20201216 Morris-Cotterill: GOAT – and I can prove it.

Back to the Chinese Calendar, which is really why we are here. You might think that this all means that there is a fundamental difference between Chinese and Western astrology (not, note, astronomy). But no, just to be difficult, traditional Chinese astrology uses sun charts as least as much (some say more) than moon charts.

In Chinese mythology, the animals were vying to be the first in the zodiac. In a race organised by God, known as the Jade Emperor, all animals were invited to enter into a race across a river, the first 12 to be named as the poster-boys for the animal kingdom in the zodiac. The leading contenders were the Ox and the Rat and the Tiger. There are many different versions of the story.

In one, the Tiger wanted a sleep and he asked the Rat to wake him in time for the race; the Rat agreed and then reneged on his promise. By the time the Tiger woke up, the race had started: the Tiger still came in third. The Rat needed an edge and so he did a deal with the Ox that, if the Ox carried him across, they could win together and be joint first. Maybe this is why people think Oxen a a bit stupid: why would the Ox not see that there was nothing in it for him? Anyway, the Rat jumped onto the Ox, the Ox got across the river faster than the pack and then, at the last moment, the Rat jumped off and landed first, claiming victory.

In another, the ox was carrying both the Rat and the Tiger and the Rat pushed the Tiger into the water and then the story continues as before.

And so, even since, the Year of the Rat has been seen as a year when nothing good would happen; it’s been blighted by such duplicitous behaviour.

People born in each year are presumed to have relevant characteristics, just as in Western astrology. But the characteristics of the people do not directly correlate to the characteristics of the year.

Starting in early 2020, this has been the Year of the Rat. To say that Rat Years are traditionally shitty would be an understatement but this has been outstandingly bad.

Next year is the Year of the Ox. It should be stable and benign.