Year of the OX – A forecast by Lillian Pearl Bridges
The Farmer stares out across the fallow field and sees mud and downed branches from the storms of winter, knowing that first he must clean up the field and then wait patiently until the land is ready. When it is time, the Farmer puts the yoke on the Ox and slowly ploughs the field. Then the Farmer plants the seeds and waits for them to grow. Eventually the Farmer brings in a good crop, maybe two if luck is with him. This is the story of this Ox Year.
February 12, 2021 is the start of the Chinese Year of the Golden Ox with February 3rd representing the start of the Spring Festival. The Ox (Cow) is the second animal in the Chinese Zodiac system and is a respected animal valued for its ability to work hard and endure. The Ox is credited with the values of constancy and cooperation. These are usually slow-moving animals that are even-tempered and placid unless they are provoked. The Element for Ox is Yin Earth, as it is an animal long connected to farming.
The element for the year is Yin Metal, which is harmonious with the Earth Element, as Earth generates and feeds Metal. This implies a calmer and more stable year with less anger, less contentious behaviour and much less potential for violence. Yang behaviour will simply not be supported or be sustainable. Yin Metal is about the future and our hopes and dreams, which can start to inspire us again.
The overall outlook for the year is positive, especially towards the latter part of the year. Harvest comes in the summer and fall months, which also correspond to the elements of the year. So there is hope that life will get better in many ways for many people as the year progresses.
Life will feel more peaceful and less stressful, but this year requires patience. Forward movement will be mostly slow going toward desired and more ideal outcomes in the future. There will still be some restrictions on growth and movement, but these will lessen. Yin Metal will make people and governments more efficient and subtly more productive so that by the end of the year there will be incremental achievements that together will amount to something more substantial.
The hindsight gained from looking back to a turbulent 2020 gives this year a special quality and leads to overall themes of the year that involve reactivity and gives rise to many “re” actions: regroup; rebuild; reform; restructure; restore; replace; recycle; renew; re-evaluate; reorganize; re-establish; revitalize and reinvent. The bad news is that there is likely to be a recession, but there will be happy reunions, some economic recovery and eventually rewards. This is due to the Yin Earth aspect of the Ox, which is involved with agriculture and the idea that you can plough a field more than once, sometimes several times in a year in order for new crops to grow.
Yin Metal is symbolized by jewellery, particularly precious metals and gems, along with coins. This will lead to a desire to adorn with jewellery again and may lead to a renewed interest in collecting coins or investing in Gold and Silver. Perhaps new caches of ancient coins or jewellery or other artefacts will be discovered due to the combination of Yin Metal and Yin Earth. These treasures would be things that have become shallowly buried and finally have the right circumstances to come to light. A new variation of Yin Metal would be Cryptocurrency and the energies of the year should help increase interest in it or regulation of it. Interestingly, the decentralized aspect of its exchange is given benefit by Yin Earth. And finally, Yin Metal is also associated with metal implements such as forks, spoons and knives so fine dining should return with increased popularity for restaurants that serve beautiful and healthy food.
However, one of the more dangerous symbols of Yin Metal is the jewelled dagger, which is representative of assassination attempts, most likely by individuals (Yin Metal), possibly female or small groups or cells (Yin Earth). The biggest danger is from the lone-wolf assassin or an insider who is close to the target. Because of the Earth Element, they will be homegrown terrorists and not from foreign shores. This could also be translated as an increase in using knives as weapons and potentially more stabbings. But this energy could also be translated as the potential for being “stabbed in the back;” or being betrayed by someone close to you; or being rejected from a group; or suffering from a character assassination. Metal is always about upholding virtues and commitments and those who are shown to be hypocritical will not be easily excused. Conversely, those who do what they promised to do will be very appreciated.
Globally, countries will begin to ease the restrictions after the confinement of the previous year, but it will happen slowly. There will still be some seclusion and feeling the need for security in the earlier half of the year, due to the Metal aspect, but there will be more socializing which is a gift from the Earth aspect of the year. However, most gatherings will be smaller with a special emphasis on cultivating important connections in a social setting, rather than hosting extravagant parties or holding protests or rallies.
Countries will find that people have a renewed interest in repairing the infrastructure and will be much less interested in expanding or fighting about borders. This means there will be fewer provocative actions by neighbouring countries or incursions into protected or territorial land or seas. There should be a return to skilful and polished diplomacy, which will result in more civil negotiations between countries, along with the Earth contributing the ability to compromise more than usual. Some important treaties will be signed with more cooperation and collaboration and with concessions made from both sides. Earth appreciates long-term friendships and connections, so previous associations can be easily renewed and strengthened in this year. The countries that show they are reliable and dependable allies will be rewarded and this applies to personal relationships as well.
This is a year where personal responsibility is important, so stepping up to embrace this ideal behaviour by admitting mistakes and apologizing will pay off. Those who skirt and evade responsibility for their bad behaviour will see a loss in status, popularity and respect. This will unfortunately lead to some public shaming and censure. It is recommended that those in power refrain from blatant and overt political power plays, as they could easily backfire. There is a very strong need for some kind of homeostasis and balance of power politically and culturally. Those who promote these ideals will be revered and appreciated.
Weather patterns will not be as dramatic as last year. In the Five Element Cycle, Yin Earth pushes into Yin Metal, which increases Yin Water, which is rain. This may indicate light rain over long periods of time or more rain in the seasons of these elements – summer and fall, or it could indicate more warm rain. This might lead to a slight increase in water stored in lakes, dams and aquifers by the end of the year, but it may not help drought-stricken areas very much. The Ox in Chinese Astrology is traditionally associated with coldest part of winter even though the elements of the year are related to summer and fall. This means that there may be some weather reversals such as a colder summer or fall, or more warmth in winter in some places. Wind based storms will not be as strong and there will be fewer extreme temperature fluctuations.
The Earth this year is not very strong so that could indicate instability in some places in the world. This could mean land could sink or collapse, as in sinkholes or cave-ins. However, there will be increased interest in mining for precious metals, although that may be somewhat risky this year. The Fire Element is still trapped underground and working its way up (for the next several years) so it is expected that there will be swarms of Earthquakes, with occasional big ones occurring. Some of these Earthquakes may happen in places where they are not commonly experienced. Dangerous Tsunamis are not as likely as in the future when Fire comes even closer to returning above ground, but they are still possible.
Volcanoes will also rumble in more places with eruptions likely to be primarily ash that may affect air quality, which is likely to be more of a problem than lava flow, but lava will still flow. But Fire is not very tameable this year, so wildfires are still expected to burn large areas since there is not enough of the Fire Element this year to control them, because fire fights fire. However, the potential light rain this year may help. The smoke from these wildfires will additionally influence air quality. Unfortunately, this is just one of many signs that air quality may be compromised in numerous places this coming year from a variety of sources. This will turn into a demand for clean air that may translate into new laws. This will increase the interest in Environmentalism in an idealized form, like planning for changes in the future. Scientists will outline the actions needed to deal with Climate Change, for example, which will be adopted by leading countries, but implementation will have to wait until the next two Wood years to be put into practice.
Space Exploration that started last year will continue with new discoveries possible. And the science and medicine fields will become even more respected. Real Estate will also continue to benefit, with particular growth in home sales. Technology is boosted, but Social Media will become susceptible to new restrictions from the Metal desire to limit bad behaviour. Innovation is not favoured, except for improving already established products.
Agriculture and food production, especially small-scale farming and organic farming will flourish. Those who treat cows well, especially those who revere cows or treat dairy cows in humane ways will see abundant milk production and also receive extra good luck. This is not a good year though for sports that involve bulls, like bullfighting or the rodeo, as bulls can be more easily riled up this year. There will be less food insecurity, as the supply chains will be strengthened this year. There will be more charitable gifts of food, so any charity involved with food and feeding people will benefit from increased donations.
Education is a value of the Metal Element, so when the nurturing of the Earth Element is added, you may see policies developed for assisting and enhancing early childhood education and possibly salary increases for teachers. Overall, teachers and coaches will feel much more valued and appreciated this year and school children will most likely enjoy learning more this year as they return to school. Parents will be feeling more lenient and yet also want to teach children more manners. And people will feel like nurturing others, affecting children more.
The lack of Fire this year is also not good for the stock market and many previously reliable indicators will not be able to accurately predict gains or losses, as there is still an erratic energy present. People will have the urge to save money this year, but will be willing to spend it on home repairs and also on self-care as there will be a desire to look more polished. Hairdressers and other beauty related businesses should do well. The fashion business will improve also, but clothing needs to be classic or inexpensively luxurious.
Health-wise, there is still some benefit for the immune system from Yin Metal. Yin Metal lowers the over-reactivity of last year’s Yang Metal that caused so much inflammation. However, it does leave people open to more minor irritations, such as skin rashes, hay fever and other allergic reactions. And while Covid-19 will still be a problem this year, the infections are expected to be somewhat milder for many people and may not spread as rapidly. Lungs, skin and hair will be drier this year, so the use of humidifiers for the lungs, or hydrating yourself more or using moisturizers are all recommended. People will find themselves coughing and clearing their throats more, as phlegm will be harder to move out. It is recommended that people sing more and practice deep breathing to enhance the lungs.
Digestion won’t be as strong this year, so it is advised to eat lighter or smaller meals and perhaps enhancing digestion with natural remedies, such as eating ginger or taking digestive enzymes, especially papaya and pineapple based enzymes as tropical fruit belongs to the Earth Element. People will still crave comfort food and will eat fewer snacks. There will be the desire to eat cleaner and healthier, but most people will want to take shortcuts so pre-packaged or pre-cut ingredients will be quite popular. The best advice is to take care of yourself and those you love with special care and OX consideration, as promoted in the Chinese Medicine teachings of Yang Sheng; nurturing life through positive lifestyle choices. Healthy routines will help your health. Both Allopathic and Alternative Medicine will be considered valuable businesses this year, with more emphasis on prevention, and with some people increasing their use of both pharmaceuticals (particularly vaccines) and natural supplements. Homeopathy will be particularly popular this year.
People will feel fatigued more easily and need to protect their energy by not overdoing, overworking or over exercising. A low-level feeling of anxiety will be pervasive this year, which may make those who struggle with OCD more easily triggered. Other people will find they are a bit more inclined to perfectionism. This may manifest as the desire to have more orderly environments, which will be needed, as the Yin Earth element will make most people somewhat messier.
The ideals of acceptance and inclusion will be promoted, but the Earth part of stubbornness, especially mentally, will still keep a number of people stuck in their intransigent beliefs. However, there will be a lot of facts emerging due to the Yin Metal element of the year to disprove many of these beliefs, making them harder to hold on to and verbalize. People will start to become more clear-minded, level-headed, less impressionable and less influenced by other people’s opinions. Persuasion will not work well this year, with many people feeling as if they are coming to their senses; coming out of a dream state that is finally cutting through previous delusions or illusions they held that were based on feelings and reactions rather than fact. The black and white thinking of last year yields to grey when more sides to the stories are revealed. This hopefully will lead to more common causes with more positive ideals at the core.
People will feel more affectionate this year, perhaps because they were so deprived of contact last year. Yin Earth is about being of service and engaging in small acts of kindness. People will care about their communities more and want to share resources. Earth is about nourishing others, so people will want to socialize again, especially over meals. However, this will not be a high-energy year, so although there will be this desire to socialize, it is likely to be with smaller groups of people. People will focus on strengthening family ties, which could prompt reconciliations between estranged family members and many people will feel even greater appreciation for their close friendships.
The Yin Metal element will encourage a return to proper behaviour and socially gracious behaviour such as being well mannered, speaking more tactfully and being polite. People will be appreciated and recognized for their graciousness and their adherence to etiquette. The difference between who resist acting in these ways will be in much starker relief than usual. This is a good year for old-fashioned romance and courting and the Ox year gives special benefit to those who are willing to commit to long-term relationships.
There will also be a clearer distinction between rustic and refined, whether in behaviour, in dining, decorating or in fashion. Metal has slightly more strength this year so expect to see popular culture embrace subtle sophistication and understated elegance. Fashion will still focus on comfort, but there will be an increasing interest in dressing up a little and returning to wearing subtle makeup. This means more dresses, scarves and adornment for women. People will be more interested in matching colours, styles and textures. Men will be more interested in shaving their beards or moustaches or trimming them more often. Grooming of all kinds will be important.
There is an overall desire for beauty this year, so it is beneficial to have fresh flowers and grow a profusion of flowers in your garden (along with food), especially summer flowers. This flower theme may also show up in fabrics and clothing. Roses and other fragrant flowers will be especially life enhancing. This desire for fragrance will also benefit the perfume and candle businesses.
The most important ideals this year are kindness and compassion. It is not wise to provoke anger or act in aggressive ways, as the elements will not be with you. Instead, caring for others in small ways will be remembered and make a big difference. These may be small things like helping when you can. The Ox Year suggests that you stay in touch with loved ones, gather together in small family or friendship groups, eat together and share resources with those who have less. More inclusivity and tolerance will be promoted and practiced by many and will make the hardships and struggles of the past start to fade. We are all the same under the skin.
Although the tail of the Rat will cause some trouble at the start of the year, the Ox will take over in a slow and steady way to improve circumstances in our lives in so many ways. However, it will take time. So be ready to see incremental growth and avoid impulsiveness. Try not to be discouraged and have faith. Better times are coming…
Individual Animal Forecasts for 2021
Rat – Water Element: 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032
The Rat is the secret friend of the Ox, so that means that the Rat gets a lot of secret luck this year too! Plans that were initiated last year can come to fruition but try to complete them before the year’s end. The Yin of this year benefits the Rat so enjoy the slower pace.
Ox* – Earth Element: 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033
The Ox does better in its own year than most animals. This is a good year for financial investment and creating future stability. Ox people will be more social than usual, which will be a strain, but they will be hosting or going to many family gatherings and weddings.
Tiger – Wood Element: 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034
Tigers will feel frustrated often this year and they must learn to handle the delays that will occur. There will be some obstacles to overcome and Tigers need to learn how to be patient and accepting, which is not easy for them! However, there can be payoffs later in the year.
Rabbit – Wood Element: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023, 2035
This is a moderate year for Rabbits. They can make steady progress if they slow down and do things thoroughly. There is happiness in the family and more socializing. There is also the possibility of investing in real estate or remodelling their current home, which are both stressful.
Dragon – Earth Element: 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024, 2036
This is not an easy year for Dragons, as they will feel repressed and slowed down. However, steady work brings rewards and there is a good chance for romance and enjoyable social interactions. This is a good year for the Dragon to travel, but make sure your home is secure.
Snake – Fire Element: 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037
This is a good year for Snakes. The Yin nature of the year is empowering. There will be financial rewards and opportunities for the Snake that others won’t get, so Snakes need to take them without hesitating. This is also a beneficial year for romance and friendship.
Horse – Fire Element: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026
This year will feel very slow to Horses and the energy of this year will feel tedious many times. However, family life is happy and it is a good year for reorganizing and planning. Horses need to get ready for the good times coming and they will have to learn patience!
Sheep/Goat* – Earth Element: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027
This is not an easy year. Sheep will feel blocked in their plans and find themselves saying things that they need to apologize for later. They need to watch their health and avoid dangerous activities. There can be unexpected financial benefit by the end of the year.
Monkey – Metal Element: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028
Monkeys will feel restrained, to their benefit. They need to stay closer to home and take care of all the things they have put aside for later. There is business success based on the plans started last year and it may end up being a more social year than expected.
Rooster – Metal Element: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981,1993, 2005, 2017, 2029
This is a very lucky year for Roosters. They will have opportunities for advancement and recognition and will garner a great deal of respect. This is a good year for promoting themselves and their work and they will be well received. It is also a good year for traveling.
Dog* – Earth Element: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030
This could be expensive year for Dogs and they will feel blocked in their progress. It’s an important time to regroup, rethink and get ready for the good luck coming in the next year. They may feel more irritation than usual, but they will also find fun in unexpected activities.
Pig – Water Element: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031
This is a year with a special emphasis on happiness coming from the family. There may be more weddings and births. Pigs may change homes or change their homes. This is a particularly good year for remodelling and there will be opportunities for financial growth.
*Oxes (except those who are turning 60), Dogs and Goats need to wear or carry a Rat or Mouse charm this year for protection (even Mickey and Minnie will do) and to bring more luck your way. Anyone else can also use the charm, but Rats, Roosters and Snakes won’t need them. Please remember that the Chinese Astrology System involves 4 animals – one for the Year you were born, one for the Month, one for the Day and one for the Hour, so these may also have an impact on your luck. And remember that if you are one of the animal years that is not in alignment with the Ox, it just means that you may have to work harder (and possibly make more money), move, travel more, change jobs, start a new job, get married or have a baby – all things the Chinese consider “Good Bad Luck.”
DISCLAIMER: All information provided in this forecast is based on the ancient principles of the Chinese Five Element Theory and on an understanding of the animal symbolism in Chinese Astrology. It is intended for entertainment purposes only. There is no express or implied guarantee of results from using this information, and individual users are solely responsible for their own interpretation or application to their own circumstances. Further, the information is not, nor is it intended to be, a substitute for legal, medical, or psychological advice, evaluation and/or treatment. You are welcome to share this post, but please refer to the source.