2018 Earth Dog

Dog on mountain

Noble and wise, honorable and dependable, trusting and loyal. Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve arrived at the Year of Earth Dog. 2018 is here, and it’s solid, grounded, obedient, and receptive. We rode the torrential, sparring, and not-so-subtle currents of the Fire Rooster in 2017 and that path now ends at the foot of a magnificent mountain that’s very much worthy of our awe and impression.
This New Year, we experience the coming of the Yang Earth (戊 Wu) and the of Dog (戌 Xu) in unity. These two components make up just one year within the expansive 60-year cycle (the next time the year of Wu-xu will be in 2078). The 60-year cycle is used to calculate both the and the . These are mechanisms to outline the energetic patterns and tendencies of (1) the material world and (2) what lies beyond.
So let’s talk about the energies of the Earthly Flow. When we refer to the of 2018, we are talking purely about this realm and the immediate surroundings that we inhabit. Our environment is our stage, and this year’s stage is firm and grounded. It has the capability to launch some people into the very heights of the dreams and aspirations they’ve been aiming for and struggling to achieve. By the same token, for others these cliffs may add some unwanted perils, dangers of falling, or being crushed by the weight of such mighty stone while on their journey. Depending on what your own energies are (from the Heavenly Mandate in conjunction with your own ), the energy of this year will have a unique impact on you. 
The Heavenly Mandate is a cycle of decades and it influences human lives profoundly by outlining the ethereal energies of the universe and their roles on what we perceive and experience. The Earthly Flow is more complex and follows the intricate stages of creation-destruction and life-death that we observe in nature and the material realm we live in. When these two meet, you get many intricate variables that paint a detailed, subtle, and complete snapshot of the energetic tendencies of your soul’s path during this life. This is why 2018 will be experienced quite differently from person to person. For example, I’ll use “Billy” as an example (don’t worry it’s not his real name…he’s under our witness protection program ):

My four pillars

So, with this setup we can see a few things regarding how Billy receives the energies of 2018:

(1) As a Yin Fire sign, the double-Earth energies in this Wu-xu year represent a profound time of production, giving, output, creativity, exertion, and prostration.

So, is this good for him?

Yes, this aspect is very helpful because his Net Transformative Tendencies are net-positive and Earth is a beneficial element for him (because it drains the excess Fire in his chart). It means that this year Billy will have an inclination to provide more output and have less of a tendency to get stuck in a rut or lazy. He’ll have a stronger drive to give, create, and provide. His gardens in the spring and summer might do better than the last few years, or he may garner a bigger following with people involved in his life’s passion or work.
2018 is here, and it’s solid, grounded, obedient, and receptive
(2) Billy was born in the year of the Dragon. There’s an old Chinese saying from the Zodiac that Dogs and Dragons fight or conflict. Is this true and does that mean Billy will have some conflict in 2018?

There are different types of Earth (especially within the Earthly Branches and Earthly Flow)—four to be exact: the Ox (己 Ji), Goat (未 Wei), Dog (戌 Xu), and Dragon (辰 Chen). The first two are Yin types while the latter two are Yang types. Whenever the two of each type meet each other, they can’t help but compete with one-another. For example, Dog and Dragon compete for dominance—and Billy’s Four Pillars has two side-by-side (forming it’s own unique challenge all by itself called the ). This means that although there will be a big pull to be more creative and giving, Billy may feel conflicted in how he goes about actually doing this. There will be a tendency to arrive at some conflict regarding the conduct involved in business affairs to the point that investments may become exhausted or lost. Dragons like to be masters of their own domain and Dogs are highly territorial, so there can be situations where toe-stepping and head-butting impedes the type of progress that both may actually strive for and agree upon, even if it’s unintentional from both parties involved. Billy may also encounter people and situations which share an affinity for this Earth energy but differ greatly in how they want to go about manifesting this passion, or who have issues conceding a role or position that may directly or indirectly challenge his (and vice-versa). However, because Billy has so much Yang Earth in his astrology it’s going to be a smooth reception of energy for 2018—especially so during periods of seasonal transition. So, this means that there may be bumps and bruises along the way, but in whatever he chooses to be his creation the energy is conducive for profound manifestation as long as it’s engaged with a hands-on approach and Billy remains receptive to the environment and people he involves himself with.

(3) Although Earth is good for Billy, Water is the priority element. And this is a bit of a challenge: Earth happens to be Water’s weakness.

How does this effect Billy in 2018?

Where water flows, Earth obstructs. What water frees, Earth buries. Billy has a unique setup in his Four Pillars where he needs Water primarily and Earth secondarily. Both of these elements are good for him; Water directly cools down the heat of excess Fire and Earth gradually pulls from Fire’s force to dwindle it. However, these two elements do not compliment one-another by themselves. And because 2018 is so richly endowed with Yang Earth, Billy will have a very difficult time receiving the unique benefits of Water’s instant cooling, restructuring, and disciplinarian effects on him. 
Depending on your own energies... this year will have a unique impact on you
Unlike last year (which was a year of “dancing rivals”) this New Year of 2018 is very harmonious—in that the energies of the year itself reflect a kind of slowing down or accumulating period. One could say this year acts like a canvas for a new painting or a bold new (but empty) plot of land for prime real estate to be had. For some, they can’t wait to strap in and begin climbing this magnificent mountain in pursuit of the reward at the summit; for others, their palms may be sweating just at the idea that a mountain could get so high and steep. Inspiration or intimidation—this is the basic reception of 2018 for most. It’s a year that represents a harmony between forces of magnitude and scale. It’s a year for go-getters, seekers, creators, the impassioned and the affirmed. Earth is a solid, stationary element which is much-needed for many; a challenge for others. But whatever the circumstance and however received this year is for you, make the best of it.