Chinese Year of the Fire Monkey: What does it mean for you?

Happy Year of the Fire Monkey!fire_monkey_2016

Chinese New Year 2016 starts:  Monday, February 8th
There are few combinations that will make for a more interesting year than that of the Fire element with the Monkey.
Expect the unexpected.
Growth, innovation, discoveries and advances in science are guaranteed this year.  It’s a good year for finances, fitness and the arts.  The fire brings abundance.
The monkey brings mixed abundance.  So watch out for deception, illusion and fraud this year, as the monkey is known for taking your food and possessions if given the opportunity.  
It’s a good year for advancing in all areas, but stay alert for monkey business.
If you’ve never travelled to where monkeys and tourists mingle on a daily basis, then maybe you’ve never had a monkey try to steal something from you.  Take a look at this video to see real monkeys in action:

The Fire Element:  Heart System

5-elementsIn Traditional Chinese Medicine, the element of Fire sits at the top of the Five Element System.  The Fire Element is connected to the Heart, which is considered the Emperor of the internal organs.
It’s connected with the cardiovascular system, the summer season, the tongue, heat and metabolic energy.
According to the Chinese Zodiac system, there are 12 animals and 5 elements that go through a 60 year cycle (12 x 5 =60).
That means on your 60th birthday, it will be the same animal and the same element as the year that you were born on.  This is why the classical Chinese view is that when you turn sixty years old, you begin your second life, which is more spiritually based.
Fire corresponds to the Summer season, when everything is in full bloom.
The emotion of Fire is Joy and Enthusiasm.
Fire years bring passion, joy, love, expression, energy and heat.
Simply put, this year will turn up the temperature on all your aspects of your life: Work, Personal, Romantic…
Fire warms, heats, cooks and also burns.
With the element of Fire fuelling the Monkey this year, the energy of the intelligent trickster will be in full force.

Year of the Trickstermonkey king

“In mythology, and in the study of folklore and religion, a trickster is a character in a story  (godgoddessspiritmanwoman, oranthropomorphisation), which exhibits a great degree of intellect or secret knowledge, and uses it to play tricks or otherwise disobey normal rules and conventional behaviour.” –  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trickster
In Chinese mythology, the strongest of all figures of the Trickster was the famous Monkey King, also known as ‘Sun Wukong’, whose legend still lives today through the epic tale called Journey to the West, which is known as one of the Four Great Classics of Chinese Literature. 
According to legend, The Monkey King achieved supernatural powers through Taoist and Qigong practices.
But he was terribly mischievous and after rebelling against heaven, he was imprisoned under a mountain for a thousand  years by the Buddha.

What to expect from the Monkey Year?

A good year for growth and advancing in any field or project.
Monkeys are social creatures, they thrive best in a community.
A group of monkeys together is known as a “troop”.monkey-banana - Copy
Communication, participation, contribution and connection with “your troop” is crucial to your success this year.
Social connections are more important this year because you need to help watch each other’s backs against the Trickster this year.
Sharing with your friends and close loved ones helps you see your decisions and situations more clearly.
Monkeys survive by grooming, sharing and caring for each member of their troop.  Groom your loved ones this year.
monkeys together
In Asian meditative and spiritual practices, the mind is often referred to as a monkey.
Because when you meditate, you can observe your mind jumping all over the place. It’s also curious like a monkey, gets us into trouble sometimes and also is quite smart at getting out of trouble too.
The mind is one of our strongest assets as humans, but also it is one of the greatest of all our deceivers.
Our minds can easily justify habits and choices that we know are not healthy for us.
The “monkey mind” can easily manipulate our better judgement through it’s desire for more bananas!
So by staying connected and in communication with your community and those around you, bouncing your ideas off them and getting their feedback can help you avoid the self-deception trap or our own limited perception.

The Monkey King’s Return to Fire

Don’t let all this talk about deception and trickery scare you.  All elements and animals have their yin and yang aspects.  Thanuman-burninghere’s always a positive and negative in everything.  And there will be a lot of positives this year.
The Monkey King is not only an antagonist, but he’s a formidable warrior, king, magician and god.
When we add “Fire” to a Monkey Year, then it’s a good year for:
  • Battle & War
  • Leadership, Friendship, Love, Passion
  • Business, Profits, Growth, Expansions
  • Personal Transformation, Spiritual Insights
  • Health, Vitality, Fitness, Sports
  • Art, Music, Theatre, Innovation, Creativity

Go for it!

The Fire Year gives impetus and fuel to your projects and the monkey gives you courage, agility, strength and intelligence to go for it.
flying monkeyIf you feel like you’ve been holding back in your life, or like you need to have some more fun, then this is the time to let your own inner monkey out!
Monkeys love to play and have fun.  And so do humans.  Think of how much joy you feel when you’re laughing while totally engaged in some kind of “play”.
It doesn’t matter how old you are.  You’re never too old to laugh and play.
Creativity, play and fun are on the way in 2016.
The trickster’s positive side is that it gives us the courage to be bold and claim our dreams, and it reminds us not to get to crusty and serious along the way – the monkey reminds us to have fun along the way.
The trickster is an archetype for our human urge to break free from out-dated moulds, forms, habits, dogmas, institutions, belief systems, and unnecessary patterns that are holding back experiencing the greater aspects of our potential as magical and powerful creatures on this planet. 
It reminds us to feel free to play with heart, regardless of the waves we make. P.L. Travers understood the meaning of this when he wrote:

“‘Friend Monkey’ is really my favorite of all my books
because the Hindu myth on which it is based is my favorite;

the myth of the Monkey Lord who loved so much
that he created chaos wherever he went.”

Fire Years are Hot!

Already in Canada we’ve been having an unusually warm winter as we move into a Fire year.  Expect a toasty heatwave this summer.  Being a monkey year however, even the weather will be quite unpredictable at times.
If you’re Fiery, Don’t Burn Out!water-monkey
If you have a hot or firey constitution, or if you tend towards heat or fire patterns, then you must take extra care this year to keep the fire from burning out-of-control this year.
People with high blood pressure, high-stress, anxiety, insomnia, inflammation, Type-A personality, or mania tendencies:  Don’t burn yourself out with all the excitement and new passions that a Fire year can bring.
The best way to balance Fire is with Water.
Stay hydrated, soak in water, go swimming, and avoid sunstroke on hot summer days.
Fire is Yang, balance it with more Yin activities like meditation, qigong, yoga and nature walks.
Monkey’s love to lounge around trees, rest and sleep when they can.  Monkey’s derive their physical prowess and agility from their healthy diet and sufficient rest and sleep.
Learn from the Monkey:  Lounge and rest when possible, eat nutrient filled food, socialize and groom your loved ones, play, climb and leap.

 

“Monkeys are superior to men in this:
when a monkey looks into a mirror,
he sees a monkey.”

-Malcolm de Chazal

Sun_Wukong_(The_Monkey_King)-cut

“The surest way to make a monkey of a man,
is to quote him.”

– Robert Benchley