Downsizing, simplifying and creating systems—with an industrious push—will restore our resilience in this tide-turning Year of the Metal Ox.
exclusive excerpt from The AstroTwins’ 2021 Horoscope
Carrying a heavy load? After a historically disruptive year (to put it mildly), even the most enlightened among us are probably dragging some baggage into 2021. Enter the strong, determined Year of the Metal Ox! This powerful draft animal is the Chinese zodiac ruler of 2021, here to help us shoulder the burden.
On a fundamental level, the Ox’s role reminds us of the value of a hard day’s work. Is there sweat on your brow? Have you plowed every inch of the metaphoric field? In 2020, the shrewd Metal Rat allowed people to cut corners, embellish the truth and sneak around in the dark. Not in 2021!
Under the Metal Ox’s watch, success must be earned with good old fashioned integrity. Too much “lather, rinse, repeat” won’t cut muster, though. The Metal element lends strategy to the Ox’s game, upgrading any basic B.S. like a master engineer.
How can we improve existing processes so that we’re working smarter, not harder? Along with all the planetary transits pushing for this (Jupiter and Saturn in Aquarius, Uranus in Taurus), the Metal Ox can help us revamp failing systems so that everyone gets fed, not just a privileged few. The Metal element is sharp, cutting through any outdated or overhyped “sludge” and making way for improved processes.
Since Metal is connected to infrastructures, we may revamp entire industries—which, in an Ox year, could be associated with food production, groceries, labor, security and home.
Year of the Metal Ox: February 12, 2021 to February 1, 2022
Where We Live
As people flee pandemic-wracked cities in search of fresh air and green space, we expect a continuation of 2020’s real estate trends. According to reports, searches for suburban homes jumped 13 percent in the middle of last year, with Millennials gaining interest in this (currently) more affordable housing market.
The traditional Ox thrives in quiet, open spaces. However, the refined Metal element makes proximity to arts, cutting-edge industry and culture a priority as well. Bedroom communities may see a boon in 2021, as well as cities where larger houses with yards are still available. Well, as long as there’s a Whole Foods, yoga studio and twee home décor shop near the downtown strip…
So, uh, what about all those high-rise apartments that were built pre-COVID? Because 2021 is a Metal year, there could be interesting developments for these steel and glass constructions. Under the pragmatic Ox’s influence, rooftops may become shared gardens that provide food for tenants. A set number of units could be earmarked as affordable housing for people whose jobs were affected by the economic crisis. Some buildings may even adopt a modified barter system, allowing skilled tenants to trade work hours for rent. Hey, who couldn’t use an on-site IT whiz in their complex these days?
How We Live
Homesteading might gain popularity in 2021, with a savvy Metal year twist. Always wanted to grow your own vegetables, gather up fresh eggs from the coop or churn butter a la Laura Ingalls Wilder? The Ox is 100 percent with that plan! With Metal’s refinement, however, the standards could get even more Portlandia. Think: grass-fed, free-range, non-GMO, heirloom and organic everything. Metal years are great for money moves. We expect a boon for the cannabis industry—more CBD-infused everything, coming to a grocer’s freezer near you.
A “back to the land” movement might even gain popularity, perhaps following the model of the original Israeli kibbutz, where people lived, farmed and raised families collectively. Our own father grew up in an agricultural community like this where he gained specialized skills in fruit trees and chickens, all while living in a dorm-like situation with other kids his age. With Jupiter and Saturn in collaborative, idealistic Aquarius this year, we’re sure to see all kinds of utopian experiments spring up.
Lean into Partnerships and Routines in the Year of the Metal Ox
Oxen are yoked together in pairs—then grouped together further in twosomes. That makes 2021 a potent year for figuring out new ways to cooperate and collaborate. Essential workers continue to be the heroes of the year, but people who can both hustle and innovate will rule the world. How cool and composed can you be? That refreshing attitude will win the day in the year of the Metal Ox—a huge relief after weathering the showboating Earth Dog, the hedonistic Earth Pig and the cunning Metal Rat—all since 2018. But it may also be hard to know what people are thinking or to read their steely energy this year. The downside? Unyielding, sharp and even quietly destructive people could gain command.
Sometimes, we need to shut off our brains for serenity’s sake. The best way to do this in a Year of the Metal Ox? Lean in to routine. Repetitive tasks can be a form of moving meditation. Seek solace in doing the same things over and over, like reconciling finances, working out at the same time each day, gardening, cooking or any domestic work (the Ox loves home life). Just make sure there is some sort of purpose. Knit scarves for holiday gifts, make a large-scale macramé piece as bedroom décor.
Know When to Stop!
The tireless Ox can keep running, even when there’s barely any steam left. This is a year where workaholic tendencies can really creep in, especially if there’s promise of some Metal year coin. Lean in to the strategic and infrastructure-based vibes and create org charts, workflow plans, budgets and schedules. Delegate instead of DIY-ing everything. Sure, we might be able to handle it all, but that can sidetrack us from the higher-earning tasks that benefit the entire pack. No need to be anyone’s beast of burden!
If you work at a desk, physical exercise is more important than ever. Once again, having a set routine is advised, making it a goal to incrementally build strength and endurance. Weight training or kettlebell workouts can be effective during a year of the Metal Ox, as well as any exercise you can do in the fresh air. Since Metal is associated with the lungs, improve yours with cardio (all the more important as we grapple with the coronavirus) and experiment with eating foods that are rich in mineral content: nuts, legumes, dark leafy greens, fish, avocados, beef and lamb, to name a few. Filter your drinking water and get your iron levels checked if your energy dips.
Social Life and Style in the Year of the Metal Ox
Socially, Ox energy tends to be quiet and contained—certainly in contrast to the last two years of the neighborly Pig and communal Rat. Oxen hate small talk and aren’t big into group activities, which will make social distancing easier for however long it continues to be the mandate. Staying close to home will be easier during the Ox year, a time when gathering with family and loyal friends may be everyone’s preference.
Since Ox years are not for slackers, get into hobbies and crafts that involve Metal objects. Invest in that great set of kitchen knives or copper-bottomed pans. Tinker under the hood of a car, do needlecrafts or garden with tools. Weld, solder jewelry, try making fashions that are apropos for the Metal Ox year by adding studs, buckles, chains and other bling to utilitarian pieces. Speaking of styles, be on the lookout for those oversized Dickies coats and trucker caps of the early 1990s, or lumberjack trends with a farmland twist: suspenders, coveralls, utility belts and so on. Hats and hairstyles with horns might even make a debut! If you network, be selective. We’re not saying Metal energy is snobbish, but it is refined and discerning.
Inflexibility can cause conflict among people, so we’ll all have to work a little harder to bend and compromise. But hey, it’s also a relief to know where you stand with folks. And after 2020’s media circus, the Metal Ox’s demand for truth and integrity will be oh-so-refreshing. Under this zodiac influence, people prefer to make decisions based on careful research rather than sensationalized stories or “fake news.” If trust isn’t restored this year, at least it will be improved. Traditional media outlets may be asked to back up their claims with legitimate reporting. In 2021, those fact checkers might finally have the last laugh!
In Money Matters, Follow the Metal
As the economy continues to struggle post-pandemic, follow the metal literally! During the passage of the indomitable Chinese Metal Ox, interest in precious metals will be white-hot given the global state of uncertainty. We see that shiny, appreciating trend continuing for the foreseeable future as many savvy investors will continue to reallocate their weaker stock positions into “safe haven” assets like gold and silver in order to hedge against the titanic forces imperiling the economy. That metallic view also includes the hardest currency on the planet, Bitcoin, which is likely to see a stampede of investors as governments continue to print fiat currencies to vertiginous, hyper-inflationary levels.
And Astrostyle is not alone in this view. Numerous financial analysts predict a bull run for both precious metals and Bitcoin extending for the next decade. But expect much volatility in the months and years ahead given the unstable nature of the global markets. If you do buy gold, silver or BTC, you might want to make like the tenacious Ox and play the long gam —“buy and hold”—while covering your bases with a diversified plan. Having cash on hand for the short-term seems wise during a year ruled by the battle-tested, old-school Metal Ox.
Even our loose change is getting harder to come by. During the 2020 Metal Rat year, minting shortages disrupted the production of coins in the USA. We may see more of that in the second of two consecutive Metal-ruled years. As we write this, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is calling for a Bretton Woods- style monetary summit to reset the global economy, the likes of which haven’t happened since 1944.
In love, the Year of the Metal Ox makes everyone hella picky
But hey, if you’re going to be “yoked” together, selecting the right mate takes on more gravitas. Conversations about the future could get serious fast—to the detriment of flirting. We might hit the brakes on fast-moving romances when the year of the Metal Ox begins on February 12, 2021. Just be mindful not to go from casual curiosity to instant marriage, even if you’re sure you’ve found your happily- ever-after mate. And with the perfectionistic Metal energy afoot, make room for people’s humanity. We can’t be refined and glamorous 24/7, after all!
If you’re already attached, this is a year to create clear agreements and improve your conflict resolution skills. Make a point of breaking up stale routines. Take on a bigger household project if funds are available, perhaps putting in a second bathroom or creating the garden of your dreams. As tempted as you’ll be to DIY this, work with the pros for the heavy lifting. When the terrestrial Ox plays groundskeeper and rules the skies, it’s all about a solid team effort!