News / Asia

Astrologer Advises Rest, Recuperation in Year of the Rabbit

Customers look at a giant rabbit-shaped decoration made of white roses and lilies for the Chinese Spring Festival as part of Lunar New Year celebrations in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China January 31, 2011.
Customers look at a giant rabbit-shaped decoration made of white roses and lilies for the Chinese Spring Festival as part of Lunar New Year celebrations in Nanjing, Jiangsu province, China January 31, 2011.

Multimedia

Audio
  • Listen to Kate Woodsome's interview with Astrologer Susan Levitt

  • Listen to Susan Levitt's views on love and money in 2011

Revelers from Beijing to New York are welcoming the Lunar New Year with fireworks, family reunions and hope for a better future. This is the Year of the Rabbit, or Hare, according to the Chinese Zodiac calendar. So what does that mean for love and life? VOA's Kate Woodsome asks Susan Levitt, a professional astrologer in San Francisco, California.

Hear Susan Levitt on the Chinese zodiac:

What can we expect from the Year of the Rabbit?

"There's such a huge difference between the gentleness of this Hare or Rabbit or "bunny" year, after Tiger, who has been so powerful. And we ain’t seen nothin’ yet, because Dragon is next year 2012, which will be extremely transformational and positive. So this wonderful, gentle time of the Year of the Hare, we can heal, transform, [use] diplomacy, be kind and pure with each other.

Taste and refinement are valued. Comfort is desired. Money can be made easily but also spent easily because the hare or rabbit loves beauty, luxury or artifice. Remember, Dragon Year 2012 will be very powerful, shamanic, a wild, exhausting time. So appreciate the small pleasures of this Hare Year 2011 as superb and somewhat rare opportunities to heal, relax, entertain, mend fences.

If relationships have been difficult, now would be the time to build those bridges again. Reach out, connect, heal. Make time for family gatherings and comfortable travel. Expect political compromise and diplomatic peacemaking on a global level.  Discretion and persuasion are effective in a Rabbit Year, whereas force will not work."

In the Year of the Rabbit, are there any projects people should or should not start?

"For this year of the hare, there are five Taoist elements: fire, earth, metal, water and wood. This happens to be the year of the metal hare. And in feng shui, the metal aesthetic is clean, pristine. So clean your home, no clutter. This is not the year to put up all the art and all the things. Clean everything down and live minimally."

Listen to Susan Levitt's views on love and money:

Is that same principle applied to relationships? Should people not embark on new relationships, or clean up the ones they have?

"All of the above. Cleaning up everything - here’s our chance before Dragon Year hits and it becomes really out of control or amplified. Here’s our chance to mend and heal. And it’s a chance to embark on new ones. Especially if you are a hare, a sheep, a pig, a dog. It’s good for finding love and also if you have a relationship, for it to deepen and for you to have your small intimate circle. It’s time to regroup, re-heal and reconnect."

And what about money?

"Metal would be money and it’s still very bad. Because metal is an antagonistic relationship with hare’s earthly branch. Pinch pennies. Economize. Minimal, clean - all of that applies. Getting by with less.

Where do the animal signs come from?

"This is Chinese astrology. Basically, it’s Taoist astrology based on farmers, farmers’ almanacs. It’s thousands of years old… In the distant past, humanity’s relationship with animals was necessary to survive. When animals were domesticated, Taoist priests in ancient China observed the animal’s traits. The Taoist priests were both male and female. Over the centuries, the priests developed a system of 12 animals for the 12-year cycle. Human physical and temperamental attributes correlated with different years. This system became the 12 earthly branches. This is also associated with Chinese medicine. In the year 2637 BC, the Chinese Emperor Huang Di, the Yellow Emperor, standardized the Taoist calendar and it’s been in use ever since.

In the West, we think of the 12 astrology signs for every month. Starting at Spring Equinox with Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo. But the Chinese system has 12 animal years. It starts with the rat: the rat who is smart, sharp, clever, intelligent. Then the ox: hardworking, a peaceful sign, integrity. Tiger: Power, dashing, daring. And now we go into rabbit: peaceful, harmonious."

Why is the Chinese New Year not celebrated on January 1, the universal new year?

"Chinese New Year is always the second new moon after winter solstice. It’s the lunar calendar, whereas in the west, we’re on the solar calendar starting at Spring Equinox. The western calendar starts on January 1st, the Gregorian year. The Chinese calendar basically started as agrarian, so it has nothing to do with January 1. With the Gregorian calendar, the months are all different lengths, it’s a pretty lousy one. But when you’re following a solar or a lunar calendar, it’s just simple. It’s the second new moon after Winter Solstice."

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More