I wrote to a good friend recently about the upcoming cycles and much of the discussion centered around the ideas of the five elements and 12 animals. Here is some of what I wrote and I hope that you will find this useful:
“Yes, I think that this year  and next will be the next “2012” so to speak. our presidential cycles are an important play for the entire world and remember that this current administration is in office through most of January 2017. so I think that things will be relatively calm until the next one comes in.
All of this is part of a larger ’98 through ’17 cycle overall world cycle. this is the time period where our solar system has been the most aligned to the galactic center throughout the 25,800 year greater cycle. by the 2020 Jupiter/Saturn conjunction, we will start to see what’s at the other end of the tunnel but I think that we can start to see the light right now.
The Chinese have a useful way of looking at the year when one understands how the elements interact. This year and next are fire and metal cycles with the fire monkey and fire rooster. But the polarities are different, this year is all yang while next year is all yin. The fire rooster is pure yin fire and yin metal only. While the monkey contains yang earth, yang metal and yang water. this could be the cause of the confusion. Next year things will be more clear cut and yet out of sync in some respects and more dynamic. (remember that most yang pillars contain yin elements). Fire and metal don’t mix and yet both curtail the wood energy. In the Chinese system, wood and metal represent the military with wood as the top brass paradoxically. As long as the wood person, people, places and things can stay strong, then their rivals will be consumed by the fire and metal.
2018 is the earth dog and while this pillar has support and is rooted, there are only one kind of earth, all yang as the dog contains yang earth in addition to yin metal and yin fire. The last time we had an earth from heaven cycle was 2008 through 2009 with the earth rat and the earth ox, financial suffering for the most of us. The earth element in the Chinese system is represented by Saturn, the yellow emperor.
The earth ox was rooted but not the rat as 2009 was showing us the way out with the earth ox–yin earth from heaven and yin earth in the branch (along with yin water and yin metal). With this time around on the earth from heaven cycle we will have a rooted pillar with the 2018 earth dog followed by and unrooted pillar with the 2019 earth pig. And with both the dog and the pig we have home and family themes. The loyal dog protects the outside of the house while the domestic pig protects the inside. Earth is substance/Saturn.
However, we have a mixture of elements with the dog but with yin metal and yin fire, similar to 2009 earth ox. Both years have shown the way out, it’s just that in 2009 the financial elite won that battle but it was not inevitable. In 2018 it is the peoples turn. In 2020 we will have the metal rat, again unrooted. here the metal from heaven is absorbed by the pure water in the branch. The last example of this was with the wood horse in 2014 with pure wood from heaven being consumed by man made fire. The fire cycles throughout the year will come to an end with the year of the earth dog. In 2019 the earth pig is unrooted but this is a good time for fire people to see the bigger picture as the pig contains both yang wood and yang water. The production element is coming form heaven in the form of yin earth. Pig years tend to be emotional.
Going back to 2008 we had a pure dichotomy as the rat only contains yin water with yang earth from heaven. At the same time it is a yang pillar with the yang earth from heaven. what kind of yang earth comes from heaven? Remember that it is represented by a mountain. But this time it is rooted in the dog the last time it was unrooted in the earth rat. The previous earth dog year was 1958. this was an incredible time for the beginning of new technology being revealed to the public, i.e. the space race. I think that we will see this again.
This is an interesting year though, as this is the year where the month cycles creep up and coincide with the yearly cycle in 2016 with the fire monkey new moon month on august 2nd and a 2016 fire monkey year. Once every five years we get the same animal as the year in the monthly cycle (60 months equal 5 years). The next most interesting feature is that the fire rooster month on Sep 1st, 2016 begins with a annular solar eclipse (ring of fire) with similar power as a total but the moon is farther away thus allowing the outer edges of the sun to shine through. this month represents a foreshadowing into 2017 with the fire rooster year. We could perhaps–and this is just a theory–look at each new moon month as a representation of the coming animal years ahead. new moons on Sep 30, Oct 30 and Nov 29th are the earth dog, earth pig and metal rat months respectively.”