Monday, 26 January 2009


Happy Chinese New Year!

You are now entering my year which is

The Year of the Ox

In case you wondered here's what the Chinese believe (courtesy of Wikipedia) about Ox People...

The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest.

Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.
Ox people need peace and quiet to work through their ideas, and when they have set their mind on something it is hard for them to be convinced otherwise.

An Ox person has a very logical mind and is extremely systematic in whatever they do, though they have a tremendous imagination and an unparalleled appreciation for beauty. These people speak little but are extremely intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.

People born under the influence of the Ox are kind, caring souls, logical, positive, filled with common sense and with their feet firmly planted on the ground. Security is their main preoccupation in life, and they are prepared to toil long and hard in order to provide a warm, comfortable and stable nest for themselves and their families.

Strong-minded, stubborn, individualistic, the majority are highly intelligent individuals who don't take kindly to being told what to do.
The Ox works hard, patiently, and methodically, with original intelligence and reflective thought. These people enjoy helping others.

Behind this tenacious, laboring, and self-sacrificing exterior lies an active mind.
The Ox is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes them nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the Ox sleepless nights.

Ox people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them. They are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain.

These people are always welcome because of their honesty and patience. They are reputed to be the most beautiful of face in the zodiac. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the Ox people are wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new.

People born in the year of the Ox make wonderful parents and teachers of children.
It is important to remember that the Ox people are sociable and relaxed when they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such people and they engage all the trials of the whole world and seek solutions for them.

It's not for me to say how accurate a description that is of my character -- and I'm not fishing for either compliments or insults! -- but I'll confess that it's already too late to heed the bit about not living off credit cards (which necessarily negates the bit about "prosperity") and the comment that Oxen are noted for "enduring any amount of hardship without complaint" is, in my case (as David will all too readily testify), absolute tosh!

Similarly, I think anyone who knows me will dispute the statement that Oxen "speak little"! I can hear the chorus all too clearly: "We wish!"

Of course, for those who - not unreasonably - don't believe in non-Chinese Astrology on the basis that it's impossible to believe that everyone born in one-twelfth of the year is, more or less, like everyone else born at that time, the Chinese Zodiac requires an even greater stretch of credulity to accept that everyone born in a span of 365 days will have common characteristics. 

Anyway, shelving the doubts for a moment (in the interests of blogging!) I'm pleased to note that share my Chinese Zodiacal sign with Walt Disney (appropriately) and Barack Obama (topically), but while those two Oxen were born in years that have the elemental supplement that makes them a Metal Ox, I was born in the year of the Earth Ox...

There are, it transpires, five elements to each of the Chinese signs of the zodiac: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. So, here's a more detailed analysis of my earthy personality...

Earth is a balance of both yin and yang, the feminine and masculine together. Its motion is inward and centering, and its energy is stabilising and conserving. It is associated with the color yellow and the planet Saturn, and it lies at the center of the compass in the Chinese cosmos. It is associated with the turn of each of the four seasons and with damp.

It is believed to govern the spleen, stomach, mouth and muscles. Its negative emotion is anxiety and its positive emotion is empathy. Its Primal Spirit is represented by the Yellow Dragon.

In Chinese thought Earth is associated with the qualities of patience, thoughtfulness, practicality, hard work and stability.

The earth element is also nurturing and seeks to draw all things together with itself, in order to bring harmony, rootedness and stability.

Other attributes of the earth element include ambition, stubbornness, responsibility and long-term planning. In pathology, the earth can represent selfishness and self-centeredness.

So, a few pluses and minuses there - especially for those who who have to deal with this stubborn, selfish, self-centred old Ox.

What was a big revelation, for me, was to discover that I am somehow associated with damp!


Must be why I love Venice so much...

Anyway, damp or dry, here's to the new year!

Click to enlarge and find your Chinese Zodiac sign.

You can read more about Chinese Astrology and the sign you were born under, here.

Images: Top Ox by H. H. Wong 黃可鏗; Middle Ox by Space Gallery.


polkadotsoph said...

kung hey fat choi to you too!

Leon Basin said...

You have an amazing site here. Thank you for sharing.

Suzanne said...

would that be rising damp?

Eudora said...

My sign is tiger, next year will be my year :P

Brian Sibley said...

POLKADOTSOPH - That's with noodles not rice, right?

LEON BASIN - Thanks Leon, your site is pretty amazing, too! Glad you found mine, so I now know about yours! :-)

SUZANNE - "Would that be rising damp?" Probably! But marginally better (possibly) than dry rot!

EUDORA - You share the same sign as David. According to Wikipedia, Tigers are "magnetic characters and their natural air of authority confers a certain prestige on them." To read the whole description of your fantastic character just follow this link! Enjoy... :-)

Phil said...

Hey, I'm an Ox, too, apparently. I've been called many things, but never that.

Happy New Year to all fellow oxen. What a marvellous plural we have!

Brian Sibley said...

PHIL - Welcome to the club --- or the stall!

Ryan Rasmussen said...

You are in good company, as our October J Rabbit was most definitely an ox!