The Chinese dragon like the Indian Naga’s, are often associated with water and rain and lakes and rivers. Chinese Dragons are divine mythical creatures that brings with it ultimate abundance, prosperity and good fortune. The Chinese proclaim themselves “Lung Tik Chuan Ren”, Descendents of the Dragon. Unlike the the negative aspect associated with Western Dragons, most Eastern Dragons are beautiful, friendly, and wise. They are the angels of the Orient. Instead of being hated, they are loved and worshipped. Temples and shrines have been built to honor them, for they control the rain, rivers, lakes, and seas.
Indeed China’s four great rivers were named after Dragons — the Heilongjian (Black Dragon) in the far north, the Huanghe (Yellow River) in central China, the Changjiang (Yangtze, or Long River) farther south, and the Zhujiang (Pearl) in the very far south.
The Chinese Dragon, or Lung , symbolizes power and excellence, valiancy and boldness, heroism and perseverance, nobility and divinity. A dragon overcomes obstacles until success is his. He is energetic, decisive, optimistic, intelligent and ambitious.
Most often these dragons are associated with royalty and the emperors are closely aligned with the image of dragon. Before history began, China’s first emperor, Fu Hsi was said to have a dragons tail and his successor, Shen Nung, was said to have a dragon as father. The Imperial Dragon or lung has five claws instead of four. The ordinary dragon or mang depicts temporal power instead of spiritual prowess. The lung, or Dragon King issued orders for the Emperor by moving in four directions simultaneously. The fifth direction (in connection with the fifth claw) is the center where he remains.
Dragons are used as decorations everywhere and described in terms of the dragon: dragon-throne, dragon-robe, dragon-bed, dragon-boat. Calling an emperor “dragon-face” was a supreme compliment.
The Dragon brings upon the essence of life, in the form of its celestial breath, known to many as sheng chi. He yields life and bestows its power in the form of the seasons, bringing water from rain, warmth from the sunshine, wind from the seas and soil from the earth. The Dragon is the ultimate representation of the forces of Mother Nature. The greatest divine force on Earth.
The Chinese Dragon is often seen as the symbol of divine protection and vigilance. It is regarded as the Supreme Being amongst all creatures. It has the ability to live in the seas, fly up the heavens and coiled up in the land in the form of mountains. Being the divine mythical animal, the Dragon can ward off wandering evil spirits, protect the innocent and bestow safety to all that hold his emblem. The Chinese Dragon is looked upon as the ultimate symbol of Good Fortune.
TYPES OF DRAGONS
There are nine major types of Chinese dragons.
The Horned Dragon
Which can produce rain and is totally deaf.
The Winged Dragon
The Celestial Dragon
The T’ien Lung, or Celestial Dragon lives in the sky and guards the gods to keep them from falling out of the clouds.
The Spiritual Dragon
The shen-lung which generates wind and rain for the benefit of mankind
The Dragon of hidden treasures
The Fu-tsang guards hidden treasure or concealed wealth
The Coiling Dragon
Which lives in water
The Yellow Dragon
Which once emerged from water and presented the legendary Emperor Fu Shi with the elements of writing.
The Dragon King
The last of the nine is the Dragon King, which actually consists of four separate dragons, each of which rules over one of the four seas, those of the east, south, west, and north.
The most powerful generalized type of Chinese dragon is the horned dragon, or lung, which can produce rain and is totally deaf. Additionally, there is a homeless dragon (Ii) that lives in the ocean and another type (chiao) that is scale-covered and usually inhabits marshes but also keeps dens in the mountains.
There are also nine ways the Chinese have traditionally represented these dragons, each one revealing a different dragon characteristic. There are dragons carved on the tops of bells and gongs, because of the beast’s habit of calling loudly when attacked. A second type is carved on the screws of fiddles, since most dragons are fond of music. A third is carved on the tops of stone tablets, because of dragons’ love of literature. A fourth is found at the bottom of stone monuments, as dragons can support heavy weights. A fifth is placed on the eaves of temples, as dragons are ever alert to danger. A sixth occurs on the beams of bridges, since dragons are fond of water. A seventh is carved on Buddha’s throne, as dragons like to rest. An eighth is placed on the hilts of swords, since dragons are known to be capable of slaughter. The ninth is carved on prison gates, as these are dragons that are fond of quarreling and trouble making.
THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON
1904 – Wood Dragon
1916 – Fire Dragon
1928 – Earth Dragon
1940 – Metal dragon
1952 – Water dragon
1964 – Wood Dragon
1976 – Fire Dragon
1988 – Earth Dragon
2000 – Metal Dragon
2012 – Water Dragon
The Wood Dragon is creative, imaginative, and inquisitive. He is both a thinker and a doer and is capable of brilliant new concepts. His every move is guided by sound logic. His drive and ambition allow him to put many of his ideas into practice, nevertheless this Dragon is capable of concealing his domination and tries not to offend. He will even compromise if it is advantages. Although not as self-centered as other Dragons, he is still outspoken and fearless when challenged.
The Fire Dragon is the most extroverted and competitive Dragon. He tends to push too hard and expects a lot from everyone. His criticisms are objective and he has the ability to arouse massive popular support. His insatiable ambition can make him short-tempered and intolerant. He is an empire builder who needs to master his less favorable traits and learn how to communicate more humbly with people as individuals.
The Earth Dragon is a quieter, more reflective Dragon, He will be appreciative of other’s opinions even if he fails to agree with them. He is reasonable in his approach to problems and his leadership is less dictatorial. He is not given to outbursts of temper, but at the same time demands respect. He knows the value of cooperation and is more diplomatic than the other Dragons. He is ambitious, but his initiatives are less hurried and more carefully thought out.
The Metal Dragon is the most strong-willed Dragon. He is inflexible, unbending, and combative. He gives little regard to the feelings of others. This ruthlessness can result in a rapid rise to a position of authority, but often at the cost of destroying important relationships. It is futile to attempt to convince him that certain things are simply undoable. He will go it alone if he can’t gain support. He succeeds because he refuses to accept failure.
The Water Dragon is less selfish and opinionated than the other Dragons. He is more inhibited and less power-hungry. He can accept defeat without recriminations. He makes a good negotiator as he knows when, where, and how to apply pressure. He has a tendency to be over-optimistic and needs to learn how to relinquish what is unfeasible so that he can concentrate his energies on the most rewarding endeavors.