This year it’s the Year of the Fire Monkey, the Monkey being the ninth animal in the Chinese zodiac cycle. The Fire is from the Stem-Branch Calendar using the five vital elements: Gold, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. When it comes to the monkey, Chinese immediately think about the Sun Wu-Kong, the Monkey King. The Monkey King is a main character in the Chinese classical novel Journey to the West. The Monkey King was born from a stone and acquired supernatural powers from a Taoist master, and is probably more well known in Australia from the ‘Monkey Magic’ television series.
“In the worlds before Monkey, primal chaos reigned. Heavens sought order. But the phoenix can fly only when its feathers are grown. The four worlds formed again and yet again, as endless aeons wheeled and passed. Time and the pure essence of Heaven, the moisture of the Earth, the powers of the Sun and the Moon all worked upon a certain rock, old as creation. And it became magically fertile. That first egg was named “Thought”. Tathagata Buddha, the Father Buddha, said, “With our thoughts, we make the World”. Elemental forces caused the egg to hatch. From it came a stone monkey. The nature of Monkey was irrepressible!”