Joanna Bristow Watkins


  • Saturday 25th January, Chinese New Year of the Metal Rat

    Moon Scarletts shot square

    Saturday 25th January is Chinese New Year, which is based on the Chinese lunar calendar, so starts this year after the New Moon on Friday 24th January @ 21:44.

    This marks the start of the Year of the Metal Rat, which runs until the evening of Lunar New Years Eve on Thursday 11th February 2021. Image by cienpies purchased from Istock.

    The Rat is the first of the twelve zodiac animals in the Chinese zodiac. According to myth, as detailed in the Jade Emperor said that the order in which they arrived to his party, would decide the order in the zodiac. The Rat coaxed the Ox into giving him a ride. As they approached the finish line, the Rat arrived first by jumping down and landing ahead of Ox.

    As explained in, there is also a rotation of five elements: wood, fire, earth, metal. water. Each element lasts 12 years as it continues through a full rotation of all zodiac animals, making a 60 year cycle.  Meaning that we last experienced the year of the Metal Rat 60 years ago, between 28th January 1960 and 14th February 1961.

    This means that in the year of your 60th birthday, you will retun to your original birth zodiac sign in terms of animal and element.  As I was born in the year of the Metal Rat in 1960, this will apply to me this year!

    Rats are traditionally seen as a sign of wealth and surplus in Chinese culture and married couples pray to them for children, because of their reproduction rate.

    In China, generally the New Year celebration is a major event with seven days' absence from work, from New Year’s Eve (Friday 24th January) until the 6th day of the first lunar month (Thursday 30th January). Sadly this year, the outbreak of Coronavirus has limited the festivities in some large cities.

    Some Chinese families take their Zodiac very seriously and use the horoscopes to bring balance and wellbeing into their lives. There is advice on lucky and unlucky colours to wear, numbers to seek out and ones to avoid, plus recommended directions of auspiciousness, wealth and love. There are also guidelines on which zodiac animals are most and least compatible as life partners.

    For Joanna's events and courses aimed at bringing harmony and wellbeing into your life, including Walton-on-Thames Healing Shares, mini-workshops and Forest Bathing+ Case Studies, see this 2020 Harmony Healing Event Update.

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