Snake (zodiac)

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The Snake () is the sixth of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. The Year of the Snake is associated with the Earthly Branch symbol . [1]

Snake limbless, scaly, elongate reptile

Snakes are elongated, legless, carnivorous reptiles of the suborder Serpentes. Like all other squamates, snakes are ectothermic, amniote vertebrates covered in overlapping scales. Many species of snakes have skulls with several more joints than their lizard ancestors, enabling them to swallow prey much larger than their heads with their highly mobile jaws. To accommodate their narrow bodies, snakes' paired organs appear one in front of the other instead of side by side, and most have only one functional lung. Some species retain a pelvic girdle with a pair of vestigial claws on either side of the cloaca. Lizards have evolved elongate bodies without limbs or with greatly reduced limbs about twenty-five times independently via convergent evolution, leading to many lineages of legless lizards. Legless lizards resemble snakes, but several common groups of legless lizards have eyelids and external ears, which snakes lack, although this rule is not universal.

Animal Kingdom of motile multicellular eukaryotic heterotrophic organisms

Animals are multicellular eukaryotic organisms that form the biological kingdom Animalia. With few exceptions, animals consume organic material, breathe oxygen, are able to move, can reproduce sexually, and grow from a hollow sphere of cells, the blastula, during embryonic development. Over 1.5 million living animal species have been described—of which around 1 million are insects—but it has been estimated there are over 7 million animal species in total. Animals range in length from 8.5 millionths of a metre to 33.6 metres (110 ft). They have complex interactions with each other and their environments, forming intricate food webs. The kingdom Animalia includes humans, but in colloquial use the term animal often refers only to non-human animals. The study of non-human animals is known as zoology.

Chinese zodiac system that assigns an animal to each year in a repeating twelve-year cycle

The Chinese zodiac is a classification scheme that assigns an animal and its reputed attributes to each year in a repeating 12-year cycle. The 12-year cycle is an approximation to the 11.85-year orbital period of Jupiter. Based in China, the zodiac and its variations remain popular in many Asian countries and regions, such as Japan, Korea, Vietnam,, Cambodia and Thailand.

Contents

According to one legend, there is a reason for the order of the 12 animals in the 12-year cycle. The story goes that a race was held to cross a great river, and the order of the animals in the cycle was based upon their order in finishing the race. In this story, the Snake compensated for not being the best swimmer by hitching a hidden ride on the Horse's hoof, and when the Horse was just about to cross the finish line, jumping out, scaring the Horse, and thus edging it out for sixth place.

Chinese mythology Mythology

Chinese mythology is mythology that has been passed down in oral form or recorded in literature in the geographic area now known as "China". Chinese mythology includes many varied myths from regional and cultural traditions. Chinese mythology is far from monolithic, not being an integrated system, even among just Han people. Chinese mythology is encountered in the traditions of various classes of people, geographic regions, historical periods including the present, and from various ethnic groups. China is the home of many mythological traditions, including that of Han Chinese and their Huaxia predecessors, as well as Tibetan mythology, Turkic mythology, Korean mythology, and many others. However, the study of Chinese mythology tends to focus upon material in Chinese language.

Horse (zodiac) Sign of the Chinese zodiac

The Horse (⾺) is the seventh of the 12-year cycle of animals which appear in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar. There is a long tradition of the Horse in Chinese mythology. Certain characteristics of the Horse nature are supposed to be typical of or to be associated with either a year of the Horse and its events, or in regard to the personality of someone born in such a year. Horse aspects can also enter by other chronomantic factors or measures, such as hourly.

The same 12 animals are also used to symbolize the cycle of hours in the day, each being associated with a two-hour time period. The "hour" of the Snake is 9:00 to 11:00 a.m., the time when the Sun warms up the Earth, and Snakes are said to slither out of their holes. The "month" of the Snake is 5 May to 5 June.

Sun Star at the center of the Solar System

The Sun is the star at the center of the Solar System. It is a nearly perfect sphere of hot plasma, with internal convective motion that generates a magnetic field via a dynamo process. It is by far the most important source of energy for life on Earth. Its diameter is about 1.39 million kilometers, or 109 times that of Earth, and its mass is about 330,000 times that of Earth. It accounts for about 99.86% of the total mass of the Solar System. Roughly three quarters of the Sun's mass consists of hydrogen (~73%); the rest is mostly helium (~25%), with much smaller quantities of heavier elements, including oxygen, carbon, neon, and iron.

The reason the animal signs are referred to as zodiacal is that one's personality is said to be influenced by the animal signs ruling the time of birth, together with elemental aspects of the animal signs within the sexagenary cycle. Similarly, the year governed by a particular animal sign is supposed to be characterized by it, with the effects particularly strong for people who were born in any year governed by the same animal sign.

Zodiac celestial circle of twelve divisions centered upon the ecliptic

The zodiac is an area of the sky that extends approximately 8° north or south of the ecliptic, the apparent path of the Sun across the celestial sphere over the course of the year. The paths of the Moon and visible planets are also within the belt of the zodiac.

The sexagenary cycle, also known as the Stems-and-Branches or ganzhi, is a cycle of sixty terms, each corresponding to one year, thus a total of sixty years for one cycle, used for reckoning time in China and the rest of the East Asian cultural sphere. It appears as a means of recording days in the first Chinese written texts, the Shang oracle bones of the late second millennium BC. Its use to record years began around the middle of the 3rd century BC. The cycle and its variations have been an important part of the traditional calendrical systems in Chinese-influenced Asian states and territories, particularly those of Japan, Korea, and Vietnam, with the old Chinese system still in use in Taiwan.

Chinese characters logographic writing system used in the Sinosphere region

Chinese characters are logograms developed for the writing of Chinese. They have been adapted to write a number of other Asian languages. They remain a key component of the Japanese writing system where they are known as kanji. Chinese characters constitute the oldest continuously used system of writing in the world. By virtue of their widespread current use in East Asia, and historic use throughout the Sinosphere, Chinese characters are among the most widely adopted writing systems in the world by number of users. Chinese characters number in the tens of thousands, though most of them are minor graphic variants encountered only in historical texts.

In Chinese symbology, Snakes are regarded as intelligent, but with a tendency to be somewhat unscrupulous. [2]

Years and the Five Elements

People born within these date ranges can be said to have been born in the "Year of the Snake", while also bearing the following elemental sign:

Start dateEnd dateHeavenly branch
4 February 190524 January 1906 Wood Snake
23 January 191710 February 1918 Fire Snake
10 February 192929 January 1930 Earth Snake
27 January 194114 February 1942 Metal Snake
14 February 19532 February 1954 Water Snake
2 February 196520 January 1966 Wood Snake
18 February 19776 February 1978 Fire Snake
6 February 198926 January 1990 Earth Snake
24 January 200111 February 2002 Metal Snake
10 February 201330 January 2014 Water Snake
29 January 202516 February 2026 Wood Snake
15 February 20373 February 2038 Fire Snake
2 February 204922 January 2050 Earth Snake
21 January 20618 February 2062 Metal Snake
7 February 207326 January 2074 Water Snake
26 January 208513 February 2086 Wood Snake
12 February 209731 January 2098 Fire Snake

Note that in Japan the new sign of the zodiac starts on 1 January, while in China it starts, according to the traditional Chinese calendar, at the new moon that falls between 21 January and 20 February, so that persons born in January or February may have two different signs in the two countries.

Compatibility

SignBest Match/ Balance (2nd Trine Group)AverageNo Match/ Rival-Enemy-Obstacle (Opposite Sign)
SnakeSnake, Rooster, Ox Dragon, Monkey, Rat, Dog, Tiger, Horse, Rabbit, Goat Pig

Cycle: (Trine Group) Snake needs Rooster, Rooster needs Ox, Ox needs Snake; (Opposite Sign) but her rival opposes the Pig.

Basic astrology elements

Earthly Branches:Si
The Five Elements: Fire
Yin Yang:Yin
Lunar Month:Fourth
Lucky Numbers:2, 8, 9; Avoid: 1, 6, 7
Lucky Flowers: orchid, cactus
Lucky Colors:red, light yellow, black; Avoid: white, golden, brown [3]
Season:Summer

The Snake is the 6th of the 12 signs and belongs to the Second Trine, together with the Ox (2nd sign, 牛, Earthly Branch: 丑) and the Rooster (10th sign, 雞/鷄 [simplified Chinese: 鸡], Earthly Branch: 酉), with which it is most compatible.

Depictions of zodiacal Snakes either solo or in group context with the other eleven zodiacal creatures shows how they have been imagined in the calendrical context.

See also

Notes

  1. Snake Horoscope Information Archived 2013-02-17 at Archive.today Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  2. Eberhard, sub "Snake (She)", p. 268.
  3. "Chinese Zodiac - Snake". Your Chinese Astrology. Retrieved 14 March 2018.

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