The Year of Power and Courage


The patience and endurance of the ox have led us through this very difficult year. Recession has led to high unemployment. The health care reform process has gone nowhere. Money is still being printed and borrowed to sustain the war. Internationally, there was a devastating earthquake in Haiti, a worldwide economic recession, and a stalemate over climate issues. Everyone has been facing challenges.

In entering the Year of the Tiger, we are looking for improvements. Everyone, though, is anxious about what the year will actually bring us. In Yin-Yang theory, when Yin reaches a maximum, it turns into Yang; when things reach their worst, they begin to improve. The question is, of course, whether Yin and yet reached its maximum.

In the United States, the New Year freeze on the east coast does not seem like a good omen. On the other hand, it may indicate that the rate of decline has slowed down. There may be a bit farther to go, but it won’t be as sudden.

At least we are entering the Tiger year. The tiger is a symbol of power and courage. So we should at least have more energy and power to deal with the difficulties we have. This is the first Tiger Year of the new century. This is a very young tiger — just a cub. It might be daring and courageous, but it has not yet developed its strength. It is said that when the tiger is absent, the monkey will take control. Indeed, we see lots of monkeys have taken their place on the stage. We have too many monkeys running around our houses — both “D” monkeys and “R” monkeys. Monkeys can be manipulated or trained, but their nature cannot be changed.

Politically, it seems that the usual self-correcting mechanisms no longer work. We need some fundamental change. We need to take control of our houses away from the monkeys.

Internationally, we cannot expect to have much to celebrate. Friction, disharmony, and stalemates will continue between countries. We can only hope that there will be no extraordinary surprises.

On the individual level, we may not have the power to affect the international, or even the domestic situation. But we do have the power to change ourselves — our reality, and our perceptions. We are invested with the vigor and valor of the tiger, and we can bring that energy to our lives in this year. Many people have found that they have survived the difficulties of the last year better than they expected. People have adapted: finding different ways to deal with situations, different ways to live their lives.

People have found they can still be happy with less, in ways that lead to subtle spiritual unfolding. The ability to hang on in these difficult times leads to a transformation in values, and in outlook on life.

Fundamental change in government requires fundamental change in society. Fundamental change in society requires fundamental changes on the part of individuals.

As for Blue Mountain, we are happy to report that many teachers have stepped forward in Europe and Russia to take responsibility for teaching Feng Shui workshops, spreading the core teaching of Blue Mountain Feng Shui—“In harmony with nature, in tune with the heart”. With the help of Taras Latvin, of Kiev in Ukraine, by the end of spring the Russian-language Blue Mountain Feng Shui web site should be finished and posted. Shan-Tung Hsu and Jenny Hones have been working on a new book, Feng Shui: Truth, Myths and Misconceptions. We are keeping our fingers crossed — but it should be published before the beginning of summer.

Shan-Tung Hsu has also taken a side trip to work on another favorite subject, and is writing a book on The Essence of Chinese Tea. We expect to have a big tea party this summer in Seattle to celebrate the publication of this book.

People born in the years of the Horse and Dog should take advantage of this year: it is the best year for them to make progress. This is a year of change for those born in Tiger years. For Monkeys, move cautiously! The rest are fairly neutral, though people born in the Pig year might do well in relationships. People born in the Rooster year should be careful about investments.

We have to take life seriously, but remember that when you see monkeys playing around and we are powerless to do anything about it, take it lightly; feel free to laugh. For everyone: stay firm, breathe steadily, and keep focused. Don’t look back.