Posts Tagged With: Chinese calendar

Whispering Woods Dragon Lore course – Lesson Three

Whispering Woods Dragon Lore course
The Chinese Dragon Calendar

Lesson Three

According to the Chinese calendar, every 12 years is the year of the Dragon. For example the years 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012 are years of the Dragon.

Dragon people are honest, full of energy, stubborn, loyal, strong, and protective. Dragon people are incredibly lucky. They love flattery, and can be attracted to bad behavior. That is their weakness. Children born during Dragon Years enjoy health, wealth, and long life.

Eastern Dragons are vain, even though they are wise. They are insulted when a ruler doesn’t follow their advice, or when people do not honor their importance. Then, by thrashing about, dragons either stop making rain and cause water shortages, or they breathe black clouds that bring storms and floods. Small dragons do minor mischief, such as making roofs leak, or causing rice to be sticky. People set off firecrackers and carry immense paper dragons in special parades. They also race dragon-shaped boats in water all to please and appease their dragons.

The Dragon is the ultimate representation of the forces of Mother Nature, the greatest divine force on Earth.  The Chinese Dragon is often seen as the symbol of divine protection and vigilance. It is regarded as the Supreme Being amongst all creatures. It has the ability to live in the seas, fly up the heavens and coiled up in the land in the form of mountains. Being the divine mythical animal, the Dragon can ward off wandering evil spirits, protect the innocent and bestow safety to all that hold his emblem. The Chinese Dragon is looked upon as the ultimate symbol of Good Fortune.

Year of the Dragon – Personality Traits:

The Dragon person is self confident and impulsive and consequently does not always listen to the advice of others. He is also a perfectionist and he sets high standards for himself.

Although strong and decisive the Dragon is not manipulative or sly. He refuses to deceive or compromise and fails to spot subversive intent. He enjoys being in command and like an emperor holding court he eliminates obstacles until success is his.

Wood Dragon: (Feb. 16, 1904 CE to Feb. 3, 1905 CE and Feb. 13 1964 CE to Feb. 1, 1965 CE) The Wood Dragon is creative, imaginative, and inquisitive. He is both a thinker and a doer and is capable of brilliant new concepts. His every move is guided by sound logic. His drive and ambition allow him to put many of his ideas into practice, nevertheless this Dragon is capable of concealing his domination and tries not to offend. He will even compromise if it is advantages. Although not as self-centered as other Dragons, he is still outspoken and fearless when challenged.

Fire Dragon:  (Feb. 3, 1916 CE to Jan. 22, 1917 CE, and Jan. 31, 1976 CE to Feb 17, 1977 CE)
The Fire Dragon is the most extroverted and competitive Dragon. He tends to push too hard and expects a lot from everyone. His criticisms are objective and he has the ability to arouse massive popular support. His insatiable ambition can make him short-tempered and intolerant. He is an empire builder who needs to master his less favorable traits and learn how to communicate more humbly with people as individuals.

Earth Dragon: (Jan. 23, 1928 CE to Feb. 9, 1929 CE and Feb. 9, 1988 CE to Feb. 5, 1989 CE)
The Earth Dragon is a quieter, more reflective Dragon, He will be appreciative of other’s opinions even if he fails to agree with them. He is reasonable in his approach to problems and his leadership is less dictatorial. He is not given to outbursts of temper, but at the same time demands respect. He knows the value of cooperation and is more diplomatic than the other Dragons. He is ambitious, but his initiatives are less hurried and more carefully thought out.

Metal Dragon: (Feb. 8, 1940 CE to Jan. 26, 1941 CE and Feb. 5, 2000 CE to Jan, 23, 2001 CE) The Metal Dragon is the most strong-willed Dragon. He is inflexible, unbending and combative. He gives little regard to the feelings of others. This ruthlessness can result in a rapid rise to a position of authority, but often at the cost of destroying important relationships. It is futile to attempt to convince him that certain things are simply undoable. He will go it alone if he can’t gain support. He succeeds because he refuses to accept failure.

Water Dragon: (Jan. 27, 1952 CE to Feb.13, 1953 CE, and the next year will be 2012 CE.) The Water Dragon is less selfish and opinionated than the other Dragons. He is more inhibited and less power-hungry. He can accept defeat without recriminations. He makes a good negotiator as he knows when, where, and how to apply pressure. He has a tendency to be over-optimistic and needs to learn how to relinquish what is unfeasible so that he can concentrate his energies on the most rewarding endeavors.

Chinese calendars:

Chinese calendar uses the Stem-Branch system to count the day, month and year. There are 10 Stems and 12 Branches in the system. Stems are named by the Yin-Yang and Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth). The Stem sequence order is  Yang Wood, Yin Wood, Yang Fire, Yin Fire, Yang Earth, Yin Earth, Yang Metal, Yin Metal, Yang Water and Yin Water. Branches use the animal names. The Branch sequence order is  Rat, Cow, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig.

Stem and Branch are used together to form a cycle of 60 counting systems which begin from Wooden Rat and end with   Water Pig.

The calendar goes in 12 year cycles with an animal representing each year. Unlike most other calendars, the Chinese calendar does not count years in an infinite sequence. Instead years have names that are repeated every 60 years.

Each group of sixty years was given a compound name.

The first name was the celestial branch. The second name was the terrestrial branch represented by the twelve animals.

Each of the twelve years was assigned an animal, because, as legend has it, only twelve animals came to bid farewell to the Buddha before he departed from the earth.  As a reward to these twelve animals, the Buddha named a year after each one in the order that they arrived. During the sixty year cycle each animal is combined with five Chinese elements namely:

Wood – ruled by Jupiter

Fire – ruled by Mars

Earth  – ruled by Saturn

Metal – ruled by Venus

Water – ruled by Mercury

These five Chinese elements are in turn divided into the positive and negative magnetic poles of the Ying and Yang.  The Chinese lunar calendar starts at 11pm and the twenty four hours of the day are divided into twelve sections of two hours each.  An animal sign rules each one of these twelve sections and has an element, direction and a season.

A Chinese birth sign is calculated by the elements and their effects on our lives as follows:

1). The element of the year of birth

2). The element of one’s animal sign

3). The element of the hour of birth

4). The element of the month of birth

5). The element of the country of birth

Attributes of the Dragon are:

The Dragon (LONG)

Ruler of the hours 7am to 9am

Direction – East/Southeast

Season – Spring/April

Fixed element – Wood positive

Yin/Yang – Yang

The Dragon is highly compatible with: Rat, Tiger, Snake, Monkey

The Dragon has a harmonious relationship with: Pig

The Dragon has no conflict but needs to make an effort with: Horse, Rooster

The Dragon has a difficult relationship with: Rabbit, Dragon, Goat

The Dragon has a turbulent relationship with: Ox, Dog

According to legend, the Chinese calendar was developed during the third millennium BCE. It is said to have been invented by the legendary ruler, “Huang Di” who was also known as the Yellow Emperor.

Quiz:

1. The Chinese Dragon is often seen as the symbol of  ________  _________ and  ________.
2. The Metal Dragon is the most  _______ – _____   Dragon.
3. The Element of Wood is ruled by ______.
4. The energy of the Dragon is Yin.     True or False?
5. Dragon people are incredibly  _______.
6. The Water Dragon is less  _________.
7. The Dragon has a harmonious relationship with  ___.

Source:

Author & Researcher

Crick

Website: Whispering Woods

Crick also offers an online ezine which is located at Black Hen E-Zine

 

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Daily Feng Shui News for Aug. 13th – ‘Festival of the Double Sevens’

Today celebrates the ‘Festival of the Double Sevens,’ which is also known as ‘Chinese Valentine’s Day,’ a day that falls on the seventh day of the seventh month on the Chinese calendar. One of the most common and powerful Feng Shui cures to enact on this day is to place an image of the Dragon/Phoenix in the ‘Romance’ corner of your bedroom. Considered by this tradition to be the perfect couple, when paired together these auspicious celestial animals complement and support one another as true life partners. Therefore, joining them in that same romantic space can strengthen or even rekindle a relationship while also promising to improve and sweeten married life. But these beneficial energies don’t just bless existing couples only. If you’re single and looking for love, placing this image in the ‘Romance’ area of your living spaces will greatly increase your ‘marriage luck.’ This is the perfect day to call on this couple so that you too can become a part of a blissful one.

By Ellen Whitehurst for Astrology.com

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Why Does The Chinese New Year Date Change Every Year?

Chinese New Year

By , About.com Guide

If you live in an area that has a Chinatown, chances are that at some point you’ve watched the Chinese New Year celebrations. However, Chinese New Year (also called the Spring Festival) doesn’t begin and end on a single weekend. Instead, the Spring Festival lasts a full fifteen days, with preparations beginning before the old year has come to a close. By the time the New Year arrives, families have already spent several days preparing for the big event; cleaning the house, buying gifts, and cooking festive foods.

People often wonder why the date for Chinese New Year changes each year. The Chinese calendar  is a combination solar/lunar calendar, based on a number of rather complex astronomical calculations, including the longitude of the sun. Chinese New Year falls on the second new moon after the winter solstice (all months begin with a new moon). In 2013, Chinese New Year Day falls on February 10th.

How did Chinese New Year come to be celebrated? According to an ancient legend, people were once tormented by a beast called a Nian – a ferocious creature with an extremely large mouth, capable of swallowing several people in a single bite. Relief from the Nian came only when an old man tricked the beast into disappearing. In reality, New Years festivities probably evolved from a desire to celebrate the end of winter and the fertility and rebirth that come with the spring, much like the ancient Roman festival of Lupercalia. Today, New Years is about family reunions and wishing everyone good fortune in the coming year.

The Spring Festival is China’s major traditional holiday, and is also celebrated in other parts of Southeast Asia, including Vietnam (where New Year’s Day is called “Tet”), Malaysia, Taiwan, and of course, Hong Kong. However, in my research I couldn’t find any mention of Chinese New Year’s celebrations in Japan. Lisa Heupel, an expert on Japanese Culture, came up with a possible reason – apparently the Japanese followed the lunar calendar until the middle of the nineteenth century. However, after the Meiji Restoration in 1868, they adopted the Gregorian calendar. Since that time New Years is celebrated on January 1st. While there are other popular festivals celebrating the arrival of spring, such as Hanami or the cherry blossom viewing festival, for the most part Chinese New Year goes unnoticed in Japan, except for a few small celebrations by the Chinese who live there.

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 29 is 56: The Wanderer

56: The Wanderer

Hexagram 56

General Meaning:  A seasoned traveler knows that a special kind of decorum is called for when one ventures far from home. He or she must develop a yielding nature outwardly, so that the ‘local contact’ or host can open doors and prevent unseemly errors. But inwardly, the wanderer knows that it is sometimes impossible to discern the true intentions of strangers — are they hostile, friendly or merely opportunistic?

The twin houses of mystery and discovery rule any journey. Each new day is launched on a fresh landscape, one that reaches out to grab our full attention. Though new adventures are a great teacher — and often a great equalizer — there is an art to living lightly in a strange land. Mindfulness and discernment become the keys not only to success, but also to survival.

If you are entering a new environment of any sort attempt to be sincere, flexible and undemanding, rather than obstinate. Let go of old attitudes and habits that could encumber you, or make you overly conspicuous. The onset of a great journey is not a favorable time to enter into binding agreements, or to start new enterprises.

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 27 is 53: A Steady Pace

53: A Steady Pace

Hexagram 53

General Meaning:  Like an ancient old-growth forest — where the subtle play of light, texture and shadows is the product of a process measured in centuries and inches — most things of lasting value develop gradually, at their own pace. The ability to learn from experience — one of humanity’s greatest capacities — implies constant yet gradual progress. The combination of stillness within and determination without are the essence of this dynamic. Good things sometimes sprout quickly; the truly delightful take much longer.

The principle of gradual development applies also to human relationships. For love and marriage or any important partnership to endure, progress must be slow but steady: slow enough to allow for the bonds to knit properly; steady enough to keep moving in the right direction.

You can’t expect to have everything all at once. Development must be allowed to take its proper course and allotted time; events must neither be rushed nor manipulated, but allowed to unfold naturally. In this way, you will come to enjoy long-lasting relationships and achieve success.

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 23 is 12: Standstill

12: Standstill

Hexagram 12

General Meaning:  A state of standstill is a state of decline. Confusion and disorder prevail. Inferior elements are on the rise, while the powers of clarity and creativity are waning. In such times, the wise take shelter in their own integrity and quietly remain faithful to their highest selves. Retreat from public activities and common exchanges until the time once again favors assertive action.

During periods of stagnation, inferior elements can rise to power. When the inmates are overrunning the asylum, summon up your fortitude, hide your worth and withdraw. Concentrate on your personal affairs with a quiet dignity, even if that means giving up short-term rewards.

Desiring to change a situation too quickly often creates extra conflict. By accepting hardship, while striving to maintain integrity, you are preparing for future growth. A seed of prosperity is often hidden inside the husk of misfortune.

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Today’s I Ching Hexagram for August 12 is 34: Great Vigor

34: Great Vigor

Hexagram 34

General Meaning:  Congratulations! There is strength and vigor in this situation — like a ram who has knocked down a fence to free himself from captivity. This points to a time when a powerful force comes into its own and achieves influence.

When a leader finally comes into power, his or her personal strength usually has peaked. Great strength is required in climbing to the mountaintop, but once at the summit, the support of others is needed to maintain that lofty position. A shift in attitude becomes necessary. Raw strength must be tempered by wisdom; to maintain power, a strong leader must learn to give it away, to share it with others. Only then will his or her position be secure, for she will not only be the possessor of power, but the source of it as well.

If you find yourself in a high or strong position, it is especially important to act responsibly and react with care. Your personal power must not be allowed to degenerate into raw force that rides roughshod over everything in its path. A strong sense of responsibility to the collective good of all is the key to the successful exercise of strength. By following what we intuitively know to be for the greater good, we avoid reckless abuses of power that in the end undermine the source of our strength. Arrogance always contains the seeds of its own undoing.

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The Chinese New Year Festival

The Chinese New Year is now popularly known as the Spring Festival because it starts from the Beginning of Spring (the first of the twenty-four terms in coordination with the changes of Nature). Its origin is too old to be traced. Several explanations are hanging around. All agree, however, that the word Nian, which in modern Chinese solely means “year”, was originally the name of a monster beast that started to prey on people the night before the beginning of a new year (Do not lose track here: we are talking about the new year in terms of the Chinese calendar).
One legend goes that the beast Nian had a very big mouth that would swallow a great many people with one bite. People were very scared. One day, an old man came to their rescue, offering to subdue Nian. To Nian he said, “I hear say that you are very capable, but can you swallow the other beasts of prey on earth instead of people who are by no means of your worthy opponents?” So, swallow it did many of the beasts of prey on earth that also harassed people and their domestic animals from time to time.

After that, the old man disappeared riding the beast Nian. He turned out to be an immortal god. Now that Nian is gone and other beasts of prey are also scared into forests, people begin to enjoy their peaceful life. Before the old man left, he had told people to put up red paper decorations on their windows and doors at each year’s end to scare away Nian in case it sneaked back again, because red is the color the beast feared the most.

From then on, the tradition of observing the conquest of Nian is carried on from generation to generation. The term “Guo Nian”, which may mean “Survive the Nian” becomes today “Celebrate the (New) Year” as the word “guo” in Chinese having both the meaning of “pass-over” and “observe”. The custom of putting up red paper and firing fire-crackers to scare away Nian should it have a chance to run loose is still around. However, people today have long forgotten why they are doing all this, except that they feel the color and the sound add to the excitement of the celebration.

The Holiday Spot

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