First Blog Post - What I have learned

Hello, my name is Patricia and I am a snake. That always feels weird to say because of the social connotation of the word “snake” as someone who might be evil, a traitor, cunning or disloyal. However, through my own research I found that traits associated with the snake include being charming, introverted, smart, deep-thinkers and generous.



I also learned there are elements associated with the Chinese zodiac that include - fire, wood, water, earth and metal. As described in an article “These are derived from the Five Elements Theory—or Wu Xing—a philosophy used to describe the relationship and interdependence between all things. This teaching is all about finding balance and embracing the process. As one energy waxes, another wanes. All elements are interconnected and there is no hierarchy.” I discovered I am a metal snake, therefore I am focused, driven, loyal, protective, compassionate and have high moral standards. Negative traits associated with me include being judgemental and controlling. 


Furthermore, from browsing our class website I learned “snake people rely heavily on first impressions, on their own feelings, on their sympathies, rather than on facts, on the advice and opinions of others. They seem to have a kind of sixth sense in this way.” I found I can heavily relate to this statement because my family describes me as a very intuitive person, I find my impression of others is almost always accurate to their character. As for our fatal flaw of “our tendency to exaggerate”, I find that that also applies - I am someone who can give too much.


Regarding the diet associated with the snake, I learned from the Hox Zodiac website - our taste is bitter. Snakes would eat an iron rich diet that may include liver, lamb, egg yolks, kidneys, all beans, bitter greens, kale, collard greens, avocado, onions and lettuce barley, pasta, wheat, granola, quinoa, goat milk, cheese, ghee, and yogurts. 


Additionally, through my own research into HOX genes, I learned HOX genes are a family of regulatory genes that encode transcription factors and are essential during embryonic development. HOX genes are essential both for appropriate reproductive tract development and for adult function. In essence, HOX genes define the basic body plan of all animals and are the same for all of us - therefore they also connect us despite our race, culture, age, or assigned zodiac animal. 


In the Chinese Zodiac there are 12 animals, the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. The five elements I described above are assigned to the 12 animals, giving different characteristics to each animal. Assigning each of the five elements to the 12 years creates 60 different combinations that result in a 60-year cycle. This is the year of the rabbit, which we celebrated in class.



All in all, learning about the Chinese zodiac and HOX genes leads to the combined project of hosting dinner parties where participants bring a dish that is related to their animal and where stories, culture and experiences are shared. I think this is an amazing way to bring people of different backgrounds together to find commonality in each other by sharing stories and experiencing the food brought by others. I have learned so much in this seminar class so far and find it all very interesting, I can’t wait to participate in our final feast. 




Chinese Zodiac | Snake

The role of HOX genes in the development and function of the female reproductive tract

Chinese Zodiac Elements: What Yours Is and What It Means in 2023 - PureWow.

Hox Zodiac


Hox Zodiac: