Malvin Artley has been a practising astrologer for more than 10 years. He is an
accredited member of the American Federation of Astrologers.
His primary focus over the past 25 years has been on the sciences as they express occultism and with bridging work between the two. His
special interests are the human subtle energy system and all
the chakras, or energy centres, physics and technology, astronomy and all
aspects of Chinese occultism. He has done extensive work with Chinese
astrology and the cycles they use and seeks to synthesize the great
Western and Oriental systems on such matters.
Malvin lives in Adelaide, South Australia. He also works in the engineering trades and sends out periodic emails about astrological happenings and developments. Click here to subscribe to Malvin's periodic letters.
Chinese New Year 2009 [part 2]
The Year of the Yellow Ox, "The Ox in the Byre"
Our esoteric astrologer and Chinese Astrology expert Malvin Artley looks at the meanings of the Chinese Year of the Ox in 2009. This part of his article looks at previous Ox Years, listing the political and commercial initiatives. Earth Ox Years have generally been ones of consolidations, new starts and the institution of social programs.
As we enter today into the Year of the Yellow Ox we say farewell to the annus horribilis that was the financial side of the Year of the Yellow Rat (2008). I remember saying in that letter last year that 2008 would be a year to go down as a major one in the history books, and it turned out to be a bumper year in that regard. We saw the US elect its first afro-American president, the worst financial downturn in decades, skyrocketing petroleum prices, still-greater extremes of weather, the apology to the Stolen Generations, crises in Gaza, Georgia and Tibet, Cyclone Nargis, the Chengdu Quake, the Large Hadron Collider, Haumea (a plutoid) was added to our solar system as a dwarf planet, large and fatal temple stampedes in India, the Mumbai attacks, the riots in Greece and the 2008 Olympics. Yes, it certainly was a memorable year. However, for those who think the Year of the Ox will be a more stable year and that “Anything has to be better than the year that was!”, you may want to be careful about what you say. Ox years are notorious in recent history for being bad years financially – and it certainly does not look to be an exception this Year of the Ox. The market will be anything but 'bullish' this year.
Doom and gloom aside, there are some very positive things to commend the Year just started and we may very well see some things turn around in a positive way. As we will see very shortly, Earth Ox Years have generally been ones of consolidations, new starts and the institution of social programs. That does not mean that financial issues will necessarily be better, though. Social programs and new initiatives cost money, and it will take a few years before things begin to stabilize on that front, I think. So, before we get into the year before us, let's have a look back and see if we can get a sense of what this year will bring, because history and life evolves in cycles and the cycle of sixty years seems to be very significant in that regard.
Previous Ox Years
In researching this letter I looked back over Earth Ox years starting in 1709 for key points in history that were common to the sexagenary anniversaries after that, so we are looking at the years 1709, 1769, 1829, 1889 and 1949 for clues as to this year. Some very interesting patterns emerged. To begin with, there has historically been a focus of consolidation between nations and of groups within nations in Earth Ox years. We have the following as examples:
- Greek autonomy from the Ottomans (1829),
- the birth of the Republic of Brazil (1889),
- the first convening of the International Conference of American States (1889),
- the Land Run of 1889 and the consolidation of many US states,
- the consolidation and recognition of The People's Republic of China (ending centuries of feudal rule),
- the first move toward a united Europe in The Council of Europe (1949),
- the birth of India (free of British rule),
- Germany (as its current structure),
- Indonesia and Ireland as free and sovereign nations,
- and the birth of the British Commonwealth (1949).
In all, there is a theme of independence within and greater cooperation between nations in such years. We'll see what Hillary Clinton and other foreign ministers can pull out of their hats this year.
In addition, the same then seems to follow in the financial sectors of countries, too. We have the inauguration of the Industrial Revolution (1769), the precursor of the Nintendo Corp. (1889), the birth of the Wall Street Journal, the Coca Cola company and the founding of the Tokyo Stock Exchange (1949) as major points of interest. The companies just mentioned went on to become huge multinational companies – a tribute to the tenacity and care of finances the Ox can often exhibit.
There have also been some major advances in commercial media in recent Ox years. We have the birth of the Columbia Phonograph company (later to become Columbia Records, and the oldest surviving brand name in pre-recorded sound) in 1889, the Wall Street Journal (again, and the most widely circulated paper in the US until 2003), the Emmy Awards, the first commercial television broadcast (1949), the invention of the precursor to the typewriter (1829) and the invention of the accordion (Come on – you know you love it!) in 1829.
There have been major advances in transport in Earth Ox years. We have seen the demonstration of the first documented hot-air balloon flight in Europe (1709), the first commercially viable steam engine (1769) and the first commercial jet airline flight (1949). The latter two examples were, again, tied in with commercial viability and they certainly changed the face of public transport in the years that followed.
The Fair Deal
1949 saw the putting forward of legislation by the Truman administration known as the Fair Deal. Social conscience is one aspect of the Earth Ox that is quite intriguing, given the current state of affairs world-wide, and also given the fact that Oxen are not known for bold action. It is a conservative sign. However, the Ox represents building and is the Establishment Phase of the cycle of Chinese Animal Signs. The Fair Deal was a major push to transform the US economy into a peacetime one after years of war and the past emphasis on the huge military-industrial complex that still drives a major part of the US economy. Of the Fair Deal, Harry Truman said:
“Every segment of our population, and every individual, has a right to expect from his government a fair deal.”
It was a bold initiative aimed at universal health care (which eventually led to the establishment of Medicare in the '60s), certain socioeconomic plans with economic interventionism as a major feature and the Housing Act of 1949, giving rise to urban renewal, housing projects and public housing. Only portions of the Fair Deal were passed due to conservative backlash. In a precursor to that, though, Truman made an address to the NAACP in 1947 (he was the first sitting US president to ever address the group), in which he stated:
“Every man should have the right to a decent home, the right to an education, the right to adequate medical care, the right to a worthwhile job, the right to an equal share in the making of public decisions through the ballot, and the right to a fair trial in a fair court.”
Do we see any shades of this sort of thinking in the present administration? We'll see what the next few years have in store. History is based in cycles.
Life Imitates Art
Finally, there was a fascinating example of life imitating art that came out of my investigations. There have been unprecedented natural and accidental disasters in Earth Ox years, especially with regard to cities. For example, there was a two-month freezing spell in 1709 in France. Crops failed and at least 24,000 Parisians perished. The Great Seattle Fire of 1889, which was started from a glue pot (and we know that cattle were used for glue in those days) destroyed the entire business district of Seattle. It also cured the city's vermin problem.
There was only one life lost in the fire, but it was certainly a complete and sudden change of direction for the city. In 1769 there was the worst famine in history in Bengal – although not a city – in which ten million people died. The one that struck me the most, though, with regard to this letter was the destruction of a major part of the city of Brescia, Italia in 1769.
Lightning will tend to strike the highest structure in any location. In mid-Eighteenth Century Europe, churches were commonly the tallest structures in any town and lightning strikes were a common and destructive occurence on churches, causing a great many fires and deaths over the years. Lightning rods in Europe were invented in Bohemia between 1750-1754 by Divi_, but the Church, in its wisdom, elected not to install them on their buildings due to religious objections. As it turns out, the there were some 200,000 lbs (90,000kg) of gunpowder stored in the basement of the Church of San Nazaro in Brescia in 1769 (exact date unknown) when a lightning strike to the building one day caused a fire in the church. Why they would store gunpowder in a church is beyond me, but life was different in those days. Once the fire reached the gunpowder, the resulting explosion flattened 1/6th of the city, killing 3,000 people in an instant. After that, by decree of the Church, lightning rods were all the rage on church buildings throughout Europe. It might interest you to know that the Combined Element for the Earth Ox Pillar in Chinese astrology is called 'Lightning Fire', indicating sudden and complete changes of direction.
In part three of this article, Malvin examines the Chinese Year of the Ox in 2009. Malvin explains the astrological energies and outlines the nature of the Ox in Chinese Astrology, drawing out the examples of Ox years in the past, showing how they apply to this one.
Read part three of The Chinese New Year, the Year of the Yellow Ox