Today (February 7, 2008) is the first day of the Chinese Year of the Rat.

There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac, and the Rat won a race to become the first in the line. chinese zodiac 

So, not only are we starting a new year, but it’s the beginning of the cycle.  So the beginning of the beginning.A great time to begin anew.  (Again, if you want to hit “restart” after Jan 1.)

Also, why a brown rat?  Brown because this particular Rat Year is associated with the Earth Element.  And by the way, the Rat him/herself is associated with the Water Element.  So we’ll have an extra reason to examine these Elements throughout the year. 

(image from