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

After Kenyatta Setback, ICC Struggles to Move Ahead

Collapse of the case against Kenya's president, other setbacks are fueling a debate about International Criminal Court's effectiveness and relevancy More

Video Conservationists Use Science to Preserve Rare Species of Rhino

With just five northern white rhinos left in the world, caretakers hope reproductive science may be able to preserve the gene pool More

Video Opening Trade With Cuba Bittersweet for Some

Long-time Cuban exiles in Miami say news is double-edged for those who had to leave everything behind 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.
Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014i
X
December 23, 2014 7:28 PM
The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Islamic State Emergence Transforms Syria and Iraq in 2014

The emergence of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as a potent force in early 2014 changed the dynamics of the region. Their brutal methods - including executions and forced slavery - horrified the international community, drawing Western forces into the conflict. It also splintered the war in Syria, where more than 200,000 Syrians have died in the conflict. VOA’s Henry Ridgwell looks back at a deadly year in the region -- and what 2015 may hold.
Video

Video Massive Study Provides Best Look at Greenland Ice Loss Yet

The Greenland ice sheet is melting faster than predicted, according to a new study released in the Proceedings of the National Academic of Sciences that combines NASA satellite data and aerial missions. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, the finding means coastal communities worldwide could be at greater risk, sooner, from the impact of rising seas.
Video

Video US Marines, Toys for Tots Bring Christmas Joy

Christmas is a time for giving in the United States, especially to young children who look forward to getting presents. But some families don't have money to buy gifts. For nearly 70 years, a U.S. Marines-sponsored program has donated toys and distributed them to underprivileged children during the holiday season. VOA's Deborah Block tells us about the annual Toys for Tots program.
Video

Video France Rocked by Attacks as Fear of ISIS-Inspired Terror Grows

Eleven people were injured, two seriously, when a man drove his car into crowds of pedestrians Sunday night in the French city of Dijon, shouting ‘God is Great’ in Arabic. It’s the latest in a series of apparent ‘lone-wolf’ terror attacks in the West. Henry Ridgwell looks at the growing threat of attacks, which security experts say are likely inspired by the so-called "Islamic State" terror group.
Video

Video Russian Moves Provide New Mission for NATO

Russia’s more aggressive military posture in Europe during the past year has pushed NATO to take new steps to strengthen its defenses, providing it, analysts say, with a much-needed new mission. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video Jane Monheit Christmas Special

Chanteuse Jane Monheit sings the holiday classic “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” and explains why it’s her favorite song of the season.
Video

Video Ugandan Doctors Aid Victims of Sudan's Civil War

In Sudan's state of South Kordofan, the number of amputees as result of civil war is in the thousands, but few have access to sufficient medical help. Adam Bailes recently visited the area and says a small team of Ugandan doctors has been providing remote help, producing new prosthetic limbs for those in need.
Video

Video US Business Groups Press for Greater Access to Cuba

President Barack Obama's decision to do all he can to ease restrictions on U.S. trade, travel and financial activities with Cuba has drawn criticism from some conservatives and Republicans. People who bring tourists to the island and farmers who want to sell more food to Cuba, however, think they can do a lot more business with Cuba. VOA's Jim Randle reports.

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

All About America

AppleAndroid