I was already writing about a girl traveling through Angel Island to America when I discovered the year of the Fire Horse.
In much of the Western world, we use a linear measurement for time, the years parading forward into the future. The Chinese use a cycle to measure their years. On the mats in Chinese restaurants it looks like a 12-year cycle built around animals, but these animals are matched with five elements – metal, wood, fire, water, and earth creating 60-year cycles. So you are not just born in the year of the Horse, but in the year of the Earth Horse or Water Horse…or Fire Horse.
Fire Horses are formed from the heat of flames and the wildness of horses making them as dangerous as they are strong-willed. They fight and kick against boundaries, disregarding traditions, valuing blind faith over wisdom and cunning over intelligence. The first part of any Horse’s life is said to be full of ups and downs, but for a Fire Horse, who is destined for extremes, these are even more dramatic. Their bold natures and the heat in their blood bring misery to their families, especially their husbands and fathers. Trying to restrain the will of a Fire Horse girl can cause tragedy, even death.
Fire Horses race through life. They travel often, leaving home at a young age to chase the freedom and independence that feed them. Resourceful and confident, new situations do not intimidate them. This can cause trouble since they are often too confident and curious for their own good.
The male Fire Horse is not considered as dangerous as the female. The same drive and determination that often brings disgrace to Fire Horse women brings distinction to men. It makes them good leaders, quick to make decisions, and gifted at turning a bad situation to their advantage. Fire Horse men are destined to be famous…or infamous.
Fire Horses are full of contradictions. Their pride is paired with a great capacity for kindness. Despite their fierce independence, they need to belong. They are designed for conflict even inside their own skin. This makes it difficult to predict what a Fire Horse will do, especially one that is in love. They may sacrifice everything, but they are just as likely to destroy.
It is hard to predict what a Fire Horse in love will do. Fire Horses are passionate creatures and likely to fall deeply in love. They could break hearts or have their own broken. Whatever happens, they will bounce back wiser, stronger, and willing to risk is all again, after all, a Fire Horse’s life is nothing without adventure, and what bigger adventure is there than love?
Excerpt from The Fire Horse Girl
“In Chinese astrology, the Year of the Fire Horse is a bad year for Horses. All of their worst traits — their tempers, their stubbornness, their selfishness — burn with increased strength. Girls should never be born in the year of the Fire Horse; they are especially dangerous, bringing tragedy to their families. But desperation flowed fast and thick through my mother’s veins. Children did not come easily to her. After four born only to be buried, she ignored the warnings of the zodiac and bore a Fire Horse girl, who was too stubborn to die like the others. Bringing forth something as vicious and powerful as a Fire Horse destroyed my mother. Her last breath mingled with my first. Stories are like that too — deep breaths, one ending so another can begin. One sacrificed so another can survive. We often dwell on the endings of stories, forgetting how they were born, but you must inhale to exhale.”
Jade Moon was born in 1906. Another generation of Fire Horses were born in 1966. The next generation of Fire Horse girls will be born in 2026.