The Ox in the Year of the Metal Ox 2021

Who is an Ox?

Years:         1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009.
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. I 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.  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.

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 © 2021

The Ox in 2021

You’re still the boss. The Ox in 2021 has way too much to do again and may be feeling a bit fragile. It doesn’t matter how much you actually have on your agenda; you may still be worrying that you’ll never get it all done. Good thing you like to work. It’s going to be a good year but quite demanding.

From your perspective, maybe volunteering leaves too much to chance, but in 2021 I see you doing it anyway. You don’t need a job description to be the measure of your success. More than you can accomplish will be asked. Remember that your best will be good enough.

Take up whatever you deem the best position in 2021.  It may last until 2025 at least. This year the Ox will remind us that the meaning of executive is getting things done.

When the Ox is boss, they tend to take on more of the minutiae, not less. The Ox may have a partner, but they generally don’t have a second in command. In 2021, you can. Be quick to publicly acknowledge what you get out of this alliance. Normally, I know you would, but Oxen may be feeling a bit used and used up.

You’ll be picking that feeling up from others too. Take it and add it to your empathy. It’s going to be a year where you’re asked for advice. You’re going to be asked to be an example of how we get people what they need and how to persist in our pursuits of justice. Help us set an infinite number of new routines. Teach us how to grow big things from small beginnings.

Be ready to own and answer for your decisions. If you find your values are in conflict more than you like, take a moment to reflect. You’ve got the upper hand, yes, but your clash with the Sheep is meant for learning purposes. How do you use it?

Caretaking is going to be asked of you. We associate that word with domestic stuff, meaning home, but in 2021 the Ox is asked to take us from hell to breakfast. Oxen are going to notice needs at every turn whether anyone is specifically asking you to fulfill them or not. Your yin Earth is said to include 10,000 things! If the silent demands have got you feeling anxious, share that with someone who will listen well.

Whenever you call me, I’ll be there

Whenever you want me, I’ll be there

Whenever you need me, I’ll be there

I’ll be around

Recorded by the Spinners in 1973 (Water Ox year)

Of all the Oxen, the 1973 Water Ox is the one who can definitely set things right in 2021. The Water Ox is in charge of subduing evil. If you have that commanding pillar in your BaZi, put it to good use. In the day pillar this could be an assignment for you regarding your relationship. In the hour it might be your children who take on that challenge. If you have that pillar in the year, your role could be in a public forum, as with 1973 Water Oxen Stacey Abrams and Tarana Burke.

As you might expect (sigh), even in a year where there’s an Earth Penalty, the Dragon just happens to have and be the solution. The Earth Penalty is triggered for everyone at some point in January, July and October. If you don’t already know what Vaults (Ox, Dragon, Sheep, Dog) if any are in your Ba Zi this is a good time to find out. Creating the meaning you want can make most any situation work in your favor.

January         Hit the ground plodding.

April              Find out who your peers are. Things have changed. Break ups                              may be imminent.

July                 Orthodox vs Unorthodox; Women behind conflicts over                                          vaccinations?

October          Aim a kick at whatever’s at your heels and it will go away.

December      Your second in command resigns.

Oxen to Watch

Powerful work in music:

It could be Angel Olsen’s biggest year for her work so far. She was born in a Metal Ox month.

“I’ve been watching all of my past repeating” All Mirrors

Rapsody, born in the Water Ox month, brings justice and subdues evil.

“Who the kids gonna call now?” 12 Problems

Public power:

1949 Earth Ox: Elizabeth Warren

1961 Metal Ox: Barack Obama

1973 Water Oxen: Stacey Abrams, Tarana Burke

©Stephanie J  Stewart 2021


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© Richard Ashworth 2021