Sybilla: What becomes of us?
Balian: The world will decide. The world always decides.
--Kingdom of Heaven
Was emailing with a friend the other day about prospects for the new year. There are sizable problems out there to overcome, to be sure. But one small thing that we may have going for us is that 2012 is the Year of the Dragon.
The dragon occupies the fifth position in the 12 year cycle of animals that constitutes the Chinese zodiac. It is the only animal in the cycle that is imaginary, and is often viewed as the most powerful.
Now, lest you think that I'm coming out of the closet as an astrologer or mystic, let me say upfront that devination and the occult are not my bag. You will not find me pouring over daily horoscope pages nor drawing tarot cards.
The path I have travelled, however, has led me past legends of the dragon, particularly in Eastern cultures. While folklore paints dragons in both protagonist and antagonist lights, I have personally gravitated toward positive symbols that flow from dragon legends. For instance, the dragon is often portrayed as exercising good judgment during times of stress and conflict.
As such, I find myself drawing from dragon symbology periodically as a source of inspiration.
The last time the dragon made its appearance in the Chinese zodiac was the year 2000. Very fitting, it seemed to me, that the dragon's number came up at the changeover to the new millennium. The year 2000 was personally special in many ways. For instance, I completed graduate school that year. It was also the year that my niece was born who, along with my soon-to-be-born nephew, has graced my life in ways too extraordinary for words.
So, as we ring in the new year and face a mountain of challenges, I once again plan on tapping my serpentine friend for occasional inspiration.
If the dragon can help a few of us muster more strength, wisdom, and positive action in the face of difficulty, then it seems the prospects for 2012 have gotten that much better.