Who is an Ox?
Years: 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009.
Hour: 01:00 am -03:00 am
Day: ask us
* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.
What is an Ox?
The Ox is insistent rather than persistent; the Ox’s yin Earth makes for a certain fragility, more of a curtain than a rampart. The Ox is in many ways, the most sensitive year animal. This is often expressed in what looks like obstinacy but is better understood as puzzlement at being disagreed with. In discourse you may find that an Ox has firm principles that on examination are not principles at all but more like prejudices or assumptions. They are often nonetheless firm as well as correct for all that. Jane Austen’s Mrs Bennett reads like an Ox.
As a rule, don’t expect flexibility of mind from an Ox; they know what they know and are often not keen to venture beyond. The detail that really distinguishes the Ox however, is that (s)he often craves power and often doesn’t notice either that the power has waned or that it is time to relinquish it. Famous Oxen include Margaret Thatcher, Napoleon Bonaparte and Barack Obama. You get the picture? Power tends to peak in the Rat year btw – 1984, 1804 and 2008 respectively.
The Ox is frequently practical rather than intellectual although the intellectually gifted Ox is extraordinarily powerful. Because of your position between the Rat and the Tiger, you can sometimes vacillate between a fierceness that does not suit you and a Rat-like charm that may not be sustainable. Neither of these are strengths in academe.
With her allies the Snake and the Rooster, the Ox forms a team which is of the metal element. That is to say that the alliance is linear, judgemental and competitive. Where the ground rules are clear, this is an unstoppable combination. These three make a great legal team with the Rooster charming the jury, the Snake unearthing information that no one else could find and the Ox sticking to the point. When the rules are unclear however, the metal alliance can falter. Then the Ox can become judgemental in a more covert sort of way, being less liable to argue than to judge silently. Without the Snake and the Rooster, the Ox becomes more barrack room lawyer than barrister.
To the metal of such a team which stands for logic, reason and competition, the Ox brings the earth which stands for consistency. Which is vital but in dealing with the Ox, it is important to encourage linear thought and to unmask the unreasonable (and consistent) for what it is. Often your position is just habit; you may still quibble though.
The hour of the Ox (1am-3am) is the time that the worlds of spirit and flesh are closest. She has a deep spiritual agenda. The gifts of mediumship and divination are essentially Ox and Sheep gifts.
The Ox may be attached to ancestral dogma. Fundamentalism of all sorts – political and social as well as religious – stick to you. She is not always good at questioning tradition or second-hand wisdom that has come down on good authority. She will often quote great men and prophets, not because their words are wise but because they are great. Maggie Thatcher probably made both Maynard Keynes and John Wesley rotate in their graves.
With the Dragon, Dog and Sheep, the Ox forms the Literary Alliance. Some call this confluence the Four Earths and think of it as negative. The fact is that it is a demanding combination and when only three of these meet, the weakness of the grouping is defined by which one is missing. When all four are present, great achievement follows. If the Dog is absent for instance, the association may be short-lived. On the other hand, the combination of Dog, Ox and Sheep is a challenge to a strong ba zi and can be the ruin of a weak one. Obviously the magic Dragon is missing from this last conjunction, sometimes called a “bullying punishment.” In 2015 this volatile meeting of Ox, Sheep and Dog is central. When the three appear together, expect suppressed communication and rigid rules. Which the Dragon simply wiggles his nose and dissolves.
Barack Obama may currently be the world’s most famous Ox and a good example of this. He actually has a Sheep in his month pillar but no Dogs and no Dragons; this makes for a home-loving and secure man. Which is heightened by a day stem (the yin earth character that rules the day he was born) having a special affinity both with the Ox and the Sheep. This like so many Oxen, is a man who loves his babies. But what about those of the rest of the world?
As if to answer this question, in the year just past, Obama has used the special executive powers of the presidency for a number of enlightened purposes including letting the world know about waterboarding and the various abuses of the CIA. His power is on the wane but he’s going down fighting. As Napoleon did and Mrs Thatcher as well of course as 1889 Earth Ox Adolf Hitler*. None of these knew when it was all over, did they? Traditionally the chaos of “bullying punishment” is brought to a head by the Dragon, who as we shall discover is accordingly the hub of the coming Sheep year.
The Ox is not that keen on the Rabbit who can help herself to the Ox’s fresh vegetables or the Tiger who somehow often manages to exploit her. And you have a love-hate relationship with the irritatingly spontaneous and extrovert Horse to whom you can not help nonetheless being drawn. For the Ox, the Horse represents the perhaps unwelcome daylight upon your true intentions and ultimately your true values. But to really know the mettle of the Ox, observe her with Sheep and Dog.
*His peak Rat year was 1936
Ox in Wood Sheep Year.
Stars include: bay gin helper, pin choi wealth, year breaker.
Caution! The Sheep is not fond of the Ox. They are diametrically opposed on the compass and the clock and despite (or perhaps because of) their similar natures, they rarely see eye-to-eye without compromise. This antipathy in a year dominated by the Sheep can imply vulnerability, defensiveness, defeat and illness for the Ox. Since the Ox is associated with the middle of the body, possible stomach, digestive and gastric issues are possible. Not certain though; the Chinese term kun which expresses the relationship between these two yin Earth Animals means challenge, power, discipline and influence as well as confrontation; not such an easy year but not necessarily one of loss, ill-health or defeat. We all know that moment when we decide to succumb to a minor ailment. Often the alternative is major but demanding progress. Those moments when the alternatives hang in balance will come again and again for the Ox in the Wood Sheep year.
Which relates the pivotal animal of the Year is the Dragon; pivotal because the magic Dragon solves what is known as the “bullying punishment”. This combination is what it sounds like; a ganging up or victimisation and it occurs when Sheep meets Ox and Dog. In a Sheep year this is going to happen a lot. It threatens for instance on a Dog day (such as the 22nd) during the Ox month of January. Each of these animals risks feeling aggrieved on such a day and of course again at some time during every Dog or Ox day that follows – in particular during the Sheep month of July and so on. But more to the point, since each of our ba zis is likely to feature one of these animals somewhere, most of us will experience this at some point in the year, some of us constantly.
One such will be the Ox who is, as we established, in direct opposition to the tai sui or “Great Year.” You will tend to be challenged constantly but especially in July (the Sheep month) and October (Dog). However the Dragon gets you out of jail free, so no such issues in April; this is the month to put the boat out. Kun, as I said, means influence. Use opposition as fuel; it helps clarify what you stand for. Get flexible, open, susceptible; you know it makes sense. And kun means discipline; ever since 2008 probably, you have been kind of off track. If that’s correct, reassess and employ 2015’s buffets to put you back on course just as a skilled mariner uses wind and tide. 2015 is an eye- and a mind-opener.
The Dragon is your greatest asset this year. If you have despite your mutual discomfort, an important Dragon (born 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 or even 2014) in your life, lean on them a little. They’ re up to it. Also each pillar in your ba zi has a different nuance, so if you were born in the Dragon month of April, make work your focus. If your birth hour was between 7 and 9am, attention to your kids is your salvation; I sometimes say that if you want to know your life purpose, it may be that it has your name on it.
It’ll take openness and flexibility to thrive this year; the Ox is a loyal but not always wholehearted partner. If you were born on a Dragon day (for which you’ll need a Chinese calendar) overwhelm your beloved with love this year. Think about it: if you’re committed you might as well stop resisting and if you haven’t been, that’ll be why you’re dissatisfied, wont it? Make sense? If you can get out of your own way enough just to do this, you enter the Monkey year redeemed. There’s every chance you’ll have more and better friends too; that’s what the bay gin Star above refers too.
So this is likely to be a white-water job but there’s plenty to ensure that next year you emerge stronger and wiser. Could have a good time too if you’ll just reassess. Constantly.
Health: possible stomach, digestive, gastric issues.
Relationship: deepening friendship.
Feng Shui: 1961 Metal, 1997 Fire: activate, occupy, face South East1.
1949 Earth, 1973 Water, 1985 Wood: occupy, activate (do not face) SW3.
Activate this area which holds this year’s Fortune Virtue (which speaks for itself, doesn’t it?) with gently-pumped or “sentimental” Water.
Readers’ Digest Version: rise to the challenge.
Richard Ashworth © 2015