2021: Year of the Metal Ox

Every year in the Chinese calendar, we have a chance to experience one of the 12 animals of the zodiac as the leader of the year. In 2021, the Year of the Metal Ox signals a strong return to the influence of fundamental values and to the authority of clear standards.

As a native earth sign, the Ox reflects a time for grounding. Ox Qi is generally found in the twelfth moon, the last winter moon before the onset of spring. This is a seasonal time when we lean on the durability of our core endurance rather than demonstrate the vitality or versatility of forward motion. With Ox, there is no time or interest in the solutions that come from the innovation of new things. Our most effective adaptability this year will be expressed through what is tried and true.

So, the 2021 metal Ox year will be stable and reliable, but also fairly serious. To rebuild and recover from the editing and reorganizing we experienced in the 2020 metal Rat, we must reflect and we must follow through. If we did our homework during the metal Rat year, we will have discovered our most essential concerns in life. Referencing these values as a guiding convention will be the approach most easily understood and accepted this year.

But, as with every Ox year, the metal Ox reveals that these needs are not something we solely create, but a kind of momentum we receive. The answers or stability we seek are not found by the potential of the future, but through the wisdom of the past. Heritage, genetic memory, and tradition take center stage. Even approaches that are considered novel this year will be reframed in terms of how they are supported or reflected by the past. What is truly fresh and innovative will have to wait until the 2022 year of the Tiger.

Modified by metal, some synthesis of differing viewpoints and backgrounds is available. What is true is what links together. The metal Ox is the height of tireless dedication—it’s an Ox that is caring and considerate because it is extremely confident. While this energy might appear compassionate, it is not emotional. This Ox is so accommodating because it is totally convinced that everyone belongs under the same tent. Dissent or revolution—anything that is rejecting the routes of conformity and belonging—is inconceivable. So, as deeply kind and generous as the metal Ox can be, it can also be equally rigid and formal. Rules are rules. No exceptions. What ultimately informs our directions this year are big themes like law, institution, and justice. Ask for permission, not forgiveness. The need for uncompromising accountability will not give us much wiggle room this year.

So, this will be a hardworking year for everyone. Our best option for finding common ground with each other will be through work and family. Perhaps, in our core elements of humanity, we are more alike than we want to believe. Expect the third and fourth moons of the year to draw up big questions about equality and authority. The sixth and seventh moons hold the possibilities of reconciliation or reckoning.