This Sunday is the first day of the new lunar year, commonly celebrated as “Chinese New Year”. The new year we celebrate on January 1st is the solar new year and is associated with masculine energy and lots of action, such a making new year’s resolutions and partying. But the lunar new year marks the feminine aspects of the calendar and is a time for quiet reflection.
This year is the Year of the Water Snake: the snake represents intuition and introspection, which means this is a particularly feminine energy year. Snake years are marked by a deep inner focus, concentrated discipline and careful attention to achieving your goals and developing your skills and practices. Feminine energy usually refers to stillness and quiet, but can also mean that your energy is inwardly focussed and channelled deeply rather than wide and shallow.
The Year of the Snake is the time to take a step back and review your goals and ambitions, to take stock of what is going on in your life and to reflect deeply. In taking this step back in order to get a better overall picture of your life, you naturally become quieter because you are observing your life rather than rushing forward and expending lots of energy (save that for masculine energy years such as the Year of the Dragon). In becoming still you can relish your blessings and see your challenges in a more objective light. It is a gentle and nurturing energy that is essential in the hustle and bustle of this demanding modern life where everything always seems such a rush – it’s exhausting! Give yourself a break!
The Year of the Snake emphasises the feminine energy of intuition and inner wisdom. What you need to know to live a balanced and fulfilling life is already there inside you – it is your innate wisdom. But the gentle voice of that wisdom is simply drowned out by the white noise of everyday life. Hasn’t it happened to you some time when someone gave you some really good advice and you said, “Oh yeah, of course… I knew that!” And you really did know that – it was a surprise to yourself that somehow you’d just forgotten what was staring you in the face all along? Well that’s your own inner wisdom ‘memory’ that gets drowned out in the white noise.
When you stop and rest and sit quietly in nature and in stillness, that voice of your own inner wisdom can and will be heard, naturally. Just take a moment to stop and listen and all the answers are there.
This being the Year of the Snake, I am taking the message of the snake very seriously and applying it to my own life. I feel a need to reassess my priorities and spend more time in stillness, more time in disciplining my own spiritual practice to go deeper and be more focussed, rather than spreading myself thinly and widely. I am going to take a step back and reassess what I’m expending my energies on. I have gotten very caught up in the technology merry-go-round, trying to keep up with all the latest software and apps and updates and downloads, until I feel I’m getting motion sickness because my head is spinning so much! I need to let go of my growing techno-addiction and just sit in stillness to cool down my always over-heated, over-excited brain.
Therefore, I will be closing up my blogs.
When I started out on my Buddhist path, I read a number of books – good, old-fashioned paper books – that helped me to find my spiritual path within the everyday chaos of life. Two books in particular come to mind, and I would like to recommend them to you…
Pema Chodron’s “Start Where You Are”
Charlotte Joko Beck’s “Nothing Special”
Thank you for reading my blog and for all the wonderful feedback I have received. Please remember that you already know everything you need – sit quietly, feel your body as part of the natural world, spend time in nature and in silence and your deepest wisdom will reveal itself.
Wishing you many blessings for a fruitful, gentle and nurturing Year of the Water Snake.