January 23rd is the first day of the Chinese New Year for 2012. It is also a new moon, and the first day of the first lunar month in the Chinese calendar. The year 2012 is the 4709th year in the Chinese system, and is the Year of the Water Dragon. The dragon is a legendary creature, and is considered to be a symbol of power from heaven.
The dragon Is said to have nine sons: (1) the first son loves music, (2) the second son loves fighting, (3) the third son loves adventure and being a guardian, (4) the fourth son loves howling, (5) the fifth son loves quietness, sitting, fire and smoke, (6) the sixth son loves strength and power, (7) the seventh son loves justice, (8) the eighth son loves literature, and (9) the ninth son loves water.
The Chinese New Year is a fourteen day celebration, welcoming wealth, longevity, and prosperity, and releasing any negative chi from the past. (Very much a concept that we also honor here in the west – not wanting to carry over negative issues into the new year.) While New Year’s celebrations in the west do not have a lot of rules attached to them, the Chinese New Year celebration does carry with it a whole list of does and don’ts.
The dragon is associated with the element of Fire – a dragon year is noted for its intensity, excitement, and unpredictable nature. Lots of drama with the dragon – all created by people taking unnecessary risks! This is a year to not get too carried away – take a moment, think things over, and look before you leap! The drama that we face in our lives is created by us.
I have a friend who was born under the sign of the dragon. From my perspective, this will be a very good year for him. He also exhibits the traits that are associated with the dragon – confidence and passion. He also tends, as they say, to rush in where angels fear to tread! Never a dull moment! I should note here that this is a Water Dragon year – the element of Water will temper the fire of the dragon. It opens them up to listening to others, which gives them the perspective to be better leaders.
I spent my teenage years in Seattle, which has a strong Chinese community. One of my fondest memories (and something that I still like to watch) is the presence of a stunning dragon running in local parades. This is a very long dragon, held up by many, many community members. The dragon not only runs the whole parade, but the different sections are also moved up and down. There is constant movement – one of the most interesting things to watch is team members as they pace themselves to run in and take over a position to give another member a rest period. Incredible timing, incredible group effort.
I look forward to the combination of the western new year (the Year of the Hierophant for the Tarot community), and the Chinese New Year (the Year of the Water Dragon). Bring it on!
© January 2012 Bonnie Cehovet