Welcome the Black Water Yin Snake Year!

Gung Hay Fat Choi – or however you like to spell it!  February 10th 2013 ushers in the Year of the Yin Black Water Snake. In the Chinese zodiac, Snake appears after Dragon, but its place and significance is more humble than Dragon. Although it has been associated in the West with medicine (snakes were used for healing by Asclepius, Greek god of medicine), it also has negative connotations about speaking to deceive and malevolence.  In the East, it is often associated with good luck, and Hindus consider snakes sacred. It carries meanings of mystery, as well as acumen, divination and the ability to distinguish herbs. While you might not like actual snakes, the language of Five Elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) and their inter-dependence identifies dynamics that may speak to you and offer a way of looking at the year as it unfolds that is helpful.

In order to understand the dynamics of the year, let’s explore the Water aspect (Black, Yin) and the Snake aspect individually.

The Yin Water of 2013 is represented by small drops of water or drizzling rain. The outlook of such Water is moderate, gentle, humble, tolerant, patient, easygoing and flexible. Yet the other side of Yin Water is cunning, secretive, deceptive, and can penetrate everywhere. If the energy is guided in a positive direction, it can bring intelligent and innovative ideas, and reforms. If not, there can be secret plots, cheating, and various kinds of attacks. In the Five Element system, Black is the color associated with Water (it is also associated with the Kidney system, which includes birth, growth, development, sex/reproduction and aging). So to describe the year as “Black Water” is somewhat redundant.

Each zodiac animal is associated with one (or more) of the elements.  Snake primarily contains Fire (with some Metal and Earth). It corresponds to the month of May in the Western calendar, which is immediately before peak of summer, when the Fire energy is rising up and almost at its peak. The minor Metal aspect of Snake symbolizes a weapon, which can imply danger or a threat. It is also considered mystical and/or unpredictable, and like a chameleon.

According to the cycle of birth and destruction, which governs the inter-relationship of the elements, Water destroys Fire. So the Fire of Snake and the Water of 2013 contain opposition. These elements have a conflict relationship which points to struggle, revolution, uprising or simply change.

Therefore, you may experience a mix of good and ill circumstances, accompanied by upheaval.

Snake is the last sign of the first half of the twelve Chinese zodiac signs. And this particular Water Snake year is the 30th position of a 60-year cycle. The halfway point is an ideal time to assess. When you look inward, do you see yourself where you want to be? How close are you to achieving your goals? This is an opportune time to do some long-range planning. Think about your life; are you happy? Do you have a good emotional and financial foundation? Are you progressing in your career, relationships, health, hobbies, avocation or retirement as you’d like?

Just as a snake sheds its skin, this year is an opportunity for transformation. Some sources say 2013 brings disillusion. But if you see more clearly as a result of having your illusions shattered, then ultimately it is for the good.  The Snake’s calming Water influence is about thoughtful transformations. It’s a time for advances in the way we perceive and think about things, and attitude changes. Snake’s usual haphazard power is calmer and more concentrated due to its Water nature.

2013 calls you to be alert and aware, so that you may capitalize on opportunities and strike when conditions are favorable. You may need to fine-tune your perceptions and attitudes in order to take advantage of what the year presents.

Snake years can be challenging (each year always carries its unique set of challenges). Snake’s position at the midpoint of the zodiac means circumstances can go either way. According to Raymond Lo, Snake acts as a protector for those born in a year ending in 2 or 3, and this energy will help smooth turbulent circumstances.

Here are three main themes of the year:
What you reap, you sow.  So this could be a grand year, reflecting your hard work and application from the year past, or time to pay the piper. If you need to clean up something you left a mess last year, do so right away.

It could be a “charming” year.  Imagine the seductive song of a flute and a snake rising from a basket…You can either “charm” someone, or in turn be charmed by them. Consider the hypnotic way a snake coils and raises itself, to make a display for stunning effect. This could portend well for you if you are the one doing the “charming”. Or it could tempt you to do something you later regret.

Snake has a close relationship to Earth (one of it’s minor aspects). Digging in, research and discovery are Snake-like activities. This could be a year for break-throughs in science and medicine across a wide range of topics. Closer to home, think about a hobby or relationship that you can plumb for more enjoyment or even a professional skill that you can hone. This is great year for continuing education in your field, on the job training, or studying a topic for your personal enrichment.

Om Shanti, Peace to you

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