The Sheep in the Year of the Metal Rat 2020

Who is a Sheep?

The Sheep in 2020: below

Years:  1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003.
Month*:  July
Hour: 13.00-15.00

Day: Ask Us
* 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 Sheep?
Idealistic, yin Earth, not the top getter-onner with others, the balanced Sheep has well-meant judgements about everybody which can sometimes keep her stuck in first gear. For the unbalanced Sheep (July birthday and/or mid-afternoon birth) ambition and foolishness are pretty much the same thing. For the balanced one, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Noel Gallagher, however, leveraging affability for fame and fortune is second nature. See below for what the most unbalanced Sheep do with this gift for belonging.

The balanced Sheep, as well as being an expert judge of people, knows exactly what matters and is not easily diverted from it. The arrangement for instance that Wood Sheep Bruce Willis,  his ex Demi Moore and her ex (and Bruce’s fishing buddy) Ashton Kutcher came to, whereby they stayed friends and the children avoided becoming conflicted is not usual, either in Hollywood or the world at large but it is typical Sheep behaviour. They can all change partners like a Jane Austen cotillion but Bruce gets to see his kids.

Conversely, the value of caution and conservatism is often clear in Sheep relationships. The most obvious of these is with the extrovert spontaneous Horse whose sidekick the Sheep often ends up being. With the Sheep beside him, the Horse’s fun may be a little less riotous but he will also stay out of serious trouble. The young Horse and Sheep of 1978 and 1979 for instance, are often a tag team who go out drinking and clubbing together. The Sheep may stand back in amazement at the daring of the Horse but is there both to pick up the pieces and to take advantage when these risks bear fruit. The Horse dances on tables, the Sheep ensures a soft landing.

This illustrates a psychological truth about the Sheep: the risk-taking they shy away from is exactly what attracts them most. Many a desirable partner has on the rebound from a Horse, found a life-long proposition in the Sheep. Read Marianne Faithfull’s revealing autobiography if you want to see how this applied to the Rolling Stones.

Placed as the Sheep is before the Monkey in the Chinese Zodiac, they also understand trickiness. There is generally a certain wariness between these two but as a team they are unorthodox but magical.

The Sheep also forms a natural affiliation with the Pig and the Rabbit; a very domestic alliance. The Chinese ideograph for home is a Pig under a roof and the average Rabbit would happily stay home 24/7 if allowed to. The Rabbit is the diplomat and mixer while the Pig who is inherently versatile takes up the slack of whatever jobs there are to perform. The Sheep’s part is to make things secure. She will have ensured for instance that there are no sworn enemies on the guest list. Sheep is an ideal social secretary as well as a resolver of conflict. Psycho-therapy is among appropriate career paths. And of course this gift is one that can be abused.

The Sheep is passionate, representing the yin or feminine side of sexuality but whether male or female, the Sheep is more seducer than chatter up. 1967 Sheep Michael Gove’s appeal is surely a subtle one but he clearly fits several of the Sheep patterns.

Perhaps most interestingly, the Sheep can form a formidable team with the Dog, the Dragon and the Ox. Individually each of these three is somewhat intimidating to her but when this group gathers, her value becomes obvious. She can draw flexibility from the Dog, humility from the Dragon and cheerful co-operation from the autocratic Ox. Above all he ensures peace among them. Even if all they do is make the coffee, the Sheep is a comforter of the insecure. She understands that most barkers never bite and that aggression is simply inverted fear.

A final word: the dark side of the Sheep is to leverage gregariousness for power. Brazilian “strongman” Jair Bolsonaro and cynical media mogul Rupert Murdoch don’t fit the pattern of the easygoing Sheep at all. But the Sheep loves the herd to be on their side. They have to belong; sometimes even when that involves falsity and betrayal. Donald Trump was born on a Sheep day, making his deepest quality the need for approval. This is not only the Sheep’s nature but often their weakness. In this sense they are not so much “strongmen” but weak because their only strength is in the endorsement of the herd. Populism is so much easier than conviction.

Richard Ashworth © 2020

The Sheep in 2020

The team-oriented Sheep has a solid reputation when it comes to cooperation and is always available to bail out a close friend. The Horse tends to take advantage of this. In a Rat year a clashed Horse could lead the Sheep into danger. For your own safety it’s time to learn how to partner (or not) without compromising your sense of right and wrong. Luckily you have Dragon Virtue on your side to help maintain your good reputation. If you want to use that on behalf of someone else, however, get your facts straight first.

1955 Wood Sheep Lindsey Graham is the Sheep to Trump’s Horse. Graham has a Sheep year, Sheep month and Sheep day. Trump’s month is Horse. That explains a lot actually. Graham is reluctant to go against his party. Letting faith and loyalty overcome common sense is probably not his plan but he may be left holding the bag anyhow. These are the kind of Sheep mistakes that could overshadow their excellent intentions.

The Sheep will find the Metal Rat year less cold and unforgiving when they give as much weight to the facts and logic as they do to their unconditional love and optimism. This is what timing demands, not a comment on the Sheep’s values. What I’m saying is that the Ox is in charge – for the next two years.

For the Sheep, whose season is late summer, the excess Water of this time is a stimulus for discernment. Make that your byword this year or find yourself caught in the crossfire of someone else’s war. In 2020 a Sheep may be involved in proxy conflicts. On the compass, you may get lumped into a group with those more volatile than you and end up in a place you never meant to go. As always, your choices will shape all possible outcomes.

As early as January your standards will be questioned regarding the company you keep and who you choose to back. You may be drawn into someone else’s power struggle. If you want to avoid that, break alliances if needed or at least refuse to defend (and thereby support) a close friend or partner’s bad behavior. With the best of intentions, you would prefer not to refuse anyone. This year requires you to do what could be the most uncomfortable act for a Sheep: don’t get involved if it’s not your fight. Be open about that when asked for advice. Possible consequences? Gaining respect and strengthening the bonds of your group in the long run. You’ll be setting a helpful example.

With your psychic and sensitive nature, you already knew this kind of decision was coming. You want to avoid confrontation but the irritation that accompanies certain relationships isn’t new. That nagging issue that you’d like to deem irrelevant – is it really? Don’t make light of your intuitions. It’s like there’s a noise in the background that only you can hear. Pay attention. That’s the only guidance you need.

We need your persistent commitment to the health of the group now more than ever before. Your actions could be the glue that puts us back together. What’s required is courage and time. You’ve got both.

©Stephanie Stewart 2020

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© Richard Ashworth 2020