Happy Year of the Snake: May You Be Happy
May all your thoughts be positive
and your experiences be good.
May you be free of problems, sickness, and sadness.
May your life be long and peaceful
and may you quickly reach enlightenment.
The year of the Black Snake begins on Sunday February 10, 2013 with the new moon rising in Aquarius. Han-Ban.com says that “the year of Snake is meant for steady progress and attention to detail. Focus and discipline will be necessary for you to achieve what you set out to create.”
The Snake is “enigmatic, intuitive, introspective, refined.”
According to Geomancer and Philosopher Paul Ng, the year 2013 is “Mountain-Thunder Rhythm”– a year of conservation, a year of rebuilding, and a year of changes.
The snake image I’m working with is of shedding my skin–letting go. I spent the weekend going through a storage space under the house, cleaning out the old dead stuff, shedding the stuff I no longer need. Unfortunately, with the load for the dump, my husband accidentally took my grandmother’s handmade silk satin wedding dress from 1937. Ah yes, snake lesson: steady progress, don’t rush, and attention to detail. Shedding shouldn’t hurt this much, it should be natural. So right now I’m not too happy.
While next Sunday is the first day of the Snake, celebrations began over the weekend and will continue through the full moon.
Locally, at An Lac Mission, 901 S. Saticoy in Ventura CA, Bhante Sutadhara will lead chanting on February 9 at 6pm followed by inviting the bell, prostrations for repentence, food offerings, and a party. At 10pm, invite the great bell and the wisdom drum and offer candle lights to the medicine Buddha. At 11pm, pick up good luck red envelopes.
Events commence on Sunday February 10 at 10am with the arrival of the Maitrya Buddha and conclude at 7pm with chanting of the medicine Buddha sutra.
Monday and Tuesday at 11am is food offereings to the spirits of the ancestors and the departed followed by lunch, and again at 7pm, chanting of the medicine sutra.
Two weeks later, on Sunday February 24, is the full moon ceremony at 11am, lunch at noon and 7pm blessings for peace and happiness.
Sunday March 3 is a pilgrimage to eight temples in southern California.
Image above is a detail of the rare Buddhist art of silk applique thangkas by Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo. His Holiness the Dalai Lama gave his blessings to Leslie’s work and encouraged her to make images that speak to the spiritual aspirations of people across religions and cultures. Leslie’s fascinating story is the subject of the acclaimed documentary film, Creating Buddhas: the Making and Meaning of Fabric Thangkas. Leslie mentors a select group of students around the world through her Stitching Buddhas Virtual Apprentice Program, and her Weekly Wake-ups (pictured) provide a thread of inspiration each week.
- Virtual Buddhist Art Apprenticeships: Leslie Rinchen-Wongmo’s Online Ancient Tibetan Spiritual Art Form (kcet.org)
- Medicine Buddha Thangka Added to Zen Garden’s Emporium (prweb.com)
- Krishnamurti: You Are The Guru, You Are The Leader, You Are Everything (compassionaterebel.wordpress.com)