By Betsy Stang, contributing writer for Care2 Green Living
Chinese New Year heralds the beginning of spring in the Northern hemisphere. In the southern states, the flowers begin to bloom, the rains come, often violently as the yin and yang, cold and hot fight for dominance. In the northern states, often fog will settle in for long periods as the rain and snow take turns letting each form of water rule.
The Year of the Earth Rat is a good time to build new foundations. Slow and steady, one grain at a time, the rat can move mountains.
Mid-winter is a good time for pruning and clearing. As the sap starts to flow upward, what shape do you want your life to take in the coming months? This is not a time for glamour and glitz. You won’t be getting by on a good idea or a pretty smile. What is the substance behind the dazzle? Expect to be called on for what you stand for.
It is a great time to look at your core values. What is important to you? Have you been putting your energy where your heart really is? Rats are pack animals, so look at your pack, your friend, family co-workers. How can you be more harmonious in your relationships? Have you reached out to those who are important to you in support and encouragement? Right now a small word and small gestures can make a lot of difference.
If you did not clean out your closets at the January New Year, do it now. Try clothing on and if you don’t love it, pass it along. I sometimes do swap parties with my friends and it’s a great way to perk up a dreary February afternoon. Pass along what your friends don’t want to the nearest women’s shelter or Salvation Army drop box. Somebody needs the clothing you don’t, and you will be spreading abundance and allowing for more to come your way. Also go through the cupboards and restock for emergencies and give food with approaching expiration dates to your local food pantry. Old grain should be put out as well or you might be visited by those pesky grain moths.
When was the last time you fertilized your plants? The growing season is coming on quickly and the new moon, new year is a great time to fertilize. If you have been composting, you might spread that around now, although if the ground is still frozen, wait until the next new moon.
Since it is an Earth year, it will be a time of gradual progress. It is one of those times that we get to learn patience like the farmer who must wait for harvest for his crops to be ready. This year, short cuts won’t work but hard work and perseverance will. In a society that values short-term results, this is a challenging aspect. However, Earth signs, like Taurus, Capricorn and Virgo will be in their element as well as those born in the last year of the Earth Rat, February 1948–January 1949.
Focus your changes on the center of your home, this section represents the Earth element as well as your health. Get that check-up you have been postponing, you might find you can stop a problem before it gets big. It is also a good time to get better nutrition. This is an especially good year to eat as organic as you can. If your stove is not working well, its time to fix it, especially if you are having cash flow problems.
Take small steps in your life to begin to bring about big growth later on. Those of you who have been afraid of change, it is your time to shine. It is a time of setting foundations, of planting who you want to become. To everything there is a season.
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