What or Who is the Chinese Dragon? Are they real, human, animal(s), people, mythical or extant? And why haven't they got wings?
Chinese Dragon Year (2012-13) will soon be upon us and 'knowing the Dragon' in advance might help us through this. Such Years, like that beginning Jan 24th 2012, are usually auspicious for Martial Artists and others 'in-tune' with Dragon Year Energies. Life at loggerheads with these energies, conversely, may be difficult, fractious and frustrating during this period. To attune to Dragon Year Energies requires increased 'Lung-learning' (plus Year Element Water-wisdom) in advance.
The Chinese Character ' Lung'/Dragon
Chinese characters often incorporate graphic insights into their actual meaning and 'lung' is no exception.'Lung' depicts a human figure. If you look carefully at the Chinese Character for 'Dragon' see her/him, complete with Chinese-style hat standing next to something looking suspiciously like a feather or 'wing'! Lung, here is the human who does Kung Fu: he flies (as in jumping--flying kicks) via will-power--hence we don't have any wings--we don't need 'em to fly.
The Yang Dragon also rules and tops the universal hierarchy. Have you noticed a vast, golden, roaring Flying Dragon (the rising Sun) in the East dominating the sky lately? Its Yin equivalent the Crimson Phoenix/Red Bird is the Sun at its height, in the South, at mid-day.
Lung Leads at Number 5
Number 5 is the number of the Dragon: he tops the Wuxing/5 Animals rankings. Number 5 in the 12-Year 'Ghanzi' Animal Cycle,Dragon Year is a high point within it. Humble (no legs) Snake in following Year 6, begins a symbolic evolutionary journey ending, 12 months later, with Lung's reappearance. The Shaolin Maxim: 'Do not despise the humble Snake, one-day he may become a strong and mighty Dragon!' deserves meditation.
5 Animals/ Elements Wuxing
The 'Wuxing' 5 Animals in Ascending Order are: Snake, Crane, Leopard, Tiger, Dragon (1). Sometimes Mantis or Eagle replace the Leopard at no.3, but the middle 'bridging' animal must demonstrate a high power-to-weight ratio to justify its correspondence to the Meta lElement in 5 Elements Wuxing, The Leopard is ideal for this position being stronger pound-for-pound than even the Tiger but not big enough to defeat his striped superior. Lung, however, tops and rules all.
5 Element Wuxing equivalents are: Earth, Water, Metal, Fire and Wood. Wood the (the only 'living' Element) 5, corresponds to the Dragon in this system, and both symbolise 'Spirit'. Feng Shui, too emphasises Dragon/Wood/ Spirit links, locating both in the East, the direction associated with Spirit. Feng Shui, incidentally, uses 4 Animals, the Centre being occupied by the Feng Shui practitioner: Green Dragon in the East (prime position), Red Bird/ Crimson Phoenix in the South, White Tiger in the West, and Black Warrior in the North (this is a composite image comprising a Tortoise with a Snake coiling around its carapace).
Feng Shui Consultant Peter Allsop M.Ed. also publishes 'Red Dragon Martial Arts Ezine'. Longevity Training, Iron Shirt, 5 Elements Qigong, Daoism, Chinese metaphysics and Astrology feature among his interests alongside gem and crystal Feng Shui.
Explore the free resources at http://www.sheffieldkungfu.com
Senior Student of GrandmasterYap Leong, Peter also teaches Shaolin Kung Fu and Qigong in Yorkshire and Derbyshire U. K. as Shaolin Fists International Area Instructor for the region.
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