2013 – Year of the Snake


Are you curious about what this year of the snake is all about? Last fall, I nearly ran over a clue… It was a beautiful Colorado day, but I was in a funk, doubting myself and wondering if I was on track with my life. To clear my mind, I hopped on my bicycle and headed for the Poudre trail. As my legs warmed up, I asked spirit for a sign, any sign, that I was doing OK and that all was truly well. I didn’t ask out of desperation, but simply put in a request that I could use a little support. Before I got a half-mile, I saw a beautiful yellow-green garter snake on the trail. A ways further, I saw another garter snake. Near the end of my ride, I saw a large bull snake. Question answered. And answered. And answered.

I don’t like snakes as pets, but as symbols, they are powerful. In almost all cultures, snakes evoke images of transformation, our own DNA, intuition, healing and mystery. To me, seeing three snakes in a single bike ride was confirmation that “yes, all is truly well.” After that day and before the weather got too cold, I continued to see snakes, clustered in threes, when I rode along the bike trail.

I was telling a client about my snake sightings and watched her shudder. “Ugh, I wouldn’t be happy if I nearly ran over a snake on my bike.” “Well”, I explained, “ask for a sign from spirit that speaks to you. I’ve always been fascinated by snakes so I keep seeing them.” I got an e-mail from her later that day. She said after her appointment with me, she sat in her car and asked spirit for a sign that she was going to be okay. When she turned the key, the radio came on with the lyrics “girl, you are amazing just the way you are.” She said she had to laugh and felt oddly reassured.

I did my systems engineering master’s research project on signal-detection theory. There is a whole body of research on the problem of detecting signal (information-bearing patterns) from noise (random occurrences). So I know it’s possible that my messages from spirit represent nothing more than my taking special note of random occurrences. But, I don’t think so. And more importantly, I don’t really care.

When I started seeing snakes last fall, I didn’t realize that 2013 was the Chinese year of the snake. As I’m now a quarter of the way through the year, I appreciate having the heads up about what to expect. Transformation. Balance. Patience. Healing.