Lunar New Year: 2021 & The Year of the Metal Ox


After a year of anxiety, there’s hope for 2021 in the form of the Metal Ox.

Goodbye Year of the Rat

2020 was the year of the Rat and the first animal of the 12 year Metal Element cycle. Our Tea In Mind system ties into the ancient Chinese Five Element Theory so we’ve been delving into what that means in relation to the Lunar New Year.

We certainly didn’t get the fresh start many had hoped for in 2020, instead the world was turned on its head. 2020 really threw many of us out of our safe comfort zones with massive change, uncertainty and tragedy unfolding throughout the year. Everyone will have had a different and unique experience of 2020 but pretty much everyone will have been affected by it in one way or another. Many of us have had an enforced opportunity to examine how we were living our lives and what we really want moving forward. Whether that’s been slowing down and re-evaluating what’s really important to us or shifting our priorities and gearing up for personal change. Many of us will have been flat out working just to keep going whether at the front line in many different roles or in business.

Change, uncertainty and letting go

For me, 2020 was a year of two halves. The first part was spent desperately working on my business to pivot, adapt and survive. The second part was an acceptance of change and uncertainty and a letting go and slowing down with lots of learning and self-care in order to get ready for growth again. I’m personally very aware of how lucky I am to have a business that is able to weather this particular storm. I’ll be forever thankful to our loyal customers old and new for supporting eteaket during this time and for embarking on the journey of tea and self discovery with us. I’m grateful that both I and my business will come out of this in a strong position with a very clear mission to help others improve their mental wellbeing through pausing for tea. I’m also extremely aware of how lucky I am to have my health, family, safety and the security of having a roof over my head.

For many, there will have been a lot to let go of in 2020. Starting anew comes with a great deal of loss. There have been so many lives devastatingly lost or turned completely upside down and the impact of society of such prolonged social isolation will be felt for a long time to come.

The Metal Element

In the Chinese Five Elements, as a Metal Rat year, 2020’s hardships have been supported by Metal’s unique ability to help us deal with grief and sadness. The Metal Element empowers us to look inward, gather personal strength and resilience and in time guide us through our feelings of sadness and grief. It makes it easier for us to accept our present situation without trying to change it and to let go of anything that has come to an end. It has been heartening to see how all around the world people have been adapting to find ways to come together online to support their physical and mental wellbeing.

The Year of the Metal Ox

We can be grateful that these positive qualities of the Metal Element will carry forward into 2021. On 12 February, the Rat will make way for the Ox and I think that is cause for hope.

Oxen are known for having great patience and a desire to make progress. They are diligent, dependable, strong and determined. The Ox generally signifies movement so hopefully the world will start moving again during this year. As we slowly start to repair and rebuild ourselves and our lives, we can trust the Metal Ox for resilience and decency. It’s time to focus on positive action and dogged progress. It’s worth bearing in mind the importance of not judging others. Everyone is on their own journey and together with patience, determination and dignity we can thrive.

Teany Habits to help calm your mind & re-balance

Little daily pauses for a cup of tea can remind us to lift our eyes upwards and see that things will improve. I’ll be drinking lots of Oolongs and fermented Pu’erh tea (Earth Element teas) to help support the Metal Element along with plenty black teas (Fire Element teas) to help control any imbalances. Coupled with teany habits like a regular gratitude practice, breathing practices and random acts of kindness we can look after our mental wellbeing as we adapt to change and start making positive progress in whatever form that is for you. We’re so fortunate to be partnered with the mental wellbeing charity Health In Mind. Please do check out their invaluable resources for mental wellbeing.

If you’re in need of some time out to rebalance, you might like to join me in my next complimentary tea meditation 7pm 4 March on Zoom: please register at this link .

Happy brewing, Erica

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