Horizontal Banners Set with Hand Drawn Chinese New Year Monkeys. Vector Illustration. Hieroglyph stamp translation: monkey. Red watercolor stain and black ink drawing, sketch. Symbol of 2016 New Year. art

“Nothing in this world is difficult, but thinking makes it seem so. Where there is true will, there is always a way.” Wu Cheng’en, Monkey, Journey to the West, translated by W. J. F. Jenner

Move over Goat, here comes the Monkey: The New Moon on 8 February 2016 kicked off the Chinese Lunar Year of the Fire Monkey.

Even if you don’t follow the cosmic weather, you should be aware of a change in energies. After a year with measured pace thanks to the sure-footed gentle goat it’s as if someone has just hit a giant accelerator. It’s been noticeable since the beginning of January (financial market players will know what I mean).

In the Chinese classic tale “Journey to the West”, the Monkey King Sun Wukong is described as a witty, clever and skilled fighter endowed with unusual courage and strength which enable him to perform mighty tasks and earn him crown and immortality. But his mischiveouness gets him into trouble, he oversteps the line repeatedly and creates havoc in the heavenly realms. He is imprisoned by Buddha to languish under a mountain for 500 years. Eventually he repents and is given the opportunity to redeem himself through service.

He is sent to watch over a holy monk travelling to the West to find Buddhist scriptures. The Monkey King’s formidable gifts make him an excellent bodyguard for his master. Along the way they make new friends who join the journey. The Monkey King’s service for others transform him and amplify his gifts. He shape shifts, detects threats from far away and remains victorious in challenging battles. He undergoes many trials and tribulations and finally Buddhahood is bestowed upon him for his strength and service.

So how does the Monkey King’s archetypal tale translate into what we can expect for 2016?

This is a year when anything can happen. This is not a year to keep sitting on the fence. Everything is in flux and put up for change. It’s up to you where you place your focus. Is the glass half full or half empty? Stagnation or moving forward?

Marmoset monkey hogging the recycling bin, Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro

Marmoset monkey hogging the recycling bin, Sugarloaf Mountain, Rio de Janeiro

There is likely to be a burst of creative action, an emergence of innovation and solutions for longstanding issues.

Expect surprises. Expect the unthinkable. Expect boundaries to be challenged and new lines to be drawn.

I think this year may bring about surprises that test us in many ways, surprises that may call us to make a choice. I also think there will be a surge in courage, strength, integrity and community spirit.

The fiery element may provoke outbursts of conflict, yet they may be relatively easily resolved through communication and negotiation of new agreements. Feng Shui Master Raymond Lo writes:

“The Year of the Monkey 2016 is a good year to break free and take calculated risks as there is nothing more powerful or rewarding than following your heart’s desire. The energies are supporting these changes.

Mr. Monkey can be menacing as he can easily overthrow old conventions that no longer work. This could mean toppling of old empires or iron fisted bosses. So just remember, bosses that have been taking advantage of this economic down turn may soon learn to regret it. All things find their balance eventually.”

He points to interesting examples from previous Fire Monkey years to illustrate the energies of this year, such as the revolution against Soviet Union in Poland and Hungary in 1956 and the Suez Canal crisis in 1896. Of course humanity has moved forward since then and it will be interesting to see how we deal with full on conflict this time round.

(Read Raymond Lo’s full outlook here: http://www.raymond-lo.com/14551/year-of-the-monkey)

As the eternally optimistic monkey I say: We will all be a lot wiser by January 2017, maybe shaken up but more hopefully and happy.

Born a 1968 monkey, I have good practice in following my heart’s desire. I wanted to make my work accessible for clients in the two countries that symbolise my roots and my expansion in life – Germany and China. So I celebrate this Lunar New Year by launching the German version of my website and kicking off its Chinese translation with my Bio & CV in Mandarin.

恭喜发财! May you have a prosperous New Year!

Judith x