Chinese Calendar – The year of the dragon

The 12th year of the 3rd millennium and 21st century, 2012, the year of the predestined apocalypse has garnered attention from every possible segment of the world since the exploration of the idea based on the Mesoamerican Long Count Calendar. While on one hand, 2012 is the year of the ultimate collapse according to one mythology, on the other, it is the year of the emperor holding the supreme power and strength according to the Chinese mythology, 2012 can well be described as the year of paradox. The year that according to this mythology is going to start from January 23, 2012 (Gregorian date) ending on February 9, 2013 (Gregorian date), is the Year of the Water Dragon. Dragon is one of the 12-year cycle of animals which can be seen in the Chinese zodiac related to the Chinese calendar, and is interestingly the only animal that is legendary. The Year of the Dragon according to the mythology is associated with the earthly branch symbol 辰, that is etymologically associated with a man with a hoe and is further exemplified as the early morning and as the fifth of the twelve earth branches seen in the Chinese tradition.

The dragon as a creature can be seen in the earliest of the folklore to the most recent ones in the Sung Dynasty that lasted from AD960 to 1279 and its predecessors. The Chinese mythology makes it imperative for the followers to worship the dragon as it is considered to be an emperor and the master of the ultimate power. Today, it is considered to be the most auspicious symbol of success and prosperity and is hence revered by everyone who has a faith in the Chinese Mythology. In Sung Dynasty texts, the dragon is often described as having the head of an ox, muzzle of a donkey, eyes of a shrimp, horns of a deer, body of a serpent covered with fish scales, and feet of a phoenix with the dragon usually clutching a pearl symbolic of its supernatural powers.  It is accompanied by thunder and rain and is described with the movement like that of lightning and whirlwinds making him all powerful yet utterly unpredictable.

The Dragon being the symbol of strength and endurance, is the Yang energy which is the male energy according to the Feng Shui tradition. He is the signifier of vigilance, security and the spirit of change. In Chinese mythology, the Dragon is the predestined partner of the Phoenix, which is the Yin energy and it is often believed that Feng Shui endeavours to capture Chi’, the Dragon’s breath. The Chinese dragon, unlike the Western dragon, is said to be benevolent and commonly affiliated with wind and water hence worshipped by the traditionally agricultural society such as ancient China. The people of China sometimes identify themselves as a whole as descendants of the dragon which unlike the western dragon, has no wings.

With people like Colin Farrell,  Courtney Love, Courtney Cox, Dinah Shore, Isabella Rossellini, Reese Witherspoon and Sandra Bullock on the list, people born in the Year of the Dragon come on a common platform being the sharer of certain characteristics like that of innovation, enterprising, self-assurance, courage, passion and quick-temper. The people who are born in the Year of the Dragon are the ones who should be freed of all the boundaries and restrictions as soon as possible as they have the power to unleash themselves and readily flame themselves into life. Being the progeny of this mighty year, these people are blessed with irrepressible energy, beauty, flamboyance and grand ideas. Being the master of extreme ambitions, the year of the Dragon borns do not hesitate in experimenting because it is in their fate to be almost inevitably successful giving some sleepless nights to their competitors.

However, that being said, people born in the Year of the Dragon should be aware that too much enthusiasm can leave them tired, stressed and unfulfilled. They are compassionate people and never hesitate in helping others with quite an abundant generosity up their sleeves.

According to the Chinese calendar, 2010 was the Year of White Tiger and was the beginning year of the Wood cycle, 2011 was the Year of White Rabbit, the middle year of the Wood cycle and the Dragon of 2012 is the last year of the cycle being the transition year to the Fire Cycle based on Chinese Astrology Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth) theory. The energy of Wood is in the East side with the energy of Fire in the South side and it is not known what will happen when turning from East to South, which is a sign of the unpredictable nature of the Dragon year. One can have either good luck or bad luck in 2012, and will have a chance to turn it into better or worse luck.

One has to know what Type of Element they are and what their Lucky Element is from the astrology birth chart. The Lucky Element is the major factor to determine people’s fortune. 2012 is the Year of Black Water Dragon, which contains Earth, Water and Wood. If a person’s Lucky Element is Earth, Water or Wood, then 2012 will bring some degree of luck. Since 2012 is Water Dragon, people whose lucky element is Water will benefit more in 2012. However, as Fire is the opposite element of Water, people whose lucky element is Fire will have more negative impact in 2012.

This is the year of the Water dragon and hence it becomes interesting to note that water has a calming effect on the Dragon’s fearless temperament and allows the Dragon to re-direct its enthusiasm, and makes him more perceptive of others. These Dragons are better equipped to take a step back to re-evaluate a situation because they understand the art of patience and do not desire the spotlight like other Dragons. Therefore, they make smart decisions and are able to see eye-to-eye with other people. However, their actions can go wrong if they do not research or if they do not finish one project before starting another.

Keeping everything aforesaid in perspective, the year can be well summarised as the year of prosperity, wellness, wealth, strength and development if sprinkled with caution and patience quite opposite to what has been predicted according to some other mythologies. Thus, it will be interesting to see which of the symbols win, the humanly power of astrology or the fiery roars of the mighty dragon. Be whatever the case, everybody should aim for a better future and with that in mind, I wish everyone a very Happy New Year (of whichever mythology you believe in..)

— Kshitiz Ahuja