Thursday, January 26, 2012

Happy Lunar New Year of the Water Dragon

Happy Lunar New Year!

On January 23, 2012 the Year of the Yin Metal Rabbit, a year characterized by small efforts and tenuous peace gave way to the Year of the Yang Water Dragon, a year of boundless expansion and limitless resources. The Chinese horoscope is based on a cycle of 12 animals (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat/sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig) and 5 elements, (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). Thus, a particular animal-element combination recurs only once every 60 years.
In previous water dragon years:
1892 ~ Ellis Island and Angel Island were open to new immigrants, the first basketball game was played, and The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was published. New products included: toothpaste in a tube, the portable typewriter, and the diesel engine.
1952 ~ England’s Queen Elizabeth II was crowned after the death of King George IV, the Big Bang theory was proposed, Nehru was elected premier of India, a polio vaccine was developed after a huge epidemic that infected almost 60,000 children, and in California, the Kern County magnitude 7.6 earthquake rocked 100,000 acres.

Famous dragon people include:
Joan of Arc, Pearl Buck, Sigmund Freud, John Lennon, Bruce Lee, Al Pacino, Placido Domingo, Roseanne Barr, J.R.R. Tolkien, Vladimir Putin, Amy Tam, and Salvador Dali.

In Chinese Astrology
, the dragon is a symbol of central power embodied in the emperor. The dragon is the only magical, non-natural zodiac animal. In Chinese philosophy, the dragon’s immense power has value when it is mature, unselfish and is used to benefit others.
The water dragon is characterized by a combination of patience, humor, and great strength and intensity. The water aspect helps calm the dragon and quell its pride, allowing for respect and consideration. But at the same time, Yang water is moving water, such as a river, a waterfall or a tsunami, so this year's image is both powerful and dynamic..

Following are prognostications offered by Daoist scholar and teacher Liu Ming during his annual Lunar New Year lecture in the San Francisco Bay Area.

World Politics: New and dynamic leadership is possible in the Water Dragon Year, but the meaning of leadership will likely change and the conventional idea of a leader will become outdated. There will be more emphasis on community–based governing and a great opportunity to redefine who is in charge. This year may become the pivot of ruthless innovation in leadership that will reshape history. There will be an increase in worldwide political movements.

Business and finance
: Scale will be the key word, as international corporations grow even bigger than they are. The rich will get richer but also will give more to charity. Financial risks will be taken and will yield system-wrenching, transformative results. The nature of business and the world economy will shift dramatically.

Relationships and family: The Water Dragon is a loner. This year will be characterized by infidelity, socially-innovative or unconventional relationships, and unusual pairings – (celebrity gossip writers will be in heaven!). Many future leaders will be born. It’s a good year to be part of a family, and family life based firmly in clan or tribal expressions will prove most successful.

Health: 2012 will be a turning point in development of “world medicine”. Socio-political shifts in healthcare delivery are likely to occur. Incidence of death from injury will outnumber those from illness (with wars still being a major cause). The Dragon represents constitutional integrity of the whole body rather than just one organ system. Although it is not a good year to develop new habits, it is a good year to reap the benefits of the healthy habits one has already acquired. It is a good year to join others who have a similar perception and approach to healing and health (take a Qi Gong class or get community acupuncture!).

This is a good year either to be very scrupulous about religious ritual and prayer or to avoid organized religion altogether. Focus on self-reflection and expression of ordinary goodness as a spiritual path. It is a year to seek awakening in one's own heart, beyond dogma and doctrine. It is also a great year for pilgrimage and retreats.

This year will be especially favorable for those born in the years of the Rat, Rabbit, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, Rooster and Pig. The Water Dragon year will give way to the Year of the Water Snake on February 10th 2013.

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