Why Dryness and Respiratory diseases are getting More Prevalent in 2020 & How to Heal

60-Year Cycle (六十甲子)

The cycle also incorporates the five phases (usually translated as “elements”). The natural flow of the phases is wood -> fire -> earth -> metal -> water. Then the cycle starts over again.

Each animal goes through a cycle of each of the five elements, so when we combine all of that, we have five 12-year cycles to make a complete 60-year cycle. Then a new 60-year cycle starts.

Since the natural flow of the five elements starts with wood, which represents the start of new growth, the start of a 60-year cycle starts with the Wood Rat. The second 12-year cycle starts with the Fire Rat, and the third cycle starts with the Earth Rat. Since this is the year of the Metal Rat, we’re starting the fourth 12-year cycle in the current 60-year cycle. (This means a new 60-year cycle starts in 24 years, after we complete the next cycle that starts with the Water Rat.)

Stems and Branches (天干地支)

The Heavenly Stems are the five elements of wood, fire, earth, metal and water. They give us the energy coming from “Heaven” or the heavens or universe for the year.

The 12 animals correspond to the Earthly Branches, or the energy of the earth (the planet, not the element) each year. Each year is either Yin or Yang, and they alternate. We’ve just finished a Yin year, so this year is Yang.

According to the Su Wen Chapter 67, the nature of Metal is cool, dry, hard and forceful. It can cause “sternness and killing”, as well as “aging and falling”. Metal also represents justice, or right versus wrong.

That gives us a good idea of the nature of a Metal year. Since it’s Yang Metal, we have to factor in the Yang nature. Yin Metal would be softer and flexible, like jewelry or metal wire. This year is Yang Metal, so it’s big, strong, powerful, sharp and inflexible, like a meat cleaver or a sword. The nature of the element tells us the nature of the year.

This adds up to the possibility of violence. We tend to have more violence in Metal years, and the fact that it’s a Yang year makes it potentially stronger, or worse. The justice nature of Metal gives the potential for violence where people think they’re right and others are wrong.

Image Source: Me & Qi in reference. Copyright belong to the original author. Same for all other quotations.

Since Metal is the parent of Water, and the child (Water) refers to the people “below”, Metal and Water are in a natural parent-supporting-child relationship. … The Rat represents Yang Water. So we have the combination of Yang Metal and Yang Water. Metal gives birth to, or produces Water. Metal is the Heaven energy, and is in the position of being “above” its child, the earth energy of Water. The parent is “above” the child. Since this follows the natural flow of the five elements, this is a harmonious relationship.

Metal gives birth to Water, so 2020 will have more movement and flow, and less stagnation overall. Things that were stuck should start moving again.

The Nature of Water is, of course water. It also represents cold, specifically “piercing cold”. It causes frost, ice and hail. It’s also considered “hard and stern”. This seems a bit counter-intuitive, because water feels soft, but water can do great damage. And it’s Yang Water. Yin Water is like clouds and rain. Yang Water is like the ocean. It’s big and powerful and impossible to stop once it gets moving.

Yang Metal is very inflexible, because it doesn’t bend easily. On the other hand, Water is very flexible, and always finds a way to go where it wants.

Metal is like a knife that cuts, and Water washes things clean.

Water is associated with wisdom, so hopefully the Water energy will bring some flexibility and wisdom this year. But the hardness and sternness of both elements may just steamroll over wisdom. There could be big movements this year, with lots of people caught up in the flow.

Water is very strong this year. So “children”, or those “below” or with less power are strong enough to stand up to their “parents”, or those “above”, especially when it’s an issue of justice or right and wrong. We’ll likely see continuation and strong growth in the movements of those who feel like they’ve been abused by those in power and want justice, like the #MeToo movement, women’s rights, and the youth movements around gun control and climate change. These are also movements spurred by wanting justice (Metal), and fear, which is the emotion associated with Water.

Because Water is the “child” and we’re at a new beginning in a new cycle, there is a lot of support for youth movements and new things. And the Yang nature of the Water could make those movements become unstoppable groundswells or tidal waves. It should be an interesting year, particularly with the U.S. presidential election this year.

In the year of the Gengzi, the people were violent.

Water flooded in spring and summer, hunger and thirst frequent in the fall and winter.

Takada is still halfway, and there’s little late rice to be reaped.

River Qinhuai region was full of homeless wandering, Wu Chu region full of robberies.

Mulberry leaves have a low harvest, and ladies who silkworms are unhappy.

Seeing silkworms but not silk, cutting in vain.

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