According to the Chinese calendar, this is the year of the Fire Pig: a year for epidemics, famine, and plague. Right now in the South of France over a million people are in the hospital with a virus that has been spread around to almost every person in this region. The hospitals have now closed their doors- there are no more beds, no free doctors, they are packed to standing room only capacity- and the people are left to fend off this epidemic on their own.
I awoke a couple of days ago to a very ill household here in Anduze. Mira, the three children, and their father were all horridly ill. It was like an infirmary. I discovered that I was not really affected by this illness and just found a quiet spot away from the sick people to abscond. I uneasily let the day pass in front of the computer screen, trying to ignore the rapturous groans from the other room.
Luckily, this epidemic is not very serious. It is just a gastro-intestinal virus that hits hard for a day or two and then passes. There is also a strand of bronchitis going around that seems to be slightly more serious.
The amazing thing here is that this virus spread to nearly everyone in the South of France within a couple of days. It was an enthralling experience to comprehend how thoroughly and quickly and illness can strike down an entire population. For a day, it was as if the plague had struck. Nobody was in the streets, the town was empty, and only the moans of the ill could be heard. It is truly possible for a virus to cut down millions of people in this modern age.
I now have a defacto impression of the potential impact of epidemics.
From the Wellspring Astrolog:
The Chinese Fire Pig symbol (Fire over Water) contains a special character that forms an accelerant. The year has potential for situations to gather speed; to burn out of control.
In Chinese astrology, clashes of Fire & Water have powerful, uncontrollable effects, while transformation takes place. Situations flare up quickly and propel out of control.
The Water element denotes clandestine affairs, ‘behind the scenes’, danger. It can indicate physical floods & large scale water problems – potential for extensive damage and destruction.
Fire Pig has harmonious elements, but harmony is lost when situations are out of control. Fire Pig years have been fraught with incidents: wars, political takeovers, enormous unrest.
The year of the Fire Pig does not end until the 8th of February. There is still time for this year to spiral out of control. The Chinese learned of their environment through centuries of close observation. They believe in such signs.
From what I witnessed here in the South of France, I can see the pertinence behind such warnings. I remember when I was studying Traditional Chinese Medicine in Hangzhou, China earlier this year how afraid my professor was of the Fire Pig. He prophesied world-wide famine, epidemic, and strife. I looked into his eyes, and realized that he really was afraid. His belief was enough to even set me a little off-kilter.
So far, I do not think the expectations of year of the Fire Pig has fully panned out. But from what I witness of this epidemic of a slightly minor virus in France, I know that these next two months could actualize these warnings.
Epidemics move quickly. It was amazing to watch one in action.
Frightening, I must say.
Wade from VagabondJourney.com
December 28, 2007