2013 Year of the Snake

7 February 2013

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As ominous as the year of the Black Water Snake may sound, having survived the year of the Black Water Dragon and the end of the Mayan calendar(!), surely we can slither through 2013 unscathed?!

A Snake year rides on the glory of the Dragon and can bring many great achievements and successes. Of course, it can also be a slippery fellow so be prepared to shed your Ophidiophobia and embrace the New Year!

The first cycle of the zodiac started in 2637 B.C., introduced by the Emperor Huang Ti. Every twelfth year is a Snake year and they are the sixth animal in the zodiac cycle. A complete cycle of the Chinese lunar calendar takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles of 12 years, 12 animal signs and the 5 elements, meaning that each animal and element only combine once during each full cycle. The last time we had Water and Snake ensemble was in 1953. Each of the animal signs also has its own fixed element, the Snake’s is Fire. Finally, we throw Yin and Yang into the mix as well and you start to see just how intricate an art Chinese Astrology is!

Black is the colour of the Water element and the ancient Chinese regarded it as the king of colours, also said to be the colour of heaven and space. Of course, it also makes up one half of the Tajii symbol characterising the unity of Yin and Yang. In Chinese Astrology, odd years are Yin years and even years are Yang years.

A powerful colour mixed with the dark, passive, earthy and feminine energies of a Yin year are starting to make this Snake seem pretty exciting, and so it should be as Snakes offer rebirth (start shedding that old skin!), mystery and gliding your way through life!

If we look at the Snake’s fixed element, Fire, we can see the similarities with the Dragon sign; energy, optimism, determination, but due to its Yin nature the Snake’s fire burns internally so there is a cold and calculating side to the Snake too. Fire encourages a sense of adventure and a decisiveness that makes following an adventurous path a quick choice. These characteristics can lead to a willingness to take risks which creates some great highs but some very low points when the decisions are rushed. Fire Snakes can also struggle to let things go, harbouring grudges and wasting their energies seeking revenge so be wary!

However, the Water element to this year should help balance some of those fiery tendencies, enhancing the intuition, creativity and generosity of the Snake. Water is most associated with academia and research making it a good year for scientists and those studying. If you were thinking about continuing your studies or learning something new this is a good year to start.

Water brings fluidity to a year and it’s best to go with the flow rather than swim against the tide. Like a river, there may be twists and turns but use snaky flexibility to cope with any unexpected changes!

Snake years are mostly calm, more moderate years. They are great for planning, evaluating changes you may want to make and laying the foundations. Much can be achieved when there is a forward focus and a methodical approach is taken. It is a good year to take on more responsibility, at home or at work, but either way make sure you do so in a safe and comforting environment as Snakes need to protect themselves, not having a tough exterior like the Dragon!

It may be an interesting year weather wise, with the mix of Fire and Water creating some difficult meteorological conditions. Having already had a snowy start to the year it might be time to book that sunny holiday!

Snake years can be quite an introspective year, conducive to inner-growth, spirituality, self-reflection and exploring life’s mysteries. This doesn’t mean a lonely year though, amidst this learning and growing there will be a social whirl! Snake years are very sociable, spending time with friends and family, making new friends and growing closer to those we may have recently neglected or investing more energy into acquaintances and seeing friendships grow. Snakes are sensual animals so romance may be on the cards as well!

Whatever 2013 may bring we wish you health, happiness and


Sneaky Snake Snippets!

Pinyin: shé (pronounced - shur)

Month – May

Day – Monday

Time – 0900 to 1059

Colour preference – red, black

Gems and stones – Topaz, Jasper, Bloodstone

Tree – Palm

Lucky Numbers – 2, 4, 9

Western zodiac equivalent – Taurus

By Victoria Osterbery

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