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Happy Lunar New Year! We checked in with astrology expert Susie Cox on what 2013, under the Chinese zodiac, brings.

“The Lunar New Year always starts at sunset, after the new moon, after the sun enters the sign of Aquarius each year. This is why it starts on a different day each year. This time, it begins on February 10th.

“There are 12 animals in the zodiac and 2013 is the Year of the Snake. In Chinese astrology, inquisitive snakes are associated with healing, beauty and wisdom. It is the sign of the philosopher and clergy of the zodiac; introspection, nurturing and transformation are all snake qualities. Snakes are very clever, even cunning, and expect to get what they want. At first they seem slow moving — then they slither, intuitively, toward their goal. Typically snakes are very good at money and like quality, as they can be shrewd, materialistic and very business oriented. Snakes are refined, graceful and don’t fluster easily.

“In Chinese astrology, the five elements are metal, water, wood, fire and earth. Here is the tricky part: Each year, the animals rotate, but the elements continue for two consecutive years. For example, last year was the Water Dragon and this year is the Water Snake. The element of water adds a talent for persuasiveness and an ease of mobility through sticky situations. Water Snakes are very motivated and intellectual, determined to succeed — and usually do! They are affectionate with their family and loved ones, even though they put on a more distant face for their colleagues.

“So what can we expect for 2013? Water Snake years typically see major developments in science, technology, education and inventions. The snake is a sexual icon, of course. So on a personal level, this particular Chinese year should bring its share of romance and outrageous scandals. You will notice that people will want a sophisticated style and upscale quality in their lives. As a result, fashion, the arts, music and theater will flourish this year.

“How can we use this ancient knowledge to help us? Take some extra time for yourself and honor the Year of the Water Snake. This is the year for introspection, reflection, a chance to look inside ourselves for answers and then trusting our instincts, without question. This power comes from instinctively moving through the water and trusting where to go, even if we don’t. Our gut instinct will be our guide — we just have to trust it.”
— Susie Cox

Illustration by Bernadette Pascua

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