Saturday, January 1, 2011

Get Ready for the Year of the Rabbit

Now that our New Year’s revels are ended, we can start getting ready for the Year of the Rabbit. It begins on February 3.

I am hardly adept at Chinese astrology, but it is interesting to contemplate what will happen when the Year of the Tiger becomes the Year of the Rabbit.

It’s a lot more fun than contemplating the numbers that make up today’s date: 1-1-11.

I’m sympathetic to numerology-- sort of-- but 1-1-11 does not really do it for me.

As we all know, astrology is always right, even when it isn’t. Yet, even skeptics will admit that it makes sense to say that 2010 was a Tiger of a year.

The stock market and the commodity markets roared ahead, took no prisoners, and preyed on the hapless shorts.

In politics, the Tea Party, previously hiding in the underbrush, burst forth on the political scene to ravage the hopes of liberal Democrats.

Even European labor unions and anarchists got into the spirit of the year, wreaking havoc on the normally tranquil continent.

And wouldn’t it be fair to say that the weather was a real tiger this year? Whether it’s massive Australian floods or our own recent snowpocalypse, the weather has been ravaging the earth.

Now for the not so good news. We are about to go from a year where predation was in vogue to a year when we might start feeling like prey. From a year where we chased things down, where we descended on shopping malls during the holiday season like famished predators, to a year where we are going to on the run, trying to escape pending disaster.

As the Year of the Rabbit approaches, get ready to run.

Before you even say it, I must grant that, for a tiger, a rabbit is barely even prey. It is more like what the French call an “amuse-bouche.” Meaning: something to amuse the mouth, or better, a pre-appetizer.

But Chinese astrology could not have lasted as long as it did had it not found something positive in every creature of its zodiac.

So, when you’re not running for your life, the Year of the Rabbit will be a time to reflect, to contemplate, to enjoy peace and tranquility.

Reputable astrologers have discerned that our coming year of peaceful contemplation will involve learning to live with less, as individuals or as a nation.

Perhaps the Year of the Rabbit will represent the time when austerity finally takes hold, when the nation begins to come to terms with its diminished means and stature.

So, 2011 should be a time when we will all be called on to make sacrifices, the better to survive.

The Rabbit does not qualify as a ruminant animal-- true ruminants have hooves-- but it is a notable herbivore, as opposed to the great carnivore whose year is coming to an end.

Herbivores are quick and lean. Given their frailty they need to what it takes to stay a step ahead of predators.

But, the Year of the Rabbit may just be a respite, a period of calm that is preparing us for what follows. In Chinese Astrology, 2012 will be the Year of the Dragon.

That’s my way of saying, to one and all, to you and yours:

                      Happy New Year!

No comments: