The Year of the Serpent

Welcome to the Year of the Serpent! Elementally, 2013 consists of Water and Fire. Energetically the Water element is creative, flexible and powerful while the element of Fire is dynamic, passionate and unpredictable. The positive manifestations of these two energies are more optimism, creativity and entrepreneurial growth. On the other hand, Water and Fire are opposing energies and therefore conflicts cannot be avoided.

Let’s examine how the energetic cycles might affect the health in the five areas of your life, mainly physical, emotional, spiritual, moral and financial.

Physical Health:

In this year, one may experience a higher tendency for conditions involving the Water Element

(kidneys, bladder, adrenal glands, fertility and hormonal systems), and the Fire Element (heart, blood pressure, and circulation).

Action Plan: Eat more beans for their phytosterols, which are supportive for hormonal health. Drink cranberry, cherry juice and a little apple cider to keep the kidney and bladder free from bacteria and uric acid. Try adding more spices and herbs into your diet including my Heart Health Spice Blend (ground cinnamon, fennel seed, cloves, star anise, white pepper, parsley, ginger, cayenne pepper, turmeric) and Sexual Health Spice Blend (ground coriander, ginger, cayenne pepper, cloves, turmeric, curry, chili, fenugreek, fennel seed, garlic, cardamom, nutmeg, basil). Avoid eating red meat, dairy, fatty, greasy, deep fried foods, processed and refined carbohydrates, alcohol, and sugar. I also recommend taking fish and flax oil which are high in omega fatty acids that decrease inflammation and are helpful for the heart and circulation. Take care of problems when they are small by being proactive and seeking holistic care. Exercise consistently to keep your heart fit and help your body stay strong.

Emotional Health:

Water relates to fear while Fire corresponds to excitement, neither of which is healthy in excess. Fear paralyzes and consumes energy and prevents one from taking the necessary steps for healthy emotional growth and maturity. Thrill seeking, while exciting, can result in hyper-stimulation of one’s nervous system. Both emotional states create stress that can harm one’s heart and over tax the adrenal gland, potentially upsetting both the hormonal and the nervous systems.

Action Plan: Meditate daily using guided meditations like Meditation for Stress Release (CD) or Meditations for Emotional Detox (CD) to lower your cortisol—stress hormone level and increase endorphins to help you relax and experience inner peace. Tai qi and yoga are also helpful. Keep a nightly journal to unload pent up feelings. Talk to a therapist or counselor. Cultivate a state of gratefulness.

Spiritual Health:

The nature of Water and Fire is movement— Water tends to flow downward while Fire wants to blaze upward. With these two opposing forces colliding, inner conflict may arise between desiring more material things, especially coming out of several years of austere economic conditions, and wanting to simplify for a more satisfying spiritual life. A balanced desire for material and spiritual achievement can lead to a constructive life.

Action Plan: The spiritual opportunities for this year are to work on strengthening your will power, which emanates from your Water Element, and opening your heart, increasing acceptance of others, and cultivating compassion—all of which correspond to the Fire Element. Acceptance of others begins with acceptance of yourself—embrace and love yourself with all of your imperfections, just as a mother loves her child.

Moral Health:

Your moral values govern how you interact with people and the world around you. Since the energies of 2013 portend a tendency for conflicts, you would be wise to strive for harmony in your relationships. The dynamic of Water and Fire, just like feminine and masculine, must be harmonized for a relationship to succeed. All healthy relationships require patience, understanding and flexibility, which are the hallmarks of the serpent.

Action Plan: Since fear, mistrust and sadness cause one to close up and impede full exchange in a relationship, it is important to recognize these blocks and resolve them.  Write down the blocks in your relationships and make a time with the other person to work on the blocks together by practicing behaviors that bring more trust, understanding and forgiveness. Focus on specific behaviors and refrain from judgment and generalizing. Set a time to review progress weekly, and revise when necessary. Successful relationships require clear, calm and consistent communication and feedback. Get help from relationship experts when you need it.

Financial Health:

The Fire Element tends to be excitable, dynamic and unpredictable. Thus during years when the Fire Element is present, the stock market is prone to more optimism and rises accordingly. The Water Element, on the other hand, is creative, flexible and powerful. When combined harmoniously with the Fire Element, 2013 is a good year for entrepreneurial activities involving creative fields like entertainment, media, fashion and technology.

Action Plan: Take inventory of where you are financially and make a realistic plan of where you want to be in the future. Engage a professional financial advisor, or use the many available resources to do it yourself. Set up a budget of savings and expenses and stick to it. Resist temptations with all the optimistic pronouncements in the news, and invest your money with discipline. Review your progress regularly and adjust your strategies according to your goals and future needs. Don’t forget to invest in yourself by increasing your knowledge base, upgrading your skills and expanding your network.

In summary, every year offers a unique set of challenges and opportunities. By following the guidance of the Five Elements in 2013 we can learn to ride the Water wave and avoid being scorched by the Fire. Have a happy and healthy Year of the Serpent!