YANG … a reflection on the Year of the Dragon



The Year 2012 is the 4709th Chinese year. The Chinese believe that the first king of China was the Yellow King (he was not the first emperor of China). The Yellow King became king in 2697 B.C., therefore China will enter the 4709th year on January 23, 2012. Also, the Chinese Year uses the cycle of 60 Stem-Branch counting systems and the Black Water Dragon is the 28th Stem-Branch in the cycle. Since (60 *78) + 29 = 4709, therefore 2012 is the Water Dragon year, which is the 4709th Chinese Year.Some web sites say the year 2012 is the 4710th Chinese year. If you cannot find the explanation as to why, here is a possible answer for you. The Yellow King’s inauguration was held in the spring of 2697 B.C. But the day that was used as the first day of the year was the winter solstice, which was around December 23rd, 2698 B.C. Today’s January 1st meant nothing to the Yellow King. If we count that extra eight days in 2698 B.C., then year 2012 is the 4710th Chinese year.



A dragon is a legendary creature. All legendary stories about Chinese dragons are from the sky, which means heaven in China. The image of dragon is blurred, misty, mystic, occulted, noble and untouchable. For China, it is the symbol of power from heaven. The Chinese emperor was considered the son of heaven. An emperor has the authority to send command to Dragons. One Chinese story mentioned an emperor killed a dragon in his dream. After 581 AD, Chinese emperors began to wear imperial robes with dragon symbols. During the Ching Dynasty (1644-1911 AD), the dragon can be seen everywhere on the roofs, doors, pillars, bridges, utensils in the forbidden city. The most powerful dragon is the five-clawed dragon. It appears only on the yellow imperial robe. Because of this, Dragon is one of most auspicious animals in China.

They say that Dragon has nine sons. People didn’t know too much about the Nine Dragons until Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD). However, there is more than one version of the Nine Dragons story. One story is the following.

The Dragon sent its nine sons to help the first emperor of Ming Dynasty to conquer China. After completing the mission, nine dragons were preparing their journey to return to heaven. But the emperor wanted them to continue to help the Ming Dynasty. The nine dragons wouldn’t stay and the emperor couldn’t stop them. However, the emperor decided to play a trick on the most powerful dragon, the 6th son. He tricked the sixth dragon son to carry a magic stele with a carved inscription, which could suppress any ghost, spirit or evil creature. The 6th dragon couldn’t move under the magic stele, and all of his other brothers wouldn’t leave without him. However, they wouldn’t work for the emperor anymore. They decided to no longer show their dragon identities and turned themselves into evil creatures. Since then, the nine dragons have stayed in China.
The nine dragon have different themes, and they all have different versions too. We skip their names because all of their names are hard to remember. One version is:

  • The 1st son loves music. The head of Number 1 son becomes a decoration for music instrument, such as two-stringed bowed violin (huqin).
  • The 2nd son loves fighting. Many different handles of weapons have the symbol of Number 2 son.
  • The 3rd son loves adventure and keeping guard. He has prestige and is the symbol of safety, harmony and peace.
  • The 4th son loves howling. The image of Number 4 son can be found on the big bells. It is a symbol of protection and alertness.
  • The 5th son loves quietness, sitting, fire and smoke. His image is often found in temples, such as on incense burners.
  • The 6th son has the power of strength. He loves to carry heavy stuff to show off his magic energy. He is a symbol of longevity and good luck.
  • The 7th son loves to seek justice. Chinese like to apply his symbol around law, court, or jail.
  • The 8th son loves literature. Chinese like to put the 8th son as a symbol around steles. When used in this way, it is a symbol of knowledge or education.
  • The 9th son loves water. He is a symbol to prevent fire disasters.

Another lesser known aspect of Chinese astrology is that the years alternate between yin (陰; pinyin: yīn) and yang (陽; pinyin: yáng). Because there are an even number of zodiac animals, each animal is considered either yin or yang. The dragon is a yang animal.

To Chinese, this most important celebration of the year is known as “Spring Festival” (春節; pinyin: Chūnjié). It is a time of family reunion. Family members gather at each other’s homes for visits and shared meals, most significantly a feast on New Year’s Eve. In Chinese societies, people may take weeks off from work to prepare for and celebrate this holiday.

The most familiar aspect of the Chinese zodiac is the cycle of twelve animals – one per year – that begins with the rat. A lesser known cycle is that of the five elements (五行; pinyin: wǔ-xíng): wood (木; pinyin: mù), fire (火; pinyin: huǒ), earth (土; pinyin: tǔ), metal (金; pinyin: jīn) and water (水; pinyin: shuǐ). The combination of elements and animals produces a 60 year cycle, so that a 60th birthday is special cause for celebration (such as Dr. Yang’s in 2006). 2012 is a Year of the Water Dragon. Water is thought to have a calming influence, so that persons born in a Water Dragon year are reputed to be less quick-tempered and arrogant, and more cooperative and tolerant than other dragons.Behind the elements and animals is a system of timekeeping involving the ten “heavenly stems” (天干; pinyin: tiāngān) and twelve “earthly branches” (地支; pinyin: dìzhī). The heavenly stems (甲乙丙丁戊己庚辛壬癸) correlate to the five elements (two per element, in the order wood, wood, fire, fire, earth, earth, metal, metal, water, water). The twelve earthly branches (子丑寅卯辰巳午未申酉戌亥) correlate to the twelve zodiac animals (in order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, dog, pig). This year’s stem and branch are 壬 (pinyin: rén) and 辰 (pinyin: chén), respectively.

Traditional Dragon attributes and associations

Attribute
Zodiac Location 5th
Ruling hours 7am-10am
Direction East-southeast
Motto “I Conquer”
Season and month Spring, April
Fixed element Earth
Stem Positive
Lunar Month Dates April 5 – May 4
Birthstone Bloodstone
Colors Red and Violet
Roughly equivalent western sign Aries
Polarity Yang
Food Cereal and juice
Ruling Countries China,   United Kingdom, Italy, Denmark  Iran, Japan,   Bulgaria,

Personality

Occupying the 5th position in the Chinese Zodiac, the Dragon is the mightiest of the signs. Dragons symbolize such character traits as dominance and ambition. Dragons prefer to live by their own rules and if left on their own, are usually successful. They’re driven, unafraid of challenges, and willing to take risks. They’re passionate in all they do and they do things in grand fashion. Unfortunately, this passion and enthusiasm can leave Dragons feeling exhausted and interestingly, unfulfilled.

While Dragons frequently help others, rarely will they ask for help. Others are attracted to Dragons, especially their colorful personalities, but deep down, Dragons prefer to be alone. Perhaps that is because they’re most successful when working alone. Their preference to be alone can come across as arrogance or conceitedness, but these qualities aren’t applicable. Dragons have tempers that can flare fast!

Health

Considering their hard-working nature, Dragons are healthy overall. They do get stressed and suffer from periodic tension/headaches, likely because they take so many risks. Dragons could benefit from incorporating mild activity into their lives. Yoga or walking would be good as these activities can work both their minds and their bodies.

Career

Dragons prefer leading to being led. Jobs that allow them to express their creativity are good choices. Some good careers include: inventor, manager, computer analyst, lawyer, engineer, architect, broker, and sales person.

Relationships

Dragons will give into love, but won’t give up their independence. Because they have quick, sometimes vengeful tempers, their partners need to be tough-skinned. Dragons enjoy others who are intriguing, and when they find the right partners, they’ll usually commit to that person for life.

Dragons and the 5 elements

Metal Dragons – Years 1940 and 2000

Metal strengthens this already strong sign. Metal Dragons are more determined and they’ll fight for what they believe in. They enjoy the company of those who feel mighty enough to challenge their beliefs. They’re true leaders and usually find plenty of others willing to follow.

Water Dragons – Years 1952 and 2012

Water calms the Dragon’s fire. Water Dragons are able to see things from other points of view. They don’t have the need to always be right. Their decisions, if well-researched, are usually better since they allow other’s to become involved.

Wood Dragons – 1904 and 1964

Wood Dragons also are willing to entertain the opinions of others. Their artistic side is strong, and Wood Dragons enjoy being creative and innovative. They get along with others, but will always be the dominating force.

Fire Dragons – 1916 and 1976

A Fire Dragon’s emotions can flare instantly. Fire Dragons put themselves on pedestals, and because they react quickly and recklessly, they sometimes make wrong decisions. Fire Dragons need to slow down and keep their tempers in check as that’s when they’re best.

Earth Dragons – Years 1928 and 1988

More rooted in the ground, Earth Dragons make better decisions because they act more rationally. Earth Dragons are level-headed and able to control their behaviors. They’re more supportive of others, but they prefer being admired by others.

Compatibility

Dragons are compatible with the Monkey or Rat and incompatible with the Ox and Goat.

 

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