Did you feel that 2023 was fleeting? Have you noticed that people and things around you have been full of uncertainty and sudden changes since 2018? Hang in there; this restless energy will turn around in 2024. This year, Wood Dragon begins on February 4 in the solar calendar and on February 10 in the Lunar calendar. Particularly for those who faced challenges since 2018, prepare for a fresh start!
First, we need to talk a little bit about astrology and its relation to TCM:
In the solar system, Saturn and Jupiter align once every 20 years, forming a straight line. Every 60 years, Saturn, Jupiter, and Mercury meet once; every 180 years, the nine (now eight) planets will be on the same side of the sun and distributed in a small fan, forming a "nine stars in a row." This celestial movement affects the climate and magnetic field changes in the earth's natural world, affecting people's material and spiritual lives. Traditional Chinese medicine time medicine is based on this natural law of celestial bodies to guide people's health care. Since 2017, we’ve embarked on a new 60-year cycle, a winding phase worldwide, and that's why we saw more conflicts, fast update integration, rapid development, and more contemporary cultural trends. Now in 2024, we'll move further into the 20-year cycle.
(World map as reference; every 20 years, we move 1 phase counterclockwise)
Let’s explore the regional impacts of this on life and health:
Entering 9th Phase in 2024 - Ruled by Fire Element: The transition from 8th to 9th phase is significant shift. 9th phase begins on February 4, 2024 which is also called "Lichun 立春" and will last for the next 20 years. Fire represents passion, creativity, and innovation. At the same time, just like the flicker of flames, it could present many challenges without proper security and stability. Therefore, this year's focus should be on individual growth including career, wealth, and well-being and less dependency on others. Health tips: protect Heart by paying attention to both mental and emotional health, take time and slow down when eating to not disrupt Small Intestine and digestion, stay off media consumption to preserve Eyes health.
West Coast moves into the 3rd phase - Wood Elements and Thunder Symbol: They represent fresh, green, enlightening, and shaking energy. Cultural trends arise, debates occur, and wealth accumulates. People will be full of thoughts about life and social phenomena. In terms of health, we should pay attention to hydration to prevent the power of hair growth from being too strong. We should also focus on blood pressure, cardiovascular, cerebrovascular health, and stroke prevention. At the same time, if the wood element is too vital, the metal or earth element will be relatively weak. Hence, you need to pay attention to digestive system problems, depression, and bipolar disorder.
Center America moves into the 4th phase - Wood Elements and Wind Symbol: They represent dark green, growing energy, which benefits the Renaissance, Aerospace, new technologies, development of culture and art, and population growth. The power of the wind element in the central United States is much softer than that in the West. For this, people should focus on nourishing the blood, bones, hair, and eyes. At the same time, attention should be paid to skin eczema, dermatitis, etc. Mental health, depression, etc. should also be observed.
East Coast moves into the 5th phase - Earth Elements: Five is a stable stage in the middle of all stages of movement. The aspect of the earth itself also indicates stability and order. But this stability is a relative stage of change, symbolizing the results of a phase after a long period of transitions, the re-establishment of various new orders. The fifth phase represents the mother in the I Ching. This indicates that the energy of motherhood, stability, perseverance, and integration will dominate the eastern United States in the next 20 years. Health considerations include attention to the health of the digestive system, kidneys, urinary tract, bladder, and reproductive system.
Moving into TCM Reading for 2024:
According to the lunar calendar, the Beginning of Spring in 2024 falls on the 25th day of the twelfth lunar month this winter, nearly 20 days earlier than the Beginning of Spring in the Year of the Rabbit (last year). Spring is the beginning of Shaoyang replacing Hanshui, which means that next year's Shaoyang will appear 20 days earlier than this year's. Today, spring begins early, and the warm weather will follow suit. The earth's atmosphere will rise, all things will grow, and rainfall will increase. Winter in the United States will be later than the lunar calendar, and this winter will be warmer.
2024 is the year of Wood Dragon (Jiǎ Chén甲辰), in which 甲 is the first one in the heavenly stems, which indicates a new beginning. It is the element of Yang Wood. That's why people say 2024 is the year of the Wood Dragon. In addition to representing the dragon, the earthly branch 辰 also represents the element of wet earth, also called a treasure house of water (4 earth elements earthly branch representing the treasure house of other four elements). Water symbolizes wealth and is also a suitable year for wealth accumulation.
This combination of stems and branches reminds us that the first half of 2024 will be dominated by “Shao Yang” - cold water and cold and dampness will become the primary pathogens that cause people to get sick. Taiyin and damp soil dominate the second half of the year, and dampness and phlegm will mainly cause people's illnesses. Too many earth elements throughout the year will cause digestive problems such as bloating and constipation and kidney and bladder system problems caused by excessive suppression of water elements due to too vigorous earth elements insulting the water organ. As mentioned above, we are moving into the wind phase, and the manifestation of environmental energy is also accelerating. More sensitive people may have noticed recently that there have been more and more symptoms of fullness, bloating, indigestion, eczema with blisters, and urinary tract infections. Generally speaking, cold and dampness are the main evil Qi in the next year, and the spleen and kidneys are the organs we need to focus on. In TCM theory, weakness of the spleen and stomach is the main cause of phlegm and dampness and therefore, eating well and balancing digestion will be our primary goal for 2024!
Healthy tips for this year:
It is worth noting that wet soil or dampness in the body not only causes blockage of the actual substances in the body but also causes stagnation of Qi. Poor Qi circulation will lead to emotional discomfort, depression, and sadness. Therefore, we also need to pay special attention to mental health. Keep exercising; drink some lemon, mint, rose, tangerine peel, and other herbal teas that promote Qi; stay in a place with lush flowers and trees for at least 20 minutes every day; let the sun shine on the top of your head and spine more, which will help the body transport water and dampness, usually a good way for Qi to resist depression.
Lastly, let’s thrive together in 2024!
Regular TCM check-ups are encouraged to help prevent and treat diseases early rather than allowing time for diseases to go deeper or transform. If the past few years have not been good for you, this is the year to really embrace change and prioritize your well-being!