Dear Gossips,

On the Chinese calendar, today is the Start of Spring. Which means that, technically, the Year of the Horse is over and the Year of the Goat/Sheep has begun. Chinese New Year is on February 19. But the astrological year actually kicks off today. I know it’s confusing but we live by the moon.

Anyway, every Chinese zodiac sign has its sign of opposition. Last year, the Horse was sh-tty for Rats. In the Year of the Goat/Sheep, it’s the Ox who will have it rough.

That’s me. And some of you too.

As she always does, my ma, the Chinese Squawking Chicken, has some advice if you’re an Ox:

Get your teeth cleaned or your blood checked in March. I can’t get into too much detail about why but it can’t hurt to see the dentist and/or go for a physical.

Be extra, extra careful in July and August. These are the “goat/sheep months”.

NEVER EVER EVER eat lamb this year. No goat cheese, nothing that comes from that animal. From today on, it’s off the menu. Cannot stress enough the seriousness of this.

Last year I mentioned that for Rats, who were in for it during the Year of the Horse, the Tiger sign could help them. And that being around Tigers would help to mitigate their bad luck. For the Ox, our friend signs are Chickens and Dogs. Those who are born in the Year of the Chicken and the Year of the Dog might be able to protect us.

Dogs in particular – like the animals and the people of the sign – are particularly useful in reducing danger.

Look Ox gossips, to quote Mimi, I know this sounds bleak. But there are low periods in every cycle. It’s just our time right now. And we can use it to our advantage. As I say every year, the way we brace ourselves during our low luck flows will have a profound impact on how high our luck rises on the upswing. So be smart. Stay away from risk. Save your money. Use it to fortify your foundation – that could mean improvements in your home, it could mean not going for that promotion at work but instead investing in courses or programs or projects that will improve your skill and portfolio, and, especially, take care of your body. Keep it strong and stable. That way, when we the Ox come out of this sh-t, we’ll be ready to ascend. This is how the Fates test us.

The Squawking Chicken will have more Chinese New Year tips in the next couple of weeks. And she’s working on getting those charms. Remember, Chinese New Year is on February 19th. Make it a point, all Ox included, to gather with family and friends for a proper celebration. That’s the only way to start a new year – with happiness and love.

Yours in gossip,