MARTHA SEZ: ‘The Dragon is trustworthy and trusting, sometimes to his detriment’

Good news! We are now in the Chinese lunar Year of the Dragon! I certainly hope we’re going to start seeing some improvements around here.

And we should, because, according to The Times of India, Dragon year 2024 brings evolution and abundance to the world, building a foundation for successful new beginnings.

In Chinese culture, dragons symbolize good fortune, strength and power. They control the weather and water; they breathe clouds.

As with experts in any field, astrologists will often differ in their interpretations of the Chinese Zodiac. There is general agreement, however, that people born in the year of the Dragon are the luckiest as well as the most intelligent, charismatic and powerful in the zodiac.

Probably this is why Dragons are so self-assured, confident and enthusiastic in their approach to life.

“Nothing ventured, nothing gained!” Dragon says.

The Dragon is trustworthy and trusting, sometimes to his detriment. On the other hand, the Dragon can also be stubborn, tactless and judgmental.

It used to be, when I began writing this column, that a person had to pick up a paper placemat at a Chinese restaurant in order to discover what animal year he or she was born in. By assiduous study of a placemat in a Chinese restaurant years ago in Houston, Texas, I learned that I was born in a Pig year.

Another good resource tool for me has been a feng shui book on how to organize your home, which unfortunately I can’t find. Of course, you can now just Google “Chinese Zodiac.”

The 12 Chinese horoscope animals are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and finally Pig. The dragon is the only animal on the Chinese zodiac that is a mythical creature. Every 12 years your animal year will come around again.

Some notable people born in years of the dragon include Al Pacino, Reese Witherspoon, John Lennon, Adele, Rihanna, Martin Luther King Jr., Bruce Lee, Kamala Harris, Noam Chomsky, Vladimir Putin, Anthony Fauci, Roald Dahl, Maya Angelou, Andy Warhol, Ringo Starr, John Gotti, Shirley Temple, Christian Dior, Che Guevera and, of course, my granddaughter, Emma.

Dragon’s best friends are the Rat, the Tiger and the Snake. Dragon simply cannot stand the Dog.

A dragon, a snake and a tiger go into a bar.

“What’ll it be?” asks the bartender, a Rat.

Dragon suddenly tenses up.

“Hold on a minute, what’s that barking?” he snarls.

Dog cautiously leaves by the back door.

In addition to the 12 animal years of the Chinese zodiac, there are 5 elements: wood, fire, earth, metal and water. Babies born in this Chinese lunar calendar year (from Feb. 10, 2024, through Jan. 28, 2025) are Wood Dragons. While, as mentioned, another Dragon year will come around in 12 years, there will not be another Wood Dragon year for 60 years, because 12 x 5 = 60. (This will be on the test.) My granddaughter, Emma, was born in 2012, year of the Water Dragon, noted for its calm, visionary intelligence, and balance of right brain creativity with left brain logic, while I am that fiery swine, the Fire Pig.

This is a good year for the dragon’s friends, the monkey and the rat. Good year for artists and entrepreneurs. Also a very lucky year for those who, like me, were born in a Pig year! The noble Pig is gentle and warm at heart.

The Chinese zodiac can be pretty confusing. If you want to understand it, don’t bother talking to Chinese young people. I’ve tried, and they had no idea what I was going on about.

“Why pig?” one young Chinese woman asked sympathetically. There is nothing insulting about being born in a Pig year, let me tell you.

When I wrote “Good news! It’s the Year of the Dragon,” I did not mean that it will be good news for everyone. For those born in the Year of the Dog, not so much, according to the “Hindustan Times,” Feb. 20, 2024. This year is also unlucky for the Ox, Goat and Tiger.

In Chinese culture, “Ben Ming Nian” is the year of your zodiac animal. You might think it would bring good luck, but no, quite the opposite. This seems unfair, but then no one ever said the Chinese zodiac was going to be fair.

For Dragons, however, there is an exception. Dragons are so lucky that even their Ben Ming Nian can’t mess with their good fortune.

Have a good year!

(Martha Allen, of Keene Valley, has been writing for the Lake Placid News for more than 20 years.)

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