2023 Year of the Rabbit

The next Lunar zodiac cycle is expected to mark a period of change, with the departure of the tumultuous Tiger and the arrival of a more patient and sensitive Rabbit. The Rabbit (or Cat, as it is in the Vietnamese zodiac stable) is the 4th animal in the 12-year zodiac cycle, bringing characteristics of harmony and diplomacy into a world full of tension and riddled with moving parts.  Rabbit years are known to bring transition and good fortune -- “opportunity arrives like a snail, and after it has passed you, it transforms into a speedy hare and disappears."  Be alert to opportunity as it reveals itself and act instinctively and decisively to grab the rabbit from the hat.

This Rabbit Year is associated with the Water element, or more particularly “Yin Water”.   While Water can range from sporadic showers to powerful thunderstorms, this year’s Water should be more like light rain and morning dew, a peaceful sun shower rather than a drenching monsoon. Wood will be the dominant “Yang” presence and, together with Water, will nurture new growth and expansion, moving to address challenges posed by global conflict, climate change and economic crisis.  The weaknesses of the Earth and Metal elements underscore that the global economy is not out of the woods, although as the world emerges from the pandemic, the coming together of Wood and Water should shine a ray of hope into the Rabbit’s hole.

The Rabbit’s search for solutions and quest for equilibrium has been well-evidenced in the past.  This peace-loving disposition ushered in an end to the Vietnam War in 1975, initiating decades of reform, growth and prosperity for the country and the region.  The paw-print of the Rabbit could also be seen in the thaw of Cuba-West relations after the departure of Fidel Castro in 2011. That said, a fiery road can be paved with the best intentions, and the Hare’s influence was unable to stop the Korean War (1951) or soften the Black Monday market crash in 1987.  Rabbit years occasionally up-end the predictable -- “underneath every bush, you’ll find a rabbit ready to bolt”.

The 4th animal year has also given birth to its share of success stories.  In Vietnam, they say “the Cat jumps high, even the sky can see it”.  Albert Einstein (1879) and Jeff Bezos (1964) are both Rabbits and no doubt have been seen by the sky.  And corporate champions Alibaba and Zoom were launched in 1999 and 2011, respectively, and both have their heads in the clouds.

So as we say goodbye to the Tiger, the Rabbit enters with the prospect of hope for a world that needs it.  Keep the Rabbit’s foot in your pocket and stay alert to opportunity.   2023 is very likely to be a year of significant change.  Asian lore tells us that “the Hare rides the wind and takes advantage of the fire”.

The observations set forth above represent the distilled thoughts of a number of Chinese feng shui commentators, and do not constitute investment criteria for the professionals at Excelsior Capital Asia!