2023 is the year of the Yin-Water Rabbit. What does this mean? See the description below and listen to my 2023 Yin-Water Rabbit New Year Talk. For background on this system, see my introductory post on Chinese almanac-astrology and view these YouTube videos describing the Heavenly Stems, the Earthly Branches, and the Sexagenary Cycle.
Yin-Water (guǐ, 癸) is gentle, soft, and yielding. Flowing and nurturing, yet subtle and scarce (not overflowing). Rabbit (mǎo, 卯) is sensitive, observant (ears), intelligent, and vulnerable (prey). Quick (hopping) yet gentle (soft fur). Quite aware that they are a tasty treat (cute tails and tender meat), they are in great need of reliable shelter – lacking security they are anxious and manipulative; when securely sheltered they find their power and take charge, interestingly leading from a subordinate position. They shy away from the limelight but usually have greater wisdom than those who are recognized as leaders, so they make superb advisors. They can be powerful leaders in their own right if they are nested within a secure structure – they are highly capable managers but function best in their burrow. They like to feather their nests, as fengshui-level comfort serves as an indispensable base for their life work. They value intimate relationships, but are suspicious until others earn their trust, and there is usually some agenda behind their investment in relationships related to ensuring security or forwarding their work. The “Rabbit on the Moon” describes Rabbit’s need for shelter and its power to observe the world from a high view. The native Dynamic of Rabbit is Yin-Wood; Water nourishes Wood, so this is like Rabbit with its parent – well-nourished and secure, able to rise and grow. At ease and well-supported, although this support is not inexhaustible. Rabbit is OK with a gentle stream – it doesn’t need a powerful river, but this does mean the scale stays small. Comfortable and secure, it is well-positioned to support others – albeit in a limited capacity. A bit timid when extending outward, Water Rabbit keeps the qi in & down. It is particularly sensitive and empathetic, and uncomfortable with aggression. It is careful in selecting companions, not wanting to risk harm and conserving its limited resources for a select group of worthies. Whereas Water Tiger (Rabbit’s Yang-Wood counterpart) leads its community to grandeur through harnessing collective ambition, Water Rabbit leads through natural modesty and gentleness, and although it too has a forward-looking quality, it is more about preparing for what is coming than making something happen. There is a similar energy – Water nourishing Wood, but it expresses quite differently. There is no sense of the potential to overdo things here – any caution needed simply comes naturally to Rabbit. When gentle, perceptive Rabbit has the opportunity to rise, it can lead its community to a stable and secure sense of maturity and confidence.
Water Rabbit corresponds to Hexagram #19, Earth/Valley: “Supervision”. Flowing nourishment within, meeting open potential without. This hexagram is about being part of a community whose members relate through open exchange – genuine trust and equality – and leading from below. The character (臨) shows a person with a large eye gazing down on multiple objects and suggests a fated rise to power where a lowly foot-soldier rises up the ranks to replace a leader whose power has waned. Lineage succession by one of humble means. Water Rabbit’s quality of leadership is non-domineering, supportive, sensitive. The basic image here is gazing down into the depths from a modest yet exalted position. The hexagram suggests this time won’t last forever – so the auspice is to use it well (give support, but be selective and cautious). This relates to the limited capacity of Yin-Water, and perhaps an appetite to always keep the hind-paws in retreat. The key for Water Rabbit is accepting the exalted rank fate bestows upon us without thinking it is our own doing or that it will last forever – use our sensitive and observant faculties to rectify our community and prepare those under our supervision for what comes next.
A look at the most recent Yin-Water Rabbit Year, courtesy of Recollection Road: Flashback to 1963 – A Timeline of Life in America.
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(Rabbit image drawn by my daughter, who was born in a Yin-Water year)