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  • By Jeffrey Haloff LAc.

Welcome the Earth Pig 2019!

Happy Chinese Year of the Yin Earth Pig! Breathe a sigh of relief and pat yourself on the back. We have weathered the playful seriousness of the Dog, experienced the guardedness of the Guard Dog, and now we are ready to cut ourselves some slack. The good-natured, easygoing and Lucky Pig is here!

Chinese Lunar New Year began with the new moon on February 4, 2019.

This is Chinese year 4716. There are 12 astrological animals and 5 elements, which combine to make the 60 Year Cycle. The last Earth Pig Year was 1959. The Pig (or Boar, or Sow), is the 12th, and last of the animals. Legend says that the Buddha called to all the animals to come and join in the creation of this astrological system. Crafty Rat and determined Ox were first and second, and the untroubled Pig was the last. There is a relaxed quality to Pig’s year, as lighthearted Pig is unconcerned about competition and status, and more interested in the joy of experience. The final animal of the family teaches us about the appreciative enjoyment of life, and that generosity causes good luck. Lucky Pig is here, and the time is perfect, so let’s enjoy ourselves.

As a farm animal, it is known that pigs are smart. Pigs are peaceful, getting along with everyone. The order that the Pig perceives is not like the alert cautiousness of the loyal guard Dog, nor the loud proud banter of the determined Rooster. The Pig is fed, but doesn’t work, and so considers life to be a rich and sumptuous feast, with oneself as the gracious host. The Pig eats well, enjoys, gets fat, and then…gets sold, which provides the family with wealth, or, is sumptuously feasted upon, generously bestowing good health, and giving joy. Pigs are great blessings that enrich and enhance life greatly.

A person born in the year of the Pig tends to be sincere, generous, cheerful and content. Pigs are comfortable living in the moment. They are honest, kind, easygoing and intelligent, and do not use their intelligence in a domineering way. Pigs may have squabbles with people, but they do not harbor grudges, and like their most harmonious friends, Rabbit and Sheep, Pigs seek universal harmony. Pigs undoubtedly enjoy life, heartily appreciating, and indulging in the sensual aspects of life, and generously sharing in culinary delights, art, and luxurious indulgences. Pigs may over-indulge, as it is said that they can tend toward gluttony and laziness. But persons born in the year of the Pig focus enthusiastically on projects and are able to accomplish goals. Then they like to relax and reward themselves.

The home is a place where the Pig person puts passionate effort, creatively decorating so one’s family can live in stylish comfort. Exceptional enthusiasm is directed toward the kitchen, as the Pig loves to create delicious food and drink to share with family and friends. Generous Pigs love to share whatever they have and “the more they give, the more they seem to have.” Generosity and compassionate action is what begets the Luck of the Pig. The honesty and generosity of the Pig allows it to overlook shortcomings, to give someone the benefit of the doubt. This engenders optimism, innocence, and trusting that life provides not only what is needed, but also the occasional extravagant indulgence. Is the trustworthy Pig naïve and gullible? At times, it is likely. But being a Pig, even with the knowledge that one can become bacon anytime, one retains the gratification of living in the moment and enjoying life to the utmost. The saying, “as happy as a Pig in mud” suggests that even in a difficult situation, Pig finds contentment.

Mud. Can we expect mud this year? Mudslides? Mudslinging? Well, it is an Earth Pig, and the element associated with Pig is Water. (The Pig month is Nov. 8 to Dec. 7, a wet time of year, and Pigs are excellent swimmers.) Expect mud. In 5 Element Theory, Earth blocks or inhibits Water, like an earthen dam holds back flowing water. There is a conflict with the elements, and things may not proceed smoothly this year. There is instability. There may be flooding and drought, earthquakes, and mudslides. Sixty years ago, the last Earth Pig year, there was a 7.2 earthquake in Yellowstone, that caused a huge mudslide that dammed a river. We expect earthquakes, deadly typhoons, floods and also drought.

This, however, is a Yin Earth Pig year. Less like a strong dam, Yin Earth is more yielding, softer and nourishing, like a garden, like Mother Earth nourishes us. Earth and Water are good for growing crops. Yin Earth can be like a valley, with Water flowing like a current in a river, and fish are like currency. The Pig is an optimist, and this year is generally an optimistic time. But this year is missing the Fire element, which relates to joy and promotes optimism. Optimism fuels the economy. So, even with optimistic and lucky Pig ruling this year, there will be some pessimism, which shall affect the financial system. Earth on Water also suggests an unstable foundation. There may be an appearance of stability, but underneath is muddy water.

This year of the Lucky Pig is a good one for launching projects, travel or moving. Following the Earth Dog year (double Earth), the Pig’s Water element gets things moving. But the Pig likes to move at a somewhat relaxed pace, so have a patient attitude about results. Persons who may expect to charge forward rapidly, such as those born in the year of the Horse or Dragon, Monkey or Snake, will likely need to relax their pace. The innocent Pig is known for being gullible, so use care in reviewing business contracts and proposals. Things may not be as they appear on the surface, so if buying a house, check for termites, etc. Generally, though, conditions are favorable, and auspicious opportunities arise. Travel is indicated this year, even luxurious vacations, but use caution, and expect delays.

Earth pertains to the digestive system according to Chinese Medicine. Pigs love to eat and indulge, at times to excess. Yin Earth pertains to the pancreas and blood sugar regulation, so try to use some caution and have balance in your diet. As there is no Fire in this year’s astrology, introduce warm foods to aid digestion such as ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, etc. Earth inhibiting Water may cause some stagnation of the elimination system, so stay hydrated and get regular exercise. Stagnant Water can indicate depression and isolated Pigs get depressed. Socialize, celebrate, participate and partake. Pigs, though shy, flourish with social camaraderie. Pigs are clever, artistic and perceptive and they revel in sharing their unique and peace-loving perspective. Festive gatherings are healthy for the heart.

What can we expect politically? Donald Trump is a Fire Dog. Earth Pig has no Fire, and no Wood to fuel Fire, so it suggests that Trump’s energy will continue to weaken. Last year’s Dog seemed quick to bark aggressively, contributing to angry online vitriol. The Pig is not so quick to zealously react, but is more comfortable with an unhurried and mindful response. Mudslinging? Pig likes mud, avoids anger. Yin Earth Pig is more considerate, maternal and humanitarian. Pig’s Water, combining with Earth, suggests we will be less stubborn than during the previous Earth/Earth Dog year. More compromise, and more thought shall be given to peace and harmony in international relationships. That being said, President Trump will give the State of the Union address on the first day of the Pig year. Will he try to unify, or will he fan flames of partisan discontent? We know that Earth over Pig’s Water is a situation with an unstable foundation. An appearance of presidential humanitarian concern may be like the lipstick on a Pig, and we should continue to examine the muddy and encrypted depths of intention, alliances and relationships. Peace is fragile and there are secretive hostilities. However, the optimism of the Yin Earth Pig is undaunted and will continue to work tirelessly for the good of humanity and the planet. Selfish greed is unsustainable, and the Pig’s perspective of compassionate generosity shall provide the balance needed.

The Pig is the 12th and final animal of the zodiac. The gift of the Pig is a positive outlook, optimism and compassion. If you barked angrily at someone during the year of the Dog, this is an appropriate time to repair friendships. The gift is the gratitude for the completion of the cycle, gratitude for the blessing of life, and the enjoyment of the senses. With a relaxed and optimistic view, inspiration comes effortlessly from the heart, and one can determine which direction to move with enthusiasm. Projects are designed, and initiated, though they may progress slowly. However, inspiration originating with the Earth Pig, can continue to develop and take form next year, the Metal Rat.

Now we welcome the Yin Earth Pig! The Brown Boar! The Golden Sow! It is a time to relax, enjoy the beauty of life, partake of the sensory delights, gather socially and celebrate, and also apply oneself to making the world a beautiful place for all to thrive. The Pig bestows the gift of Slack, which may be misunderstood as laziness, but actually is closer akin to compassion. When the modern, muddy world is infectious with obscuration, be still, and remember that turbidity settles in stillness. But then, also remember, the Pig finds joy in the mud. The nourishing Pig nurtures oneself, one’s family, community, etc., with a vision of harmony. Be generous, including with yourself. Work with enthusiasm, and play with joy. Get some acupuncture. Watch “Babe” again. “That’ll do, Pig.” Let’s Eat!

And to quote Martin Luther King Jr. (born year of the Dragon), “…Hate doesn’t conquer hate, only Love conquers hate.”

Happy New Year,

May we Thrive Joyfully in Good Health!

Gong Xi Fa Cai! Losar Tashi Delek!

Jeffrey Haloff LAc. operates HUMBOLDT ACUPUNCTURE with his wife, Chelsea Colby LAc., at 517 3rd St., Suite 18, Eureka CA 95501. They can be reached at (707) 268-8007 and

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