The Year of the Rat Starts Early

 

It wasn’t until I heard about the undersea earthquakes that I remembered it was the Year of the Rat…and what exactly that’s supposed to portend.

My artist friend, Jillian, is seriously  into Chinese astrology, but it’s never really been that interesting to me.  Until she came along, my only working knowledge of Chinese astrology was what I learned from the placemats at the local Chinese buffet.  She swears by it, though, “Fire Dragon” that she is.

According to her, I’m a “Water Tiger” because the horoscope blends five elements (air, water, earth, fire, metal) with the 12 animal signs.  Hmmm, Nurturing Mama Tiger here  can live with that.   I suspect that if Jillian were a “Fire Rat” or a “Water Monkey,” she wouldn’t be quite as interested in Chinese astrology herself, but the dramatic sense of a “Fire Dragon” does fit her perfectly.

Apparently, each year in the 60-year cycle has certain predictions associated with it. Plagues, famines, earthquakes, four horsemen….   Jillian’s been quick to point out in the past how bad hurricane years have been associated with destructive water elements or animals in the Chinese zodiac.

That’s what I remembered when I heard about the earthquakes.

From one of our last conversations, I remembered that the Year of the Earth Rat is a confrontational year between earth (the element) and the rat (associated with water).  Let me clarify:  the rat, as associated with strong ocean water, tsunamis, floods, etc.  The visual symbol associated with the Earth Rat is the earth atop water, so not necessarily being very stable, but the earth being dominant over water–or trying to be–when it’s floating.

For as little as I watch the news anymore,  earth changes still catch my attention.  Blame it on my Southern Baptist childhood of near certainty that the End Times were upon us and that nightly fear that I’d go to bed and wake to be left behind in the Rapture…but news of very unusual seismic activity activates those dormant expectations of apocalypse.

According to MSNBCscientists are concerned about an unusual “swarm” of earthquakes off the coast of Oregon.  The news story cites the Oregon State University’s report that there have been over 600 quakes in an aread 150 miles SW of Newport, Oregon…in the previous 10 days…and that several were of the 5.0+ variety.

My understanding of what I’ve been reading is that the North American and Pacific plates are putting up quite a bit of friction and this type of activity usually portends volcanoes and earthquakes, and–since it’s underwater–tsunamis. 

Most definitely an Earth-Water confrontation of the most physical manifestion.