Posted by: Zane Maser | March 3, 2013



We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Anaïs Nin, born with the Sun in Pisces

Over the past few weeks, I’ve been navigating the “quiet,” inward stream of introversion. Writing and resting, dreaming and gardening the hours away. For me, it’s been a fitting interior sanctuary to welcome the Year of the Yin Water Snake—also described as the Black Snake. Not for six decades (1953) have we encountered the graceful beauty of this Feminine Snake, the one known for her intuitive, introspective reserve, and bounteous wisdom. Now she is back to accompany us into the dark waters of the psyche to purge, cleanse, and heal. We need only invite her, as insightful guide, to show us the way into these pristine depths.

The Year of the Water Snake began on February 10th. As the waters of time dissolved my sense of urgency, with an increasing number of planets lining up in the melting-boundaries sign of Pisces, I am only now greeting her. Astrologically, the Chinese New Year—also known as the Lunar New Year—commences at sunset, following the first New Moon after the Sun leaves its sojourn in the Earth sign of Capricorn, to take up residence in Water-bearing Aquarius. This is the portal of the first day for the Chinese calendar, a luni-solar calendar, which includes both the lunar phase and the time of the solar year. It marks the end of the winter season in China and the beginning of the longest, most important holiday and celebration of the Chinese calendar—the “Spring Festival.”


In the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, snake is the sixth animal in the order of sequence. Thus, being an even number, it is considered a Yin (female) animal. In fact, her Chinese name is “SHE,” the sign of sagacity. Amongst the traditional Five Elements of Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal, this year snake is tempered by the fluidity of Water, with black the color assigned to this element. Although the mysterious snake is the most alluring animal of the dozen, it is generally described as solitary, private, cautious, shy, and low-key—all traits closely aligned with the soft-spoken introverted type and with the feminine, behind-the-scenes nature of the element of Water.


“The alchemical symbol for water is an inverted triangle,” Gary P. Caton tells us, “representing its nature, which is to move down and inward.” Perhaps this signals a year to consciously slow the pace of life in order to swim in the peaceful, reflective waters that nurture our soul. Tend to your soul might be the 2013 message of the Water Snake. Stop dissipating your essential energies. Like the bouquet of a fine wine, a life of quality takes its gentle time.

Be astute as well. Keep your perceptions finely honed, because the multiplicity of activities occurring beneath the surface in a Snake Year may not be what they outwardly seem.

Not everything you see is what you see it as.
It is only how you see it at the moment.
Milton Erickson


As a legendary, mystical creature, the snake (serpent) is imbued with numerous cross-cultural qualities, many of which include powerful abilities to both destroy and create, for evil and good. Much like the fabled dragon in its symbolic functions, they are sometimes used interchangeably—the snake called the “smaller dragon.” As a mythological image of the on-going cycle of life, snake is amongst the most ancient and widely used symbols. It has been worshipped as one of the gods in worldwide religions and customs, among them as a cobra in the crowns of pharaohs and as the wily serpent in the Biblical Garden of Eden who stirs sexual desire.

The themes associated with snake include its myriad connections with: passion; fertility; as the creative life force (the coiled kundalini serpent); poison, healing, and medicine (the staff or caduceus of Hermes, Asclepius, and Moses); sloughing off old ways of being; vindictiveness and vengefulness; dangerous, deadly antagonists and enemies; as potent guardians of temples and sacred spaces; ecstatic states and Trees of Life and of Enlightenment; with the pineal gland or third eye, also known as the transformative seat of divine wisdom; and the circle of birth, renewal, life, rotting, death, and immortality.1


There is a remarkable correspondence between the symbolism of the Year of the Water Snake and the significant astrological signatures for 2013—a time with a surfeit of the Water element. As a year ushering in great potential, 2013 has been described as a new cycle of increased light that requires greater personal maturity, accountability, responsibility, and commitment. We may indeed “see” more clearly as old paradigms and patterns dissolve. Jo Dunning assures us, “We have now entered a time of miracles known as The Golden Age.” Redefining what is truly meaningful, it is a year of opportunities and accelerating, deeper changes (the continuing square of Uranus/Pluto, exact in June and September), as we collectively walk a new Path of heightened vibration. Expect the unexpected. Prioritize and then focus on what matters to you most. Respond in heart-centered ways. Go with the feeling, feminine flow in a tender and loving manner—being fully present in the moment. “Nobody can go back and start a new beginning,” says Maria Robinson’s wise counsel, “but anyone can start today and make a new ending.”


Right now, the celestial players are heavily concentrated in shape-shifting Pisces until March 22, an infrequent occurrence for so many planets to congregate in one sign. Amongst them are the Sun, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Neptune, and Chiron—and the Moon will join them March 9-11. With this tremendous deluge of Water, greatly affecting our sensitivities and emotional (soul) body, some may be feeling a bit capsized; for others it may be a buoyant opening into timeless moments of divine grace. At any rate, this is a cosmically orchestrated window for exercising the creative, contemplative capacities of our non-linear right brain, which can more easily slip through the veil of this world to play and dance in shimmering, spiritual dimensions. Think of the rainbows we might see! Pisces is, after all, “the sign that connects us directly to the etheric wireless network,” as Terry Lamb wrote. Intertwined with “snake” symbology, the opening of the third eye is facilitated through the archetypal energies of Pisces. If we let go and unplug from the multiplicity of outer distractions, we can enter a deeply restorative peace, while bits of the Wisdom of the Ages may very well be made available to our conscious mind and thus of beneficial use for the greater good of the many.

We are knee deep in the Mercury (in Pisces) “retrograde” zone until March 17. Some aspects of life could easily feel and be higgledy-piggledy!! Fairy magic and tricks are afoot, as well as computer glitches and missed/mis-communications! In 2013, all three of Mercury’s annual retrograde periods will occur in emotionally-oriented Water signs, the upcoming ones in nurturing Cancer and secretive Scorpio. Due to the forward and backward motion of Mercury in its retrograde periods, the winged messenger will spend more time in the subtle “vibrations” of the three Water signs than the combined time in the other nine signs. And the retrograde phases occur entirely within the Water signs, heightening our receptivity to nuances that may otherwise escape us.

In August 2012, the North Node of the Moon entered Scorpio. Since last October (until mid-September 2015), Saturn has also been traversing the penetrating, mysterious waters of Scorpio, yet another significant underscore to the general theme of fluid changes and dissolutions during the Water Snake Year. In addition, the sign of Scorpio (in western astrology) is closely akin to the Chinese zodiac’s snake. In order to create a vacuum so that New Light can pour in, especially with Saturn’s current retrograde movement (until July 7), we must slow down to patiently sort through and quietly discard the outworn. The element of Water signifies completions and endings, so releasing what you can (and must) is highly appropriate this year.


Though not always easy, these sorts of fallings away and “little deaths” are required of us in the years ahead. They are the vulnerable waters of breakdown (and breakthrough), of letting go, of transmuting selfish desires, and of subsequent inner renewal, because these major sufferings, tests, metamorphoses, and initiations are the threshold we have entered together. We are all in the process of building new foundations and sustainable structures that are an appropriate fit for the long-awaited Age we are now entering.

By the end of June, Jupiter, planet of faith and goodwill, will add its grand dose of Water to the mix, as it leaves rationally oriented Gemini to glide into the silvery waters of Cancer, the sign of its exaltation, where it is particularly powerful. Expansive Jupiter is rendered especially caring, nurturing, and kindly when in Cancer; it will strengthen our imagination and intuition, further activating the field of altruistic emotions. In mid July, an auspicious grand trine in Water occurs between Jupiter (in Cancer), Saturn (in Scorpio), and Neptune/Chiron (in Pisces), briefly bathing us in a tender climate and deep, psychic waters. Sympathetic Water is connected with the Wisdom of Compassion and the ineffable peace of being in the presence of Spirit.

The Neptune in Pisces energy, when expressed on the higher side, continues to have an enormously spiritualizing effect on us all as we actively embrace our divine heritage and inheritance. It’s as good as it gets to access omnipresent Source and realize our unity—a theme that is accentuated this year. As the snake sheds her skin, we too can be born into our original essence. Moreover, the Water and Fire elements of the Water Snake are associated with spirituality and optimism, for progress and new innovations. Many of us will increasingly feel the veil dissolving between the outer level of impermanent life and the Inner Worlds of Light and transcendent Beauty.

The graceful Water Snake has swum into our midst as a feminine guide and portal to our higher, spiritual faculties. Will you accept the Call for New Beginnings? Will you jump into the luminescent waters of awakening, releasing old dependencies and attachments in order to swim toward personal mastery? It’s time to reconnect with our own divinity and realize that what you and I have ever been seeking is already present. It already is. It always is. Now is the eternally mindful moment.

This is a year of maturation, a coming of age,
as we intimately embrace the sacred equality of earth
and heaven. The Year of the Snake opens us up to
the wonders of the embodied world.
Terah Kathryn Collins, Founder, Western School of Feng Shui™


Related Posts:

• The High Calling of Mystical Pisces

• Spiritual Fragrance (about Neptune, the modern co-ruler of Pisces)

• It’s Already Present

• In Emptiness Is Spiritual Fulfillment

• Self-Emptying Meditation

• Silence Is Power

• The “Quiet” Of Introversion

• The Real Space

• Energy Signal

• Self-Creation




Text © by Zane Maser, 2013. All photos from Wikimedia Commons. All rights reserved worldwide.

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My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.

If you are interested in an astrological consultation and/or a specific question answered by a horary chart, please visit SunnyCat© Astrology.

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