According to Taoism, the Chinese New Year falls on the second full moon of 2019–February 5—and brings with it the potential for peace, harmony, contentment and happiness.
Taoist culture was birthed thousands of years before the Christian era, yet the Taoist lunar calendar is used all over Asia and South East Asia even today.
The enigmatic Lao-Tzu (circa 500 B.C.) is the author of the Tao Te Ching which recaps all the precepts of traditional Taoism with a focus on the qualities of the heart, whereas his better known contemporary philosopher, Confucius, was a pragmatic moralist. Both approaches managed to coexist with Buddhism introduced to China from India in the first century A.D. This convergence shaped not only Chinese culture but the evolution of Chan Buddhism, better known as Zen Buddhism.
Taoism sees mankind and all of earthly creation as subject to the energetic influences of Earth and of “heaven,” meaning the cosmos. Taoist astrology includes 12 earthly branches each represented by an animal each with its own mythical characteristics. Six of them are deemed yang (masculine energies) and six are yin (feminine energies). The 12 animals are also declined within the exposition of the five elements and the five element theory of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. This resulted in the creation of a massive cycle of patterns repeating themselves every 60 years.
The 2019 Chinese New Year is the year of the Golden Boar. 2019 ends in an odd number making it a yin/feminine year according to Taoism. (Years ending in an even number such as 2018 are designated as yang/masculine years.)
The color Golden in the phrase Golden Boar means it is the feminine version of the masculine “Yellow Boar.” Both animals are consonant with the Earth element.
In the book Taoist Astrology, a Handbook of the Authentic Chinese Tradition by Susan Levitt with Jean Tang, we learn that: “The year of the Boar is a time of self-indulgence and fun.” It is said to be a time when “people can be kinder to each other in everyday interaction and feel little need for competition.” The authors tell us that Gold Boar wants peace and harmony with others.
We can only hope for some favorable and well-needed energetic influence to bring more mutual respect for and kindness toward all sentient beings on earth during these troubled times, be they humans, animals, plants, trees or the entire environment of air and water. We dearly hope so!
In so doing, wouldn’t our personal aligning ourselves with the special energies of the Chinese New Year’s Golden Boar help to raise our collective sense of wellness, contentment and harmony?
Perhaps we can keep the time honored and proven wisdom of the Taoist ancients in our hearts and minds in our contemplations, meditations and everyday lives as we experience a year that could prove to be one of the most pivotal years yet especially if we begin to return to our true nature—that of loving kindness.
Levitt, Susan, and Jean Tang. Taoist Astrology: A Handbook of the Authentic Chinese Tradition. Destiny Books, 1997.