Denby Sheather

"breathe deeply, tread lightly..."

2013 (4711) – Water Snake

The Snake is considered magical in Chinese astrology. It is the terrestrial Dragon, representing the world of spiritual wisdom and alchemy – The Yin to the Dragon’s Yang. They are natural renunciates, wise, reflective, and abundantly charming. It is in the years ruled by the Snake that we see the biggest transformations in our internal worlds. The opportunity for spiritual growth, understanding and self-reflection form the unique landscape of both Snake and Water years, therefore the potential of spiritual transformation and opening this year is unequalled. This is it! The Yin Water Snake year will only happen once in your lifetime… seize it! If you have a practice, delve deeply into it. If you don’t yet enjoy any spiritual techniques, maybe this year will present you with an appetite for one… follow that feeling!

One of the main benefits of Chinese Astrology is to reveal your path with the greater movement of society. It is important to understand where you are, and where you are most capable. We have just come from a Water Dragon year – we all had to ‘Do the Dragon’. Some of us feared better than others. The spontaneity, creativity and raw power that was available may have blown some speakers and brought many tears to your eyes… or you may have soared high and spent the year in full flight. For most of us, however, it was a bit of both. What the year offered was a chance to reinvent, to reinvigorate and to reintroduce your self to the world. That process is no small task, and this is why the unique internal view of the Snake will come in handy. If change took place then you will need some time to regroup and reflect. If change didn’t take place… what planet were you on?

Are you ready to honestly self-reflect?

This year will also be quite intense. Stay calm, find a cave and relax. Remember the Snake views the world as no other does, they see the cycles of life and death in every moment – Arising and passing away… Arising and passing away…. With every door that closes this year, keep sliding along until another opens. The Water Snake is known as the Hidden Snake, or Black Snake. They are often tumultuous years, often due to the havoc that the restless Dragon creates. As such Snakes get a bad rap. Nevertheless in recent Snake years we have seen 2001’s September 11 attack, Tienanmen Square in 1983, and Pearl Harbour. No doubt it is not a good year to be the ‘biggest and the best’. Snakes have a magical way of bringing out the reality in the situation, or at least offering you another view of the world. Through their eloquent speech and cunning misdirection you may not even know they exist, yet they exert a massive effect on their environment. They are undoubtedly very smooth characters indeed (no pun intended), and with a vast arsenal of ‘smoke and mirrors’ it can be quite confusing. Yet what is being revealed is the inherent truth of the situation. The confusion is not outside, but in your own mind and in your own heart. Try and remember this when the next disturbing moment arises… ask yourself is it them or is it me? Be honest. Take a breath, pause and self-reflect – What is the common factor in this reoccurring situation? Could it be you????

This year we may very well see some big shots come crashing down, when all their trash talking comes back to bite them on the ass. So what should we take from this? Try a bit of humility. Try a bit of thought. Try a bit of wisdom. And if you are already humble, thoughtful and wise… then teach the rest of us bumbling animals would ya!

It is the nature of Chinese astrology to not focus on the individual. You all have your own unique combination of animals & elements, but the one thing we all have in common this year is that the Snake has its’ way. We all have to ‘Do the Snake’. The Water Snake relies on others. They are great communicators and are gifted but can also be restless at times. You may notice a bit more of this in yourself. Utilise it. Engage in that new-found sense of communication, and in the new found possibility for inner growth. The Snake can also be charmed. Learn their rules. Don’t be aggressive, keep active and interested, play their game! Remain still and wait for the right moment to act – in that stillness the moment will reveal itself, and your movement will be precise, true, and successful.

So how will you cope with this potential?

Snakes, this is your year. Your natural inclination towards self-refection and seclusion is very auspicious. Your own nature will lead you towards withdrawal and spiritual revelation. This year will be just like every other year for you – another step in the magical dance of life and death and life and death – Nothing special yet amazingly revelatory. As always! If you are one of those rare Snakes that actually gets involved, you will be amazing this year. People will love you and you will inspire everyone that you connect with. If you are one of those secluded Snakes, you’re probably not reading this. I just hope you choose a Mantra that benefits all creatures.

The Dragons out there should enter into an agreement with themselves to spend more time on the ground this year. Just carry on. Things will work out as they always do. This is Juliet to your Romeo. Try to rewrite the ending by not being so melodramatic. It will still be as engaging and creative as last year, but with the added benefit of some personal growth and insight… Oh how could I say such a thing? I know, I know… we ALL know how great you are! Enough already. Eat some humble pie and get over yourselves. You are so 2012.

Rabbit’s have a unique intuition. But it is important that you are aware whether this intuition is focussed on everyone else, and what ‘they’ are thinking or doing, or on your own internal landscape. An external focus this year can lead you to feel very confused, and very stressed. You might start to run and get entangled in drama. But an internal focus, channelling the unique capacity of the Water Snake gives you such great opportunity this year to mature in your spiritual life. Most animals cannot navigate the Snake so well as you can. Let it unfold this year, naturally, internally and mystically.

You Monkeys probably had a good year in the Dragon. Your flexibility and your ability to change is amazing. This works again this year. You just might miss out on some of the subtle internal auspices this year whilst you’re making such a mess in the world, but you enjoy that don’t you!! Things this year will still seem to unfold for you. You will ‘sense’ things, listen to this spontaneous wisdom.

Roosters are on the up. If the Dragon was good to you, then this year will be great. If last year was hard, then maybe you just missed a few things here and there, but the potential this year is still for the profound. Your precision will offer you such great opportunity to act when the Snake year presents those few moments of ‘great action’. Harmonise with the seasons and your surroundings, and you will be amazing this year. You will even surprise yourself! Use your natural sense of timing to divine when and where to act. All the other boisterous moments you share with the world may seem a bit over the top to others, but I’m sure you’re used to that.

The rest of you… I’m sorry. Wear lots of padded clothing, stay close to your therapist, and don’t watch advertising. The Snake is not a natural partner. In general, even though the Water Snake IS involved in the world, all of you in relationships – be they romantic, business, family or just friends – should expect some rough sailing. Snakes just ain’t that good at the interpersonal thing. They keep too many secrets, and they hold you at arms length. Which just drives us crazy and we want even more! And the nasty cycle continues. Well, Snake. We know your game! We know you get off on this… so some pointers for the rest of the animals to survive…

Rats need to be patient this year. Your usual quickness might not serve you so well this year. You might find yourself a little confused, as the small scale of your view is almost diametric to the mystical view of the Water Snake. Don’t be obsessed with ‘doing’ this year. Things will happen, and they will be out of your control, but when is it ever any different?

Ox’s patience will be well suited to the Snake this year, but your version of standstill is not the same as the Snakes’ stillness. Try and access some self-awareness within your usual quiet, the availability of insight and vigilance is profound this year. You’re not so much at risk like other’s this year, but be careful not to become dull. You may find yourself lagging behind. To avoid this, join a team, partner up. Listen to the others around you (if you can).

Tigers will find this year very frustrating. If you’re not aware of this, you’re not paying attention. The Snake’s stillness is so very strange to you – at least in the ‘outside world’. Your public face is putting on a great show, and has been doing so for a couple of years. But it is to your private side you should turn this year. You are best suited to enter into a spiritual practice. Engage in the Yin aspect of this year; follow the nature of your dark stripe. Don’t fall into the trap of believing your bravado. It is OK to admit you’re not all powerful, and you can use this new honesty to reveal a depth to your true capacity.

Horses… just wait. Don’t jump too soon! I know it seems like you’re ready. And it is nearly time, but just press pause as best you can. All the effort you normally like to exert and all the things you like to do are just not what it is about this year. And if you don’t listen to these words, then when you break your legs you will have heaps of time to re-read this warning.

Goats have a lot of similarity to the Snake in the sense you can both be very patient and then lunge with such force. Allow this natural tendency to make changes in the first few months. All the uncertainty you have been feeling in the last few years can be put aside – do what your sensitive side feels to do. Once we have reached half way in the year, and the Dragon energy has fully waned, it is time for you to settle down. Use the last half of the year to build bridges with the people around you. Connect with the teams you want to be involved with over the next few years.

You Dogs! Your loyalty will be (yet again) tested this year. You’re like a puppy this year; you need some obedience training. Your playful nature and your sense of adventure might get you in trouble. You can join in with groups that you already trust and have proven them selves to you before, but the seductive Snake can confuse you. Your gullibility can bring you unstuck and you could wind up joining a cult or driving a get away car, just because someone tickled your belly. Trust those you already do, have fun in the community, but just don’t pick up hitchhikers.

And last but not least Pigs. Surprisingly it is not so terrible this year. Traditional books will tell you this is the worst year for you. But the Water Dragon really set you up for this one. You still need to be careful, but generous too – the fine balance that is a Pig in a Snake year! Others can get into trouble this year, but not quite so magnificently as you can! Your natural trusting natures are just so easily duped this year, but somehow you seem to laugh through it all. Hopefully you found the calamities and the changes last year humorous. You can find the joy in any situation. Nothing much changes this year. Eat well, love well and invite good old friends to your home to meet your ‘new best friend’… and listen to those friends if they tell you to not call them again!

So remember all: this year offers such a profound opportunity to discover a new depth to your world-view. Your spiritual practice will ‘open up’ and you will be offered the chance to experience true self-reflection. It might not be pretty, but it will be honest. Don’t worry – we’re all looking through that same cutting mirror this year. Hold each others hand, share the dreams you had at night over a cup of tea, enjoy the stillness and open yourselves up to the potential of precise action and unfolding wisdom.

If you would like to explore what the year of the Water Snake means to you on a more personal level. Consider a Transit or Natal Chinese Astrology reading call Thomas on 0415 387 332 or check out