Forest Bathing, Chapter 2


Forest Bathing Book Cover

(Click here for Chapter 1)

Chapter Two
Phantom Chamber

What seems false is real
what is real, is fantasy
when dreams become both.
–Tengu Riddle

Into the courtyard, Tomiko hurried beneath lace blossoms–pink, ginger and white. In the springtime garden, the trees stood like parasols over her mother and auntie. The two women rested among the other ladies, beneath the fragrant trees: plum, peach, and cherry. Lounging seemed the only reason for their visit to the sacred mountains. While the men climbed the steps of Haguro-San to pay homage at the mountaintop shrine. Into the reflecting pond, the men would toss mirrors for the women of their clan. These image symbols served to show the female’s esteem for the gods of the mountains since the women were not allowed to pay tribute for themselves.

Tomiko clicked her tongue in aggravation. It galled her that the women of her station were expected to lead such futile lives. She could never be so compliant sitting around complacent while the “men” took part in the feast of life. It was this skewed thinking that caused her to keep her outlaw thoughts and deeds, such as her trek up the forbidden mountain, hidden in her heart-of-hearts.

Sadness sat on her chest–the weight of a wounded heart. She could barely breathe for hiding it.
Hiding and keeping secrets seemed the only way to live life on her terms.

Desperate to keep her secret, Tomiko held the jade egg close to her breast, like an infant, fragile and in need of protection as she skirted close to a rock fountain that swished and gurgled near the gate.
The last thing she wanted was more questions about her decisions, right or wrong.

The sound of Mother speaking her name jarred her nerves, like the shrill of a water bird, brown and speckled that preyed near her home on the western shore near Tsuruoka Castle.  “Tomiko-san, where have you been?”

Tomiko skidded to a halt. She had no other choice, but to obey. Still, the fingers of her free hand curled into a fist as she turned to face the waggling finger that accused her.

Mother’s voice beat her name in staccato bursts like a mallet pounding the sides of a taiko drum barrel. “Tomiko Hino.” She sucked her teeth in exasperation. “Just look at you; your clothes are filthy!”

Tomiko cringed at the rolling eyes of disapproval, steeling herself for the worst to come as the tirade continued. Bending her face toward the ground, she gritted her teeth in agitation. Her stance was meant to appear as humiliation and shame. But on the inside, she seethed with frustrated anger.

Mother berated, “It cannot be too soon for you to conduct yourself as a proper wife-to-be!”

At the cutting words, Tomiko’s spine stiffened. Her head shot up, eyes glaring with unchecked defiance in Mother’s direction.

Tomiko had known Shun Sanada, her betrothed, since they were children, and had followed him wherever their adventures might lead. Tomiko had always loved Shun since she could remember. As his wife, she believed her life would not change from the freedom she now enjoyed, to that of the confining restrictions most wives of noblemen must endure.

It soothed her heart to believe that she would never have to bear the suffocating existence forced on Mother and Auntie, who sat like painted dolls on a shelf. The mere thought of such a fate clawed like death at Tomiko’s heart.

Her Auntie’s indulgent smile pulled her from the dark place where her mind had fallen. Auntie Said, “Ah, Fumiko-san let her be young while she can. There is time enough to be saddled with wifely duties.”

Auntie’s bold words forced the blood to Mother’s face. She gave her sister-in-law a stern, sidelong-glance filled with raw disapproval.

“Well, I can only imagine what Lord Sanada and his son would think if they could see her splattered with mud from head-to-toe.”

Auntie chuckled gently. “They would think, what a delightful, energetic mother she will make for strong-spirited sons and daughters.” She added without the slightest bow of her head in apology.

Tomiko bestowed a loving smile upon her Auntie. She could envision the serene lady, kimono tied up and fashioned as pants, trekking happily through a stream, or even climbing a sacred, forbidden mountain.

At the same time, an ashy whiteness spread from the roots of Mother’s dark hair to the base of her elegant neck. Her angry ravings replaced with alarm. Her quavering finger pointed toward the jade egg nestled in the scraped raw palm of Tomiko’s hand.

“Wha-what is that?” Mother’s eyes grew round as saucers. “From where did you get that?”

Auntie likewise looked askew at the strange object. “Hmm? Well…” Her gentle tone held no trace of blame, only bewilderment.

Resentment raw in her throat, Tomiko lifted her chin that much higher. “I found it. It, it is mine.” Her voice faltered. Still, she kept her gaze firm and resolute. She would rather die than yield her precious find.

Glancing down, she watched the jade-green skin of the egg suddenly fade into a robin’s speckled-blue. While its size shrank so that it nestled small as a silkworm’s spun cocoon against the lifeline crease that ran down the center of her palm.

In confused astonishment, Tomiko blinked. Her heart beat wildly. Had her eyes played tricks on her? Where had the jade egg gone? Her frantic gaze swept the ground in ever widening circles. Where, oh dear, oh dear, had it gone?

Gut-wrenching doubt swept through her mind, making her wonder if she had ever held the exquisite egg. Had she actually seen the priest on the steps leading up to the top of Haguro-San, or, for that matter, the King of the Tengu that stood before her in the haunted forest?

Panic grew as her mind swirled, making Tomiko feel suddenly sick to her stomach. On the slopes of the mountain, had she picked up an ordinary bird’s egg, deluding herself into thinking she had found some mysterious treasure?

Madness clawed at her mind. Her head ached. Too much had happened in one short morning and it was all crashing down around her.

Then a chuckle soft and quiet broke through the terror and confusion of her mind. Mother spoke, her angry tone replaced by affection.  “Oh run along, Tomiko-chan.”

Astonished, Tomiko watched a tender smile play across her mother’s face. Mother continued,  “But mind, clean yourself up!”

Tomiko stammered, “Yes, Oka-saan.”

Grateful for whatever had softened Mother’s heart, she bowed low in obedience. Then she spun around and hurried from the garden.

From behind, Mother’s strident voice echoed. “And walk like the lady that you are.”

Tomiko replied, “Yes-s-s, Oka-saan.”

Mother’s laughter echoed softly in the near distance. “What does she think to do with a robin’s egg? Brood and hatch it for the mother bird?”

Auntie giggled like a schoolgirl. “Perhaps she does.”

The irrational thought made Tomiko feel slightly unreal as if she floated rather than ran around the next corner. Safely out of sight from the garden and the prying eyes of her mother, she picked up her heels and raced toward the family’s private quarters. Skittering around another corner, she almost collided with an elderly servant. The woman’s arms piled high with clean laundry. Her old back bowed under the weight.

Tomiko tucked the egg inside a hidden pocket of her kimono, something she should have done earlier. She stopped, holding out her arms as if to assist the old woman.

Horrified, the servant ducked her head and hurried away down the corridor, muttering to herself.
A sigh of resignation whispered through Tomiko’s teeth. Why did things that were considered taboo attract her so? The daughter of a samurai master should never carry clean laundry, even in an attempt to help a bent-over, old woman that looked as if her back might break from the strain.

Exhausted both in mind and spirit, Tomiko slipped inside her room. She stepped inside, closing the rice paper door securely in place. Then she sank. Her knees pressed against the braided rice-rush floor.

From its hiding place, she pulled the changeling egg free. Jade-green once again, it lay nuzzled in the palm of her hand, just as it had when she plucked it from the ground near the stairs that led to Mount Haguro’s summit.

Weak with relief, she slumped down; her forehead bowed against the floor. Sojobo-sama, the name of the Tengu King, whispered through her mind. She rolled onto her back, holding the egg toward a trickle of sunlight that flowed through a crack above the door. Both the King and his egg had proven real enough, or else she had stepped into a dream of no return.

***

Darkness draped Haguro Mountain, as Tomiko lay on her sleeping mat. She gazed up toward the rafters. Transparent as fine webbing, the wooden slats melted away so that the jeweled night glittered through. Stars clung like dew drops. While a sharp tang against her tongue reminded Tomiko of salted air, though the edge of the sea washed against the shoreline of the sea, leagues in the distance. The rolling waves soothed her like a feral lullaby.

A phantom wind rattled the rice paper screens, stretched across perfect squares encased in the door face. The spectral wind swept her thoughts back to the haunted glade on Mount Haguro, and her meeting with the Tengu King.

Head pressed between damp palms; she tried to force the image of the fox spirit away as it tracked her through the underbrush. The Tengu King’s fox mistress, come to haunt and seduce her. Kitsune, a spirit creature that could transform at will into human shape. A gasp of surprise stretched Tomiko out, drowsy and content, as the fox maiden filled her mind, making her feel as if she floated somewhere above the floor.

Wrapped in veils of mists, like the ones that had surrounded King Sojobo, a man leaned over her. A glimmer of moonlight glowed softly against his cheek.

“Shun?” she whispered the name of her betrothed.

Though the man’s face stayed hidden in shadows, she could feel strong arms wrap gently around and beneath. Her breath quick and urgent, she entwined her arms around his neck, as she pulled her beloved close.

When Tomiko woke, morning light trickled past the edge of the open door, where she lay just inside the threshold. The sky above burst blue with yellow and orange light cast from the gates of the sun goddess’ sky palace. Tomiko listened to the warble of a lark, cheered by its exquisite love song.

“Shun…” Tomiko moaned, stroking fingertips across her bruised neck. The light touch ignited the earthy fragrance of pine needles that clung to her hair and robe.

Remembering something, she sat up straight, sending her confused glance around the room. It settled on the empty places where Mother and Auntie’s futon bed rolls should have reclined. Had the two women already gone to breakfast, or had they never come to sleep next to her last night?

Tomiko shifted her gaze toward the rice paper doors, opened onto the garden beyond. A smile spread slowly across her lips. Of course, the two women must have decided to spend the night with their husbands. After the wedding, she would forever spend her nights beside her beloved Shun.

***

Later that day, the family pilgrimage ended, and Tomiko found herself seated in the palanquin. Straddled across the muscled shoulders of its bearers, she felt the sedan chair, suspended by a single beam, move beneath her. Eyes drooping from lack of sleep, she leaned heavily against the inside wall.

Her fingers rested on the bamboo curtain. Chin propped against the window’s edge; she watched mist-shrouded Haguro. The mountain seemed to breathe, its summit filled with lungs that rose up and down in the crisp morning air. Her hungry eyes devoured the mystical village as both it and the mountain disappeared around a curve in the road. Her heart ached as if part of her soul was left clinging to the mountain’s haunted cliffs.

She slumped down in the cushioned seat, letting the bamboo curtain fall back in place. Her heavy eyelids slid shut as she drifted into sleep, so deep that not even the King of the Tengu could enter her dreams.

Copyright © 2012 by Ledia Runnels

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Tengu Prince Cover for Kindle 05252015

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Tour of Edo (Old Tokyo)


Edo Castle Entrance to TourEdo Tour

Welcome to Edo! This website is designed to give you a virtual tour of Edo, the ancient name for Japan’s present day capital Tokyo. This page is the “Home” of this website, so you can always come back here when you get lost. You can also look at the Site map on the bottom left if you are looking for something specific on this extensive website.

(Click the castle to continue…)

Magic in Japan Part 4: Shikigami


Shikigami or Shiki-no-kami  (servant spirit) come from Japanese folklore. A type of kami (spirit) that originated from Onmyōdō (the way of yin and yang) Japanese spell casting magic. Conjured by an onmyoji (spell caster) during a complex ceremony to protect and serve their masters,  much like a western witch or wizard’s familiar.  They spy, steal from, or attack their master’s enemies. The spiritual force of their master connects the shikigami to them.

They can appear as paper dolls shaped like a living creature or a low-level yokai (ghost, specter). Abe no Seimei used oni (demons, devils, ogres, trolls) as shikigami.  The spell caster can make his shiki (spirit) possess animals and people who the onmyoji can then manipulate.  On the opposite side, a conjured shikigami can gain control of a careless sorcerer’s will and kill them in revenge.

 

Shikigami in Popular Media:

Vol.1 - Kekkaishi.jpgKekkaishi (manga, anime, video game where shikigami appear in the form of paper dolls that follow the commands of their creator. Commonly used as clones, messengers, and workers, especially by Kekkaishi, but other ability users have been known to use them as well)

Touhou Project (video game where Ran Yakumo, a vixen (she-fox,) converts into a yokai (ghost, phantom,  supernatural monsters, and spirits in Japanese folklore) that is bound to and serves Yukari. Ran has a shikigami of her own named , Chen.

Shōnen Onmyōjivol1.jpgShōnen Onmyōji (light novel and anime where the shikigami are known as the Twelve Shinshō, considered as gods of the lower rank. They fall under the command of Abe no Seimei, the greatest onmyōji of all time. Toda/Guren/Mokkun, one of the twelve, also takes the form of an ayakashi (yokai that appear above water). Masahiro, Seimei’s grandson, considers him a mononoke (ghost). Toda assists Masahiro most of the time.

TeitoAmanoCovers.jpgTeito Monogatari (stage, manga, film, video game where shikigami, represented as shape shifters formed from parchments with the pentagram (Seiman) inscribed upon them).

InuYasha1.jpgInuyasha (manga, anime, video game where shikigami are little paper manikins that cause trouble)

NatsumeYuujinchou1.gifNatsume’s Book of Friends (manga, drama CD, anime where shikigami appear as little paper dolls that spy, track and sometimes trap yōkai and occasionally the title character for one of the series’ exorcists)

Nurarihyon no Mago Japanese Vol 1 Cover.jpgNurarihyon no Mago Nura: Rise of the Yokai Clan (manga, anime, video game where shikigami appear as battle spirits used as weapons by the onmyōji against the yōkai)

A young girl dressed in work clothes is standing in front of an image containing a group of pigs and the city behind her. Text below reveal the title and film credits, with the tagline to the girl's right.Spirited Away (anime where shikigami appear as a swarm of little paper dolls, attacking Chihiro’s friend, Haku.)

NegimaMagisterNegiMagi vol1 Cover.jpgMahou Sensei Negima!  (manga, anime, video game where Setsuna’s pactio, Sica Shishikushiro is a wakizashi skilled in anti-demon arts who teaches Negi how to create shikigami from paper)

Tokyo Ravens light novel vol 1.pngTokyo Ravens (light novel, manga, anime has two types: servant shikigami, spirits and living beings that serve a practitioner through a contract. Man made Shikigami, created by putting magical energy into a ‘core’ vessel, such as a paper doll, a sword or a motorcycle.

Kamisama Kiss (manga and anime where aikuchi hatches by Akura-Ou‘s magic, Mamoru, a monkey shikigami, hatched by Nanami Momozono, Monjiro is Akura-ou‘s loyal Shigikami)

Kantai Collection (manga, light novels, anime, film, audio CDs, video game where shikigami appear as aircraft carriers in human-like form)

Descendants of Darkness.jpgDescendants of Darkness (manga and anime where shinigami (soul reapers) summon shikigami as guardian spirits. When in battle in the living world, shikigami appear as various types of mythological creatures. There are different kinds of shikigami, roughly divided by the four elements, earth, wind, fire, and water. The majority of shinigami can only summon two or three shikigami. The single exception is Asato Tsuzuki, who commands the power of twelve high-ranked shikigami.)

InazumaElevenGO.jpgInazuma Eleven GO (manga,anime, and video game) where shikigami appear as paper gods that are part of a karate technique used by a goalkeeper)

Red Data Girl Novel Cover Volume 1.pngRed Data Girl (novel series, manga, anime where onmyoji uses paper and origami to call forth the shikigami)

References (besides Wikipedia, see individual link notations in Popular Media):

Mysticism, Religion, and Red Data Girl: http://www.funimation.com/blog/2014/05/21/mysticism-religion-and-red-data-girl/

TVTroupe: Useful Notes?Onmyodo: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/UsefulNotes/Onmyodo

Shikigami: http://japanesemythology.weebly.com/index.html

Year of the Blue Wooden Horse


Five Chinese Elements - Diurnal Cycle
Five Chinese Elements – Diurnal Cycle (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Promises to bring good times and a happy and prosperous 2014!

http://www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/social_customs/zodiac/horse.htm

The spirit of the horse is recognized to be the Chinese people‘s ethos – making unremitting efforts to improve themselves. It is energetic, bright, warm-hearted, intelligent and able. Ancient people liked to designate an able person as ‘Qianli Ma’, a horse that covers a thousand li a day (one li equals 500 meters).

Strengths
People born in the year of the horse have ingenious communicating techniques and in their community they always want to be in the limelight. They are clever, kind to others, and like to join in a venture career. Although they sometimes talk too much, they are cheerful, perceptive, talented, earthy but stubborn. They like entertainment and large crowds. They are popular among friends, active at work and refuse to be reconciled to failure, although their endeavor cannot last indefinitely.

Weaknesses
They cannot bear too much constraint. However their interest may be only superficial and lacking real substance. They are usually impatient and hot blooded about everything other than their daily work. They are independent and rarely listen to advice. Failure may result in pessimism. They usually have strong endurance but with bad temper. Flamboyant by nature, they are wasteful since they are not good with matters of finance due to a lack of budgetary efficiency. Some of those who are born in the horse like to move in glamorous circles while pursuing high profile careers.  They tend to interfere in many things and frequently fail to finish projects of their own.

China Zodiac Animal - HorseHoroscope and Numerology Elements
Earthly Branch of Birth Year: wu
Wu Xing (The Five Elements): huo (fire)
Yin Yang: yang
Auspicious Directions: northeast, southwest and northwest
Lucky Colors: brown, yellow, purple; Avoid: blue, white, golden
Lucky Numbers: 2, 3, 7; Avoid 1, 6, 5
Lucky Flowers: calla lily, jasmine, marigold
Zodiac Sign Compatibility – Best match: tiger, sheep, dog; Avoid: rat, ox, rabbit

Celebrities Born in the Year of the Horse
Louisa May Alcott, Chopin, Davy Crockett, Ella Fitzgerald, Aretha Franklin, Sandra Day O’Connor, Rembrandt, Teddy Roosevelt, Sir Isaac Newton, Barbara Streisand, Cindy Crawford, Cynthia Nixon, Denzel Washington, Harrison Ford, Jason Biggs, Jackie Chan, Jerry Seinfeld, John Travolta, Leonard Bernstein, Oprah Winfrey, Paul McCartney, Rembrandt, Ashton Kutcher, Emma Watson, Josh Hartnett, Katie Holmes, Kristen Stewart, Kobe Bryant, Genghis Khan, Emperor Kangxi and Yongzheng of China’s Qing Dynasty (1644 – 1911)

Fortune Foretelling in 2014
Overview: It is their order to encounter the Year of Birth (Benming Nian), a year to offend “Taisui’, the god in charge of people’s fortune. In 2014, their fortune in all aspects will be fluctuant which requires their great cares. They may stress out, in which case they are suggested to self-adjust by talking more to others or taking part in group activities. Upon any difficulties, they should be strong to overcome them all. If they treat people around friendly and behave righteously, they will smoothly get through the year.

Career: Horse people are easily offended this year even for trifles, and seem not to keep a harmonious relationship with colleagues. Sometimes they doubt themselves too much, gradually short of confidence. When finishing a task, they ask people around to confirm again and again. In this case, it is suggested to be confident and talk more to family instead of complaining to colleagues. Just keep a low profile, get along well with boss and be careful of tricks by mean people and then they will make some achievements in job.
Wealth: Their financial fortune will be unstable in 2014. It seems that there will be much unexpected cost. Thus to make ends meet comes first When managing money matters, they should consider accepting others’ suggestion. It is necessary to be careful to make any investment. Businesspeople should make a full scheme before making a large amount of investment, because the market will be changeable in the year.
Relationships: The fortune in love life for horse people will be just so-so. If they would like to get married in the year, it is strongly suggested to select an auspicious date according to the dates of birth of the bride and the bridegroom, or they will suffer a lot in marriage. Singles may meet several people that they have feelings for, but none of them are doomed to be their Mr./Ms. Right. If standing in dilemma, they’d better refer to the idea or suggestion of their relatives and friends. Husband and wife will argue a lot in the year, to avoid which communication and mutual understanding weighs. For all lovers, mutual trust is the secret for an everlasting relationship.
Health: As they offend “Taisui” this year, they may suffer some discomforts. Some insidious diseases like dermatosis may happen. To avoid that, they’d better have a full physical examination. Besides, they also need to be careful to avoid unexpected injuries by knives and others sharp items. Females should pay attention to problem in urinary system and males need to care more about their stomach. Adjusting their emotions and traveling outside will help with their health as well. They also need to remember not to eat too much for each meal.

Ruins of Ichijodani Castle


The historical ruins are located in the Kidonouchi section of Fucui Prefrecture, Japan. During the Sengoku Period of feudal Japan, also know as the Warring States Period, this area was controlled by the Asakura clan, a family line of daimyo (feudal lords) for 103 years. Founded in 1471, the castle town became a major cultural and military center.  The Asakura family was defeated by Oda Nobunaga at the Battle of Anegawa in 1570, and were all but eliminated when their home castle of Ichijodani was taken three years later. Most of the castle and town were burned to the ground in 1573, The remaining ruins were later excavated in 1967. English: Asakura Yakata of Ichijōdani Asakura ...Main Gate of Feudal Castle

Main Gate of Castle

 

Asakura Family Gardens

Asakura Family Gardens

Fukui Prefecture, JapanFukui Prefecture, Honshu Island, Japan

Portrait of Oda Nobunaga (detail)
Portrait of Oda Nobunaga (detail) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wokou: Japanese Pirates


English: Sixteenth-century Japanese pirate (Wo...
English: Sixteenth-century Japanese pirate (Wokou) raids against China & Korea. Based on Map 23, from The Cambridge History of China, Vol. 7: The Ming Dynasty 1368-1644, Part I (Cambridge University Press: 1988) Modern provinces of China are shown. Created and copyright (2004) by Yu Ninjie, with thanks to suggestions from Ran. Released under the GNU FDL. ‪中文(繁體)‬: 16世紀倭寇侵襲中國以及朝鮮。 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From Layers of Learning http://www.layers-of-learning.com/wokou-japanese-pirates-of-the-middle-ages/

Wokou is Chinese for pirate and literally means Japanese-bandit. They were a problem in the middle ages. The Japanese pirates would sit among the many islands of the Japanese archipelago and the Chinese coast waiting for a nice juicy trading vessel to come along and like pirates (and government officials) everywhere they had no respect for private property, but if they saw, they took. They grew bolder over the years and raided coastal towns, even traveling up rivers in China and repeatedly looting the capital city of Korea. The Wokou were supported and commanded by coastal feudal lords of Japan. Most of them were peasants who were sent out to loot for their lord. It became such a problem that the Ming court of China ordered that only government ships could sail and trade with nearby nations, which caused the unintended but obvious result of huge smuggling operations and growing pirating activities by the Chinese, until Chinese pirates outnumbered Japanese. Ah, government, what they won’t think of next.

Print this map showing the pirate activity. Color the early pirate activity areas in purple and the later pirate activities in dark blue. Trace the rivers in light blue and color the ocean light blue. Color the land green. Trace routes to the raiding coasts from Japan in red.

Welcome the Year of the Water Snake 2013


Water Snake

I found this site on the net and thought it interesting enough to share. BTW, my daughter was born in the Year of the “Earth Snake” 1989.

Ancient Chinese wisdom says a Snake in the house is a good omen because it means your family will not starve. This could be taken metaphorically to mean that a Snake could never have a problem with his family starving because he is such a great mediator, making him good at business. Or it could mean that a Snake would be willing to sacrifice his possessions, something the Snake has a lot of, in order to pay for his family’s food. Any way it is interpreted is representative of the Snake’s character and is a measure of the value he puts on his material wealth. The Snake is keen and cunning, quite intelligent and wise.

Years of the Snake

Snake Years are sixth in the cycle, following the Dragon Years, and recur every twelfth year. The Chinese New Year does not fall on a specific date, so it is essential to check the calendar to find the exact date on which each Snake Year actually begins.

1905*1917*1929*1941*1953*1965*1977*1989*2001

THE SIGN OF THE SNAKE

The Snake is the intuitive, introspective, refined and collected of the Animal Signs. They are attractive people who take cries with ease and do not become flustered easily. They are graceful people, exciting and dark at the same time.

Contemplative and private, the Snake is not outwardly emotional. He can appear cunning and reticent and works very modestly in the business environment. The Snake will plot and scheme to make certain things turn out exactly as they want them to. They are not great communicators and can become quite possessive when they set their minds on achieving the interest of a partner.

SNAKE FACTS:

People born in the Year of the Snake share certain characteristics. The Snake Sign is an abbreviated way of characterizing that individual’s personality. Following are features associated with the Sign of the Snake.

Sixth in order, Chinese name—SHE, sign of the sagacity

Hour—9am-10:59am Month—May

Western Counterpart—Taurus

CHARACTERISTICS

Acute, Aware, Cunning, Proud, Vain, Vicious

IN YOUR ELEMENT

The characteristics of the Snake are tempered by one of the five Chinese elements of Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth overlaying a 5-year cycle of characteristics on the original 12-year cycle.

THE METAL SNAKE 1941 AND 2001

Metal Snakes are extremely willful individuals who will stop at nothing to achieve their goals. These people will have their guards up 24-hours a day in order to protect themselves from any failure or possibility of it. They place a great deal of importance on money, but are more concerned with the possessions their finances can bring them. They are in and out so sharply and so silently that they are often unheard and unseen. You must be careful with these Snakes because, although they can be generous, they are always out for number one.

THE WATER SNAKE 1953 AND 2013

Water Snakes are influential and insightful. They manage others well and tend to be good for organizations to utilize as staff. They are quite motivated and intellectual, very determined and resolute about success. They will have what they desire, despite the conclusion or outcome they generate because it is worth it to them to not only be recognized for their efforts, but to be rewarded as well. They are affectionate with their families and friends but do not show this side of their personality to colleagues or business partners.

THE WOOD SNAKE 1905 AND 1965

The element of Wood, like in most Animal Signs, gives the Snake a bit of solidity and foundation. Wood Snakes are not as self-preserving as the rest of them, as vanity is not really his style. These Snakes have a stable group of friends and family to hang out with and love each of these people quite deeply. However, it is rare that the Snake utilize his group of loved ones for advice or listening, often opting to go at it alone. Kindness and ingenuity are two of this Snake’s greatest characteristics.

THE FIRE SNAKE 1917 AND 1977

Fire Snakes can be a bit loud, speaking their minds and smothering you with their opinions. This does add a twist to his dynamic and vibrant character, as he is quite the extrovert. These Snakes have a great wisdom. They are intriguing communicators who leave you breathless after a conversation. Fire Snakes can change even the most obstinate mind with their powers of persuasion, convincing you their opinions or ideas are better than yours. This does make them a little self-centered, but you can’t say they aren’t driven for success.

THE EARTH SNAKE 1929 AND 1989

Earth Snakes are the most relaxed of the breeds. They lead calm lives and offer a down-to-earth appeal to any conversation or outing. This may make them seem more friendly, as you may not feel the need to wonder what he’s got up his sleeve. They may also shun the need to lash out or take risks, but it isn’t from paranoia. They figure their good sense and work ethic will pay off and bring them much fortune and material satisfaction.

HEALTH AND HABITAT

HEALTH

Snakes become easily stressed and have to avoid hectic schedules or noisy atmospheres. They do not get a rush from adrenaline, instead, a headache. They need calm and quiet to thrive and succeed. A Snake must have sleep and relaxation to live a long, healthy life.

AT HOME WITH THE SNAKE

The Snake is very sophisticated and cultured in his choices for home decor. They like muted colors and prefer to have one very expensive chair rather than three reasonable priced ones. The Snake is elegant and graceful and places emphasis on his comfort when deciding what to decorate with. As we know, the Snake must have peace, so you may find relaxation or sounds of nature tapes next to the stereo. Snakes do not deprive themselves of luxuries either, as one of everything never seems to ease his mind. He is materialistic and therefore must have as many of everything, if not more than his friends and family.

CAREER AND FINANCE

THE SNAKE AT WORK

Snakes become bored easily and therefore change jobs quite frequently. They are very conscientious and diligent at work. Since they are such relaxed individuals, they can often seem to be slacking off at work when in reality they are at the height of their creativity. They are organized and precise. Snakes can make lightning deadlines and can problem solve quickly. Sometimes, because they like to work alone, they can seem as though they are withholding information or being secretive about company initiatives.

MONEY AND THE SNAKE

A Snake’s worst nightmare is jumping head first into a financial deal or a shopping spree. The Snake can be successful as long as he avoids extemporaneous spending. Although he is intuitive, the Snake will often dive right into decisions without weighing the consequences, which can cause him financial ruin.

SNAKE CAREERS

Those born in the Year of the Snake share the same kinds of goals and objectives in life. The occupations best suited for the Snake are listed below:

SNAKES MAKE EXCELLENT:

Scientists

Potters

Analysts

Jewelers

Spiritual Leaders

Sociologists

Dietitians

Astrologers

Magicians

Investigators

Painters

CONGENIAL BUSINESS PARTNERS

Whether Snakes are compatible with their business partners depends on whether their signs are harmonious or antagonistic to those of their business partner. Considering the congruity of their own characters and the characters of their business partners can also be very useful.

Snakes ruled by Benefit From Are Antagonistic to

Metal Earth Rats Fire Dogs

Water Metal Rabbits Earth Horses

Wood Water Oxen Metal Tigers

Fire Wood Roosters Water Sheep

Earth Fire Snakes Wood Monkeys

Leisurely activities and pleasures

LIKES AND DISLIKES

Since Snakes are born under the same Animal Sign, they often share likes and dislikes. Following are similar likes and dislikes of the Snake personality.

Color Preference: Red

Gems and Stones: Topaz, Jasper, Bloodstone

Suitable Gifts: binoculars, Tarot cards, oils and lotions, stamp collection

Hobbies and Pastimes: Astrology, painting, touring, photography

Snakes Dislike: Being interrupted, being mislead personally or professionally, failure

THE SNAKE ON VACATION

Snakes love to vacation. They get a great deal of pleasure out of just being lazy. And they love luxurious things, often spending their money on material desires they probably don’t need. When a Snake goes on vacation, he really goes on vacation. Fancy restaurants, expensive health clubs and spas, anything in which they can fully indulge themselves. Their getaways must be fully equipped to pamper their every want, or the Snake will become stressed.

FRIENDS AND ENEMIES

Snakes have very few friends because thy are not outwardly emotional or open creatures. The friends they do make generally last a lifetime, even though their peers may find it hard to relate to the Snake because he is withdrawn and secretive. Still, Snakes like social functions, in moderation, where they can gossip about the latest scandal or the newest news. If you stab a Snake in the back it is likely you will never be forgiven. In addition, you should prepare yourself for retaliation for the Snake always gets the last word.

Compatible Friends

Best Friends: Oxen and Roosters

Mortal Enemy: Pigs

SNAKE PARENTS AND BABIES

Snakes will likely form intimate bonds throughout his lifetime with different partners. With these relationships come children, and it is likely the Snake will have many children and stepchildren throughout his lifetime. Regardless, Snakes are devoted and dedicated parents, willing and able to defend the livelihood and happiness of their children.

Snake parents often use humor to deal with their parents. Because they like peace and quiet, they generally use humor to avoid confrontational situations with their young. In addition, this joy of serenity comes at a price for their children. Snake parents are not known to be the most affectionate or playful parents. They do not like to roll around and get dirty with their children, nor do they enjoy loud situations, and these types of things send a Snake running for a locked bedroom door. Unfortunately for the Snake partner, he is responsible for calming the children back down.

SNAKE INFANT AND CHILD

Snake children are often loners, enjoying playing by themselves, quietly in their yards or bedrooms. They are often hampered with learning disabilities and thus need patience from teachers and parents. Teachers and parents may have to invest extra time and tutorials in the Snake child in order to keep him up-to-date with all of the other children in the class. When picked on or upset, Snake children tend to pout and hold grudges and when embarrassed or angry, they will lash out at the culprit as quickly as they were made fun of.

SNAKE PARENT/CHILD KINSHIP

Some parents immediately click with their children and others find they will never have a close relationship no matter how hard they try to make it happen. Following are compatibility ratings between Snake parents and their children.

Snakes with Under the same roof Compatibility Rating

Rat let him be independent **

Ox pretty stable ***

Tiger temperamental clashes *

Rabbit very happy ***

Dragon blissful ****

Snake similar opinions and outlooks ***

Horse too different *

Sheep enjoyable ***

Monkey what you don’t know won’t hurt you ****

Rooster so-so **

Dog affectionate at times ***

Pig fairly diverse ideas *

*uphill struggle **some complications ***easy bonding ****on the same wavelength

Lovers and spouses

THE SNAKE LOVER

Snakes are beautiful people who exhibit quite a sexual appeal. They are sleek and seductive and if they want you, will out a spell on you that won’t let you stop thinking about them. However, Snakes are quite prejudiced when choosing a partner and don’t just choose based on physical qualities. The Snake needs a partner who can appreciate his quirky sense of humor and his wacky way of handling situations, so generally, although quite beautiful and tempting to approach, the Snake does all the pursuing.

MARRIAGE

Because the Snake is so choosy, he can become jealous and obsessive about his partner. They can be a bit stand-offish with their mates, choosing to push away emotions rather than confront their feelings and insecurities. Once betrayed, you can bank on not ever being trusted by the Snake again as much as you can bet he will get even.

THE SNAKE LOVE PARTNER

Not everyone can live and be happy with a Snake. It takes a patient soul, someone ready for the long haul, who can calm his nerves and deal with his obsessions with skill. Chinese horoscopes are very specific about which partnerships have the potential to be successful in love and in business. Yet, though destiny can point us in the right direction, we must still make all efforts to maintain loving relationships. Following is a brief description of how a Snake will affect a relationship with other Animal Signs.

PARTNERS IN LOVE

Snake*Rat

You stand to learn a lot from each other.

Snake*Ox

You have a stable, loving relationship.

Snake*Tiger

Various differences will lead you apart down the road.

Snake*Rabbit

Intense and sensual, you have a lot to look forward to.

Snake*Dragon

You fit well together…you share flirtatious natures and zesty outlooks.

Snake*Snake

You are both intelligent, but too envious for a partnership.

Snake* Horse

Outlook is doubtful…there is to much to fight about.

Snake*Sheep

You two make great friends and even better lovers.

Snake*Monkey

You can’t really trust each other, can you?

Snake*Rooster

Dynamic duo!

Snake*Dog

Love at first sight. Go for it!

Snake*Pig

Not enough in common to pursue.

Love Partners at a Glance

Snakes with Tips on Togetherness Compatibility

Rat mutually fascinated with each other ***

Ox wonderful connection ****

Tiger doubtful outlook *

Rabbit great sexual attraction ***

Dragon pretty similar paths ***

Snake must stay independent of each other **

Horse remember to communicate **

Sheep quite blissful ****

Monkey have to cooperate with each other **

Rooster stable and caring ****

Dog good combination of mental and physical ***

Pig too divided *

*dispute **keep working at it ***intense sexual attraction ****angelic

EAST MEETS WEST

ARIES SNAKE

This combination brings forth bravery and motivation. Snakes like to make money and are more apt to do so when trying to accomplish a reward. They are fairly open-minded with their money and make great stay-at-home parents.

TAUREAN SNAKE

These Snakes remember everything for they have quite a vivid memory. Don’t underestimate the capabilities of this Snake, for he will forge on until he gets what he wants.

GEMINI SNAKE

These Snakes can talk their way out of anything, so a confrontation with them is a lost cause. They are well-educated and a bit amenable, making them quite intriguing.

CANCERIAN SNAKE

These Snake love to be recognized for their efforts. For them, working hard to provide for their family is first priority.

LEONINE SNAKE

Confident and proud, the Leonine Snake hates to come in second place. They fuel on kudos from others, but will become a bit obnoxious if it goes to their heads.

VIRGO SNAKE

These Snakes love to tell others what to do. They enjoy using their energies to run a successful organization and use their intelligence to improve their title and rank at work.

LIBRAN SNAKE

One of the most beautiful breeds of the Snake, Libran Snakes are graceful and kind. They are always being pursued by someone interested in them and fall deeply in love with the right partner.

SCORPIO SNAKE

These individuals have hidden emotions and feelings that rarely ever surface. They are quite guarded with their thoughts and opinions and do not upset easily.

SAGITTARIAN SNAKE

Born with great taste in everything, these Snakes are the classy and sophisticated of the breed. They enjoy cultural things and will find a partner who will share the same ideals.

CAPRICORN SNAKE

These Snakes build their bank accounts through organization and motivation. They can be seen as snobby, when in reality they are simply the quiet types.

AQUARIAN SNAKE

Intelligent and open-minded, Aquarian Snakes like to have a partner to depend on. However, they hate to be tied down and need to have space.

PISCEAN SNAKE

These Snakes are compassionate and sensitive to the needs of others. They take everything quite emotionally and when they fall in love, they are committed completely

Article origin: http://www.usbridalguide.com/special/chinesehoroscopes/Snake.htm

Also of interest:

Year of the Water Snake: Feng Shui Predictions for 2013.

 http://www.elephantjournal.com/2012/12/year-of-the-water-snake-feng-shui-predictions-for-2013/