The Snake in the Year of the Wood Dragon 2024

Snake Pic by @elliespinelli

Who is a Snake?

Years:         1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013.
Month*:      May
Hour:          09:00 am – 11.00am

Day:            you’ll need a Chinese Calendar.

* Caution: the start of the Chinese month can be as early as the 4th & as late as the 9th, depending on the year. I can let you know this too.

What is a Snake?
The Snake is yin Fire and sits next to both Horse and Dragon, possibly the most powerful pair of animals in the Zodiac and among the most difficult stools to fall between. So a typical weakness of the Snake is indecision. Next to that is lack of commitment and finally a propensity for sudden and uncharacteristic dishonesty. The Snake is the prisoner who breaks at the threat of torture; a reasonable decision if you know you’re going to give in anyway btw.

There are perhaps old souls and younger souls. The younger Snake often has a vivid imagination and an inconsistent relationship with the truth; the older Snake may treat Truth as sacred. And Snakes being of Candle Flame Fire, can be easily discouraged. Sometimes they should be. Some Snakes stick long term with an inappropriate choice so as to put off making any choice at all.

The most written about Snakes in 2022 are apt to include Chinese Premier Xi Jinping. Xi, born in 1953, the year of the Snake in the Grass and appointed at a time when the internal tensions in China – between efficiency and self-expression, between industrial wealth and rural poverty and between cohesion and corruption – had never been so stark. Never question his sincerity – he means what he says – but he is likely, like his near-twin Snake Tony Blair, to believe that the more he is opposed by those whose beliefs conflict with his own, the more right he must be. For both of these, dictatorship – that is tianming the Mandate of Heaven – is the preferable regime because the Snake can so often not tell the difference between their viewpoint and the absolute. Is this the mark of the young soul?

Older souls may include left-wing totem Bernie Sanders. Born a Metal Snake in 1941, his bluntness is typical of the mature or balanced Snake. A spade for him is not a manually-operated digging device but a damn spade.

Typically, squeezed between the two, the choice for the Snake is between opposites: the extroversion of the Horse and the subtlety of the Dragon, instinct and logic, process and end product, long and short term, relationship and freedom, employment or entrepreneurship. In the face of this dilemma, a balanced Snake will often develop sufficient charm to get through without having to make the hard decisions.

Typically the Snake of either gender is not the decision maker in relationship. When they marry a Pig this is doubly so; the power of the Pig’s uncertain yin Water may precisely match the delicate yin Fire of the Snake, often making for stand-offs and provisional decisions. Those the Snake has not made may include the one to be committed to the relationship. The partner of the Snake (best choice probably Ox or Rooster though Monkey lady and Snake man works well) would be well-advised to drag at least this minimum communication from the Snake early on. Interestingly Snakes can despite all this be among of the best makers and keepers of relationship of all 60 Animals. But they sure can make it hard for themselves.

One of the advantages of being between the autocratic Dragon and the unruly Horse is that the Snake has her ego in check. Many would consider her wise because what she has to say is well-considered and she never says too much. The Snake can be a brilliant collaborator, especially with the Ox and the Rooster who are in a sense similar to her neighbours: the Rooster is blatant (much like the irrepressible Horse, both are, if you like, pure) and the Ox determined (like the heads-down Dragon) while the Snake anchors them to each other. There may be moments of doubt when the Snake’s loyalty wavers. At such times, the Snake asks searching questions which should have been settled long ago and then usually re-commits. The high- minded Brutus was probably a Snake. Not Judas though. To know this, grants the Snake both power and integrity. Snakes who know this about themselves earn undying trust.

The Snake can also work with the Dragon in what is called the House of Magic#. Only she can subordinate her ego to the extent that the Dragon demands while also keeping up. An ideal Snake vocation is high-level p.a. Usually (and wisely) the Snake opts to be No 2 rather than Big Chief.

The Snake often has the intellectual and visual gifts of Fire. She makes a good critic as her judgement is sound and she is not out to destroy egos. She will generally have natural and effortless style too.

On the other hand the Snake has a love-hate relationship with the Monkey. Both have hands-on and logical ability and both attract occasional tussles but where the Monkey welcomes an opportunity for mischief, the Snake treats dispute as a regrettable evil. When a Tiger appears in such a form as a Tiger-born person or a Tiger month (February), this misunderstanding can turn nasty. In a Dog year like 2018 it’s plain sailing, in an Ox Year such as 2021 – when the Monkey is for the second consecutive year, favoured – more complex. If there are Monkeys in your friend group, seek them out and try to find common ground. They may save you when the chips are down; it still won’t be their priority though.

The Snake is opposed to the Pig and as both are members of the informal group sometimes called the Four Terminals#, they can impede each other’s movement. Snakes may develop mobility issues in a Pig (or Tiger) year and vice versa.

The Snake prefers a short menu and yes/no questions. In a Tiger year their yin Fire may be baffled by the width of choice represented by yang Wood. It’s possible that the Snake’s dreams will come true only for her to sprint in the opposite direction. Deep communication often has to be wrenched from the Snake and in the Water years of Rat and Pig there is little support for the tight-lipped. Given the Wood of this Tiger year however, their clearest expression may be in writing.  Writing of course can be revised and reviewed limitlessly before being communicated.

Final health note: Snakes have a complex relationship with Fire. They are not usually sun-worshippers but often their skin needs just a little regular sun and without it they may fall prey to easily avoided ailments such as vitamin D deficiency. Caution!

Richard Ashworth © 2024

Snake in The Wood Dragon Year 2024

Man Cheung       Learning

Gip Sat              Delay

Goo San             Solitary Star

Chieh Sha          Robbery Star

Yute Yeung         Safe Passage


Lots of learning here. For Snakes it’s pretty much always about learning: new studies, old studies, teaching and reviewing. And in the Dragon year which precedes the (Snake, Horse and Sheep) years of Fire you seek recognition.

The Snake is the student of the Dragon. Typically you are a fast study with superior retention and a facility with ideas. And that’s great with one proviso: it may be time you put your existing knowledge to good use. A Snake can sometimes know plenty but apply less. And much of what you know needs to be shared. Which may be a scary prospect. There is teaching by telling and there is teaching by showing. You may find you need to stand up and be counted.

A further thing to remember is that the Snake’s life work is apt to relate to truth, its expression, its application and its distortion. Get clear (if you haven’t) as to which of these is your mission. Applying that decision to fresh studies may be crucial. This year you bring your learning to bear upon something practical and outside the comfort of your study. Theory serves you less for now.

Unlikely to be a convivial year. You may be torn between family and duty. The trick will then be to integrate those two pulls,

Technically you are under the influence of the Man Cheung Academic Star; which means that whatever your field of study or aspiration, your Master awaits. The level of study indicated btw is advanced so this is likely to pertain to a topic in which you are to some extent already engaged. Study and learning of course are words that carry a lot of luggage and such learning may be informal.

You are also however bestowed with the Chieh Sha Robbery Star, one of the so-called “Three Curses” of the year. This may indicate that you could be the victim of plagiarism. Snake students will tend to shine this year but best probably not to broadcast any original conclusions you may have drawn. And this Star may also indicate actual robbery. A house occupied by a Snake with certain Flying Stars (e.g. 7:9) at an entrance calls for an efficient alarm system. Also fire alarms. Do not overpay for things. Your tendency can be to be easygoing with money when you have it simply because you have it. There’s generosity and there’s carelessness.

How you integrate these forces may be the work of the year. You may have to be pretty intrepid to follow your chosen path. The Gip Sat Star suggests delays and obstacles on your path which may (and may not) be across oceans. One client of mine graced by this Annual Star a couple of years ago found that he was literally unable to return from Asia travelling Westwards. No plane for one reason or another would take him in that direction and he had to return via California.

The Goo San Star suggests time apart from your principal partner. When I have come across this before it has proved an opportunity to assess the quality of a relationship.  Occasionally time apart consciously chosen is not such a bad idea. Most likely time for this Star to arise is – like much of the above – the Snake Month of May.

You may want to stay put. For the Snake family is top priority; Rooster, one way or another is a traditional way to keep you home.

None of these implications which may or may not be literal are insuperable. They are challenges rather than sentences. And of course you always have choice. Nothing in this ramble is written in stone. It’s all metaphor; not just metaphor – everything is metaphor – but metaphor nonetheless that can be interpreted on many different levels. Your journeys may be intellectual, local or ethereal and your learning practical or theoretical but learning patterns are the likely shape of your year.

So this looks like a year in which you increase your knowledge and broaden your skills. That’s actually a welcoming prospect for the typical Snake but you do of course have other Animals in your ba zi: one each for Month, Day and Hour of Birth. And there’s much more.

Things to watch out for include the upsets of the Tiger (February) and Pig (November) months. At the risk of repetition these are likely to restrict your mobility or (in February) of those close to you. Technically all three of the Animals Tiger, Pig and Snake are known as Stations or Terminals and relate to travel and movement: fast when well-aspected, restricted when not – like this year.

And ultimately these are your choices. You are unique and have free will and no astrological analysis can possibly capture you. But observance of these possibilities may enrich your life under the Dragon.

Best months are probably August and September. A long break spanning both is a good idea. It may not be until early September that you find your groove. Trust till then. Your path this year may only be revealed step by step.

As a post script, note that you are also watched over by the Yute Yeung Safe Passage Star. However deep you go, you come up smelling of roses. Allow this year to be the one when you make your mark.

Romance: friendship or pupilage more likely

Wealth: no real increase before autumn.

Health: nothing serious.

Hexagram: 38 Quai The Flibbertigibbet

This forecast is prepared by comparing your own Chinese year Animal with the Wood Dragon of 2024.  Your Year Animal is just one of the four that make up your Ba Zi or Four Pillars of Destiny. A fully-drafted ba zi can indicate possible futures and probable pasts as well as moments of decision. Knowing these moments can heal and prevent heartbreak as well make success and happiness more easily achievable. What is a ba zi?

© Richard Ashworth 2024


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© Richard Ashworth 2024