2013 is the Year of the Black Water Snake, also known as Junior. Junior Dragon, that is. Last year was the year of the Dragon, so this is his little brother and not nearly as much fun.
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Predictions for the Year of the Snake, which begins on Feb. 10, suggest that saving money, paying attention to detail, focus and discipline as well as carefully reading anything before signing will be important this year. No more whoopee social life as in the Year of the Boar, or flirting as in the Year of the Rat. The Snake Year is the year in which to plan carefully and move slowly and methodically, making progress, especially with regard to work. Watch out for deception and control your spending.
I was hoping for some fun, especially after the last quarter of 2012, but Snake years are supposed to be full of unrest, change and instability, sort of the way snakes feel when shedding their skins. Change is a good thing, right?
Already big changes are underway: Dr. Vicki Barber is retiring from 19 years as El Dorado County Superintendent of Schools and Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands is retiring after 33 years. Her son Willem-Andrew will be the first King of the Netherlands in more than a century. However, those are minor changes compared to the really major mind-benders: the Post Office will stop Saturday residential mail deliveries and the iron token for Monopoly will be replaced with a collared cat.
The sixth sign of the Chinese zodiac, the Snake is supposedly enigmatic, intuitive, introspective and refined. Snakes are complex, clever and often very active in their friends’ lives. They appreciate beauty and are very stylish. They enjoy the theater and great music. I have snake friends that pretty much fit the bill, so maybe there’s some truth in this.
One can always hope that Congress will read the predictions for Year of the Snake and control their spending. Governor Brown might rethink that $23 billion for the twin tunnels. Attention to detail in the government sector might mean that someone with some clout will actually edit out some of the pork and earmarks before bills are signed into law.
Celebrity snakes include Oprah Winfrey, Anne Rice, Bob Dylan, Chris Rock, Ludacris, Taylor Swift, Charles Darwin, Audrey Hepburn, Christie Brinkley, Elizabeth Hurley, Grace Kelly, Jacqueline Kennedy, Kim Basinger, Abraham Lincoln, Edgar Allen Poe, Liv Tyler, Queen Elizabeth I, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Shakira and Sarah Jessica Parker. It’s an interesting mix of the beautiful and the weird, sort of like Charlie Sheen, who is also a Snake person — not a warlock.
Wearing dark or black clothing on the day of Chinese New Year to honor the Snake is supposed to ensure good luck — easy to do in the gloom of winter. Chinese wisdom says a snake in the house is a good omen because it means that your family will not starve. A snake in my house means it’s time to go outside and wait for the pest control person.
If you are turning 12, 24, 36, 48, 60, 72, 84, 96 or 108 in 2013, this is your year, such as it is with all that frugality, peering at contracts and change.
The Year of the Snake sounds as if it might be one of those years that you go through with your head down, plodding slowly forward, hoping that change and instability will transform your life in the following year. Again, a lot like Charlie Sheen.
Wendy Schultz is a staff writer and columnist for the Mountain Democrat. Her column appears bi-weekly.