the sun initially. For these reasons, the solar calendar is very important and often used for all types of astrology and calculations that have to do with the natural world. In 2014, the lunar new year was January 31st and the solar calendar began on February 4th at 6:21 AM.

And so...we came charging in to the year of the Horse! Almost everyone I know could feel the impact of the Horse as soon as it galloped in. There's such a contrast between the energy of the Horse and the Snake. The Snake is much slower moving and is related with submerged energies, what goes on beneath the surface and introspection. The Snake is a sign of wisdom, whereas the Horse is a sign of action. The Horse is about forward movement, so whatever we learned from the year of the Snake, can now be put in to effect. Go full throttle and head on with everything that was learned. As long as we come from a place of integrity, we should do really well. 

So what about the qualities of the Horse year?

Amongst the qualities of the Horse is optimism, so this will be a year of optimism. Of course optimism affect everything. It affects the economy, our personal choices, and our daily lives. When we have an optimistic approach, things turn out better. So, we have the optimistic nature of the Horse helping us this year. The Horse is not subtle, so things become very obvious. Pretty much, what you see is what you get and not very much is hidden.

The Horse is also powerfully charismatic, so charisma and attraction are powerful forces this year. We will feel drawn to certain things, almost irresistibly and often find ourselves doing things that we normally would not be doing this Horse year. For example, associating with people from the past that we haven’t talked to in a long time. Perhaps they are rambunctious and not the everyday friend type. We might attend many celebrations and joyful events because the Horse is the "party animal" of the zodiac. We can expect to have a lot of partying going on, so choose wisely, so as not to burn ourselves out.

The Horse is interested in academics and the pursuit of knowledge. Horse people tend to always be studying something, so this is also an excellent year to catch up on some of the courses that you’ve been thinking of taking to expand your career or simply your own personal curiosity. Even if you’re not studious nor enjoy attending classes, this year you may feel very energized by the pursuit of knowledge.

The Horse is also relentless as far as goals are concerned. All the goals, dreams, the things that you’ve been doing and planning, this year you have a green light to go ahead and go forth. It is very likely that if you persist, you’ll succeed in almost anything you undertake. Watch out to not speed through, because the faster you travel, the more likely you will run into obstacles. Even though you have the green light this Horse year, you also have to learn how to navigate through any of the challenges that may come up. Anything in your path is a lesson to be learned. It’s worth taking the time to stop for the moment, learn the lesson and then proceed. This will guarantee a greater amount of success.

Another thing that the Horse is known for its impulsive nature. Part of that impulsive nature may have to do with spending. Therefore, it is a good idea to set up a budget and look at what is your earning potential as it is now, not as will be. It may increase this year, but don't plan that way. There will be many baubles and interesting things that you want to buy but have some restraint. If you end up with some extra money at the end of the year, celebrate and buy yourself something special.

The Horse is obvious, loud at times and makes no bones about announcing intentions. Again, this is an aspect of the Horse where what you see is what you get. The Horse will let you know exactly what is happening and that's the nature of what life will be like this year. You won't have to figure things out as much because they'll be coming right at you. They'll be on the media, in things that you read. Your friends will come and deliver the same message. In this way, we have a lot of clarity as to how proceed. Things become obvious and very apparent and it’s one of the reasons that people really enjoy the Horse year. There’s no mystery. Should I do this? Should I do that? You'll receive strong messages all around. And if you’re paying attention, rather than having to choose, you may have the opportunity to be able to do both.

I like the sound of that! 2014 is the year of the Wood Horse.  What does this mean?

One of the specific qualities of the Wood Horse is rigidity which is related to the element of wood. When you encounter challenges, don’t expect the world to bend to get out of your way. It's up to you to negotiate around things because the energy of the Horse is not negotiable. The energy is fairly rigid and set in the direction that it chooses to go. So again, this requires attention and mindfulness so you’re acting according to your own principles. Things will be moving so quickly, you may find yourself in an unplanned situation. This may be a pleasant surprise and more fun than you ever anticipated. But in other cases, you may find yourself in hot water or a situation that’s not too easy to back away from. Mindfulness and attention is very, very important this year. But whatever you do, enjoy yourself! This is the year of encouragement, celebration, enjoyment and fun. The more fun the attitude, the easier it is to deal with almost anything that may be come up.

Although it's the Wood Horse year, the Horse is related to the fixed element of fire.  How does this affect us this year?

The Horse is related to the fixed element of fire, so it has an easily inflamed nature. It doesn’t take very much to upset the Horse, even though it is generally a happy creature. When contradicted, its fiery temper can flare up. It’s always good to read the ambient energy in an inflammatory situation and not contribute to the inflammation but rather assist in the cooling off process. Because of the intensity of Horse energy, we need to pay attention in situations that are easily inflamed and not encourage conflict, but rather try to be a peacemaker and cool things down. 

This is also true in our own physical bodies in terms of health. During Horse years, inflammation seems to be rampant and happens a lot more easily so we should take much better care of ourselves such as the kind and quality of the food that we eat. Eat plenty of anti-inflammatory foods with turmeric and cumin, as well as a lot of fresh organic vegetables which aid with inflammation especially cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and brussels sprouts. Asparagus is an especially wonderful anti-inflammatory vegetable. We want to guard our bodies against inflammation. Of course a good amount of exercise, especially outdoors, is recommended as well as centering activities like meditation and yoga. If you have regular meditation, spiritual or yoga practice, this is a really good year to step it up because we will be out there so busy and active. There will be a much a greater need to come back and do some kind of restorative relaxing work to bring us back to center. It's highly recommended that if you have a practice to step it up a little bit and if you do not, take something up to help you to balance the year.

Finally, what is something we should remember for this Horse year?

The one caution during Horse times we’ll find ourselves going from one project, to the next to the next...whether it’s professional or personal. This year time will seem to fly by and we may to feel like nothing has been accomplished. So, it’s really important that every time we come to the end of the particular project or activity, we take a moment to pause and connect with what we’ve actually accomplished. Give ourselves some time to appreciate and pat ourselves on the back for the good work that we’ve done so that we don’t end up doing a lot of things and then end up feeling as if we haven’t accomplished anything. 

Thank you so much Yasha!  I'm excited to see what this Horse year has in store for all of us!

by Anjie Cho

Yasha Jampolsky is a nationally recognized advisor, author and teacher of the Asian Art of Four Pillars Astrology.  He has appeared on national Radio and Television and has been a contributing writer for local and national publications. His research and innovations have made Four Pillars more accessible to students and clients alike and allowed the possibility to use Four Pillars as a powerful modern healing modality.

For more information, please visit: http://fourpillarshoroscope.com