The year of the green goat (or wood sheep or wood goat or green sheep) will be mostly peaceful, although there will be some turbulent times.
“But for the moment, allow the calming balms of the Sheep’s vibrations to flow through you, and through you, to touch every heart you meet.” Well, OK then, astrology.com. Sometimes I have a hard time touching every heart I meet with calming balms but I’m willing to try. 2014 taught me a lot, one lesson being that loving kindness is super easy when you’re in your cozy home with your incense and crystals and crap but the real practice is gently applying the coolness of the cucumber when out in the field of life when what you really want to do is shove that cool cucumber where jerks might be most affected by it.
“Fate will send emissaries to change the faces of aggression towards a more peaceful compromise. It does not kill the doubts, anger or desire for violence, but it puts a blanket of constraint over it.”
Ok, wood sheep in the sky — I’m willing to give you a chance. Will you stop the mean man from yelling at me from his car this year? Green goat, if you could perhaps help me not be screamed at or called “fat f-ing whore” in traffic. Maybe the trick is not driving anywhere. For the rest of 2015 I’ll be the woman riding the cosmic green sheep through the streets of New England.
The year of the wood sheep is a year in which arts, banding together, peace, perseverance through togetherness, mental acuity over brute force, softness, using the softness for good, loyalty, family, and coziness are the order of the day. I’m open to it. 2014, the year of the wood horse, was a wild, galloping time of action and bombast for many and I know I’ve seen a lot of people get trampled. I don’t know if it had anything to do with Sheng Xiao but I think we will appreciate all the help we can get.
Whether green sheep or wood horses in the sky have a real effect on our lives or if we believe in a new year shift it is always a good time to declutter. I plan on continuing to clean house and push out that which doesn’t serve me, be it shitty relationships or clothes that make me feel simply adequate. Winter is a rough time — let’s face it. Why not focus on self-care and start rebuilding (if we’ve lost it) a sense of well-being by treating ourselves gently and well? If you’re someone who doesn’t experience stress over the holidays and doesn’t have complicated relationships, good for you. If you’re like the rest of us, know that I’m pulling for you, for whatever it’s worth. I wholeheartedly support your decision to take a bath, make art, write, pet your dog. Feel the gentle wool of the wood sheep on your tender body (and less creepy invocations).
Jenn Sutkowski wishes you irie sheep vibrations, she guesses. Calming balms. “Om namah shivaya,” say the Shaiva Hindus and the guy who has his heart ripped out in “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.”
This Full Frontal column was published first in the Newport Mercury on January 15, 2015.
It’s not that hard to unplug but it is absolutely necessary.
I don’t have to give everyone what they want all the time.
If I don’t give everyone everything they want all the time they won’t necessarily decide they don’t like me.
If I don’t give everyone everything they want all the time and they decide, because of that, they don’t like me, I should not give them anything — least of all my friendship.
Sometimes confrontation is necessary and even though it feels like shit at first that feeling dissipates and I’m left with more of what I want — my own voice being the stronger voice in my head.
What I have to say has worth in the world even if everyone I would like to think that is not interested.
You can always find other people who are interested in what you have to say in the world.
A thriving writing community is something for which I am eternally grateful.
Buying shit only makes you feel better while you’re buying it.
The flower blooms regardless of if anyone is watching.
Not only is it OK to embrace my shadow side, it is absolutely important that I do.
Moving from operating mostly with my head to operating mostly with my heart does not make me more vulnerable — in fact it makes me stronger.
My ear is a gift, not a given. (As in listening to people).
I get to take up my space.
It gets easier asking for what I want and refusing what I don’t want.
Manifesting is real.
My paranoia is usually wrong.
Some people will rise to the occasion.
Some people will understand.
Not drinking for a month is awesome.
I like free weights.
Shutting up and hearing nature is indelibly rewarding.
Three weeks away from home might be too long.
I really love the West.
You don’t have to accept what you suffered as a child to be the narrative that rules your life.
Magic is real.
What I was into as a kid is still pretty great. Music, writing, play, crystals, animals, nature, etc. My most valuable learning from tarot this year is that childlike play and doing what I was interested in as a child is a wonderful way to help quell the anxiety that comes from trying to wrap my left brain around change and moving forward. Six of Cups is my card of the year.
I get to call myself an artist.
Constant chatter is something from which I must remove myself, cast away my eyes.
My energy is worth conserving. That for which I’m conserving my energy is worth the effort it takes even if it means disappointing people sometimes.
My core desired feelings are: wholehearted, radiant, inspired, assurance, love, earthy grace.
Creativity, source energy, the heart, the quiet but remarkable voice inside will reach back to you when you reach in to them.
It's me, Jennifer Bernice (rhymes with "Furnace": it was my Granny's name) Sutkowski
• More details about my writing here.