The Year of the Rat
A famous Chinese story describes a contest set by the Jade-Emperor of Taoism—a race to determine who would be the first Animal in the Cycle of Time. Ox was the only animal strong enough to cross a river during the race. Rat, jumped onto Ox’s back, undetected. The clever Rat jumped off just in time to cross the finish line first. Rat won the honor to be first in the cycle, and came to represent the wisdom, virtue, and resourcefulness of all things small. Perhaps we can ride larger tides of momentum and work with others this year.
In Asian cultures, the Rat was well known to farmers as the “Grain Rat.” Grain Rats would appear with the harvest and came to be associated with prosperity, wealth, resources, and with the rewards of diligent hard work. Rat are expected to be profitable in many ways. This kind of wealth means resources—material, food, energy, land, intelligence, labor, and so on. Money is a symbol measuring these tangible realities.
The Metal Rat is more withdrawn, confident, and self-reflective than other Rats. Spiritual, political, and intellectual matters are enhanced, and mysticism is more available. Since Metal precedes Water, the Metal Rat waits on the precipice of action in a penetrating state of observation. This is a time to start over, to re-fresh, to reset the dial back to zero. In doing so, it is important to look back and take stock of everything, and make changes. This will be a deeply reflective year. Introspection, analysis, and self-reflection are important as we move forward into a new cycle.