2020 was the Chinese year of the rat. Filled with anxiety and strife, we scurried for safety and security in a series of quarantines and lockdowns. It was the year of remote working, worry, and innovation. Indeed, the rat of the Chinese zodiac is characterized by its quick-thinking, like our ability to adjust to the new norm, and resourcefulness, shown in humanity’s creative solutions to staying together, apart.

But like all things, the Year of the Rat is ending, and we welcome a new year – the year of the Metal Ox. So, what should we expect from this coming year, and what will it mean for our well-being? Let’s find out.

What is the Year of the Ox?

The Ox is one of the 12 animal signs that make up the Chinese zodiac. Each has specific characteristics that define them and the year to come. These animals include the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and the Pig.

Alongside these animals are the five elements – Wood, Fire, Metal, Earth, and Water – which describe the interdependence of all things – everything is connected. When we combine the year and the element, we see a kind of energy that the year will have and can illuminate what to expect. Here is how they interact, after all, energy is never created or destroyed, it is only changed.

Creating or generating processes:

  • Wood fuels the Fire
  • Fire creates the Earth
  • Earth is home to metal
  • Metal carries Water
  • Water feeds trees that make Wood

Destroying or overcoming processes:

  • Fire melts Metal
  • Metal penetrates Wood
  • Wood breaks up the Earth
  • Earth absorbs Water
  • Water puts out Fire

What does the Year of the Ox usually mean?benching

The Ox is a sacred animal in many cultures. Steadfast, resilient, gentle, and grounded. The Ox symbolizes the importance of hard work and keeping going through the tough times. In legend, the Ox stems from early agricultural-based communities. Here people toiled endless, facing starvation. The gods, seeing their plight, sent the Ox to earth to help them. With her wisdom, the people learned to eat every three days to avoid starvation and get through this period of turmoil.

What can we expect from the Year of the Ox?

Hopefully, in 2021, we’re not talking about starvation. However, resilience continues to be a much-needed trait. As we emerge from the challenges of the Year of the Rat, we no longer scurry for safety. Instead, we move forward rebuilding our society with hard work (remote working), honesty (that sometimes our real lives get in the way of work), and positivity (things will get better).

With the ongoing coronavirus crisis, it’s unlikely that we’re completely out of the woods just yet. But the dawn is approaching, and soon, like a warm spring, life will come back into action. Although we might have to wait until the Year of the Tiger in 2022 for that one. So, what can we expect this year?


In 2020, your home became your fortress. It was warm, comforting, and maybe even a little cramped? As we struggled with the challenges of lockdowns and closeness with family members, we forgot that this too will pass. Now, is the time to declutter. Use this time wisely as you create a home environment that supports you. Whether this is a massive spring clean or readjusting your relationships to create healthier surroundings that answer your needs, that is up to you.


There’s no doubt that our working lives changed dramatically in this previous year. From a move to remote working to massive job losses and an economic crash, the effects of which are still to come. While that all sounds pretty grim, what does this mean for us moving forward? Now is the time for change. To assess if your work is fulfilling, to seek new opportunities, and forge a better path. In 2021, it’s time to find your center, like the stable Ox, and rebalance your work-life balance once and for all – you’ll need it when 2022 rolls around.


The COVID-19 pandemic illustrated one thing very clearly – health is wealth. The trend for at-home workouts really took off in 2021. And this year, it’s time to solidify those workout goals and make them habits. Health is a long-term objective. That’s why fad diets won’t work. Instead, this year will be all about wholistic health and well-being objectives that will (hopefully) last a lifetime.

Will 2021 be my lucky year?nature

Like all Chinese years, your personal path is forged by the animal you were born under. Its compatibility with the ox tells what to expect in this coming year.


1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020, 2032

Rats and Oxen are allies. If you were born in the year of the rat, this is the year to push forward, and work harder. However, at the same time, don’t overextend yourself. Commit only to what you can do, and don’t take shortcuts.


1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021, 2033

This is the year when hard work pays off. You will begin to see the results of your toil. But now is not the time to relax. Keep going slow and steady, and you will see the fruition of your work in the Year of the Tiger.


1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034

Now is not the time to rush into any wild projects. Instead, like the hunter tiger, it’s time to bide your time and focus on building the foundations. You will sprint in 2022, so for now, hone that focus and prepare.


1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

The rabbit represents hope and gentleness, and suffered greatly in 2020. This new year is a time to be patient and focus your energy on yourself. The results of your work and coming, just wait.


1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

For the high-flying dragon, the Year of the Ox may prove challenging as they learn to invoke their more conservative traits. Quick solutions are not the answer. Instead, this year, it’s time to practice patience and hard work. Try to stay grounded and not let yourself be dragged into issues that are beyond your power.


1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025, 2037

Finding harmony with the ox, those born in the snake year will experience a time of opportunity and growth in both their career and home life. Hard work will be rewarded, but use mindfulness to know which goals are worth your effort.


1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

The past year, the rat and the horse were at loggerheads, so this new year will provide some much-needed relief for the horse. Greener pastures are ahead, so keep on that slow and steady track to success.


1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027, 2039, 2051

Prepare to butt heads in 2021. The sheep and the ox are zodiac opposites, so this might be a tumultuous year for you. But all is not lost. Keep your head down and focus on your inner resilience, and all will come to fruition.


1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

Ambition, creativity, and wit are the monkey’s strengths. These do not go well with the ox’s steadfast nature. So, instead of forging a path of resistance, instead, use this year to center your ambitions and prepare for the Year of the Tiger. Find harmony between creativity and focus, and you will come out on top.


1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Values align this year for the ox and the phoenix. Your drive and diligence in your work will go a long way to helping you achieve your goals. With the challenges from the rat year passed, the future is yours for the taking. Dedicate yourself, and you will see results.


1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030.

Everyone loves an underdog, but when it comes to problem-solving, this year, it might be time to take a more traditional approach. Responsibility, perseverance, and diligence go a long way for the dog this year, making it the perfect year to build a strong foundation, not start a revolution in your life.


1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Harmony awaits the pig this year. Your work ethic will help you get ahead. The down to earth pig is focused on getting results, and all that hard work is set to pay off. Just keep going, and you will be appreciated.

Key Advice to getting through the Year of the Ox

2021 is the year for prudence, hard work, and building a brighter future. Innovation, new methods and ideas aren’t wise for the coming year. However, building those solid foundations, honing your routine, and leveling-up your skills and health, will set you on the right track for the more adventurous tiger. For your well-being, this year focus on founding those great health habits and by the end of the year, you will see the results you crave.

Written by Verv Experts
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