Your Horoscope for the Year of the Dragon

Literature


Every Lunar New Year, Chinese astrology welcomes a new animal into our lives, representing a new year, a new character, a new set of opportunities and challenges for art, writing, and life.

This year Lunar New Year is February 10, ringing in the Year of the Wood Dragon. 

While the other eleven animals of the Chinese Zodiac are real creatures, the Dragon alone is extraordinary, a creature of the imagination, unbound from reality. An idea in its purest form, the Dragon can represent, be, and do almost anything. 

Dreams loom large under the Dragon, and our visions for “what might be” take hold of us. Our imagined worlds become more vital, more urgent perhaps even than reality. Art takes on a life of its own that can energize or overwhelm.

Wood too, is an artist’s element. The first of the five Chinese elements, Wood represents new beginnings, a child’s mind. It is receptivity, curiosity, and an inexorable thrust towards being. When united with the Dragon it represents propulsive force, endless possibility, an explosive spring after a long winter. With the Wood Dragon our lives may seem to rush ahead of us, our minds not catching up until the Wood Snake arrives next year to contemplate how far we’ve come.

Here is a look into the kind of fortune the Dragon might portend for writers of every zodiac. 


Rat

Birth Years: 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

This year is a deluge of possibilities. Even as countless projects demand your attention, it is important to slow down and appreciate the little things. Indulge journal entries, pet projects, scenes that make you smile, and little treats. 

With both the North Triangle and your Canopy Star (or Arts Star) coming into focus for you this year, you are at the height of your artistic powers. Dream big, and then split those dreams into concrete, manageable steps. It’s a year to move mountains, but the biggest gains start small.

Ox

Birth Years: 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

This is a year diligence pays off. The ideas that have been percolating inside you are ready to come to fruition. All it takes is showing up each day. Consider setting a timer for the work you want to get done.  Start small and manageable. The first fifteen minutes are the hardest, so start there. Once you complete them you may find yourself ready to tackle more.

When you find your stride don’t be afraid to take risks with your work. Make bold choices, take big swings, shoot for the moon. Cut scenes, upend storylines, push to publish. If you miss you can always pick yourself back up and keep on running.

Tiger

Birth Years: 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

Wood is the Tiger’s native element, particularly the bold variety expressed this year. When things are going well you will feel unstoppable, eager to make everything perfect. But being too inflexible can make minor setbacks feel like earth-shaking disasters. 

It is okay for things to go wrong. When a problem feels unsolvable, consider this may be because the problem is bound to something central to your project. What may seem at first like a problem may actually be an extension of what makes your work unique. Perfection is an illusion, but texture gives you something to say.

Rabbit

Birth Years: 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

As the year of the Water Rabbit ends and your Age Star passes, you are entering a new stage in your life. As we enter the Rabbit’s native element, it is a good time to clear out the old and make way for the new. A sense of curiosity and play is a good guide. What excites you? What do you want to learn, about a character, project, or genre? Follow those you trust. Teachers, friends, favorite authors, favorite books. 

The Dragon and Rabbit are often said to clash, as the Rabbit’s tender heart is upset by the Dragon’s bluster. When you feel the world’s edges fit uneven against your own, pay attention to the discomfort. What does it say about the world, or about yourself? There is catharsis and genius alike in naming the little frictions that others overlook.

Dragon

Birth Years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

When a Zodiac reaches their own year, they are said to meet their Age Star again, and enter a new phase of their lives. It is a time of delicate transition, and yet Dragons have little desire to be delicate. Something big is on the horizon. Perhaps you are chasing a new idea, starting a new project, or are about to make a major breakthrough. Consolidate your gains as you make them. Back up your work and then make dramatic cuts and revisions without fear.

The Dragon is also their own Canopy Star. This year it may become easy to lose yourself in your work. Ride the momentum when it feels right, but don’t forget to check in with yourself. Do you need a rest? Food? Water? A friend? The body feeds the mind, and you’d be surprised how some inspiration strikes only when away from your desk.

Snake

Birth Years: 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

A Wood year feeds the Snake’s hidden Fire element, and a curious mind can feed your passions. Take stock of all you have achieved. What in your life and process do you really value? Chasing a distant goal can be exciting, but it is how you live from day to day where sustainable happiness lies. 

Decide what parts of your process make you feel whole and live by them. Is it working a specific amount, in a specific way, or in a certain location? Is it about an act of play, or justice, or discovery, or expression? How can you feed that which speaks to you? You cannot guarantee your destination, but you can make sure you approve of the journey.

Horse

Birth Years: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

High highs and low lows are the year’s theme. Don’t kick yourself for exhaustion, burnout, or slowing down. Writer’s block is not failure, it is process. Set clear boundaries between work and rest. Perhaps you only write before five pm, or never write on weekends. Setting these restrictions enshrines a time where you can be away from the desk without guilt, and incentivizes making the most of work hours when they arrive.

Don’t be afraid to have fun, waste time, see friends, watch a movie. Cultivating life away from the desk is necessary for life at the desk to be sustainable. 

Goat

Birth Years: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

This year you may feel pressure from the people around you. Perhaps they are flourishing, achieving great things, and making you feel doubtful about your own decisions. Or perhaps they are struggling, and leaning on you for support. Remember that your first obligation is to yourself. Take stock of what relationships bring you joy, and which ones make you unhappy. You can decide what you feed, and what you let fall away. 

People also make good inspiration if you pay attention. What little joys, little difficulties surround them. What makes these interactions potent? Unique? Universal? These nuances give writing the bite of the real.

Monkey

Birth Years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

As the Monkey and Dragon make two points of the Northern Triad, the Water element is potent for you this year. You may find yourself prepared to let things go. What paragraphs, scenes, character can you cut? Like pruning apples, cutting some lines will let those that remain grow sweeter. When in doubt cut, that way you can see what you miss.

The Northern Triad is also associated with the mind and the hidden. Take this time to trust your subconscious. Let your writing get weird, follow impulses, explore “vibes,” magical realism, scenes or symbols that feel right even if you couldn’t at first explain why. You might surprise yourself.

Rooster

Birth Years: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

As the Rooster leaves behind a troublesome Rabbit year, they come into their own in the year of the Dragon.

When paired with the Dragon, the Rooster becomes the Phoenix, symbolic of royalty, femininity, and the sky. With the Dragon’s support the Rooster also creates an abundance of the Metal element. Fourth of the five Chinese elements, Metal is symbolic of division, definitions, boundaries, and management. You can chase this energy with attention to concept and detail. Do line edits. Do revision. Ask yourself, what is this scene, this chapter, this project, really about? You don’t have to answer right away – you might not know until a first draft is done, and maybe not even then. But If you can find the central question of your work, a second draft can be honed with a sharper cutting intent.

Dog

Birth Years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

The Dragon and Dog stand on opposite ends of the Zodiac wheel in fierce opposition. The Dog is humble while the Dragon is grandiose. The Dog defends boundaries while the Dragon ignores them. In a Dragon year, the Dog’s interests in keeping the world comfortable, secure, and known will come under fire. Your writing may turn messy, spill over its boundaries, or go to raucous, uncomfortable places. Vulnerability and shame may be sources of worry. 

Opposition years are a challenge by nature, but they are not inherently bad. Opposing animals have the most to gain if reconciled, representing a full spectrum of experience. If you can allow yourself to write work that embarrasses you, you free yourself from self-imposed shackles. Lean into it, and you might be surprised how many possibilities you did not allow yourself.

Pig

Birth Years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

You’ve worked hard to arrive where you are today. Let that knowledge carry you forwards, that you’ve earned this, that you have achieved something. You may feel new ambitions stirring this year, desires for accolades or success that didn’t move you before. Hunger in moderation can be good. It is a thrill that can feed passion. Just don’t get so caught up in your goals you lose touch with the work itself and why it is meaningful to you. 

If you feel yourself giving in to pressure or despair, take some time to unplug. Forget about the world, and remember what is for you. Write only for yourself. The world will still be there when you get back.

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