Yes, the Year of the Rat is what everyone sees, but a local shopkeeper who is Chinese, tells me she always says "Mouse." She explains, "It's like Mickey Mouse! So much more friendly." Of course, the Year of the Rodent-of-Some-Kind is all about tenacity, but also about fertility. Fertile tenacity. Tenacious fertility.
Of course, from an astrological point of view, fertility is about creativity—all forms of creativity. What a great focus for the year!
The Chinese year is a lunar calendar, of course, with the New Year falling on the New Moon between Jan 21st and Feb 20th. I have recently started teaching people how to track the moon's phases. Of course, I use astrology as the base for observing today's phases compared to our personal astrological natal chart. I'm pretty excited about sharing my reflections with others.
Here I show you my New Moon to New Moon announcement along with Canada Post's 2020 Year of the Rat/Mouse stamps. The Year of the Rat marks the first in the 12-year cycle.
As the Canada Post site says:
- As legend has it, the rat earned the primary position thanks to its cunning nature. According to one story, the Jade Emperor based the 12-year cycle on the order in which the animals arrived at the heavenly temple. The rat persuaded the tireless ox, which was sure to win, to carry it to the finish line. Just as the ox approached the temple, the rat jumped down and scurried ahead to take first place.
- Designed by Albert Ng, O. Ont., and Seung Jai Paek, the stamps present the traditional story of the wedding of the rat’s daughter in the style of folk art known as Chinese farmer painting. The permanent domestic-rate stamp depicts the bride on her way to her nuptials, while the international-rate stamp shows the happily married couple.
- “A merry wedding procession of rats is a common folk-art motif associated with the Chinese New Year,” explains Ng. “The snowy scene, reminiscent of Canada or northern China, joyfully captures the celebration of the wedding – and the coming new year.”
On that note, I wish each of you a fecund year of your own favourite definitions of creativity.
If this isn't nice, what is?
~ Kurt Vonnegut, of course