January 25, 2020 is the start of the Chinese Year of the White Rat (or Mouse). The Rat is the first of the animals in the Chinese Zodiac and so it is the beginning of a new 12-year and 60-year cycle and is thus the beginning of a new era. 2020 being the start of a new decade makes it an especially important year for new beginnings and new possibilities. It is time for new ideas and new opportunities. It is an especially good year for reinvention and starting over.

This new year is a Yang Water Year with Yang Metal on top. These two elements are considered to be harmonious, as the Metal Element feeds the Water Element in the Parent – Child cycle of the Five Elements. This means that there is the potential for a peaceable year. However, there is an underlying, hidden aggression that these two powerful Yang elements bring to the year that should not be ignored and may emerge if provoked.

We can expect to see a renewed emphasis on honour; courage; duty; respect; service; loyalty and commitment. These ideals will be valued and appreciated in society. Those people who are willing to stand upright or “stand in the light of their own truth” without fear will be particularly respected and will shine. People who embody the strength of self that comes from overcoming obstacles and are resilient will emerge as heroes or social icons and gain large followings. They will be admired and appreciated for their resilience and integrity. Some will no doubt be athletes, as it is an Olympic year.

There will be a call to return to more Metallic ideals of behaviour and this year. People will want to lead by example, showing more civility, politeness and displaying manners again. However, in contrast to the more serious Metallic aspect of the year, the Rat brings vitality into popular culture and there will be a sense of youthfulness that has not been seen or felt in many years. Peach Blossom Luck, a Chinese term for charisma and charm will be abundant this year. These flowers, like Cherry Blossoms, are a symbol of renewal – the promise of spring after a long hard winter. It will manifest in people as a joie de vivre, lightness of spirit and in playfulness.

Water is an element that wants clarity and therefore truth, so past deceptions and secrets will continue to rise up to be seen and deep personal process work can be accomplished. Another interesting metaphor of 2020 implies that people will be able to “see” better and will have more clarity about what is true, especially regarding the past.

The Year of the Rat is a very good year for improving health. People will feel more vital, alive and awake. Minor health issues can clear up easily and more serious or chronic illnesses can stabilize, as Yang Metal enhances the immune system and the Lungs. When people do get sick this year, they can recover quicker and easier. People will also heal from broken bones faster due to the strength of the Water Element. People will want to take charge of their own health and there will a renewed focus on a healthier lifestyle, as the Metal Element increases the dedication to self-improvement. The Yang aspects of this year will make people want to exercise more in a natural way. Swimming, especially in saltwater pools or directly in the ocean is recommended and spending time in and around water will be very healing. Sleeping more is also recommended and insomnia should improve this year. Many people with Kidney or Lung diseases will be given respite, as these organs will be stronger overall this year.

The action of the Water Element is wilfulness. People will also be more stubborn and intractable once they have made up their mind. Only fear will move these people, as fear is the emotion associated with the Water Element and the Kidneys. People will also want to have stronger boundaries in interpersonal relationships and will feel more independent, due to the strength of Metal. There is a strong desire for personal freedom, equality and fairness. People will feel the urge to be involved in social advocacy and this may manifest as the upwelling of renewed social movements and the desire to change the established order. The Metal Element also adds the discriminating power of the intellect that will be activated in people. People will become more sceptical and less likely to follow others, preferring their own counsel about what they should think or how they should act.

The Water Element is about the upwelling of creativity so all creative people will be increasingly inspired. This will especially apply to writing, music, art, photography and graphic design. Refinement will be appreciated in the arts. Many people will feel their ambition rise this year. But a realistic and somewhat sceptical appraisal of the steps necessary to accomplish goals will also be needed, as luck will be gained through discipline and consistency. This is also a good year for Higher Education and for people who hold advanced degrees. Significant life experience will also be more appreciated and the stories from elderly/older people will help younger people see the cycles within history. Wisdom will be much more appreciated and honoured this year.

There is an interesting dichotomy in the social aspect of this year. People may find themselves vacillating between being alone due to the Metal Element and to sometimes feeling too close to others from the Water Element. There will also be a desire to find time to think deeply about things and then a desire to share those thoughts with people that you trust. The Rat is a sociable creature, so be sure to make time for some enjoyable gatherings. Overall it will be a very dynamic year. Many people will experience enhanced health and vitality and the winds of change will be blowing, altering the status quo for years to come!

(Adapted from 2020 By Lillian Pearl Bridges https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0914/1204/files/Year_of_the_Rat_Forecast.pdf?54)