Happy Chinese New Year of the Yang Fire Monkey (Feb 8, 2016 – Jan 27, 2017)! What are the East-West Astro Energies at Play?

7 Feb

The Upcoming New Moon on Monday Feb 8 at 06:39 am PST at 19º15’ Aquarius initiates the Chinese New Year of the Yang Fire Monkey!


Monkeys (Gibbons) at Play 1427 painting by Xuande Emperor

“Gibbons at Play” – 1427 Painting by Xuande Emperor(!)


Here in BC, Canada, we have quite an awareness of Chinese Astrology and year cycles, due to the presence of the Chinese community – obviously much stronger on the mainland than on Vancouver Island.

Yet, also in Victoria (where the Chinese population is about 30 000), the Chinese New Year will be celebrated again in Chinatown on Sunday, Feb 14 (traditional Lion’s Dance and celebrations) – the Sunday after the CNY.


Introduction to the Chinese Animal and Element Cycles

The Chinese calendar is Lunar based (as in Islamic, Mayan, Native American cultures), and therefore the New Year varies every year. It traditionally starts with the day following the second New Moon after Winter Solstice.

Yes, there is also a Chinese Astrology based on the planetary movements in relation to the star constellations of the Zodiac, like our Western Astrology system.

The more popular system is based on two interlocking ‘wheels’ of cycles:

The cycle of the 12 Animals = 12 earthly branches.

These are in sequence: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

The cycle of the 5 Elements = 5 heavenly stems.
Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood.

Therefore, there are 60 possible Animal & Element combinations, and they repeat every 60 years. The Elements stay ‘on’ for 2 years, with alternating Yang and Yin polarity.

For instance, after a Yang Wood Horse year (Jan 31, 2014 – Feb 18 2015), a Yin Wood Sheep year followed (on Feb 18, 2015), and on Feb 8, 2016, we are moving into a Yang Fire Monkey year.

Next year will be the Yin Fire Rooster year.

This system with cycles that aren’t directly based on cosmic planetary / star constellation cycles, yet the 12 year animal cycle corresponds roughly with the 12-year Jupiter cycle.


The last Yang Fire Monkey year was Feb 12, 1956 – Jan 30, 1957.

When you are about 60 years old, you get your Chinese element / animal return (together with the Western Astrology 2nd Saturn and 5th Jupiter return). And if you have grandchildren 60 years younger than you, you share your Animal / Element combo with them.

The last Monkey years (with different Element combinations) were (Jan / Feb that year until Jan / Feb following year) 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004.

For specific dates, and more detailed intro to the Chinese Elements and Animal Cycles, see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_astrology.


For the Monkey years, check out this nice table from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monkey_(zodiac) – lots of info about the Monkey there too.

Start date End date Heavenly branch
6 February 1932 25 January 1933 Water Monkey
25 January 1944 12 February 1945 Wood Monkey
12 February 1956 30 January 1957 Fire Monkey
30 January 1968 16 February 1969 Earth Monkey
16 February 1980 4 February 1981 Metal Monkey
4 February 1992 22 January 1993 Water Monkey
22 January 2004 8 February 2005 Wood Monkey
8 February 2016 27 January 2017 Fire Monkey
26 January 2028 12 February 2029 Earth Monkey
12 February 2040 31 January 2041 Metal Monkey


The cycles have more combinations thank just the yearly ones:
The so-called 4 pillars:

  • The Animal / Elements of the Year (which would in Western Astrology roughly compare with the sign Jupiter was in at the year of birth), a.k.a. the ‘outer animal’.
  • The Animal / Element of the Month of birth (which would roughly compare with the 12 Zodiac Sun sign cycle), a.k.a. ‘inner animal’.
  • The Animal / Element of the Day of the week (which would roughly compare with the Moon sign), a.k.a. ‘private animal’.
  • The Animal / Element of the Hour of birth, with a 2 hours range per animal, and also rotating with elements (roughly comparable with AC signs), a.k.a. ‘secret animal’ – only people who know your birth time would know it 🙂

So in fact, the system is much more differentiated and complex in its combination variables than one thinks at first glance at the ‘Year of…’ only.

12 x 5 Year combinations, 12 x 5 Month combinations, 12 x 5 Day combinations, and 12 x 5 Hour combinations (total 12 960 000) are possible!



The Yang Fire Monkey, and his Year

Monkey Golden Headed Lion Tamarin

Golden-Headed Lion Tamarin (free photo from Pixabay) And yay, the Chinese Monkey relates to the Western sign Leo! 🙂


Quite a shift after the closing Yin Wood Sheep year…

Wood / Chen (which has been on for the last 2 years) is the Element of the East, plants, nurturance, growth, the colour green, Spring, and relates to the planet Jupiter.

The Sheep / Wei is Yin by nature, tribe / family oriented, and associated with the Western Zodiac sign Cancer: Soft, gentle, caring, needs the quiet ‘nest’.
How have your home and family themes grown over the last year?

Perhaps a lot to reflect upon.

Collectively, worldwide, the wave of refugees looking for a safe haven has been related to the theme of the Wood Sheep.
In the generating Element cycle, Wood feeds Fire, and Fire follows Wood in the sequence throughout the years.

Fire / Li (the new Element of the next 2 years) is the Element of the South, passion and creativity, adventure, leadership, the colour red, Summer, and relates to the planet Mars.

The Monkey is clever, forever curious, a mischievous prankster, and always playful. He makes fun, plays tricks, has always a joke up his sleeve, and shows us that life is a game. The smart Monkeys love watching (and imitating) people, learning, playing, and being creative.

No boredom, in the Yang Fire Monkey Year…
The Fire Monkey is super active and the most assertive (ruled by planet Mars…) if not aggressive of all Monkeys. He’s naturally competitive, likes to be dominant, and take on leadership.

Hmmm, wondering what this means for the U.S. Federal Elections in November….

He heads straight for the top, and likes to be in control. Sorta Alpha Ape. When he’s in charge of a situation, he’s very motivated to nurture his tribe. Naturally adventurous, this Monkey leaps, sometimes recklessly, into new situations. It’s a good idea for this one (and in this year) to channel all the fiery energy into creativity and into attracting with bold charisma and cheeky charm. Others can (often need to) help this Monkey get out of trouble.

Clearly, this Monkey is super-fast and clever, so watch out for tricks and too good to be true schemes!

Good thing Saturn is presently in SAG (until Winter Solstice 2017) which helps us not to believe everything we (seem to) see, and to examine our moves.

I’d also recommend to watch the MERCURY retro phases under the Fire Monkey, since of course, Mercury rules the ‘Monkey Mind’. You know what I mean…
So, that’ll be: April 28 – May 22, Aug 30 – Sept 21,and Dec 19 – Jan 8, 2017.


What’s up with MARS, the ruling planet of Fire, in this Monkey Year?

Well, something quite significant:
MARS will go retrograde (every 2 years) from April 17 until June 29, and cross the ‘Phoenix Point’ from SCO to SAG 3 times:
March 5 – Mars direct / forward from Earth perspective, from SCO to SAG.

May 27 – Mars retro from Earth perspective, crossing from SAG to SCO.

Aug 2 – Mars direct from Earth perspective, crossing from SCO to SAG.

Did you know that Fire in the 5 Chinese Elements is also associated with the Vermillion Bird / Phoenix?

MARS will be for a long time in SCO and SAG this year – since Jan 3 until Sept 27 – during which time we’ll experience all 4 Eclipses (March 8 & 23, Sept 1 & 16).



So, guess what? A lot gets burnt off and transformed in this fiery year… already started, have you noticed?

Best to work with it, maybe shed layers of old ‘skin’, conditionings, expired, limiting, fear and separation based beliefs (Saturn in SAG), offer it all to the purging fires of transformation.

May old (self) destructive aggressive tendencies be transformed into passion, enthusiasm, creative spark, with the MARS retro phase!


And hey, what’s JUPITER, the 12-year cycle planet up to, in the Monkey year?

JUPITER is presently in VIRGO, until Sept 9 when it enters LIBRA.

In January, and once again in June 2016, JUPITER conjoins the North Node, throughout June also supported by an Earth trine with PLUTO in CAP. So there’s lots of incentive and reward for doing sacred alignment practice, taking good care of health and household, the body temple and the home temple, and many opportunities for being resourceful, helpful, organized, and streamlined – makes life simpler and easier. Feng Shui fits right in there.



Jupiter and Io, one of its Moons


Appreciating the ‘little things’ we often take for granted is just as important as fun and play and joyful creativity a la Monkey – one feeds the other!

Once JUPITER will have entered LIBRA harmony, peace, balance, culture, arts, esthetics, fairness, and right relationship become big themes. How can those areas be enhanced in your life? Where is growth possible?

Of course, the personal astrological dynamics colour and modify the experience. And the very important factor of awareness (esp. in the Monkey year, but hey, always helpful!), so that we don’t overly identify with the energies, however wisely travel with their currents.

© by Melanie Lichtinger, 2016


Happy New Year of the FIRE MONKEY!

Monkey Fire


© 2016 by Melanie Lichtinger



One Response to “Happy Chinese New Year of the Yang Fire Monkey (Feb 8, 2016 – Jan 27, 2017)! What are the East-West Astro Energies at Play?”

  1. Grandtrines February 8, 2016 at 5:00 am #

    Reblogged this on Grandtrines .

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