Gung Hay Fat Choy! Wishing you prosperity, fortune and a happy Chinese New Year! Tomorrow's full moon culminates this annual celebration, also the nation's biggest holiday, with the Lantern Festival (aka Spring Festival) in China. This means we're officially leaping into spring according to the Chinese system under the influence of 2023: Year of the Yin Water Rabbit.

In Chinese Astrology, years are characterized by a Yin or Yang influence, an element, and an animal from one of the 12 houses of the Chinese horoscope. 2023 is the first year since 1963 to be led by the gentle, feminine qualities of the Yin Water Rabbit. Following 2022's intense double-Yang energies of the Tiger plus Yang Water aspects, 2023 in comparison will welcome the opportunity for a little more quietude and rest. Not that the year will be obstacle- or challenge-free for everyone, but there will be a noticeable difference in the pacing of the year (you have all already begun to feel it, yes?).

To best understand the influence this character will have on the year ahead, let's break down each aspect of Yin + Water + Rabbit one by one.

Yin vs. Yang

According to Chinese Medicine, everything can be infinitely divisble by factors of Yin and Yang. On the one hand appearing as polar opposites, the two forces actually represent the basis of interdependence--the necessary cooperation required to support life itself. Fundamentally equal in comparison to one another, each dynamic brings it's own distinct wisdom and approach to the "middle path", the realm governed by both forces in balance.

Frequently the best way to grasp the concept of opposites in interdependence is visually through the Tai Ji symbol above. Here Yang is represented in white and Yin is represented in black. You'll notice that within each of their tadpole-like shapes is another circular field containing the opposite color. This represents that within Yang is Yin and within Yin is Yang, the two are thus inseparable and therefore interdependent, or in eternal cooperation, with one another.

Here are a few correlationships of Yang vs. Yin energy to help you observe their differences and qualities:

Yang- Sun, Activity, Masculine, Hot, Extroverted, Fast, Aggressive, Light, Summer

Yin- Moon, Stillness, Feminine, Cold, Introverted, Slow, Passive, Heavy/Dark, Winter

With the "extra" Yang energies of last year's Yang Water Tiger, many of us felt the year moved at a fast pace with eruptions of Yang events throughout such as conflicts or drama, demanding work deadlines or commitments, or other general relentlessness or upheaval. Tiger especially can bring a harassing kind of quality, amplifying any negatives. Conversely, being Yin, this year offers something different–a more inwardly focused, calm, slower paced year that overall may be ideal for supporting self-care, personal development and rest.

Water Element

One of the five elements in Chinese Medicine, Water is also considered Yin. Think about the qualities that would characterize Water with the additional influence of Yin: deep, cold, heavy, dark and still. It might not be unusual if those in the Northern Hemisphere experience a longer winter, or those in the Northern Hemisphere a shorter summer, this year.

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