Kathy Wilkes-Myers was walking along a highway in central Tennessee recently when she came across a scrawny, starving Rottweiler. The dog, who she later learned was named Ella, rubbed against Kathy’s leg looking for reassurance. “I could just tell right away she was somebody’s baby,” the Good Samaritan told CBS.

Kathy took Ella home and fed her, and then recalled that there had been an accident nearby. So the next day they went back and found the site. Ella took Kathy to a pile of personal items belonging to the family, which the dog had apparently collected and hidden after the accident. A tearful Kathy realized Ella had been waiting for them to return, but she didn’t think anyone could have survived the horrific accident.

After contacting the authorities, however, Kathy was stunned to discover the family had indeed survived. It seems that a terrified Ella was ejected from the car during the crash and had hidden in the woods. She’d waited nearby for 13 long days and nights before Kathy rescued her.  The family was overwhelmed with joy to retrieve their beloved pet, as they’d assumed she perished in the accident.

The loyalty of dogs is astonishing, and well documented. In 1925, a similar incident featured Hachiko the Akita, who met the evening train in front of Tokyo’s Shibuya Station every day for over nine years, patiently waiting for his owner to return. As depicted in the touching film Hachi: A Dog’s Life, the devoted canine had no way of knowing his owner had died and wouldn’t be coming back.

The Year of the Dog can call forth such loyalty in all of us. On Feb. 16, the whims and impulses of the Fire Rooster give way to the solidarity and steadfastness of the Earth Dog.  Our fidelity to what or who we believe in is about to be intensified. The Earth Dog favors new business ventures and major lifestyle changes. Just make sure the cause you’ve championed or the master you’re serving are worthy ones, since dogged determination can easily turn to blind obedience. Conservative movements will no doubt clash even more forcefully with those dedicated to social justice. Dog years often coincide with revolutions. The current U.S. president is a Fire Dog (aggressive, impulsive, headstrong), and although the Earth Dog year may bring him down to earth, it’s also apt to increase his stubbornness. Think about it: How many times will a determined canine retrieve that stick you’re throwing?  So, we can expect the commander-in-chief to redouble his efforts and use every means at his disposal to achieve his ends.

The Chinese New Year coincides with a solar eclipse in Aquarius (Feb. 15, 1:05 p.m. PST) giving it extra impact. Aquarius can symbolize masses of people rising up, whether to rebel against an oppressive regime or to take a stand for a progressive cause. However, since the eclipse is conjunct the South Node, there’s also the danger of mass delusion or failure to take a stand. Aquarius represents the power of our higher minds to change apparent reality, so we’re asked to get clear about where we’re headed and create a vision to guide us there. This New Moon eclipse, although partial, is the “bookend” to the big total solar eclipse of Aug. 21, 2017 (it happens at 27 Aquarius, opposite the August eclipse at 28 Leo). Thus, this eclipse can bring back themes from last summer/early fall, especially if it activates planets or angles in your chart. The Sun and Moon square Jupiter, urging us to go bigger and aim higher, as long as we don’t overdo it. They also join clever Mercury in Aquarius, helping us to craft a brilliant plan and execute it. And with no planets in retrograde until March 8, the coast is clear for achieving goals.

If you’ve been longing for greater mental clarity or access to your higher guidance, just throw out a bone near this eclipse, and the Earth Dog will respond. With a South Node eclipse, however, you must let go of the old to make room for the new. But once a fresh vision starts to crystallize, you can count on the loyal Dog within you (no matter your Chinese animal sign) to bring it on home.

And if you’re in San Diego, please join me this Thursday evening to celebrate the Year of the Dog, and see what it (and the solar eclipse) may have in store for you!

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