Practitioners of witchcraft with a penchant for astrology might be wondering what the “Year of the Snake” will bring in the way of fortune for 2013. According to an article on France24.com, Asian astrologers are suggesting that the year of “ the black water snake … could be a venomous one that brings disaster.” Thus, a practitioner of the Craft might want to incorporate some of the ancient traditions and customs involving the old Chinese New Year and bringing in auspicious or positive energies into one’s life and home.
The Chinese calendar and New Year traditions
According to History.com, after 1912, the Chinese adopted the Western calendar and began honoring Jan. 1 as the beginning of the New Year while maintaining old traditions and honoring the Chinese New Year as the “Spring Festival.” The Chinese calendar has existed from the time of the Shang Dynasty and the 14th century B.C. The calendar’s parameters are defined, not only by lunar phases, but also by equinoxes, solstices, yin and yang forces and the Chinese zodiac.
According to Infoplease.com, the darkest day marks the beginning of each month in the Chinese calendar; The Chinese year 4711 starts on Sunday, Feb. 10, 2013 and the new moon in February occurs on the same day: The darkest moon phase of the month. During the new or dark lunar phase, the moon is between the Earth and Sun, allowing for the illumination of the far side of the moon, while the near side of the moon remains dark; Therefore, the moon is dark or invisible in the night sky when the viewed from Earth.
According to History.com, those who follow the old Chinese calendar traditions saw the New Year as a time to cleanse the entire home of “'huigi’ or inauspicious breaths” that accumulate within the home during the prior year. The home cleansing as well as ritual offerings of paper icons and food were also an effort to appease the deities. Rituals and customs involve bringing good luck or auspicious energies into one’s home and life for the year to come. During the celebration period in honor of the Spring Festival, people also honor deceased loved ones, deities and one another by getting together for large family gatherings.
“Year of the Black Snake” predictions
Prior years under the influence of the snake have had significant disasters. The 1929 stock market crash signaling the start of the Great Depression is but one such example. The year 2001 was also the “Year of the Snake,” and the events of Sept. 2001 remain fresh in the minds of many. According to Mak Ling-ling, a feng shui master in Hong Kong, the stock market will be smooth for the first-half of the year, but the second half of the year will bring turbulence; Ling-ling attributes this prediction to the “movements of a snake,” which are sharp, aggressive, tricky, but cunning. Further predictions suggest that the year of the black snake corresponds with the water element over the fire element, representing fear over optimism and joy and that the month of May will prove particularly turbulent in 2013.
According to an article appearing on AsiaNews.net, while the predictions for 2013 sound terrible and ominous, and prior snake years have brought chaos and upheaval, there are still some promising signs for the coming year. The Credit Lyonnais Securities Asia (CLSA) issues the Feng Shui Index and suggests that the black water snake will be “better behaved” or tamer this year than in snake years past.
Practitioners of the Craft looking to fend off some of the turbulent and chaotic energies that come with the black snake influences can see the entry of the year as a time for an early physical spring cleaning of the home. It is also a great time for spiritually cleansing the home in order to banish the “inauspicious breaths” or negative energies from the prior year. By removing clutter and getting rid of things one no longer needs, thereby making more room for positive energies in the home environment. Ancient Chinese traditions also include adding symbols of prosperity and wealth on scrolls or paper and hanging the symbols in and around the home to attract abundance and happiness.
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