2009 is the year of the earth ox from a Chinese astrology perspective. The element that cycles every two years is known as the heavenly stem; so there are fire, earth, metal, water, and wood oxen. Variations in the heavenly stem influence one’s personality, which explains why not all ox (people or years) are the same.

The earthly branch is the animal—one of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs. Ox is considered 2nd in the hierarchy, following the rat. 2009 is based on the Gregorian calendar, whereas the Chinese calendar is 4707. The ox is sometimes also called the cow or buffalo.

Ox years typically represent hard work. Think of the animal in its natural surroundings. It works alone or with one other and stays true to its course. The ox is conservative,focused, and serious. Their mottos is “I will,” which literally may result in a test of wills. The stubborn ox challenges the Feng Shui fire year (normally brings out a more social,gregarious, and ambitious side).

On the surface, Feng Shui earth and fire elements compliment each other; however,earth reduces fire (think of your Scouting days – dirt over the fire to put it out). In addition, the ox’s true nature is earth so this year is a double-earth over fire year. Earth,in of itself, can resist change but come around after there’s time to process. Double earth will adamantly resist.

I can’t help but equate it to the presidential election here in the U.S. Obama, whose slogan has long been "Change We Can Believe In," has altered his slogan to "Change We Need." I think most people agree we can’t survive more of the same, and that the economy would be more stable had there been more accountability and oversight. Will we learn from the past? Will there be a struggle of wills? I think so, regardless of who wins the eection. It will be interesting to see how it plays out, and the new President has his hands full. The ox year will command a methodical approach and quantifiable results.

“Earth” businesses will do fairly well. They include real estate, recruiting, the food industry, farming, household products, and practical clothing. The energy implies business consolidation, which is normally met with layoffs. Next months’ article, 2009 Feng Shui and the Fire Year, will reveal another layer of complexity.

Earth years can also produce an earnest search for spirit and more focus on family. It’s fun to validate this theory by looking at history. The Chinese astrology calendar has a 60-year cycle, so the last time we experienced earth ox energy was 1949.

Events that happened in 1949: Mao Tse Tung’s army marches into Nanking; a bill is introduced to relocate African-Americans “equitably” throughout the country; Truman institutes policy of aid to underdeveloped countries; flight records are made; NATO begins; Republic of Ireland is created; Siam becomes Thailand; Chinese Communists take Shanghai; Orwell’s 1984 is published; Supreme Court rules that evidence gathered through illegal search and seizure may still be used in prosecution; apartheid begins by law in South Africa; Willie Mayes debuts; Vatican excommunicates Communists; seven UFOs in three pairs with one trailing are tracked for ten minutes; Ingrid Bergman divorces and quits Hollywood; Truman announces Russia has The Bomb; Mao Tse Tung becomes Chairman of China; and Chiang Kai-shek’s government flees to Taiwan.

All the King’s Men won best picture. Let’s look at some of the births that year. Some believe we need to see where we came from to see where we’re going (i.e., lessons turned to opportunities). How have these people lived their lives? Think objectivelyabout the impact they’ve had: George Forman, Robert Palmer, Steve Perry, Erik Estrada, Patrick Duffy, Jessica Lange, Billy Joel, Hank Williams, Jr., Lionel Richie, Meryl Streep, Lindsay Wagner, Maureen McGovern, Richard Gere, Joe Theisman, Ed Begley,Jr., Twiggy, Bruce Springsteen, Sigourney Weaver, Bruce Jenner, Richard Dreyfuss,Bonnie Raitt, Paul Shaffer, Garry Shandling, Jeff Bridges, Tom Waits, Maurice and Robin Gibb, Susan Lucci, and Sissy Spacek. When you think of oxen, these people are famous but keep to themselves for the most part.

Each Chinese astrology animal has an opposing animal. For the ox this is the ram (or sheep). These are both earth-related animals which implies severe earth-related symptoms such as earthquakes. With underlying yin fire, a volcano may also erupt.Other earth-related animals are dragon and dog. Dogs, dragons, ox, and sheep need to avoid strong earth settings such as mountains and deserts during earth and fire months(Feb. 5-Mar. 6, May 6-Jun 6, Jul 7-Sep. 8, Nov. 7-Dec. 7 ), and when their astrology sign is vulnerable (we provide this information as part of our monthly tip on our website).

How will 2009 be for you? Does life come to a stand still because it’s not particularly a good year? No, of course not. This is helpful information that enables success. If your energy is low this year,postpone strategic decisions and major purchases for a better time. You can be sure I check energy patterns and other conditions in my planning process.

This ox earth influence also brings health cautions such as cancer and liver issues. If you’re a drinker, do it in moderation. You’ll find the DUI (driving under the influence) will be met with stricter punishment. Purge your body of free radicals. Explore anti-oxidant agents such as vitamins, fresh fruits and vegetables, and tea. Earth also represents the abdomen, stomach, immune system, spleen, joints, hands, and shoulders. Take care of your stomach, and stretch your body to help with joint and shoulder pain.

Author's Bio: 

Diana Garber is a classic Feng Shui practitioner with nearly 30 years experience in energy and risk management. Her extensive corporate background and work with Fortune 100 companies sets her apart as an international consultant, speaker, author, and seasoned program manager. She utilizes over a dozen sciences to evaluate influences such as electromagnetic currents, geopathic stress, and other factors internal and external to one's living or work environments to improve clients’ lives. Please visit our Web site at Intuitive Concepts for information, testimonies, and much more.