By Marguerite Jill Dye
I was mesmerized and awed by the full supermoon lunar eclipse just past midnight. Its rich red hue was startling. No wonder the moon’s always mystified me and our ancestors, since their beginning. With giant Jupiter in the sign of Sagittarius, this year will be filled with cosmic power in expansion and growth, optimism, unity, love and abundance. It’s set us up for the Year of the Earth Pig to be in alignment with what we love most – energy, passion, creativity, motivation, a natural flow of life, and bountiful provisions and good luck.
Life is a gift and 2019 is a magical year filled with breakthroughs and possibilities. The power of intention adds to our ability to fulfill our wishes and dreams. Focus is needed to fully know our desires, to enrich and bless our lives with purpose. Clarity happens when we limit the chaos and take control of our schedules and homes by clearing the clutter in closets and minds, keeping what matters, and simplifying life to be in sync our souls.
All over China, a thorough housecleaning began two weeks before the Chinese New Year started, to banish old dust and bring new energy in. Front door frames clad in red paper banners have greeted the new year in calligraphy poems ever since the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The auspicious, happy wishes have been popular since the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The poems might read: “Dragon and Phoenix bring the prosperity, peach and apricot blossoms welcome the spring, Blessing on the Land;” but traditionally, people compose their own.
Chinese New Year begins Feb. 5, but the festivities begin the night before and last for 15 days. The Chinese return home for family reunions between Jan. 21 and March 1. Banquets, red lanterns and lights, fireworks, and parades with lion dances take place. The family reunion dinner is held on the eve and includes a whole fish for fortune, dumplings for wealth, wontons for treasure, noodles for longevity, spring rolls for a fresh start, glutinous rice cakes and balls for salary raise/promotion and Chinese dumplings, jiaozi (my favorite) for family togetherness. Shaped like ancient Chinese gold ingots, they’ve remained popular for 1,800 years. A variety of fillings represent wealth and good fortune.
The climax of the Chinese New Year celebration (also known as Spring Festival and Lunar New Year) is the Lantern Festival, which is held when the full moon returns, this year on Feb. 19.
The Lantern Festival first began over 2,000 years ago when a succession of emperors held worship rituals and a celebration of the return of peace. People gather in streets and parks filled with lanterns and colorful lights. We attended the Lantern Festival in Kunming, Yunnan Province in the 1980s. Reflections from the intricate works of art danced across the lake as people strolled from island to bridge under the full moon’s spell. Many call it Chinese Valentine’s Day.
Each year has a special color and this year it’s coral. Peaceful pink, cheerful orange, and energetic red combine to create coral, the color of the second chakra that balances energy for calm, focused action and invigorates health, abundance, happiness, fulfillment, creativity, and adventure.
The Chinese Zodiac has 12 animals in a continuous 12-year cycle. People born in the Year of the Pig include 1935, ’47, ’59, ’71,’83, ’95, and 2007. Our son’s birthday is Jan. 27, 1984, but it counts as a Year of the Pig because it was before the date of the Chinese New Year.
People’s personality traits and behaviors often mimic their sign: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. To calculate your Chinese Zodiac sign and read your birth year animal’s description, see Chinahighlights.com.
I was born in the Year of the Rabbit. I’m ready to leap forward into new beginnings. I welcome this time to start afresh, to pare down my life to represent what I love and care about most. I’m ready to let go of unrealistic expectations, guilt, and “shoulds,” to focus on meaningful work, things I enjoy, friendship and love. I want to pass peace along and lift others up in joy and hope. I simply wish to be Jill and be a loving presence.
We’re each one little soul in the universe, but united for good, we can raise the vibration of humanity a little bit closer to our Source. May you be blessed in the Year of Earth Pig! What intentions and wishes do you hold dear?
Marguerite Jill Dye is an artist and writer who divides her time between the Green Mountains of Vermont and Florida’s Gulf Coast.