Cowan Palace: The Year of the Horse and a Whole Bale of Pun

Ashley Cowan explores the Year of the Horse. With an alarming amount of horse puns.

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And just like that I realized we were already a month into 2014 . Yikes! Is this year already passing quickly for you guys or is it just me? Well, luckily for us all we’re right in the middle of another beginning. We’ve just transitioned into the (lucky) 7th spot of the Chinese Zodiac: The Year of the Horse! You’re probably thinking, hey, what does that mean? And I’m probably thinking, hay is for horses! Because I’m almost always thinking of some kind of pun. But that’s what I’m here for, neigh-sayers! A crash course in what the Year of the Horse means and how it could lend a helping hoof to the theatre scene. Don’t rein on the parade; it’s time to horse around!

So, some basics: the Chinese New Year begins with a fifteen day party kicking off with the first new moon of the calendar year. The year officially started on January 31, 2014 and will conclude on February 18, 2015. There are twelve animals that cycle through the Chinese zodiac: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. Our physical world is made up of five key partners: earth, water, fire, wood, and metal. Both factor into designing our year ahead. Recently, we let that sneaky water snake go and as our Trojan friends once did, we invited the wood horse in to celebrate.

It’s believed that those born under their chosen animal may grow up to display certain personality traits and depending on the characteristics of the animal, the year can also follow particular trends. For example: horses are known for their speed. They are noble, quick travelers who represent an elegant freedom. They can ease into the unfamiliar and embrace spontaneity. So it’s believed that the wood horse year could be a time of surprise adventure, epic victory, and even bold romance. You’ll find energy levels may be higher. And drive and focus can result in production.

It’s also the time to consider jumping off into the unknown and exploring something new. But because things can move so fast, you must be confident in your choices or you may get thrown far in the wrong direction. Overall though, the Year of the Horse is considered a lucky year! So go get a lottery ticket!

Or. Consider that theatre project you’ve been brewing over for months. Or years. This could be your time to kick it into high gear. While the water snake of 2013 may have been solid in middle ground territory, our pal, the horse, treads in more extreme grounds. A snake year is often a time for careful thought and deliberation while a horse year can inspire faster immediate actions.

That said, the wood horse of 2014 could bring about some large ups and downs. Some will enjoy great strength while others will suffer from its weakness. The most common advice several astrologers offered was to have confidence in taking a leap of faith and trusting your wings. Follow your instincts and stop thinking so much. Besides, next up is the wood sheep year of 2015 and that’ll be all about enjoying life’s slower comforts.

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This year should focus on truly enjoying the adventure of life and reveling in some of those impulsive ideas. Though be mindful that because of this tendency, folks tend to overspend without considering the consequences because they’re so focused on the moment. So that prized theatre production you’re working on could cost you. My advice? Be the optimist the year seems to lend itself to but keep your eyes open on that leap of faith and pay attention. Learn from your surroundings as you take them in and trust your potential success. And try to budget accordingly before you leave the money and run.

Personally, I’ve already started to sense some of the creative energy waiting to pop. It feels like many folks are taking the chance to self-produce or start a project they’ve been sitting on for too long. Well, according to the Chinese zodiac, the odds are in your favor. Take advantage of that and let’s make more work! More plays, more art, more puns!

In whatever you do, I wish you a triumphant Year of the Horse. And remember: you’re never pasture prime to ride or fly. (I’m a real night mare with all these, huh?)

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