Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Chinese New Year of the Snake

Fu De, Auspicious Spirit of the Earth

In the Chinese calendar, each year is ruled by an animal: year of the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon snake, horse, goat (or ram), monkey, chicken, dog, and boar (or pig). Each year is also associated with one of the five elements (more properly translated "phases"): metal, wood, water, fire, and earth. Take all possible combinations of animals and elements and you get a 12X5= 60 year cycle. Thus, although your animal year returns every 12 years, your unique element and animal combination only returns at age 60 and 120!

February 10, 2013 is the first day of the Water Snake (Gui Si) year. However, each animal is also associated with an element. Because Snake is Fire, this is a Water Fire year. The first element (water) symbolizes heaven and spirituality. The second element (fire) symbolizes the physical world, especially the environment and economy. Elements may be either in harmony or conflict. For example, water produces wood. If this year were a water wood year, it would be a good omen. However, water and fire are in conflict because water puts out fire. There will be even more polarization this year between the spiritual and the mundane, between, on the one hand, those fighting for social and environmental justice, and, on the other hand, corporate and governmental powers. Markets and plans will all be unstable, not a good year to take risks, but a good year to move slowly, methodically, and carefully towards your goals. Sometimes water and fire are a dynamic polarity: complementary rather than conflicting opposites. But I do not sense that this is the case for 2013.

The elements of the year also effect health. In Chinese medicine, water rules the kidneys; fire rules the heart. The kidneys are adversely affected by a quick pace of life and by stress. Nurture the kidneys by slowing down; mitigate the effects of stress by practicing Tai Chi (taiji quan) and qigong. The heart is damaged by excess (lack of moderation, especially in the emotional realm). Heal the heart by finding mental and emotional equilibrium. Practice peace.

The snake is intuitive, energetic, and-- no surprise-- close to the earth. Among the animals, the snake is the major Chinese symbol of qi, life energy. A great year for wilderness retreats and qigong as well as other yang sheng (life nurturing) activities such as poetry and art. 

San Sha-- "Three Killing Forces" For every year, there is a direction of bad luck (San Sha)-- including disasters, accidents, and financial loss. This year the killing forces are in the East. That means it is best not to travel east, do home renovation on the east side of your home, or disturb the ground by digging holes in the east side of your property. The latter would disturb the Lords of the Soil (Tu Di Gong and his wife, Tu Di Po), who rule prosperity and the well being of ancestral spirits. In general, be careful regarding any phenomena associated with the east. You can neutralize the san sha by placing representations of powerful animals such as the Chinese unicorn in various rooms. Also since east is wood and wood creates fire, you can draw away some of the negative east-wood energy by putting representations of fire (red colored items, red candles or decor lights) in your home. 

Wu Huang "The Five Yellow Sick Forces" This year illness is associated with the Center. Thus, it is best not to travel to the middle part of your country, add a new middle section to your home, spend a great deal of time in the center of your home, etc. In the Chinese language, China is called Zhong Guo, the "Central Kingdom [or Country]". Because it is associated with the center, this is not a good year to travel to China, and the country may experience difficult public health problems. Neutralize the wu huang by setting up a small altar near the center part of your home. Place symbols of your spirituality-- a statue, a holy book, candles, or flowers - on the altar and offer prayers for peace and health. 

Tai Sui-- a star that exists in a spiritual dimension, invisible to the eye or to the telescope. Tai Sui moves opposite to Jupiter and is sometimes considered Jupiter’s shadow. Each year this star oppresses the fate of certain natal signs. In 2013, Tai Sui may cause difficulties for people born in the year of the Snake, Boar (or Pig), Monkey, or Tiger. If you were born in one of these years, you may wish to burn a Tai Sui talisman on Chinese New Years Day-- yes there is such a thing - or go outside and offer incense and prayers for a harmonious and lucky year. This year Tai Sui resides in the southeast direction. For everyone, no matter what your animal year of birth, it is best not to renovate in the southeastern part of your home or business and be very careful about digging or disturbing the ground in the southeast. If your office or home chair faces southeast, it would be a good idea to re-arrange furniture. Even facing southeast for extended periods can attract bad luck.

Auspicious Directions (for travel, education, romance, and general good luck): Northeast, Southwest, South, and North.

Please don't fret about these predictions. They are only tendencies. You become free and less bound by the stars to the extent that you are grounded in the Source of Being, the Tao.