I know our official New Year already happened on January first, but there are several other kinds of New Years’ or, better put it, New Times of varying types and magnitudes that will soon be impacting us individually, collectively and cosmically. I am thinking of three in particular that are at hand, or soon to be arriving. Let’s look at them:

New Time #1: We have a new President and Vice President in the United States as of January 20th. Whatever your political inclinations and opinions are, we have all learned from recent events the profound impact that our national leader – the President – can have, an impact that extends far beyond public policy. Through their character and words, our President can and does influence the mood and tenor of the entire country and beyond. We may not want to be political, but it cannot be denied that politics, which is ultimately the leadership of our society, affects all of us and is, at the same time, a reflection of aspects of our national character. In a word, our individual health and societal health are intricately interlinked.

Any Presidential transition is significant; the one we recently experienced especially so. I have to say that as a female, seeing a woman sworn in as Vice President for the first time in United State’s history felt to me like New Times. 

New Time #2 is Chinese New Year that will be celebrated on February 12th this year. For more than a quarter of humanity, this is the real New Year. The Chinese calendar is based on a combination of a solar and lunar calendar which explains why the date of the Chinese New Year varies slightly year to year according to our calendar system.

Like many traditional calendars, the Chinese one consists of several interlocking wheels or periods. To begin with, there are twelve animal signs; each one rules a year. 2020 was the year of the Rat and we will be moving into the Year of the Ox on February 12th. Perhaps you have seen this on placemats at some Chinese restaurants. You may even know which animal year you were born in (although for people born in January to mid-February, this can be a bit tricky since the date varies year to year and a person born in January would actually be under the Chinese astrology sign of the previous year according to our calendar).

But please add to the twelve Chinese astrology animals their five designated elements, which are fire, water, earth, metal and wood. A specific element rules a two-year period, with the first year having yang qualities and the second year yin qualities. For instance, 2020 was a yang metal year and 2021 will be a yin metal year. Thus, we will soon be welcoming in the Year of the Metal Ox. The last time this occurred was in 1961.

For the Chinese and those who follow the practices of Feng Shui, the period approaching the New Year is a very important time. This is when we clear out the energies of the previous year to prepare ourselves and our homes for the incoming one. This is done to stay more in harmony with the new cycle of time, helping us navigate successfully through the year physically, emotionally and in our relations with others.

It was quite remarkable that last year for the first time I purchased a manual from a Feng Shui site I had been following. I bought it around December 2019 and in that manual the author stated that 2020 would be a year with severe health strains for the entire world, especially in the area of lung. How could Feng Shui practice have possibly intuited this prior to the spread of Covid-19?

Well, in Chinese astrology metal is related to lung and yang metal is strong and hard-hitting. Also, there are what are known as flying stars in Feng Shui: some bring good energy, some difficult energy that needs to be protected against. And in 2020 the hardest hitting, toughest, meanest flying star of all was sitting right in the center place, in the quadrant of health.

So what will the Year of the Yin Metal Ox portend? According to the 2021 guide written by the same author, “The Ox is known for its endurance and fortitude…. these qualities will help us create some sense of the past year and all we’ve gone through, help us ground ourselves and regain sure footing.” If you would like more information or to purchase a copy of the manual that I use, check out the website at

New Time #3: According to the Toltec/Aztec Calendar, in mid-2021 the entire planet will experience the full force of our next cosmic cycle through the galaxy – a cycle that will last for 6,500 years. This cycle will be the Period of the Dark and it will be a shift from the period we have all been living in which is the Period of the Sun. This transition from the Era of the Sun to the Era of the Dark began in the late 1990s and has extended for about two decades with 2012 marking the mid-point.

Please do not worry, the incoming era of the Dark does not mean dark times in any way, shape or form. It is simply a shift of planetary and cosmic energies that will pull us all inwards, like when we come home for the day and rest and dream at night. Instead of our cultures and sights being set on distant horizons and goals to conquer, we will individually and collectively turn inwards for our own healing, our own truths, and our own points of reference.

Our technology and lifestyles will also reflect these changes, as we already have seen developing in recent years and even more so in 2020 with Covid-19. Many of us find ourselves working from our homes and communicating with people near and far through the internet and programs like Zoom where we see them as images on a screen…almost like a dream.

There is much to be interested in and even excited about for the triple new times we have ahead of us. We know it will not be easy, but it will be most interesting. I hope that you find the balance and resilience to navigate your way through our new Presidential administration, the Year of the Yin Metal Ox, and the incoming Era of the Night with health and joy.

Published in Monadnock Shopper 1/2021

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