This week marked the first of the lunar new year. To contrast last year’s more rambunctious energy of the tiger, we now enter the year of the “Yin Water Rabbit,” which bodes to be gentler, more harmonious, healing and peaceful.
The rabbit is known to be resourceful, which is why the Chinese believe the year of the rabbit to be financially promising. The rabbit is equally thought of as relatively sensitive, diplomatic, and homemaking, which makes 2023 a potentially great year for family affairs of all kinds, whether baby-making, baby-raising, purchasing homes, or staying at home more frequently to nurture loved ones. The fact that the element in this rabbit year is of yin water only further solidifies these recommendations or themes.
With that being said, it is always important to recognize that the qualities that create our own strengths are generally at the root of our challenges or weaknesses as well. People with a lot of energy or charisma are often poor sleepers, more irritable, and temperamental, all of which a result of their internal heat; while those who are calmer and more laid back have a tendency to laziness and procrastination. They tend to be the colder body/mind types.
Because the yin water rabbit is so naturally peaceful and forgiving, its year’s potential side effects worth being mindful of mitigating are depression and reclusiveness. Of course, we should take advantage of the rabbit’s strengths, of looking inward, meditation practices, and confronting our fears and feelings. At the same time, while immersed in yin water it is important to periodically generate fire, our yang energy to balance this energy around us.
Basic ways to do this are taking trips whenever possible, connecting with community as much as possible, and exercising to raise your body temperature, provided that exercise isn’t something already being done to excess. Regularly partaking in such activities should nicely balance the Yin Water Rabbit’s tendency to melancholy and/or anxiety this year.
For my part, with a yin water year beginning in the middle of winter (as the lunar year always does), I have been using a great deal more moxibustion in the clinic lately. The mugwort herb we burn on certain acupuncture points has a warming, healthy vasodilatory effect, which can be wonderful at preventing pathogenic yin, or local “dampness” in the body. While it’s fine to use in the summer, I feel logically more drawn to moxibustion in the cold of January, especially now in the days of the rabbit.