I am dragon, hear me roar

I am dragon, hear me roar

Not very majestic, right? This was the best my local WalMart could do. I think he’s kind of cute!

What’s your sign, baby?* I don’t read my daily horoscope, but I do know that I’m a Gemini, ruled by the planet Mercury, which apparently means I’m adaptable, communicative, easily bored, witty, intellectual, eloquent, scatter-brained, nervous, and tense.

That this is mostly true (I have my doubts about “intellectual”) doesn’t make me any less indifferent. To be honest, my heart belongs to the Chinese zodiac. From the story of how the 12 animals of the zodiac were selected to the yearly handover of power from one animal to the next, the antics of those 12 critters have captured my imagination the way no star sign ever could.

2012, as you may have heard, is the Year of the Dragon. Because this mighty and mystical creature is the most powerful sign of the zodiac, the year ahead will see a combination of all Four Blessings of the East: wealth, virtue, harmony, and long life. The element associated with 2012 is water, and the Water Dragon Year is expected to be a time of positive change; flowing (and possibly turbulent) like the water in a powerful stream.

Since I was born in a previous Year of the Dragon, this is my ben ming nian (本命年) (zodiac year). That means it could be a very unlucky year for me. You’d think the opposite would be true, but since one’s ben ming nian marks the beginning of another 12-year life cycle, the Chinese view it as a delicate time; a period of transition during which everything could easily go pear-shaped. (I’ve lived through several 12-year cycles — adolescence at 12, entering society at 24, maturity at 36 — and 48 is supposed to be a time of accomplishment. Not that I feel any pressure or anything. :smile:)

The dragon is an imperial symbol in China. This is the Nine Dragon Wall in the Forbidden City.

Fortunately, there’s an easy way to ward off the negative energy surrounding my ben ming nian: wearing red. It’s a very auspicious colour for the Chinese, and is especially potent if worn around the waist or on the feet. Since the only red shoes I own sport a 4-inch heel, I don’t think that’s the escape route I’m going to take. Never fear; I was told that red underwear is an acceptable alternative. Now that’s my kind of good luck charm. (I was going to post a photo of my new lucky undies… but no.)

Here’s a quick YouTube video about avoiding bad luck during one’s ben ming nian:

The dragon is the strongest sign of the Chinese zodiac, and those born in the Year of the Dragon are similarly blessed. Or so it’s said. Let’s see what kind of Dragon I really am, shall we?

Apparently, Dragons are:

Born leaders.
Hot tempered.
Attracted to risk.
Comfortable being alone.

Hmmm. It would appear I’m letting down the side here. But wait! There’s one more aspect of Dragon-ness I haven’t mentioned yet. Every zodiac sign is associated with one of the five elemental signs: wood, fire, earth metal, and water. Dragons born in 1964 are Wood Dragons, which means they’re:

Socially conscious.
Always looking for ways to grow.

That sounds about right.

The Year of the Dragon holds a lot of potential. Since one of my goals this year is to find more writing work, I especially like this little prediction I found online:

Detail of one of the dragons on the Nine Dragon Wall.

Important changes could take place with work — a promotion, a shift in responsibilities or even an entirely new job. Progress might start slowly, but you can expect major shifts over time. It makes sense to go after whatever stirs your soul and piques your curiosity. You could gain a great deal just by putting yourself out there this year.

That’s great advice, no matter what year it is. But just to be on the safe side, don’t forget your red underwear.

*Cheesy pickup line, circa 1975.

What Chinese zodiac sign are you?


About Maria

I'm a Canadian repatriate, former expat spouse, mother to two TCKs (and one yellow Lab), mentor to new immigrants, writer, reader, world traveller (grounded for now). I write about expat/repat issues and am still trying to figure out my place in the world.
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14 Responses to I am dragon, hear me roar

  1. Hey Maria!
    Happy Chinese New Year from a fellow Dragon (even the same year, my friend)! How cool is that? It’s definitely going to be our year.
    Anne 🙂

  2. Heather says:

    Great excuse for more red shoes, right? This from your Tiger friend who finished her 3rd 12 year cycle 2 years ago and has 3 pair red shoes, plus one with red and black. Good to know about the red undergarments too. 😉

    • Maria says:

      The colour associated with the element water is black. So if you combine red and black during The Year of the Black Water Dragon, I’ll bet you’ll have oodles of luck. Do you realize what this means, Heather? Another pair of red and black shoes! (You’re welcome.) 🙂

  3. Russell says:

    Did you know that I’m a little tiger? And a wooden one at that. Courageous, friendly, loyal, kind… I can almost hear you voicing your agreement from all the way over here.

  4. Um, Maria, I’m a monkey but now I’m fairly certain that I should actually be an un-outgoing wooden dragon. So, basically, TWNSIES!!
    Also, the red underwear is totally a thing. Seriously.

  5. Naomi says:

    Awesome and fun post! I’m a Fire Dragon 🙂

    THE FIRE DRAGON 1916 AND 1976

    The Fire Dragon is a powerful force to be reckoned with. This is a Dragon doubled! The Fire Dragon can move from calm and collected to combustible in a matter of seconds. In some ways the Fire Dragon is his or her own worst enemy. These Dragons cannot help feeling they are valuable and all-knowing. When they are right their vehemence and vigor is an asset to the cause, and though they value objectivity, they do not always employ the best decision-making measures, and sometimes jump to the wrong conclusion. They also suffer from recklessness and quick tempers. Yet, when they do keep their temper, emotions, and rivaling spirit under control, they emanate a commanding influence on other people.

  6. Great post Maria. I’m a Rat (yes Russell, go ahead and make your jokes now), and a Gemini to boot. I read a horoscope and it was probably 2/3 true. Not sure what color shoes/clothes/lingerie I’m supposed to be buying so will have to do some research. Glad you have such a stellar year of accomplishments ahead of you. I’m not at all surprised, Not. One. Bit.

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