The Year of the Pig
When I was about 4 years old someone gave me a pillow case which had a picture of Garfield dressed as a grouchy ram, with huge curling horns, and the words:
ARIES, March 21-April 19 COURAGEOUS, BLUNT AND DIRECT THIS PERSON HAS THE COMPASSION OF A ROCK
For someone who is sensitive, speaks (to this day) in a silly squeaky voice, has a squishy exterior, is a coward for conflict and a pathetic people pleaser, I knew from an early age that these Western horoscope predictions did not apply to me.
Over my life, whenever I have had the misfortune to read my horoscope, it is always written for this Garfield definition of Aries – a belligerent, ambitious A’hole with thick skin. The predictions are brutal and accusatory, designed to inspire the success-driven ram on his ascension to the top at all costs… “Stop walking all over your friends, if you even have any left. Take a stiff drink and realise it’s personal, they don’t like you. It’s time to grow up.” Slap slap slap. Sigh.
Thankfully, for me and my destiny, the Chinese horoscope exists. And here, I am the considered to be the Goat. People born in a Year of the Goat are believed to be gentle, mild-mannered, shy, stable, sympathetic, amicable, and brimming with a strong sense of kind heartedness. These Goats reek of people-pleasing peace-keepers.
I am proud to say I fully connect with this worthy beast… My spirit animal! With its vacant eyes, incessant bleating and pointless fainting when scared.
Grand plans and streaks of major good luck are reserved for the stronger Chinese zodiac characters (like the formidable Dragon) but the predictions for the capricious Goat are always cautious, unambitious and filled with self-doubt.
I remember one year in particular, a prediction was uncharacteristically favourable, “Someone close to you will become very rich.”
And so they did. It was the year my ex became very wealthy.