Originally published in the Annual Wellbeing Astrology Magazine in 2013.
The Gui-Si, or Yin Water Snake year starts on the 4th of February 2012 at just after midnight. This is based on the Solar calendar used for Feng Shui and Astrology, not the Lunar calendar used for celebrations, which gives us new year on the 10th of February.
Gui Yin Water is the Stem of the year and the Snake is the Branch (more widely known as the animal sign). The Branches also have “hidden Stems” within them. This year 2013 they are Wu Yang Earth, Geng Yang Metal and Bing Yang Fire. This means that although the Snake is Fire, but it is also a ‘bank’ or ‘storage’ for Earth and Metal.
The Snake sign is one to be careful of - the soft, gentle outer Yin Fire nature hides the strong Yang Hidden Stems underneath. The Snake is exotic like the Dragon, but further refined. Usually passive, sometimes seemingly lazy the Snake tends to hide the perceptiveness and intuition inherent.
The Yin Water showers or mists the Fire of the Snake this year. With the Yang Hidden Stems, the Snake is able to ‘fight back’ however both Stem and Branch end up being hurt. This indicates a period of ups and downs. It can also be explosive, like throwing water onto a grease fire, so the drier months of May and June will have unexpected events and repercussions.
The Twelve Lifecycle for 2013 is Toi. Lifecycles tell us where the Stem (Gui) is in relation to the cycle of the Branches, from birth to death. Toi literally means ‘womb’ or ‘conception’, and indicates career changes, lack of persistence, easily giving up. It also means having a new sense of awe and wonder at the world, and gaining new ways of seeing things.
The Shen Sha for the Gui-Si year is Tian Yi Guiren, or Heaven’s Mentor and Tai Ji Wealth. Heaven’s Mentor brings people into a person’s life that can help and take care of them. It is also known as guardian angel energy. Tai Ji Wealth isn’t winning the lotto money, it is down to earth hard work income. Those that have been looking for work should find 2013 easier. For people who are prepared to make the effort, Tai Ji Wealth will reward them.
If you are new to Chinese Astrology, you may not know that you have more than on Branch for the date and time you were born. While we will not be going into the effects of 2012 on the “Day Master’s”, it would be well worth your while to google “Ba Zi calculator" to use a free Chinese Astrology Calculator and check your whole chart, because you will actually have 4 Branches, one for the Hour, Day, Month and Year you were born.
If you have the Horse and Sheep/Goat on your chart, then the Snake will complete a very strong Fire combination (this is a Directional combination). This will mean a very good year for you or a very bad year, no in-betweens. If you start the year badly, then use some Earth colours (yellow, orange & brown) in your everyday clothing, as this will help to reduce the effects of Fire.
The Snake can combine with the Rooster and Ox together, or just the Rooster by itself to form Metal (this is an Elemental combination). Once again, this will be an all good or all bad kind of year for you because of the strong Metal Qi. If your year starts out poorly in 2012, then you can use Water colours (blue & black) to help drain the excess Metal away.
Lastly, the Snake can combine with the Monkey to form Water (this is a simple ‘Six combination’). This is usually not as strong as the others. You will have extra Water energy for 2013, but this will really just make the Water energy of Gui stronger, so you may need Wood Qi to reduce it.
The above paragraphs list the order in which the Snake will combine. If you have a Rooster and a Monkey on your Four Pillars chart, then the Snake will form Metal not Water. Similarly if you have the Rabbit and Tiger, then the Snake will combine with these before it combines with the Rat or Rooster.
The Snake clashes with the Pig. If you were born in the Year of the Pig, then in general this clash indicates moving house or being relocated or changing jobs. This particular clash is called the ‘interferes in other business’ clash. If you are a gossip or nosy this year, then there will be negative repercussions. Even if you are not, then others may well want to know all about you and what you are doing.
If you have a Tiger on your chart then there will be small frustrations and obstacles during 2013. In this case, the Tian Yi Mentor changes nature as well. You will seem to attract helpful people, but they will have a hidden agenda and not be altruistic as they seem.
If you have the Tiger and a Monkey together on your chart, then it will be an interesting year. The Snake can combine with the Monkey to form Water, but when all three of these Branches appear, it becomes the ‘penalty of ingratitude’. This can mean that you become more selfish, or that others appreciate you less. It will depend on your individual chart.
If you have a Pig, Tiger, or Tiger with Monkey together on your Four Pillars chart, then one way to smooth the year out is to ‘buy’ karma points by giving to charity. According to one Buddhist date selection method, the best time to donate is the last day of the lunar cycle, that is, just before the new moon.
From a very basic check of your Year Branch, we can look at how the Dragon will affect you -
Rat (’48, ’60, ’72, ’84, ’96, ’08): The Snake and Rat don’t have much interaction in 2013. Personal appearance, image and manners are at the top of your list in 2013. Love and romance are on the wane for Rats but the influence of children (or wanting to have kids) is gaining strength. There will be helpers at work to give you a boost in career.
Ox (’49, ’61, ’73, ’85, ’97, ’09): Family matters take priority this year for the Ox, especially siblings, cousins and other family members. There may be a feeling of getting the cold shoulder or being left out, or it may be that you are needed more and more. There will be extra creative energy for the Ox this year as well. Try to use this talent as much as possible.
Tiger (’50, ’62, ’74, ’86, ’98, ’10): Money and wealth look great for Tigers this year, however there is the matter of the Harm with the Snake, and having small obstacles and frustrations along the way. It is very important to look after your health in 2013 - “You may make the money, but the doctor will come and take it away” is an old Chinese proverb.
Rabbit (’51, ’63, ’75, ’87, ’99, ’11): Money looks good for Rabbits in 2013 like the Tiger. The difference is that there is no big interaction with the Snake, so wealth will come more easily. There will be problems around travel and short trips for you.
Dragon (’52, ’64, ’76, ’88, ’00): After 2012, this will be a much more settled and nicer year for Dragons. Like the Ox, there are likely to be some family issues to be sorted out in 2013, and Dragons should also be keeping an eye on their expenditure. Try to make the effort to cut back and save.
Snake (’53, ’65, ’77, ’89, ’01): Since it is your own year in 2013, most Snakes are likely to go through a few self-learning and enlightenment phases. These can be either positive or negative depending on your attitude to change. Focus on kids and younger people, maybe update your skills. There will a temptation for the usually immaculate Snake to become a bit more relaxed or sloppy in their appearance.
Horse (’54, ’66, ’78, ’90, ’02): Sex and physical relationships are important to most Horses, and now this energy is waning but not for want of trying. There is now more emphasis on working harder and being with family and loved ones. Go with the flow this year, and try to take every opportunity for your career that comes up.
Sheep (’55, ’67, ’79, ’91, ’03): This is a strong year to travel and explore the world for the Sheep. Be careful though. Make sure that all paperwork and agreements are checked, because it is a lull year for ‘justice’ for you. Don’t take shortcuts when you know they are the wrong thing to do because there will be karma to pay.
Monkey (’56, ’68, ’80, ’92, ’04): Monkeys will be very busy in 2013. Not only is there a combination with the Snake bringing generally good luck, but there should also be a great deal of work and movement in your career. The influence of your parents has been waning for the last few years, and in 2013 it hits rock bottom. Try to make the effort (if possible) to get closer to them.
Rooster (’57, ’69, ’81, ’93, ’05): The partial Metal combination with the Snake in 2013 follows the combination you had in 2012 with the Dragon. It is a good year for romantic relationships and love. It is also a good year for socialising and getting along with your peers. There may be times during 2013 when people look to you for guidance and direction (even when you aren’t the boss).
Dog (’58, ’70, ’82, ’94, ’06): Life settles back down for Dogs in 2013. This is important after the turmoil of 2012. Money issues should start to alleviate now and wealth is easier to accumulate. This will also be a year for celebrations and enjoyment.
Pig (’59, ’71, ’83, ’95, ’07): As mentioned earlier, the Pig is a direct clash with the Snake, and it is the ‘interfering clash’. Justice/legal problems and losing money are the main issues for you this year. Make sure that you keep your property protected and try to invest in actual things like real estate and property.
FENG SHUI FOR 2013
The following interpretations and recommendations are based on two schools of Feng Shui - San Yuan Flying Stars and San He.
San He is based around calculations between Stems and Branches (similar to Four Pillars astrology). Each Stem and Branch has a direction, and is associated with time (for example, the Snake occupies the last 15 degrees of the Southeast sector). The main way to use San He is to “Approach the auspicious and avoid the inauspicious”. In other words to reduce the impact of any negative formations (in red), then to activate any positive formations that are available (in green).
The Flying Stars are based on building date (kind of like birthday) and strict facing/site criteria. In general, the good stars are 1 Water, 4 Wood, 6 Metal and 8 Earth (the best being the 8 because we are in Period 8, 2004-2024). The bad ones are 2 Earth, 3 Wood, 5 Earth and 7 Metal (the worst being the 5). The 9 Fire star can exert a positive or negative influence depending on what it is combined with. The numbers are simply short hand for other energies like trigrams, family relationships, Elements, times of year, flavours etc.
The annual Flying Stars are best used in conjunction with the natal Flying Star chart of your house. Even though you will get good results from following this advice, it is not a substitute for having a trained Feng Shui practitioner assess the energy of your house. At a minimum, your practitioner should know Ba Zi astrology and the Flying Star system.
The Luo Pan (Feng Shui compass) above has the annual formations from the Flying Star, San Yuan and San He schools of Feng Shui arranged for 2013. The 5 star returns to its usual home in the central palace, which means that all the annual stars are doubled up with the Lo Shu (Bagua). Good sectors will be very good, bad ones will be very bad.
The Central Palace has the 5 Earth ‘disaster’ star returning to its origin. It is the most stable position for the 5, although if your home has negative stars from your natal star chart, they will be made far worse. To alleviate the pressure from the 5 star, use Metal - place 6 Chinese coins in the centre, or better yet, a saltwater cure which is a jar containing 6 copper/brass coins along with a tablespoon of salt and filled with water.
The South has 9 Fire in the Flying stars as well as Peach Blossoms romance, Year Virtue and Oppression in San He. The 9 star is a relatively positive star during the current Period 8, so there is not too much to be concerned with here. Thankfully the Year Virtue (which attracts nice people who do the right thing) is in the same position to help cancel Oppression which basically does the opposite. Peach Blossoms is the annual romance direction. Some flowers could be used here to help activate it, however be aware that Oppression may also be activated by this.
The Southwest has the 2 star for 2013. This is also called the sickness star, but also relates to gossip and backstabbing. The SW direction affects women mainly. Also in the first 15 degrees of the SW is Broken Luck, which basically creates obstacles and frustrations when it is active. If your house faces this direction, your door is in this sector, or your bed is here then you need to make sure that the area is kept quiet and preferably closed off. Use a calabash/gourd as a traditional cure, and it wouldn’t hurt to also include a saltwater cure or two.
The 7 Metal star comes home to the West and it has the Robbery Mountain Sha for 2013. The 7 star brings backstabbing, disloyalty and legal problems. Robbery Mountain affects relationships adversely (marriage break-ups, scandals, bad business partners). To reduce the effects of the 7 star, use plain bottles of water in the West sector. If there is a door in the central western sector, then try to use it a little as possible.
The Northwest has 6 Metal returning. This is an interesting star, as it is generally considered to be quite positive, but it relates to work and career, so if over stimulated can lead to being a workaholic or obsessive in some area. The NW has Year Virtue, Scholar and Travel as positive San He formations, as well as the negative year breaker Sui Po. If you need a boost in your career, then add crystals and Metal objects to the NW. If you feel that you already burn the candle at both ends, then simply leave this sector be, or add some Water to the décor to reduce the strength of Metal.
The North is very strong Water energy in 2013. The 1 Water star is also called the ‘greedy wolf’, and in Period 8 relates to future income and wealth. This is a good area to have an office this year, especially since the San He Good Income is also in the North. It wouldn’t be wise to activate this area, though sitting here or creating some movement (doors, fans etc) will have a positive effect.
The Northeast is very good this year. The ruling 8 star is back at home, and is most beneficial to young males. The energy this year is not really to do with wealth; it is more focussed on relationships and well being. The NE is the ‘mountain’ trigram and indicates thought, taking the right actions and emotional stability. You can activate the wealth aspects of the 8 star with a water feature, but it would be better to create flow by using the sector often and keeping doors and windows open. Crystals and candles are very good here for 2013, but try to keep the last 15 degrees quiet or closed because the annual San Sha 1 is here. This will disrupt some of the positive 8 energy.
The East is very strong Yang Wood energy. The 3 Wood star is the aggressive, angry star (the trigram here is ‘thunder’). The middle San Sha is here as well, which indicates thieves when activated, though it is balanced by the Yin Noble star which brings helpful females. This are should be kept quiet. Try to avoid having young males in this sector where possible. Use red (unless you have been told otherwise by a practitioner) and candles to burn away the Wood. If you face the South, then also use a Kuan Kung statue to reduce the effects of the San Sha.
The Southeast has the gentler 4 Wood star for 2013. It is also the ‘peach blossoms’ or romance star of San Yuan. It is good for study and passing exams, so it is great for kids to do their homework here. If you are looking for a new relationship, then you can use a water feature or flowers as a stimulus, though do not do this in a house that has an existing relationship. Only add the cures to the central 15 degrees of the SE because there is also the negative San Sha 3 and Tai Sui to deal with here. The usual cure for Tai Sui is a Dragon-headed tortoise statue, but you can also visit a Daoist temple where you can get a protective Tai Sui talisman. This is the preferred course if you are born in the Year of the Pig or Tiger.
I hope that you are able to take something from the article and from the free information I have on the website. May 2013 be a great year for you!