Here we are at the dawn of the Year of the Fire Monkey and already the results of the New Hampshire Primary in the United States are telling us that this could well be the year of maverick.
In Chinese astrology, the Monkey is just what you’d expect — clever, quick, a trickster, a talker, a stirrer of the pot — indeed very like the sign Gemini in Western astrology. When that monkey is set on fire, as he is this year, he can get too hot to handle.
There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac — and every year is assigned an animal in rotation. There are also five elements which rotate through — earth, air, metal, wood, water. This means that you have two interlocking cycles: one of 12 and one of 5. 12×5=60, so the cycle repeats every 60 years — ergo the last Fire Monkey year was 1956.
This means that the Chinese Years parallel the Western cycle of Saturn and Jupiter — not perfectly but closely. So in 1956, Jupiter was in Virgo and Saturn was in Sagittarius.
(In case you are wondering, Republican Dwight D. Eisenhower, the incumbent, easily beat Adlai Stevenson in the US Election of 1956. So sadly, you can’t draw a direct historical parallel. The 1896 race, (the previous Fire Monkey) however, was a doozy, and yes there are echoes of Bernie and Donald in Bryan and McKinley. Astrologically, Saturn did not go into Sagittarius until the inauguration in 1897.
Just to continue with this briefly. Neptune was in fixed Scorpio in 1956, and wobbly Gemini in 1896, the latter planetary alignments therefore much more like today. Neptune is important because it influences popular sentiment.)
The Chinese say that a Fire Monkey year is full of surprise, too hot to handle and volatile– indeed you might say “mercurial” perhaps. And as we’ve seen already, those Mercury-ruled signs, Virgo and Gemini, Bernie Sander and Donald Trump respectively, are triumphing in the polls. The mavericks rule — but, of course, unpredictable is the name of the game.
Happy Chinese New Year!