Happy Lunar New Year to you and yours! Today marks the beginning of the Year of The Monkey, a point of significance for me and my Monkey brethren.

I’ve always bonded with the symbols and stories of the Monkey from Chinese Astrology, and felt similarly close with others born during those years. Even my Mom is a Monkey! As is one of my besties Devyn, and many others. Suzanne White, author of The New Chinese Astrology, articulates stories about the Monkeys in her life, and summarizes them:

“The Merry Monkey never misses a trick and, despite a tendency to cunning and chicanery, never jumps a red light. Contradictory? Yes, indeed. And more. Monkey’s are astute and like to be in on everything. They catch on long before the punch-line, but never laugh until they’re good and ready. A plotter and a planner, when confronted with complexity the nimble-spirited Monkey will always find means to restore order. An invaluable aide-de-camp, employee, and help-mate. Monkey’s would make a super vice-president. Although, titles and positions mean little to them, as without fanfare they manage to run the show quite deftly from the wings.”

This rubbing was taken from a stone wall at a temple in Thailand I visited during the last year of the Monkey in 2003 w my pal Jerry. It depicts the Monkey King being tamed by Guan Yin (the female Buddha), a theme which appears in the famous Chinese novel, Journey to The West. It recounts the pilgrimage of the Buddhist monk Xuanzang who traveled to Central Asia and India to obtain sacred texts, and was provided with three protectors, Sun Wukong (The Monkey King) being one. Bestowed with a golden suit of armor, Sun Wukong gained a steel-hard body and fiery golden eyes that could see into the distance, and through any demon in disguise. This, coupled with his great power, makes him a trickster hero. His antics are only tamed by Guan Yin, who placed a band around his head that she controls with her chants. Nimble and quick-witted, the Monkey King uses his skills to defeat the most powerful of demons on the journey.

The point: find a Monkey, and make them your friend! ;)

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