The Year of the Water Dragon

The Year of the Water Dragon: January 23rd 2012 to February 9th 2013

The Yang Water Dragon Year starts on January 23, 2012 and ends on February 9, 2013. The energetic high point of the year is the month of the dragon moon from May 20 to June 18. This month starts with the new moon on May 20; the full Dragon Moon is June 4; and the month is over on June 18. June 19 begins the month of the snake moon, which will set up the energy for the following Year of the yin Water Snake that will start in February of 2013.

A Brief History: The Chinese calendar traditionally numbers the years from the reign of the Yellow Emperor; therefore our 2012 AD is approximately the year 4710. The seeds for Chinese astrology were planted during the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BC) and burgeoned during the Han Dynasty (2nd century BC to 2nd century AD). During the Han period the familiar elements of traditional Chinese culture: Yin-Yang philosophy, the theory of the 5 elements and of Heaven and Earth as well as Confucian morality were built upon the foundation of the calendar to formalize the philosophical principles of Chinese medicine and divination, astrology and alchemy.

At present the Chinese lunisolar calendar (the moon and sun calendar) determines the date of Chinese New Year. In the Chinese calendar the winter solstice must occur in the 11th month, which means that Chinese New Year usually falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice. In traditional Chinese Culture lichun is a solar term marking the start of spring which occurs on or about February 4.

A 60-year Cycle: A 60-year cycle consists of two separate cycles interacting with each other. The first is the cycle of ten heavenly stems. Each of the ten heavenly stems is associated with one of the five elements of Chinese astrology: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The elements are rotated every two years while the yin and yang association alternates every year. The elements are thus distinguished as, Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, etc.

Incidentally, Water Dragons occur every 60 years, so we have had Yang Water Dragons in 1592, 1652, 1712, 1772, 1832, 1892, 1952, 2012, and it will fall again in 2072, 2132, 2192 and 2252.

When in navigating the lunisolar calendar, a simple rule to remember is that years that end in an even number are yang, those that end with an odd number are yin. The cycle works like this:

-When the year ends in 0 it is Yang Metal; when the year ends in 1 it is Yin Metal.

-When the year ends in 2 it is Yang Water; when the year ends in 3 it is Yin Water.

– When the year ends in 4 it is Yang Wood; when the year ends in 5 it is Yin Wood.

-When the year ends in 6 it is Yang Fire; when the year ends in 7 it is Yin Fire.

– When the year ends in 8 it is Yang Earth; when the year ends in 9 it is Yin Earth.

Twelve-year cycle of animals: The second cycle system is comprised of the twelve-year cycle of the animal zodiac (shēngxiào) or Earthly Branches. It was built from observations of the orbit of Jupiter, which is called the Year Star. Following the orbit of Jupiter around the sun, Chinese astronomers divided the celestial sphere into 12 sections, and rounded each one up to one year from 0.86 of a year.  These are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. (In Vietnam the rabbit is supplanted by the cat.)

All these accounts produce a combined cycle that repeats every 60 years. For example, the year of the Yang Fire Rat occurred in 1936 and in 1996, 60 years apart.

Special Note: There are a number of legendary accounts as to the source of 12 animals of the zodiac. One version mentions that the Jade Emperor invited all the animals to come to see him in Heaven. Of all the animals invited, only the Rabbit, Snake, Horse, Dragon, Ox, Boar, Tiger, Rat, Ram, Monkey, Dog, and Rooster complied. In honour of their arrival, the Emperor named a year after each of these animals whose characteristics are thought to be shared by anyone born in that year. Another popular version states that it was Buddha who bid the animals to his presence. Each of the animals that obeyed were given a year to be named after them. Their characteristics (also connected to the elements) would hence, determine the outcome of events and people of the corresponding year.

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In Chinese Five Element theory, Dragon is in the Earth group but it also contains Wood and Water. When it meets a Rabbit, the Dragon adopts Wood’s characteristic. When it meets a Rat, then the Dragon shares the Water characteristic. When it meets a Rooster, Dragon assumes the characteristic of Metal. Since a Dragon might be treated as Earth, Water, Wood or Metal, the Dragon is deemed unpredictable and intangible. Year of Dragon then usually has something unexpected in store. Another thing to remember is that 2012 is the Water Dragon, or Black Dragon, year, so water is a predominant factor in determining people’s fortune in 2012.

General predictions for the Year of the Dragon

What kind of year will 2012 be?   Many expect 2012 to bring about the end of the world, perhaps because they mistakenly think of Mayan or Hindu cosmologies as linear rather than cyclical. Those people who predicted the Doomsday scenario on December 21, 2012 after interpreting the ending of the Great Cycle of the Mayan Calendar would no doubt jump at the chance to remind us that the Mayans predicted that this whole cycle of civilization which has lasted 5,125 years comes to an end on the Winter Solstice, 2012.

It’s interesting to note that in China there is no such prediction about the world ending in 2012. On the contrary hundreds of years ago diviners in China predicted that the Nation will in fact become prosperous and peaceful in 2012.

Chinese Dragons in particular are considered to be Divine, mythical creatures. In ancient times Emperor’s power was represented by the emblems of celestial Dragon. In the present day the Dragon is still considered a mystical being, therefore a karmic sign. It means that in 2012 we can anticipate great things. Dragon years are action driven and are times for major initiatives. Dragon years favour progress, but opportunities do need to be taken when they arise. In this fast moving year there is no time to waste. For astronomers, this can be a highly significant year- as exciting new finds will be made. There will also be a major development in the area of transport. Usually the Year of Dragon portends a fortunate, happy and joyful period, especially for Dragon people. The Dragon constellation, in fact, is accorded the honour of being the guardian of the Eastern sky and traditionally it’s supposed to bring in the Four Blessings of the East: wealth, virtue, harmony and longevity. People and business around the world that had difficult times over the last few years look forward to dragon year, as the good luck it brings is both a timely and much needed reprieve.

On the cautionary note, however, there will be spectacular successes as well as notable crash and burn failures. Regardless of your sign, there will be significant upheavals in 2012. Soaring stock markets, natural disasters, and noteworthy, cultural and political developments will be more the norm than the exception.

We all know that water covers 2/3 of our planet & comprises 85% of our bodies; we simply cannot function without it. In Chinese element theory, water produces wood, which signifies growth and is the natural element of the dragon. The dragon governs east/southeast, wealth accumulation and the hours of 7 a.m. – 9 a.m. Associated with thunder, lightning and arousal, the Water Dragon personifies creativity at its best.

This is the Water Dragon year and the Dragon mainly contains the Earth; yet Earth and Water are opposite elements. From this we can deduce that some bad news might happen. This year will be marked by a natural catastrophe very early on. Not only could there be earthquakes and volcanoes erupting in various parts of the World but the whims of the weather system may also play havoc in certain regions.

As the Water Dragon year is a strong sign of Water the bulk of natural disasters will be related to water, flood, hurricane, rain, ocean, rivers or mud. It is interesting to note that the nickname of Dragon in Chinese astrology is Water Dam. That implies Dragon can hold Water and make it quiet.
To grasp the enormity, the scale of events that might occur in 2012, here are few accounts of things that had transpired on the previous Water Dragon year, 1952:

-In February young Elizabeth II was enthroned Queen of the United Kingdom, beginning her long reign lasting to this date.

– In 1952 the United States introduced two of the most destructive weapons in history, the hydrogen bomb and the B-52 bomber.

– Dragon Year Children are always prized. Here’s an example of the last water dragon births: World leaders include Vladimir Putin and Lee Hsien Loong.

Craig Newmark, founder of Craig’s List, who has revolutionized the world of advertising, was born in the Year of the Dragon.

In sports, Jimmy Connors dominated the world of tennis; football coach Bill Belichick was instrumental in winning four Superbowls.

The dragon year favours creativity, originality and plain old expressionism. Penicillin was just one of the major discoveries made in a dragon year (1952). In the world of fashion new styles are likely to emerge that will catch the imagination, whereas in music musicians will be keen to experiment and promote new sounds with some new bands attracting a worldwide following. Interestingly enough it was in the dragon year of 1964 that Beatle mania became such a worldwide phenomenon, with the Beatles being the first band to see a million copies of a record sold before its release.

Everyone has dreams, and that the time to pursue them is now, for The Dragon Year gives you the best chance to make them come true. Timing is of the essence but keep in mind that Dragon is associated with spring therefore you need to get off to a fast start as things are going to start happening early in the year.  Opportunities to accrue a fortune could come right after lunar New Year. You don’t want to miss that boat now, do you?

Meanwhile expect fireworks in your love and romance sector. New love can blossom or an old one will be rekindled on the spur of the moment. It is important to note the Dragon is associated with festivals and celebrations which makes 2012 the perfect year for baptisms, engagements, and weddings. A note of caution: These happenings may be of transitory nature By all means enjoy that new love but be mindful that it is more than likely just a fleeting romance.

Because Water nourishes the Dragon’s fixed element, Wood, this Dragon receives a big advantage over the rest of the animals when it comes to bringing good luck and personal accomplishment. The Dragon person is actually going to realize some of those big dreams!

There is as well another reason to rejoice; since 1996 the year element had been in a destructive relationship with the fixed element of the animal sign. That made for a long unfavourable period in the 60 year cycle of Chinese Astrology, and therefore a scarcity of good luck. The year 2012 is thus twice blessed; not only with the lucky Dragon but also by the end of this destructive cycle. There will be celebrations of all kinds and good luck will be coming your way.

Want to hear more good news? Read on.

Under the influence of the Dragon it is a yang year and yang Water is like a flowing river rather than a stagnant lake. Things will therefore move, with creativity abounding ideas will flow, economies will boom, and relationships will blossom in this environment. By all accounts it promises to be a most memorable year ahead.

Dragon years are lucky for anyone thinking of starting a business or initiating a new project of any sort because money is easier to come by for everyone, whether it’s earned, borrowed or received as a gift. Consequently we can expect the economic downturn to ease up a bit in the coming year. Fortunes can be made but they can also be lost if you are not careful or unreasonably extravagant with your spending.

Last but not least, water is connected to Wisdom. This furnishes us with the hope that the people will act wiser in 2012, which may in turn bring the biggest blessing of all in the Year of the Water Dragon.

Best of luck in 2012!

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