According to Nature’s energy, Spring begins around February 4th. Nature’s energy begins to rise midway between the Winter solstice and Spring equinox. Most years, by this time, we start to experience Spring Fever, and feel fed up with Winter. Many nature-based traditions, such as the Celtic celebration of Imbolc, have observed this rise in energy as the sap in trees begins to run again. We have inherited this tradition as Groundhog Day.*
Energy is renewed and we receive inspiration, much like the energy from the rising sun. 9 Star Ki is an interpretation of Nature’s energy, and can profoundly inform and guide us to the right time for action. Planting seeds in the soil, and planting seeds in life share many similarities about finding the right time. You can think of 9 Star Ki as a planting guide, or Almanac: the most favorable times to sow and harvest. Experience tells us that if we plant seeds or harvest too early or too late, we may not have the harvest or results we need or anticipate. 9 Star Ki is an interpretation that can help with understanding when and the best way to act and align within a particular natural cycle. In 9 Star Ki, there are one-year cycles, which have stronger influence on the individual scale, and nine-year cycles which have stronger influence on a broader, social scale.
Those who have studied, contributed to, and interpreted 9 Star Ki have observed repeating patterns of qualities and associations about the recurring cycles of nature. These patterns and cycles have been observed and recorded for hundreds and perhaps thousands of years. The qualities within each individual year can either be enhanced or diminished. Take being stubborn as an example. Stubbornness can lead to narrowness and isolation, or determination and endurance, depending on how and when we use that quality. So, regarding stubbornness, 9 Star Ki offers insight about when being assertive is favorable or unwise.
On February 4th, a Number 2 Black Soil year begins. Number 2 Black Soil corresponds with the earth, mother, nourishment, nurturing, food, agriculture, dedication, and education, which are all qualities that macrobiotic practice embodies. Black Soil is the rich topsoil which provides the initial nourishment for the growth process to begin. Now is the time to dedicate yourself more fully to what you believe in. 2016 is a year that favors and supports first steps and preparation for the future relating to these qualities. Whatever it may be that you would like to do or see happen within nature and society, start now. Then you can begin creating the environment of support, dedication and nurturance for it to flourish. 2017 will be a Number 1 White Water year, which corresponds with water, connection, reproduction, internal energy and power, difficulties or struggles, self-reflection, meditation, and resolution. It will be a favorable time for gathering and nourishing our internal energy (imagine a seed buried or stuck in snow), to prepare for a new beginning.
</div style= “text-indent: 30px;”> 2009-2017
2009-2017 is and has been a Number 3 Light-Green Tree cycle- a time for expression, excitement and energy, planting seeds, new beginnings and insight. When taken to extreme, it can be rash, chaotic or even violent. During this time, people began to more clearly express their plans and visions for the future. We became more aware and more in agreement about the relationships and connections between people, animals, and the planet. The agreement about the best way of eating and living will develop over time. In 2017, the ideal period of favorable conditions to “plant seeds” for the next cycle ends. From there, whichever ideas and intentions we have placed into the soil have the potential to take root within the next nine-year cycle. If we are planting seeds for food, the planet, and the future, 2016 is the most favorable year to do so.
</div style= “text-indent: 30px;”> 2018-2026
2018 begins a nine-year Number 2 Black Soil period where all of the qualities of Number 2 have potential to be nourished and developed, or possibly destroyed. The positive actions and steps that we take for this present Number 2 year affects the start of the 2018 cycle. It is like Ben Franklin’s adage “a stitch in time saves nine.”
I believe it is fair to say that we are experiencing a crisis in all aspects of life and society. These crises are an opportunity to create positive change. This change will only happen when we enough people participate and become a part of it. Waiting for it will not make it happen. We are in a cycle where expression and taking the first steps are necessary to shift society’s direction. Macrobiotics is not against sickness, it’s for health: personal, social, and planetary. Health is not a fixed state; it is a dynamic orientation that guides us in our daily lifestyle choices. If we align with our unique talents, passions and internal, nurturing nature, the change will naturally unfold. What will you plant this Spring?
*This entry is complementary to: What Is Your Vision for 2016?