The Earth Ox Year – by Suzanne White

Dear Friend and Reader:

The wonders of the Internet.

When I was new to reading about astrology, I found a book that covered the Western signs in the context of the Chinese zodiac. It’s called The New Astrology by Suzanne White – a book where you can look up some ideas to go with being a Leo Rooster or a Pisces Dragon, and it was intelligent (the Pisces Dragon, my own sign, should seek employment as a philosopher or photographer, Ms. White suggests).

Knowing that I needed to sound vaguely intelligent about Chinese astrology with the New Year happening, I drove to Mirabai Books in Woodstock yesterday to fetch the book, which is in print and selling copies 20 years after it came out.

Then it occurred to me to call the author and see what she had so say. I found her email address, wrote to her and the next day, we were in a long conversation about this, that and several other things. And at the end of that conversation, one of the truly eloquent writers on the Chinese horoscope offered Planet Waves readers her Earth Ox article, as well as one we’ll print Monday about the Leo Ox — that is, Barack Obama’s combined sign.

Suzanne, a Wave of love and appreciation for your work.

— Eric Francis
for Planet Waves

The Year of the Earth Ox – by Suzanne White

1709 Samuel Johnson

1769 Napoleon Bonaparte, Le Marquis de Sade, Adolph Hitler, Jean Cocteau, Erle Stanley Gardner, Robert Benchley, Jawaharlal Nehru, Claude Rains

1889 Charlie Chaplin, Sessue Hayakawa, Jean Cocteau

1949 Ivana Trump, Lindsay Wagner, Billy Joel, Sigourney Weaver, Paloma Picasso, Jessica Lange, Richard Gere, John Belushi, Jeff Bridges, Sissy Spacek, Niki Lauda, Hank Williams, Fanny Ardant, Patty Lupone, Ken Follett, Lionel Ritchie, Meryl Streep, Lindsay Wagner, Shelly Duval, Keith Caradine, Robert Caradine, Twiggy, Ed Begley Jr., Bruce Springsteen, Sigourney Weaver, Bonnie Raitt, Joan Armatrading, Ted Danson, Sissy Spacek, Tom Waits, Victoria Principal

Here we enter the year of the busybody dictator Ox. Curious to a fault, nosy and meddlesome, Earth Oxen think they know best, and they often do. In general, these folks consider themselves superior to other people. They not only think they are better; they believe they were born to lead others, to teach the poor things how to live, and sometimes even to push them around like pawns on the chessboard of life. What we have here is a very nature-oriented, earth-bound, power-mad megalomaniac whose nose for locating flies in life’s various ointments is practically infallible.

This is not to say we didn’t need such a stringent year to come along in 2009. We did. All of us are suffering. Some of us have too much and are stumbling over glut. Many more of us have nothing. The world financial market, such as we knew it, is over. Change and upheaval are in the very air we breathe. Religious fanaticism seems to have more power among certain young people than either rock music or computer games could ever have inspired. People are slaughtering other people in the name of a god figure. Other people are dropping bombs on peoples’ houses and churches and hospitals and weddings in the name of an increasing energy need to fuel more pollution. Our food sources are being poisoned in the name of efficacy.

Let’s face it. Things were getting out of hand.

Along comes the Earth Ox to get us back in line, to make order out of all the chaos we have ourselves wreaked on the world. What kind of Ox is an Earth ox?

Well, a more self-possessed type of Ox doesn’t exist. The Earth Ox is autonomous and ruthless. The Earth Ox may occasionally appear to cower in the face of something overwhelming. And, deep down, he may really be afraid. But he won’t display fear. He will display audacity instead. Many sense his fear. As a result, they do not always feel obliged to take the Ox’s haughty posturing very seriously. It is tempting (but unwise) to thumb one’s nose at a bossy Earth Ox. These people mean business! Most times, it’s “their way or the highway”. The Earth Ox’s shrewd punitive measures for shirkers are legendary – even shocking!

Earth born Oxen believe that their true goal is to achieve perfection. They never quail at the idea of intense hard work, are terminally organized and cannot so much as a glimmer of spontaneity. The life and soul of the party, this creature is not. The Earth Ox leads. He or she is in charge. Hence they are never really part of any group.

So these Earth Oxen are brave. And bold. Temerity is their middle name. Think about it – Earth and Ox together? A bulldozer. They caterpillar-tractor their way over any number of corpses to get into any board room, cabinet meeting or bedroom where they feel they should be allowed to enter – without knocking. As long as the Earth Ox needs something and wants it, it’s his (or hers

This snatch-and-grab approach may seem horrendously cut throat to others; but these folks carry on as they do because (believe it or not) they are insecure! Yes. Insecurity is the key to all the bullying on Earth, and the Earth Ox is no exception. They secretly suffer from a fear of being unloved, rejected and abandoned. This Ox is never sure of a best friend or even a best bed partner. They are also well aware that they are clumsy and unskilled at appreciating subtlety. So… to spare their own tender feelings, these Oxen use aggressive tactics to fend off aggression from others.

Even the most successful Earth Ox is a bit of a klutz, an awkward peasant in bourgeois clothing. They may wish they had never become so visible as to be obliged to hobnob with all the splendid people who only make them feel more like a hick. What Earth Oxen wanted to do when they set out to take over the world was to lead the people. But they never dreamed that they might also have to learn to drink champagne, make small talk, wear evening clothes or take waltz lessons.

If you or I woke up one day and faced the responsibility of piloting the globe, it might be difficult to maintain our cool. Since Earth Oxen were born with this leadership certainty and are basically sincere, when they accede to the massive job of shepherding the world, they do want everything to run smoothly. After all, while they are in power, the outcome of all human endeavor rests with them. If things go well, and the Earth Ox feels he or she is doing the job correctly, then they can afford to be in a good mood. If the works gum up (which sometimes happens), these Earth Oxen truly believe it is all their fault.

Does he or she get depressed and sulk? Will she explode? Will he knock over tables and chairs? Or might he take to drink or she drugs? No. Earth Oxen are convinced that because they define the limits, they need not hesitate to overstep them – all the time. It’s nigh unto impossible for the Earth born Ox to accept advice. They never ask for assistance. He or she expects the best from everyone and when they don’t get it, they tend to sanction their subjects… severely.

The one sure path to an Earth Ox’s heart is through its stomach. Good restaurants thrive in Earth Ox years. These leaders love to eat thick, country-style soups, platefuls of fried fishy tidbits or a couple of crusty quiches Lorraine. These Oxen can often be master chefs as well.

What about love? For this kind of Ox, sex represents a healthy physical act. Romance may be cute, but it is not the Earth Ox’s favorite means of communication. They are not up for employing seduction tactics or whispering sweet nothings. A good hearty meal, a glass of wine and a little sexercise is the best aphrodisiac for this character. Hold the sweet nothings.

Finally, although this Ox makes a meticulous rule maker and a disciplined self-starter, he or she is often literary or artistic in some specialized area. He always finishes what he starts. She can be counted on for promptness and trusted for basic honesty. However, blindness to their own fallibility may lead Earth Oxen to commit some dreadful errors and profound guilt and denial can follow.

During Earth Ox years, the accent is on obedience and hard work. That gigantic stone which hurtled crazily back down the mountain last year must be replaced up there atop the mountain by the end of 2009. And who gets to roll up his or her sleeves and push and shove and sweat and slave till that rock is back on top? We do of course.

3 thoughts on “The Earth Ox Year – by Suzanne White”

  1. Yes, Suzanne is fantastic. Read her book and you’ll know. I am actually an Earth Ox, so this article was plenty interesting for me. A little harsh I’d say, but then . . . well, just go and read the chapter on Scorpio Ox. I have two cousins of that class, and it is all just too acurate.

    Funny for me is Suzanne’s observation that the Earth Ox simply is incapable of taking advice. Actually once, I had a consult with Suzanne; it was about 4 years ago. Fascinating informatioin, but she did also offer me quite a lot of advice, which evidently she knew very well I’d never be able to follow. Anyway, I greatly appreciated her insights.

  2. I read a little about oxen. The oxen is any steer at least four years old (usually they go to butcher before that age) that is trained to do work. A steer is defined as any castrated bull. Is there a message in that? Females can also be trained to ox.

  3. Great to see Suzanne White on here, I loved her book when it came out. It’s a while since I picked it up, so I’m off now to go and remind myself what a Cancer Snake might do to earn a crust…

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