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.


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  ___.


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