The Year of the Wood Dragon Part 1: Chinese Astrology Outlook

Year of the Wood Dragon

February 4, 2024 takes us into the astrological year of the Wood Dragon according to the solar calendar. While the solar calendar year begins on February 4 each year, the new year is celebrated on new moon’s day, which varies each year according to the new moon that falls in the solar month of the Tiger, the animal sign that represents the beginning of spring in the Chinese zodiac. In Western astrology, this is the new moon in Aquarius, which can fall as early as January 20 and as late as February 18. For example, in 2024, the lunar new year of the Wood Dragon is celebrated on February 10 as that is the day the Moon turns new in China.

Also called the Spring Festival, Lunar New Year is the most important festival in China and among Chinese communities around the world. It’s a 15-day celebration, which starts on New Year’s Eve with a family reunion dinner and culminated in the Lantern Festival on the following Full Moon, which falls on February 24 in 2024.
The year of the Wood Dragon marks the start of a 10-year cycle of the 10 heavenly stems (the Yang and Yin manifestation of the five elements). The pairings of the heavenly stems and the 12 animal signs, starting with Yang Wood and the Rat, result in 60 different combinations called the 60 pillars that make up a sexagenary cycle of time.
The Wood Dragon pillar contains Yang Wood in the heavenly stem and Yang Earth in the Dragon. As the first of the heavenly stems, Yang Wood symbolizes new beginnings and progress. Many of us will be planting new seeds in 2024 that will transform us in the next 10 years.
Benevolent leadership and community power are qualities of Yang Wood that will be highlighted in 2024 as new world leaders emerge. Yang Wood’s also the most principled and therefore the most polarizing of the elements. Like a tree, Yang Wood stands tall and doesn’t bend. We can expect the world to get even more divided, especially when it comes to politics as some of the world’s largest countries, including the US, India, Indonesia, and Russia, hold their national elections in 2024. As Wood is also the element of anger, rising anger will motivate communities around the world to push for change and reforms.
The last time we had a Wood Dragon year was in 1964, 60 years ago. We could look into events of 1964 for a preview of 2024. Progress in civil rights movement was made with the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Martin Luther King, Jr, himself born in Dragon year, received the Nobel Peace Prize.
In Feng Shui, Dragons represent tall, imposing mountains. A Yang Earth sign, the Dragon energy connects us to the land. Accelerated changes in the environment due to climate change will be even more pronounced in the Wood Dragon year that governments and global agencies will be compelled to take bigger regulatory actions, leading to major breakthroughs in sustainability. The mighty Dragon doesn’t play small, after all. Major events happenings in a Dragon year will occur at a larger than usual scale and affect the world at large.

2024 is the start of a highly anticipated new era in Chinese metaphysics

The Wood Dragon year is poised to be a very special year not only because it takes us into a new cycle of the 10 heavenly stems, but it’s also the official start of Period 9, or the Age of 9, a 20-year cycle ruled by the Fire trigram. Associated with the heart, the light within, and the middle sister, which in the modern world translates into middle-aged women, the Age of 9 highlights the rise of feminine power after 20 years of youthful masculine energy in the Age of 8, a period associated with knowledge and the little brother. We can expect to see more women taking leadership positions in their communities and professional circles. No matter what gender, however, those who embrace their Yin side and honor the divine feminine aspect in all things will be more receptive and responsive to changes that are coming in the next 20 years.
In the past 2 decades during Period 8, we witnessed the rapid growth of digital technology, including the rise of social media platforms. If you think about it, 20 years ago we probably couldn’t imagine meeting new friends through social media. Facebook was created in 2004, which was when Period 8 started. Even the founder of Facebook, along with many other tech founders of the early 2000s, personified what Period 8’s Mountain trigram “Gen” represented – young, smart, male, and often disruptive. So think about what could happen in the next 20 years as the Fire trigram “Li” takes over. Fire is the element that helps us raise our frequency. It will be easy to jump in and out of different realms in the next 20 years as the Fire trigram opens up other realms – this includes AI, the metaverse, and also the spiritual and energetic realms as we learn to tap our consciousness into the higher realms.
The ability to turn on the light within, our inner joy, is especially critical to our well-being in Period 9. It takes a lot of self-work to keep our frequency high. This is why many of the messages in The Chinese Five Elements Oracle are about stoking the light within, our inner joy – light is the key to a higher frequency, and as the world gets more divided, it will be harder and harder to find joy unless you cultivate it from within.
The Fire trigram reminds us to stay in the light. Fire is unpredictable by nature and we will feel emotionally up and down. Practice lightwork to keep yourself in the light, and find your joy triggers, the little things that uplift you and bring you joy, to return you to the light whenever you find yourself feeling down. Live a life of purpose to stoke the fire within, and share your light generously to bring light to those who need it.

What’s ahead for the signs in 2024

Those born in the year of the Dragon (1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012) will experience their Dragon return year, which happens every 12 years. Expect a most transformative year with major life changes. Be proactive in initiating your own change and be solution oriented in dealing with challenges that will be thrown at you. Choose your troubles or they will choose you. As a Yang Earth sign, Dragon-born people are resilient and capable of moving mountains! Be conscious of self-sabotaging behaviors, however, as the Dragon year triggers the “double Dragon” self-punishment penalty to those who have a Dragon in their natal charts. Practice kindness and self forgiveness, and remember that you are the director of your life: your mindset and your own free will can make a big difference in shaping your year.
Those born in 1964 will experience a “double return” from Yang Wood in the heavenly stem and the Dragon, which usually coincides with the second Saturn return in Western astrology. Many people may retire or enter a new phase in their personal life or career. The universe may slow you down during the year to give you space to reflect and think about your next moves. Surrender to the changes – when one door closes, another opens.
Signs that have affinities with the Dragon are secret friend the Bird (the Rooster) and allies the Rat and the Monkey. Those with these signs in their chart can expect a more collaborative year in 2024, with support from friends and family. This is a year you can really make good progress in many endeavors.
For all the Earth signs, which include the Dragon, the Dog, the Ox and the Sheep, the Wood Dragon year will bring pressure to perform. Rise up to the occasion – this is a year of turning points, with opportunities to level up. Those born in the year of the Dog, the sign opposite the Dragon, will face their clash year. The Ox and the Sheep will also experience a half clash with the Dragon squaring both signs. Earth signs will be busy – pay attention to your health and practice self care.
In the year of the Dragon, it’s a good idea to carry a symbol of the Rooster or the Bird, the Dragon’s secret friend, for protection, especially if you were born in the year of the Dragon or the Dog. The Earth Bird card from The Chinese Five Elements Oracle, which features the Chinese Phoenix (“Feng Huang”), is an auspicious symbol to carry or put on your desk as the Phoenix is the Dragon’s celestial soulmate in Chinese metaphysics, and in the 60 pillars, the Earth Bird is the Yin to the Wood Dragon’s Yang. The Phoenix and the Dragon together symbolize the Yin & Yang, and that’s one of the reasons I chose to feature them in the back of each card in the oracle, so you have their magic cosmic dance energy with you whenever you have the cards in your hands. *As a pure Yin Metal sign, the Bird is Yin in nature, which is why I chose to call the sign the Bird instead of the Rooster.
As the guardian spirit of Period 9, the Phoenix is a great symbol to have not only in the Wood Dragon year but also in the next 20 years.

*For Year of the Wood Dragon Part 2, I’m working on a sign by sign forecast that includes the 12 animal signs of the Chinese zodiac and the 12 astrology signs of the Western zodiac. Stay tuned!

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