Saturday, September 25, 2004

The Year of the Monkey in Retrospect

I wrote this for our Full Circle January Newsletter, and now that I look back (and consider the state of things in general) I can see that this forecast is playing out in ways I never imagined.

If I were writing this again, I would add Nimue's point (made at our last Council Meeting) about the Monkey God being the one who battles demons. Those demons can be personal, political or social. They can invade groups, cultures and families or they can simply be something we battle within all on our own. We all have 'em, and it seems that we are all having to deal with them this year.....

Originally published: 1/9/04
Please note: I don't claim to see the future beyond my nose. I write these yearly essays based on issues I see and hear about in the Earthwise community, on meditations I do in winter and on what my heart tells me is going on around us. Take what you need and leave the rest. Sia

January 22nd begins the Chinese New Year and ushers in The Year of the Monkey.

This looks to be a very prosperous year, especially for those who are willing to adapt. Overall, it's a wonderful time for people who are curious, courageous, and creative. It's not a good time for those who are set in their ways or stuck in a rut. Success will come to those who are willing to try new things and learn new skills, so now is the time to make those changes we've needed to make and to think in new ways about old habits and recurring problems.

Adapt & Prosper

What worked (or didn't work) is in the past. The present comes equipped with opposable thumbs (great for opening new doors) and is a quick thinking, tool-using animal. Trees are going to shake, folks, and things are going to change. It's about time.

Monkey Mind

This is going to be a rough year for those who are easily distracted and those who tend to procrastinate. People who waste time will find that others have gotten there before them and taken all the nuts from the trees. Those who do too much or take on too many things at once are going to find that "monkey mind" gets in their way this year and makes their life harder than it has to be. Plan ahead and pay attention.

This is also no time for tail chasing (take that as you may) or for beating your chest over the past - let it go and move on.

To succeed in the coming year we need to pay close & conscious attention to our goals. It will be important to finish the tasks we've taken on and to accept our just rewards. It is a very good time to revel in (or finally accept?) our power. 2004 is a year filled with possibilities and this is a wonderful time to take action and to use our talents. By all means, try something new, but do not look for excuses to drop what you should finish.

Above all, avoid any sentence that begins with the excuse-laden phrase "He/she/they made me do it/feel it" and use instead "I choose".

Express yourself. Play. Celebrate your life. This is the season for our lights to shine. This is also a good time for those with self-esteem and vision. It is a bad time to join with those who are selfish, arrogant or clueless.

Leopard? What leopard?

All this potential aside, times are still hard. This is a good time to coordinate, cooperate and communicate. Local groups and Circles will prosper if we work together and support one another. If, on the other hand, we engage in squabbles over territory or status then we will suffer the consequences of our own ignorance. Those groups who plan on doing their own thing without thought for the effect of their actions on other individuals or groups might find that they are left out of the circle when resources are shared and they could lack some essential information the rest of us have.

At the same time, those individuals who do not support the groups they admire may find that these same groups are not around in 2005. Neither money nor staff grow on trees.

Phrases that will not work well in 2004:

* Oh gee, we didn't know -
* We didn't mean to
* Nobody told me
* I meant to do that but I forgot
* Am I late?
* Why me?
* But I assumed...
* I always date/marry/become friends with %$s!
* I hate money
* I can't afford it but I just had to have it
* No, really, it's OK (when it's really not)
* I don't normally spread gossip, but...
and Our Top 3 Favorites for 2004 (guaranteed to buy you an argument or your money back)
* You always
* You never and
* You should

Ignorance of natural law is no excuse.

Simply put; those who simply engage in wishful thinking and believe that other powers will provide without real effort or planning on their part will not have an easy time of it. Those who think that manipulating others is the path to power are going to fall off their high perch and land hard. Those who think that giving their power away to others is a path to safety and acceptance will be walking into a cage of their own making.

There is a magickal kind of Darwin Award waiting for those who think in these ways. Let us hope our people learn the lesson the first time around, because the universe makes the lesson harder each time we have to learn it.

Energy is finite - Stupidity is infinite

Be generous with but do not squander your gifts. Help others and share your wealth where and as you can, but do not attempt to save anyone this year. We cannot help everyone we cannot teach everyone, we cannot work with everyone, so choose your friends and Circle members with care.

We must horde our time, our energy and our emotions or we will not realize our goals. Beware of those who would steal these precious things. If we do not care for our health and our boundaries, no one else will do it for us. If we are not good to ourselves, we are no good to others.

Oh, evolve, already!

This will be a rough year for those who want to be carried by others or who constantly screech, complain, and make excuses. The people who supported this behavior before will finally tire of this.

On the other hand, it is a very good time to let unspoken issues finally come up and to talk things out with kindness and respect. Sharing the load and speaking the truth to significant others is key this year. Many issues that seemed too difficult to resolve before now will be much easier to deal with in 2004.

Dr. Jane Goodall tells us that monkeys can and do get thrown out of the group for violations of "the monkey code". With that in mind, manners and ethics matter very much in 2004. Those without them risk being left out of all the monkey fun.

Monkey Tales for 2004

The first story is the one about the monkey who got his hand stuck in the jar when he grabbed too many of the goodies he found inside. His desires were so great that he would not let go and he was trapped. This is a good time to ask ourselves if unrealistic thinking, fear, greed, resentments, inflated egos, low self-esteem, the need for approval, or some other issue is keeping us trapped. If so, it's time to let go.

The second story involves the 100th monkey theory. While hotly debated in the scientific community, this theory has now passed into folk legend and pop culture. The idea is this: When enough people engage in an action or a way of thinking, it will eventually hit a point (the hundredth monkey) at which it enters into the dominant culture and everyone becomes aware of it. In some cases, (such as the 1960's with civil rights, the sexual revolution and feminism) this can mean a sea change in culture. In other cases (such as clothing or musical fads) this can mean that the latest thing fades away and is soon forgotten. 2004 might well be the year that the larger culture finally "gets it" and begins to take on the humanistic ideas at the center of Earthwise spirituality and philosophy. (In fact, many of our ideas have already entered into the mainstream and more are being picked up and examined every day.) At the same time, a cultural backlash is building against those who preach hate, intolerance, fundamentalism, and rigidity. This can be both a good and a bad thing for our community, so be careful out there.
Those who talk to the press or who work in the public eye need to be especially mindful to represent this way of life with integrity and truthfulness. Those who simply want to get attention or who use this path as an excuse for poor behavior will soon be seen for what they are (and the rest of the tribe will move on and leave them behind.) Meanwhile, beware of "Gurus", grandiosely, groupthink, and those who would use us for their own ends. This is the time to think for ourselves and to distrust the trance of culture, any culture.

Overall, 2004 is a time to trust our intuition and to focus on living a joyful, unique, and useful life.

Wishing you abundance, prosperity, and the courage to be happy,


To read 2003's article: "The Year of the Sheep", go to our January 2003 newsletter. For "The Year of the Horse", see Feb. 2002, for 2001, please read Kuan Yin and the Year of the Snake: History Myth and Meaning in a Difficult Year.

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