We’re in the belly.
Always attending the curve of an ever-turning wheel, in the Northern hemisphere we dance in a liminal space betwixt Winter and Spring.
This time of year is named “Imbolc,” meaning “in the belly.” This term originally referred to the plumping tummies of ewes, swelling with lamb babies.
As the hibernating earth begins to rouse from her slumber, the early part of this month brings celebrations of fertility and feast. In Celtic tradition, pagans give homage to Brigid, the Triple Goddess. Whatever divinity traditions you regard, place your hand upon the belly of the Earth and sense for the waking shoots warming beneath the topsoil. New life prepares to burst forth. This is the quickening time.
We dare not rush gestation. Inside ourselves, what dreams awake? We are still in sleeping, hibernation time. Trust the natural pulse and timing of life’s emergence within.
February 2 was Solar Imbolc, the halfway point between Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox in the Gregorian calendar.
February 15th is Lunar Imbolc, and February 16th marks the Chinese New Year.
We are exiting the year of the Fire Rooster. What does a rooster do? Wakes us up! With a bellowing, abrasive call. 2017 was a year of awakenings; some of them rude. Roosters are shrewd, cocky, patriarchal figures. Prior to that was the year of the Fire Monkey, a playful yet tricky time of leaps of faith and curious changes. Fire years tend to bring illumination, purification and acceleration. They can also bring chaotic destruction and restlessness, rapid expansion and reckless behavior.
We now enter the Chinese Year of the Earth Dog. An about-face from the colorful and demanding Rooster, we welcome a more grounding time of relative stability. It may not feel as “crazy” as the previous two fire years, but it won’t be without difficulty. The transformations taking place now and for the foreseeable future are deep and karmic. They require us to navigate and overcome formidable obstacles.
It is important to note that both Solar and Lunar Imbolc this year are accompanied by eclipses. That makes 2018, and especially the Chinese calendar year ahead, one of intense polarization between dark and light. We can continue to expect corruptions and shadow material to be unearthed.
Year of the Earth Dog
As pack animals, dogs are social creatures. This year, emphasis will be placed on society. How we relate to one another will shift and change. Dogs value loyalty. Solidarity and a sense of brother/sisterhood will become focal points in 2018. The friends that are truly loyal and connected to you and your objectives will become clear. Relationships that aren’t built on shared loyalties will fall away. Allow for graceful goodbyes.
Factions and alliances could form. We will be called to define which sides and particular groups we stand with. Be aware that collective consciousness and groupthink can be close cousins. While it’s important to get with your people, smaller groups can be subject to strategic socio-political divide and rule/conquer methods. Keep your liberation and interconnection strategies strong. Organize!
Dogs are instinctive. They can sniff things out. They are protective of those they love. They maintain hierarchies in their social orders. Dogs are keenly watchful and perceptive. Keep your eyes peeled. Stay awake. Canines are simple and reliable animals. Remain down-to-earth and practical in your decisions. Trustworthiness is a boon in 2018. Do you trust others? Do you trust yourself? How can you increase a sense of confidence and trust?
Whereas the Rooster of 2017 makes gains through reputation, pride, and aggressive advancement, the Earth Dog is a creature of humility and companionship. This year gains will favor those exhibiting integrity of character. Sensibility, hard work, fair play, and equitable sharing of resources will bring success. Keep your moral principles and your behaviour aligned. Honor your commitments. Show up.
The Benefits and Challenges of Earth Dog Year
Compared to the last two Fire years, this Earth year will feel a lot slower. At times, it may seem like moving through mud. All of the rapid changes we’ve navigated are now taking root. This year may feel like a plateau. For some, a slower pace could feel unsettling. For others, it could bring a welcome break.
Finances and resources may feel more limited in 2018. Not to worry. Welcome any changes as an invitation to adapt to greater simplicity, and practice resource sharing to lessen the burden. Connections with trustworthy others can help us feel more secure. Attend to building those.
Earth Dog is realist; sometimes to the point of being pessimistic. It’s not considered a year to take big leaps or risks – unless they are well-prepared-for. Businesses begun in Dog years can become quite successful if they are established on solid foundations in harmony with community needs.
This year will likely see the beginning operations of much-needed sweeping socio-economic, political and cultural changes. Change begins with thought, ideas, and relationships. New paradigms of awareness will be emerging this year via writing and community organizing.
Who do we want to see in leadership as we build a New Earth culture? What if anyone could be a pillar of society? What kind of person might we be an influencer? Which values and voices would we center? How do we want to redistribute resources in our world? Allow these questions to percolate and inform your life in 2018. Perhaps the top dog and the underdog will find new positions in the scheme of things.
- Align with the partial solar eclipse and learn how it affects you and the collective
- Learn major themes of the year ahead
- Learn specific dates to be aware of in 2018 to help plan your life in accordance with the sky
- Reflect on, honor, and close the previous 6-month eclipse cycle
- Ritual recommendations and journal/reflection questions in alignment with the celestial season
- Q and A with Virginia