Year of the White Metal Rat

Posted by Dr. Alda Ngo

Happy Lunar New Year! Or ‘Chuc Mung Nam Moi!’ in Vietnamese…

It’s the year of the White Rat (or Mouse)

This industrious and resourceful little cutey is the first of the Lunar Zodiac signs and brings us to the beginning of a brand new 12-year cycle, setting the pace, framework and direction of the next 12 years.

The tiniest of all the 12 zodiac animals, our little rodent friend’s agility, quick-wittedness and smarts allowed it to win the Jade Emperor’s race to determine the zodiac’s order.

The story is that the little mouse cleverly hitched a ride on the ox to cross some river rapids before surreptitiously jumping over the ox’s head to cross the finish line first.

This year of the White Metal Rat is about cutting through ignorance and seeing clearly to overcome obstacles. It also initiates us into a new 60-year cycle, which marks the beginning of a new era. It’s said to be an auspicious time to start and progress new projects with great energy.

On the eve of the Lunar New Year, one of my family’s rituals has been to clean our house – our body extended – to invite the new year with freshness and clarity. We don’t ever want to do any sweeping on new year’s day, for fear of sweeping out all the good luck!

We also continue to make offerings in gratitude to our blood, land and spiritual ancestors, seeing that we are a continuation of all of their skill, practice, hard work, compassion and love. We practice seeing that without them, we would not have this opportunity to transform and continue beautifully into each day.

What are some of your new year’s rituals?

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