According to the Chinese lunar calendar, we recently entered the Year of the Ox. The Ox is one of the 12-year cycle of animals that appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. You may know what your animal sign is, and what traits are supposed to go along with your animal sign. But those same traits can be applied to the general forces at work during your year. And the Year of the Ox is a doozy.
It's appropriate that we find ourselves in a serious economic downturn in the Year of the Ox. A hardworking beast of burden, the Ox is a patient and tireless worker, who sticks to the job at hand and systematically gets things done. In The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, Theodora Lau describes what we can expect in the year ahead:
"We will feel the yoke of responsibility coming down on us this year. No success can be achieved without conscientious efforts.... Better stick to routine and support conservative policies. Frivolities are out!... This year will no doubt bear fruit, but the motto is: "No work, no pay!" The Spartan influence of the Ox will be a constantly cracking whip over our heads."
I think this bodes well, since lord knows we're all going to have to pitch in and work hard to get ourselves out of this recessionary mess. And aren't you all glad to know that President Obama was born in the Year of the Ox?