2023 – Year of the Yin Water Rabbit (Gui Mao) 癸卯

2023 is the Year of the Yin Water Rabbit – Gui Mao 癸卯 . The Rabbit is the fourth of the astrological signs in the Chinese twelve-year cycle of earthly branches and in 2023 shares her Yin Wood nature with the Yin Water Gui element. This is a supportive combination from a Chinese Five Element perspective, as the Water element of the year feeds the Wood of the Rabbit. She is aligned with the East, the mid-spring season that includes the Equinox and early morning hours of 5 – 6:59 AM when Rabbit emerges from her burrow. She symbolizes yin, resilient, creative, feminine energy. But don’t be deceived by her graceful, diminutive stature since the Water Rabbit is also a revolutionary who proudly steps into the tracks of her predecessor the Water Tiger on February 4, prepared to make her own.

There are five types of Rabbits (one for each of the five elements) and 2023’s Yin Water Rabbit is poetically known as “Rabbit Leaving the Forest – a vision of a bronze mirror.” This auspicious combination suggests a strengthening of resolve that fosters growth and harmony this year. Unlike 2022’s fast-moving, tumultuous Yang Water, 2023’s Yin Water is gentle rainwater, mist, fog and dew. It seeps rather than floods and quietly descends to the lowest levels, encompassing nature in a cloak of secrecy. Hard edges are blurred under this influence as Gui moves quietly and persuades rather than dictates, allowing you to believe her ideas were yours all along. Like the seemingly aloof Rabbit, it is discrete but sits visibly on the edge of events, constantly aware of her surroundings. Yin Water slowly and persistently laps away at the sturdiest of mountains, carving a way through and around any impasse. This is the way of the Yin Water Rabbit.

Gui Mao is emotional and intuitive with extraordinary insight into the intentions of others so expect change to occur incrementally in 2023 through perseverance, not might. More sensitive than her Tiger predecessor, she is a good listener with no time for grandstanding or arguing for the sake of attention. But they both insist on achieving objectives in different ways. For that reason, 2023 is expected to be a revelatory year. Despite her docile appearance, the clever Rabbit has excellent hearing, vision and powerful hind legs that allow her to travel swiftly over land and pounce when necessary. Her gentle nature should not be taken for granted for she is an independent, self-sufficient rule-changer. She won’t start a conflict, but neither will she back down, especially if it affects someone in her care.

In Chinese lore, Rabbit is the symbol of self-sacrifice as the sign that looks after vulnerable children, aged, ancestors, animals, the underprivileged and endangered of the world. She’s a pacifist at heart but a fierce champion of civil and human rights. As predicted, Tiger broke down barriers in 2022, but Water Rabbit is armed with a diplomatic carrot rather than a stick and is tasked with picking up the broken pieces and putting them back together. She’s a consensus builder capable of making fair and effective decisions without drama. But it’s important to note that earthly Rabbit mothers construct nests from their own fur and grasses then raise their litters alone.

We’ve not seen the Water Rabbit for 60 years and 1963 had its share of history-shaping events including international coup d’etats, the assassination of John F. Kennedy, signing of a Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and Martin Luther King’s civil/economic rights “I Have a Dream” speech, followed by his assassination. In 1963, Betty Friedan called upon women to seek independence from traditional male-dominated roles and approval was given for a vaccine against measles. For the first time, the US Supreme Court granted poor defendants the right to an attorney while Pakistan and China signed an historic border agreement.  Russia launched the first female space traveler into orbit and the United States moved to close asylums and treat mental health as an illness rather than crime. Many of these hard fought, long-overdue milestones have come full circle over the last sixty years and are expected to be revisited in 2023 as it is believed that the Water Rabbit is instilled with the ability to see the future and to finish what was started.

Rabbit years are generally a time for recovery and optimism. Following 2022’s Tiger, the Water Rabbit promises a more tactful, creative approach to world diplomacy with eyes on agriculture, medicine, food, shelter and a sustainable environment. Due to her association with springtime and the land, we can expect an expansion in the fields of pharmaceuticals, herbal remedies and food as medicine. Rabbit is happy to lead a movement of young people to take up causes that relate to children, women, the marginalized and the environment that supports human and animal life. Cultural arts, housing, farming and education will also be examined due to Rabbit’s affiliation with beauty and knowledge.  The Water element in the chart of the year promotes communications, networking and all manner of domestic and international travel over land and sea. Plans are more likely to be made and carried out behind the scenes this year via civilized discussion rather than mandates.

With Azure Wood energy sitting at the center of the chart of the year, expect all manner of breakthroughs, innovation and setting of cornerstones for large-scale projects. This is artistic, intelligent energy that inclines toward building a peaceful future. The tender energy of 2023’s Yin Water Rabbit provides an opportunity to cultivate and refine new beginnings organically from raw materials that will benefit the collective. And it couldn’t come at a better time. Her attention to detail will facilitate original ideas that will guide us in a new, more sustainable direction as we enter the next 20-year cycle of Period 9 Fire in 2024 – the era of women. This represents a major worldwide cultural, economic, political and social paradigm shift from a 20-year cycle of Earth to Fire energy that awaits next year.

A Chinese proverb states, “If you chase two rabbits, both will escape” – a reminder to stay on a green path this year and focus on your family, home and community, then reach out and help others focus on theirs. Healing occurs only when we learn from our mistakes and each other. Take care of your physical and spiritual health then build a longer table if you are able. Keep your eyes on the future but walk softly on the earth, treasuring the fragility of life and small blessings. This is the lesson the Yin Water Rabbit has come to teach.

Wishing you and those you love peace, prosperity and good health in the Year of the Rabbit,


Diane Gallin | Wind and Water Feng Shui Consulting | 727-459-1459