VOLUME 28 NO. 8 | FEBRUARY 14 - 20, 2009

Relief in the form of an ox?

Last updated 2-12-09 at 9:40 a.m.

By Yoon Park
Northwest Asian Weekly

In recent months, headline after headline conveyed our troubled economy. Even our local economy, from projected job cuts at Starbucks, Boeing, Microsoft, and Eddie Bauer, the pending closure of Circuit City and Illuminations, and the closures of companies such as Linens ‘N Things and KB Toys, provide for a less-than-auspicious start to the Year of the Ox.

The second of the 12-year Chinese lunar cycle, the Year of the Ox officially began on Jan. 26. Considered a “yin earth” year, it is characterized by a more feminine energy. Traditionally, yin is considered feminine while yang is the opposing, masculine cosmic force that influences and balances all life. An association with yin will likely bring out issues involving family and hearth to the forefront.

It’s not surprising to devotees of Chinese astrology that our newly inaugurated president was born in the Year of the Ox. This change comes just in time for a much needed dose of hope for something better ahead. President Obama is the latest in a long line of illustrious oxen to take the world stage. Other famous leaders in history born in the Year of the Ox include Napoleon Bonaparte, Margaret Thatcher, Colin Powell, and Richard Nixon.

According to noted astrologer and author Theodora Lau, “[t]he natives of this year are fated to work hard in their own year. In his patient and tenacious way, the ox understands his many responsibilities and is well equipped to shoulder them.” Lau also writes that “the ox symbolizes the attainment of prosperity through fortitude and hard work.”

Sabrina Liao, a popular online astrologer and author of “Chinese Astrology Secrets for Modern Life,” describes those born in ox years as being “[b]orn to serve, provide” and having the qualities of being confident, persistent, diligent, serious, capable, and reliable. It’s not considered to be the most attractive animal but rather is one that is valuable and desired for its determined and hardworking nature.

So if Lau and Liao’s assertions about the characteristics of those born in ox years are correct, President Obama could potentially be an individual who inspires the nation to put their noses to the proverbial grindstone and work their way out of the current economic crises. However, some astrologers warn that too much stubbornness could prove to be disastrous. So taken on a broader scale, perseverance along with a firm resolve and the willingness to be flexible is the ideal approach to the year ahead.

After the turbulence during the Year of the Rat, 2009 is projected to be relatively calmer. Rather than infusing new ideas, Lau contends that the earth Ox is a “less creative type of ox who is always faithful to his ideals and principles. Man-Ho Kwok, an author and astrologer, asserts that the ox is associated with the element of earth “in which yin and yang are equally balanced.” Harmony above excess and extravagance is the goal for the year ahead.

Most astrologers seem to concur that those born in the Year of the Ox tend to be most compatible with those born in the Year of the Rat, Snake, and Rooster. On the other hand, they can come at odds with those born in the Year of the Horse, Sheep, and Pig. Oxen are known for their strength and can at times appear to be an indomitable force.

Therefore, a clash of wills can ensue between other oxen and those born in the Year of the Tiger and Dragon.

It seems evident from the predictions made thus far that progress can be made — albeit slowly and with due deligence, though it is with the caveat that a pragmatic, open-minded approach is taken. Otherwise, a struggle for dominance could ensue, which would derail any hard-earned gains made during the year. (end)

Yoon Park can be reached at info@nwasianweekly.com.


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