01.01.2013 Feng Shui

2013 is Chinese Year of the Water Snake

Feng Shui consultant Juliana Abram with her forecast for 2013, the Chinese Year of the Water Snake,

The Chinese have a unique calendar system commonly known as the 'Farmers Calendar' or the 'Hsia Calendar'. It is an enthralling system that provides us with information about prevailing elemental influences at any given point in time. It makes use of the five elements - water, wood, fire, earth and metal - and their cycles, to determine the various aspects affecting the world in any given period.

In Chinese astrology, the snake, being the sixth animal to hear the call of Buddha, has many attributes that make up its character. Those born in the Year of the Snake have a somewhat sensual, mystical quality combined with a secretive nature and a rather long memory. They are generally charismatic and lovers of good food, wine and luxury. Possessed of considerable intellect and a wily nature they have an ability to attract money to them.

2013 is the Year of the Water Snake and it is influenced by two elements - water and fire. So, this coming year is represented by the image of Yin Water sitting atop Yin Fire. In accordance with the cycles of the five elements, water controls and can destroy the fire element. The dynamic elemental relationship between water and fire suggests that international relationships throughout the coming year will not be particularly peaceful. While it is highly likely that there will not be any serious warfare, you can count on uprisings, bombings and general unrest around the world. Pearl Harbour, 9/11 and Tiananmen Square all occurred in Years of the Snake.

However, the Yin Water that forms part of 2013 carries the characteristics of 'morning dew' - much more moderate and flexible than the Yang Water of 2012 yet far more deceptive. Therefore, the unrest of 2013 will be more covert. For example, 1953 was the era of the Cold War, a time when a full scale war did not evolve, but hostility between the USA and Russia was rampant. So, expect a period where outwardly all appears to be relatively calm but considerable tension and hostility will be close to the surface.

The Yin Water and Fire Snake are a frictional combination with the water constantly trying to control the fire. So, these two elements together can bring about particular natural disasters.

Consequently, these two elements together forebode a year of natural disasters such as tornados, hurricanes, floods and perhaps even further problems related to nuclear power stations. The Year of the Water Snake will also trigger more rail accidents, as well as incidents in the air and at sea.

The Chinese Calendar moves in cycles of 60 years. So, if we go back to 1953 we will find that there were many such incidences worldwide.

What is still the fifth worst disaster in New Zealand's recorded history occurred in 1953 when the Tangiwai rail crash occurred killing more than 150 people. Approximately 100 people died in separate crashes in both Vietnam and the Czech Republic. The Sydenham rail disaster occurred in New South Wales where five people were killed and more than 700 injured.

The year 1953 saw some of the deadliest tornadoes in U.S. history, including the Waco tornado which resulted in more than 100 deaths and almost 600 people being injured. A Force 5 tornado hit Flint, Michigan and multiple deaths were reported in 20 families. Tropical Storm Alice developed in late May and left several fatalities in Cuba.

North Kyushu Flood in Japan hit in June 1953. The torrential rain produced this great flood and more than 1,000 people were reported dead and missing. Overall, more than one million people were left in turmoil. The North Sea flood was caused by a heavy storm, with floods striking the Netherlands, Belgium, England and Scotland. The Netherlands was the worst affected, recording 1,836 deaths with almost another 600 killed in England, Scotland and Belgium or lost at sea.

There were many shipping accidents, most notably the Princess Victoria, a UK passenger ferry sunk in the North Channel with 133 fatalities.

As with everything in life, there is the flipside and 1953 also produced some great innovations. Watson and Crick discovered that DNA is structured as a double helix. This was also the year where radial tyres, the transistor radio and the black box flight recorder were all invented. The last was invented by David Warren at Aeronautical Research Laboratories in Melbourne. With the Yin Water sitting atop the snake there is also a strong influence of innovation throughout 2013, so watch this space.

The economy is driven by the force of fire and given the fire held within the snake there will be an increased sense of optimism and we could see a more stable and substantial improvement in economic affairs. This positive energy will carry into 2014, which is an even more powerful force.

The industries likely to perform particularly well during the Year of the Water Snake are those related to the elements of metal and earth. Some of the industries connected with the metal element are engineering, high tech, machinery, engineering, banking and the motor industry. These industries ought to see strong activity and realise better profits than in recent years. Earth industries which include mining, insurance, hotels, chemicals and property should see increased output and productivity but also more competition. Wood enterprises such as textiles, publishing, fashion, media and the water industries such as communication, shipping, transport and spas will be active and see overall improvement but the competition will still be strong.

The businesses most likely to be challenged during the coming year are those of the Fire element such as finance, stock market, energy, airline and entertainment. These industries will find 2013 a highly competitive marketplace with not a lot of reward.

Traditional Chinese Medicine is also based on the five elements and their cycles. Water rules the kidney and impacts on the immune system and sex organs. Consequently, health concerns relating to water such as immune system disorders, kidney stones and urinary tract infections could be on the rise. Additionally, disorders relating to the fire element such as heart, brain, nerves, inflammatory and circulation conditions could increase throughout the year.

The energies present this year suggest there is a strong possibility of epidemics particularly in the southwest regions of the world. Once again, if we reflect on 1953, Europe was gripped by a flu epidemic and among the victims were the Pope and Belgian King. It was reported that in the same year, 40% of Mexico's population was suffering from the flu. In the USA, there was a 19% increase in deaths for the year which was attributed to the flu epidemic.

Throughout 2013, there will be a clash that occurs for those born in the Year of the Pig (e.g. 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007). For those born in these years it's highly likely you will feel somewhat restless and interested in travelling more frequently and making changes in your life. It is advisable to be more cautious during the coming year and avoid extreme sports and high adventure activities, thereby doing your best to avoid accidents throughout the year. It is also sensible to sidestep opportunities for travelling towards the southeast. And,as an additional precaution, wear a pendant of the monkey for some further symbolic protection.

For those born in the Year of the Snake; (e.g. 1917, 1929, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001) this does not automatically equate to a good year and so it is also advisable to carry or wear a charm of the monkey as a precaution against frustrations during the coming year.

With respect to Feng Shui, you will find a troublesome influence at the centre, bringing with it difficulties and obstacles. If this part of your home or business is very active, such as a stairwell, family room, passage or living area, then this energy needs to be dealt with by placing an all-metal wind chime or metal bell in this area, particularly in the month of February, August and November until the end of January 2013.

In Feng Shui, good health is always given a top priority, for without your health and vitality it is difficult to maintain harmonious relationships and a vibrant career.

In 2013, the southwest resonates with the force of sickness. This is also particularly strong during the month of May and August. Therefore, you will require a string of six metal coins to be placed in this area, and this is particularly important if your bedroom, kitchen or a major thoroughfare is located in that sector.

Another destructive and scandalous influence circulates in the west this year. Hence, it is best to place three bamboo stems (those that grow in water only) in a clear glass vase at this point of your home or business.

The energy of arguments is located in the east during the coming year and so it could be valuable to place a red object or the more traditional option of red paper in this area to help minimise this negative influence.

Finally, do not sit with your back against east or northwest, especially while you are working. It is also not advisable to carry out large scale construction work on established homes in the southeast for the coming year. Place the Dragon Tortoise to face the southeast as a symbolic measure of protection against the Grand Duke during 2013.

I hope you all stay well and happy during 2013 and that the coming Year of the Water Snake will allow your plans to unfold, bestowing your family and loved ones with great success and fulfilment.

Gong Xi Fa Cai