The Year of the Ox — 2009

Welcome to the Chinese New Year of the Ox, which begins on January 26, 2009, according to the Chinese lunar calendar. Many people who paid attention to last year’s forecast told me they benefited from avoiding some of the pitfalls I warned about. The system of forecasting that I use is based on ancient Taoist energy science that looks at the dynamics of elemental and cosmic influences. Its usefulness lies in guidance that helps us avoid negative impacts while encouraging us to utilize positive trends. I hope that in this time of turmoil and instability, this forecast will help you and your family weather the storm. Like all storms, though destructive and fearsome, this one shall eventually pass, and peace and contentment will be restored once again. The key is to cultivate      your strong roots to withstand the tempest. 2009, the Year of the Ox, is represented by two elements—double Earth. The energetic characteristic of Earth element is one of patience, harmony and charity. Like in a garden, symbol of the Earth element, hard work, persistence and patience yields a bountiful harvest. Similarly, an ox steadily and methodically plows the field. Then, crops are produced that can be shared with those less fortunate. My advice this year is to return to the basics, and literally and figuratively, reconnect with and take care of our planet Earth. It is a time to heal and rebuild from natural and man-made disasters and breakdowns. We must peacefully bridge international, cultural, religious and political divisions.

Enlightened leaders will be required to come together to accomplish the difficult tasks ahead, as global warming and the financial storm have touched every part of the world and affected every person. With cooperation, dedication and commitment, there is nothing that is impossible, although we need to temper our expectations with patience.

On the health front, the Earth element is represented by our digestive and metabolic systems. In 2009 pay special attention to your stomach, spleen, pancreas and intestines by reducing alcohol, caffeine, refined sugar, excessive dairy intake, heavy meats and processed foods. We have gotten far removed and disconnected from the sources of our food because of modern agricultural techniques, factory processing and distribution that begins thousands of miles away. Consequently, people’s state of health has suffered, including increased incidences of heart disease, diabetes and cancer. Look out for conditions like gastric reflux, gastritis, ulcers, small bowel bacterial overgrowth, irritable bowel syndrome, constipation, diarrhea, polyps or cancers of the digestive track, diabetes, obesity or anorexia, and muscular problems.

A return to Earth literally means eating more wholesome foods like whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans, legumes, nuts and seeds that are locally and organically grown. Special emphasis should be placed on antioxidant-rich foods that lower your risk of cancer such as broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, cabbage, shiitake and maitake mushrooms, berries, yam, sweet potato, asparagus, beets, carrot, avocado and seaweed. Cook with herbs like dill, oregano, cilantro, rosemary, sage, bay, anise, fennel, cardamom, basil and coriander. Digestive enzymes and high-potency probiotics can also be added to your diet to enhance your digestive and immune functions. (See Wellness Shop below.)

The year 2009 is a “back to the basics” year of taking care of ourselves, our family and our environment. Seek to resolve conflicts, and promote peace and harmony in relationships. Work diligently and consistently to rebuild financially, and cultivate spiritually by doing charitable acts and service to the less fortunate. Help restore universal values of respect, compassion, moderation, harmony and self-responsibility in our lives and in our communities. These are the attributes that are the basis for a happy and constructive life outlined in the books, Path of Constructive Life and Love of Mother Universe written by my father, Hua-Ching Ni, and me.

We invite you to read these and other of our published works as they will help you achieve your true life.