Lunar New Year – Your Fortune (un)Told


Image by Vlad Vasnetsov from Pixabay

This weekend is Lunar New Year’s. Also known as Tết Nguyên Đán or shorten to Tết in Viet Nam (which I recently learned is the more correct spelling is in two words), Seollal (Korean), or Chinese New Years.

Over happy hour earlier this week Heidi said we need a funny post, or rather our friend Vu who blogs over at Nonprofit AF keeps telling us we’re too serious and need to be funnier. This week we will not be funny-funny like Vu, but we will give you your Lunar New Year’s fortunes, which are totally fake since I’m not an astrologer. The bigger point is sometimes we need friendly reminders to not take all of work seriously, culture influences the way we think, and for the Asian community Lunar New Year is a HUGE thing so enjoy it with us.

If you like this post thank Heidi for the idea, it was conceived over beer brewed by Metier, a Black-owned company. Check them out and ask for their beer at your local taphouse.

How the Zodiac kinda-sorta works


Image by D. Aida from Pixabay

Since it is Lunar New Year season and it is the ONE Asian-y holiday on western calendars I make sure we capitalize on it. In my house, there’s been a steady stream of Chinese New Years and Lunar New Year picture books. Colleagues have talked about where to buy red envelopes, and the superstitions we need to uphold (no haircuts, eat and be merry, go to the Temple, etc.). To learn more about Lunar New Year, check out last year’s post.

The Chinese Zodiac has 12 animals assigned to it with each animal having a year. My kid loves books talking about how the animals raced and cajoled to get their assigned order. Each animal embodies certain characteristics which are passed down to people born in those years. I’m born in the year of the horse. If you ask my parents, they say I stomp my feet when I’m mad, like a horse does. To find out what Zodiac animal you are visit here.

Rat — This is the Year of the Rat. Rats are known to be clever and funny. During this year, use your cleverness to root out inequities. Your fortune, at least according to one website says: great opportunities will come your way in 2020! However, it is entirely up to you on whether or not you take them. The best time to make a change in your life is within the first three months of the year.” Remember to use your great ‘opportunities’ to examine your privileges and use your cleverness and humor to support communities of color.

Ox — Those born in the year of the Ox attain their fortune through hard work and persistence. They are known as steadying forces when the world is in chaos, or as some would say they are stubborn and can be a killjoy. In 2020, your luck should take a turn for the better – including in love and work. Why not use this goodness to get unstuck in your thinking about race, racial equity, and other social constructs. Take your good-lovin’ and share it with your POC communities. Push your luck and call in colleagues and friends to learn more about race.

Tiger — Prowling tiger waiting to pounce. The Year of the Rat, 2020, will be a year to coast – your luck will be stable (according to the internet). Since you’ll be coasting, why not ride that wave into a new volunteer endeavor where you can build a new relationship with a community of color. Tigers are known for their humanitarian instincts. If picking up a new volunteer job is too much of a commitment, then do one kind act for another cause related to a community of color. Your luck will change by sharing your fortune with others.

Rabbit — You adorable, gracious, and good-mannered bunnies will not do well in the year of the rat. But take heart this means it is a year for you to hunker down and concentrate on you. While you are at times moody, take this moodiness and realize the world isn’t about you and learn to share with others in your community. This sharing isn’t just about material goods, which you have a natural affinity for making money, but really it is about being in a cross-racial community.

Dragon — Dragon people are as mythical and magnanimous as they sound. They are often eager and full of energy that is rarely contained. In this year of luck and fortune and being a doer by nature, fight the urge to speak for others, instead pause and listen. In your career pursuits, your instincts and feelings are often right, use this energy and no not become complacent in allowing racism to slide by. Also take some of your boundless energy and clean up your desk and room.

Snake — People born under the sign of the snake are often skeptical and a bit secretive, and ambitious. The Year of the Rat will be a good one for wealth making for snakes. If this is true for you, reinvest your wealth in communities of color – this can mean making donations to POC led and embedded organizations, shopping at POC businesses, etc. If you have decision making control within your wealth making enterprises, work to change your hiring and promotion practices to ensure POCs have a fair chance at the same wealth as prosperity as you snake people.

Horse — Ok, horse people it is time for us to buckle down and play nice. 2020 and the Year of the Rat is opposite of the horse on the zodiac. This year we need to be nice, help others, and be disciplined. As high-spirited horses, this is the year to give up all of our negative thoughts and bad habits – embrace the racial equity light and admit you don’t know everything. Learn humility in the Year of the Rat.

Sheep — This is a year of transformation. Since you are often called the good Samaritans of the zodiac and are often sincere and righteous with a bleeding heart, transform yourselves into being champions for anti-racist behaviors. Be positive and others will follow your lead, if they don’t take your rams head horns and headbutt them.

Monkey — Monkeys are known as the inventors and motivators of the Chinese zodiac. This year you will be eager to pursue change. Make sure this change is inline and motivated by a desire to work for social good and in line with your racial equity values. Use some of your energetic ways and social calendaring to support poc causes. If you are out entertaining stop by a poc owned restaurant or taphouse, don’t just swing aimlessly around hoping the right thing will find you, be thoughtful and a little playful in line with your monkey spirit.

Rooster — This will be an emotional year for you. Feelings are good when you can understand them. If you are feeling a little fragile and tender around race and social identities, take a moment to acknowledge it and find a friend to explore those feelings. Don’t let those feelings explode on a poc. Don’t puff your chest and crow like you self-assuredly know everything, be part of the flock and say “ok, it is my turn to let someone else lead while I learn.”

Dog — Likeable dog will have a good year if you are open-minded and flexible. Use your innate intelligence and honesty to learn more about others and the communities around you. Your natural tendency to guard and protect those you like is an important quality in community building. Use this to help others who may be further from justice.

Pig — Pigs will have more freedom this year and feel more productive. Take some of that productivity and freedom and channel it into feeling just a little uncomfortable, by this we mean challenge yourself to try to understand a social problem from a new angle.

Have a happy and safe lunar new year. Eat some nian gao, go to Chinatown and pick up some delicious food and watch all the dragon and lion dances. To my Asian relations – Gung he fat choy, happy Tet, and Selloal.

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