March is always the Rabbit month and it begins on the third solar term (Chinese month) entitled “the awakening of the insects.” The Green Wood Rabbit this month joins the yearly “Black Water Rabbit,” creating double Rabbit energy. To the ancient Chinese people, rabbits were animals of the “Yin” nature, meaning they were more feminine and frequently associated them with the moon, and fertility. Many other cultures, worldwide, also viewed the rabbit in this manner and that is why we often see images of the rabbit in the moon.
The rabbit is the fourth animal in the Chinese zodiac and in the Chinese culture, is known to be the luckiest of all the twelve animals – remember those lucky rabbit feet! It symbolizes mercy, elegance, beauty and people who are born in the year of the rabbit are usually calm, peaceful, introspective, intuitive and spiritual. The Rabbit energy, however, can also bring a tendency for escapism, day dreaming and a reluctance to share what one is thinking.
Recently, while reflecting on the fact that 2023 is a 7 universal year (2+0+2+3,) the number of introspection, intuition, and divinity, I realized how similar those energies are to the Black Water Rabbit. Two different systems, but each complementing the other. One common way to depict the energies of the year (in the west) is with the two corresponding tarot cards, They are the Chariot (#7) and the Tower (#16) – the 1 and 6 added together. The cards I am using are from the Rider Waite deck.
2023 predicted to be a year of introspection, intuition, and spirituality. The chariot symbolizes staying centered and not retreating. The two black and white sphinxes, angle out from the chariot going in opposite directions, but the solid block of the grey chariot supporting and housing the prince stays centered. The armor he wears is decorated with crescent moons (Cancer sign), and other alchemical symbols, expressing spiritual transformation. The star crown on his head signals victory, success, and enlightenment if one stays positive and grounded. This applies to not just people, but countries, political parties etc. The Tower can be the consequence if one loses their focus, balance and determination. Although 7 is the number of wisdom, intelligence and spiritual growth, there is the shadow side that displays ignorance, an unwillingness to accept facts and religious fanaticism.
The lesson for 2023 is to remember its not a year of action, but inward growth. You are in charge of the chariot (your body) and other names for the card are the Centurion or Victory. This is just my brief overview of the year. There are many interpretations of these cards and their relationships, so its good to meditate on them and draw your own conclusions!
Each year has a universal theme (or energy) that we experience as a collective and each year cycle builds on the last. 2022, the year of the Black Water Tiger, was a universal 6, which is the number of harmony and love. The tarot cards were the Lovers (#6) and the Devil (#15.) The Lovers card represents love. relationships, balance, union, partnerships, decisions, and harmony.
However, as we look worldwide, it seems many were duped by the Devil. The devil embodies our human desires, especially those that are linked to the material world, rapped in bondage, addictions and depression, negative thinking, and/or betrayal. He is the card of delusion and the shadow side of the lovers. With large wings and a pentagram in the center of his horned head, this evil being is perched on a pedestal. The man, and a woman, standing naked in front of him have chains around their necks that link back to the him, signifying the control that he has over them. The chains, however, are loose and they can escape whenever they want. This encapsulates what many worldwide experienced last year with the pandemic, money, inflation, war etc. It is interesting to reflect on these two cards and how the energy affected you in 2022.
If we project ahead to 2024, it is a universal 8 year. Not only is it an 8 year, but its also a Green Wood Dragon year. The two Black Water years of the Tiger and Rabbit will have passed and in Chinese astrology, we will have their most favored animal – the dragon, which is a symbol of power, strength, and good luck. Likewise, the two tarot cards for the year are Strength (#8) and the Star (#17, ) both very high vibrational cards.
Strength represents courage, compassion, focus, persuasion, and influence while the Star indicates hope, spirituality, renewal, inspiration and serenity. These two cards are great for moving forward, as the Star provides the impetus and Strength provides the necessary reserve and resolve. These pairs of cards need to be integrated into a “both and” interpretation, not an “either or. Together they create a perfect balance and harmony. Of course, there is a shadow side to these 2024 cards just like the others! But, let’s focus on their positive attributes for now!!