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Expect the Year of the Dragon to be Turbulent


Expect the unexpected. That’s the message from Chinese astrologers.

This weekend launches the Year of the Dragon, one of 12 years in the Chinese zodiac calendar (we’re just ending a rabbit year).

Unlike European dragons, who tend to kidnap beautiful maidens, sit on large amounts of treasure in deep caves, and get slain by fearless heroes, Chinese dragons are boisterous powerhouses of creative energy who represent the life force of the cosmos. Their breath is called sheng qi, or divine energy, and they considered to be essentially friendly, benevolent and wise, and associated with abundance and blessing.

Dragon years are said to be invariably turbulent. That’s because creative energy can be difficult to manage. Indeed, one is well advised not even to attempt to manage a Chinese dragon. Best just to hold on tight and hope for the best.

Dragon experts who are also political observers note that this year will mark some major changes in China, including a new president, a new prime minister and a new head of the legislature, as well as dozens of new military and provincial leaders. Seven of the nine members of the Politburo Standing Committee, the inner circle of power, will step down, and political infighting is already quite intense.

Zodiac experts readily admit that the turbulence sometimes doesn’t manifest for another year or two – which, if you’re a bit skeptical about these things, means that it if there’s some turbulence any time over a three-year period (which is more than likely) you can ascribe it to the dragon.

Still, Chinese astrologers tie many upheavals to what was set in motion in dragon years. 1964 marked the birth of events that led up to the Cultural Revolution two years later. 1976 brought the death of Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai and the fall of the notorious Gang of Four, following which the nation began rising from the dust toward becoming the powerhouse that it is today. 1988 saw a grassroots drive toward more democracy, leading up the Tiananmen Square demonstration and massacre the following year. And while nothing much happened in 2000, the following year saw a crisis in relations between China and the U.S. after a mid-air collision between military aircraft from each side. This year, with China and the world experiencing serious economic changes, much turbulence is predicted.

On a personal level, if you were born in a dragon year you may be passionate, innovative, brave and unpredictable.

Or maybe not. (But that might be just because you’re unpredictable!)