February 19, 2020

Yr of the Steel Rat – Face Your Shadows and Prosper

Observe: The Chakra Empowerment for Ladies net seminar begins 1/14, it’s not too late to enroll (you are able to do the primary – and all – courses by recording in case you are studying this after the 14th.)

The lunar new 12 months is nearly upon us! And with that comes my annual ‘for enjoyable’ intuitive and visible riff on the symbology of the astrological cycle we’re coming into. There are variations this 12 months on when the lunar new 12 months is noticed primarily based on variations in calculations – Chinese language New Yr is well known with this month’s new moon January 25th, whereas Tibetan New Yr (Losar) corresponds to subsequent month’s new moon February 24th (most years the 2 correspond however this 12 months they don’t.) So you’ll be able to consider this time as an prolonged New Yr interval, and construct momentum for brand new beginnings all through the following six weeks.

In each traditions we’re coming into the Yr of the Steel Rat, which for many people within the West shouldn’t be very inspiring or poetic – not like say, the Yr of the Water Dragon and even the Wooden Horse. I admit once I first heard this, my very own thoughts conjured one thing alongside the traces of:

Robotic Sewer Rat, Alexandre Corcoy

Nevertheless, I noticed that is very a lot primarily based by myself biases about rats, in addition to Western biases. The rat symbolizes many good issues throughout the Chinese language zodiac, and ditto for steel, which I are inclined to affiliate with hardness and rigidity. However letting go of biases is a part of the non secular facet of the year-turning course of. Cultures that observe the lunar new 12 months normally put together for it with a ritual home cleansing, and a home cleansing is the proper metaphor for find out how to greatest work with new 12 months energies: Flip and face all these mud bunnies and hidden (or unconscious) gadgets that normally go unseen below your beds, closets, or corners and clear them out.

I simply attended a Chod retreat – Chod is the Tibetan apply that Feeding Your Demons (which I’ve talked about many instances right here earlier than) relies upon – and the thought of a home as metaphor for our personal psyches got here up a number of instances throughout our retreat. Chod could be very a lot about going through that which scares us, together with (or most particularly) inside – the darkish corners of our own residence – as a way to meet these normally unseen elements of ourselves with compassion. Whereas this will appear terrifying, in the long term it takes much less power to face and heal/rework these ‘shadows’ than to proceed preventing them or hiding them away. As I explored the symbology of the rat, I really feel that is the general theme  – how will we flip to face that which we’ve got not needed to see – the elements of ourselves, our tradition, and our world, that we would favor to push away, disguise, or ignore? How will we as a substitute have a look at this stuff straight on and meet them with an openness that permits for understanding and alter?

Symbolically, what higher animal to symbolize this, particularly inside a home metaphor, than a rat? Hiding unseen in partitions, attics, and basements, we normally hear them, typically uncover their scat or remnants, however hardly ever see them – or wish to. We expend alot of power making an attempt to eliminate them. What if as a substitute we opened up the partitions and mentioned howdy? Discovered if there was a technique to reside collectively?

Slightly loopy sounding I do know. And this strategy has in all probability not warmed you to the Yr of the Rat but. You should still be feeling a bit like this:

Couldn’t resist this one!

Cats even have their very own facet story within the Chinese language zodiac that tells us fairly a bit about how the rat is seen in Chinese language tradition. Cats famously would not have a 12 months of their honor, and a fable referred to as The Nice Race explains why. Though there are a number of variations of this story, the final gist is that when forming the zodiac the Jade Emperor referred to as all of the animals collectively and instructed them he would conduct a race throughout the river, and the order they every arrived would decide who acquired a 12 months of their honor, and in what order. Neither the rat or cat might swim, in order that they each determined to hitch a journey on the again of the ox. Nevertheless, simply as they have been approaching the far shore the place the Emperor awaited, the rat pushed the cat off into the water. The rat then jumped off onto the land in entrance of the ox and arrived to the Emperor first, turning into the primary signal of the zodiac! The cat took so lengthy struggling to shore that he arrived after the twelfth animal and didn’t get a 12 months. He has by no means fairly recovered.

Ox carrying the rat throughout The Nice Race (after pushing the cat off!)
Image Credit score to D.h.Isaism

The Yr of the Rat then shouldn’t be solely the beginning of a brand new lunar 12 months but in addition the beginning of a brand new 12 12 months cycle, so it has double the new-start power. This story tells us quite a bit about rat power too – it’s good, strategic, formidable, adaptive, and stealth. It is a 12 months the place these traits are rewarded, and so plans of motion developed from these qualities are what’s going to get you forward. After all this story additionally highlights one potential pitfall of the rat – have been his actions on this story unethical or simply good technique? That may be a matter of debate, and though rat power shouldn’t be essentially related to a scarcity of ethics or character, traits like integrity and loyalty usually are not normally its’ robust go well with. So that’s one thing to observe for in your self and your actions as you’re employed in the direction of attaining your objectives – are your actions consistent with your core values and ethics?

Daikoku, Japanese god of wealth along with his rat

The rat can also be related to wealth in lots of cultures, together with Japan, the place Daikoku the god of wealth (and different issues) has a rat acquainted. It is because rats flourish the place meals is ample, and traditionally the stronger the harvest, the bigger the rat inhabitants. So rat years on the whole are thought of years of potential abundance, good economies, and powerful harvests. After all the query is, good for who? For the rat inhabitants to develop in accordance with the harvest means they need to be allowed their share, moderately than being killed off or starved. That was a part of the pure order of issues on the time this hyperlink was made. Is there a lesson in there for all of us? For you? Take into consideration what you eat and what you share – is it truthful? There are plenty of classes about assets related to tales about rats and harvests. How are you going to apply this to an evaluation of your individual life?

Pied Piper of Hamelin main the rats out of the village

Probably the most well-known fable from Europe relating to rats might be the Pied Piper – and it’s not a nice one. Like many German morality tales it presents its lesson by way of a reasonably morbid story. The city of Hamelin was overrun with rats – almost definitely on account of a very good harvest! – and the mayor employed the Pied Piper to maintain the issue. He did his half, enjoying his flute to lure the rats out of the village, and relying on the model of the story you learn, he both resettled them elsewhere OR led them to a river the place all of them drowned. In any case, when he returned to the village the grasping mayor refused to pay him. In revenge the Pied Piper led many of the kids out of the village they usually have been by no means seen once more. Not a reasonably story! Some have surmised that that is really a story of kids dying from the plague carried by the rats, as rats most definitely have been linked to the plague all through Europe. In any case, the morality story should have one thing to inform us concerning the Yr of the Rat – it’s a name to honor your obligations, or else. Don’t let the demon of greed overtake you.

Ganesh using his rat, or bandicoot

Talking of demons, in Hindu mythology rats are sometimes related to the darkest of demons. Nevertheless, Ganesh, the much-beloved elephant-headed god related to beginnings and referred to as upon to clear obstacles, really rides a rat. This took place when Ganesh used his magical noose in a battle with a rat-demon to rework him right into a loyal servant and associate. In some tales this rat later helps him by chewing by way of obstacles he can not himself take away along with his trunk. What a beautiful image for reworking our shadows into strengths, our obstacles into aids, our fears into classes! So now, go for it: What have you ever not been going through? What has been holding you again? Notably assume by way of obstacles – what is obstructing you? Are you able to have a look at it? Search to know it? Be taught from and put it to use on your development and success?

Rats ingesting choices on the Karni Mata Temple in Rajasthan

There may be really a rat temple in Rajasthan, India, the place 1000’s of rats are given choices each day. The origin story of this temple dates from the 1400s, when it’s mentioned that Karni Mata, a extensively revered feminine mystic thought of an incarnation of the goddess Durga, requested Yama, the god of demise, to reincarnate her stepson who had drowned in a tragic accident. Yama initially refused, however at Karni Mata’s continued insistence relented to a compromise: Her stepson and all future male descendants can be reborn as rats, and after dying as a rat come again as a person. At present the rats of this temple are revered as descendants inside her lineage.

I’ve to confess, I cringed when initially seeing this picture and others of the rats at this temple. However gazing them really grew to become a robust apply in non-reactivity. Finally I might launch my feeling of revulsion and easily really feel the essence of those rats having fun with their providing. This is step one in going through something we’ve got not been prepared to see – figuring out and gently releasing the resistance. Then we will see with recent eyes.

Rats themselves are additionally linked in some tales to a particular sort of sight, and certainly within the Chinese language zodiac they’re identified for being good observers and judges of character. Within the west it’s mentioned that sailors believed rats knew if a ship was doomed to sink earlier than it sailed, so a ship with out rats was a nasty signal. Rats in actual fact do have phenomenal sensors for climate adjustments and pure disasters and shifts of their habits have been utilized in many cultures as a predictor of earthquakes, storms and droughts. What new seeing talents are you able to develop this 12 months? Or what insights have you ever been ignoring that it’s best to now heed?

This temple image additionally jogged my memory of the social facet of rats – they’re communal animals. There are severe cultural shadows to be confronted too this 12 months, and rats are fairly highly effective when grouped collectively. Ponder how this is perhaps used for good. Rats too are related to fertility – a feminine rat can start as much as 5000 a infants a 12 months! What would possibly you propagate this 12 months?

Remy, the rat who needs to be a chef, Ratatouille film

As for the ‘steel’ facet of this Rat 12 months, as you would possibly anticipate steel is related to persistence, energy, and willpower in its constructive expression, and rigidity and stubbornness in its detrimental. Rats themselves are related to these identical traits, as rats are nothing if not persistent. So how can this be turned to good? I feel  Remy from Ratatouille, the wanna-be chef rat, is a superb instance of rat power turned to good. Remy’s dream shouldn’t be a standard or simple one, however his willpower, persistence and constructive nature will get him by way of. Don’t quit this 12 months! You (we) could also be examined, however persistence can win out.

So there you may have it: The Yr of the Steel Rat signifies the potential for abundance and luck, with a name to face that which we haven’t needed to see and act on it with intelligence, adaptability and foresight. Keep away from greed, act with integrity, and contemplate the communal influence of your actions. Remodel obstacles to knowledge and persistence and willpower can be rewarded. Comfortable Yr of the Steel Rat!

Be at liberty to share your intentions or needs for this 12 months within the feedback…


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