In Tibetan astrology, there is a twelve year cycle. Each of these years is characterized by a different animal and associated with one of the five elements. Therefore, a full cycle of the twelve animals being associated with each of the five elements takes sixty years. The twelve animals according to the Yungdrung Bön texts are the Rat, Elephant, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Horse, Snake, Sheep, Garuda, Monkey, Dog and Pig. Each animal is associated with a specific element for its life-force as well as a specific direction which is determined by the life-force element. Not only are these twelve animals associated with a particular year, they are also associated with particular months, days and hours.
2016 will be the year of the Monkey. Therefore, people born during this year will be a Monkey and will have an emphasis of the specific qualities associated with Monkey. (This year corresponds with the Tibetan lunar calendar and begins February 08, 2016.) The element which governs the life-force of the Monkey is Metal (space) and its direction is West. So, if a Monkey person wanted to strengthen their life-force, they would focus upon strengthening the element of Metal internally and externally. The positive direction West. Therefore, facing this direction while meditating, doing healing rituals or just relaxing and taking deep breaths is beneficial.
In general, the Monkey is friendly, adaptable, playful and thinks outside of the box. The Monkey does not like to be trapped in any way and can use its ingenuity and keen sense of strategy to keep itself free. Although the Monkey has a good sense of humor and a sharp mind, too often it is tempted to use these qualities to elevate itself while lowering others. The Monkey is skilled at finding ways to benefit from an opportunity. Even when faced with difficulty, the Monkey most often lands on its feet. The Monkey has an insatiable desire for knowledge and study, but can grow bored once it has reached a level of mastery.
The Monkey‘s soul day is Friday and its life-force day is Thursday. These are the best days for beginning new projects and activities that are meant to increase or develop something. The obstacle day is Tuesday. This day is best for cleansing and letting things go. It is not a favorable day for beginning new things.
Monkey years include: 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016
If you were born during a previous year of the Monkey, this year as well as other Monkey years are considered a time of vulnerability to obstacles. This same astrological principal applies for all of the other eleven animal signs during their associated year. Therefore, it is recommended to engage in practices that support vitality, good fortune and spiritual merit such as hanging prayer flags, having a soul and life-force retrieval ritual performed, restoring any deterioration or violation of one’s spiritual commitments or any damaged relationship with one’s spiritual brothers and sisters, and/or performing prayers and rituals to remove obstacles. In general, making an effort to engage more with virtuous activities of body, speech and mind and committing to engage less with non-virtuous activities is supportive. According to the words of Buddha Tönpa Shenrap Miwoché, the practice of developing sincere unbiased and unlimited compassion is the greatest of all protections.
A common prayer within the Yungdrung Bön tradition that is used to remove obstacles is the Bar Che Lam Sel, The Spontaneous Wish-fulfillment of Removing Obstacles from the Path. The English, Spanish and Portuguese translations of this prayer are offered free for personal use on the Nine Ways Publications page. Click on the Publications tab above and scroll down to the download links for the prayer.
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