Boars have an inherently bad reputation.

Popular culture such as the 1995 comedy “Babe,” a film about a lovable farmyard pig that is raised as a sheepdog, may have helped to change this perception in recent times, but the negativity surrounding the animal is even embedded in our language. Most pig-related idioms reinforce an image of the animal being dirty, gluttonous or generally unpleasant.

According to astrologists, however, pigs have plenty of good traits that will serve us well in 2019 — the Year of the Boar according to the Chinese calendar.

Intelligent and determined, pigs devote their energy to foraging once their sensitive snouts pick up a scent. They are also fond of relaxation and comfort, hence the existence of sayings such as “to be on the pig’s back” (in a position of luxury or ease) and “happy as a pig in muck” (to be joyful or content).

Wild boars, meanwhile, are incredibly resourceful and can live in virtually any habitat that has sufficient water. They are also somewhat social animals, choosing to live in female-dominated sounders for much of their lives.

Experts generally agree that a boar’s down-to-earth approach to life is auspicious for a much more positive year than the Year of the Dog that’s just coming to an end, a period when we — in true doggy fashion — faithfully moved ahead despite difficult challenges.

Cathryn Moe

For Hawaii-based astrologer Cathryn Moe, 2019 is fundamentally about treating ourselves and achieving balance in our lives. The 25-year veteran of astrology and practitioner of hypnotherapy and native American traditional medicine shares her predictions with Japan Times On Sunday readers for the year ahead.

“The year will be more comfortable and will allow people to indulge,” Moe says. “We have to pace ourselves (through life) and there hasn’t been much opportunity to do that in the past few years as we’ve gone from one shock to the next. This year involves everyone taking responsibility for their wellbeing.”

What’s more, she believes the universe will shift in 2019 to help people regain their personal balance. She encourages people to meditate, take nature walks and dream throughout 2019 in order to “connect back to your center, the deepest part of yourself, your source and origin.”

If this can be achieved, Moe says individuals will collectively help the world retain its own balance: a process that began some years ago and manifested in 2018 in the form of upheavals and turbulence.

“The Earth is going through accelerated maturation,” she says. “What is disaster to us is a frequency shift and a realignment.”

A result of this galactic shift will be an improved awareness of a higher consciousness, as well as an understanding of ourselves and where and with whom we belong. All of this will be easier if we “sink into what’s plush and comfy” to aid relaxation and the opening of our minds, she says.

As the pig is a social animal, 2019 is also about understanding others through greater empathy.

Astrologer Cathryn Moe says the Year of the Boar is ultimately about being good to ourselves.
Astrologer Cathryn Moe says the Year of the Boar is ultimately about being good to ourselves. | GETTY IMAGES

Moe foresees greater mutual trust and compassion as we witness the “triumph of the human spirit.” That can be seen in more people coming together to work for the benefit of the greater good. She suggests we motivate ourselves to do this by rewarding our altruistic efforts.

Other key themes for the year include being in the moment, showing gratitude to keep us focused and trusting in our destiny. “Take a breath. Notice the beauty that pops up, bringing a smile to soothe your spirit,” says Moe, adding that people should make their wishes “open-ended” to provide the universe with flexibility for “co-creating” our lives with us. In the same way, changes that send us into unplanned directions in 2019 should be seen as “the universe in action on our behalf.”

Specifically, of the five elements in the Chinese zodiac — wood, fire, earth, metal and water — 2019’s element is earth. It is the second successive earth year, following the Year of the Earth Dog in 2018.

Earth means positivity for 2019, according to Moe, because it balances the potentially tumultuous fire and water elements that are set to dominate the next 12 months. Together, fire and water create steam, which drives things forward and, hence, she foresees success as well as comfort in 2019.

Earth absorbs water and provides a nurturing environment, suggesting new opportunities in finance, romance or career. Fire then expands those opportunities through heat, leading to more fortuitous events. But Moe warns against pushing ourselves too hard. After all, the Year of the Boar is ultimately about being good to ourselves.

“You can bring your dreams to fruition as you complete your tasks but if you get over extended, you can become unglued. You also have to take care of the day-to-day things and not grow too fast,” she says. “If you must push yourself to reach distant goals, strive to balance your good work with a hot bath, a massage or a soft cuddly blanket. The material world cradles you. You’ll feel less deprived and more cared for.”

The focus on care for ourselves in 2019 is also due to the Chinese concept of yin and yang, one of which is prevalent in each year.

The Year of the Boar is yin — the female energy that, according to Chinese medicine, sits in the body’s vital organs, such as the heart, while the male energy of yang is found in minor organs, such as the intestines. There is, therefore, a need to prioritize care of our vital physical needs (yin) in 2019.

What’s more, women can expect an empowering year ahead thanks to yin, with greater numbers moving into positions of power and influence, Moe says.

As the Year of the Boar is the last in the series of the Chinese zodiac’s 12 animal years, it is expected to be a time for completing things and tying up loose ends on personal, local, regional and national levels. Moe notes that 2019 will help us finish an important chapter and start a new one, with “refreshing and exciting” beginnings in store.

Although Chinese and Western zodiac systems are based on date and time of birth, fundamental differences exist. Chinese astrology focuses on four pillars — birth year, birth month, birth day and birth hour — to determine a person’s fate, while Western astrology focuses on celestial alignment.

New opportunities: Astrology student Janet Amid foresees 2019 as a year of new beginnings due to the movement of Pisces into its 12th and final position of the Western zodiac cycle.
New opportunities: Astrology student Janet Amid foresees 2019 as a year of new beginnings due to the movement of Pisces into its 12th and final position of the Western zodiac cycle. | COURTESY OF JANET AMID

Yet, Janet Amid says the Year of the Boar’s position as the final animal before the start of a new 12-year cycle — with the Year of the Rat in 2020 — is “very in sync” with Western astrology.

A 40-year student of astrology, Amid practices Western, Middle Eastern and Chinese astrology.

Just as Moe predicts completion and new opportunities, Amid foresees 2019 as a year of new beginnings due to the movement of Pisces into its 12th and final position of the Western zodiac cycle. Amid believes this is particularly important after what for many people was a difficult 2018.

Saturn, “the planet of structure and father of the zodiac,” returned to Capricorn in 2018 after a period of 30 years to teach us about the economy, Amid says. The result was upheaval and conflict but, as Jupiter visits Scorpio in 2019, we can expect a better economy for most people.

“It will be a cleaner, more auspicious year, with less obstacles,” she says, adding that we can attract success in 2019 depending on our personal characteristics and how we lead our lives.

What’s more, she says, we can expect a sense of unity and greater happiness.

“Stepping into the earth energy of the pig will be better for all of us,” she says

Chinese zodiac readings

By calculating what our year of birth is in terms of the Chinese zodiac calendar, we can understand what lies in store in 2019.

According to Moe, of all 12 Chinese zodiac signs, those born in the Year of the Boar can expect to have the best 2019.

“All they have to do is put themselves out there a bit and they will find success easily,” she says, adding that they will also achieve balance between daily tasks and personal needs.

Those born in the Year of the Rat can also expect prosperity and career progress, as well as ample opportunities in the areas of health and relationships.

Also expecting a better year are those born in the Year of the Ox, says Moe.

“No longer running, oxen are cozy with relaxation,” Moe says. “Warmth wins out over clever machinations, and support and back-up comes easily.”

For those born in the Year of the Tiger, 2019 will be all about love as they will be “irresistible” this year, Moe says. At work, at home and with friends, they will be inspirational and admired, but Moe recommends that they conserve their energy for sports and leisure.

Those born in the Year of the Dragon, meanwhile, may have the toughest year. The next 12 months are not a good fit with the visually extravagant dragon, although Moe admits it may help attract attention for business. She suggests some relaxation to help better present a dragon’s persona.

Those born in the years of the rabbit and horse can expect an expansion of opportunities in career and money, thanks to the rabbit’s ability “to hop over obstacles and land safety” and the horse’s appealing “noble demeanor.”

Their self-help actions differ, though, with rabbits recommended to “avoid stress bunnies and find a cuddle niche to expand social contacts” while horses should “spend time in scenic vistas to regain a free spirit.”

For those born in the Year of the Dog, loyalty and hard work will pay off in 2019 with improved career and money prospects, but Moe reminds dogs that passion is key to finding romance.

“You are a lover as well as a best friend,” she says.

Those born in the Year of the Snake, meanwhile, can find security in love by building trust, giving others space and respecting their partner’s interests, even if they decide not to join in with them.

A happy spirit is set to ease stress for those born in the Year of the Monkey. In love, Moe warns that “restlessness follows routine” and recommends that monkeys build their inner strength, show their creativity and let their popularity sparkle to find romance. They should also aim higher to achieve their career dreams.

Confident and calm in 2019, those born in the Year of the Rooster should “crow about their colleagues’ achievements” for career success, while at home they should strengthen their family network and lead them to wise decisions, Moe says.

Finally, the sure-footed personalities that are born in the Year of the Goat are set to enter a new comfort zone in 2019.

“You are an expert in making your way to the top. An unexpected promotion may make you feel dizzy,” Moe says. “Progress in matters of the heart require a step-by-step approach. Take your time for success.”

As pigs are social animals, Cathryn Moe says 2019 should also be about understanding others through greater empathy.
As pigs are social animals, Cathryn Moe says 2019 should also be about understanding others through greater empathy. | GETTY IMAGES

What to expect in the Year of the Boar under the Western zodiac

The year ahead will bring a variety of challenges to people born under the 12 astrological signs of the Western zodiac, Janet Amid says.

Amid foresees that people born under both Aries and Taurus will experience a less stressful year than in 2018. While Aries may feel like half of the big load that they have been carrying in 2018 has been lifted from their shoulders, Taurus will find they are pulled in less directions. Ultimately, though, Taurus may still find themselves being forced to make changes to their life — something that they generally don’t enjoy doing.

Those born under the fun-loving Gemini sign may also find some friction in 2019, as they are forced to “buckle down and stick with what they know and what they’re good at,” Amid says.

Similarly, those born under Cancer are moving from what was sanctuary for them in 2018 to a “threat-sensitive” 2019, so Amid advises they “flow with — and not fight against — the current.”

Those born under Virgo — along with Gemini and Pisces — are expected to see the most changes at work in 2019. Although Amid says Virgo is a very regimented sign, this year it will be “forced to get out the box and face the music,” while Pisces, the dreamer of the zodiac, will have to leave its indecision behind to turn dreams into reality.

Those born under the remaining signs can expect a mostly positive year, according to Amid.

With “an air of easiness,” those born under Aquarius will find themselves “in the zone” in 2019, Amid says, with easier relationships that are under less stress. They will also experience better opportunities for work and health, but friendships and personal connections should take precedence, she says.

Those born under Leo, which she describes as having had a “treacherous 2018,” will experience improved circumstances in work, love and health in 2019 thanks to more discipline and harmony.

Those born under Libra, too, are expected to be better financially and romantically as the sign of balance, justice and fairness finds 2019 is “going to be a year that is fair to them,” she says.

Meanwhile, the extreme swings of positive and negative that saw those born under Scorpio doing either extremely well or extremely poorly in 2018 will come to an end. As 2019 is more grounded for this sign, Amid sees prosperity for them, particularly at work.

Those born under Sagittarius are also expected to be successful. The sign’s luck and positivity will empower those born under the sign “to get a handle on the world,” Amid says.

Likewise, those born under Capricorn, the goat, will achieve a lot of their goals. Those born under this sign are “climbing the ladder and getting to the summit,” she says.

Prominent people born in the Year of the Boar

• David Bowie

• Hillary Clinton

• Snoop Dogg

• Ryuji Higa (Ryucheru)

• Alfred Hitchcock

• Elton John

• Shinichi Mori

• Taro Okamoto

• Winona Ryder

• Hikaru Utada

• Ken Watanabe

• Momoe Yamaguchi

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