Feng Shui Enhancements in The Year of the Water Dragon

On Monday 23rd January we celebrate the Chinese New Year. Many people think the Chinese New Year is when the animal signs change but in actual fact this change always happens on the first day of Spring which this year will be the 4th February. As we move from the year of the Metal Rabbit to the year of the Water Dragon I thought that it would be a good time for me to look forward and see what we can expect to see happening in the world in 2012. From a Feng Shui perspective the movement from one animal sign to another always provides some great opportunities to realign the energies in your home, so in this article I will also share with you some of the actions that you can take to ensure that the year ahead is as positive and as beneficial for you as it possibly can be.

The year of the dragon traditionally is a very auspicious year bringing as it does the four blessings of the east which are wealth, virtue, harmony and longevity. This year in the world in general we can expect a better year financially than the tumultuous times seem in 2011. The worst of the world’s financial crisis seems to be behind us now and many economies are once more likely to see the start of growth and new optimism, although don’t expect fortunes to change overnight. Eastern economies are likely to grow much stronger and quicker than those in the west. Improvement overall will start slowly from around the end of spring 2012 and as we move through the year confidence will grow and we can expect to see the start of a long but sustained period of financial growth.

Though financially we are unlikely to see dramatic changes, a dragon year often signifies momentous change and this year will be no exception. The water dragon is a calmer, quieter animal than some of it’s siblings so even though momentous events are likely to occur expect them to slip under the radar, or happen very quickly with the minimum of fuss. We are certainly unlikely to see the conflicts that we saw in 2011. In saying that, expect some traditional or long serving governments to fall this year, and expect those that replace them to be led by new governments or structures that put the family and traditional values at the heart of everything they do. New governments or rulers that begin this year are likely to be in power for a long time, the last year of the water dragon saw the start of the reign of Queen Elizabeth II which is still going strong 60 years later.

In this year of the water dragon there will be a general sense of optimism and an emphasis that anyone can achieve anything. People power will topple one long standing family ruler in a country but not in the way that was seen in 2011. It is likely to be a very quick process that ends almost before it begins. We are also likely to see the formation of a new major charity or charitable event this year, one which has a global reach and could well start to change the world.

As far as the natural world is concerned in 2012 there is a high likelihood, unfortunately, that we will see more natural disasters. I predict that major flooding will affect two major cities or countries this year and later in the year the world will see ferocious tropical storms that are stronger than many yet experienced. A major relief effort will need to start this year which is likely to be led by a group of people rather than by a government. With the stronger sense of optimism in the financial markets we can also expect to see some of the wealthiest individuals in the world make some major philanthropic gestures to support those most in need.

Turning our attention to an individual level, the year of the water dragon is a good time to start a new business, begin a new relationship, get married or learn a new skill. Businesses, alliances and learning are likely to succeed and have long lasting benefits, providing that careful thought and planning has gone in to them. Dragon years can be rocky years for the unwary so do not try a get rich quick scheme or get married on the spur of the moment. This is definitely a year for slow and steady accumulation not speculation.

To make the most of the opportunities that the year of the water dragon is going to bring, there are a number of Feng Shui enhancements you can make in your own home. When enhancing your home through Feng Shui always make sure that any cure or enhancement you put in place does not negatively affect the existing flow of energy around your home and is placed with intention. My web pages on Intention and Chi will help you understand these practices if you are uncertain.

Feng Shui Enhancements for the Year of the Water Dragon

Welcome in the year of the water dragon by hanging a wooden wind chime in the east or north east of your garden. Other enhancements you can make to this area of your garden are to place a picture or a statue of a dragon or to plant a fruit tree (cherry, plum or peach are best)

If you do not have a garden you can hang a picture of a dragon, or place a small dragon ornament in the east or north east area of your home. If you are placing a dragon ornament it is best if it made out of crystal, wood, stone or ceramic.

If you are starting a new business enhance the career and knowledge areas of your home this year. These areas are in the north and north east of your home. Good enhancements to make in the career area include placing a small indoor fountain, hanging a picture of a stream or waterfall or placing a small crystal dragon in a prominent place. In the knowledge area a stone or ceramic dragon, a small indoor garden or a square bowl filled with carnelian crystals can be beneficial.

If you are getting married this year create a small display in your relationship area filled with plants, candles and crystal dragons. The relationship area is the south west area of your home. A beautiful indoor garden can be created filled with miniature roses, two pink candles and two small crystal dragons. Scatter rose quartz or amethyst crystals across the surface of your indoor garden and after you are married place a small photograph of your wedding day in the centre. Not only will this help your relationship be everlasting but it will also serve as a lovely reminder of your special day for years to come.

If you are beginning a new course, learning a new skill or taking qualifications this year you can help this area of your life by placing a ceramic or stone dragon in the knowledge area of your home (the north east area), or in your study or the room where you learn. Other enhancements you can make to this area this year are buying a pot plant which is displayed in this area of your home or filling a bowl with crystals and placing this on your desk. Excellent plants to buy for this area of your home are indoor plants that flower in the spring and the best crystals to use in this area are Green Fluorite, Carnelian or Amethyst.

I hope that you have found this article useful and are looking forward to the year of the water dragon with positivity and optimism. All that is left for me to do is to wish you a happy new year and to hope that this year brings everything you hope for.

Into the Dragon’s Den

When anyone comes up with an invention, the next step is to find someone to give them the financial backing that they can’t supply themselves. To do this, they must have a tangible product for the person or company they are approaching to get a proper feel for. The idea needs to be well thought through in its practicality and monetary feasibility. The inventor needs to have done thorough, provable research to show that there is a niche in the market that this particular product would fill, that it would make a profit.

This type of negotiations have gone on since the beginning of time. Now, however, during our times of economical strain, it has become harder to get people with money to back something that may or may not work. That may or may not prove to be profitable. However, it is still possible and the occurrence of the Dragon’s Den TV programme has got many would-be budding inventors at their desks scribbling away with their plans.

The whole Dragon’s Den format comes from Japan, where it is owned by Sony. Celebrities or high profile company owners that are looking for new investment opportunities sit on a panel and have a designated amount of money in mind that they would like to sink into a new venture.

Trawled in front of them are average Joe’s who are allocated a timed slot to pitch their idea to the dragons and convince them that this is the one deal they cannot afford to miss out on. This is not for the faint hearted. The ones with the money in the Dragons Den are confident and adept at business. They know all the right questions to ask and if you’re not on top of your game and knowing it inside out they will eat you for breakfast.

Those who truly believe in their product, who have fully researched their market, who know their target customers and have the confidence to put this across simply whilst still giving the dragons something they can see or feel, will give them a much better prospect of gaining the backing that they require.

For those that enter the Dragon’s Den trembling with fear, stuttering with nerves and unsure of themselves will come across as unsure of their product. They will be chewed up and spat out in no time by the dragons themselves.

Contestants that have managed to secure finances from the Dragons Den are those that know their product well but do not appear too pushy or cocky. They pitch their idea and hopefully the product will sell itself. Once they have satisfied any doubts the dragons may have and fully sold their product to the best of their ability, then the dragons need to decide whether they want to invest or not.

Negotiations take place. If a dragon would like to invest but is unsure of the products feasibility, they can offer a reduced amount to what the contestant is asking for. While this may be difficult for the person that needs the money, reputation goes a long way and that is what the dragons bring with them, reputation and influence that might just make them successful in their venture.

So what does the dragon get from all this? Well, during negotiations, they can also bargain. The inventor will suggest a reward, usually a stake in the business venture or a cut of the profits, depending on the amount invested. The dragon will then attempt to bring this nearer what he sees as a good deal and eventually an agreement will be reached. One happy inventor, one happy dragon.

Dragon Antique Walking Canes

In both the East and West, dragons are a symbol of power. A wizard who can control a dragon or a warrior who can conquer this great creature will command the power of his world. It is sometimes the evil power, other times a protector’s. Hence it is a really popular theme for men’s canes. With an antique dragon walking cane, you can hold that power in your hand, and it is very suitable as a gentleman’s fashion accessory.

Although many dragon legends are found all over Europe, several of the most famous ones are from the British Isles, and some cane-makers created beautiful cane handles after these dragons. Here are some of the most famous “named” dragons that are currently available as canes:

St. George’s Dragon

One of the most popular dragons is St. George’s. It appears in many art forms, including the walking canes. There are several different versions of St. George’s dragon stories, but the most famous one is of the dragon attacking the city of Selene in Libya. This dragon demanded a child each day for its meal, and one day the king’s daughter was chosen for the sacrifice. Just as the dragon was about to eat her up, a European knight came to rescue her. After a long fierce fight, the knight finally killed the dragon, and freed the city. People were so grateful that they converted to Christianity under St. George.

In the old English legend of St. George, the dragon named Dadianus is an evil sorcerer who can change himself into a serpent. St. George trapped the evil spirit of Dadianus in the walking cane he carries for eternity to commemorate the victory of good over evil.

There are a few different artistic representations of St. George’s dragon, but the dragon wrapping around the cane is most popular.

Lambton Dragon

Another famous dragon in England is Lambton dragon from the legend of the Lambton Worm and Penshaw Hill. It was during the time of the Crusades that John Lambton caught a hideous, black, worm-like creature while fishing. He did not know what to do with it, so he threw it into an ancient well and forgot about it. The years passed, and he was gone on the Crusades for a long time. When he returned home, he found his village devastated by the worm, which had now grown into a monstrous dragon. With the help of a wise woman, he managed to kill the dragon, but his house was cursed and for nine generations no lord of Lambton would die in his bed.

Although a currently available reproduction cane with Lambton dragon looks like an Asian dragon, many older illustrations show that Lambton dragon is more like a sea serpent monster without legs or scales.

Henham Dragon

The Henham dragon was first sighted in 1668 in the British village of Henham, Essex. It was described as being nine feet long with small wings. The eyes were surrounded by strange feathers. Numerous sightings of the dragon were reported over the next year. Some just caught a glimpse of it in the distance, while others said it flew overhead. In 1669, a pamphlet called “The Flying Serpent or Strange News Out of Essex” was published and a copy of the pamphlet still exists at Saffron Walden library. This dragon was actually a hoax known as the “Henham Dragon Hoax of 1668.” Still, it stimulated the imaginations of many artists and craftsmen, who designed some very nice walking canes.

Brinsop Dragon

This dragon lived in a well in Duck’s Pool Meadow in Brinsop. It was killed by a local knight, but some insist that this knight was St. George. Yes, he was a busy guy! Most illustrations found for this dragon show large wings which is typical for modern-day images. The dragon sculpture on the current reproduction cane is actually quite nice looking, although probably hard to carry around.

Asian Dragon

Although they are not British, it is worth mentioning Asian dragons. Unlike in the Western equivalent, in Eastern-world legends dragons are usually in pairs, one good and one evil. If a good dragon wins, the village will prosper. If the evil one wins, the village will perish. They are a sort of symbol of the yin-yang relationship. One of most famous dragon tales from China is of a black and a white dragon. A famous wood carpenter was traveling with his son to a distant city. They passed one side of an ominous lake, with an island in the middle covered by a dark cloud. The son was thirsty and drank water from the lake when, suddenly, a black dragon appeared from the cloud, snatched the son, and disappeared. The father ran to the nearby village for help but no one could do anything. Half-crazed, he started carving a dragon from white wood laying around the side of the lake. He carved and carved without food, without sleep. When he removed the last chip from the dragon’s eye, suddenly the wooden dragon came alive, flew to the black cloud, and started fighting with the black dragon. After many hours of fighting, both dragons disappeared under water, the black cloud cleared from the island, and the carpenter found his son sitting on the island.

The Asian dragons have no wings, but always have four legs, a pair of long whiskers and often a beard. It is quite easy to distinguish one from the European dragons.

Dragon Claws
A dragon-claw cane is a more recent creation from fantasy novels and films. A dragon claw holding a crystal or silver ball is quite popular. According to stories, the hand of a dragon was a talisman for many wizards. The sphere held in the dragon’s claw represents the world, and he who owns this talisman will conquer the world. You can find several reproductions in this category. These canes are very popular among women interested in goth and/or vampire fashion than men and may not be as suitable as a gentleman’s fashion accessory.

Although many original dragon walking canes from the 19th century or earlier were made of wood, bone, and ivory, the currently available dragon canes are usually made of pewter, and often made in Italy. Some no-name cheaper dragon canes are made in China and India. (Don’t discount Indian craftsmanship, however. They make really nice canes at a reasonable price.) None of these canes are for orthopedic use. They are meant only as a gentleman’s fashion accessory, and cheaper ones are for home decorations.