The Year of the Dragon will fire up...

2012-01-28 14:13

This past week, an estimated 20% of the global population celebrated an alternative new year: the Chinese New Year, otherwise known as the Lunar New Year, or Spring Festival.

Each new year is symbolised by one of 12 animals used in Chinese astrology. According to legend, Buddha summoned all the world’s animals to come to him before he departed from this earthly realm.

However, only 12 animals came to bid him farewell. As a reward, he named a year after each animal in the order they arrived (see sidebar).

The Chinese believe that both the animal ruling your year of birth and the animal year you are in have a profound influence on your life.

We have just entered the Year of the Dragon.I don’t believe in daily horoscopes, but for the past few years I have been taking note of the mood of the year and matching it with the animal personalities of every Chinese new year.

The results have been intriguing.Think back to 2009, the Year of the Ox. The world had just been plunged into recession. Money was tight, conservative attitudes prevailed and “austerity measures” was the mantra of the day.

My dog-eared book on Chinese astrology describes the Year of the Ox as follows:“You will feel the yoke of responsibility coming down on us this year.

No success can be achieved without conscientious efforts. Way-out fashions, abstract art forms and newfangled notions will be given an impassive stare by the phlegmatic Ox, while politics and diplomacy will be simply treated with indifference. Better stick to routine and support conservative policies. Frivolities are out!”

It could be a massive coincidence, but every year that I’ve checked my “oracle”, the words have been uncomfortably prophetic. Take the coming year – the Year of the Dragon.

The more optimistic economic analysts tell us that we are seeing the light at the end of the recession tunnel, while many consumers stand back with eyebrows raised. But there is hope in the air again, albeit with a “half-full/half-empty” outlook.

My book again provides a description of the Year of the Dragon that is uncannily on the button. It reads: “A magnificent comeback after a recuperative Year of the Rabbit. We will throw caution to the wind and roll up our sleeves for all sorts of grandiose, exhilarating, colossal, overambitious and daring projects. The indomitable spirit of the Dragon will inflate everything to larger-than-life size.

“However, it would be wise not to overestimate ourselves or our potentials in this combustible year. Things appear better than they really are. The Dragon will stimulate us to think and act big, even overstepping the bounds of caution.”

While you may dismiss these predictions as esoteric mumbo jumbo, you can’t say these words are completely off the mark.The Chinese believe the Year of the Dragon to be especially auspicious – a good year to get married, have children and start new businesses.

But while this is a year of good fortune, it swings both ways. My book warns: “Successes as well as failures will thus be magnified.”Perhaps the factions within the ANC should take heed and consult a Chinese astrologer.

Right after Mangaung, we cross into the Year of the Snake, which my book describes as “a good time for shrewd dealings, political affairs and coups d’état”.

 Don’t say I didn’t warn you.»?Chang is the founder of Flux Trends. Visit

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