By Damo Mitchell   |

February 16th, 2018, marks the end of the Fire Rooster year and the beginning of the year of the Earth Dog. Across the world, the events of the Monkey and Rooster years we have just been through have left their mark! Whilst some may have come through them relatively unscathed, many people experienced the chaos and potential conflict of these years. Political upheaval and general ‘clashes’ within peoples lives have been somewhat unsettling and so the big question is: will the Earth Dog Year be any better? er…no, not necessarily. Though the year could be more stable than the previous two, there is still a large chance of difficulty.

Looking at the year of 2018 from a classical standpoint we can see that it is the animal of the Dog and it is paired with Yang and Earth. According to the model of the stems and branches it is a Wu Xu year. Interestingly the year actually starts the day after a partial solar eclipse on the 15th. This generally serves to mark the end of a series of an events and transformation into something new; apt timing for the start of a fresh Chinese new year. Let us look at the basics of Dog years below and also what this may entail for 2018:

Yang Earth Dog Year

In order to understand Dog years it is easier to look at the general qualities of Dog people. People born into the year of the Dog tend to place value upon societal relationships; dogs are pack animals after all. They are happiest when things are running as they should be and everybody is fulfilling their role in the right way. Ethics and morals are very important to them as is loyalty. If we were to underline any one quality of the dog that really shines through in people of this sign it is that word ‘loyalty’. Dogs are very loyal themselves, if they believe their friends cause to be just, and they can be easily hurt by those who lack loyalty. They can also be very confrontational and are not afraid of stepping up and dealing with controversial issues. If it seems that there is injustice present then Dog people are quick to start forming ‘packs’ by getting those around them to ‘take sides’ in whatever quarrel or injustice needs dealing with at that time.

It is these kinds of qualities listed above that are going to really underline the nature of 2018 as a year. In order to take this further, we then need to look at the qualities of ‘Wu Xu’ or Yang Earth. These are the supporting qualities of the year.

Yang Earth is epitomised by the image of the mountain. Mountains represent a sense of stability which we shall see throughout the year but they also bring the potential for obstacles. Things can move slowly under the influence of Earth and this can either be calming for some or frustrating for others. How you differentiate between these two may be heavily influenced by your own animal sign (we will get to this below).

Though there may be a sense of ‘slowness’ for the year there will also be a lack of ‘chaos’ which could be a nice change of pace for many of us! Previous years have not been a good time for establishing businesses, buying property or anything like this but 2018 may offer a little window in all of this fast-paced turmoil through which you may be able to put down roots or establish a new venture. To counter this, just be aware that the Metal of the year is weak along with Fire meaning that finances are very likely to be stretched to their limit this year and any ‘gamble’-type investments you have made up to now are unlikely to go in your favour. Be sensible with what you do, plan well and don’t take risks. There are likely to be less surprises this year but also not much in the way of ‘luck’.

When we put Earth and Dog together we find a very particular type of personality, that of the ‘group-thinker’. All Dogs like to join packs but some like to lead; the ‘alpha’ of the pack. This is really not the case for the Earth Dog. The Earth Dog is happy to join in with whatever cause his pack is involved in. When we add the element of Yang into the mix we get a more ‘conflict-based’ quality to the causes that may cause Dog people to form into groups. This can be potentially risky for years under the sign of the Earth Dog as it gives potential for those with a weaker will to simply go along with what others are doing, regardless of the ethics involved. Let us now apply this to the quality of the year:

The Nature of 2018

As a result of the last two years, it is likely that people will start forming their own ‘packs’ in order to deal with perceived injustices. 2018 will be a time of like-minded people working as cohesive units to achieve their aims. This has a positive side to it as many groups can develop that are working towards the good of mankind; charities, help-groups and so on. It is also highly possible that groups in direct conflict with one another will also come together in this year. It can be a time of right-wing groups mobilising to a larger degree along with counter-culture movements and rebellious action hitting new highs. The problem with the ‘pack’ is that it gives people the courage to say things that previously they would not say, negative things that previously would have been frowned upon; such is the power of anonymity that is to be found within a group. This will likely result in divisive qualities such as racism, sexism and intolerance being given a new and very public voice in our society. ‘Sides’ will form and peoples loyalties will be made clear. The addition of ‘Yang’ to the mix will mean that many controversial subjects will be tackled and those of you with of the more ‘liberal’ persuasion may well be surprised or horrified at some of the views that will become accepted by society in general during 2018.

2017 was a year of ‘chest-puffing’ and ‘sabre-rattling’, perhaps the ‘pack forming’ nature of 2018 is a direct result of the previous years actions?

With regards to Feng Shui and its connection to 2018 it is the directions of West and Northeast that are showing signs of misfortune. West is linked to disease and poor health whilst Northeast are likely to experience conflict and calamitous change. This is likely to be reflected in epidemics and contagious disease in America and Western Europe  so be aware that flu’s and other bugs could be problematic for people living in this part of the world. It might be wise to take note of this and support your immune system with a good diet; protect the lungs and try to avoid allowing the cold into your body if you live in these parts. Countries such as Russia, Korea and even Japan are sat within the region of ‘conflict’ for 2018 so it is not a good sign for those countries. With escalating issues between America, Russia and North Korea it is not such a leap to see how these conflicts may arise in 2018…

On a more personal level, try to exercise a little understanding in your dealings with others as that little part of your ego that thrives on fighting perceived injustices may make you intolerant of others in 2018. Remember that being a part of a group is often a good thing but can also be highly destructive. Also be aware that lungs and digestive systems are going to struggle in 2018. Last year was difficult for people with heart conditions but this year will see weakness in the lungs instead. Look after them and try not to catch too many colds as they are likely to be felt much more strongly in your system in 2018.


Rats had a tricky year last year with regards to conflict and possible fall-outs with partners. As if that wasn’t bad enough, they have a few signs for bad luck or Ming hanging over them in 2018! It may well seem that no matter what they do things seem to go wrong in the Earth Dog year. All you can do is try to weather it and rely on that Earth energy that is dominant for 2018; stay still and try to remain calm whilst it all goes on around you!


It is a positive year for the majority of Ox personality-types. Last year was a bit of a non-starter but the way ahead is clear in 2018! Travel is going to be good for Ox people and it may bring up opportunities that they did not previously expect.


2018 is going to work against Tigers to a certain extent. Finances are going to be tricky for them and it may well feel like their projects just hit dead-end hurdles all of the time. That nine said though, elementally they should have the force to just push these obstacles out of the way providing they can find the inner resolve. It is a year for pushing, not for subtlety.


The Hares had a terrible pile of luck for 2018 but thankfully that has all changed. Out of all of the signs, the Hares are going to have the easiest year. They have the highest potential for getting things done and floating along whilst everybody else seems to be obsessed with taking sides and arguing with one another.


The Dragon in 2018 is in direct conflict with the Dog. This will be a difficult year for Dragons with regards to finances, seeing their goals through and making things work on a relationship level. The Dragons are most likely going to feel like everything they say and do is rubbing people up the wrong way. Try to be subtle and cautious with others feelings….or don’t bother; you are going to upset them anyway! Maybe you should say what you think?


Snakes are going to have problems with people this year. It will just seem like they have too many individuals in their lives that are doling them back or dragging them down. It isa year of choosing your friends carefully and perhaps distancing yourself from those you cant trust. remember that the Earth Dog year is about loyalty and for 2018 it may well become apparent that some of those who should be loyal to you are not. Try not to be paranoid…but there may be people out to get you!


Exercise caution in 2018 and you should be fine. Typical for horses (they often seem to be the same) but if they stay as aloof as is natural for them they should be fine and come through 2018 feeling good. There are no good or bad signs really showing up for Horses so the year will be what they make of it. Just remember that word though – ‘caution’. The year will be fine but not if you take risks that are not needed.


Goats are existing under the influence of family members and loved ones in 2018. This means tat they may find themselves losing their voice and giving in to the sway of others. The ‘pack mentality’ of 2018 is going to be an easy trap to fall into for goats and they will need all of their strength to avoid being pulled in a direction that they don’t necessarily feel they should go. Perhaps consider going away for a while and spending some time alone to really make sure you know who you are?


2018 is a good year for the Monkey. All the people around them forming ‘packs’ is actually just going to serve as a form of entertainment rather than concern. The cocky Monkey knows he is wilier than most of the other animals and 2018 will serve as proof of this. The most important thing for the Monkey in 2018 is to remember his own ethics and not take advantage of all the ‘side-forming’ that is going on around him. It may well be just too tempting to sow some chaos amongst all those ‘packs’ though…


The Rooster needs to take charge this year. Last year was not such a good one for Roosters and they may have found themselves in tricky or unfavourable circumstances. This may be around money, work or relationships. Roosters are good at taking charge and this is the only way they are going to make things better for the coming year. If all these ‘packs’ are forming around you; why not just lead them? The only happy Roosters in 2018 are going to be the ones in charge. The Roosters who find themselves a slave to ‘group-think’ are going to suffer.


This is a good year for the Dog. It is a time for a new start and powerful signs for change sit within their animal sign. Take advantage of this and make all those adjustments you have wanted to make for ages. Dogs will even thrive on everything that is going on around them; just be aware that your Liver is going to be a bit powered up this year so try not to lose your temper…you will have a tendency towards cantankerousness this coming year if people don’t follow your own idea of ‘justice’.


Pigs sit under the symbol of judgement this coming year. They will reap the rewards of any hurt or conflict they caused in the previous year. There is nothing to do but deal with your Karma and see what comes your way. If you have laid a positive seed for this year though then things will be fine. There will also be issues around finances in 2018 that will have the potential to cause stress for you and your dependants. Be cautious, go slow and make sure you plan carefully to avoid too much difficulty in 2018.


About the author: Damo Mitchell began his training at the age of 4 and has continued his studies since this time. He is the head of the Lotus Nei Gong International school of Daoist Arts and teaches courses and classes across the UK and abroad. He is the author of several books on the Daoist arts which are published through Singing Dragon. Damo is one of the head administrators for this site and regularly contributes a great deal of written and filmed material.