2018 is going to be an eventful year.

Not only because the loyal, trustworthy dog is unseating the resourceful, preening rooster as the animal of the year. But because the element of the year is changing. This is very significant, as the recent fire years have been very fiery in every sense of the word, and now we are moving into the more work-oriented, moldable and fertile element of earth.

What does 2018 hold in store? In the most basic sense, this element change can only be a good sign for our planet in a time when fossil fuels are being burned with increasing voracity and environmental protections are being stripped at an alarming rate. The dog is a fighter, and an activist. A lover of the earth, simple pleasures, humanity and hard work, a dog will dig up the truth, and lay it at your doorstep. Will this happen in the political arena? Well, not to get too political, but I dearly hope so. Let’s all support those who tell the truth, and all of our watchdog organizations and the watchdogs of the watchdogs, regardless of political affiliation. The dog treasures fairness, fearlessness and equality.

Often in the dog year, you’ll see the proverbial underdog get his or her due in at work, in sports, politics and other endeavors. Again, practice, hard work and training are rewarded. The dog year may do away with a few show ponies, as well.

And not only are the animal and element changing, we also begin the new year on the tail of an auspicious solar eclipse (Thursday, February 15 at 1:05 p.m. pacific)! This is a portent of great change in the year’s time. It’s an Aquarius eclipse, which will bring on even more activism in the coming year. The dog is a sign of the common people, not at all regal. And since Mercury is conjunct the sun and moon, there will also be a great number of new inventions and new technology breaking through this year, especially in the realm of communications. The Year of the Dog officially begins on February 16, though I celebrate it with the new moon, in this case, solar eclipse.

Dog years can be good years for finding a faithful, loving partner if you don’t already have one. It can also be a good year to get married. The rooster year was not so good, by the way. Many suitors tend to “chicken out” in the year of the cock.

I get asked a lot if any given year is a fortunate one for a certain sign. My answer to that is, I have found it doesn’t work that way at all. It’s how you play ball with the animal of the year. Are you loyal? Honest? Do you want to fight for justice, uncover truth, or be a watchdog for those less fortunate? Are you an underdog who wants to break through? Do you love the earth and want to protect it? If so, do your work with your whole heart. Be doggedly persistent. Walk a lot. Play a lot. Get enough sleep. Socialize, as the dog is a social animal. In essence, be like your dog, and you should do well this year. This all goes double if you were born in the year of the dog. Dogs, what you do this year will inform your next twelve years, so work wisely and choose from the heart.

Make sure to give the dog its due by celebrating the lunar new year. Wearing red and at least one new garment is said to increase your luck. Another fun tip: buy a statuette of the animal of your lunar birth year and place it next to a same-size statuette of the dog, face them east (if you’re a dog, you just need one) to remind yourself to play by the dog’s rules this year.

Lunar New Year Blessings,