Happy Chinese New Year of the Water Dragon!!!
Exciting times are upon us. Chinese New Year 4710, the Yang Water Dragon, or Black Dragon Year, began January 23, 2012. We have experienced the cautious beauty of the Rabbit, and now it is time to soar with the Dragon. The Dragon is the only mythical and celestial animal in the Chinese zodiac. Unlike the malefic dragons of Western lore, Chinese dragons are beneficent, mighty beings, having magnanimous, mystical power, capable of inhabiting Heaven, Earth and the Waters, bringing rain and protecting the gods and goddesses. The Dragon is associated with wisdom, represents royalty, and brings luck and good fortune. The indomitable spirit of the Dragon is here to inspire, encourage and motivate. Hang on to your proverbial hat, as the Dragon takes us for an exhilarating ride around the sun!
Indeed, this year is generally one of energetic action, infused with the bold ambition of the Dragon. It is a fast-moving year, and the energy and vitality of the Dragon inspires optimism. Grandiose schemes, ambitious and daring projects, enthusiastic adventures abound as the Dragon has confidence to act on a grand scale. This is considered an auspicious year to get married, have children or start a business. There will be investment opportunities this year, possibly risky, as Dragons are gamblers. One must certainly examine one’s own zodiacal relationship with the Dragon in order to determine how much caution may be appropriate when considering speculative ventures. However, the innovative ideas and opportunities will often present themselves with rapidity, and so, if one hesitates, one may miss the boat. Dragons are quick, powerful and lucky, so this is a year traditionally associated with successful investments and a healthy economy.
The Dragon is the only animal in the Chinese zodiac that is largely associated with Heaven. In ancient China, the emperor was known as the Son of Heaven, the 5-clawed Dragon was the motif of the emperor, and his or her seat was called “the Dragon Throne.” In Chinese tradition, we find the important relationship of Heaven/Human/Earth. Heaven is understood as the Heavenly bodies- the sun, moon, stars and planets, which move in cycles to create seasons on Earth. We humans, then, balance Heaven and Earth as we aim to live in harmony with the cycles of Nature. The job of the ancient “Son of Heaven” was to create harmony with Heaven and therefore Nature, so that all the people under Heaven could thrive. Today, we have a more populist approach, as each of us must achieve harmony with the cycles of nature, not always easy in our chaotic, modern world. Last year of the Rabbit, it was comfortable and appropriate to focus on the care of our families and homes. And now, in the Dragon year, our scope is broadened, and we can more easily maintain a perspective of caring for all beings under Heaven, as did the ancient “Son of Heaven.”
It is a Yang Water Dragon year. The Yang Dragon is very active, so the Water is active and moving. Moving Water is good for business, representing the flow of money, the current in a river, like currency, and the return of the fish. It is a good time to place a water fountain, but make certain to put it in the correct place. Moving water also is associated with social gatherings, and this is an appropriate year to gather socially, engage in lofty conversation, and hatch grand schemes. The Chinese character for “yang Water” is a powerful ocean, represented by the crest of a wave. Surf is up.
There may, however, be some bumps in the road, as the element chiefly associated with the Dragon is Earth. In the Five-Element system, Earth can block, or dam water. We have an elemental conflict inherent in the year, and this Earth element may create some obstacles. But, the Dragon is, also, somewhat related to the Wood element, as Dragon exemplifies the Yang Wood energy of the springtime, and the Dragon month is in April, relating to Aries. This potent Yang Wood aspect of Dragon energy may act to inhibit obstructions. The Dragon is certainly volatile and powerful like the springtime, the energy of new growth bursting up, and the unstable rain clouds bursting with thunder. The thunder is said to be the speech of the Dragon. (And then there is an old tradition that says that it was the Dragon that taught speech to humans.)
What can we expect this year? The optimism and confidence of the Dragon will inspire investment, and markets will improve slightly. As Chinese astrology has 12 zodiacal animals and 5 elements functioning (for the last 4710 years) in 60 year cycles, we can look back 60 years to the last Water Dragon year to see what was happening. In 1952, there were earthquakes: 7.5 in Kern County and 8.3 in Kamchatka which spawned a tsunami. Given the volatility and power of the Dragon associated with the Earth element, and the Water element of the year, an earthquake, possibly with tsunami, is a logical forecast. Also in 1952 was the Killer Fog, actually smog, in London, killing roughly 12,000 people. Stagnation, coupled with the karma of unregulated coal fires, produced that great environmental tragedy, which ultimately gave us some of the first environmental legislation ever. I am not predicting killer fog, but I am somewhat hopeful that the lofty perspective of the Dragon can promote environmental innovations for the common good. Things will move quickly this year, so expect high tech advances that speed up the pace of life. And we may see drought and flooding, as we have an Earth/Water combination with a lot of volatility. And remember, the Dragon is unpredictable.
It is 2012, and a lot of people are talking again about the end of the world. The previous Dragon year, in 2000, you may remember the Y2K bug, and similar talk of doom. It is merely ignorant distraction. We are riding this cycle through the heavens on a Dragon---let’s get with the program. Dragons live their dreams, following their own path, acting in truth, with strength, and expecting others to do the same. This is a year to initiate and throw ourselves into all manner of grandiose, daring, intrepid and overambitious projects, not to languish in speculation whether the world will end. (Perhaps it has and this is a new beginning.) This is the time to celebrate with pageantry and extravagant festivals, as the Dragon dance is appropriate and pleasing. It is a time to cultivate your spiritual practice and metaphysics, as the mystical Dragon knows no limitations. Cultivate your personal vitality (Qi), like a pearl in a Dragon’s mouth. Enhance your harmonious relationship with Nature by walking on the beach, feeling the rain on your face, skiing in the trees, practicing Qi Gong in the forest, applying the principles of Feng Shui to your home or business, receiving acupuncture, or dancing in the moonlight.
The Dragon has been put on Earth to raise the standards. Some famous Dragons are Joan of Arc, John Lennon, Haile Selassie, Mae West, Frank Sinatra, and Che Guevara. Dragons have formidable willpower, cultivate truth, and are magnanimous, vigorous, proud and decisive. The element Water is the softest, most Yin, yet is more powerful than a stone. Water nourishes all life.
“The highest good is like water.
Dao De Jing
Water may occur as a single droplet, a fresh glass to drink, a cleansing rain, a perfect wave, a clear trout stream, a raging river flooding its banks, a tsunami that overpowers all in its path, or the vast ocean, deep and dark, yet full of life. Water flows, and yet Water can be still, allowing turbidity to settle, and clarity emerges. In this Water Dragon Year 2012, may you adopt the optimism of the Dragon and put your vitality into your unique passion. May you be nourished by Water, and may you adopt the perspective of the Heavenly Water Dragon, altruistically nourishing the 10,000 things. May you thrive joyfully!
“The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
Jeffrey Haloff operates HUMBOLDT ACUPUNCTURE, at 123 F St., in the heart of Eureka’s Old Town, with his wife, Chelsea Colby. You may contact him with any questions about Chinese astrology, Feng Shui and Chinese Medicine. Use Chinese Medicine to help yourself function effectively in 2012. Be clear on your zodiacal sign’s relationship with Dragon. Call (707) 268-8007.
And… YOU ARE INVITED to celebrate the New Year of the Water Dragon at