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Year of the Yin Water Snake – 4711

The Chinese New Year of the yin water snake enters on February 10th. and is celebrated thru February 15th. The Chinese calendar is the worlds oldest in continuous use and is based on the ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches. The calendar not only records time, but is also a tool for understanding the cyclic energetic flow of the universe. This system ascribes one of the five basic elements of wood, fire, earth, metal & water, to each year, month, day and hour. These are believed to be the basic elements of everything in the universe. Each element symbolizes a certain type of energy; for example water energy can be flowing and flexible or stiff, like ice. Understanding how these elements interact and relate can give one an insightful perspective and practical knowledge to handle the complexities of life.

The cycle of twelve years is symbolized by one of twelve animals. These are known as the earthly branches. The energy pattern displayed by each animal symbolizes the energy that will dominate during its year. This year, the earthly branch is the snake (she in Chinese), which is the 6th in the twelve year cycle. Each animal is also associated with one of the five elements. The element for the snake is fire and fire is the snake’s “fixed” element. In other words ALL snakes display characteristics of fire.

One of the five elements is also associated with the ten year cycle, known as the heavenly stems. The ten year cycle rotates between yin and yang. Last year was yang, therefore this year is yin and next year will be yang, and so forth. In the ten year cycle each element passes through a yin and yang cycle, therefore 5 (elements) times 2 (yin & yang) equals ten. This element influences the energy for its year as well as each individual born in that year. To fully understand the different ways that energy can manifest this year, you need to look at how all the energy interacts and relates. There are other astrological aspects as well, but for the sake of simplicity and developing an understanding, I’m focusing on the energy of the animal , which is the best known aspect.

For this year, how does yin water relate to yin fire snake?

The snake is the complementary sign to the dragon and together they make up the house of mystery. While the dragon is flamboyant, extravagant and dramatic, the snake is contemplative, intuitive, introspective and mystical. A snake in the house is considered fortunate according to ancient Chinese wisdom because it means your family will never starve, since he will probably never be bothered by money problems. If necessary though, he would be willing to sacrifice his possessions to feed his family. Either way, his family will be well taken care of.

The snake needs a nurturing and calm environment to thrive, and a calm, relaxed atmosphere with enough sleep to live long and be happy. Snake people are graceful and soft spoken with a love of the finer things in life such as good books, food and music. Some of the most beautiful women and powerful men are born under this sign. A Snake person could also be deeply religious or a natural philosopher and is considered the deepest thinker of the zodiac.

By nature snakes are skeptical, but tend to keep their suspicions to themselves. Snakes do not become easily flustered and are not outwardly emotional. The snake is exciting, but also dark. He can harbour secrets or become involved in scandal, corruption and plotting. He could also be cold, calculating or extremely opinionated and loudly speak his mind.

The snake is intelligent and wise as well as adept at business and quite independent. He prefers to work alone and to rely on his own judgement. In work, the snake could become easily bored, but overall he is conscientious and diligent. They are also highly creative, organized and precise. Some of the best careers for snakes include: spiritual leaders, astrologers, painters, sociologists, scientist, potters and analysts.

The water snake’s profound insight gives this snake the ability to penetrate deeply to break through any barrier. Charming and inquisitive, this snake can block out distractions and unimportant issues to achieve his goals. He is realistic, practical and in touch with reality. He is adept at managing finances and people. His outward demeanor is calm and serene, but he has a long term memory that could hold grudges for a lifetime. “He could have the patience of job combined with the bite of a King Cobra.”

The Year’s Energy

Generally speaking Yin water is the most yin element of the 10 heavenly stems, therefore snake years tend to be more stable and peaceful. The Dragon year, we’ve just completed, in contrast, was appropriate for wild schemes, bold gestures and extravagant investments; but this year is the time to review goals, get back on track and back away from any stressful or tense situations. This is also a year for gossip, secrets and behind the curtain meddlers, so be cautious with relationships and activities. This is a good time to resolve old issues.

Politics – A year for political conspiracies, intrigue, and quiet revolutions. The ballot box could be the means for overthrowing congressmen and governments. Tales of corruption and embarrassment (nothing new!) will be in the news, as well as international conflict and struggles. Yin water characteristics include cunning, deceit and secret plots, all of which will figure into this year. (my personal opinion – There’s a quiet grass roots evolution

Economy – The economy this year should greatly improve under the snake’s gaze. The snakes analytical brain should help to stabilize the economy and contribute to a practical financial resolution. On a personal level, spend wisely and if undertaking a partnership or a business venture, investigate all facets thoroughly. Prioritize saving money, managing investments and being thrifty.

Health – The organs associated with yin water and yin fire are the kidneys and the heart. Be especially mindful of circulatory problems, emotional extremes, bladder infections and metabolic disorders. Eat a good balance of pungent foods & spices, dark leafy green vegetables, root vegetables and light grains such as quinoa, amaranth and millet. These all contribute to healthy blood, qi and fluids. Also, mineral rich bone & vegetable broths will enhance immunity and nourish essence that is stored in the kidneys. Spend quiet time contemplating, praying or meditating daily, especially in nature when possible. This will quiet the shen, which is the heart spirit in Chinese medicine. Finally, commit to and follow through on a movement routine. This should consist of both qigong and aerobic movement. Most important is to be consistent with whatever works for you.

Red is the color associated with the heart and dark blue like the ocean is the color for the kidneys. Wearing these colors, displaying these colors and eating foods that are these colors will help to nurture the heart and kidney energy. Keep in mind that the snake prefers muted colors, so choose soft shades that reflect the snakes refined tastes.

Socially – Activities enjoyed by the snake include theatre, art, literature and music. He/She also enjoys religious or philosophical gatherings. Prominent also this year will be cultural activities, scientific exploration and environmental interests. Profound discussions, workshops concerning health and nutrition and spiritual gatherings will all have heightened interest this year. Best partners and compatibilities for the snake are the ox and rooster. The snake will have the least in common with the boar. Also, anyone born between the hours of 9am & 11 am will have the snake’s rising sign, which means you will exhibit characteristics of the snake in your personality.

In the next few weeks, I’ll send out a recipe for bone & vegtable broth along with other’s that are appropriate for this time of year. Hope you have an auspicious Year

Gung hay fat choy! – Happy New Year!

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