The Year of the WHAT?

Yes, that’s right. It’s the year of the RABBIT. I figured with the year I had last year, I should probably go looking for a little insight and celestial wisdom to inform and shape the year ahead. So I go to the oldest and arguably the wisest of the celestial systems. . . the Chinese Astrology. . . and what do I get?


Cute, fluffy, sweet, innocuous little fluff-balls. I was stunned. Critters known far and wide for munching and for humping. And of course for cuddling and being cuddled. And this they name a YEAR of my life after??? What kind of celestial guidance system devotes whole chunks of time to things like monkeys, snakes, dragons, pigs, and bunnies? What am I missing here.

Someone (probably the Pool Boy; he can be annoyingly rational at times) suggested I attempt to learn something about the system of Chinese Astrology before passing judgment or attempting to even blog about it. So I went to the literature. . . and got as far as THE OX. I discovered that I was born in the year of the OX!!! Thick, sturdy, stolid, unexcitable, reliable. . . cattle. . . which happen to be NEUTERED! Ugh. Any system that makes me into an ox. . . is suspect in my eyes. Oxen and bunnies. I ask you: is this any way to run a culture?

But then it was suggested to me that the Chinese probably took animals they were familiar with and began to attach larger concepts to them and to use them as archetypes, a sort of cultural shorthand. Somewhere along the way, human characteristics got mingled in there as well, and voila. . . a zodiac system was born. (Still doesn’t explain the whole DRAGON thing. And roosters? Don’t get me started!) Not– it was pointed out to me– so different from the traditional western zodiac or the cultural icons of our own age. Try explaining hula hoops to anybody from a non-western culture. “What? You mean the dervish action inside the sacred circle is not a metaphor for the human experience?” “Nope. It’s just for FUN.” Are we a ridiculously shallow culture or what?

But I digress. Back to the bunnies. I sat down and gave it all some thought. After all, I know bunnies. I raised bunnies when I was a kid. There must be something here of cosmic significance. . . some lessons I can unearth to help guide my way. I mean it’s worked for the Chinese for a few thousand years. And I formulated a few precepts, which I will share:

EAT YOUR GREENS. Eat like a bunny- lots of greens and carrots and stuff straight from the earth. It’s healthier and it’s better for your carbon footprint. Not that bunnies worry much about their footprints, carbon or otherwise.

STAY ALERT. Stay aware of your surroundings and watch where you are and what you’re spending your time on. Live “aware.” Make your time count. And don’t give in to things that dull your awareness– mindless things like drugs, alcohol, and Solitaire. In rabbit terms: there are hawks, foxes, big cats, and coyotes out there just waiting to pounce. Stay on your toes. And it’s not all negative. There is an aspect of “being ready for opportunity when it knocks” here, too. You want to be agile and ready to move, to react, to seize an opportunity when it pops up.

RUN WHEN YOU MUST. The Good Lord and Mother Nature gave you a flight reflex for a reason. Run, don’t walk away from danger. Toxic bosses, friends, co-workers, neighbors. . . unhealthy dependencies, morally ambiguous behaviors. . . run, don’t walk away. Again, wolves, foxes, and big cats are out there on the prowl.

HUMP AND CUDDLE in equal measure. Okay a little graphic, here, but loving and physical loving are a big part of human life. And the fertility part of this has its own unique rewards. . . whether it’s you having kids or your kids having kids. It’s the creation of bonds, of family, of loving and caring. And the whole cuddle and be cuddled thing– the would would be a far better place if we cuddled more. Embraced, hugged, petted, and just plain enjoyed each other more. Physical touch brings bonding and caring. . . it’s essential to the development of well-balanced personalities. Yes, bunnies teach us that. And, by golly, I’m gonna hug more and cuddle more this year. (You’re warned, all of you!)

EXPECT SMALL, you get small. EXPECT BIG and you get. . .

So, any lessons from the YEAR OF THE RABBIT that I missed? What year of the Chinese Zodiac were you born in? Do you think its characteristics fit your personality?

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31 Responses to The Year of the WHAT?

  1. Keri Ford says:

    I am … The Pig.

    this always offended me greatly, even as a kid, and I’ve never searched beyond. Why couldn’t I be cute like bunnies?? Or awesome like dragons?? no. a stinky, chubby Pig. I looked closer just for you and have to admit, these traits are darn near on target. except for the eating/lifestyle talking about smoking and lazy. 🙂

    it went into more detail. I am a Water Pig by birthing year: Water Pigs are trustworthy almost to a fault. Others can easily influence Water Pigs, but Water Pigs are also good at influencing others to get what they want. They’re extremely social and enjoy having a good time

    Link (with a good list of all of them):

    • Keri, ever notice that on the place mat in the Chinese restaurant we’re boars? They don’t want us thinking of ourselves as pigs when we’re ordering a meal. We’re not pigging out. We’re boar-ing. Hmm.

      I’m a fire pig. I don’t remember what it means. I’m still trying to get used to not being a Scorpio after all these years.

      • Betina says:

        Kathy, I never would have pegged you for a pig. And a FIRE PIG at that! Does that mean you’re fated to love Barbeque?

        Slap me later.

    • Betina says:

      Keri– I really like the pig thing– pigs are smart and canny and clever and resourceful. They can also be fierce as the dickens! Water pigs. . . hmmmm that’s whole fire thing is another layer I didn’t quite get into. Are there FIRE RABBITS, you think?

      • Keri Ford says:

        Betina from that link I posted it looks like all signs are each further broken down into the 5 different elements. so there should be a fire rabbit!

        My dh was dog which gave me the tickles about lap dog, and obedience, and my bff and such who is just golly happy to follow me around and obey my every command. Heh.

  2. Betina, I wonder what the Chinese zodiac would have to say about the western jackalope?

  3. Hump and cuddle. Oh, Betina, you do make me smile.

  4. michele says:

    Hmm, I’m a snake. Does sound marvelous, but here’s the def:
    Rich in wisdom and charm, you are romantic and deep thinking and your intuition guides you strongly. Avoid procrastination and your stingy attitude towards money. Keep your sense of humor about life. The Snake would be most content as a teacher, philosopher, writer, psychiatrist, and fortune teller.

    So I guess I picked the right job! And that stinginess toward money? I’m slowly learning, and I think it’s working. 😉

    That rabbit in the pic. Wow.

    • Betina says:

      Thanks, Michele. I LOVED the bunny in the top pic. I think the bunny in the bottom pic may be manufactured… that is the photo may have been doctored, but it was just too good not to use. I do love me some fluffy bunnies.

      And Michele, I never would have pegged you for a snake!! But the “snakes as good teachers” thing puts my junior high experience in a whole new light!

  5. Helen Brenna says:

    Interesting stuff. I’m an Ox, too, Betina, and a lot of the characteristics fit me. Metal ox, to be specific.

    Does this mean that if you’re a rabbit, this coming year is supposed to be particularly good to you? Just curious.

    • Betina says:

      Another OX!! Hurray! You’re a metal ox? hmm. Didn’ know they had metal stuff. Did I mention I’m an earth ox? As in the dirt under your hooves? sigh.

      Sisters of the Hoof.

  6. Okay, this is fun. Miss Piggy scooted over on Keri’s link and discovered that a fire pig makes an excellent leader or boss. So, listen up, everybody…

  7. lois greiman says:

    🙂 This is fun Betina. Thanks. I’m a pig too, it seems. Regardless of that fact, I’m told the porcine species is very intelligent. 🙂

    • Betina says:

      Wow, we have a wealth of pigs on the blog! I wonder if that has anything to o with the smart part of boar-dom?

      Lois, now we know where you get your clever dialogue!

  8. debradixon says:

    Betina- So funny! And good to know. Lessons of the Bunny. Who knew?

    I’m a Rooster. A friend tells me that is perfect for me. She has a book that connects Chinese animal to the astrological zodiac and it was pretty darned spooky-right-on when she read it to me. (Rooster/Taurus for me)

    • Did she use the “updated” astrological chart, Deb? Because I’ve been having split personality problems ever since we ran the post about the shift in the circle and the 13th sign.

    • Betina says:

      Lessons of the bunny. I like it. Hey, Deb, how about a book on the lessons that we can learn from bunnies and piggies? Sort of like that “All I Need to Know I Learned In Kindergarten” thing– only more tongue in cheek.

      And Deb– a rooster? Seriously, I can see you as a rooster. . . ruling the roost. . .

  9. cindygerard says:

    Betina I sooo love your posts. So clever and witty and fun!
    And I love your take on the wabbit!
    I don’t know what I am. Don’t even know how to find out, that’s how unenlightened I am. yet another thing to put in my ‘to do someday’ list.

    • Betina says:

      Cindy. . . what? You never ate at a Chinese restaurant and read the placemat? LOL! I predict you’ll find yourself in a Moo-sui-gai mood before long. And you will have an opportunity for enlightenment.

  10. catslady says:

    Thanks for the laughs. I am the year of the Tiger. I don’t think I’m as brave as one but I do have an infinity for cats so maybe there is something to it lol.

    • Betina says:

      Catslady, your name says it all. Tigers– now there’s one your average villager probably didn’t come into contact with more than once! My son is a Tiger and he’s fierce and loyal and opinionated and protective of those he loves. He’s also a Scorpio deluxe. Which made me predict that if he ever became a judge (he used to say he wanted to be one) that he’d be a “hangin’ judge” for sure. But maybe you can just turn all that intensity to creative endeavors!

      • catslady says:

        lol well I don’t think I’m fierce but loyal, opinionated and protective all fit me! I’m also thinking people are guilty more times than not lol. I’m a Sagitarious but I think my sign got changed with that new chart that someone put out lol.

  11. LSUReader says:

    I’m a dog–honest, intelligent, loyal–we won’t go into the bad traits. I married a monkey (clever, charming, charismatic) and birthed a tiger (fascinating, commanding, exasperating) and a snake (quiet, unassuming, lucky with money.) My grandkids are both rats (industrious, loyal, loving.) Huh. We’re quite a menagerie here. Interesting column today; thanks.

    • Betina says:

      “My grandkids are rats.” That alone made the whol day’s blog worthwhile. I snorted my tea when I read that! Thanks for the laugh!

  12. MaryC says:

    Earth Oxen are successful individuals, probably because they are diligent rather than impulsive. A more modest approach combined with their reliability and sincerity makes them more likeable.

    I’m a dragon.

    • Betina says:

      Mary, thank you for pointing out the more favorable aspects of my sign. Success as a result of diligence. Sounds like another lesson from the bunny– except it’s the ox. Lessons from the Ox: slow and steady wins the race.

      Not as cute as the bunny wisdom.

      The dragon! Whew– does that mean you have a fiery temper? I think of all the signs the most impressive are the tiger and the dragon. Reowr!

  13. Leanne Banks says:

    Betina! What a FAB POST! Loved the pics of the bunnies. SO cute.:) Gave me a nice little lift. I’m an earth pig. I have loved piggies for a long time. Piglet is one of my fave Winnie-the-Pooh characters… and I LOVE bacon!:)

    • Betina says:

      Yet another pig!!! Then there must be something special about pigs and creativity! Hey, Leanne, we’re “earth” sisters. . . the earth piggie and the earth oxxie.

      But I have to draw the line at the quasi-cannibalistic sentiments. Bacon? Really?

      But who am I to talk? ::grin:: I LOVE a good rump roast!

  14. Leanne Banks says:

    Betina, I think I may be related to Elvis… In that case, I can’t escape bacon love.

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