It’s the Year of the Earth Dog – The Taiji Practitioners Year.

Monday, February 12, 2018
The New Year begins on February 16 this year and is the Year of the Earth Dog. The Earth element always brings with it a sense of stability and groundedness, which is a relief after the last two Fire years. The Fire years can be a time of great opportunity but decisions need to be made quickly. This year is a time where you can settle down, consolidate and concentrate on what you managed to grab on to in the last two years.
 
If you want to make the most of the Earth Dog Year, focus on what you are building or creating at the moment whether it be a house, a committed relationship, growing your family, cementing your career path, expanding your business, doing that extra study you’ve been meaning to do, or concentrating on a life pursuit with more zealousness. But remember to remain calm and centred… don’t run off on myriad tangents. The essence of the year is to be with one thing and remain faithful to it.
 
For all of that, you will need to keep one eye on your health and wellbeing. Don’t forget to look after yourself despite your newfound focus. In other words, make sure you have a healthy diet, exercise regularly, get sufficient sleep, maintain a calm disposition through meditation, mindfulness or time out, and try to eliminate some of those bad habits you’ve got in to over the last couple of years.
 
The Dog, by its nature, is known for loyalty and generosity, so the year tends to reflect that. Hopefully, you will see a time of increased social awareness and support for those in need. People who are renowned for taking, may actually start giving, and we should see a greater sense of selflessness and generosity among us all. It is a year that rewards empathy for all, acceptance of those who are not so fortunate, and a clear understanding of right and wrong. Essentially, if in doubt, think about the traits of a loyal Dog and try to absorb some of those qualities… you will definitely be rewarded.
 
So, as Taiji Practitioners, the Year of the Earth Dog really is our year. It is the astrological embodiment of our philosophy - Wǔ dé (武德) - Martial Morality; a concept combining our deeds and our attitudes. As martial practitioners we should all be striving to follow this principle, using the actions of humility, sincerity, courtesy, morality and trust, while focussing on developing the mindsets of courage, patience, endurance, perseverance and will. If we follow these ideals, we’ll not only gain WuJi (the concept of “no extremity”, or “complete harmony”), but we’ll be better human beings. We’ll each be a shining example of why everyone should practice our arts and why we don’t have to wait until an Earth Dog Year to enjoy to magic inherent in its ideology.
 
To each and every one of you, have a wonderful, focussed, gentle year sharing and caring for all around you.
 
Gong Xi Fa Cai – Happy New Year for 2018!!