Happy Chinese New Year! Your Guide to an Awesome Year of the Wood Horse

It's Chinese New Year! That means, on January 31, the Year of the Fire Snake will officially slither away as we ring in the Year of the Wood Horse. For those who don’t know their yin from their yang or who haven’t visited a Chinese astrologist recently, here are a few things to expect in the year ahead. 

First a little explainer for those of you asking, "What in the world does a wood horse have to do with the New Year?" In Chinese astrology, the world is made up of five elements in a cycle — wood, fire, earth, metal, water — and these interact with the 12 animals of the zodiac. For the next lunisolar calendar year, wood and horse meet. See? Simple.

No, not a wooden rocking horse. Although that does look fun. (Photo: whitelightwarrior.tumblr.com)

 
1954 was the last time the Year of the Wood Horse occurred — and it just so happens that the United States tested the hydrogen bomb on Bikini Atoll in the Marshall Islands that year. Just something to think about.

Photo: mrsadness.tumblr.com

“If you have wood or fire in your chart [find out here] you’ll have a good year. If you don’t, you need to partner with someone who does,” Anita Rosenberg, an International feng shui and Chinese astrology expert, tells Yahoo Shine. A wood year is associated with the season of spring, direction of east, planet Jupiter, colors blue and green, and wind. Fire, on the other hand, correlates with summer, south, Mars, red, hot weather, and daylight. Online dating profiles everywhere are being updated as we speak.

Photo: gifstelevision.tumblr.com

 
The industries that are predicted to do well this year are those associated with the wood element, including education, healthcare, and agriculture, as well as those that fall under fire, like marketing, entertainment, restaurants, and (of course), social media. Sectors that fall under metal and water, meanwhile, won't fare as well. Those include aviation, construction, and insurance. When in doubt, just tweet more.

Photo: toxxicjayy.tumblr.com


Thinking of taking a class? Do it. Since education is a wood industry, which is associated with growth, 2014 will be a good time to learn something new. Taking up horseback riding seems fitting.

Photo: sayiko.tumblr.com

 
In order to stimulate the correct feng shui for the Year of the Wood Horse, consider rearranging the furniture in your home or office to face south, making sure your computer faces that direction too. And, says Rosenberg, “If your front door is in that sector of the house, use that one more." You're also going to want to make yourself more yang — the sun, light, and male elements in Chinese philosophy —  by adding active elements to your home life. Rosenberg suggests playing music in the house and having sex more often. (Hey, she's the expert.)

Photo: gifpeanutbutter.tumblr.com


Because of the influence of fire, record-high temperatures and natural disasters are expected this year. We just have to get through the polar vortex first.
 
Photo: gifmovie.tumblr.com


Already sick of the Year of the Wood Horse? The Year of the Goat will be trotting into our lives before you know it. Just 383 days to go.