The Chinese New Year of the White Metal Rat begins January 25, 2020 and ends February 11, 2021. It ushers in a new day, a new year, a new 12 year cycle, and a new 60 year cycle. The Chinese celestial zodiac begins each cycle with the sign of the rat which is based on an approximate Jupiter orbit.
The rat is seen as a very special animal because it is half yin and half yang. He is designated as such because he has four fingers (yin) in front and five toes (yang) behind. Each animal rules two hours each day. The rat hour, however, crosses two days- from 11p.m. to 1 a.m., so he contains both late night and early morning energies – ending and beginnings.
Each part of a cycle is ruled by a celestial animal and one of the five elements – water, wood, fire, earth, and metal. 2020 is ruled by a yang white metal element (heaven) sitting on top of the rat (Earthly Branch.) The yang metal is connected to steel, armor, weaponry and strong wind. The rat is is the water element, but being a rat (yin/yang animal,) it contains yin water within and yang water without! In the zodiac, it is classified as a yang animal.
In past newsletters I wrote about the fire element “entering the grave” in the Year of the Dog, and then totally disappearing last year in the Year of the Pig. This total absence of fire for the next four years to control future strong water means the elemental energies will be mainly cold, wet and dark. We can expect to see many water related accidents, such as flooding, heavy rainstorms, and tsunamis.
Because the fire element is absent, the metal and water elements are weakening the earth (fire strengthens the earth element and water weakens it) we can also expect to see earth related disasters such as earthquakes, mining accidents, landslides etc.
To get a taste of what 2020 will be like, we can go back 60 years to the last White Metal Rat year, 1960. Weather wise, there were several large earthquakes that year, most notably the 9.5 one in Valdivia, Chile (the largest one ever recorded) which triggered a large Tsunami and killed 1600 people.
Politically, it was a year that introduced a decade of the most tumultuous and divisive energy in world history, marked by the civil rights movement, the Vietnam War, antiwar protests, political assassinations and the emerging “generation gap.”
President Kennedy, the youngest man to ever hold the office, was elected in a contentious battle. The electoral vote was the closest in any presidential election since 1916. In the popular vote, Kennedy’s margin of victory was among the closest ever in American history. The 2020 election is sure to be just as unorthodox and controversial!
It was the first presidential election in which television played a central role. By 1960, most American homes had TVs for the first time. Richard Nixon’s decision to accept John Kennedy’s proposal for televised presidential debates meant that for the first time, both major-party candidates appeared for a sustained period together on TV. Many feel that the novelty of these debates produced very high rates of viewership, which affected the final outcome. Sadly, today, these debates have devolved into two minute meaningless sound bites.
The sixties was labeled the “Swinging Sixties” not only because of the fall of social taboos that occurred during this time, but also because of the emergence of a wide range of music; from a folk music revival, to the Beatles revolution, to the serious lyrics of Bob Dylan and Paul Simon. Norms of all kinds were broken down – especially in regards to civil rights and expectations that the men would go off to meaningless wars.
So, looking at the previous 60 year cycle, we can see we’re in for alot of change on all fronts. Rat years are known for introducing periods of transformation. The Metal Rat however tries to implement these changes in an orderly, structured fashion. Since this mindset can create inflexibility, rigidity, stubbornness and conflict, we have to strive to stay on target – to implement the new changes in a logical, practical and disciplined manner. Ventures begun in a Rat year are fortunate, but only if well planned. Clear rational communication and analysis are needed to see us through to 2021.
On the winter solstice of 2020, December 21st, Jupiter will conjunct Saturn in Aquarius. 2020 will mark the beginning of a new series of 20/60 year cycles between Saturn and Jupiter in the sign of Aquarius – that has not occurred for 800 years and is known as the Great Mutation cycle. it will also mark the end of a two-hundred-year era of Jupiter and Saturn uniting in earth signs and move into a two hundred year cycle ruled by air. This will switch the focus on material security and resistance to change to an era ruled by the disruption of established order and usher in changes in the way we communicate. This new energy portends a transfer of power from rigid, massive. dictatorial structures to smaller groups of individuals who will prove to be more versatile, mobile, and cooperative. Militaries already are already reflecting this trend by organizing into smaller, more mobile, self contained, less centralized units.
Revolutions are worldwide and all the powers that be only know how to respond with more security, surveillance, police and war. The year of the White Metal Rat is right on target to lead us into a exciting future.
Knowing that 2020 is one of the election years under Tecumseh’s Curse, I suddenly realized that the 20 year curse also has Geng as the ruling element! Geng, yang metal, is represented by the sword, ax, gun, armor, weapon or money. It is the ruling element for Gregorian years ending in 0.
Tecumseh’s Curse, stems from an 1840 dispute between U.S. President William Henry Harrison and Shawnee Indian leader, Tecumseh. Some believe the curse is the reason that Harrison, and every following president who was elected in a year ending in zero, died or was prevented from serving in office. Harrison went on to be elected U.S. President in 1840, but never finished his term. He died in office of pneumonia several months after being elected.
This pattern of dying in office, or other disruptions, has continued for 20 years:
This year will be one to remember.
In line with these energies, I am really excited about initiating my membership the first week of February – the week of the New Solar Year. Look for the announcement at the end of the month.
This is the year to have annual Feng Shui update! Metal Rat years are a time of strong endings and fresh beginnings