The Lunar New Year, also known as the Chinese New Year or Spring Festival, begins this year on February 10, 2024. As the name implies, this traditional celebration marks the beginning of the new year on the traditional lunisolar Chinese calendar and is an important holiday for various East Asian cultures around the globe. Festivities last around 15 days and include dragon and lion dances, fireworks, and other special traditions that are meant to bring good luck and prosperity into the new year.
The first day of the Lunar New Year marks the transition between zodiac signs. Each lunar year is associated with one of the twelve animals from the Chinese zodiac, as well as an element. The combined characteristics of this animal and element can be used to forecast the opportunities and challenges of the upcoming year. In 2024, we welcome the Year of the Yang Wood Dragon. The Dragon is the fifth animal of the zodiac, and the only one that is a mythical creature rather than an animal. In Chinese folklore, dragons were seen as benevolent and wise protectors. Their likeness was often reserved for nobility, as Emperors were thought to be the descendants of dragons themselves.
Dragons are symbols of strength, wisdom, leadership, and success. The Wood element is characterized by growth, flexibility, and expansion. This combination is a dynamic force, where power and creativity collide. It suggests a climate that favors ambitious endeavors, creative breakthroughs, and the ability to overcome obstacles. The year 2024 is forecast to be filled with potential and opportunities for personal growth, professional success, and change. Now is the time to tap into your inner reservoirs of strength and channel that energy towards positive transformation and the pursuit of your wildest dreams.
Here are a few suggestions to welcome the new year with an open heart:
Essential Oils for the heart:
Rose, Ginger and Bergamot are 3 wonderful essential oils you can inhale or use on the heart directly to support opening up this energetic space. They all are relaxing and supportive to releasing any unprocessed grief/trauma in that region. Combine the oils in a carrier oil to make a nourishing uplifting blend. (If you're interested in learning more about oils, feel free to reach out. I have tried nearly every brand and there is one that I have found to be superior for quality and preparation methods.)
Herbs for the heart:
Arjuna & Passionflower are 2 herbs that help to heal the heart from any imbalance to the physical organ. They can be made as simple teas or taken as supplements. They support healthy circulation and functioning of the heart which could support energetically the heart chakra as well.
Pranayama & Asanas:
Bhastrika is a wonderful pranayama for the heart which helps to cleanse any toxins circulating in the space as well as helping to strengthen the musculature of the organ.
Practicing backbends, especially those that open up the thoracic cavity, such as camel or bow, can be beautiful to not only physically strengthen the chest, but also helps to release any unprocessed emotion and brings light into this space.
Blessings and gratitude!