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Rats Are Lucky During The Year Of The Ox In Chinese Astrology — Here's Why

why the rat is a lucky symbol in the year of the ox
Graphic by AnnaPoguliaeva / iStock
February 17, 2021
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We're fresh off the Lunar New Year, which happened last Friday, February 12. In Chinese culture, this is a sacred time of year to attract prosperity and ward off bad luck. Now that we're in the Year of the Ox, one lucky symbol to note is the Rat. Here, author and feng shui expert Anjie Cho explains why this is the case and how to harness the Rat's abundant energy in the year to come.

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Why is the Rat lucky this year?

According to Cho, to understand why the Rat is a lucky symbol in Chinese astrology, you need to know the story of the Great Race.

"There was a wise empress in Ancient China," Cho explains, "and she and the emperor had decided they'd like to have a great race where they would invite all the animals in the kingdom to participate, in order to determine the order of the Chinese zodiac animals."

The Rat, which was quite small—but also quite clever—called on his friend the Ox and said they should win the race together. The Ox agreed, and so the Rat rode the Ox through the entirety of the race, through rivers and over mountains. "As they approached the finish line," Cho says, "the Rat jumped off the Ox and came in first place. And that's the story of how the Rat came in first and the Ox came in second."

Now, it might sound like trickery on the Rat's part, but Cho says the Ox was happy to come in second, and they're still considered friendly zodiac signs. "They're actually the most compatible relationship in the Chinese zodiac system," she adds.

So, in the Year of the Ox, embracing the symbolism of the Rat is thought to help ward off bad luck.

How to work with Rat energy.

In Cho's branch of feng shui (called BTB feng shui), it's considered lucky to carry a three-dimensional, realistic-looking figurine of a Rat around with you this year. In addition to that, you can also attract prosperity by hanging out with people born during a Year of the Rat (which includes 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, and 2020).

"You should always have the figurine on your body," she adds. (She actually created her own Rat keychain charm, to make it easy to carry this touchstone around.) "[It's] as a reminder that you're protected and [a way to] acknowledge the cycles of nature."

So there you have it! That's why harnessing the power of the wise, resourceful Rat—especially during the Year of the Ox—might help you tackle 2021 with a little more ease, cleverness, and of course, friendship.

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