Year of the Ox is coming, here’s what we can expect!

, Year of the Ox is coming, here’s what we can expect!

Few people will have been sorry to see the end of 2020, a year characterized by the global COVID-19 pandemic. For those who follow the Lunar new year, the close of the tragic and tumultuous Year of the Rat is fast approaching, too.

Feb. 12 marks the beginning of the Year of the Ox. The second animal of the zodiac, the ox denotes the hard work, positivity and honesty that will be manifested in all of us in the coming 12 months, according to astrologers.

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Following the Lunar calendar, which rotates in 60-year cycles based on 12 earthly branches, each represented by an animal year, and five element years — wood, fire, earth, metal and water — 2021 is the Year of the Metal Ox. On a deeper level, each earthly branch is characterized by a yin or yang force and an element.

In the Year of the Rat, the force was the fast, hard, active yang while the element was water, which is known for “changing all the time.” The ox’s earthly branch, meanwhile, is associated with yin, which is slow, soft and passive. Its element is earth, representing “stability and nourishment. It is believed these additional associations and the characteristics of the ox have great synergy and are mostly favorable.

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And the ox’s good attributes are not only found in the zodiac. The animal has been represented in religion, art, literature and popular culture throughout east Asia for centuries. Much of the high regard it holds is due to its importance in agriculture.

In Vietnam, it is considered an animal of strength that is associated with harvests and fertility. The ancient the art of feng shui, which harmonizes people with their environment using energy forces, also regards the animal as auspicious, which has given the ox a reputation for granting wishes.

The ox is one of the most common animals featured in proverbs of some countries. Such as in the Korea, the imagery is overwhelmingly positive, portraying the animal with traits such as diligence, gratitude and loyalty. It is seen as altruistic as it serves mankind.

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One example is “It is a bad plowman that quarrels with his ox,” which is akin to the French proverb “Bad workmen will never find a good tool,” whose use dates from the 13th century, and the later English version, “A bad workman blames his tools.”

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As peasant families in ancient times are understood to have often sold their ox to pay for their son’s education, the ox is also presented as an object of great value — “those who steal a pin will steal an ox.”

For those born in the Year of Ox, take heed. This is also a year in which your zodiac sign is at odds with the guardian god Tai Sui (or Fan Tai Shui) who determines the fortunes and setbacks of mortals.

Oxen will face quite a number of issues in their career in the coming year. Beware of back-stabbing colleagues or getting into disputes. Focus on your work to avoid unnecessary mistakes at work.

“The ox should beware of the risk of getting fired in the coming year. They’ll lack luck and it may be hard for them to get a new job,” warns a feng shui expert. “It is also difficult for them to accumulate wealth this year as they may make bad investment decisions. They should not invest in projects which they are unfamiliar with.”

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Oxen will not enjoy much romance either over the next 12 months; try not to look for partners in clubs or at parties. Illnesses will be a problem too due to their weak immune system, so they need to take extra care of themselves.

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However, while the overall luck is expected to improve, what the Year of the Ox has in store for us individually will largely depend on the zodiac sign we were born under.

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