Posted by: Zane Maser | January 25, 2012


O to be a dragon, 
a symbol of the power of Heaven —
of silk worm 
size or immense; at times invisible.

Felicitous phenomenon!
Marianne Moore, in “O To Be a Dragon” (1957)

Where I live, the prelude to the entry of the Chinese Year of the Water Dragon on January 23 has been copious amounts of rain, an appropriate expression for a year specifically associated with the element of Water, as well as the Dragon’s natural element of Wood. In the past week, our bioregion is saturated with well over 5 ½ inches of rain, with more to come, and many rivers already cresting at flood stage while others overflow their banks. The mighty Willamette River is bursting its watery seams in places. No wonder Water is having its way with us, because dragons are believed to be the rulers of moving bodies of water, like rivers and seas! The process of cleansing is at hand.

Astrologically, the Chinese New Year—also know as the Lunar New Year—commences at sunset, following the first New Moon after the Sun leaves its sojourn in the Earth sign of Capricorn, to take up residence in Water-bearing Aquarius. This is the portal of the first day of the Chinese calendar, a luni-solar calendar, which includes both the lunar phase and the time of the solar year. It marks the end of the winter season in China and the beginning of the longest, most important holiday and celebration of the Chinese calendar—the “Spring Festival.”

A tradition originating centuries ago, New Year’s Eve, what the Chinese call the “Eve of the Passing Year,” is a sacred time of family reunion when they gather for their annual dinner. New Year festivities are predominantly colored with red, symbolizing joy, sincerity, virtue, and truth.1

As a legendary, mystical, magical creature, the dragon is attributed with numerous cross-cultural qualities, many of which include enormous powers to both destroy and create, for evil and good. In Greek, the word dragon is derived from two words that carry the meaning of “a serpent or giant seafish” and the ability “to see clearly.” Most dragons are known to fly, where they are able to obtain a higher, broader perspective, although wings are not needed for them to do so. Supernatural gifts they have in abundance. Even Quan Yin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, is said to have ridden a dragon across the waters to aid those in need.2

According to Terah Kathryn Collins, director of the Western School of Feng Shui, the Water Dragon, being the only mythical animal of the twelve in Chinese astrology “is known for bringing Heaven to Earth and making dreams come true. Visions you’ve been holding deep within your heart could manifest right before your eyes.”3 So be sure your desires and dreams for 2012 are truly the ones you most want!

Power, strength, and good fortune are among the attributes of the dragon, including his connection as a central symbol denoting the imperial power of the Emperor of China. None were above the Emperor—or the dragon. The Chinese so revere the dragon that within the twelve-year cycle of all the animals of the Chinese zodiac, more babies are born in a Dragon year. Considering the dragon’s reputation, it’s a powerful and fortunate time for birth—on more than the physical level.

There is a lovely correspondence between the symbolism of the Year of the Water Dragon and the significant astrological signatures for the year. 2012 has been variously described as a year of great power and an evolutionary turning point, both personally and collectively. Life has shifted, period. The old patterns, template, and ways of being are gone, and this year is the time to move, to create, and to bring to earth a higher vibrational pattern of connection and unity than we’ve heretofore known. Together, we have reached a Higher Ascent, and the snow-clad Mountain Peak is now in a cloudless view. Like the dragon, we can see and create more clearly now. It is our responsibility to do so.

I’m an outlaw, not a hero. I never intended to rescue you.
We’re our own dragons as well as our own heroes,
and we have to rescue ourselves from ourselves.
Tom Robbins, Still Like with Woopecker (1981)

Also on January 23, Mars, planet of energy and direct assertion, began its long awaited three-month retrograde period in Virgo, where it will re-commence a forward motion on April 13. It moves fully beyond the retrograde degrees on June 19 and will then dash ahead. While Mars’ energy is now personalized inwardly and intensified in Virgo, the sign of ordering the particulars in life, it’s time to clean, sort, clear out, simplify, organize, economize, choose wisely, and lighten the load physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Release, forget, forgive, heal, and serve, allowing the purifying waters of the river to carry the relinquished weight out to sea.

A momentous “spiritual” event will occur on February 3 when Neptune moves into transcendent Pisces, the sign it rules. Neptune last traversed Pisces in the early 1860’s, and it will remain in heart-centered, Watery Pisces until 2025. The Neptune in Pisces energy, expressed on the higher side, will have an enormously spiritualizing effect on us all to embrace our divine heritage and inheritance. Moreover, the Water and Wood elements of the Water Dragon are associated with spirituality and intuition, respectively. Many of us will increasingly feel the veil dissolving between this outer level of impermanent life and the Inner Worlds of Light and Beauty.

We’ll have greater trust in and deeper access to our intuitive insights, to multi-dimensional healing, to our Angelic guidance and the presence of our loved ones in the non-physical realm, to the animating spirit within the nature and animal kingdoms, to fortunate synchronicities and miraculous outcomes—to name a few. Unity and connection may have greater ascendancy than separation, polarities, and fear. “What is in the One is in the Whole,” as Carolyn Myss puts it, is a mystical principle whose time is now, ushered in by the Water Dragon who brings Heavenly Grace to earth this year.

The upcoming Uranus/Pluto square in the summer and fall suggests that, through darker days of traumatic upheaval and radical shifts, a higher level of conscious awareness and personal empowerment will be worth the risk, change, and evolutionary growth that will precede the turmoil. The evolutionary gift of the Uranus/Pluto square is a colossal course correction for us personally and globally: to use our resources, power, and wealth in ways that serve the Whole—the “One Body” for which we are all a unique, magnificent part. The noble, generous spirit of the Water Dragon encourages us to become transparent in the Light of the Truth and to honor our own truths as the divine gifts we contribute in this pivotal year of 2012.

Similar themes will be underscored later in the year when Saturn enters the penetrating, regenerative Watery sign of Scorpio on October 6 (where it will remain until mid-September 2015). Scorpio’s energy is a truly intense, demanding Path, because the very nature of it as both a Fixed and a Water sign implies a potentially relentless, on-going process of gain and loss, change and adaptation, sorrow and joy, turmoil and peace. Scorpio, and its co-ruling planet, Pluto require that we probe into and experience life in all its facets, coupled with the need to heal and regenerate our self through periodic stages of suffering “little deaths.”

Symbolically and literally, these transformative ordeals and subsequent experiences of resurrection that we all undergo when Scorpio energy is emphasized, as it will be with Saturn’s occupancy, are part of this sign’s pattern of destiny and processes of evolution. They take us past superficialities to the brink of this “known” world and into the deeper Mysteries of “transitional states,” described by Mary Plumb.4 Though not easy, these sorts of fallings away or “re-makings” are required of us in the years ahead. They are the waters of breakdown (the Water Dragon!), of letting go, of transmuting selfish desires, and of subsequent inner renewal, because these major sufferings, tests, metamorphoses, and initiations are the threshold we have all entered together.

Jean Houston, eminent scholar and researcher into “human potential,” describes humanity as entering the “Great Times” of the “possible human in the possible culture.” She contends we can all live larger lives if we honor the fullness of who or what we are to be. For Jean, within each of us resides both a “sheer immensity” and “extraordinary splendor” of what we are inwardly, and NOW is the time to grasp and walk toward that Higher Meaning and Destiny encoded within our spiritual DNA.

The Water Dragon has flown into our midst as a fortunate guide and way shower. Will you accept the Call of Transformation to walk the crucial steps of advancement this year and in the years ahead? If so, see you on the Illumined Summit of the Mountain!

I believe in fairies, the myths, dragons. It all exists,
even if it’s in your mind.
Who’s to say that dreams and nightmares
aren’t as real as the here and now?
John Lennon, quoted in Secret of the Dragon’s Eye: Book One
Derek Hart (2007)

Related Posts:

• Awakening Your Dreams For 2012

• A New Unity

• Getting My Bearings (in part a description of the purpose and value of      the retrograde cycle of Mars)

• The Beastly & Blessed Moments of Mars

• “One Body”

• Readiness

• Evolutionary Upgrade

• The Timeless Trek


1. Wikipedia is the source of information about the Chinese New Year and dragons.

2. My dear friend, Jeannine, provided the information on Quan Yin flying on her dragon over the waters in answer to a call for help. Thank you for flying across the Pacific Ocean to add this beautiful “dragon” visual!


4. Mary Plumb’s excellent article about the mysteries and hidden forces of Scorpio

Text © by Zane Maser, 2012. All rights reserved worldwide. Dragon photos from WikiCommons. The third photo of the black dragon is in the public domain in the United States.

Protected by Copyscape Web Copyright Protection

My editorial guru and technological wizard is Chris Maser, my delightful husband.

If you are interested in an astrological consultation and/or a specific question answered by a horary chart, please visit SunnyCat© Astrology.

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