year of the ox
year of the ox

While perhaps YIN METAL OX – sounds like an ancient cologne that has been rediscovered to offer grounding energies, 2021’s year of the Ox is a welcome feeling of a solid foundation.

In the Chinese zodiac, the Ox is the second animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese calendar. Ox mirrors incredibly industrious animals like cows, bulls, or water buffalo, any four-legged creature known for their reliable and helpful nature. Ox will labor so we can advance our tasks and gain security. Ox year 2021 is going to be a year when work will be rewarded!

chinee palace

In the Chinese zodiac folk stories, Ox has a moral, noteworthy role. The story of a Great Race is central to Chinese mythology.  The tale says that the Emperor invited all the animals in the kingdom to compete in a race that would reward the winners with inclusion into the Chinese zodiac. Ox was ready to compete but invited Rat to hop on top of his back since the little animal was too tiny to have any advantage over the other animals. This helpful characteristic is a signature to Ox; they will always provide services or aid to those less fortunate. Ox will plow the field, create room for new seeds, and remind us to turn over anew  . . . while keeping our feet deep in the earth.  There is hope that this energy will translate towards giving to those in need in 2021, be it in receiving vaccines for those who can not, shopping small businesses, volunteering retired skills for healthcare and schools, or just being kind. 

This last year of 2020 and the year of the Metal Rat was a very topsy-turvy, unpredictable year (as can happen with Metal Rat), but the Ox year has a stable, rebuilding energy. So get out the bricks and begin a new, sturdy masonry on top of the rubble of 2020. No matter the zodiac animal of your birth year, know that you have a diligent, strong beast to hold onto! Ox up!


year of the ox

Rebuilding to make things better, still upheaval,  Ox year will present its own challenges, but just like the Ox itself, it will be a year of hard work, determination, and building—or rather, rebuilding. After the chaos of 2020, the Ox year will be about creating durable structures to make way for a better future, harnessing forward movement with diligence and trustworthiness. What we have learned from the upheaval of 2020, and how can we rebuild with more sturdy foundations? 2021 provides the opportunity and strength for the reinvention we’ve been manifesting. 



While Ox might seem slow-moving or sluggish, Oxen are incredibly dependable,  striving against all odds, offering structure and a march forward whenever challenged. Oxen also add to stability by insisting on boundaries; they believe people should rise to the occasion and show consistency regarding what is asked of them. Feel confident in insisting on safety measures you need to keep you and your family safe- asking people to wear masks, social distancing, and any other safety measures you need in place.  All of us will benefit from the grounding energy of the Ox. With all the winds of change blowing, be sure to embrace the magic of Ox. Stay the course! 


chinee bridge

Ox year themes inspire great leadership qualities; Ox vibes exhibit logical thinking, are detail-oriented, and model healthy intelligent behavior. Through hard work, perseverance, there will be a pay-off, greater stability, but the challenges are not over just yet. Metal represents success, productivity. Its nature is to be organized, structured, willfully ambitious. Metal Ox impulses can build strong, new bridges and structures that may serve for decades to come. Go ahead and take some chances this year; even if things don’t go as planned, you will be able to rebound and survive.  

Medical Breakthroughs


While 2020’s Year of the Rat did renew interest in science that led to medical breakthroughs (vaccines, PPE) and ingenuity (online everything!), Ox shares a metal element influence, representing the lungs, immunity, intestines, sinuses. COVID-19 will continue to be a concern, and investments in research for complex autoimmune and respiratory diseases will continue. Ox will offer a steadiness here, helping to flatten curves as we hone in on saving lives and healing. As a Yin year, medical attention towards sleep, relaxation, and meditation could also find funding and research. 

The yin energy of this year accentuates total embodiment and security to take charge of our health and lives. We may have to set extra intentions and focus with added intensity to achieve our goals and go deep inside ourselves to see what is important, but the yin energy supports this deep dive. 

Acupuncture is an excellent modality to increase the health in your life in 2021— think of it as every point and poke building a healthy foundation in the year of the Ox to move and amplify qi and balanced systems. As each insertion causes white blood cells to produce, a natural immune response from acupuncture will amplify the Metal Ox intention. 

Social Spirit

zoom meeting

2021 is a year to take an honest look at society, embrace a social justice spirit for all . . . and DO THE WORK!  We can build on the benefits of social justice and the younger generation’s involvement: hello, K Pop, and Tic-Toc! 2020’s Rat year was a year for communities coming together; in 2021, we learn from these convergences and do independent work of the Ox to benefit the community. With significant social and political changes this year, Ox can maybe now “hop on the back” of Rat themes like “start over” and “reinvention” and innovate with a solid outlook! 

Remember, Ox is resilient. In 2021 we can take the survival lessons of the Rat and embrace perseverance; Ox energy provides plenty of strength to endure.  Let’s all acknowledge the power this mighty creature brings!

year of the ox

Wondering what Chinese zodiac animal you are?  Use a Lunar Calculator to determine your animal and receive a 2021 Forecast emailed to you.

Special thanks to writer Katherine Factor. More about her work and services can be found at