Here Comes the Year of the Fire Monkey!

Photo by Cristian Escobar on Unsplash

As you may already know, this Monday, February 8th marks the beginning of the Chinese New Year.  We are transitioning from the soft, nourishing, feminine, Yin energy of the Wood Sheep into the mischievous, playful, Yang energy of the Fire Monkey.

What does that mean? 

Pretty much what you would guess, a year full of mischief, play, innovation, action, curiosity and trickery.  For some this will be a test of spirit.  The trickster personality of the Monkey will likely be harder on some than others, particularly the Tiger.  One horoscope reported:

“Do NOT, under any circumstances, be baited into leaving your cave this year. Yes I know you have to go to work, take care of commitments, and you can’t literally retreat into a cave like Milarepa. (Well if you can, then by all means do so.) But you’re going to have to symbolically take yourself out of the game and sit on the bench… (Caldwell, Narrye, 2016)

So what does this mean for others?  To answer that, let’s first understand what and who you are in the Chinese Zodiac.

How does it work?

We each have our own Chinese Astrological Animal depending on the year in which we were born.  Each animal has its own set of characteristics that are represented by the animal.  In addition, every year is associated with an element that somewhat modifies the characteristics of the year; Metal, Wood, Fire, Earth, Water. Here is a basic breakdown:

  • Rat: 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
    • quick-witted, resourceful & kind
  • Ox: 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
    • diligent, reliable & honest
  • Tiger:  2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
    • brave, adventurous & independent
  • Rabbit:  2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
    • gentle, quiet & clever
  • Dragon:  2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
    • enthusiastic, hard-working & confident
  • Snake:  2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
    • intelligent, calm, materialistic & communicative
  • Horse:  2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
    • active, rational & optimistic
  • Sheep:  2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
    • calm, amicable, gentle & creative
  • Monkey:  2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
    • ambitious, quick-witted & adventurous
  • Rooster:  2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
    • observant, hard-working & confident
  • Dog:  2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
    • amiable, honest & loyal
  • Pig:  2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971
    • compassionate, easy-going & ambitious
For a more complete overview of each of the animals, including personality traits, best suited careers, compatibility and more fun facts check out The Twelve Animals of the Chinese Zodiac

Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0

So how will you and the Monkey get along?

  • Rat: You’re in the inner circle… you are sure to be a part of the success this year.  You provide the wisdom behind the invention.
  • Ox:  The monkey is a bit too erratic for you, but stick to your plan and the coming year (Rooster) will be yours to shine.
  • Tiger:  Like I said before… maybe you should keep a low profile and stay in that cave of yours… stay true to yourself by taking your own adventures, but keep it to yourself.  Maybe this is a year you work on Tai Chi, Qi Gong or regularly practicing yoga.
  • Rabbit:  The monkey could test your limits this year, be careful to always have multiple escape plans.
  • Dragon:  Adventures await, this is your year.
  • Snake:  The snake cannot resist the monkeys charm, but entanglement always ensues.  Practice holding back from the intrigue this year.
  • Horse:  Be careful not to get caught up in the excitement and hyper energy of the monkey. Stay true to yourself and you’ll be just fine.
  • Sheep:  Allow what you’ve created in the past year to manifest.  The monkey will do his/her best to pull the rug out from under you.
  • Monkey: Monkeys love excess monkey energy.  Go ahead and get into all sorts of lovely trouble, you can do anything!
  • Rooster:  Keep your focus and you won’t get taken by the mischievous monkey.  Just stick to the plan, your year is coming.
  • Dog:  Loyalty is your game, but this year, let loose a little.  Go take advantage of the playfulness of the monkey, just don’t get too carried away.
  • Pig:  You are trusting, it’s a blessing and a curse.  Watch out for tricksters and swindlers, the monkey can be opportunistic and see your trust as a weakness to be taken advantage of.
All information above was paraphrased from a longer article by Narrye Calvwell @ Year of the Fire Monkey

For more information on what the holiday is all about; celebrations, festivities, food and other rituals, please check out this old post:  Celebrate the Chinese New Year

Here is to The Fire Monkey!  To a year of fun, action, adventure, play, intrigue and keeping our wits about us.  It’s sure to be an exciting year for all.

Till next time ~ Be well


Erin R. Hill, L.Ac

About eresko

I am a licensed Acupuncturist and NCCAOM Board certified Diplomat of Oriental Medicine. I live in Hailey, Idaho, where I have an Acupuncture practice, Erin Hill Acupuncture as well as a type of Integrative Wellness Care practice, Tune Up. I am also a Level I & II certified Kettlebell Instructor and teach private classes in the Wood River Valley, Idaho. I have been very active in sports and athletics since I can remember. I received my BS in Integrative Physiology at the University of Colorado @ Boulder. In my practice I utilize all modalities to help get you where you want to be, whether with Acupuncture, Nutrition, or Kettlebell training. I am well versed in treating Sports specific conditions; pain, injuries, strains & sprains and use my knowledge of the body both from a Chinese Medical standpoint and a traditional Western one; a concept that most of my patients are familiar with. In addition, I incorporate my knowledge of the physical body & how we move, where restrictions, pain, or tightness may reside and how that, in turn, affects the internal organs or vice versa. For each individual that walks through my door, I am able to assess what each person needs as far as therapy to achieve their goals. Each person is different, inside and out and treatments should reflect that. Among my modalities, I use Acupuncture, Chinese Herbs, Tuina (a type of Chinese bodywork), Japanese style Acupuncture, Moxibustion, Nutrition, and Lifestyle coaching as well as my Kettlebell training for rehab and for improving one's fitness level.
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