What Will The Year Of The Sheep Mean For You?

Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Author/astrologer Suzanne White has been dubbed "The High Priestess" of Chinese astrology. Unlike the Sun Signs of the zodiac, the Chinese Astrological Signs are based on the year of your birth rather than the month. They go through 12-year cycles, starting with the Rat and ending with the Pig. You can find your sign here. Note: If you were born in January or February, you should check your exact date of birth on the Chinese Calendar. The Chinese New Year is later than ours, so your birthday may fall into the previous Chinese Year.

Today marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep (sometimes referred to as the Year of the Goat or Ram). Sheep years are thought to be Yin — softer and less warlike than other years. However, Sheep years can also offer belligerent spirit and penurious periods aplenty. When Sheep are challenged, they can turn from peace-loving Yinsters to aggressors and self-pitiers. The same is true of Sheep years: They may at first give us an impression of serenity. But, just you wait. In my heart, I would love to reassure all of my readers that this coming Sheep year, 2015, will be warm apple pie and roses all year long — but truthfully, I don't think that will be the case.

This Wood Sheep year will, however, be a time for all people to pull together. If you ever wanted to start your own political party, participate in a group charity effort, or teach children to read, 2015 is your year. Any and all humanitarian endeavors will be supported and rewarded. Being one of “the good guys” will be encouraged. Bad guys won’t be popular, and hypocrites will be flushed out of their secret lairs. Unfaithful spouses will be rejected, and people will prefer the arts and culture to crime and violence on TV. In short, from a day-to-day living standpoint, the Sheep year 2015 will be more clement. Good riddance to the rigorous, back-breaking Horse year, 2014.

A Sheep year is not about ambition, success, or money. Instead, it's about people and their essential needs. Efforts to relieve poverty and stamp out rampant illness will be favored. Those who invent and innovate can expect to be given time and even funds; money-hungry folks, meanwhile, will ride a bumpy road ahead. Why? Sheep don’t care about accumulating cash. They care about musing in fertile fields, making and building things, and they care about routine — a safe, unchanging routine they can be guided by, and which allows them to do more of what they are passionate about.

While sudden changes in rules could rile Sheep up, aggression for its own sake is not in the Sheep makeup. Sheep prefer stasis. They are a peace-loving lot, and they are about compromise. So, if events go according to the Sheep’s plan, 2015, the year of the Green Wood Sheep, will smooth its wooly balm over hostilities. You'll see families reunited and harmony returning. These are turbulent times. But, 2015 will point the way through the storms and rekindle our belief in ourselves — that we can drop our petty quarrels and mend our broken fences.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview Of 2015 For Rats

Relentless Rat,

You Rats have had a couple of lean seasons of late. These may well have cramped your style and dulled your creativity. Fortunately, the Sheep year will have you sailing in smoother waters. At this point, money worries will finally stop dictating your every move. Finances will cease to be the most crucial issue in your life. By June, you will feel more inclined to get out of the house and show off your sparkling social skills. Attending parties and public events where your native charm can be appreciated will do you wonders. At one of these events in September, your whisker antennae will pick up sexy vibes from some gorgeous creature. This new romantic interest could threaten an already stable marriage or long-term relationship, though, so beware. A misstep here could jeopardize the steady, fruitful home life you so desperately need. As tempting as it may be, resist the urge for a quick fling.

The Sheep year will smile on a multitude of fortunes and offer you renewed peace of mind. So, don’t blow it. Towards the end of the year, you may have some spare change that is begging to be invested. Before you commit to anything, seek the advice of someone with more experience than you in this area. Be it real estate or diamond mines, if you are new to the field, heed the counsel of an older, wiser — and richer — cohort.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Oxen

Oxy Loxy,

Oxy, there is friction between you and the Sheep. Sheep put more emphasis on the lighter side of life; they want to depend on a stronger being or institution, and they're not self-starters. Sheep people may be geniuses, but they don’t have the kind of kick-ass presence and plodding spirit that you admire. Sheep often work in spurts; you cannot abide this lurching rhythm and tweaking of schedules. You want more equilibrium in your day-to-day.

So, in this Sheep year, I suggest you take to the hills. Buy that château in the south of France, watch your grapes grow, harvest them, and turn them into wine. But, don’t try to compete for prizes or honors, and steer clear of contests. Enjoy your love life now. It can finally be your number-one priority, because in this frivolous Sheep year, you won’t need to spend ALL your time working. When you’re not busy making love, why not plan your next business coup? Next year, your Monkey chum comes around, and Monkeys let Oxen get away with a LOT.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Tigers

Tawny Tigers,

You will generally fare well under the Sheep’s influence. But, you will have to fight hard to get and keep what you want. Do not meddle in the Sheep’s convoluted methods of accomplishing what he or she sets about doing. You will never understand — much less approve. Tigers and Sheep do not view life in the same manner. Basically, Sheep enjoy being tethered in fertile fields. That way, they can work their creative magic without worrying about dealing with the harsh, outside world. You are quite the opposite. You are a born independent. You don’t enjoy being tethered, anywhere, ever.

As a result of this major difference in approach, in Sheep years, you often feel sidelined. Not that you give a single whisker whether or not you are liked by the Sheep; you just wish she would stop cramping your style. Ideally, in these years, you will do more traveling, for both business and pleasure. You will enjoy roaming about, and meeting like-minded folks will help you keep your engines running for the 12 rather languid months ahead. On the other hand, the money gods are on your side in these years. This may not translate to a pillow of gold coins for your tawny head. But, it does signify that you are doing something right in nomading around at your own breakneck speed.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Rabbits

Discriminating Rabbit,

The Sheep is one of the Rabbit’s most fervent allies. Sheep aren't as refined or as high-strung as you, but your characters complement each other. Even the most successful, rich, and famous of Sheep long to have the practical side of their life taken care of. Rabbits make excellent caretakers who look after their own and other peoples’ goods with a cautious eye. Hence, the Sheep feels safe in your company and is willing to fall into your lap and let you do the organizing — so that he or she might gambol through life, safe in the knowledge that his financial picture is being overseen by someone competent.

You tend to complain a bit and suffer physical ills more imaginary than real. The Sheep understands you, listens to your wailings, and even takes you seriously when others won’t. You should spend this year accruing not only interest from your precious offshore bank accounts, but also gaining ground in your personal life. The issues and unresolved problems that you encounter early in the Sheep year will dissolve as though by magic after the month of March. Things quiet down in your home life because you can breathe easier and feel less fraught and defensive than you did last year.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Dragons

Dashing Dragon,

You and your kind are a perennial hit with Sheep. Why? Because Sheep need your dazzle and power. And, they are willing to take drastic measures to obtain access to them. Sheep are all about creativity and zany, wigged-out notions. They love ease and long for comfort. They dream of languishing in abundance — preferably someone else’s abundance. So, when a strong, capable Dragon comes sashaying along, singing a happy tune, Sheep prick up their ears. They keep their eyes peeled for inroads that will show them how to benefit from the Dragon’s willingness to lead them forward — and maybe even bankroll their bizarre schemes.

Sheep come up with more good ideas in a given minute than a Dragon can wrap his proud, scaly head around. Sheep don’t mind being humble, but they never want to have to compete or impose their will in the big, bad world. They prefer to feed the strong leaders (i.e., you) who bear those responsibilities. Your job in a Sheep year is to take the reins without appearing to do so. Run the show from the wings. Let the Sheep have his day. He or she will thank you forever after.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Snakes

Seductive Snake,

Sheep always find Snakes alluring. But, they can’t stand to be too near you. Why? Deep down, they yearn for you to take care of them. You, of course, are not very willing to take care of much other than your good looks, your favorite charities, and your beloved family. So, the atmosphere in this Sheep year is lukewarm for Snakes — and if there is anything you slithering friends do not like, it is tepid love. Snakes are cold creatures who like things to be hot; sheep like things to be comfy. Watch out for the possibility of an irresistible somebody sashaying into your life, eating from your fridge, soaking up your central heating, and generally just nestling into your home until you chuck them out.

This Sheeply character may well be a beguiling person. You find that you feel sorry for them. You empathize. You invite them to come stay, but it may become difficult to disentangle them from your household. You will want to be diplomatic, but do take steps to avoid houseguest meltdown in your well-appointed living room.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Horses

Headstrong Horse,

Isn’t it time you came clean with your friends and family? Constantly minding your manners and/or keeping secrets gets old fast. Luckily, Sheep years are a breeze for you Horses. They bring sunshine into your life and cheer you on to ever more arcane acts and ambitious endeavors. Sheeple do not expect much from their steeds — only that your back be strong enough to take them along for the ride. Luckily, you don't mind pulling more than your weight. You can handle having a brilliant-but-absent-minded type depend on your support. The Sheep spends his or her life seeking the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow — and you might be just the vehicle to carry them there.

This is your chance to live your life in extremes. Time to take that hike in the Himalayas — or why not a comfortable tour of the world’s casinos? One way or the other, under the Sheep’s Horse-friendly influence, everything will work out for the best. Even your health will be excellent. As long as you keep up your fitness routine and stick to lean meats, fish, vegetables, and of course, oats.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Sheep

Skillful Sheep,

At last, it’s 2015 and you are in charge! However, that's not exactly your style. You feel more secure when safely employed and protected by the society in which you find yourself. But, never mind. You have the throne this year, and you will handle it — your way. 2015 will give you all that you have dreamed of: freedom and the means to put into production all the wondrous notions you've cooked up these past three years.

This is also the year when you must make a plan for the next 12 years. Your plan should go something like this. In 2015, innovate; you’re the leader. In 2016, get the production line moving; hire new people, and make changes — but keep away from spotlights. In 2017, tighten your belt...and so on, until you arrive at 2027, when your year comes around again.

The Chinese divide time by 60-year cycles of 12-year periods, and this is the beginning of one of your cycles. By 2019, you will have decided to either get or stay married. So, decide now where you want to be in 12 years; what do you want to be doing, and with whom? Aside from running the world this year, you must get busy drafting a 12-year plan.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Monkeys

Magical Monkey,

You absolutely must curb your excessive generosity during this Sheep year. Usually, when you see someone in need, you automatically dip your hand into your pocket or purse. You are not careless with money. But, you have an open-handed attitude with your spare (and not-so-spare) change. You give a lot of presents. You enjoy treating your friends and family to lovely meals in charming restaurants. The Sheep year may tug at your purse strings just a tad too much. So, do not get devoured by an overly altruistic maw.

Bottom line: Sheep people are eternally hunting for someone to give them a leg up, so they can concentrate on whatever their current genius idea or artistic obsession is. Monkeys are not keen to have protégés who latch on and won’t let go. So, this year, be especially circumspect when a baleful soul asks for a handout — be it a loan or a great swath of your precious time. Just say "no."
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Roosters

Hardy Rooster,

Sheep love to be free and gambol; you Roosters are dead serious about most everything — particularly your finances. So, the capricious nature of this Sheep year does not exactly enchant you. In fact, it prodigiously annoys you. Why is it so difficult to get anything done this year? How come nobody is on time? How come the schedules got altered and we have to work overtime without a break? Who stole my routine? You may grumble and grouse, but it will not change a thing. The Sheep is comfortable in chaos; you freak out in tumultuous situations and insist that order be restored. Unfortunately, you can’t have it your way this year.

My advice? Slow yourself down. Get more sleep and stop fretting about what cannot be fixed. Your significant other will help you to relax and take it easier. And if he or she fails to calm your nerves, a few months of therapy could work wonders this year.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Dogs

Devoted Dog,

In this year, insecurity tends to color everything for you pooches. The Sheep means no harm to Dogs. In fact, Dogs enjoy the company of open-minded Sheep, who listen attentively to Dogs' criticisms. So, rest assured that your Dog causes and beliefs will not be threatened or undone in this Sheep year. You may, indeed, get things accomplished that you did not expect to be able to carry through.

However, you are more comfortable not having to bear the weight of more than yourself in life. You are not unreliable, but you do not fancy being depended on. So, in this Sheep year, you may feel leaned upon. Beware of offering your shoulder for too many Sheep tears. Your most challenging assignment this year is: Keep clear of freeloaders and wend your way speedily past any and all creatures who fancy living at your house, eating your food, and watching your TV until they “get back on their feet.” If you let them come and stay, they may still be there next year. You have a good heart, Dog. My advice? This year, don’t wear it on your sleeve.
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Illustrated by Anna Sudit.
Overview of 2015 For Pigs

Prosperous Pig,

You have certainly come to the right year! Pigs love and admire Sheep. When I meet a Sheep person, I am sure there is an adoring Pig lurking around somewhere nearby. Sheep attract Pigs the way Pigs attract money (which may give us a hint as to why Sheep are, in their turn, attracted to Pigs) and these two are often married or living together. We know that Sheep need security and crave structure, which they often seek outside themselves — in someone strong, whom they can depend on.

Although Pigs are not always the sort of people one can lean on, they are usually so taken by Sheep that they open wide their doors and pocketbooks. How does this compatibility affect the Pig in a Sheep year? Well, the Pig can do as he pleases in such a year. And, what most pleases a Pig? Love. Great, gooey gobs of sweet, tender, sexy, bawdy, glorious amour. Everything from puppy love to passionate intimacy will thrill you throughout this Sheep year. Pigs also love conviviality, fine foods, art, and culture. Sheep years provide plenty of all of these. You should breeze right through 2015 — but watch out for con men and hoodwinkers. They will be coming over the balcony with knives in their teeth.