Based on the Asian zodiac, the January 21, 2023 new moon signaled the end of a Yang Water Tiger year in 2022 and the beginning of a Yin Water Rabbit year in 2023. Through the final lunar cycle leading into the lunar new year, I reflected upon 2022 and pondered the arrival of 2023.
How did you navigate the Year of the Water Tiger? I looked back on my experience of 2022 in Farewell Water Tiger: Reflecting on 2022.
This lunar year, the final full moon aligned with the Christian Epiphany—I wrote about Revelling in Epiphanies of various sorts, though I did not experience any grand new insights myself. I felt more like I needed a holiday to recover from the Christmas holiday.
But, as we settled into our 2023 Gregorian calendar year and the new moon approached, along with the transition from Yang Water Tiger energy to Yin Water Rabbit energy, I began to feel a very welcome subtle shift, like a weight slowly lifting. In Asian astrology, the rabbit symbolizes peace, kindness, and good fortune—all energies we could use more of in 2023.
In my brief exploration into Asian mythology, I also discovered that the rabbit is closely related to the moon through the story of Heng’e, the goddess of the moon. This myth appears to have many variations. On the surface of the story, it seems Heng’e gained immortality by drinking an elixir (which she may have stolen) and then floated up to the moon (to escape punishment), where she (may have turned into a toad and) lives with a white rabbit (or a jade rabbit) who helps her to prepare the elixir (that she already drank…?) by pounding herbs into powder with its strong back legs. I suspect that this story has a much deeper meaning than I unearthed, but I didn’t travel far enough down that rabbit hole to discover it.
In the 12-year cycle of the Asian zodiac, there are 12 animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Pig.
Each year’s animal is influenced by one of the five elements, representing the relationship and interdependence between all things: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water. These five elements align closely with the seven Thrivival elements that make up our blog categories: aether, air, water, energy, metal, fire, earth.
Years also alternate between yin and yang energy:
Yin: passive female principle, characterized as sustaining, associated with earth, cold, and dark.
Yang: active male principle, characterized as creative, associated with heaven, heat, and light.
In Asia, the powerful Tiger is known as the king of beasts and a symbol of strength, courage, and the ability to triumph over evil. Tigers prowl their vast, wild terrain in solitary, sovereign independence.
In contrast, the gentle Rabbit is considered quick, clever, and a symbol of good luck. The rabbit is a humble, timid, plentiful, prey animal.
Water flows along the path of least resistance, feeling its way around the largest obstacles and through the smallest openings, gracefully adapting to its environment—hot spring, frozen lake; crashing ocean, still pond; raging river, babbling brook.
How will 2023, a Yin Water Rabbit year, feel?
Like the seemingly whimsical tale about the moon goddess and jade rabbit, Yin Water Rabbit energy feels lighter and more optimistic. I related the feeling to the difference between the GRIT and PLUCK energy I explored in 2022. Yang Water Tiger energy aligned more with GRIT—the need to Go Right Into Trepidation that I explored in the GRIT Series, while the new Water Rabbit energy feels more like PLUCK—Purposeful Luck. (Perhaps that’s why I never managed to complete the PLUCK Series posts I had planned for 2022—they belong in 2023.)
GRIT: Go Right Into Trepidation
Aligned with Gravity; GRIT grounds us down, breaking down negative connections.
“When I resolutely face my discomfort, my fear disintegrates—my resistance dissolves.”
PLUCK: Purposeful Luck
Aligned with Levity, PLUCK raises us up, building up positive connections.
“When I intently focus on my purpose, my luck aligns—my possibilities harmonize.”
In my Farewell Water Tiger: Reflecting on 2022 post, I related just how much I aligned with the solitary tiger in 2022. I coped with the intense energies I felt in 2022 by quietly retreating deep into my own private shadowy jungle where I faced my inner dramas, traumas, and shadow work—a process of feeling, acknowledging, and then breaking down internal blocks that have imprisoned me my whole life. In yang fashion, the process felt active and, at times, overpowering and all-encompassing. By the end of the year, I felt exhausted and disconnected, yearning for some lightness of being, playfulness, and reconnection in 2023.
And then in hopped the Yin Water Rabbit. Unlike the majestically fierce tiger, rabbits don’t prowl, stalk, and pounce, they hop, bounce, and jump; rabbits even express their happiness in big mid-air leap-wriggle-kicks called ‘binkies.’ Bunnies openly display a playful, enthusiastic, lightness of being that the king of beasts would never feign. This lighter energy aligns with finding joy and prosperity in an abundance of small, quick, lively leaps forward and upward.
Highly social, rabbits live together in communal colonies called ‘fluffles.’ They hop lithely about their small homestead territories, nibbling on greens, and hole up together in a network of well-populated, interconnecting rabbit burrows called a ‘warren.’
The rabbit’s less exotic habitat, more humble diet, and plentiful numbers may more closely resemble lowly peasants than the royalty of beasts, but they reap the rewards of safety, comfort, and prosperity in their abundance—“Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” Their energy speaks to the growing desire to live a more moderate, communal, grassroots lifestyle with other kindred spirits, farther from technology and closer to nature. Their abundant fertility births new creations.
In a past post, I explored the The Eight Beatitudes, including the third beatitude related to moderation:
King James Version Translation:
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
More accurate translation from Aramaic:
Blessed are those who live in moderation, for they shall inherit the earth.
Moderation is balance. In balance, we find wholeness, fulfillment, and blessing.
Interconnected through the nature element of water, 2022–2023 will prove to be watershed years of great change and awakening for humanity as fresh, clean icewater cascades in to clear the stagnant, murky waters of years of concealed corruption and backward thinking, based on ignorance, greed, and control.
Bruce Lee’s words to “be like water”—formless and changeable—continue to offer sound advice for 2023. Watch and adapt. Leap lightly away from those who would lash out at you, returning to the company, warmth, and protection of your welcoming warren of kindred spirits.
As we awaken to new ways of living and ascend in consciousness on this lighter energy, reality itself changes around us in astounding ways. We experience magical moments, like the rabbit pulled from the magician’s hat, fashioned by the Mad Hatter. Like Alice, we follow the time-conscious White Rabbit down one rabbit hole after another to discover multiple new realities, along with a new sense of time. Gravity itself eases, leaving us a little light-headed; electrons pop into other realms, taking stray striped socks with them; reality alters ever-so-subtly, but we feel it.
In 2023, we will find ways to ground into the earth, to genuinely reconnect with community, to find contentment in moderation, and solutions in simple grassroots approaches. We will simultaneously experience awe-inspiring quantum shifts in reality and a new lightness of being that empowers us to take the leap of faith we need to ascend by binkies and bounds. Welcome to the dawning of a new age.
How are you feeling in 2023?