The Chinese New Year begins Monday and signifies a new cycle of representation. Each year is said to be guided by its animal symbol in Chinese astrology. On Monday, the cycle of the Rabbit will end and the year of the Dragon will begin.
* The Dragon represents power and unpredictability in Chinese astrology. This idea is represented physically by the concept that you cannot see the head and the tail of the dragon t the same time. Thus, you never know what the dragon will do next.
* To personify the power that the Dragon represents, it is said to represent the emperor of China.
* The Chinese Dragon is thought to be composed of a variety of animals. Specifically it has a camel head, deer antlers, eagle claws, tiger paws, a snake neck, bull ears, clam stomach, rabbit eyes and 117 carp scales.
* Taoism includes Wu Xing, or the Theory of the Five Elements. This theory states the Wood Cycle "governs" the Chinese Dragon. Thus, 2012 is also the year of the Wood Cycle. As an element, wood is weakened by metal because it can be shaped and controlled with the blade while the energy cannot be harmed. Wood is able to break Earth and is the supporting element of fire. It represents expansion and extended energy.
* Buddha is said to have asked the animals to meet with him on the new year. He then named each year that the animal represented, along with stating that those born on the animal's year would have the qualities of that animal. People who are born in the year of the dragon are said to be innovative, passionate, dramatic and independent. Those who are born in the year of the Dragon 2012 can expect to be in need of guidance but hard to control. They may move forward without assessing all the details. Therefore they may meet with failure as those details sneak up on them.
*The Chinese Dragon is often shown holding an orb. This orb represents the supernatural powers that the dragon holds. It is also represented as the guardian of some vast fortune or prize, often held by chains. This is the case even in children's stories and modern movies, like "Shrek". While it is this singular focus that seems to keep on topic, it is that same focus that prevents them from seeing things from any angle but their own.
*Given the current circumstances, the 2012 Year of the Dragon will no doubt be littered with memorable events that may mean forward movement, but may also bring with them untold consequences.