2013, Year of the Water Snake

This year’s Chinese Lunar New Year arrives on February 10 and ushers in the year of the Water Snake. In Chinese astrology Snakes are introverted, mystical, sensual, cautious, observant, quietly ambitious, and don’t like to be in the limelight. They are masters of transformation, easily leaving behind what no longer serves their agenda. The key to successfully negotiating the terrain this year is planning.  Don’t do anything that hasn’t been carefully thought out. This will be easier for some of us than others. If your tendency is to be impulsive or reckless in any way, you may encounter the Snake’s infamous ability to strike unexpectedly.

The Snake is the yin side of the Dragon, so it’s appropriate to exhale now after the breathtaking ride of the 2012 Dragon Year. But keep your wits about you and proceed with caution. Examine the ground as you go. Watch for holes and hidden obstacles. Study philosophy or metaphysics, write a book, stay indoors and reflect on your life and your spiritual path. The potential for success in business, career, and finances is very good this year, as long as it’s an outgrowth of careful planning, not speculation.

And now, a few words of advice for each animal:

RAT–You must rachet down your expectations after the drama and grandiosity of the Dragon year. Focus on simple practical solutions and gather your resources in preparation for the coming Horse year, which is always your most challenging time. Your natural intelligence can sometimes make you overly critical and judgmental. Exercise caution with that attitude this year, as the Snake is capable of quietly taking off your head.

OX–If you made it through the Dragon year without total collapse, (some of you mistakenly thought you could manage the Dragon’s supernatural energy by simply working harder,) you now have the opportunity to march along plowing a nice straight furrow. Your work ethic will be appreciated and supported this year. Full steam ahead.

TIGER–You Tigers are probably exhausted and flummoxed. Your dazzling display of power just couldn’t hold up in the face of the Dragon’s magic.  The important thing now is to not misread the qi of the Snake Year. This apparent calm is not what it seems to be. Don’t be fooled and start bounding around flexing your muscles. Save all that for the Horse year. For now, stand down. Stay by the side of the river and switch your tail observantly. Gather your energy. Be ever so cautious and lay your plans for next year.

RABBIT— Rabbit is easily seduced by Snake’s mysterious and sensual nature.  But don’t be fooled. You must exercise caution this year in every endeavor. Snake qi may look peaceful, but it’s just not showing its hand. What looks like harmony to you may turn into a situation where you find yourself controlled and powerless. Examine every opportunity with an eagle eye and  heed your famous intuition.

DRAGON–If you can bear to get off the stage, you’ll find it quite nice to step back and survey all that you’ve accomplished. Major, even life changing, shifts have occurred. Now allow the transformation to complete itself in the quiet depths of your heart. This is yin power. Exhale.

SNAKE–Snakes are loners and introverts. The difficulty for you this year is noticing that you’re all of a sudden in the front row. This makes you feel exposed and on the spot. Don’t freak out. Just sink into your mysterious wise nature and refuse to be drawn out. Everyone will come to you, on your terms. You CAN be in charge, and without compromising your true nature. Consider teaming up with a Rooster who will gladly stand in the spotlight while you direct things from behind the scenes.

HORSE–The Snake is ushering in the Fire trio of animals, of which you are the special emissary. Think of it this way–you are standing at the end of the high dive, preparing to launch. All eyes are on you. The crowd goes silent as the board flexes. You love the speed and physicality of the dive. But how well it goes depends entirely on this quiet moment of centering and preparation–this moment when the board flexes under your weight and gathers the necessary spring for the perfect launch. This moment is the entire Snake year for you. Steady now. Don’t blow it by being overanxious.

SHEEP–This is likely a mixed year for you. On the one hand, your artistic sensibilities will find support and success. On the other hand you may find yourself baffled and scandalized by the Snake’s hidden agenda, especially since you will not be invited to manage any teams this year. Don’t take anything personally. Stick to your art projects, and be a supportive friend to a Pig who will need your excellent management skills to make it through the year.

MONKEY–You are basking in the glow of last year’s accomplishments and feeling like there’s no task too daunting for your formidable intelligence and resourcefulness. But now you must distinguish between magic, which was the order of the day during the Dragon year, and trickery which will get you nowhere in the Snake Year. The watchword this year is “restraint,” which is not your strong suit. But you must try, because upsetting the apple cart just to see what happens will only result in embarrassment, if not catastrophe.

ROOSTER–No one understands long range planning like you do. The Snake actually admires your ambition and responds by supporting your goals, all the while staying in the background so that you can enjoy the limelight. This is an excellent year for business and finances. Focus, planning, and strategy are as natural to you as the rising and setting of the sun. You’ll find the Snake qi harmonizes nicely with your “mission” view of life.

DOG–Well, anything’s better than last year right? Just think of this year as that barren patch of beach you’ve been tossed onto after being lost at sea and weathering a terrible storm. It’s not much but it looks like paradise right now. Use the year to gather yourself, do some repairs, and prepare for the Horse year ahead. Green pastures really are right over that hill.

PIG–Pigs get along so well most of the time that they really shouldn’t complain too much when a challenging year comes along. This is that year. It’s only a year and you’ve been here before, so try to remember what you did the last time (let’s see that would be twelve years ago.) Your chief weakness is also your greatest strength–your innocence and basic love of humanity. Dare I say you are sometimes a bit gullible. The Snake’s hidden agenda is just incomprehensible to you. It gets you every time. Here’s my prescription: Rent the movie “Harvey” starring James Stewart. Watch it regularly this year. You are Elwood P. Dowd, your best friend is a 6’3” rabbit named Harvey, and everyone thinks you’re crazy. Just remember to watch all the way through to the end. Simple good manners win every time, even in a Snake Year.

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