Happy Chinese New Year!  The Year of the Rabbit

By Kim Boomhower, LMBT

Every year in late January to mid February, the Chinese lunar year begins. The roots of Chinese astrology go back thousands of years, and the practice uses many of the same concepts as traditional Chinese medicine, such as the Five Element Theory and the concepts of Yin and Yang. Chinese astrology has 12 primary signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. This year, on February 3rd, the Chinese lunar year changes over to usher in the year of the restful, peace-loving Rabbit.

In our 3-part newsletter series, we will discuss the year of the Rabbit, its attributes, and what this year holds for each of the 12 signs of the Chinese Zodiac. Let’s begin with a general overview of this Rabbit year:

The year of the Rabbit begins on February 3, 2011 and ends on February 4th, 2012, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. Rabbit years tend to be years of rest, relaxation and recuperation, which is a welcome change from the roller-coaster Tiger year of 2010. The Rabbit year is one of calm serenity—a time to relax and enjoy creative pursuits, to seek out beauty and peace.

This particular Rabbit year is a Yin Metal Rabbit year. The Metal element gives structure to the often aloof Rabbit, and the Yin aspect turns our focus inward. This is a good year for rest, self healing and preservation of energy, as well as relaxed enjoyment of hobbies, education and easy going travel. Metal is the ruling element of the respiratory system so it’s wise to be more aware of and nurture our breath and lungs, especially in the colder months. For some, this year provides rest for the weary, and for others, it’s a time of change and independence. The focus this year is on the home, family and relationships. The Rabbit is an excellent diplomat, and this year will be one of calm negotiation instead of forcing issues. All the zodiac signs will feel a pull towards quality, rather than quantity in our relationships. This is a year of mended fences, reconciliation and good manners.

Overall, the Rabbit is the luckiest of the Chinese zodiac. We look forward to a year of rest, peace and harmony!

The Year of the Rabbit Forecast for 2011:

We’ll start with our lucky Rabbits, and then go in order of the zodiac. Beneath each sign’s animal name, you’ll find the Chinese name as well as lunar year dates to make it easy to find your own sign. The Chinese lunar year runs approximately from February to February so, if you were born in January, your sign would be of the previous year rather than the year you were actually born (ie: those born on January 5th, 1976 would fall under the Rabbit sign for 1975).


Chinese: Mao Born in: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Rabbits are blessed with good manners, diplomacy and virtue, and tend to be easy going, refined and social, while at the same time they maintain a certain detachment and aloofness. Rabbits are naturally talented and possess excellent taste, and tend to enjoy or excel in the fine arts, being highly creative and sensitive to beauty in all its forms. Well grounded and upright, rabbits naturally shun drama and emotional entanglements, and like security and peaceful existence. Rabbits tend to do well in business as well as personal relationships, being natural diplomats who have the ability to negotiate extremely well.

This is a pivotal year of turning points for Rabbits. Normally shy and mild mannered, in 2011 Rabbits take center stage and may become advisers and confidants in relationships and business. The Rabbit’s innate creativity will also be a focus this year, bringing natural artistic talent to the spotlight. This is the year for aesthetic Rabbits to really take in and appreciate all the beauty that surrounds them, in all of its wondrous forms. Enjoy your year, Rabbits!


Chinese: Tze Born in: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

The earthly branch of the Rat possesses charisma, charm, intelligence and the ability to express themselves well. Rats are often social and romantic, with complex emotions and they tend to form deep emotional ties. They excel at managing money and could even be called thrifty. Quick-witted and energetic, Rats are resourceful and ever aware of their environment. Although Rats may be talkative, creative, and naturally curious, they still tend toward concealment and privacy. Rats are typically blessed with longevity and a strong survival instinct.

The Rabbit year is one of opposition to the Rat. For those of you under this sign, this year can present obstacles which may make you tend to feel stressed. Remembering to stay calm, and using your resourcefulness to your advantage will be the key to a successful year. In work matters, this is a good pro-active year for you, a year to focus more on actions and less on words. You may feel very busy this year and that you have many tasks to accomplish, even in the easy going year of the Rabbit. Seek balance and focus on your health and wellbeing. This is a year that could be emotionally draining so being mindful of your mood and emotional wellbeing is essential this year. Restless Rats will do well to practice patience with the Rabbit year’s slower pace.


Chinese: Chou Born in: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Blessed with endurance, stamina, and the ability to run things efficiently (a home, business or even a country!), the Ox is hardworking, strong and determined. Oxen tend to be gifted with manual dexterity and tend to excel at working with their hands. Being natural homebodies, family and a sense of duty are of utmost importance to the steadfast and loyal Ox. This is a powerful, strong, yet quiet sign, which tends to showcase individuals with traditional, reliable and, perhaps sometimes, stubborn personalities. Oxen tend to possess intense passion beneath a calm exterior, and excel in perseverance, especially in times of stress. Independent and strong willed, the Ox usually needs to be the captain of his or her own ship.

After a challenging previous year, 2011 is a year of steady progress as Oxen lay down the mantle of responsibility and rest for a while. This is a time to toss away the humdrum of day-to-day routines and indulge in more esoteric or even spiritual pursuits. This is a year to look forward to, in which personal relationships strengthen and grow. The social aspect of the Rabbit calls the Ox out of his or her home this year to make new friendships and form new relationships.


Chinese: Yin Born in: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Tigers tend to be restless, adventurous, and are risk-takers at heart. Possessing a great sense of empowerment, humanitarian causes appeal to the noble Tiger. This is ideal, as most Tigers are blessed with a tenderhearted and affectionate core. Self-reliant and fiercely independent, brave Tigers tend to flash brilliantly through life, sometimes without caution for their own safety and security. Being enthusiastic and passionate, the Tiger resists day-to-day routines in favor of a new adventure.

2011 is an 'in kind' year for Tigers who share accomplishment and forward progress with the Rabbit. This is a good year to improve on business relationships, network and catch up with old friends. 2010 was the Tiger’s year, and the Rabbit year tends to be another good year for this signs as well, especially in finances. Travel and spending time with friends will be a focus of the year. This may be a busy year for the eager Tiger, but an exciting one and not stressful so Tigers should thrive!

Next month, in Part 2 of our 3 part series, we’ll look at the year ahead for the next 4 signs of the Chinese Zodiac: Dragon, Snake, Horse and Goat.

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