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|In some cultures, rats were seen as a sign of wealth and surplus. Because of their reproduction rate, married couples also prayed to them for children.|
The smallest of the 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, the rat had only an outside chance in the Jade Emperor’s race to determine the zodiac’s order. Yet its intelligence, agility and quick-thinking enabled it to win the contest and become the first year in the system’s 12-year cycle.
According to the myth, The Rat tricked the Ox into giving him a ride. Then, just as they arrived at the finish line, Rat jumped down and landed ahead of Ox, becoming first.
The Year of the Boar (2019) was thus fundamentally about completion, self-care and balance, while the Year of the Rat (2020) is expected to be more about progression and starting a new project with great energy, astrologers say.
Recent years of the Rat are 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020.
As a highly perceptive animal that can sense its environment and know when to act, the rat is one of the Chinese zodiac’s most auspicious signs, Japan Times quoted Cathryn Moe, US-based astrology veteran. She said, 2020 will therefore be a “great relief” overall after a challenging past 12 months. The year will also be particularly good for businesses and entrepreneurs.
“People will develop their skills and move toward things they are aligned with, bringing hopeful ideas into practice,” Moe says. “Obstacles will not be a hindrance and challenges will pull the best out of everyone.”
As the first year of the 12-year cycle, the Year of the Rat is also expected to set the pace, template and direction of the next 12 years, Moe says. As a result, our actions in 2020 are especially significant, but the “universe does assist with changes” during each cycle; our next 12 years is not determined by a single year, she adds.
Of the five elements in the Chinese zodiac — wood, fire, earth, metal and water — 2020’s element is metal, a drastic change from the previous two earth years of 2018 and 2019.
According to Moe, metal can cut through wood, so people will be “sharper and more detail-oriented” in 2020. Although they may have to work hard, metal will help them “make decisions, get going and, therefore, have more satisfaction,” in the same way as an axe cuts down a tree, she says.
For Jessica Adams, an Australian reader of Western, Indian and Chinese astrology, 2020 is focused on Libra. As this sign is represented by the scales, the year ahead is about balance and partnership.
“If you want to make money in 2020, you’ll get into a partnership with another person,” Adams says. “If you want to raise money for charity, you’ll get your other half to help you. Get fit as a pair; don’t do it alone or in a team.”
Although partnerships will bring success in the Year of the Rat, couples will be tested. Some will get stronger as a result, while others will collapse in what she calls “a make-or-break year.”
According to Adams, pairs will lead global change in 2020, as friends, couples and business partners get together inside larger groups to make them more powerful.
“We’re going to see the beginning of power being shared throughout the group rather than from top down and see the climate emergency movement become global and mainstream,” she says.
Moe also sees a year of big changes in society as people’s actions and behavior will start to be discussed and understood in different ways, opening up opportunities for compassion. As the rat represents the shadow psyche, social veneers could be stripped off in 2020, allowing people to better know their true selves and those of others. This could mean that qualities long perceived as weaknesses could be seen as strengths in the coming year. Ultimately, the process can be healing, she says.
In short, astrologers say 2020 will be another year of extensive change as the universe continues in its accelerated transitional period but, given the rat’s traits, the world will be equipped to cope./.