Friday, 31 January 2014

shēngxiào or march of time

In China and various other countries adhering to the same lunar calendar, this day marks the beginning of the Year of the Horse, specifically of the wood horse, one of the five classical elements of the Wŭ Xíng (alchemic) tradition in combination with one of the twelve earthly branches, the animals of the Chinese zodiac, and each iteration occurs every sixty years—plus either a yin or yang year, depending on the reckoning, whether odd or even.  An ancient folk story holds that years and their traits were established when the Jade Emperor called a meeting of the principals of the animal kingdom together and said that the procession of the years, the march of time would be named in honour of the delegates arrival and there are various fables that describe that race. Wood is associated with strength but also flexibility, gregariousness and expansion, and the Horse signals extrovertedness and charisma but perhaps also impatience, superficiality and economic troubles.