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Year of the Horse is Upon Us – Ready, Set, Go!


wild mustangs

Photo of wild mustangs I took in Ecuador

We are officially coming up on the transition into the Chinese New Year – now just 3 days away – so even though I posted my take on the upcoming energy of the Year of the Horse back in December as a forecast, I figured now that it is upon us, you may want another look at what we are rapidly catapulting into.

Chinese New Year is considered the most important and longest celebration in the Chinese calendar. The Chinese year, 4712, will be on January 31st, 2014 and is the Year of the Horse. The celebrations are also known as the Spring Festival.

Chinese months are established by the Lunar calendar, with the beginning of the month designated as the darkest day. Traditionally, the New Year festivities (a 15-day festival) start on this first, darkest day and continue until the 15th when the moon is brightest.

pegasus

Mystical Pegasus fountain in the Bahamas at the Atlantis resort

The way animals were brought into the celebrations is based on legend about how in ancient times, Buddha asked all of the animals to meet him on Chinese New Year. Twelve animals showed up and Buddha named a year after each of them, sharing that the people who shared the same year of birth with one of these animal’s years, would also share some of their personality traits.

Needless to say, many of you I know are also, like myself, feeling 2014 to already be quite the year! I’ve mentioned before how last year I was already living in 2014 (not feeling I was on the 2013 timeline) and so it is interesting to see all of the things that were being set up for this year, actually start integrating into being, and continue to.

WingedDivinity

Charcoal Winged Divinity by Tania Marie

There is a sense of enormous creative explosions and huge leaps forward that are, and will be, taking place. Indeed a year for things many of you have been working towards, to come to fruition and for living finally from your joy and complete freedom of choice, as the old contracts are over.

This is the beauty of the Horse and that unbridled passion that can ignite your life, if you have the courage to trust it.

I personally love the energy of this year, as Horse energy and Horses have been such a huge and integral part of my experience since childhood and beyond. It’s very fitting to have this year come at this time, but then we already knew it would on some level. 😉

I hadn’t really planned on another “Year of the Horse” post, however, after about 5 different people sent me this link with their excitement, I felt it was wanting to be shared so that while you are contemplating your next moves, you have a little extra “oomphf” behind your choices:

The Year of the Yang Wood Horse

horse

Eragon

Apparently, one of the traditions for the Chinese New Year is to decorate your home with trays of tangerines and oranges (auspicious Chinese New Year symbols), which are also brought as gifts from visitors during this holiday, for they are an abundant symbol of luck and prosperity. It just so happens that February is when our tangerine tree is ready for harvest and so, synchronously, our home will be filled with the sweetness of these sun-kissed fruits, as we gallop into the Year of the Horse.

I had the chance to meet this spirited horse you see to the right, whose name is Eragon, just a few weeks ago. I was drawn to him by his energy and when I learned his name, I had to smile, since I have a particular connection to the movie that shares his name.

FreeSpirit

Free Spirit Acrylic on Canvas by Tania Marie donated to a Horse Rescue in WA

It definitely felt like another sign coming through for me in our meeting, as there were messages provided in that movie from my dear Nestor, before she transitioned, that were many-fold. Some of which specifically speak to what is coming to be at this time, and in this year. I’m feeling the power of this moment very much so.

How will you be riding into change this year? Reining yourself in or taking off the bridle and reins and letting your inner horse run to the beat of your heart?

Are you really ready for the clarity, freedom, and ability to activate the change you’ve been wanting? Because if you are, you can create anything you desire, but as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disneyland says:

“Hang on to them hats and glasses folks, cause this here’s the wildest ride in the wilderness!”

This is your time. You are powerful beyond measure. Believe it to be so.

Happy Chinese New Year of the Snake! – Shed into Your Inherent Truth


I posted this “Year of the Snake” information a little over a week ago in a blog about this weekend’s Reiki workshops and particularly today’s Reiki Master Teacher workshop I would have been teaching, coinciding with the Chinese New Year. The workshops are being rescheduled due to the storm that cancelled all flights, but synchronously, not being there this weekend created a brief, but auspicious and magickal experience last night for me, alongside some other supportive unfoldings personally.

Red envelopeA very sweet man (I could feel his warm heart through his gentle eyes) walked up to me while we were out eating dinner with a friend at our local vegan restaurant – Native Foods, just a couple of blocks away. He immediately noted seeing my snake tattoo on my hand and wrist, which I have had many people stop me about, so I figured he was going to ask about it. However, he did not discuss the tattoo itself, but said that it was the snake that drew him over to give me something. He then proceeded to share how the Chinese New Year – the Year of the Snake was upon us and that if you’re given an envelope of money at this time, you will have an abundantly prosperous year in many ways. He then sweetly handed me this lovely red and gold envelope with two golden $1 coins.

I was aware of the Chinese New Year of the Snake and its symbolism, but I had not been familiar with this tradition of a red envelope exchange. The red symbolizes luck and traditional red envelopes are often decorated with gold Chinese characters like happiness and wealth.

It was so magickal, but moreso it reminded me of a recent quote I posted from my morning Yogi tea:

“Goodness should become human nature, because it is real in nature.”

I remember pondering this and my feelings about it, as well as explored the implications. I also remembered a conversation I had on my hike yesterday (hiking or walking is where the best conversations and channeling come I have found) that revealed my heart believing that inherently there is good and kind-heartedness in all of us, just sometimes on its journey to discover it.

So it was a beautiful little universal gift to connect in that moment with this man and this belief-in-manifestation…one of those stand-still-in-time moments where I could see and feel the bigger and little picture, all at once. There was something about this man and this small token of generosity and giving that substantiated my beliefs, but also felt to be demonstrating an allegorical symbolism (something discussed on our hike).

Needless to say, it was a loving experience and I feel blessed and grateful, continuing to believe that there IS so much goodness out there and how important it is to keep cultivating it.

Anyway, I wanted to wish everyone a beautiful, happy, healthy, and abundant Chinese New Year of the Snake and pass along the good blessings, fortuitous experiences, love, and joy to each of you.

My sacred snake tattooHere is some symbolism about the energy of this year that I posted in an earlier blog:

Snakes symbolize cycles, rebirth, patience, fertility, creation energy, eternity, connection to the shadow worlds, secret knowledge, pointed focus, assertive power, primoridal life force, search for balance, eternity, cunning, intuition, awareness, healing, intellect, protection, solemnity, rejuvenation, transformation, the hidden or occult, knowledge, male/female duality, and kundalinin energy.

Water snakes, or nagas, embody the feminine aspects of nurturing, benevolent, wise qualities, in addition.

2013 is the Year of the Black Water Snake. Changeability, mobility, and dynamism are the Water characteristics that the Black Snake will embody. The reigning color is black, which is the color of deep waters, space, and abyss and hence will carry the creation, visionary, and imagination energies, as well as the energy of the emotions, unconscious, spiritual focus in life, dedication to quiet introspection, interest in understanding the underlying meanings and mechanics of life, flowing, and pooling your resources together in readiness and strength so you are ready to make a move forward when opportunities present themselves.

This heralds a year of unexpected changes abound and the need for cautious, careful planning, while remaining as flexible and versatile as you can (like the Snake) in order to flow with the changes and strike at opportune and aligned moments. If you are able to ride the transformative waves by embracing the energies present, you can aid a return to balance and harmony, which this collective #6 year is about, rather than get caught in the imbalances and inconstancy that will be brought in with the Snake year – all to help you evolve and learn to “be” the energy of Water, which shifts in chameleon-like ways.

In summary, some other things the energy of the year will bring includes a time for deep transformation and healing, major out-of-the-blue changes, a time for reflection, going within, and withdrawing rather than being involved in tons of social situations, in order to focus on steady, methodical progress, details and serious responsiblity.

This will also be a time for “shedding” the very deep-rooted old in order to release and begin anew, realizing that hidden aspects may surface for your gentle integration. Having all of your senses on conscious-awareness-high-volume will aid you in not being taken by surprise, as well as assist in understanding the perfection of the unfolding. This is a great year for physical healing of the body as well as moving into a more spiritual way of life, if you haven’t already. Or, you will start integrating more of this into your life in deeper ways – having it become your way of being, rather than a novelty or side focus.

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tangerine treeIncidentally, right after I posted this I felt called to go out and pick tangerines. Yes, it’s that time of the year again and our tangerine tree is ready for harvesting. I just got my first bag full (using some in my morning smoothie), but tons more to go (this is just a portion of the underside of the tree – got about 300 last year). I suddenly remembered just a year ago (only 4 days off actually) I posted this blog on celebrating the Chinese New Year tangerine style and their symbolism: Symbols of Luck and Prosperity and it seemed a bit synchronous and auspicious that I felt guided to harvest our bountiful tree right now, on the Chinese New Year, and after receiving my red envelope surprise last evening. As I expressed in my Facebook post earlier today, alongside a matching quote, I am happy to be a child that sees magick in everything. Life IS magickal – at least I believe so, and so it is!

Celebrating the New Year Tangerine Style – Symbols of Luck and Prosperity


Our abundantly giving tangerine tree

Some of the gifts our new home has provided is a yard with abundant fruit trees. We have about 6 or 7 different ones and are in process of growing veggies, herbs and other fruits, along with wild flowers, including sunflowers (my fav!) We have been able to enjoy our lemon and orange tree so far, yielding a good 20 lemons recently and about 30+ oranges, but it is our magnificent tangerine tree that is in blossoming, nonstop abundance! We have already harvested from it about 4 times and each time receiving like 75 + tangerines. It is the little tangerine tree that keeps on a-givin!

We are enjoying our lovely little tangerines au naturel, in smoothies, juices and we make our own tangerine sparkling water. A refreshing way to get some good nutrients along with symbolic energies! Tangerines have similar health benefits to oranges.  Tangerines and oranges provide an excellent source of vitamin C and flavonoids.   They also offer a very good source of fiber, and a good source of B vitamins (including vitamins B1, B2, and B6, folic acid, and pantothenic acid), carotenes, pectin, potassium, and folic acid.

As for the symbolism here is some great info from others on this potent little guy, our friend the tangerine!

In Rhonda Parkinson’s article, Top 10 Symbolic Chinese Foods, she discusses the important role food plays in Chinese culture and how many foods have symbolic meaning. “The symbolic significance of a food,” she says, “may be based on its appearance or on how the Chinese word for it sounds.” Tangerines, along with oranges and pomelos come in at #7 on the list:

7. Fruit – Tangerines, Oranges and Pomelos

“Tangerines and oranges are passed out freely during Chinese New Year as the words for tangerine and orange sound like luck and wealth, respectively. As for pomelos, this large ancestor of the grapefruit signifies abundance, as the Chinese word for pomelo sounds like the word for “to have.”

One of our tangerine harvests, minus about 10 I've already used

And here’s some info from localharvest.org about tangerines:

“With tangerine trees and marmalade skies. A citrus with an exceptionally good karma. Tangerines are a symbol of happiness and prosperity in China, where they are given at weddings and at the Lunar New Year, preferably with a couple of leaves still attached.

Tangerines are about the size of an orange but slightly “necked” at the base and much easier to peel. There is sometimes a bit of confusion between tangerine and mandarin, they are basically the same thing but people in the trade refer to the types with the dark red-orange skin as tangerines.

Extremely juicy and sweet. Expect to find seeds but don’t let that deter you, all the best fruits with a marked personality have them.

Tangerine trees were grown extensively in China and Japan before being introduced to Europe. They did not get to America until the mid 19th century, thanks to the Italian consul in New Orleans at the time who planted a tree in the consulate garden which eventually made its way to Florida and California.”

But I especially love this cool info from greatstuff.hubpages.com on Tangerines and Oranges: Chinese New Year Symbols: 

“The Chinese culture is rich and full with symbolism and is especially true when it comes to Chinese New Year celebration. It is associated with many symbols and customs.

Despite the fact that some Chinese, especially the youngsters, have adapted to a more ‘western’ style of living, the old traditions and customs are still being practiced, albeit adapted to present day’s environment…

Tangerines and oranges are one of these auspicious Chinese New Year symbols.

Tangerines in Chinese sounds similar to the word “luck” and orange sounds like the Chinese word for “wealth”. Through the play of words, the Chinese is associating the gift of orange and tangerine as having an abundance of happiness and prosperity.

The bright orange color of the fruits also symbolizes ‘gold’, hence it has an auspicious meaning to bring in good luck and wealth.

This is a very important factor for the Chinese new year celebration.

Hence you will find tangerines and oranges, being displayed in houses, offices and shops as they believe it will usher in good fortune for the occupants.

Besides displaying tangerine and orange fruits, displaying the potted plant is another common way to usher in the prosperity. They are normally placed at a doorway or within the common area such as the main reception lobby of shops or offices, or within the living room…The Chinese will normally buy the tree in pairs, as they believe it will double their wealth and prosperity.”

 

Well, then…since tangerines are an abundant symbol of luck and prosperity, let the good times roll! 

 

 

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