Winter’s night begins early, closing darkness in swiftly around our small straw bale house like a cloak billowing in the gusting wind.
We collect the LED bulbs from their tiny solar panels and hang them up on the water pipes running along the ceiling from the rainwater cistern to the kitchen sink. Their light is a stark blue, casting unflattering shadows that make our cozy look cold, even though the wood stove burns hot.
And as romantic as our lovely oil lamps are, when the batteries are low on energy for our main solar power system, these four little lightbulbs keep us from filling the house with the odor of lamp oil, or the spotlighting limitations of headlamps.
Night rolls in steadily and bedtime seems to creep up on me every night. At 7pm I get a little reminder on my phone that tells me I should go for a walk… Whispers from the long days of summer.
Sometimes I wake in the wee hours of the night, when it seems to me that the darkness has reached its peak— regardless of the phase of the moon— for this is the feeling of night’s pinnacle before the first of dawn’s light.
“It is always darkest just before the Day dawneth.”
Thomas Fuller wrote this in 1650, and today we know it as “It’s always darkest before the dawn,” what we say to each other, or ourselves, to help deal with the hard times.
The world is awaiting the dawn, for these are indeed dark times.
Photograph by Brea Fisher
Who better to call in the dawn, than the rooster, loyal and ever-punctual to his duty as the awakener.
The rooster is about to crow.
The first new moon of the year comes on Friday, January 27, 2017 at 5:07pm MST. In China, it will be January 28, which marks the official first day of the Chinese New Year for 2017: Year of the Rooster.
The Chinese Zodiac specifies this year to be characterized as a Yin Fire Rooster. There are many resources out there describing what this means, all drawing from the characteristics of the rooster, of the fire element, and of yin qi. Tanaaz, of ForeverConsciousness.com, explains it this way:
“The Rooster is often the leader and commands the respect of all the hens, making 2017 a perfect year to step up and take responsibility for the direction of your life. The Yin energy also gives 2017 a feminine quality. While you will be required to do some prepping and planning, you will also need to trust and follow your instincts and intuition. If something feels off, or if something feels like it is not right, then the year of the Yin Fire Rooster will require you to pay attention. In fact, if you want to strengthen your intuitive muscles and learn how to trust your instincts, the Yin Fire Rooster will definitely provide support.”
She goes on to state that the Yin Fire Rooster is “a wonderful energy for female empowerment and more women may be in the spotlight this year than ever before.”
We’ve already seen signs of this. Perhaps last Saturday’s Women’s March of over one million people world-wide is just the beginning, bringing women— and those who love, respect, and support women— to the forefront to ring in change.
The rooster will be there, crowing at the dawn this new year brings, signaling to us all: Time to Wake Up.
Last Saturday, exactly one week until the official start of the Chinese New Year, I posted a special form on the Kwan Yin Kung Fu feed for Instagram and Facebook as part of the Everyday Tai Chi series. If you follow me there, you’ve seen a version of the film.
This qigong form is one I created based on tai chi movement and qigong focus. It’s what I use to deliberately cultivate a certain quality of qi, with the intention of manifesting it out into existence.
"Realize goodwill to all as you deploy the stars on your chest.”
This is one of the eighteen images to train the mind, as given by the teachings of the Universal Integral Way, or Heavenly Heart.
In honor of the Chinese New Year, year of the Yin Fire Rooster, please follow along with me to practice the form.
In the film I switch the sequence of the first and second movements (blame it on that wild 30 minute blizzard that swept in and left not a trace an hour later). For best benefit, it is most effective to fill yourself up first and then share it with the world, as the following notes describe:
The world may very well be coming upon its darkest hour, and there has never been a better time to wake up to your life. The rooster is calling you to get up, and step into the light of day.
Be the leader of your life. Use your internal wisdom. Trust that you know what’s best for you. And know that the time has come for you to have it.
What are your thoughts? Please share what came up for you as you read the article or practiced the form. Feel free to drop me a personal email, or even better, leave a comment and share your experience here.
And if you know anyone who may like this article, or any of the others from The Listening Seed, I would be so grateful is you sent this along their way.