Year of the Ox: What the Chinese Zodiac Predicts for Us in the Coming Year

Thank u, next is the perfect anthem to blast as we move into 2021, leaving 2020 behind. We grew, we learned, we laughed, we cried, and we stayed inside. I often found myself longing for this year, and it has finally arrived.

While of course nothing will change over night, it can be comforting to think of what could be coming for us over these next 12 months, and the Chinese Zodiac calendar can be one way we can explore what we want out of this year.

The Chinese Zodiac Basics

The Chinese Zodiac repeats over a cycle of 12 years with 12 signs per cycle, in this order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. 2020 was the Year of the Rat, and so 2021 shall be dubbed the year of the Ox beginning February 12th, Chinese lunar New Year Day. For all of you 1997 (and 1985 and 2009) babies, your crew is about to get a little bigger.

According to Chinese mythology, the Jade Emperor, considered to be the first Chinese Emperor and the ruler of Heaven, invited the animals in his kingdom to come to his palace; the zodiac was formed in the order of their arrival. The Rat showed up first, hitching a ride on the Ox. He jumped off and raced into the palace just as the Ox arrived, and so Ox became number two.

The Jade Emperor is still widely celebrated today, around the Chinese New Year especially. The Jade Emperor is said to pass judgements on the deeds of a family over the past year to determine their luck in the upcoming one, so he is much prayed to and shrines are made in his name.

Year of the Ox

Now back to the Ox. Although the Chinese New Year does not start until February 12th, there’s nothing wrong with a little preparation, right? I say the faster we look past 2020, the better.

The Ox is the second animal in the Chinese Zodiac, and it is associated with being hardworking, reliable and honest. This likely means that looking into the new year, we will have to buckle down and be more determined than ever to go after what we want; after the year of societal disruption and complete upheaval we have experienced, that doesn’t seem to me to be such a bad thing. We could all use a little stability, and hopefully the trusty Ox will help us out.

I’m sorry to say this to all of you Oxen out there, but as it turns out, the year associated with your birth sign might spell a bit of bad luck for you. You will face some challenges in education and/or career fields, though a challenge should be nothing for your determination. Figure out what you want, find some solid ground, and get to work.

Those born under the Ox will also have to watch for their own stubbornness, and it can undermine possible opportunities they are given and prevent them from moving forward. While they may feel misunderstood, it is often because they keep things bottled up- consider telling someone how you feel, or bring up that pet peeve of yours before you explode over it.

The Ox is most compatible with the Rat, the Snake and the Rooster, and less so with the Goat, the Horse and the Dog. The Rat shares a common goal-oriented personality, while the Snake and Rooster’s softer personalities mesh well with the Ox’s tough exterior (we’re all a little soft on the inside). The more light-hearted and less serious latter-mentioned animals can clash with the Ox.

Moving Forward

Whether you are Ox or not, I think this New Year can be a way for us all to settle into the driver’s seat and take charge, though taking care not to mow others down on the way.

Finish the Year of the Rat off strong, and get ready to tackle this coming year with your horns up (metaphorically speaking).

–Claire Beaver, Content Creator

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