angel Kyodo williams

the year of X

In culture, identity, leadership, spirit on January 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm


horoscope for america’s movement for justice

In the East Asian calendar, commonly called Chinese Astrology, 2010 is the Year of the Tiger. The Tiger symbolizes strength and protection, a courageous and fiery fighter that keeps away “fires, thieves and ghosts.”

The underlying principle of all systems that seek to reflect character traits to us based on the year, month, day or hour of our birth is to give us a window into our basic orientation–our internal operating systems, if you will–so that rather than being limited or boxed in by definitions, we have the opportunity to become our full selves because we’re equipped with an insightful compass that signifies where we are. We, in turn, exercise “the precious gift of choice” that is the birthright of human beings, to determine where, exactly, we will go.

At their best, astrologers are astute scientists, read into the deeper meaning and drawing hypotheses about how the energy of stars and space influence our paths…not so much fortune-telling, but more a Life weather forecasting.

Horoscope for Justice
In 2010, a confluence of circumstances and stars align so that we are now kicking off what I’d call The Year of X. Here’s my “hour watching”–or “horoscope” for America’s movement for justice:

It seems pretty obvious that the Tiger/ess is collectively emblematic of all the activists that seek positive change in the world. No matter what sign we’re born under indvidually, we change agents exhibit the qualities of being ferocious and domineering on the outside, but noble and distinguished on the inside. But we tireless seekers of justice are forged of additional qualities that make us a special breed that show up only once in a lifetime cycle.

The usual suspects that we get to point to: King, Gandhi, Suu Kyi, Ella Baker, Black Elk, Mandela, Guevara, Ambedkar…are auspicious figures that seem to appear too far and few between. They are bound together in their diverse struggles to overcome the oppression of their time and space by a less tangible but unequivocally more powerful “X” factor that exponentially multiplied their effectiveness beyond mere tactic, tool or technique.

Their engagement of a unique arsenal of internal “weapons” or skills developed as a result of deep and abiding personal practice, expressed and applied in systematic and organizational contexts, catapulted them beyond the ordinary to the Xtraordinary. Beyond the individual to collective. Beyond personal OR political to the profound. Beyond change to trans–“X”formation.

Beyond. Transcendent. near-Shamanic. Talismanic. X.

Where we find ourselves now is a unique moment in time in which the ability to dig deep into this internal arsenal to express our full collective selves as the mighty and powerful agents of justice, freedom and love that we are is available to us en masse. We don’t have to wait for the random revolutionary savior, but can activate this X-factor ourselves. We can either accept limited concepts about who we are as movement(s) and what we can and cannot do or we can exercise our will, our choice by dropping in beneath the infighting, rhetoric and soundbites to find a truer expression of our noble spirits’ search for freedom through our own liberation. We can wait for a messiah, preacher, guru or President to part the raging sea of conservatism or we can disarm the resistance with our capacity for charismatic conversion. Who needs to win when you can win over?

Colors and Directions
The colors that symbolize this Year of X are:

red, for the fierce passion of our convictions

white, for the purity of our hearts

yellow, for our vast vision, expansive and encompassing as the golden sun, and

black, for the great depth and mystery that is the doorway to that Great Beyond, our collective transformation.

The four colors that represent all people on the planet are held in our hearts because any real fight for justice is not against but for. For the planet, for the people, for life and for love. For all.

The directions? All of the cardinal four, naturally, looking East towards the future with the wind and work of our Ancestors of past coming from the West. The South situates us in this very moment of now, while the North holds the infinite possibility of no-time. With those, we also look to the Heavens above for guidance from Spirit, Earth below for grounding and deep into the Cosmic Center the very core from which we organize.

X Qualities
Most important are the qualities this Year of X asks us to lean into, cultivate and operationalize. Here are the big ten:

First, the ABCs. The “what.” Basics we should all live by whether seeking justice in the world or just within ourselves:

  1. authentic: be who and what you are. no more, no less.
  2. balanced: left, right. work, play. give, receive.
  3. centered: organized & on purpose from the deep core of your very being.

Next, the “how” of our actions. Showing up in a good way as individuals, organizations and communities means being:

  1. aligned: thought, word and action. all one.
  2. integral: complete, whole and radically inclusive.
  3. transparent: out loud and proud, come what may.

For every purpose, a reason. The “why” or toward what end are the three Ss of Social Justice that must be sought after, procured, cultivated and protected for all:

  1. safety: food, shelter, clothing, dancing & moving freely.
  2. self-determination: our way is the way, mistakes, foibles and all.
  3. sustainability: we’ve all got to be here. for a long time. act like it.

and finally, without putting these concepts into rigorous, ongoing practice (beheld with joy, appreciation and lots of dancing) we would only have ideas. We need more than dreams and theory, we need praxis, making each quality actionable in our moment-to-moment-to-movement lives, as:

  1. Presence: be here. now.

As always, both symbolically and in reality, it must be remembered that X is also associated with the unknown…that which unfolds before us beyond even our will and choice. It is how we respond to that unfolding–especially and most poignantly when it is not according to our plan–that is the true reflection of our character and our mastery of those X qualities. It’s when the shit hits the fan that we need to stand firm in the stink with Fearlessness, Grace and Presence.

May you live this Year of X as if your life depends on it. I know mine does.

copyright MMX. angel Kyodo williams

angel Kyodo williams is a maverick teacher,
author, social visionary and founder of
Center for Transformative Change.
she posts, tweets & blogs on all things change.
permission granted to retweet, repost, repaste &
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  1. […] Leave a Comment May you live this Year of X as if your life depends on it. I know mine does. the year of x by angel kyodo […]

  2. i love your blog but i find it incredibly difficult to read because of the color scheme… please make it less harsh on the eyes.

    • hi xo,

      thank you for your feedback. very appreciated.

      we’re changing to an all new design very soon, but in the meantime, the text is now not so white which should reduce the glare. hope that helps and do let me know.

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