Chinese Year of the Green Wood Horse — January 30/31, 2014*

This year is ruled by the sign of the Horse in our Chinese Zodiac of 12 animal signs — the Horse is the seventh sign in the circle. The Horse is a herd animal and is therefore usually a social creature, but they are also a competitive beast that thrives on the excitement of the game of life, the chase, and ultimately — winning! Victory is the bread of life to our Horse brethren. Horses have been honored for centuries in China, from the small Mongol ponies to the proud stallions of the Tang Dynasty. Horse sign people can be leaders and lovers, executives, social giants, warriors, saints and sinners. All are proud and willing to give their all to reach their lofty goals. Some prominent “Horse” folks are Nelson Mandela, Teddy Roosevelt, Oprah, Billy Graham, Joe Biden, all world-renowned — also are Libya’s controversial leader Quaddafi, and Mongol ruler Genghis Khan! Elegant, noble, beautiful, romantic and strong — Horse folks are honored wherever they appear. Also headstrong, aggressive, ambitious, dynamic and possibly overly assertive. An impressive combination of the ultimate in ambition and fortitude, possibly the most insistent and belligerent of beings. When there is a surplus of the positive qualities — we have a philanthropist, inventor, CEO, or statesman of the highest moral integrity. On the down side — are those conflict-ridden people of larger-than-life proportion. Horse folks are happiest when in conversation with others, love being the center of attention, have some difficulty in making decisions (not so much with the Wood Horse), and would make good executives, salesmen, teachers, adventurers, and any occupation that requires a good talker. They also love any competition, whether in the boardroom, at the poker tables, or on the playing field — they play to win!

What inspires our Horse friends is the pursuit of whatever they desire. They require little downtime, and are always up for an adventure. Travel is always on their agenda, whether to the local ski slopes, or on a round-the-world tour — they are ever interested in learning something new, and experiencing the unique, unusual, or even the quirky! The good things in life make them happy and content — but doesn’t fill their need to keep moving. If you have a Horse person in your life, change and novelty must be part of their daily fodder. Especially Horse children need to be kept interested and involved in doing new things — they are easily bored and need constant stimulation. When they find an interest, they will pursue it intensely and will eventually know all there is to know on the subject. But then they are ready to move on to something brand new. A challenge for Horse children parents indeed. Still, their irresistible cheerfulness, constant curiosity, and upbeat personalities will enhance every day with joy and delight.

There could be an uptick in the World’s economies in this Year of the Green Wood Horse, the Wood element will help us in this Horse year as it compliments the usual Fire element of the Horse, and as the impetus of Horse energy is picked up and companies begin to realize they must use their accumulation of monies to hire more people in order to continue to grow and expand. Money is not number one on the Horse agenda, but they do enjoy spending it — when it’s gone — they are ready and willing to work hard to garner more. Knowing they can’t take it with them is probably their mantra. Spending their cash on their romantic partners, travel, and any adventurous quest would be money well spent from their perspective. Clothes, fine-food, cars, sporting events and anything they find of interest will be awarded a portion of their income. Their most compatible Zodiac partners would be the Dog and the Tiger — almost never the Rat. But one has to be clever to get these headstrong folks to make a commitment. They are the most evasive in getting pinned down to any one-and-only — it seems they like to share the wealth of their charm, élan, and ever-young attitude with a plethora of others. I would think that those who choose to engage with a Horse person must have to keep them on a very long and loose rein.

We may see a change in colors being worn this year with deep bold purples, blues and greens being featured, along with many prints of a Horse or others of a horse-like animal nature — the Horse is a dandy, and likes to be noticed — always with a smile, and a pat on the back to friend and foe — our Year ahead will be one of fast-moving action, lively banter, a touch of ego, and a generally good time to be had by all — that’s if the Horse has his way! Prancing, galloping, trotting or just pursuing the good life, our Horse friends will lead us a merry chase — making sure it’s all in good fun, and everyone is having the time of their life. How will our East meets West Horse folks fare this year — we’ll try to give a short overview of what may be in store in this Year of the Horse — 2014!

EAST MEETS WEST

ARIES HORSE — Here we have the War Horse — proud, strong, bold in action! Muscles rippling, the Sun shining on its deep red coat, nostrils flaring — ready to meet the foe, rearing up, hooves pawing the air — a formidable sight for those on the ground without the benefit of these four-footed behemoths. From the earliest mention of domestication, horses have been used to further the urge to overcome others in battle. Without the Horse, there would have been less ability to conquer those who didn’t possess the mighty steed. From Genghis Khan with his Mongol ponies, to the Crusaders with their brave and valiant mounts, to our own Cavalry in the early days of our advancement west — the horse has been an unwavering partner in our efforts. In this Year of the Horse, our Aries brethren would be wise to take charge of their finances, be more willing to settle down a bit, and be less precipitous in their actions. Not known for planning ahead, this is the year for them to write out an agenda for the next 12 years, and follow the plan. They will then be in good condition in both personal and financial health. And as a bonus, they may have found their true soul-mate!

TAURUS HORSE — These are the giant draft/working horses that have helped mankind throughout history from pulling plows to dragging heavy military weaponry to the highest abutments. Here we have the Percheron, Belgian, Shires, and the better known Clydesdales of Budweiser fame. These large breeds can go over 21 hands in height, true Goliaths in not only size but heart. In Chinese lore, these are the Dragon Horses, with magical power and frighteningly breathtaking capabilities. Our Taurus Horse folks are like these helpful and steady beasts — they moderate the usual Horse tendency for quick action, and use their more plodding and methodical abilities in leading their lives. Yet they have the inner strength of these steeds, and can carry on in difficult situations, when others would falter. Steady, balanced, fixed in purpose — our Taurus Horse will overcome many of life’s misfortunes and come out stronger and more determined. They will thrive this year, because they have been honed by their experiences, and have grown in their values and goals. This is the year for them to move ahead with all of their plans — and by the end of 2014, they will realize their deepest desires.

GEMINI HORSE — Now we combine the quick-action of the facile Gemini mind and the busy quixotic commotion of the Horse. There may be too much activity going on both mentally and physically in these folks for them to settle down to focus on just one thing. These are the prancing Circus Horses — surrounded by adoring fans, glittering in their finest array, and performing to the delight of the crowd. Being admired as they show off their adept tricks and their magnificent physiques. Toned, glistening in the bright lights, they are in their element. It is difficult for these sometimes chaotic folks to find their quiet space. Their minds are restless, and they have a hard time focusing on one project at a time — they also have difficulty in finishing what they start. With all good intentions, they must learn at an early age to compartmentalize their agenda. If they realize their needs, they can and will begin to bring order to their goals. Ever young and curious, they never stop learning, and bring delight and laughter. This is the year for them to “get it together” and make definite plans for their future. Look ahead to where you want to be in 5 or 10 years, and begin to put the effort in to reach your ideal goals. You can become the star in your own life!

CANCER HORSE — Like the Horse — a herd animal — so our Cancer brethren are family oriented. Less frenetic than the Horse, Cancer moderates the over-the-top activity that the Horse engenders. We have a good blending of using the Horse energy in a carefully deliberate manner to advance our familial obligations. These Horses are the family pets, our riding companions — our childhood ponies, the most beloved and mild-mannered of the species. Allied with man for centuries, and loved deeply by those who choose to own them. They often become a part of the family dynamic in everyday living. Their trust and faith in us to care for them is undeniable, and the relationship is symbiotic, mutually beneficial, and is attached by the heart-strings. Cancer Horses should look to this year to advance any plans for a family vacation, visit colleges their offspring are interested in attending, and even make plans for a delayed honeymoon! Family gatherings this year are sure to be busy, memorable, and the best way to stay in touch with all your loved ones. Don’t refuse any invitation to mix and mingle with your nearest and dearest. Let 2014 be the year you find your bliss!

LEO HORSE– Now we have the Thoroughbreds, those impossibly beautiful creatures who are capable of dressage, their delicate steps moving intricately throughout their routines, the elite polo ponies that bond with their riders, but most of all, we have the racehorse, with their amazing speed, strength and heart, we see the tossing heads, and their impatience to get on stage. Whether in the ring, or on the racetrack — these magnificent beasts are ready to strut their stuff — and their regal bearing says it all — we are the select! Eyes ablaze, snorting their eagerness, rearing, flicking their manes — we can only admire their magnificence and be humbled by their intensity and determination. Royal indeed, and often crowned with a blanket of flowers to mark their triumph. Leo Horse folks are larger than life, and are immediately noticed in a crowd. They are flamboyant and generous, hearty and vigorous, and will be loyal and true to those they love. Never disrespect them, their feelings will be gravely wounded, and they will find it hard to forgive your gaffe. Our Leo Horse colleagues want to go First Class — Leo Horses should contemplate their future for the next decade, and incorporate plans to allow them to always live the luxurious life they so enjoy. King or Queen, these royal Horses will ultimately steal the show!

VIRGO HORSE — finely tuned, eager to get moving, but aware of every detail — these Horse folks are those required to keep track of all the small details that can so irritate the rest of us. CPA’s, actuaries, bookkeepers, all of those seemingly mundane jobs that require total mental concentration. Doesn’t sound like the ordinary Horse of quick movement, and even faster action. Yet — Virgo Horse people are the grounding element for many of us. They stay on target, contemplate the possibilities of the future, and try to get the rest of us to stay on course. Their Horse persona would be the patient pair of carriage horses who await the pleasure of their masters. They are resilient and have the doggedness of spirit that allows them to be ready when and where they are needed. I envision the past with a country doctor in a one-horse buggy — the uncomplaining steed somehow knowing their duty was to help their owner to help others. No matter the weather, the terrible rutted road conditions — they were aware that the one who held their reins was of utmost importance to their community. That almost psychic connection between man and beast at its highest level. Honorable and sacred — a partnership honed upon the needs of others. Surely our upright Virgo Horses deserve a year ahead of moving forward and accomplishing their own agenda. Think not only of others this year, but look to your own and your loved ones needs to end this Year of the Horse with karmic blessings!

LIBRA HORSE — with beauty and brains our Libra Horse folks have it all — however, they do need balance! Easily thrown off stride by any number of daily frustrations, they can and do often go off course. But these gentle creatures almost always have someone to help them to get back their equilibrium. I think of these Horses as the stable mates to those finer and more elegant steeds of note. These are the companion Horses who help keep the restless and eager race horses in check. They are the assets that allow the superstars to be able to calm down just enough to do their job. Also these are the tender beasts who are used as therapy animals for those who’s misfortune may have made them a little less able to make their way in this competitive world. These sensitive horses will patiently allow awkward riders to climb upon them to feel the freedom of being at the top of the world. Those who cannot walk or run for themselves, will be able to move about with élan and grace. How lucky are we to have such magnificent helpers in our lives — can we appreciate them enough? Libra Horses will have the opportunity this year to find their own balance, whether between home and job, relationship issues, or just finding their footing and place in this world. Be direct and firm in asking for just what you want — and you will be in the lead as this year comes to its end. Ride on!

SCORPIO HORSE — The Scorpio Horse piques our interest because they are unusually hard to “read” — indeed, these folks seem to have a hidden side, can be secretive, physically hearty, strong-minded, and goal oriented. However, they often feel unnoticed, perhaps because of their sometimes serious façade, eagle-like stare, and a modicum of shyness. Keenly aware of all that goes on around them, these complex folks cover a myriad of feelings and often an attitude of superiority. The Pit Ponies seem to relate to this sign, of sturdy stock, they were used in the deep, dark mines of Britain and here in the USA at the turn of the Century. Taken into the mines, they toiled for long hours daily, and never saw the light of day — the farriers would be taken into the mines to tend to their shoeing needs and could only do their work by candlelight. After much agitation by animal rights groups about this state of affairs in Britain the ponies were released from their “tombs” — however, the last of the ponies wasn’t released until 1980! Also I think those Horses of our nightmares are also housed here — the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, are surely part of the Scorpio scene, along with the steed that carries the Headless Horseman in the Sleepy Hollow tale, and in the Tarot deck, the “Death” card is portrayed as a skeleton astride a dark horse carrying a scythe. Still, these images all have some moral within their tales. We would all do well to pay more attention to our Scorpio folks, and take a page from their book — be circumspect, don’t gossip, keep yourself to yourself — do good deeds anonymously and without thought of recognition. Scorpios can reach the highest of peaks both socially and morally! They can move mountains with their quiet zeal — this year Scorpio Horses should take careful note of just where they are, and consider where they truly want to be in the next decade. With Saturn cloaking their sign this year, they will be well served to dig deep into their psyches and find their bliss — then make their plans in detail. They will move forward with the help of Universal energy this year, and will find their true calling, and perhaps their true love.

SAGITTARIUS HORSE — What glee — what joy — a sign who’s symbol has the Centaur (half man/half horse) shooting an arrow into the air, is sure to house some of the more interesting of Horses. First one thinks of the huge Hunters that bound through the landscape their riders at the ready for whatever game appears. Then, our thoughts move to the Indian Ponies of our western plains. These spirited horses show the same temperament of our Sagittarian folks — a joie de vivre that can help to overcome many of life’s crises. Also the Cow ponies — strong, enduring, able to be ridden all day in all kinds of weather, uncomplaining and patient. Along with these noble beasts we will include the American Mustang — epitomizing the wildness and freedom-seeking nature of our Sagittarians. Although not truly wild, coming from domesticated stock — they are feral and roam the plains in the way Nature intended. Our Sagittarian Horse can look forward with their usual positive outlook for a year of progress. They must stop living in the “what if” area and move on to the “I can do this” arena! Sagittarian Horses should try to get their agenda on track this year — keep their ultimate goals in mind, and work toward putting in place those things that will help them to accomplish their dreams! Sagittarians are often looking to the future, yet they don’t always make plans, instead allowing fate to intervene on their behalf. Now is the time to actually put forth the effort to get what you want. Be flexible but firm — accommodating and willing to be inclusive, but ultimately you must determine your own destiny. Don’t let this opportunistic Year of the Horse pass you by — resolve to be the author of your own life’s story.

CAPRICORN HORSE — Our Capricorn Horse folks are the pillars of the community, steady, reserved, hard-working and reliable — and so we feel that the Morgan Horse epitomizes this sign! Multi-talented, able to be used in almost any venue, the Morgan — is our choice. Justin Morgan bred this horse in the late 1700’s in America. He lived in Vermont and soon realized that his stallion Figure could outwork, outrun, out-trot and out-walk any others in the area. He set to breeding this horse and since it did breed true, he developed today’s well-loved Morgan Horse. Like our Capricorn individuals, the Morgan Horse is strong in mind and spirit, determined, and they engender a feeling of vigor and steadfastness. Easy to handle and generally good-natured, Morgan’s are used as farm horses, racers, and companion horses. Capricorn Horses will be well served to mimic the good qualities of the Morgan, and bring their conscious mind to connect with their next decade. Capricorn’s usually have a plan in mind, and work tirelessly to achieve their goals, however, the Capricorn Horse can get off course when things don’t occur within their timetable. Most often dogged in their determination to reach the top of their field, they are willing to take things a step at a time — but being born in a Horse year has made them a bit more impatient, and more apt to try to take shortcuts. Study your agenda, and make your step by step plans — then follow them to the letter. Preparation and planning are your forte, and you will achieve your ultimate goals by keeping true to yourself and your standards. By all means — if an amazing opportunity presents itself to you this year, take the time to elicit all of the details and if it seems a legitimate offering — go for the win!

AQUARIUS HORSE — Prancing, leaping, jumping, and having a jolly good time, our Aquarian Horse is beauty in motion. Although these folks are sometimes hard to read, and a little on the quirky side, I would say that they are a “Horse of a Different Color“! Indeed, just one category wouldn’t do them justice — in Horse terms, I think of the beautiful Lipizzaner Horses, who are a beautiful white when mature, actually start out their lives with a black coat, and then change over. These are magnificent animals who’s dexterity, strength, and rhythmic ability have made them the ultimate in dressage. Also, the Appaloosa Indian Pony with its distinctive spotting on its hind quarters, set apart and unique! I’d also include the Pinto — with their unusual patterns of light and dark, a various and sundry display of Nature piquing our imagination. Perky, spirited, and generally good-natured, all of these breeds seem to imitate our Aquarius persona. Likable, always busy, and industrious, our Aquarius Horses should look to improve their lives this year by making sure they are on the best pathway for this lifetime. They are usually pretty sure of their desires and interests, and can therefore choose a path to follow that will give them their due. Just be sure that the grass on the other side of the fence is really greener — and not just an illusion! Bide your time, meditate, and bring all of your senses to the fore in determining where you wish to go, and how best to get there. Friends will always be there to help — but no one can “know” you as well as you know yourself! Be in the here and now — to determine the where and when of the future!

PISCES HORSE — The Pisces Horse persona is a bit more emotional, and perhaps a little more anxious than the other Horse signs. They are those friends who we go to for solace and comfort in times of need. They also feel our pain and can relate to what we might be going through. Spiritually heightened, empathetic, sensitive to a fault, and often easily led — our Pisces folks bear a lot of our emotional baggage! The Horses we find in this area would be the horses of myth and imagination. Pegasus who can soar through the air on massive wings, white in color and inspirational in myth. He may have been used to help the wise enter the realm of the Gods. Also we have the Chariot of the Sun pulled by many hardy and muscular steeds whose hoofs emitted sparks of flame! But most of all we think of the magical Unicorn — glowing iridescently and mysterious, with their single spiraled horn — written of as enchanted and mystical, many sought out the Unicorn to bring them supernatural powers, and other-worldly control. Such are the special qualities of our Pisces Horse — sensitive to the aura of everyone they meet, it behooves them to make sure those within their circle are of the highest moral and ethical standards. It would be easy for a Pisces Horse to be led astray by those who have a negative agenda. This year, the Pisces Horse should garner the energy from the Watery Planetary Trine of Jupiter in Cancer, Saturn in Scorpio, and Neptune in Pisces, to further their aims. This watery trio will be in effect until Jupiter moves into Leo in July — now is the time for our Neptune ruled Pisces folks to be aware of all the opportunities they will encounter throughout this year. Be ready to take advantage of all those who would help you to move forward with your goals. Be brave and strong in your resolve — you can make this the best year of your life!

We all can see how important the Horse is to we humans — they were our transportation, our companions, our helpers, our ability to move Westward here in America, and they are a joy and comfort to so many. How wise of the early sages to put the Horse into the Chinese Zodiac, they epitomize our need for freedom, our ability to be of service, and our commitment to the “herd”. None of us completes their journey here on Earth without help and love, without others of every ilk to move us in the right direction, and who will be loyal and true to us in times of need. Our Horse folks are an integral part of our lives and we all are better for having their élan, curiosity, strength, and ever-young outlook on life. The Chinese Year of the Horse will serve all of us well, if we remember to keep true to ourselves — keep to our highest standards, and keep the beauty, mystery, and enchantment of our lifetime here fresh, pure, and of the utmost spirituality!

*I’ve included both the 30th (USA) and 31st (Chinese) dates, as you may see both being used. Our New Moon is on the 30th and that is the beginning of the Chinese New Year here in the USA!

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