Tibetan New Year


Tibetan Astrological Chart -Protective Talisman, Tibetan astrology is a combination of Buddhist astrology from Kalachakra-Tantra, Hindu astrology from Shiva-Tantra and ancient Chinese astrology. Tibetan ‘Tsi, is not only a method to harmonize one’s relationship with the external forces of the universe, but also a calculation of the flow of time.

The Tibetan calendar is based upon the lunar cycle. This year, the Tibetan New Year, called Losar, is February 19th, and will mark the Year of the Wood Sheep. Traditionally the Year of the Wood Sheep -considered the most feminine sign of the zodiac, is generally restful and favorable, a time for personal harmony, tranquility and creativity. ‘Lo’ in Tibetan means year, and ‘Sar’ means new, and Tibetan Buddhists around the world routinely celebrate Losar in every auspicious and joyous way, as it is the most important festival in the Tibetan calendar. Losar is said to last 15 days, but the first 3 days are most important. It is considered a time of purification and cleansing. In addition to practices for spiritual purification, the entire house is thoroughly cleaned especially the shrine and the shrine room. Prayers and rituals are performed to send away any remaining negativity from the previous year. New clothes are bought to wear on New Year’s Day, new prayer flags are hung and prayers are made for a year of good luck, good health and prosperity.


Prayer Flags, May Compassion and Wisdom grow everywhere!

In Tibetan astrology, there is a twelve-year cycle. Each year is characterized by one of the five elements and by one of the twelve animal totems which are alternatively male or female. A full cycle of the twelve animals being associated with each of the five elements takes sixty years. The twelve animals according to ancient texts are the Rat, Elephant, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Horse, Snake, Sheep, Garuda, Monkey, Dog and Pig and the elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each animal is associated with a specific element for its life-force as well as a specific direction which is determined by the life-force element. This year, Yin Wood mingles with the Yin Earth of Sheep.


Kalachakra Mandala, In Tibetan Buddhism the Kalachakra Mandala is a cosmographic representation of the inner, outer, and alternative dimensions of reality. The Body Mandala is surrounded by crescent-shaped areas, which are the offering grounds. Next follow circles which represent the elements: Earth (Yellow), Water (White), Fire (Pink/Red), Metal (Gray/Black) and Wood (Green). The outermost circle is the ‘Great Protective Circle’, ‘Mountain of Flames’ or ‘Circle of Wisdom’ which represents the wisdom element. The differently colored areas represent the five ‘Wisdoms of the Buddha’ in the form of a rainbow.

Every individual possesses the characteristics of the year within which they were born. The qualities of the element/animal combination can be studied and applied in order to determine the probable effect of any given year upon an individual. For Tibetans, astrological calculations are crucial in order to ascertain the most favorable date and time for important events such as religious festivals, marriages, travel, significant business dealings, healing rituals, funerals, etc. In this way, the events that take place can act in harmony with the natural energies of the universe and therefore amplify the power and effect of the desired positive outcome. In addition to consulting the calendar, it is common to have one’s personal horoscope calculated in order to determine one’s strengths and weaknesses, to learn what are one’s most beneficial days to begin new activities, the possibility of illness or obstacles along with their prescribed antidote, as well as the nature of one’s past and future lives, etc.