Welcome to the Year of the Pig

On Tuesday February 5, 2019, we celebrated Chinese New Year and brought in the year of the pig. The Chinese new year falls on a different day every year and this is because it is based on a lunar cycle, unlike our calendar, which is based on the movement of the sun. In the Chinese zodiac, each year is dedicated to an animal, and it runs in twelve year cycles in a specific order. Each year also corresponds to an element based on the Chinese five element system - Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood. This year is the year of the earth pig.

Years of the Pig include 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, and 2031. The pig year occupies the twelfth and last position in the Chinese zodiac. There are twelve animals in the Chinese zodiac, starting with the rat and ending with the pig.

People who are born in a year associated with a specific animal are said to have certain traits. Those born in a pig year are said to have the personality traits below. There are also five elements which rotate throughout the zodiac, 2019 is the year of the pig associated with the earth element. These elements further distinguish personality traits among people born in pig years. The different characteristics are listed below.

The Pig Personality

Pigs are diligent, compassionate, and generous. They have great concentration, and once they set a goal, they will devote all of their energy to achieving it. Though Pigs rarely seek help from others, they are always generous with their time and energy. Pigs tend to be very trusting, so can be easily fooled. They need to work on being a bit more discerning with the people they meet.

General speaking, Pigs are calm and collected when facing difficulties in life. No matter how difficult the problems Pigs encounter, they can handle things thoughtfully and carefully. They have a great sense of responsibility and are very good at being able to finish what they start.

Pigs might not stand out in a crowd, but they are realistic and grounded. Others may be all talk and no action, but pigs are the opposite - they are hard workers and dedicated to the task at hand always managing to bring their efforts to fruition.

Pigs are careful with money, but they do allow themselves to enjoy life. They love entertainment and sometimes treat themselves to things that make them happy. They are a bit materialistic, but this motivates them to work hard and earn money. Being able to hold solid objects in their hands gives them a sense of needed security.

Pigs are energetic and always enthusiastic, even if they are in boring jobs. If given the chance, they will take positions of power and status. Pigs believe that leaders are the ones who have often worked the hardest to advance, thus are the ones who should make decisions and tell people what to do. This motivates pigs to work hard so they can get ahead in life and business.

Metal Pig - Years - 1971, 2031

  • Mind their own business and are not interested in gossip
  • Slightly lazy and unmotivated but focus on their work
  • Will succeed if they place more emphasis on work, not play
  • Must learn how to budget and save to not squander financial luck that comes with their sign

Water Pig - 1983, 2043

  • Responsible and serious
  • Full of ideas
  • Easily influenced by others
  • Good in relationships, attentive and caring partners
  • Listen and communicate well with friends and family
  • Have good fortune and will retire with ample savings

Wood Pig - 1935, 1995

  • Earnest and lovable
  • Not focussed on accumulating money
  • Need to plan and save for the future
  • Take each day at a time
  • Face difficulties with calm and equanimity
  • Have kind and loving relationships

Fire Pig - 1947, 2007

  • Dependent on others
  • Excel in jobs that require cooperation and teamwork
  • If they focus in their work, they will be successful
  • Very good with money
  • Very popular, get along well with everyone
  • Some difficulties in romantic relationships

Earth Pig - 1959, 2019

  • Very social with friends from all walks of life
  • Have a lot of support in both work and life
  • Fortunate lives and can find happiness
  • Often have success later in life
  • Need some work in the relationship department, not particularly romantic

If you were born in a pig year the following things are considered lucky...

  • Lucky numbers: 2, 5, 8, and numbers containing them (like 25 and 58)
  • Lucky days: the 17th and 24th of every Chinese lunar month
  • Lucky colors: yellow, gray, brown, gold
  • Lucky flowers: hydrangea and daisy
  • Lucky direction: east and southwest
  • Lucky months: the 2nd, 7th, 10th, and 11th Chinese lunar months

Unlucky Things for Pigs

  • Unlucky color: red, blue, green
  • Unlucky numbers: 1, 7, and numbers containing them (like 17 and 71)
  • Unlucky direction: southeast
  • Unlucky months: the 4th, 9th, and 12th Chinese lunar months

 

Men born in the Pig year are optimistic and gentle. They are very focused - once they decide on a goal, they’ll put everything into it.

They are not the best with money. Though cool-headed, they are also too gullible. They trust others easily and are often taken advantage of. If they are not careful, this can cause them to lose a fortune.

These men are also quiet. They love learning but don’t really know how to put their knowledge into words. They’re not conversationalists, but treat everyone warmly. This results in a large social circle with a lot of friends. Whenever they run into difficulties, there are always people who stand up to help. Though some people will lie to them, more people will love them because of their warm, honest personalities.

Women born in the Pig year are full of excitement. They attend social events whenever possible and treat everyone genuinely. Combined with their easygoing personality, they gain everyone’s trust and are well liked by everyone.

However, they are sometimes over-friendly. In their excitement, they can forget to give others personal space.

They also have good fortune with wealth. As long as they keep at it, their efforts will not be wasted. Though they don’t start with an advantage, their hard work will keep money flowing in and give them financial security.

At home, they are highly organized. If a room in their home is messy, they’d stay up the entire night to clean it up until it was spotless and up to their standards. These women love children too. Playing with children is one of the things that brings them the greatest joy.

Famous People Born in Pig Years

  • Henry Ford (Founder of the Ford Motor Company, born July 30, 1863)
  • Ronald Reagan (40th U.S. President, born February 6, 1911)
  • Arnold Schwarzenegger (Former Governor of California, born July 30, 1947)
  • Hilary Clinton (Former First Lady of the U.S., born October 26, 1947)

.  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .  .

Sources:

China Highlights - https://www.chinahighlights.com/travelguide/chinese-zodiac/pig.htm

Chinese Zodiac - https://chinesenewyear.net/zodiac/pig/

The featured image photo by George Watercolor Art


The Qigong Corner - 2: Qigong Walking

By John Voigt


Boston Common 2011. Source: author.

Introduction.

It is common knowledge in the west that walking is an excellent
exercise that promotes general fitness. When walking is practiced as a qigong it
becomes even more effective. For Chinese people throughout the world it is the
most commonly practiced qigong used to promote health and well-being.
Walking becomes a qigong when: The person is fully aware of 1. The gravity of the
earth grounding and supporting them. 2. The air they are breathing deeply and fully
into their lower abdomen (the simplest definition of qigong is “breath work”). 3.
The beauty of nature around them—the trees, flowers, sunrise, other walkers, etc.,
as well as the universal nature above them (sky, clouds, sun, the stars, planets,
galaxies, heaven)—and that they are an integral and living moving part of all of this.
Walk as if you are kissing the earth with your feet.
Thich Nhat Hanh.

Qigong Gymnastic Walking.

There are many styles of walking qigong. What follows was synthesized
from various instructions from my teachers, observations
in parks in Chinatowns in the United States and Canada, and from the
sources listed below. A bibliography is attached for further study.

The Simple Walk. Stand straight. Relax your body and mind. Have your shoulders
loose, and your chin slightly tucked it. Breathe comfortably, slowly, and fully
through the nose into the lower abdomen. Now begin walking calmly, and allow
your arms to loosely and gently sway from side to side. When the left foot moves
forward the right arm sways forward and slightly to the left; when the right foot
moves forward the left arm sways forward and slightly to the right. Increase your
awareness of your surroundings, your gentle but full breathing, and the way the qi-
life energy is feeling inside your body. Walking in this way moves health bringing
energy (qi) throughout the vessels and channels (meridians) and organs of the body.
Increasing The Amount of Qi-Vital Energy. Mind thinking nothing. Body relaxed
and tranquil. Inhaling more oxygen than exhaling. (Sheng Keng Yun).

Now intensify your walking this way: have your right hand make a waving motion
up as you quickly breathe in twice. Then as you exhale once the left foot steps out.
Immediately reverse this with the left hand making a waving motion up as you
breathe in twice. Then as you exhale once the right foot steps out. Do this
approximately for five to fifteen minutes. If it feels really good and natural you may
do it for a longer period of time. If something feels wrong or not right then stop
doing it and consult a qigong teacher well versed in such things, or if necessary a
doctor or physical therapist.

Video of Qigong Gymnastic Walking


Carolyn Wilkins - Reiki master, spiritualist medium, tai chi and qigong
practitioner demonstrating
Qigong walking gymnastics.

Walking Meditation.

Walk very slowly, and optionally and if safe to do, with bare feet on clean
naked earth. When stepping out lift the heel first. When stepping down
the toes touch the earth first. Clear the mind of all verbal thinking about what
happened in the past and may happen in the future and be totally mindful in the
present. For a beginner, walk in this manner for ten minutes up to a half an hour at a
time.

If you can’t keep your mind quiet as you walk, then count numbers related to the
rhythm of your breathing patterns, or repeat a single word (e.g., “Peace”).
The walking becomes more spiritual or religious when you add a silently said
spiritual affirmation such as, I feel more youthful, healthy, and beautiful [or
handsome] with each step I take. Or a short religious prayer; e.g., Heal me, O Lord,
and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved; for you are my praise. – [Jeremiah
17:14]. For believing Christians, silently chanting the name Jesus contains enormous
power. From a Daoist perspective, by observing your oneness with the movements
of interacting yin and yang energetic elements around you as you walk, you may be
brought to a place that offers the quietude of a deep seated mediation. This qi-
energy harmonizing is said to extend all the way to the stars, planets, and galaxies of
the universe to the divine forces in heaven.

A more simple practice as you walk is to repeat to yourself the word Dao; which may
be understood as “The Way” – (as in the path, the proper direction, for spiritual
progress).


Buddha’s Footprint. A symbolic representation of the presence of Gautama Buddha.

Practical advice.

  • When you step don't mindlessly drop the foot down, instead feel as if you are
    gliding above the earth. One of my qigong masters over the years never needed to
    have his leather shoes resoled.
  • Use a walking cane if needed. Excessive pressure should never be placed on any of
    the body’s joints or bones in walking qigong. Correctly done walking is one of the
    few exercises that will strengthen the joints and aid in preventing arthritis.
  • Most qigong exercises are best done at the break of dawn, in good weather among
    the civilized nature of a large well cared for and secure park.
  • Qigong walking is best done in groups. But within such groups the Chinese people
    seldom talk to each other in order to maintain a concentrated focus on what they
    are doing. It is after the walking that they usually gather in a tea house and socialize
    with lots of talk, and laughter. Opposite the Boston Common I would gather with
    one such group at a McDonald’s. They didn’t speak that much English and my
    Cantonese was worse, but there was plenty of fun and good feelings and smuggled
    home baked Chinese cookies hidden in purses to go along with the plastic cups of
    coffee and hot water for tea.
  • Knowledgeable Chinese do the walking in circles, usually—but not always—in
    some sort of counter-clockwise way (the left side pointed in to the center of the
    circle). In Chinese communities in the morning you will see this done around small
    ponds, large fountains, or even a tree. From a Southern Daoist lineage that I was
    taught in, this is best done with the people singularly filing after each other in a line
    that curves around in a circle. This is intended to bring peace to the walkers and to
    the world at large.

Disclaimer.

This article is not presented not as a cure for any illness but as a
possible way to help to gain well-being. If any this or any other qigong, or exercise
or activity, hurts or causes discomfort stop doing it and see a medical professional.

Author’s Note.

In this short article I wanted to introduce Guo Lin’s Anti-Cancer
Walking Qigong, but time and space ran out on me. So I plan to write that for next
month’s issue of Chinese Medicine Living. But for now the interested reader could
reference these sites:

Walking Exercise - Persatuan GuoLin QiGong Malaysia
and Guo Lin’s Anti-Cancer Fixed Foot Walking Qigong, by Jim Russo.


Boston Common 2011. Source: author.

Sources & Further Resources.


History and Development of Internal Martial Arts in China

Watch this episode from CCTV English on the history and development of the internal martial arts in China, the most notable of which is Tai Chi Chuan and learn why martial arts are not just a fighting system, but an important part of healthy living for mind, body and spirit. Running time 25:53 mins

Original link here - Chinese Martial Arts - Internal Martial Arts


Welcome To The Chinese Year of the Snake

By Emma Suttie, D.Ac

1905 ~ 1917 ~ 1929 ~ 1941 ~ 1953 ~ 1965 ~ 1977 ~ 1989 ~ 2001 ~ 2013

2013 is the Chinese year of the Snake, the sixth in the cycle of twelve animals that make up the Chinese zodiac. In Chinese culture, a person’s personality is said to be governed by the animal ruling the time of their birth. There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, and 5 elements, so each animal year (occurring every 12 years) also has an element (which happens every 60 years). In 2013, we are in the year of the water snake.

People born in the year of the snake are considered to be intelligent and cunning, methodical in their approach to things, and successful in business due to their skills in moderating and communication.

Snakes are thoughtful, private people and not outwardly emotional. From the outside they can appear cunning and devious as they have the ability to keep their composure not matter what drama is unfolding before them and are not easily flustered. They are the most calm and collected of the animal signs. They are generally attractive, graceful and refined people with a hint of darkness and mystery that can seem both enticing and dangerous to the outside observer. Some of the most beautiful women and the most powerful men are born in the year of the snake.

Snakes are generally ambitious and material possessions are very important to them. If they decide they want something, they are willing to plot and scheme to attain what they most desire. When out of balance, the snake can become greedy, possessive and will resort to cunning and deceit to get what he wants.

Chinese Year of the Snake

The Water Snake

The last water snake year was 60 years ago, in 1953. People born in a water snake year are insightful, and good organizers. They tend to manage others well, and thrive in managerial positions in the workplace. They are ambitious and determined to be successful. They are intelligent and work hard for what they want and they believe that the goal is worth their efforts as well as the praise that comes with it.

Snakes are warm and affectionate with their families, devoted spouses, and responsible, loving parents. The snake, however, does not generally show this sensitive side to friends or colleagues.

Snakes love taking time off and going on vacation. They most enjoy just lying around and being lazy. When they take a trip, they go all out eating at the best restaurants, shopping at the best boutiques and visiting spas and health clubs, the snake loves to indulge! The snake has to be careful however, as his love of luxury can sometimes overcome his financial means, so snakes must be careful about money. Although they are ambitious and hardworking, they love to spend money, often on things they don’t need.

Snake Health

The snake personality is calm and serene, so their surroundings must be the same for them to feel relaxed and happy. The snake can become easily stressed or anxious if put in a loud, hectic or chaotic environment. To thrive and succeed, they need to lead a calm and quiet life. Some people love the adrenaline of parties, lots of people and loud music, but not the snake. The snake would much prefer a quiet afternoon alone with a good book. A snake must get lots of sleep and stay relaxed to live a long, healthy life.

Predictions for the Year of the Snake

Ahead for this snake year is a time that will be powerful for inner reflection, growth and self discovery. This year promises to bring a deeper awareness of spirituality and things whose meanings were hidden in the past, will be revealed this year. It is a year of release and renewal. So this is a good year to look deep into yourself and find the things you are holding on to, work through them and let them go, so that you can create space that you can fill with the new, wonderful and fulfilling experiences that are coming to you this year.

yellowsnake

 

Famous People Born in the Year of the Snake

John F. Kennedy
Queen Elizabeth, I
Dick Cheney
Charlie Sheen
Daniel Radcliffe
Marlon Brando
Sarah Jessica Parker
Liv Tyler
Ronan Keating
Bob Dylan
James Joyce
Pablo Picasso
Virginia Wolf
Hulk Hogan