Happy New Year –Chinese Style–is still around the corner. According to Chinese Buddhism, before the Buddha entered Nirvana only twelve animals came to pay homage. So the Buddha honored them by naming a twelve-year cycle after them. The Snake, the most complex and “unsettling” force among the twelve, was the sixth animal to pay its respect to the Buddha. This year is the year of the black (water) snake.
The Snake year has never been tranquil, due to the missteps and excesses rooted in the previous Dragon year (see my earlier post, “Happy New Year”–The Year of the Dragon). As the Dragon (2012) exits, the Snake begins to uncoil. Both predator and prey, the snake must keep its eyes open, with a wakeful knowing, an omniscient awareness. We must be alert, like snakes. Feelings will become more intense, so analysis is essential, and opportunities to “see” more, notice more, and fine-tune decision-making will arise.
We are invited this year to slough off old ways of thinking and develop a second skin. Prepare for letting go of old habits, roles and responses, and opening the way for rejuvenation, like a snake shedding its skin. A source of spiritual healing, a medicine for the soul, 2013 is believed to restore balance in the midst of chaos and disharmony. Yin must follow Yang for the universe to be in balance. The Dragon Yang, as the cycle’s most powerful positive force, must be balanced by the cycle’s most powerful negative force, the Snake Yin. Snakes are the symbol of a “second chance” in life.
The Snake seeks protection in the security of safe places. This is not a year to take risks but for cautious preparation and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for us to achieve what we want. Reflect, ponder and plan.
Saving money and being thrifty should be top priorities for all of us, in order to gain the greatest benefits the Year of the Snake has to offer. In the Chinese zodiac the snake is wise but it is also unforgiving. Understand this to prepare for the Year of the Snake and you will not be surprised by the challenges and opportunities in store for you!