Snake Year Catch-Up

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The Year of the Water Snake: do-it-yourself feng shui for the year. What to do where, why and indeed when in 2013.

Every year is different. We all know that, however we express it. For some 2012 was the year of Barack Obama’s second term, for others the year that austerity bit; for still others, it was the Year of Sudden Change. Likewise in 2013 women’s rights are already in focus while the traditional Chinese nickname, the Year of the Snake in the Grass, suggests one in which nothing is quite what it seems.

We had a collision between these forces when snow made inevitable the postponement – again – of this year’s ba zi course which was to start last weekend. One student from Serbia arrived without incident but several from nearer by could not have been sure of getting home. It’s an ill wind….and one outcome is that the first of the four Weekends of Discover the Secrets of the Four Pillars now falls on February 9th & 10th and there remain places on this starter course in Chinese Astrology. Details here.

2012: The Year of Sudden Change.

Many found the Dragon year 2012 to be an extended plate-spinning exercise. As a Dragon myself, the instructions on the tin were to adopt a different approach and so I made three separate visits to feng shui masters in SE Asia for enlightenment while continuing to survey, write and attempt to have a life. For many the year was more chaotic. Some were called to several fronts, handling personal, professional, emotional and spiritual emergencies all at the same time. My friend and role model Master Jon Sandifer died during this time.

This demanding pattern, sometimes called the “Four Earths” is a feature of any year ruled by an Animal of the Earth Element: Ox, Dragon, Sheep or Dog. It affects any person with an Earth Animal anywhere in their ba zi (or Chinese Horoscope) which is pretty much everyone. And it hits when the month, day or even hour is ruled by Earth. So in the Dog month of the Dragon year, Barack Obama, born in the Earth year of the Ox 1961, found himself fighting an election, Congress, a hurricane and an invisible enemy simultaneously. Who’d want to be re-elected?

2013: The Year of the Snake in the Grass.

The corresponding pattern in 2013 the Year of the Water Snake, is known as the “Fire Penalty”. Similar conditions apply but this time invoked by Snake, Tiger and Monkey. The focus accordingly is likely to come in the Tiger (February) and Monkey (August) months.

Snake Picture

And the outcome is different: the Fire Penalty and often therefore, a Snake year is about interference. When Monkey and Tiger coincide this year, expect gazumping, unsolicited advice, intrusive neighbours, blurred lines of demarcation at work and triangular relationships. On a bigger scale it can mean incursions on privacy as well as interference in the course of justice. Sounds fun.

Right now I’m still fine-tuning clients’ buildings to set them up for the Snake year. In some cases that’s best done in February or even later and I am (cautiously) still available but if you want to make your own changes, my DIY Tune-Up Drill will be available shortly. Email Sheila at if this rings your windchimes.

What to do where and when, who to call.

Meanwhile to help you survive and thrive in 2013, here are a few simple principles for this year:

  1. Don’t dig, drill or agitate the South East, the North West or the East. These hold the tai sui, sui po and san sha respectively. Don’t ask.
  2. Don’t face West or South East for any length of time. Many beds and desks on these axes ought to be moved.
  3. Do open doors or windows, face and/or occupy South, North and North East. Occupy South East & North West with respect. Other areas caution; that is East, West and South West.

Feng shui is doing the right thing in the right place at the right time so there’s lots more (including how to measure these orientations and where from) but respect for the above should support health, wealth and wisdom in 2013 and keep us all from a plague of boils.

Both feng shui and ba zi are lifetime studies. Some students are ready to practise relatively rapidly, some never get there. If you’d like to learn how to do this stuff, as I said, I’m teaching ba zi over eight months starting February and feng shui over eight months from June. Join us.

Richard Ashworth. ©2013

One Response to “Snake Year Catch-Up”

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