‘O’ Is for Ox: Inaugural Predictions for the Chinese New Year

January 22, 2009

me-maskMaralyn Lois Polak • Operation Itch Contributing Writer header
©2009 ML Polak
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You gotta believe, minus the tragic parts, the cosmos is one gargantuan comedy. Consider, despite a burgeoning global financial slump, the Chinese New Year of 2009 arrives Monday, January 26 — the Year of the Ox, symbolizing, yes, calm, hard work and risk-aversion. Strangely enough, outgoing 2008 was, according to the same Chinese calendar, the Year of the Rat: charming and clever, yet cunning and selfish! Right! As in Bush and Cheney, perhaps?

Just as you might suspect, the Year of the Earth Ox promises “stability and dependability,” writes Stephanie Dempsey on Tarot. com.  “Oxen place great emphasis on authority and tradition. Therefore, 2009 will lay an especially heavy burden on world leaders. Government officials, CEOs and community organizers will be expected to correct society’s ills. If they slack off, they’ll be thrown by the wayside. Substance is always favored over style in the Year of the Ox.”

 We’ll see, won’t we.

The Ox, or the Buffalo sign of the Chinese Zodiac, generally represents prosperity through fortitude and hard work, but it can seem like forever. Previous Ox years were 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997. And, according to Wickipedia, the USA’s new President Barack Obama was born August 4, 1961, which makes him a Leo in conventional astrology. But in the Chinese calendar, he’s an Ox, which considerably ups the ante. “People born in the Year of the Ox,” according to San Francisco’s Chinese Cultural Center, “are patient, speak little, and inspire confidence in others. They tend, however, to be eccentric, and bigoted, and they anger easily. They have fierce tempers and although they speak little, when they do they are quite eloquent. Ox people are mentally and physically alert. Generally easy-going, they can be remarkably stubborn. They hate to fail or be opposed.”


“Traditionally in China,” emails my teacher of the gentle Asian healing exercises known as Qi Gong, Kevin Starbard, a former Buddhist monk who also practices Feng Shui, the ancient art of placement for health, success, and happiness, “the night before New Year is a time to gather, have great food and conversation, and begin the year in harmony and happiness.”

 For those of us who “survived” the “holiday season” only to face dire financial situations in an already fraught 2009, these are challenging times, indeed. In the spirit of new beginnings, I’ve invited a special cadre of loyal “GEMINI JIVE” readers to contribute their unique prognostications and predictions about what to expect for our country and our world in the coming year:


 Award-winning Philly author/journalist Thom Nickels is to be applauded for his prescience:

  • “Prediction: The ‘Change-Master’ Obama we elected in 2008 will not be the Obama we thought we ‘knew’ when we voted in November. Most Americans will be regretting that they voted for the man. In 2009 we will see Obama as a kind of Trojan Horse. Americans will realize that recent US Presidents are nothing more than puppets controlled by powerful unseen “forces” behind the veil.”

From “Cassandra,” international expert in fiber optics illumination:

  • “I sometimes think we are heading backward to painting ourselves blue and wearing animal skins. Elegance, expertise and intellectual questioning are lost with Paris Hilton-mentality, mediocre musicians, writers who only use four letter words, and people who don’t know how to ballroom dance. Bah, Humbug! Call me Cassandra – cursed by Apollo not to be believed as she stood in the desert proclaiming the truth.”

From Los Angeles writer-professor C. Natale Peditto:

  • “No great predictions, but the return of intelligence or some semblance of it, as that has been sorely lacking in America for the last 8 years. Facts instead of hysterical opinions. Practicality with a reasoned sense of idealism. Couldn’t ask for more right now. “

From Chris Stroffolino, PhD, Oakland, CA. singer/songwriter/Shakespearean scholar/language poet:

  • “Ah, 2009–the worsening depression (an opportunity, right?)…Affordable art and entertainment? Large media conglomerates –radio stations, record labels, etc. — may collapse under their own weight. Will come to Obama & Congress — a la AIG, Bears named Sterns, etc. — asking for bail-out. Will be denied, coz there’s no money, and maybe the little girl/guy will have a chance again….”

From Pennsylvania private investigator Russell Kolins:

  • The economy will have generated criminals out of persons who would never have thought of committing and economic crime but for the current crisis. Criminal acts will include theft, arson, insurance fraud, etc.
  • Young women are selling eggs for fee upward of $10,000. They are supposed to be limited to selling a total of six with a three month period between extractions. I predict there will be major abuses rising to the level of criminal fraud. Also, I believe there will be medical abuses which will result in an onslaught of lawsuits.
  • [Nevertheless,] between 10-20% of lawyers will leave the practice of law in the Philadelphia area.

From Astrologeuse Djuna Wojton, author of Karmic Healing: Clearing Past-Life Blocks to Present-Day Love, Health and Happiness:

  • “With Pluto in Capricorn, we’re going through a major restructuring in big business, government and the banking systems. Structures need to break down so they can be put back together in a better way. Prepare for change.”

Finally, from intrepid tax-maven DL Sheepdog of NJ, a bit of Zen :

  • “The sun will rise somewhere every day, and it may set too.”

That’s a relief. Happy New Year, all!!


© Copyright 2009 ML Polak/All Rights Reserved. DO NOT reproduce or disseminate in ANY form via any medium under penalty of beheading. Yes, you can link to me. But that’s it. Contact author for syndication rates and tell your local newspaper editor they need to run this column before actual newspapers go extinct like the dodo, the auk, the bison, and real men.

ML Polak — it’s not a pen-name, it’s a real person! – is an award-winning Philadelphia-based journalist, screenwriter, essayist, novelist, editor, spoken-word artist, performance poet, workshop leader, lecturer, cat-and-dog companion, Reiki channel, and occasional radio personality. With architect Benjamin Nia, she completed a short documentary film about the threatened demolition of a historic neighborhood, “MY HOMETOWN: Preservation or Development?” on DVD. She is the author of several books including the collection of literary profiles, “The Writer as Celebrity: Intimate Interviews,” and her latest volume of poetry, “The Bologna Sandwich and Other Poems of LOVE and Indigestion.” Her books can be ordered by contacting her directly via email: Langwidge (at) aol dot com. 



  1. Thom Nickels is the best writer in Philadelphia.

  2. […] & ANALYSIS   •  HUMOR  • ARTS & CULTURE •  SEX & RELATIONSHIPS •  ♦ ‘O’ Is for Ox: Inaugural Predictions for the Chinese New Year The Gaza Trip Tipper Gore to be Inducted into Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame I’m Just a Girl Ep. 6 […]

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