By Tim Kalinowski
With the New Year now here I, like many, tend to engage in some well-intended, but ultimately failed, resolutions. This year instead I have resolved to make no resolutions. I will just wing it in 2016. That’s what I usually end up doing anyway so why fight it? Embrace the uncertainty of it all, I say, and keep true to yourself, and it will probably all turn out alright.
I am not, however, adverse to some guidance from the stars as it were.
I have been looking up all the potential cosmic and horoscopic factors which many come into play in 2016, and have decided to share a few with my readers this week so they can take them for what they are worth. (Warning: They are probably not worth much).
Starting with the literal stars, the year 2016 starts out with a treat for astronomers. The Catalina Comet should be clearly visible low in the eastern sky in the pre-dawn hours for the early part of this week. Best seen with binoculars, the comet should appear between the planet Venus and the bright star Arcturus (follow the line of the Big Dipper’s tale and it will lead you to Arcturus). The Catalina Comet’s best visibility is at about 6 a.m., and as comets go it is a pretty one: Bright green with a double tale.
Of course, from a portent’s perspective comets are usually historically associated with disaster or strife for someone and triumph and victory for someone else. Usually invaders and conquerors had good fortune under the comet, defenders and revolters not so much. I leave it to readers to decide how these principles apply in our world today and to whom.
The Old Farmer’s Almanac is a good source for most lore and its long-term weather forecasts have been fairly consistent with those of Environment Canada’s in the past few years, (equally right and wrong in other words). According to the Almanac, January is going to start out bitter cold with continuing snowy periods through Jan. 9. It will warm a little after that and get frosty again by Jan. 20. That cycle should repeat itself twice more before the end of the month, but January will go out on a chilly note. The Almanac goes on to predict a warmer and slightly drier than normal April and May. And drought could rear its ugly head again this year with the Almanac predicting a hotter and drier than normal summer.
When I was a kid on the farm my grandparents would always track the 12 days of Christmas and mark the weather each day on the calendar as a way to predict the weather in each month of the year to come. Yes, it’s not just a song, there are actual days: Dec. 25-Jan. 5 has been celebrated since Medieval times as the Feast of Christmas, with important feasts like the Feast of St. Stephen’s on Dec. 26, (a day marked by the famous English folk tradition of the Hunting of the Wren), within it.
The weather for the first six days has been as follows: Dec. 25, very cold, but clear. Dec. 26, cold and sunny. Dec. 27, mild. Dec. 28, snowy and cold, Dec. 29, light snow and cold. And Dec. 30, sunny and clear. As you can see this does not precisely accord the Old Farmer’s Almanac. April and May will be wetter if the 12 Days of Christmas are to be believed.
And finally for all you horoscope fans; in the Chinese Zodiac the Chinese New Year starts officially on Feb. 8. This year will be the Year of the Red Fire Monkey. Monkey’s are very sociable creatures and very status conscious. The whole impetus of the monkey is to get along with others and foster strong social relations. The “Fire” element is a creative force; therefore, according to those who interpret the sign, 2016 should be a good year to shake things up in your life and seek ways to better your social status. Red will also be a lucky colour.