The Ox in the Year of the Water Rabbit 2023

Ox Pic by @elliespinelli

Who is an Ox?

Years:         1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021.
Month*:      January
Hour:          01.00-03.00am

Day:            you’ll need a Chinese Calendar.

* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. We can let you know this too.

What is an Ox?
The distinctive quality of the Ox is insistence, not persistence because the Ox’s yin Earth makes for a certain fragility, more of a curtain than a rampart. The Ox is in many ways, the most sensitive Zodiac Animal. This is often expressed in what looks like obstinacy but is better understood as puzzlement at being disagreed with. In discourse you may find that an Ox has firm principles that on examination are more like prejudices or assumptions. They are often nonetheless firm as well as correct for all that. As a rule, don’t expect flexibility of mind from an Ox; they know what they know and are often not keen to venture beyond. Never forget however, how sensitive they are.

The Ox’s gifts are very often practical rather than intellectual. The intellectually gifted Ox is extraordinarily powerful. Because of her position between the Rat and the Tiger, the Ox can sometimes vacillate from a fierceness – that does not really suit her – to a Rat-like charm that she may not be able to sustain. Watch out for the Ox who you seem on first acquaintance to have known all your life but then becomes uncontactable. In certain contexts this is called “ghosting”

With her allies the Snake and the Rooster, she forms a team which is of the Metal element. That is to say that the alliance is linear, judgemental and competitive. Where the ground rules are clear, this is an unstoppable combination, not when they’re not. But these three make a great legal team with the Rooster charming the jury, the Snake unearthing information that no one else could find and the Ox sticking to the point. When the rules are unclear however, the Metal alliance can falter. Then the Ox can become judgemental in a more covert sort of way, being less liable to argue than to judge silently. Without the Snake and the Rooster, the Ox is more barrack room lawyer than barrister.

Working in such a team, Metal, that is the qualities of logic, reason and competition, is less important than consistency. In dealing with the Ox, it is important to remember not only that the Metal is there but also that the Ox may deny this fact even to herself.

The hour of the Ox (01-03.00) is when the worlds of spirit and flesh are closest.  Often she has a deep spiritual agenda. The gifts of mediumship and divination are essentially Ox gifts. He is above all extraordinarily sensitive.

He may nonetheless be attached to ancestral dogma. Fundamentalism of all sorts – political and social as well as religious – is a common trait. Ox is not always good at questioning tradition or second-hand wisdom that has come down on good authority. So she will often quote great men not because their words are wise but because they are great. Bob Dylan’s advice “Don’t follow leaders and watch your parking meters” goes over the head of the immature Ox but is the credo of the life-wisened one.

With the Dragon, Dog and Sheep, the Ox forms the Literary Alliance. Some call this confluence the Four Earths and think of it as negative. The fact is that it is a demanding combination. If the Dragon is missing from it, for instance, many think of the alliance as poisonous but to see this as an assembly of the vehicles of expression without anything new to say is probably more like it. The coincidence of these four animals in time or space, known as the Earth Curse, is a challenge to a strong ba zi and can be the ruin of a weak one. As it consists of Dog, Sheep and Ox, expect it to occur in January, July and October of any Earth year like this one.

Ox often stands also for fertility, insome cases infertility but bith in an Ox Day or Hour implies this as an ongoing issue.

The challenge to the Ox in the 21st Century is to topple the toxic Fire Dog. Three of the last four American Presidents (Clinton, W. Bush, Trump) have been Fire Dogs born 1946. The Fire Dog is long past his peak; it’s time to make way. The current chaotic world order may represent this shift of power. Ironically perhaps these Fire Dogs represent the established order of things.

Actually Fire Dogs btw may be best suited to light entertainment as David Gilmour, Roy Wood and John Prine among many others, demonstrate. It may be that the above presidents took an important wrong turn.

Barack Obama may be the world’s most famous Ox and a good example though he actually has a Sheep in his month pillar. This makes for a home-loving and secure man. This is heightened by his day stem (the character that rules the day he was born) which has an unusual affinity both with the Ox and the Sheep. This like so many Oxen, is a man who loves his babies.

The Ox has a love-hate relationship with the irritatingly spontaneous and extrovert Horse to whom she can not help nonetheless being drawn. Nor is she that keen on the Rabbit who can help herself to the Ox’s fresh vegetables or the Tiger who somehow often manages to exploit her.

Central point: the Ox’s power is cyclical, arriving every twelve years and lasting for two. Don’t waste it!

Richard Ashworth © 2023

Detached: The Ox in 2023          ox                                                     

You were in charge last year and the one before and graduating from the steering wheel to the passenger seat may have been trying. The dynamic this year is that Ox clashes Rabbit which can among other things, mean new relationship or stand-off in an established one. Rabbit is yin Wood so it can only take small bites out of you although as a yin Earth creature your resources can be drained easily. This is a year when stability and constancy are important to you. March may bring unwelcome pressure to move.

This year’s issues include maturity and maternity, small blockages, resistance and rebellion. Trust your heart. You may sit much of the year out but it’ll be worth it.

Qua Suk indicates a period of withdrawal and possibly celibacy. Often such times coincide with a visionary state and of course the Ox is the most sensitive of the Animals. You occupy the witching hour between 1 and 3 am when the veils between the worlds are thinnest and you can often access stranger things . This may be one of those times. It’s a good year to meditate deep and often. If as is likely for a yin Earth character your central concern is the Earth and its future, prayer is your best instrument.

By that I don’t mean that all is lost but that practical steps will not be enough. If we are to build a better new world, we need to dream it first.

Wah Koi  often pinpoints a time of seclusion and learning. It may or may not be your nature to prefer reading to actual dialogue but it seems that this year solitude may be your choice.

One of Ox’s native qualities is fertility; this year pregnancy comes easily to many Oxen. The Water Rabbit is the most romantic of the Zodiac Animals. Be sure your response is a chosen one. And if you are one of the few Oxen for whom fertility is challenge rather than opportunity, be aware that the Dragon Year that follows in 2024 is one of miraculous transformation when the impossible may become common sense.

The Ox can stick with things beyond their sell-by date. If that’s you the Dragon brings you relief too. Equally if you find yourself weighed down by tradition and expectation, the Dragon Year will be especially liberating. Hold on.

Dispute is likely to be rife in July. Best be ready. You don’t have to join in. Know that disagreement is a state of mind. The Ox is facile at responding to the feelings of others. Which is going to be your best response to defiance: be smart enough to know where it’s come from. Empathy and understanding follow. 

Lesson:                 Moving on.

Best Months:       January, May, September, December.

Worst Months:    June, July.

Theme:                  Restoring connection.

Hexagram:           6 Song Dispute.

Health=          Wealth: =        Relationship: =


This forecast is prepared by comparing your own Chinese year Animal with the Water Rabbit of 2023.  Your Year Animal is just one of the four that make up your Ba Zi or Four Pillars of Destiny. A fully-drafted ba zi can indicate possible futures and probable pasts as well as moments of decision. Knowing these moments can heal and prevent heartbreak as well make success and happiness more easily achievable. What is a ba zi?  

© Richard Ashworth 2023

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© Richard Ashworth 2023