Kuan-Yin & the Year of the Dragon

Happy New Moon and Chinese New Year! It is my birthday today, on the cusp of the New Moon in Aquarius on January 22 and the Chinese New Year on January 23, when the Year of the Dragon commences.

I have this very picture of Kuan-Yin, goddess of compassion, mercy, magic, and fertility on my wall. Her name means "one who perceives sounds," which means she can hear the cries and prayers of the people, particularly the children of the world.

She is often depicted riding a dragon over the sea. The dragon is an ancient symbol of power, wisdom and transformation. As we enter the year of the dragon, which occurs every 12 years, we can be sure that this will be a year of getting things done on both the spiritual and physical plane.

Whatever you set your mind to this year, you have the strength and power of the dragon to propel you forward. In Chinese astrology, each animal of the year is paired with one of the five elements, and this is the year of the water dragon, also bringing Kwan Yin to mind.

So this is the time to find compassion for ourselves and others, a year to transform on a feeling (water) level, and to complete whatever needs to be healed or transmuted. Water calms the fiery dragon, so there may not be as much upheaval and anger both on an inner and outer level with this tranquil influence.

How auspicious as we enter this new moon in Aquarius, the water bearer, we also welcome the water dragon. We can call in the great bodhisattva (near-Buddha), Kuan-Yin, who vowed never to forsake us as long as there was one human being who had not yet seen the light of truth. She is with us, another form of the Great Mother protector, whenever we need her. We're in good hands.

If I were adrift upon the ocean

with demons and dragons all around.

I would think of sweet Kuan-Yin

and the hungry waters would subside.

If I were trapped within a furnace

as hot as hell's own blazes,

I would think of Kuan-Yin's power,

and the flames would turn to water.

If enemies pursued me, if I were thrown

from a high mountain peak, if knives

were raised against me, if I were imprisoned

or beset by beasts, I would call on her.

Her pity shields me from the lightning.

Her compassion is like a cloud around me,

which rains down sweetness and

puts out the fires of my sorrow.

- Chinese prayer to Kuan-Yin