Happy New Year! What the Year of the Horse Has In Store For Us and How To Harness Its Power For Good

Well, friends, the Year of the Horse is officially upon us.*

I, for one, am immensely excited about this shift in cosmic energy, eager to move out of the deeply introspective, sometimes chaotically emotional, paradigm-altering state of being that has dominated over the past couple of years.

While absolutely essential to forward movement, these more internal, introverted, degenerative phases of the natural energetic cycle of the universe can be exhausting and overwhelming.

And often frustrating as hell, as the necessary reassessment of our beliefs and values and desires – and the ways in which these elements are being reflected back to us in our daily lives – can preclude outward progress at times.

I’ve experienced this myself over the past couple of years, and I’ve witnessed it in friends, as we’ve found ourselves intensely occupied by the restructuring of our internal landscapes, reconnecting to ourselves, and reprioritizing self-care and self-love and self-discovery over external pursuits and supposed success.

Some very cool things have happened as a result of all this inner work; however, there’s an itching among all of us to actually put our efforts to use, in ways that benefit not only our own souls, but enable us to positively affect the community as a whole on some tangible level.

As luck would have it, the cosmological energy of this moment is totally on our side. Both Chinese astrology and Western astrology agree that 2014 is going to be a big year.**

While Chinese astrology urges us to harness the power of the Wood Horse and get moving, Western astrology*** suggests we hold our horses, practicing patience for the first half of the year in order to prepare for significant transformative movement in the latter half.

In either case, something big is stirring.

According to Chinese medical symbolism, the horse is associated with the Heart, referred to as the Emperor of the human body, the organ responsible for ensuring the proper function and integration of all other aspects of physiological health.

A full explanation and discussion of the Heart’s role as described by Chinese medical theory is beyond the scope of this post, but in addition to some of the more complex concepts of this system, the Heart is intimately tied to openness and vulnerability, connection and intimacy (both platonic and romantic), consciousness and sentience, as well as expression, compassion, and emotional well-being. Also love. And joy.

These correlations are pretty universal, I think.

This year has the potential to be exceedingly awesome and innovative and unforgettable – on the level of the individual, the local community, and the world at large. I really believe this.

And the more of us who commit to infusing our efforts with heart and compassion and humility, instead of relying so heavily upon our powers of intellect and rationality – although these are important as well – the better off we’ll be as a whole as we charge forward in the year ahead.

Horses symbolize strength and freedom and passion, but they are also notably sensitive animals with the ability to perceive human emotions and respond accordingly. In this way, the horse urges us to act deliberately and thoughtfully, and to consult our intuition frequently. To act with love and cultivate awareness.

So, as you tap into the cosmological energy of the year and prepare to shake things up, make some noise, and finally put all of that deep introspective work into real world action, don’t forget to consult your Heart, to make love your guiding emotion, and to make being of service your ultimate goal.

Because imagine how transformative it would be if we all did this.

Revolutionary, I say.

*For more information on the Year of the Wood Horse, check out this article by Karen Abler Carrasco.

**For those of you who are all, “Astrology aschmology. Meh.” I get it. I used to feel that way, too. That said, this business of acting out of love and letting your heart lead? It still totally applies to you anyway. Just sayin’.

***Interested in learning more about Western Astrology? I highly recommend checking out Virgo Magic, home of Portland-based astrologer Emily Trinkaus. She regularly updates her blog with accessible information about currently astrological happenings. Very well-written, very helpful.