The Rabbit in the Year of the Water Rabbit 2023

Rabbit Pic by @elliespinelli

Who is a Rabbit?

Years:         1939, 51, 63, 75, 87, 99, 2011. 2013
Month*:      March
Hour:          05.00 am – 07.00

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. I can let you know this too.

What is a Rabbit?
The Rabbit is yin Wood, essentially gentle and domestic. Their time is early morning; the legend has it that she and the Rooster swapped places which is why the Zodiac Rooster crows not at dawn but at dusk. The Rabbit rules the Spring therefore – think of March Hares and Easter Bunnies – and the Rooster the autumn. This story may also serve to illustrate the mistrust that can exist between Rabbit and the yin Metal Rooster.

The Rabbit is subtle, in keeping with her yin nature. She provides service readily and is often suited to catering and caring. But her preparedness to roll up her sleeves makes her the unexpected queen of networking. If you want to be introduced to the person in charge, ask a Rabbit.

Although giving an impression of reluctance to be in the spotlight, Rabbits are often performers but equally often are more at home behind the scenes. Writer-composer Tim Minchin fits this bill. Devoted Dad David Beckham perhaps also and strangely introvert ex-Prime Minister Gordon Brown. All clearly pretty good at making connections also.

The Rabbit can wait her turn; vigilance and patience are typical. Their natural allies are the Pig and the Sheep. This is a house-proud team and the Rabbit is a team player. Her unexpected friend is the Dog who values her ability to charm without threat.

The Rabbit also belongs to the gathering known as the Flowers of Love# (or Plumflowers) along with the Horse, the Rooster and Rat. She may often find herself clearing up behind these three extroverts and quite often the cuddle-bunny will obtain a life partner from the leavings of more obviously glamorous colleagues.

Rabbit tends to be conservative with a small “c”. Early rising is typical but the yang of early alertness may be balanced by the yin of sleeping in. Lazybones or insomniac, sleeping is an issue. This is yin and yang.

In Vietnam this Zodiac Animal is called the Cat. Intuitively this does not sit right, the ideogram so clearly has ears. Furthermore yin Wood relates to the late Spring, leaves and flowers and grass, none of which are obviously feline attributes. Btw the song “Year of the Cat” written by 1945 Rooster Al Stewart in the Rabbit Year of 1975 illustrates again the misunderstanding that often occurs between Rabbit & Rooster.

In some ways the Rabbit epitomises yin. Yang Wood may be characterised as an upwards movement like the growth of a tree. Yin Wood is more of an outward expansion like the spread of grass. What these two expressions of Wood have in common is irresistibility. But they are very different types of irresistibility. To counter yang Wood we need yang Metal: an axe will cut down the biggest tree. But you could attack a lawn with that same axe and not remove all the grass in a lifetime. This is the power of yin Wood.

Wood is both stubborn and flexible. Yin Wood (as characterised by Soen, the wind of the South East) is thorough as well as organised: “gentle and thorough but ultimately adamant” as the Book of Changes has it.

Hexagram 53 of the Book of Changes, “Gradual Progress” describes this: the tree on the mountain grows against all the odds either because it throws itself absolutely upon the mercy of the tao or because it has a detailed plan that it follows meticulously. Or both.

The Rabbit is said to cause the Dragon (next in sequence) to lose money. Perhaps the Dragon is distracted by a neighbour so apparently different in nature. These two are not a great pairing but the fact is that the Rabbit sitting between the Tiger and the Dragon, shares qualities with both.

Partnership with the Tiger is sometimes formalised as the House of Progress#. The Rabbit offers carrot while the Tiger wields a stick. This arrangement exemplifies the truism that more is achieved with a kind word and a gun than with a kind word alone. This alliance is particularly visible during 2022.

Wood represents bone, spine and hair as well as eyes: the light is Fire but the receiving organ is Wood. The Rabbit is often not strong in these regards unlike the Tiger. This again, is yin and yang. Liver is Wood also and for the acupuncturist might be the place to address all of the above.

Finally it’s worth appreciating that the wooden table you’re probably seated by is wood but not Wood. Wood is always growing which is not true of anything else; not animals, people, cutting edges or stones. Usable Wood in feng shui terms, is alive. Many Masters consider dead Wood to be Earth, motionless and ashen.

Richard Ashworth © 2023

Victim or Victor? The Rabbit in 2023           sf_pic016                                   

There are those that pick on you, those to whom you give unsparingly and those you allow to take from you. At least that is likely to be the way you look at it. This is a view point: not just a view point, it’s perfectly valid and well-deserved but not helpful. And one that may on some level colour all your transactions.

The Rabbit is the sweetheart of the Chinese Zodiac; you are the one who makes the introductions and the drinks, the one who ensures that everyone is comfortable and at ease. In business these qualities make you a great opener of a sale. Typically however you are not so great at closing that sale. Indeed time and again you have sold yourself short: in business, pleasure or relationship. As a general suggestion, partner in business with Tigers, who will make sure that the prospects you have invited to the presentation don’t get away without buying something. So often the Tiger obtains the cheque, the Rabbit the check. As I say, you might usefully cut and paste this approach to other activities.

In this your own year, those and the other Rabbit qualities will tend to be exaggerated. This does not mean trust less; in some senses it actually means trust more. There will be big opportunities throughout the year (see below for specifics). Certain types of relationship beckon in March, broadly peer-to-peer. February offers you senior partners, October junior ones.

Some feng shui Masters insist that the Animal of the Year is inherently “poked” (that is to say disadvantaged). I think this is wrong. It’s true of Horse, Pig, Dragon, and Rooster, the Animals that suffer the so-called “self-penalty”. These are the ones that put simply, suffer with ego issues. Which entails a belief in shortage. Many of them have to deal with a presumption that the plenty of others is to their disadvantage, every game is a zero-sum, there are no winners without losers. Look perhaps at 1952 dragon Vladimir Putin in this light. This is not, I think who you are.

You are more likely to make way for others. You may indeed have learned not to need handling or humouring. If not you’d be well advised to work on it. What Rabbits do suffer from is the “Ingratitude Penalty” which is pretty much endemic this year. It affects us all at times when Rabbit and Rat coincide: that’s this December but also at cyclical moments throughout the year. And its central protagonists are Rabbit and Rat.

What it means to you is this: a central experience may be that your parents screwed up. Philip Larkin wrote (excuse the language): “They fuck you up, your Mum and Dad/They don’t mean to but they do.” JK Rowling wisely added that there is a statute of limitations on this. For you, the earlier that statute kicks in the better, for the clearer Rabbit it already has. If I have drafted your ba zi, you can find the focus point where the Special Star Yum San (or Yuen Zhen) appears; that will have been the perfect moment to deal with this judgement. For some it appears so early in the ba zi that it’s very unlikely to have been addressed consciously. As Chuck Spezzano puts it however, “It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”

And it’s a two-way thing: whether as parent, employer or boss, the Rat may feel unappreciated. Imagine sending your child to a private school that bled you white only to have them complain that they have been damaged. Parent, employer, boss….or sovereign; imagine the impact of this overarching experience upon 1948 Rat King Charles III? And indeed upon his younger brother 1960 Rat Prince Andrew. You only have to watch that Emily Maitliss interview to know that he’s easily put-upon.

As a Rabbit, however you’re likely to find yourself on the other end of this. The inherent blame may be the single most disempowering choice it’s possible to make. Such feelings – recrimination, loss, the projection of guilt – will probably tug most powerfully in March, the Rabbit Month. Feel it, own it, let it pass; if you have sublimated this experience or lost it in your body, there’s a chance then to complete it and be free of it once and for all. And again in December when the emphasis will be different.

Like all completion what we’re discussing here is forgiveness. Or perhaps a better word is absolution. Forgiveness is often understood as a magnanimous response to poor behaviour. Consider that a moment: that’s not forgiveness, it’s blame, dispensation proffered from the higher moral ground. True forgiveness involves that you did it, not them. How else could it be? Getting that can be extraordinarily liberating.

There’s plenty else going on this year: huge gains in April and October; new friendships in July and November; bursts of creativity in June, July and October – these are the moments when you may make your mark. But addressing the Ingratitude Clash is the puzzle that ties and loosens all the others.

Lesson:                Knowing when to throw in the towel

Best Months:       February, June, October, November.

Worst Months:    May, August

Theme:                 Right is not might

Hexagram:          39 Qien Great Difficulty.

In short               Respect yourself. Commit.

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?

29, Portsmouth Road, Godalming, Surrey, GU7 2JU | tel: 01483 428998 |

Corporate and Media Contact: Peter Dunne. Tel. 07768 617330

© Richard Ashworth 2023