Luck snakes in

Luck snakes in

This year is a perfect time to learn about ourselves, and to care for others

Slithering around us now, and chasing out last year’s Dragon, is the Snake. The Lunar New Year, which began on Friday and lasts until January 30, 2014, is the Year of the Black Water Snake. In Chinese astrology, this means we will all be influenced by the Snake’s generally auspicious, abundant energy.

Work, love and friendship are full of high emotion. Everybody feels more sensitive, charming and interesting now, so there’s a high chance of unexpected jealousy, social competition and unfair gossip. These negatives are all part and parcel of a year that holds up a mirror to each of us – how true and honest are we with ourselves, as well as with others?

Diplomacy and tact are vital ingredients now, as snake energy hates too much pride or “dog-eat-dog” attitudes. Any nasty attempts at trampling others will be met with a sharp hiss. Think of it as instant karma, with a kick.

A fascinating aspect of this volatile, intriguing year is that communication frequently goes fuzzy – so that e-mail you sent on impulse to your BFF at midnight might inexplicably end up in the wrong hands!

Basically, the message you’re meant to hear this year is: watch your step. What you say or do will come back to you. It’s best to focus on being faithful in friendship and avoid the temptation to insult others – especially behind their backs.

Many people are afraid of snakes. They view them as dangerous and will go to great lengths to avoid meeting them.

However, the Year of the Snake is a lucky one. We learn a lot about our characters during this time, because snake energy seeps into all aspects of our lives, never allowing us to get away with being false, or too unkind.

Relationships, therefore, play a key role in your happiness. How you care for people in your life right now will determine how successful and content you are likely to be later.

Now the Lunar New Year has started you need to write down your friendship goals. Decide what your strengths and weaknesses are and how you can be a better friend, daughter, son or sibling.

This may seem a bit childish, but it helps you to zone in on the invisible connections between yourself and others.

While people are probably going to feel more social, this brings with it more chance of misunderstandings and upsets. To deal with this, have a face-to-face conversation with the person involved – don’t bury your nose under a blanket, or text everybody telling them what an awful person your BFF is.

Since we are all a lot more sensitive now, tempers can run high. But snake energy doesn’t enjoy fireworks – you’ll win more easily by talking things out and doing your very best not to argue.

At school and at home, do not be bullied into making major decisions that don’t feel right to you. Intuition is incredibly strong over these next 12 months, which means that if your “gut” senses something is wrong, it probably is.

The solution is to ask for some time to think about and digest the issue. Don’t fly off the handle or lose your temper, as that simply does not work this year.

Of course, some situations are beyond your control: you may have to accept a situation and this might cause stress. To cope with tension, use exercise as a natural outlet for negative energy, since anger is easily bottled up, causing restlessness and moodiness.

In general, though, Lady Luck swans in and out of your life, blessing you with more moments of bliss rather than battle – just remember to behave with grace rather than ingratitude.

It’s incredible how simple life becomes when you’re living it the right way this year.

Being fair and honest, as well as running away from social politics and refusing to take sides, will bring the most benefits.

Between partying and studying, snake energy encourages you to explore your creative side. The year is all about our senses – touch, taste, sound, sights and smells – so indulge these by visiting art exhibitions and new places, and trying out recipes with strange, foreign ingredients.

A happy spirit is contagious. Make this year as pleasant as you can for yourself and everyone you know and love.

All in all, a practical approach to life is the grown-up way to hitch a ride to success.

Your role – at least for these next 12 months – is to take a back seat when necessary, speak the truth and squash pride before it gets the better of you.

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