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Today is the first day of the Chinese New Year 4699 (for most of the United States). In Chinese Astrology, this is a Black Horse year. This is determined by the stem branch system. There are ten stems (elements) and twelve branches (animals). Each of the five elements has a male / yang and female / yin aspect, which make up the ten total stems. The stem branch system applies to days, months and years, assigning one stem and one branch for each.

The horse, which is the strongest fire influence of the twelve animals is affected by the ruling element of water, which translates to black. This black horse year is good for you if your lucky element is fire or water. Your lucky element is the one which you lack which will balance out your personality... The five elements are metal, water, wood, fire and earth/soil. For example, I am a green monkey (refers to the day I was born), born in a black rat year. I have an excess of wood in my personality, and I am lacking in soil. Thus, earth/soil is my lucky element. This year is supposed to be like a labyrinth full of mirrors for me... whoopee!

A Water Horse year has a lot of tensions because of the opposition of fire and water between the year's stem and branch. This portends an aggressive year, and Chinese astrologers are not seeing a peaceful year ahead. Naturally, this can always be mitigated... particularly by the wood element. I guess this means you can bonk people over the head with a clue-by-four as a means of negotiation.


(I have not the slightest idea exactly what this means, but my one-time boss Felix, who grew up in China, taught it to me as the appropriate greeting on such a day! )
okay... so Gong xi fa tsai (pronounced like above) means happy new year, as ouroboros gracefully pointed out and blaaf so eloquently noded in Gong xi fa tsai, hong bao na lai!


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