The Snake in the Year of the Metal Rat 2020

Who is a Snake?

The Snake in 2020: below

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

Day: Ask Us
* 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 between the Horse and the Dragon, possibly the most powerful pair of animals in the Zodiac and certainly 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 actually. 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 2020 are apt to include Xi Jinping and Bernie Sanders. Xi, born in 1953, the year of the Snake in the Grass and elected 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 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 the Mandate of Heaven – is the preferable regime because the Snake can so often not tell the difference between their viewpoint and the absolute. This is perhaps the mark of the young soul.

Older souls may include Presidential hopeful 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 instrument but a 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.

Quite often 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) 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 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 a Rat Year such as 2020 – when the Monkey is 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.

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 year and vice versa.

The Snake prefers a short menu and yes/no questions. In a Rat year their yin Fire may be baffled by the width of choice represented by yang Water. 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. In the Ox year that follows, expect just enough Water but not too much. This makes scope for just the restricted level of communication the Snake prefers.

Final 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 © 2020

# These terms are the brain children of the man who first introduced me to the Chinese Zodiac, Derek Walters, still the only Western authority respected to any degree in Asia. I sometimes tell my students that of the many thousands of books written on Chinese Astrology in the West, 99% are either nonsense or derived from Derek’s The Complete Guide to Chinese Astrology. Or both.

The Snake in 2020

In 2020 Snakes are still recovering from the Pig year. Snakes like travel and movement but an entire year is too much even for you. Now you’re looking for a place to land; a place where you belong. The good news this year is that instead of conflicts you didn’t see coming there will be support you didn’t anticipate starting in January with the arrival of the Ox.

In a Rat year, the Ox is in charge and will give you a direct line to power for the next two years. In 2020 what you’ve got is a subtle empowerment that grows in small increments. The sheer amount of Water won’t permit haste. Snakes who try to rush the process will create their own delays, possibly by way of accident or injury, most likely in February, August and November. A transformational rebirth is coming in September. Stick with baby steps at least until then.

If you’re among the luckiest of Snakes you’ll have an Ox pillar in your Ba Zi or Big Fate giving you access to slow but inexorable progress in at least one respect. The position of the pillar will tell you which area of your life to cultivate. By way of Feng Shui you can manipulate your environment to align yourself with the power of the year too.

On the compass, the Snake is in a risky position due to the San Sha. With your work you may have to spend extra time getting warmed up to perform. This is only temporary. Like the Horse, you may have problems with vision or mobility both literally and otherwise. This summer you may find yourself chasing the experiences you think you were robbed of last year. Not only is it not worth it but whatever you think you missed is going to show up at the appropriate time. Have faith.

Your ability to keep secrets isn’t helpful this year because it’s unreliable and will keep you isolated. Emotional disclosure to a friend in August may reveal more than you meant to. Resign yourself to openness for now. Prepare for May when people are going to start coming to you looking for answers to their problems. Accept the assignment. If you want to be relevant, share your empathy. Forego your usual strategic and clever advice. Decompartmentalize.

When you want advice, your ally the Ox will give assistance but their perspective may be too similar to yours. As is the case for most everyone this year, you are your own best advisor. My advice for Snakes is the same as for Oxen: Slow down. give blood or have teeth cleaned to decrease the chance that your careless haste results in physical harm.

Snakes may be feeling unsure as to where they belong. It’s going to take some searching but throughout the year you’ll find pockets of short term opportunity and success to point you in the right direction. In January, May, and September you can expect to be welcomed into community. Explore openly. Acknowledging your need for closeness doesn’t make you needy, just human.

©Stephanie Stewart 2020



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© Richard Ashworth 2020