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2012 Year of the Water Dragon: part 1 | part 2 | FengShui Your House 2012 | Chinese Zodiac | Feng ShuiYour Year Ahead

Chinese Year of the Dragon

2012: Chinese Year of the Water Dragon
The Year for Flying Through the Gates of Heaven

Go Forward Click to jump straight to how the Year of the Dragon affects you in 2012!

Welcome to the Chinese year of the Dragon. Each February marks the beginning the traditional Chinese calendar year. Because of the size of their population this calendar is probably the most followed in the world! New Year begins a new zodiac animal cycle, the Year of the Water Dragon. Chinese tradition employs both Solar and Lunar calendars. Using the Solar calendar, it's the 5th of February, but the New Moon day of the 23rd of January is the official Lunar New Year celebration day.

The Dragon is living up to its reputation. The Chinese New Year of 2012 begins very early on Monday January 23rd at the New Moon and is the beginning of the traditional lunar Chinese calendar. The New Year begins another new zodiac animal cycle, the Year of the fearsome and heavenly Dragon. Chinese tradition employs both Solar and Lunar calendars and at the Solar calendar, its the 5th February but the New Moon day of 23rd January begins the official Lunar New Year celebrations.

2011 was the Year of the Metal Rabbit, and what dramatic year! Now in the cycle of the twelve comes the most powerful and the winged creature of all the animals of the zodiac, the creative dynamic Dragon. It's fitting that the year 2012 with all its attendant mythology and identification with the "end of the world" is ruled by the legendary Dragon whose reputation goes back through all cultures of the planet.

People born in the Dragon year are considered exceptional people, who give their utmost to any situation to help move things along. Ordinary daily life is often not their strong point—or if faced with ordinary situations they will try to transform them in such a way that they become extraordinary and even exhausting for everyone. Male and female Dragons are often overpowering for the ordinary person to deal with. One can either be their friend or their rival, and being a friend is not always simple.

Dragons see all and often speak the truth of a situation even though it doesn't always go down well. They give great advice and will always offer worthwhile pointers to our life. Dragons are often very gifted and maintain they have the keys to all success—and everything does seem to smile upon them. They do possess the great intellectual wisdom to understand a situation; however, they don't always act in a wise way. Some of their actions can be very impulsive.

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Go to Top Dragon Qualities and Mythology

The Dragon, the Chinese say, is one of the great animals of the planet and is the sign of luck and of truth. They also maintain it's a mythical animal and therefore an illusion, which is part of the role of Dragon people to confront and deal with the illusion. Its very advantageous to be in close contact with a Dragon-born person because of their luck. This is a creature of scales and firebreathing nostrils, whose favourite dwelling place is at the top of rocky cliffs or in impenetrable caves of mystery and darkness. The more difficult it is to reach a Dragon's dwelling place then the more comfortable the Dragon feels. In the book by Catherine Aubier, Chinese Zodiac Signs (Treasure Press, 1988) she describes the Dragon thus:

"Spitting flames and making the earth tremble beneath his weight, soaring in the air on jagged and blackened wings, the Dragon tows our most frenzied dreams in his wake; our fears of chaos and annihilation, a procession of obsessions and phantoms which endure from time immemorial."

No wonder we have unconsciously as a planetary culture chosen this Dragon year to have an "end of the world" scenario to play out.

All the reading I've done always refers to the Dragon as a mythological animal. My feeling is that because the Dragon story is part of almost every culture on the planet, playing a huge role in our ancient consciousness, I believe Dragons really did exist on earth many centuries or millennia ago. They left or were wiped out (lanced by knights in armour perhaps?) and now no longer live here. As the Dragon is so ubiquitous, one conclusion is that it's found everywhere in the past because it really did live back then.

Humans have always considered the Dragon with a sense of awe, fear and respect, as though it represents and holds some hidden depth of the way we are on earth. In our English traditions, St George and the Dragon has a key place in our mythology. The famous legend of Saint George is of him slaying a Dragon. In the Middle Ages the Dragon was commonly used to represent the Devil, so St George held off the forces of darkness (pheww!). The slaying of the Dragon by St George was first credited to him in the twelfth century, way after his death. There are many stories connected with St George which are mostly fictitious. And there are many versions of the story of St George slaying the Dragon! Most agree on the following: a town was terrorised by a Dragon, a young princess was offered to the Dragon and George rode into the village, slayed the Dragon and rescued the princess. Very simple.

The real Saint George (c. 275/281 to 303 CE) was a christian Roman soldier from Syria/ Palaestina and a priest in the Roman Guard of Diocletian, who is now venerated as a Christian martyr. He was put to death because he wouldn't recant his Christianity. He is now one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox, the Oriental Orthodox churches, and the patron saint of England. His cross is in the national flag of England. In the fourteenth century he was declared both the patron saint and the protector of the royal family.

The country of Georgia is a backward derivation of the English name and St George is also one of the patron saints of Georgia. The actual Dragon story has its location in Libya of all places—in "Silene", perhaps modern Cyrene in Libya. In the allegorical reading of the story, the Dragon embodies suppressed pagan cults. Interestingly, the Russians interpret the iconic event not as a killing but as a struggle, against ourselves and the evil among us.

The Dragon is considered by the Chinese as the guardian of the gateway to Heaven and they consider the Dog, the opposite sign, as the guardian of the gateway to Hell. Of the 12 signs, Dragon and Dog are considered strange places, like twilight zones, where helpful deities (angels) will not appear. In Dragon and Dog years, there are often no rescuing angels coming forward to save people from tragedy, and disasters can have a high death toll or casualties. This makes these two signs great significators in the pathway between heaven and hell and as the Dragon guards Heaven's gateway, then no-one gets in without his/her approval. Remember that in 2012.

The Dragon personality is active and dynamic and very scrupulous. Dragon people try to do their very best to succeed and in fact don't really know the meaning of the word failure. They are usually very healthy, natural and captivating types full of charm and sincerity. They are devoted types as well and can be loyal to those they hold as true friends. They also have a set of defects, as does any sign. Theirs are interesting—they can be extremely impatient, cannot bear to wait for anyone or anything and get very annoyed with those who resist their efforts. They can be irritable and demanding, and have great trouble with tact and diplomacy—even if their lives depend on it. They are very self-assured and often have trouble understanding the doubts and anxieties of another. If they feel capable of doing something they go to it without a pause. Dragons are often so convinced they are infallible they can behave intolerantly and abruptly with others, making decisions too quickly and having subsequent difficulty recognising their mistakes. At times they barely listen to others, and when refused things they give their own ultimatum : 'do it or else'. And yet they have this magnetic attraction that overcomes all this. They represent life, warmth and light and without them life would be a bit drab!

Go to Top Being with a Dragon in Love

The ideal partner for a Dragon is one who is in need of a dynamic and irresistible partner. Dragons were probably brought up by parents singing to them in the cradle that they are irresistible to everyone. The song went something like: "I'm irresistible, etc., etc.." It doesn't always occur to all Dragons that some people may find them unattractive, or are just indifferent to them. They are passionate but not blinded by passion. They do not get especially jealous, because they know that if they just lift a finger the lover comes running back to them. As a Dragon child they are very inventive and independent and find it hard to accept any controls, so therefore a possessive relationship or person does not appeal to them. Being with a Dragon is treat and it acts on you like a euphoric drink.

Dragons get on best with Rats, Tigers, Snakes and Monkeys. They are reasonable with Oxen, Pigs and Horses. They have trouble with Rabbits, other Dragons, Goats, Roosters and Dogs. The worst clashes are often with Roosters and other Dragons.

Chinese Year of the Dragon
St George & the Dragon, by Gustave Moreau
Go to Top Celebrity Dragons

Famous people born in the Year of the Dragon:

  • Scientists: Frank Oppenheimer
  • Politicians and Campaigners: Joan of Arc, Frederick the Great, Edward Heath, François Mitterand, Napoleon, Harold Wilson, Michelle Obama, Sarah Palin
  • Entertainers and Film Celebrities: Marlene Dietrich, Shirley Temple, Michael Barrymore, Julie Christie, James Coburn, Matt Dillon, Kirk Douglas, Michael Douglas, Nick Nolte, Al Pacino, Martin Sheen, Gregory Peck, Sarah Bernhardt, Cary Grant, Sandra Bullock, Bridget Fonda, Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, William Hurt
  • Musicians:  Count Basie, Bing Crosby, Stevie Wonder, Neil Diamond, Cliff Richard, Placido Domingo, Tom Jones, John Lennon, Ringo Starr, Rimsky-Korsakov.
  • Writers and Artists: Jeffrey Archer, Lewis Carroll, Salvador Dali, Graham Greene
  • Business: Richard Branson
  • Thinkers: Sigmund Freud, Emanuel Kant, George Bernard Shaw
Go to Top What is the Dragon Year all about?

The year is always made up of two parts, the Chinese animal sign and the year element. The Year of the Dragon is symbolised by two elements, with Water sitting on top of Earth. According to the Five Elements cycle of birth and destruction, which governs the interrelationship between the elements, Earth is the destroyer of Water and so they are in a negation cycle and have a conflicting relationship. As in the year of the Rabbit in 2011, which was Metal over Wood, there are conflicting elements. Conflicting elements means the year will not be peaceful, with more than a few conflicts and struggles going on. The 2012 Earth-Water conflict sees disharmony, but with less of the war and fighting of 2011. The Chinese calendar year works on a 60 year cycle, which means we last experienced the year of a Yang Water Dragon in 1952.

That was the year when the Korean War stalemated, having started in 1950. The Cold War continued—the USA tested the first hydrogen bomb and the UK announced they possessed the atomic bomb. There were serious natural disasters in 1952, with major earthquakes in California and the USSR ( 21st July, California: Mag 7.5;  4th Nov, Kamchatka, USSR: Mag 8.25). There were also water disasters, with huge floodings and drownings at sea. The Kamchatka earthquake triggered a tsunami which reached Hawaii.

In April, 78 seal hunters and 5 Norwegian seal-hunting ships disappeared without a trace. In December, killer fog was reported in London and in January 1953 (still the Chinese year of the Dragon), a North Sea flood killed 1,835 people in the southwest of the Netherlands, 307 people died in the UK and 133 people died in the Irish sea with the sinking of the ferry, the Princess Victoria. Queen Elizabeth II was crowned Queen of England. Albert Schweitzer received the Nobel Peace Prize. In films, Cecil B. de Mille produced The Greatest Show on Earth and Gary Cooper's High Noon is launched.

Dragon years include the biggest earthquake ever on record (Richter 9.2), which occurred in Alaska in 1964; then the worst earthquake in Tangshan, China in 1976 killing over 250,000 people. Serious earthquakes will occur in this Water Dragon year of 2012. In Chinese metaphysics the Dragon symbolises the tall mountain range, and the powerful energy of the land. It can trigger large earthquakes and earth-related disasters such as building collapses, mining disasters, mudslides, landslides or avalanches.

The Yang Water this year symbolises the ocean and is a powerful force. It can be the destructive force of nature, such as the tsunami—it can be the impulse and drive to push for social, political and economic changes. Yang Water is intelligence, courage, generosity and charity and, if the energy is guided positively, can bring a fast-paced progress and reform agenda. The positive quality of the Water Dragon is a generosity and a strong driving force for progress and social change, so it will be a year with new social movements and reform, in politics and amongst the social conservatives and dictators.  

Go to Top Health Issues in 2012

The basic five Chinese elements represent different parts of the body. Water relates to the kidneys, the immune system, sexual organs, elimination and the urinary system. Health problems related to Water could be kidney problems, sexual infections, inflammation of urinary tract, bowel problems and bacterial infections. Dragon Earth is cell tissue, muscles and stomach lining. Too much moist Earth is a cause of cancer. Water and Earth elements also weaken the Fire which is the blood and the heart. Take care of you heart's health in 2012, both physically and emotionally. Take antioxidants as one preventative measure.

Go to Top Which Way The Economy?

On the economy, the Fire element is the driving force behind the stock market.  Each of the Five Elements effects people's moods. Fire is joy, Water is fear, Earth is meditation and nurturance, Metal is sadness and Wood is anger. A Fire year then generates optimism and drives up the markets. But in 2008, when Water arrived, people began to fear, worsening the USA mortgage problems.

2012 is year of Water and Earth, with no Fire element, so this is a year that the economy and stock markets will go slow again. The strong Water this year is bringing more fear and people will be less optimistic. This is strongest in the northern winter months of October, November and December.

Fire industries such as electricity, oil and gas are controlled by Water, showing it's likely there will be more turmoil in areas holding great reserves of oil and natural gas, such as the Middle East. Deserts and drier areas of the world will suffer. Continuity of electricity supplies may be a big issue in 2012. Banking is ruled by Metal and the strong Water now may slow banks and affect them badly again. Reform in banking is one way the Dragon may go in 2012 and change the status quo.

Go Forward Click here to read how the Year of the Dragon affects you!



Yin Yang Richard Giles is a Feng Shui practitioner and astrologer who is available in Australia for consultations on your home and business. He has been involved in astrology for more than two decades and writes for several Australian magazines. He is also the director of the Earth Healing School of Queensland, running practitioner courses in Earth Healing and Geomancy. Click to contact Richard Giles.


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2012 Year of the Dragon: part 1 | part 2 | FengShui Your House | Chinese Zodiac | Feng ShuiYour Year Ahead

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