Friday, January 20, 2012

The Rise of the Water Dragon (Year of the Dragon 2012, Binondo Manila)

Dragon art deco on top of the Filipino-Chinese Arch, Binondo, Manila
Dragons have enchanted man throughout history. They have been glorified and also “villainized” in many cultures. The mystical appeal of these creatures has made them a regular resident in everyone’s imagination. As for the shape, size or form, that will depend on where the dragon is coming from and its purpose. 

Dragons adorn the entrance archs of Binondo Manila Chinatown
For the Chinese community, the Dragon is the major symbol of good fortune as based on their in astrology. The Dragon constellation, for example, is given the honor of being the guardian of the Eastern sky. According to tradition the Dragon brings in the Four Blessings of the East: wealth, virtue, harmony and longevity. 

Dragons welcome everyone who passes gateways like these in Binondo, Manila

It’s interesting to note that of the 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac the Dragon is the most revered, as it is a mystical being rather than an earthly animal. It is also sometimes regarded as a karmic sign. In this context this means we can expect grand things this year. Bigger than life is very much a Dragon thing. There will be spectacular successes as well as crash and burn failures according to experts in
Chinese astrology.

Dragons take center stage in 2012

Not Just Any Dragon

2012 is the year of the Water Dragon. In Chinese element theory, water produces wood, which signifies growth and is the natural element of the dragon. The dragon governs east/southeast and the accumulation of wealth. Associated with thunder, lightning and arousal, the Water Dragon personifies creativity at its best. 

Dragon charms await their future owners in a side street in Ongpin, Binondo
So, does this dragon bite? Pretty much and was the prevailing sign during some of history’s most significant happenings. To get an idea of the magnitude of events that might occur in 2012 it is helpful to go back to 1952, which was the last time the Water Dragon made a fiery appearance.

  • In February, Elizabeth II became Queen of the United Kingdom, beginning a reign that still continues today. 
  • It is not really cause for celebration, but in 1952 the United States introduced two of the most destructive weapons in history, the hydrogen bomb and the B-52 bomber. 
  • In the field of medicine, we celebrated the first successful separation of a Siamese twin at Mt Sinai hospital in Cleveland, Ohio. 
  • The concept of the Integrated Circuit (IC), the basis for all modern computers, is first published by Geoffrey W.A. Dummer.
  • The toy kingdom introduced to us Mr. Potato Head.
  • In publication, Mad Magazine debuts.
  • To make the point that significant bad things can also happen in a Dragon year, in December a killer fog descended on London, which eventually resulted to the invention of the word “Smog”.
Dragon figurines are believed to bring "dragon-sized" good luck.

Planning to have a baby this year? You have all the reason to make one (wink). Throughout history parents in China have hoped to have children during the year of the Dragon. The year 1952 gave birth to world leader Vladimir Putin and Craig Newmark, founder of Craig’s List, which has revolutionized the world of advertising.

A Dragon slithers its way in a sea of people in preparation for its famed Dragon Dance

What kind of year will 2012 be? Many expect 2012 to bring about the end of the world, perhaps because they mistakenly think of Mayan or Hindu cosmologies as linear rather than cyclical. From a Feng Shui perspective, the year of the Yang Water Dragon, brings many possibilities for good fortune.

Are you ready to tame your Dragon?

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