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Holy Mountain Trading Company - Year of the Snake Predictions

Holy Mountain Trading Company - Year of the Snake Predictions

ebruary 10, 2013 is New Year's Day, according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar used by millions all over the world together with the Gregorian calendar. And according to the Chinese almanac, the year is 4710 and a Year of the Grey Water Snake or Huīsè Gui Si (灰色癸巳).
The Snake is the sixth in a 12-lunar-year cycle of animal-year signs. The twelve animals, in order, are rat, buffalo, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Thus, the last year was Dragon and the next will be Horse. The last Year of the Snake began on January 24, 2001 and ended on February 11, 2002. The next Year of the Snake will begin on January 29, 2025 and end on February 16, 2026. Angel head golden naga statue at Emerald Buddha Temple in Bangkok, Thailand © 2012 iStockphoto
Snakes and serpents are feared and abhorred in the West. Not so in the East. Numerous snake cults have existed throughout the centuries in which either the serpent was worshiped or was symbolic of a god or supernatural agency. They have frequently been identified with cults of ancestor worship. This conception probably arose from the fact that serpents were often found inhabiting the abandoned places of the dead. Surviving myths also connect snakes with the formation or creation of bodies of water as lakes, rivers, or seas.
In India, the Nagas are raingivers and guardians of the water, gods who play a vital role in Taoist and Hindu legends and creation myths. They are also considered the guardians of the treasures of the deep and are said to carry a precious jewel on their foreheads. Hindus worship them during the festival of Nag Panchami. Taking place in the lunar month of Shravan (July/August), the festival concerns prayers and offerings to serpent deities, which participators believe will safeguard them from poisonous snake bites. The daughters of the Nagas are called Nãginîs or Naga Knayas. The upper part of their body is human while the lower part is that of a snake. If properly worshipped prosperity will follow but if the vindictive Naga is neglected or slighted, he can cause catastrophe. When the Buddha attained enlightenment the cobra hood of the Nãgaraja Mucilinda manifested, symbolizing the Nagas' establishment of their supernatural serpentine powers of protection in service of the Buddha. In the Wheel of the Law (also called the Wheel of Life, Wheel of Truth, the Holy Wheel, etc.), an emblem which symbolizes the crushing effect of Buddha's preaching upon all delusions and supersitions, the inside center is occupied by what are known as the "Three Poisons;" the Rooster depicts lust, the Pig depicts ignorance, and the Snake depicts hatred. Between the disintregration of one age and the next, the Hindu god Vishnu sleeps on the remnants of the old world which is personified by the Naga Ananta, representing eternity or infinity. Vishnu and his avatar Krishna are both serpent subjugators, signifying their dominion over the waters and over the dormant chaos personified by the snake principle. The Indian epic the Mahäbhärata recounts how the serpent Vasuki serves as the rope used to spin the world axis Mount Mandara or Mount Meru, the land mass resting on the back of Vishnu in his reincarnation as the tortoise dwelling in the depths of the Ocean of Milk. It is the churning of this ocean that brings about aspects of the world's creation and the creation of soma, the nectar of immortality and source of the power of the gods.
In Pythagorean symbolism, the snake, forming a circle by placing its tail in its mouth, depicts eternity -- the universe without beginning or end. The form of a snake in a circle is often used to epitomize Cosmic Consciousness, intimating the unity of man's mind with the Universal Intelligence. In this way it continues its legacy as an ancient symbol of wisdom.
The Chinese have a very high regard for the snake, secondary only to their reverence for the dragon. In fact, they believe that, just as caterpillars metamorphose into butterflies, snakes are the form dragons take before their evolution. In some of their folktales snakes are represented as small dragons and endowed with supposed supernatural powers. Nügua, the great Mother Goddess of Chinese mythology and the sister-wife of the August emperor-god Fuxi, was a serpent figure capable of changing shapes at will who is said to have created the first humans out of yellow soil and mud, the yellow soil forming aristocrats, the mud the lower orders. It was Nügua who defeated the Black Dragon, Gonggong, and repaired the sky after he had removed one of its support pillars. A Chinese legend, The Idyll of the White Snake, romanticizes this reptile as a celestial white-snake maiden who falls in love with a mortal, revealing the passionate and human side to the Snake's character. Chinese folklore warns that it is extremely unlucky to hurt a snake that has taken up living under the floor of one's home. In Penang's Cher Soo Keng Temple, venerated snakes are given worshipful sanctuary in potted bushes on the altar and tended to by priests. Snakes are offered for sale as a winter delicacy in many Chinese cities and also in the form of a special snake wine. If a person buys and liberates a captured snake, it is believed that the person will be rewarded for the good deed. Poisonous snakes are sold to druggists as ingredients in the manufacture of medicines; for example, mashed snake head is sometimes applied to snakebite wounds as a poultice on the principle of "the hair of the dog." And don't forget, it is a commonplace expression in Japan for those smitten by the rare beauty of a lady to refer to her as a "real snake!"
The Snake is one of the symbolical animals corresponding to or having affinity with the sixth of the Twelve Terrestrial Branches, called the Si Branch, and is the emblem of sycophancy, ambition and cunning. It is known as the Strategist of the cycle and its key phrase is: "I plan". The Snake represents the month of May, the Spring season, and the south-southeastern direction. Taurus is Snake's Western counterpart. The hours between 9 A.M. and 11 A.M. are ruled by the Snake, and people born during these two hours are said to have a Snake ascendant. They will have many of the same characteristics as this sign, be able to establish close ties with the natives of this group and share a lot in common with them.
In the traditional Chinese mind, which is echoed in the annually-reprinted ancient almanac, the Snake symbolizes wisdom and objectifies beauty and serenity. Indeed, the happiest news a matchmaker could bring the parents of a prospective bridegroom is that the lady of their choice was born in the Year of the Snake, especially if their son is a Rabbit, a Dragon (by far the best match for a Snake), a Horse or a Rooster. The parents would, however, think twice if their son is a Rat, another Snake, a Monkey, a Goat, an Ox or a Dog. People of these signs are not supposed to understand Snakes and the Snake lady, who loves to be admired, might fall prey to her greatest weakness, the urge to find a lover. If this were the case, the parents would look up the month, date and hour of birth of the two children and consult the almanac and the children's horoscopes again for redeeming features in their characters. But if the prospective groom is a Tiger or a Pig, the negotiations would be called off. The Tiger is too temperamental and willful for the Snake; the Pig is too innocent to survive a Snake wife.
In China, the Snake (and to an even greater extent, the Dragon) is seen as a karmic sign and those born in its year are said to wear the "horns of destiny;" this means that for them this lifetime represents an accelerated opportunity for learning. Double-headed serpent in turquoise mosaic, Mixtec workmanship, Mexico, 13th-14th c. Life experiences are very intense as every interaction is a perpetuation of cumbrous past life karma, almost as if they were compressing multiple lifetimes into one reincarnation. The Snake is fated to pay her dues in this lifetime and both consciously and unconsciously seeks to settle scores in everything she does.
The main virtues in the Snake character are intelligence, a philosophical soulfulness, and true loveliness. The first thought that comes to mind about a Snake person someone is meeting for the first time is "I most likely can trust him" or "She must be very beautiful." If you are fortunate the Snake-born may allow you to get close enough to discover what a sensitive, caring, compassionate and humorous person she truly is. A Snake can be counted on to carry through a project to the end. Her decisions are quick and firm, but they are formed by first impressions, on sympathies and feeling logically assembled in her mind -- by instinct rather than by sheer facts. She will fight and plod for anything she believes in and allow nothing to stand in her way, achieving her goals through hard work, careful plans and calculations. (Tigers have the same tenacity, too.) She likes to win and won't surrender power once she attains it; her mind is constantly churning, always anticipating unforeseen contingencies. She is not afraid to take risks, an observant fast learner who has the mental capacity to turn the outcome in her favor. Many Snakes are extraordinarily talented in playing a musical instrument, and love and appreciate music throughout their lives. They have a passion for art as well, and if not actual artists themselves they will collect and invest or otherwise involve themselves in the world of art, antiques and fine books.
Immense pride and a tendency to insist upon having her own way are perhaps the most negative of the Snake qualities. She can be sullenly pensive, secretive and aloof. Although she always has been able to lay her hand on money when she needs it, she can be somewhat stingy when it comes to lending cash to others -- even miserly, particularly in old age. Her sympathy for others often leads her to offer help but it will be in kind rather than in money. When she does do someone a favor there are strings attached and she becomes possessive towards them in an odd way, so think twice before you accept an offer of help from a Snake or you may regret it. While she is not given to wasting her time in idle gossip and always likes to get straight to her point, she is quite capable of lying and will do so whenever she feels she can get away with it. Uncompromising and jealous in her relationships, self-contained and intensely competitive, her keen perceptions make the Snake a formidable enemy. She is a mistress of the human psyche and her ruthlessness when challenged is notorious. Time is of no consequence as for her, revenge is truly a dish best served cold; she can wait years for the opportune moment to strike and is capable of harboring grudges for life. Rarely openly aggressive, she is much more likely to be icily hostile while secretly plotting her next move. Be forewarned that the more lethal Snakes will like to crush their enemies totally. Their incredible patience, vindictiveness, focus and swiftness ensure success when destroying a target, so take care that the target is not you!
Hypnotic and charismatic, the self-assured Snake male is a pillar of strength with incredible presence of mind and a profound sense of responsibility. His tastes are classical and refined, he dresses well (almost fastidiously) and is dashing with an air of being slightly dangerous, all the while exhibiting wit and impeccable manners. As if his rakish nature and handsome good looks weren't enough to ensure success in the pursuit of romance, his sense of humor is unexcelled which is why so many women fall head-over-heels in love with him and are overcome by his advances. Influential and aware of it, he is disarmingly seductive and all-consuming in his ardor but once he's made the initial conquest he does not work very hard on maintaining the relationship. Since he is naturally flirtatious, those enamored with the Snake had better keep a weather eye on him. Financially successful and with a great sense for business, he is a private person and a poor loser who will suffer no aspersions to his reputation so don't cross him. His delicate ego does not handle rejection or defeat well at all. The mesmerizing, sultry Snake female is the archetypal femme fatale, unconcerned with women's rights since she feels herself superior to men in every way. Although it is not unusual for many to fall in love with her at first sight, she herself is extremely choosy when it comes to selecting a partner -- only the very best will do for discriminating Lady Snake. Her mystique and cool ambivalence keep legions of suitors on their toes and guessing, although you can bet she most likely will gravitate to the richest and most influential person she can find. She is popular among her female friends as well for her discretion and good advice, Couple with their hands connected with gorgeous royal python © 2007 by Anna Łotowska 2011 iStockphoto and is perceptive, compassionate and sympathetic. She never forgets if someone does her a favor and will be certain to show her gratitude at the right time. However, that works both ways as she never overlooks a slight; you can be sure she will find the perfect moment to retaliate with a vengeance. Whether female or male, Snakes can be quite attractive and like to project the best image of themselves that they can. Renowned for their flawless complexions and deeply passionate lovemaking, they are reputed to have roving eyes (in particular the males) but this may be a false impression due more to their sensual approach to life than to actual extracurricular liaisons.
Snake people tend to internalize their anxieties and when under stress their digestive systems bear the brunt of the tension. Because of this they can be prone to duodenal ulcers, nervous exhaustion or, in extreme cases, nervous breakdown. Their introspective nature and skeptical minds may cause them to experience bouts of depression, alienation or loneliness so it is imperative that they reach out, communicate with others and ask for help. All too frequently it is only a fear of failure, rejection or ridicule that prevents them from gaining the comfort and cooperation they need.
Since circadian rhythms are permanently affected by the season in which one is born, according to Chinese custom the Snake born at midday in the heat of a tropical summer will be happier than one born in the middle of winter, just as with real snakes which hibernate in the cold months and come out when it is warm. The hotter it was on the day of the Snake's birth, the happier she will be in life. So sensitive are Snakes to inclement weather that the almanac warns those born during a storm that they will lead tempestuous lives full of risks, hardships and dangers for all of their days.
The first two phases of the Snake's life will be relatively calm. The third phase, however, will cause her the most conflict. It is then that her libidinous, sentimental nature and suppressed taste for adventure can get the upper hand, even as the possibility of a serene and harmonious old age beckons.
In money matters, the Snake always has the best of luck. Money comes her way without much effort. Since years are supposed to take on the qualities of their signs as much as people do, then it means that February 10, 2013 to January 30, 2014 will be a financially auspicious period for the world.
The Year of the Snake is a year for taking stock, for introspection and the cleansing of familiar but redundant patterns of disassociation from all living things in preparation for the wholeness, balance and opportunities to come. Since snakes are the symbols of healing and rebirth with a strong connection to the powers of the earth, the time is ideal to release emotional wounds and seek the answers within by developing a personal relationship with the earth during 2013 and into the future. One would do well to remember that still waters run deep and that although the surface may appear calm, there may be dangerous undercurrents below. In general, it is a time in which trickery, fraud, underhanded deeds and political chicanery, both on a national and international level, may be expected. It is a year for the confidence trickster and the con man so caution should be the byword. If love and adultery are desired, now is the time to act. For some it will be a year of sudden changes, of reversals and even disaster. Financial risks of any kind are ill-advised as the calamities of the previous Dragon year can continue into this year as well. The Arts, music, fashion, industry and business are all well-aspected now.

The almanac lists the occupations for the Snake: headmaster, university professor, writer, savant, philosopher, jurist, psychiatrist, financier, restaurant owner and diplomat. Evasive and elusive with a lust for power, they are perfect politicians who can negotiate anything when they put their minds to it. Such skillful judges of character can identify potential, making them exceptional talent scouts, agents, and publicity managers. Because Snake people are said also to possess a sixth sense coupled with their inborn ability to concentrate, they make good clairvoyants, fortune-tellers and palmists.
The most beautiful women and powerful men tend to be born under this sign. Some important people born in the Year of the Snake are Mao Tse-Tung, Copernicus, Louis Braille, Charles Darwin, St. Vincent de Paul, Pablo Picasso; Henri Matisse, Franz Schubert, Johannes Brahms; Marianne Faithful, Howard Stern, Greta Garbo, Audrey Hepburn, Howard Hughes, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Princess Grace of Monaco, Anna Pavlova, Frank Lloyd Wright, J. Paul Getty, Jean-Paul Satre, Casanova, Queen Astrid, Oprah Winfrey, Gamal Abdel Nasser, Gong Li, Martin Luther King, both Mohandas K. and Indira Gandhi, Andrew Wyeth, Edgar Allan Poe and U.S. Presidents Abraham Lincoln, Benjamin Harrison, William H. Taft, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and John F. Kennedy.
The Snake feels real affinity for a person born in the Year of the Rooster. Together they are like two sides of the same coin, making an awesome team of intuition and practicality wherein the Snake appreciates the Rooster's decisiveness and industry, and the helpful Rooster knows how to execute the Snake's plans with efficiency and precision. They share much in common as both are sharp, introspective and focused, and are able to handle each other without too much difficulty. The Ox is another excellent mate for the Snake as he has a deep understanding of her nature and shares her realistic outlook on life and love of privacy; together they will make a durable, devoted and very fortuitous union. The straightforward Dragon makes a forceful and invaluable partner too, a confident Doer mate to the Snake's cautious Thinker. Snake people make perfect friends, companions and business partners with fellow Snakes as well as with Rabbit, Rat and Dog people. Sheep need a bit of time to appreciate Snakes as friends since their individual approaches are as different as day and night, even though they do get along eventually. Maternity Scene with Snakes, 1100-1400, Earthenware The mundane Boar and the sophisticated Snake have opposite temperaments and will not find much in common; there is a well-known saying in China that it is impossible for a Pig to please the Snake. The Horse is too impulsive, loud and demanding to make more than a mediocre match with the Snake, while the Monkey can be far too clever with his shenanigans and may prove too debilitating a challenge. Unless these two share a common ascendant, Tiger people and Snakes -- mind you, this is all superstition -- are simply an impossible combination. They are competitive and unsympathetic when their interests are opposed, with the Tiger becoming openly aggressive and violent while the Snake will fight to the death and is in danger of being destroyed in the confrontation. It would be advisable instead for them to deal through intermediaries or mutual friends, otherwise friction between the two could explode into unproductive and draining personality clashes.
The almanac also states how people born under other signs will fare in the year of the Snake. The Rat and the Dog will be fine in general, but the Rat should take care when conducting business in the first half of the year. The Rabbit must stay alert in money matters. The Ox and the Tiger will feel restless and are advised, respectively, to check their tempers and to travel, above all, to avoid inactivity. The Dragon will prosper. Snakes, of course, during their own year, can attempt anything and gain everything. There will be adventures in love for them too. Romances for the Horse in the Year of the Snake should not be taken too seriously. Many exciting things are in store for the Ram and the Monkey. The Rooster will be kept busy, both at work and in the home. The Pig can look forward to a good year for business but a bad one for romance. It is common knowledge among the Chinese that a Snake Year is bad for marriages.
The almanac warns that anyone who gets infected with smallpox or boils during the Year of the Snake will -- as if those afflictions are not bad enough -- have his bad luck doubled.
The following are forecasts for the individual signs in the Year of the Snake:

The Rat
The shining of lucky stars ensures that the Snake year ahead brings much better fortune for the Rat than last year. There will be opportunities to achieve ambitions and to strive for success. Creativity is at an all-time high at work due to the presence of the lucky star "Jade Hall" which makes work and studies easier to do and heightens the possibility of even greater advancement and achievements. If he puts some effort into it he will have an important breakthrough; it's a good year for thinkers like himself. The Rat will be quite successful in different kinds of examinations and interviews. His diligence and intelligence will impress his superiors, and the chances are good for a promotion. However, it would be wise for him to keep a low profile in order to eliminate unnecessary trouble from jealous people around him. The co-existence of the unlucky star "Six Harms" foretells that there will be a number of backstabbers and con artists who are spying on him from the sidelines. They will seize on any opportunity to create problems so the Rat must keep his ego in check to prevent them from taking advantage of his weaknesses. Another bad omen, "Sudden Collapse", appears this year which foretells that he will need to patiently build a good foundation for his business, be cautious of its economic growth, and alert to abrupt reversals such as a startling drop in sales and production or nullification of existing contracts. Fortunately, the appearance of the lucky star "Crepe Myrtle" will mitigate some of these negatives. People under the protection of this star easily win major promotions, and have the confidence and prestige to triumph over all difficulties and competition they may face. Financially overall this should be a profitable year for the Rat with an abundance of business income and even the occasional unexpected windfall from investments or gambling. He will have the opportunity to cut down on his expenses and increase his revenue, particularly in the lunar months of January, March, July, October and December. Generally his health outlook is good but he must take care against accidents, particularly against being cut by sharp weapons in the lunar month of April. Lady Rat's health is acceptable but she needs to watch her diet. Young ladies of this sign will enjoy smooth romantic relationships with a variety of the opposite sex but they should not be so capricious in their affections and wander off every time they see someone new. The Rat will end the Snake's year with a positive outlook due to his immense faith in himself. His beneficial colors this year are black, blue and green. He can use these to decorate the rooms of his home or office, or in his attire to greatly enhance his fortune in 2013. Colors to avoid are red and yellow. His lucky numbers are 3 and 6.

The Ox
The appearance of many unlucky stars in her life cycle without any moderating lucky stars foretells a difficult year for the Ox born. She will have to be very diligent to prevent becoming overwhelmed by unexpected threatening problems. The unlucky star "Fierce Hercules" brings complications and many changes to her career, with internal and external disturbances manifesting simultaneously. Any carelessness on her part or involvement in irregular activities will lead to disaster. It may become necessary to make sacrifices and if so, it should be done immediately without hesitation or it will be difficult for the Ox to extricate herself from an impossible situation later on. The best times to advance her position at work will be the lunar months of April, August and November when she should make extra efforts to pursue success. The Ox will find it easy to make money as her investments and hard work finally pay off. Although she will have a steady income, she should not risk her money in gambling; this is a time to be conservative in her business affairs. Her main concern is not how to earn money, but how to save money. The unlucky star "White Tiger" calls for vigilance against sudden attacks such as burglary or theft in the lunar months of January and October, or monetary frauds by con artists in the lunar months of June, September and December. Personal life is alive with romance and new friendships particularly in the first part of the year. On the darker side, though, the Ox should watch out for trouble in the home -- and with the family! Oxen may have misunderstandings with some associates or find out that someone has betrayed their confidence. She needs to take care not to let bad temper get the better of her or to become violent. She should resolve her problems by being open to discussions otherwise she will invite complications. Unpredictable mood swings may cause those she loves to steer clear of her. She will have not too much to worry about regarding her health this year but she must mind the well-being and safety of her children. Consider household security and remember that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! The Ox should put some effort into building a better understanding with her lover this year before it's too late. Young ladies of this sign are predisposed to gratify their narcissistic impulses to their own detriment and as a result may find themselves forsaken and alone during his time. Hopefully the Ox will use the wisdom of the Snake this year to seek counsel when things are not working out as she wishes. Beneficial colors for the Ox this year are red, orange and grey. She can use these to decorate the rooms of her house or office, or in her attire to greatly enhance her fortune in 2013. Colors to avoid are green and white. Her lucky numbers are 1 and 9.

The Tiger
This will be a very fortunate and smooth year for the Tiger with no large gains or losses in store. The lucky stars "Heavenly Virtue," "Star of Blessing" and "Blessing Virtue" bestow their bounty upon him and minimize the negative influences of the unlucky stars "Tongues Wag," "Funeral Robe" and "Robbery Threat." The Tiger's life should be tranquil if he takes care not to get caught up in the affairs of others. He will receive significant help from other people whenever it is needed, but is cautioned to not rely too much on others as he will see much better achievements if he can take a more aggressive role at work. Progress will be steady with only minor health problems and he will not find too many obstacles careerwise. His strong leadership will be a very important key to his future success. This is a time for leaving on voyages of discovery, for finding forgotten tribes and buried cities. Above all, it is important to avoid inactivity. This year the Tiger is incompatible with the Tai Sui, and as a consequence will not do well simply because he cannot connect well with the other eleven Zodiac natives. He can't help bickering with everyone and will face difficulty at work. His public image could become tarnished and this will be a major disadvantage for those who are in government, entertainment, business and sales. He should try to keep his mouth shut and not talk too much about his business secrets. Petty remarks and malicious gossip will grate on his nerves so he needs to give the scandalmongers a wide berth. He will be quite fortunate in money affairs and realize an income from different sources. Although he is in very good shape physically he will have to watch his personal and home safety, and in particular beware of burglary or theft in the lunar month of April. Lady Tigers need to take good care of the elderly in their household especially during the lunar month of June. Unattached young ladies will enjoy good progress in their relationships and are sympatico with their paramours but should beware of backstabbers and the damage they can do to their reputations. Tigers will be quite active in social gatherings and become hugely popular among new acquaintances. Most of the disappointments this year will come from persons of the opposite sex. Romantic entanglements tend to get complicated. The Tiger needs to step back and look at the whole picture to get a clear, objective view before making any decisions. This is not a year to be too intense or possessive. Beneficial colors for the Tiger this year are red, purple and white. He can use these to decorate the rooms of his home or office, or in his attire to greatly enhance his fortune in 2013. Colors to avoid are black and blue. His lucky numbers are 2 and 5.

The Rabbit
This will be a pretty rough, unproductive year for the Rabbit. Her fortune will be at its nadir with many unlucky stars, and no lucky stars to neutralize the challenging circumstances. One thinks, one philosophizes, one writes perhaps -- and hopefully domestic dramas and traumas stay away from the door. However, the Rabbit may have to change direction and rethink her plans to suit others. She should try to keep alert to oncoming dangers or she might be swallowed up by her opponents. There is a danger of being conned of her wealth which would cause her devastating losses, particularly during the lunar months of February, April, May, August, November and December. Extra caution is advised during those times. The unlucky star "Dog of Heaven" foretells many difficulties at work with the likelihood of crossing people who will go out of their way to make problems for no reason whatsoever and then incriminate the hapless Rabbit. She must keep a cool head, check her emotions and not allow herself to get drawn into further quarrels with these people or the situation will rapidly become out of control. The presence of the unlucky star "Gaol House" means that under no circumstances should the Rabbit become involved in any illegal activities this year or she will surely end up in jail. Remember the adage, "it is better to be a hungry bird in the forest than a well-fed bird in a cage." Difficulties can arise from several areas, forcing her to consolidate her position or even to change her residence or job. Unexpected expenses crop up and the Rabbit finds less time to spend with loved ones. She should try to refrain from borrowing, and must get enough rest and sleep to avoid a sudden physical collapse. If health problems arise involving the liver or heart she must seek medical aid without hesitation. The Rabbit should try to calm down in romance, and concentrate only upon her career and money affairs. The lunar months of March, June and October offer a rare advantage to maneuver toward career goals. Harmony is of paramount importance this year to Lady Rabbit due to the large number of arguments at home and feuds with friends and relatives. There is a possibility of death among her kin due to the presence of the unlucky star "Funeral Guest" so she should take extra care of older family members or anyone close who might be vulnerable. Young unattached ladies must not be domineering, egotistical or harshly critical of their friends and loved ones or they will have major altercations and wind up alone. Thankfully, winter will bring a peaceful respite to the Rabbit's troubles as she recoups her losses and sorts things out to her liking. Her struggles will pay off handsomely at year's end. Beneficial colors for the Rabbit this year are yellow, green and blue. She can use these to decorate the rooms of her home or office, or in her attire to greatly enhance her fortune in the year 2013. Colors to avoid are red and orange. Her lucky numbers are 6 and 8.

The Dragon
On the whole, everything is for the best, although it's an average year for business endeavors. Despite having very few lucky stars in his heavens, under the serene eye of the Snake, the Dragon can continue to glitter and shine with all his might, and he will enjoy a happy and easy life especially during the lunar months of January, July, August and November. Personal and business relations will be much improved this year, and this will contribute to his success. He should continue to be more outgoing, open and friendly to order to enjoy the support of those around him. His plans go smoothly although he meets minor opposition or behind the scenes resistance that make it difficult to achieve a breakthrough. Since the Snake's year can be extremely secretive and unpredictable, he should not take anything for granted or relax his guard in this karmic time. He needs to separate the wheat from the chaff vis-a-vis the positive and negative characters around him, and identify the spies and enemies early to avoid wasting time, being set up or cheated by them. He must keep his eyes open in order to avoid money traps or he will be seriously hurt when his financial luck is at its lowest during the lunar months of February, March, April, May, September and October. He should not hesitate to ask for professional advice from experts about money matters whenever needed during this year. Fortunately his employment income is still stable so finances can be managed if he can control his expenses, stay content with what he has and not get involved in any speculative ventures. He should not expect too much from gambling or investments because his luck won't be good at all in this area. He will have to watch his safety when going fishing or swimming in the lunar month of August. In fact, his health condition is the most problematic aspect of this year due to the presence of the unlucky star "Illness Spell." Overindulgence in sensual pursuits can cause real damage in the lunar month of July, and he should take more care in the maintenance of his stomach and liver in the lunar months of February, April, May, June, September and October. Lady Dragons can look forward to a happy time of joyous news and blessed events in their household, but need to take better care of their own and their family members' health particularly in the lunar month of December. Unattached young ladies will enjoy harmonious relations and blossoming love with members of the opposite sex. A long-lasting union is on the horizon! Due to the existence of the lucky star "Heavenly Happiness" this will be a naturally romantic year for the Dragon, yet he should try to avoid overindulgence. He may encounter some personal or romantic problems because he neglects his home and love life. Beneficial colors for the Dragon this year are red, orange and grey. He can use these to decorate the rooms of his home or office, or in his attire to greatly enhance his fortune in 2013. Colors to avoid are white and green. His lucky numbers are 1 and 7.

The Snake
It's the Snake's year, of course! -- although she may feel that her achievements are not up to her expectations. While fortune for business income is still stable, speculative ventures are ambiguous so she would be wise to postpone any sudden changes, remain calm and keep a low profile at work so as not to attract unwelcome attention from the scandalmongers. This would be a good time to concentrate on new developments in business and to conservatively manage her investments. Gains are modest from different sources so the Snake should be more concerned with securing her position or maintaining control of what she already has. The lunar months of March, June and August are periods when the Snake will find smoother sailing in her career. The presence of the lucky star "Heavenly Salvation" suggests that if she works diligently without an expectation of anything in return and is hyperalert, there is a strong possibility that affairs will turn around and work out for the better later on. Snakes will get satisfactory rewards at year's end if they can keep on going without too Emerald tree boa coiled in tree © 2008 by John Pitcher  iStockphoto many interruptions. Distraction and lack of discipline will be the two major setbacks this year. As the Snake in her exaltation offends the Tai Sui, the ruling energy of the year, this is a dangerous time when she should be prepared to face some changes or movements. Irresponsible actions are ill-advised. Patience and a cool head are essential if she is to keep herself out of trouble. However, her basic intensity is magnified and she finds it difficult to be casual about anything. Matters could become complicated because of her inflexibility and obstructions arise due to a misunderstanding on the business front. Most important of all, the Snake should try to protect herself from being attacked from behind by resentful gossips and the hidden enemies around her. There may be some exciting adventures in love, romantic problems or a slight injury caused by her own erratic behavior. Lady Snake will feel cold and distant toward her spouse; she needs to open up and communicate more to improve her relationships, and exercise control over her expenditures. Unattached young ladies will have no self-confidence and experience only mediocre luck in their associations with others. Although the Snake will have few concerns regarding her health she should control her temper and take extreme care this year when it comes to road safety and outdoor activities during the lunar months of July and September due to the presence of the unlucky star "Bloody Knife." Another unfortunate omen is the star "Floating Up and Down" which signifies a possibility of a misadventure or minor bodily injury involving water in the lunar month of May. Beneficial colors for the Snake this year are white, grey and blue. She can use these to decorate the rooms of her home or office, or in her attire to greatly enhance her fortune in the year 2013. Colors to avoid are red and green. Her lucky numbers are 4 and 9.

The Horse
This busy, involved year may bring taxing demands on the Horse's time and health, and he will have to struggle very hard if he wants to see any breakthroughs in his financial situation and studies. Difficulties arise with partners or friends and delays are caused by unforeseen obstacles. His family will be supportive, but he will not be able to achieve very much in spite of his efforts. He needs to keep his perspective, cut back on his expenses, try to save more money and to conserve his energy as well. Above all, the Horse should not be stubborn or hasty in the Snake's year. He must take things in stride and seek good advice before making important decisions. The Horse will have enough stamina and authority to suppress almost all of these problems as long as he perseveres and refuses to give up. Putting more time and effort in his career and studies will not be sufficient for the Horse; he should also try to cut out his bad habits at the same time. Although he will be in pretty good shape physically and mentally, he must not give full rein to sexual urges and excessive alcohol consumption due to the negative influence of the unlucky star "Pool of Indulgence;" this also is a warning to exercise special care around water hazards in particular during the lunar month of April. Everything could be abandoned for the sake of love. It would be a great mistake in this case, however, for the romances of the year of the Snake are notoriously short-lived and often problematic. The lunar months of January, March, May, September and December are the best times to attend to his relationships. Even though affairs between couples are harmonious, Lady Horse may find herself suffering from headaches and sleeplessness; she needs to take better care of her health, get more rest, and pay close attention to her household expenditures. Young unmarried ladies are feeling frisky and highly flirtatious but should take care not to overindulge in sensual pleasures as they are playing with fire. Horses will be busily engaged in different kinds of social activities, but they must mind their speech and behavior assiduously during these occasions. There are hidden dangers lurking this year and the Horse must tread carefully. Beneficial colors for the Horse this year are white and green. He can use these to decorate the rooms of his home or office, or in his attire to greatly enhance his fortune in 2013. Colors to avoid are purple and yellow. His lucky numbers are 2 and 7.

The Ram
There will be fun this year for the Ram, with plenty of interesting and amusing things to do . . . and plenty of scandal to gossip about! He will be able to regain power, position and popularity. The Snake's rule could bring new and influential people to help him and he will travel or receive some additional income. However, bad tidings may delay his progress temporarily, although he will achieve his goals if he can remain patient and persistent. This is not a good time to start any important new projects, or he will end up with nothing after long struggling. It is probably best to keep a low profile and never try to challenge one's superiors, or he will become a sure loser eventually. The Ram's money affairs will fluctuate from time to time throughout the year so he should keep alert to being financially astute and try to keep away from money traps. This would be an opportune time to cut back on expenses. He will be quite weak physically this year so must take good care of himself. Due to the presence of the unlucky star "Funeral Door" he should ensure that his elderly family members receive the medical attention they need when appropriate. Family life could suffer from the Ram's many commitments. Lady Sheep will find it easy to become combative with her spouse so should do everything that she can to avoid quarrels or estrangement will follow. Not only is her constitution fragile this year, but she will need to keep a close eye on home safety and the health of elder family members as well, particularly during the lunar months of September and December. Unattached young ladies may feel despondent this year since there are no lovers or close friends in the picture, but there is nothing they can do to change their fate. Romantically, there could be complications due to the Ram's jealous nature. He would be advised to show his care and affection early in the year if he wishes to keep his lover. Beneficial colors for the Ram this year are yellow and green. He can use these to decorate the rooms of his home or office, or in his attire to greatly enhance his fortune in 2013. Colors to avoid are purple and red. His lucky numbers are 3 and 5.

The Monkey
Although this will not be a very successful year for the Monkey, he will enjoy a pretty happy and smooth life with his friends, relatives and colleagues. As the Monkey prosecutes Tai Sui this year, there are bound to be obstacles but luckily there will be benefactors around to give him a hand. In view of the challenging nature of some of the year, if the Monkey finds his friends can advise or help him in any way he should not hesitate to ask. The Monkey also is at a careless angle to the Tai Sui which will result in his life going haywire and behaving in a disorderly manner during this time. Although it is the lightest affliction, it can by no means be ignored or else it will intensify the negative aspects all out of proportion. Then the slightest mistake can bring financial losses. This could translate into a minor carelessness triggering speeding tickets, fines for drunk driving, investigations by the authorities for wrongdoings, etc. Therefore, the Monkey must exercise tactfulness, act with caution at all times, and above all stay positive. The Year of the Snake could prove fortunate for him if only he can avoid confrontation. This is not a time to prove his prowess or engage in any kind of brinksmanship. It would be best for him to practice meditation and explore a spiritual path. He will receive support from his family, superiors and also find romance provided he stays safely within his own boundaries. The Monkey will have numerous difficulties at the beginning of the year, but he should never give up. The difficulties will be solved more easily and effectively with compromise rather than confrontation, and it would be much better if these personal disputes were settled as quickly as possible. He will have to watch out for his personal safety when he travels, particularly during the lunar months of January, April and May, and exercise caution around water during the lunar months of June and July. It is quite possible for the Monkey to enjoy a sweet relationship with his lover this year, but he should make an effort to keep his promises and never cheat on them. Monkeys will have luck in the lottery and gambling but they should try not to be too greedy. Lady Monkey will find malicious talk and scuttlebutt within the family to be a source of great consternation; she will need to quash that immediately or else risk strife and even a family breakup. Unattached young ladies are narcissistic and vain this year; they should be more communicative and exercise a greater sensitivity for the feelings of others. The Snake reign does not favor too much adventure or speculation for the Monkey, and his happiness could be spoiled by disputes if he sticks his nose where it does not belong. But the practical and capable Monkey is quite likely to come to the obvious conclusion that if he cannot beat the opposition, he should join 'em. That may well be the best policy for him in the Year of the Snake. Beneficial colors for the Monkey this year are yellow, orange and red. He can use these to decorate the rooms of his home or office, or in his attire to greatly enhance his fortune in 2013. Colors to avoid are white and grey. His lucky numbers are 4 and 6.

The Rooster
The Snake ushers in a mostly fortunate and successful year for the Rooster. He will retain his favored position provided he has the support of influential friends. While he may experience no large monetary gains, he will be able to curtail his losses to an admirable degree. He will see satisfactory returns from financial transactions but should try to keep this a secret. The Rooster's success will depend on his absolute power to keep everything under control. He will be a big loser if he fails to demonstrate strong leadership to the people around him. Lucky star "The Three Pillars" should ensure smooth sailing at work and plenty of opportunities for advancement, particularly during the lunar months of March, June, July, October and December. However, the Rooster should try to keep away from false friends and hypocrites or his career will be damaged seriously. He must be on his guard against unfair competition and vicious rumors in the secretive year of the Snake. Nor is he advised to take long or unnecessary journeys. Should legal cases arise this year, the Rooster needs to settle them as soon as possible. He will be quite healthy this year, but must avoid over-eating and over-drinking. Perhaps there will be a family problem to solve at home as well. In his home life or affairs of the heart, he must resist making promises that are difficult to keep, especially since his friends and loved ones will pressure him to do more than he is capable of. Lady Hen will enjoy harmonious bliss with her spouse, but friends and relations gossip and spread malicious rumors about her and her family which she must adroitly sidestep; if she antagonizes them the situation can quickly get out of hand. Investments are favored due to the lucky influence of "The Star of Commander," particularly during the lunar months of March, June, October and December. Unattached young ladies shall find themselves quite popular with the opposite sex, and experience an exciting time of sweet romance and the social whirl. A new love affair will appear in the Rooster's life, but it will not be easy for him to hold on to this relationship. Beneficial colors for the Rooster this year are yellow, brown and red. He can use these to decorate the rooms of his home or office, or in his attire to greatly enhance his fortune in 2013. Colors to avoid are black and grey. His lucky numbers are 7 and 8.

The Dog
The wise and powerful Snake brings a fortunate, productive and romantic year with good marriage possibilities -- the year of the thinker, the philosopher and the discoverer -- and the Dog, naturally and happily, is among those doing the thinking, philosophizing and discovering. Although he will have to work hard and put more time and effort into his business, he will receive due recognition and compensation for his efforts. His positive and aggressive attitude will bring splendid achievements, and he will be able to win the whole-hearted support of subordinates and partners if he shows due care and consideration to them from time to time, as signified by the presence of the lucky star, "Commander's Saddle." Over-expansion and over-expenditure will be the two main threats to his success in business this year, and he should not let his greediness blind him or lead him to total destruction. The Dog will be lucky in love and in his business investments, and will secure the support of the right people. He should take things easy and enjoy his personal life more. Lady Dog will delight in good rapport with her spouse and the possibilities are excellent during this time for the addition of a new member to the clan. However she needs to be extra cautious in managing her finances as it is so easy now to lose family income. Unattached young ladies will feel the beneficial effects of the lucky star "Pink Phoenix" blessing their love life with progress and the likelihood that a close friendship will develop into a long-term relationship. The Dog also will benefit immensely from good advice or tips given him if he follows through with them decisively. Like the Snake, he must "wait long and strike fast" in order to take advantage of these rare windows of opportunity which appear during the lunar months of February, May, September and November. He should deal calmly with setbacks and refuse to be drawn into controversy or lose sight of his goals. His health will quite unstable this year and there may be frequent ailments so he should watch his diet and personal hygiene closely in order to avoid infection or serious injury. In addition to this, the Dog should try not to get too close to water, particularly in the lunar months of January, March, June and July. Beneficial colors for the Dog this year are yellow, black and grey. He can use these to decorate the rooms of his home or office, or in his attire to greatly enhance his fortune in 2013. Colors to avoid are white and purple. His lucky numbers are 3 and 9.

The Boar
The Snake's year is a very challenging time for the Boar in all aspects of his life because his Zodiac sign is in direct confrontation with the Tai Sui and obstacles abound. This kind of afflicting energy is the fiercest of all. He will have to strive very hard to maintain his former status and may have to constantly fight off the competition. This is a good time to lie low, consolidate gains and join forces with others instead of acting independently; he shouldn't rely too much on his "instinct" as it's not too accurate in 2013. Since this will not be a very good year for him in either career or money matters, he must be quite conservative in handling these things or a large and sudden financial loss could be waiting for him due to the malevolent influence of unlucky star, "Huge Drain." Situations could become complicated and confusing if he is unable to discover his competitor's hidden motives until the last moment when he cannot do much to influence the outcome. He must try to change his old attitudes and systems at work if he wants to survive. All this is mitigated somewhat by the presence of the lucky star "Travelling Horses," which foretells occupation with travel, aggressive speculation and joint ventures. Therefore the Boar will see much better progress if he goes to work in foreign lands. This is a time for him to look closely at everything and shy away from any proposal that looks too good to be true. It's particularly important for Boars to keep away from anything illegal this year or they will be in deep trouble and end up in jail. This would be an excellent period for them to try and save for the rainy days ahead. For Lady Pig, unfortunately the Snake year ushers in a stack of romantic and financial problems. She will have to take extra efforts with her spouse to prevent alienation from developing between them, getting out of control and causing a parting of the ways. Unattached young ladies should be protective of their morals and conduct themselves modestly; they will have better luck if they allow fate to determine their actions and dispense with any expectations they have about their illusory love relationships. As a matter of fact, the Boar will be deeply disappointed if he is seeking new love this year. His family or those close to him will make such unreasonable demands on his time and energy that he feels cornered by his obligations. Setbacks could result mainly from overspending or extravagance as there are many additional unforeseen expenses during this time. His health will be weak, so it is necessary for the Boar to cut out his bad habits such as heavy smoking and drinking. Beneficial colors for the Boar this year are yellow, green and brown. He can use these to decorate the rooms of his home or office, or in his attire to greatly enhance his fortune in 2013. Colors to avoid are white and grey. His lucky numbers are 1 and 8.