When I think of oxen, I picture slow, plodding, hard-working animals, whose strength and accomplishments consistently exceed that of many humans. On Monday, January 26th, we begin the Year of the Earth Ox in Chinese astrology. If you're one of those people, like me, who thinks of life in symbolic terms, you'll appreciate the deep significance of this. The Year of the Earth Ox symbolizes health and prosperity that comes as a result of fortitude and hard work. As we begin a new political era under a new President, we are also beginning a new age of greater social responsibility, hard work, and a positive can-do (make that, "Yes, we can!") attitude. That "yes, we can" attitude is exactly what is meant by the term fortitude. The online dictionary I consulted defines it thus: "mental and emotional strength in facing difficulty, adversity, danger, or temptation courageously:"
In the coming days, weeks, and months ahead, we all need a good dose of fortitude, a good dose of Ox Medicine. We have much to do to rebuild our nation, and our world, since we are all connected, but it can be done. We have to be patient, focused, and diligent in our work. President Obama can't do everything all at once, and he can't do most of it by himself. He will need each of our elected officials to work with him, sharing their views, their wisdom, and even their dissent at times, in order for this nation to come back from the dark places it has experienced since September 11, 2001.
From a global perspective, we have to work to strengthen old standards and set new ones. It's time to build a new earth, each of us in our own nations, some of us in other nations. Whoever we are, wherever we are, we have to begin right now. The celebrations have ended, and President Obama started from the first day to forge a new way. We have to yoke ourselves to the plow to rebuild our own lives, and yoke ourselves together for the bigger projects of bettering our communities. Once we plow the soil, we have to begin to plant new seeds. Not just seeds of hope, but seeds of goodwill and right actions. Those seeds, if nurtured and tended, will yield bountiful crops of prosperity and good health.
President Obama is off to good start in his administration, and I have already read some accounts of him being a little bit stubborn and strong-willed. He is, after all, a man of fortitude, and no wonder since he was born August 4, 1961 during the year of the Metal Ox. Is it a coincidence that an ox is leading our nation into the New Year of the Earth Ox? I don't think so. I'd call it synchronicity.
For more about Chinese Astrology and characteristics of people born in the Year of the Ox, I refer you to the links below: