MYTH*ING LINKS
An Annotated & Illustrated Collection of Worldwide Links to Mythologies,
Fairy Tales & Folklore, Sacred Arts & Sacred Traditions
by Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

LUNAR NEW YEAR

Chinese Dragon

YEAR of the WATER YANG DRAGON:
Begins 23 January 2012
through 9 February 2013

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2011-2012 Year of the Metal Yin Rabbit: archived 7 January 2012
 2013's Year of the Water Snake begins 10 February 2013
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Myth*ing Links' Non-Predictive Data on Dragon Lunar New Year

Expanded for 2012: Common Themes East & West : Dragons & Serpents
New 1/17/12: The Dragon in Art, Literature, & Culture
New 1/11/12: Dragon & Tiger in Chinese Starlore, Constellations, & Zodiac

[NOTE: because Tiger & Dragon are paired in Chinese art,
my  The Tiger in Art, Literature, & Culture: also includes many dragons.]

Chart of Each Lunar New Year's Animals & Elements (1900 - 2020).
300 Year Calendar (1801 - 2100) [FYI: Does not provide complex cusp birthday-animals for Jan/Feb]


Kuan Yin, Dragon & Willow Tree
(From the Green World Oracle by Kathleen Jenks and Sandra Stanton.
Publication date: autumn 2012 from Schiffer Publishing)

Kuan Yin pours the spiraling elixir of life over Eurasia
while the Blue Dragon of Healing returns the moon
(Courtesy of Sandra Stanton)
__________________________________________________________

Author's Note:
Late afternoon of New Year's Day 2012

As I wrote on last year's Lunar New Year page for the Metal Rabbit Year, I was born in an Earth Rabbit Year.  Frankly, however, were I to choose an animal for myself, it would not be a rabbit.  The owl or dragon would be more likely, or the sea-goat, the Great Bear (Ursa Major), the Siberian Deer-Mother, or Grandmother-Spiderwoman from the American Southwest.

But Chinese Lunar New Year does not include owls, sea-goats, bears, deer, or nimble spiders.  Its line-up is: Rat, Horse, Ox,  Sheep, Tiger, Monkey, Rabbit, Rooster, Dragon, Dog, Snake, and Pig.  Of those, only the dragon would find a place among my chosen "totems." So although this current Rabbit year has treated me more kindly than most recent Lunar Years, working on this Water Dragon page (expanding it from my Metal Dragon page for the year 2000) , brings a special sense of pleasure.

This Year of the Water Dragon looks better than 2011 in some areas, but the outlook on the environmental front (especially as regards powerful earthquakes) remains sobering.  As the old saying goes, "Forewarned is forearmed."  May the world's leaders act wisely, compassionately, and with restraint, putting humanity as a whole -- and the planet that is our endangered habitat -- ahead of their self-serving loyalties.

Blessings to us all in this Year of the Water Dragon,

Kathleen

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Chinese New Year:
Specific & Predictive Information
for Current Animal Year
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Chinese Dragon
© James Tan

http://www.chineseastrology.com/2012dragonyear.html: [Updated 1/1/12]

This is Shelly Wu's Chinese Astrology site. From year to year, she keeps an upbeat, sensible approach that I really enjoy.  Here is how she opens her page on the Year of the Water Dragon, a generally auspicious year, according to Chinese astrology:
Beginning on January 23, 2012 the flamboyant Dragon will fill the skies with fireworks as we enter into the new year of the Water (Black) Dragon!

As was the case in the previous Dragon year of 2000 twelve years ago, we find ourselves, again, bombarded by prophets of doom preaching apocalypse. Twelve years ago, as the millennium change of 2000 approached, computer experts warned of a coming collapse. This, of course, didn’t occur, but some of the "fixes" and patches put into place  in hopes of circumventing problems, caused problems of their own.

As we approach the year 2012, believers and skeptics alike are studying the Mayan calendar and eschatology (the branch of theology concerned with final events or the end of the world). As a myriad of experts and self-styled prophets announce the impending end of the world on 12-21-12. What does Chinese astrology have to say on the subject?
It probably won't surprise you, but swimming against the current, it actually predicts a better future for mankind. According to this 6,000 year old art, our planet should progress quite nicely in the next two years. 2012 and 2013 correspond to the ‘lucky’ Dragon, and the ‘wise’ Snake years; the Dragon and the Snake together make up the life-palace of Spirituality.
2012 will bring opportunities to awaken your own higher consciousness and eliminate negativity, limitations and disease from your life. And if that isn't exciting enough for you, just wait until 2013's philosophical Snake year approaches bringing with it, cosmic awareness, sage spirituality, and integration with Source.
Naturally, there will be earthquakes, floods, fires, tornadoes, wars, and so on during the next two years, but according to the Chinese calendar and astral picture from the eastern perspective; there is nothing that would indicate an apocalypse or end of the world as we know it....
Unlike the other animals of the Chinese zodiac, the Dragon is a mythical creature, and the sign of good luck and vital health. Unlike the frightening Dragons of Western mythology, Chinese Dragons are benevolent creatures who live in the heavens and command the cosmos; wind, mist, rain, thunder and lightning....
2012 opens communication to the inner spiritual planes (as above, so below) and the opportunity for humanity to receive Divine guidance.  2012 will be a very special time for humankind …Let the Dragon lend you his wings to progress beyond what you think is possible for yourself.  The reward will be an understanding of personal truths that may, very well, change your life forever.
In addition to this interesting introductory material, Wu also includes Water Dragon Year readings for each of the other signs in the Chinese zodiac.


Dragon surrounded by an aura of vast cosmic energy
[Artist unknown: freeware from several years ago on Witch Way]

http://www.fengshuitoday.org/features/the-year-of-the-dragon
A somewhat darker view comes from Grand Master Raymond Lo, whose predictions cover a wider range of political, economic, environmental, and health issues. FYI: if his webpage were to be printed out, it would run about 6 single-spaced pages, so there is much more (some of it quite technical) than these few excerpts might suggest:
...The Year of the Dragon – 2012 in the Hsia calendar, is symbolized by two elements; with water sitting on top of earth.   According to the cycle of birth and destruction, which governs the inter-relationship between the elements, earth is the destroyer of water and so they are on the destructive cycle and have a conflict relationship. This aspect is the same as the year of the Rabbit in 2011, which is metal over wood, also conflicting elements. Such conflicting elements usually mean the year will not be peaceful with more international conflicts and struggles coming up.
But after this comparison between 2011 and 2012, both of which show earth and water in a "destructive cycle," Master Lo then points out an important difference:
However in 2011, the metal element can symbolize a weapon or a dagger, but in 2012 the earth and water conflict is just disharmony with less implication of war and fierce fighting. The yang water this year symbolizes the ocean and is an element of power, forces and strong energy. It could be the destructive force of nature, such as the tsunami or it can be the impulse and drive to press for social, political and economic changes. The yang water is also a symbol of intelligence, courage, generosity and charity. If the energy is guided in a positive direction it can bring a fast pace towards progress and reform.   The earth element under the water is a Dragon, which is also considered as storage of water. So the two elements (water on dragon) is not as serious in terms of conflict as the last two years of metal over wood. In general we cannot expect a total peaceful world in 2012, but there will not be so much violent fighting and struggles like the previous metal wood years of 2010 and 2011.
There is always a trade-off, however, and this one could be severe:
But the more worrying aspect this year is natural disasters such as flooding and earthquakes. Yang water is powerful ocean water and Dragon is powerful earth, often associated with earthquakes. In history the most serious earthquake on record happened in the years of Dragon.   Here below are the serious earthquakes of the last 5 Dragon years,1952 ( Water Dragon),  1964 ( Wood Dragon ), 1976 ( Fire Dragon ), 1988 ( Earth Dragon ), and 2000 ( Metal Dragon).

1952    Water Dragon year    21/7   California                    Magnitude 7. 5
                                                 4/11   Kamchatka USSR     Magnitude 8.25

1964    Wood Dragon year   27/3    Alaska                          Magnitude 9.2
                                               16/6    Niigata Japan              Magnitude 7.6

1976    Fire Dragon year      28/7    Tangshan China          Magnitude 7.8

1988    Earth Dragon year    21/8    Nepal                           Magnitude 6.6
                                               7/12    Leninakan Russia       Magnitude 6.9

2000   Metal Dragon year    25/11  Azerbaijan                    Magnitude 7
                                                  4/6      Sumatra                     Magnitude 7.9

The biggest magnitude earthquake ever recorded was in a Dragon year. It measured 9.2 on the Richter Scale and occurred in Alaska in 1964. The most devastating earthquake also occurred in a Dragon year in Tangshan, China in 1976 and killed over 250,000 people. As such it is quite logical to forecast that serious earthquakes will also occur in this Water Dragon year of 2012.

In Chinese Metaphysics the term Dragon symbolizes the massive mountain range, the powerful energy of the land and is strong earth element. So an active dragon indicates strong movement of the earth.... [for technical reasons, Dragon years, also Dog years, disable any help that might otherwise be forthcoming from helpful deities, angels, devas, etc -- thus--] the disasters usually will have higher death tolls or casualties....

...The Chinese character for ‘Yang water’ represents a powerful ocean and can also symbolize the quality of an enthusiastic, energetic, courageous, forceful and somewhat impulsive person. Water in general is associated with intelligence and skill. Such qualities are often found in people in the performance arts, as well as people who love to explore new and innovative ideas....

...As I have already mentioned, the Dragon is a powerful earth element and is also regarded as ‘storage of water’. Its powerful earth quality often triggers massive earthquakes and earth related disasters such as collapse of buildings, mining disasters, landslide, avalanches…etc. Being storage of water it can also release a massive amount of water....


Crystal Dragon
Feng Shui Sources
        On a more hopeful note:
...The positive quality of the water dragon is that yang water is a generous element and a powerful driving force towards progress and social changes, so it will be an energetic year with new movements, changes, reform in politics and social establishment.  Also there could be generous donations towards charitable goals and the well being of the community.   2012 is also an election year so there will be Presidential election in the United States, Russia, Taiwan, France and India, as well as election of the Chief Executive in Hong Kong. Such elections also provide drive for progress, changes and courageous reforms....
Master Lo then looks at how this Dragon year will effect most of the other signs. After that section, he considers general health issues:
The Five basic elements represent different parts of our body and water in general relates to the kidney, immune system, sexual organs and the urinary system. As such health issues related to a Water year could include kidney problem, kidney stone, sexual organ problem, inflammation of urinary tract, virus and bacterial infection.  The Dragon earth is cells, muscle and stomach and as previously mentioned, an excessive amount of earth is the cause of cancer. Both water and earth elements will also weaken fire which symbolize blood circulation and the heart. These kinds of health problems will be more acute in the coming year and therefore it is important to take more COQ10 and anti–oxidant as a preventive measure.
He then takes a lengthy, intriguing look at 2012, the I Ching, the Mayan calendar, Dragon Year, and winter solstice of 2012. Here's an excerpt on the I Ching and what Terrence McKenna did with it:
...As such the I Ching itself actually did not predict the world will end in 2012. At best one can only say it provided inspiration for McKenna to invent his Time Wave Theory. The original meaning of the last two Hexagrams, "After Completion" and "Before Completion," do not imply the end of the world. To the contrary it implies there is no ending, as the change is not yet completed. It is like many cyclical changes in nature as when one year’s four seasons finishes, another new years four seasons begins. So therefore this theory is inaccurate and it is certainly not fair to say that the 2012 doomsday is predicted in the I Ching.... So 2012 is definitely not even near the end of the world. However the winter solstice date of 21/12/2012 is a day with a strong presence of powerful water elements....

The combination of elements on this day shows powerful water as well as Dragon and Dog clash and it will not be surprising if earthquake and flooding occur. However there is absolutely no indication that this day will be the end of the world....

On economics:
With regard to the economy, the fire element is often the driving force behind the stock market.   The five elements also affect people’s mood. In general fire is joy, water is fear, earth is meditation, metal is sadness, and wood is anger.   As such a fire year often generates optimism and drives up the stock market, such as in 2006 and 2007. However in 2008 the water arrived and obviously people began to have fear regarding the worsening of the USA sub-prime and following recession.

In 2009 there was pure earth on earth. The earth element stopped the water and also symbolized meditation. So it means people will be conservative and play safe, but gain more stability.   In 2010 the Tiger carried the seed of fire element and so there was a substantial economic recovery with stronger optimism beginning in the spring season. There was a short setback with the economic crisis in Greece and Portugal in late spring, but with summer fire coming in May the stock market recovered with strong momentum.

In 2011 the Rabbit is pure wood. However it is not as strong as the Tiger in generating fire, so the economy was not as fast moving as the previous year. There was also strong summer fire supported by wood in 2011, so the stock market continued to be vibrant and active in the first half of 2011. In August when autumn arrived and there was no more fire support, a serious setback then occurred in the second half of 2011.

With strong water coming in 2012 we must be wary of more setbacks.  As the coming year is water and earth with a continual absence of fire element, this could mean that the economic activities and stock market will further slow down. The strong water in the year is also likely to create the mood of water (which is fear) and people will therefore be less optimistic. This will become more serious in the winter months of October and November when the economic crisis in certain European countries may deepen and cause downturn in the global economy and stock market. Investors should enter a cautionary period, especially in the second half of 2012.

He then offers predictions concerning various industries -- here is how he finally sums it all up:
In summary the industries that will perform well in the year of the Dragon will be industries related to the Wood and Earth elements. Wood industries are textile, fashion, consumer products, paper, books, environment industry, forestry, furniture etc.   Metal industry is active but not making obvious profit as their money element (wood) is absent.   The metal industries are banking, machinery, engineering, computer and high tech. Water industry will enter a year of caution with some instability factors as their money element of fire is totally absent. The sectors relating to water are shipping, communication, drinks, and spa. Earth industry will move ahead with conservatively as earth sees water as money, but sees Dragon earth as a competitor. Fire industry including stock market, finance, energy and entertainment may not do very well as their money element of metal is absent and the strong water suppresses optimism in the financial market.

To summarize further, the Yang Water Dragon year, with water on top and earth below, is a symbol of powerful energy and enthusiasm for progress and change. Such a powerful force of ocean water not only brings drive for social and political changes and reforms, but will also bring natural disasters such as flooding and earthquake. There will still be conflict and disharmony in international relationships and it may not be a peaceful year, but the international clashes are less violent than the last two years of metal over wood. Also there is some improvement on the environmental situation, but disease and epidemic will still prevail.

The Dragon is powerful earth, as well as storage of water, so the focus of this year is big earthquakes with serious casualties. Water also represents courage, charity and generosity. So this year we will see more charitable actions and a good humanitarian spirit to support the needy and poor and those people who suffer damage from natural disasters.  The year 2012 will also see many presidential elections being held in various countries, including the United States, India, Taiwan, and France, as well as the election of the Chief Executive in Hong Kong. So there will be changes bringing about a new phase to the politics of these countries and this is also a sign of bold progress and reform brought about by the powerful ocean water of the year.

As always, this annual essay is lengthy but worth reading.  Even if he's wrong about certain specifics, it can't hurt to be extra cautious about his findings which deal with problem areas.


From Purple Moon: card no longer listed, artist unknown

http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/2012.htm
[Updated for 2012]:  This is a page chockfull of odd bits of information about each Chinese Lunar New Year, Chinese astrology ("fortune-telling"), and much more.  The site looks at the fortune-telling aspect of the year in conjunction with wood, metal, fire, earth, and water elements in an individual's astrology chart -- there is enough information here to let you see how immensely complex it really is.  You would need to have your own chart cast according to Chinese rules to make sense of it but the site does offer a page in which you can at least insert your birth data to get an entry-level chart that will help clarify your own personal "luck." (Also see this page from the same site:
http://www.chinesefortunecalendar.com/2011ChineseHoroscope.htm, which offers more complex data.)
http://www.holymtn.com/astrology/YearofDragon.htm:
[2 January 2012]: This excellent site tends to be late in updating their annual Lunar New Year pages. Be patient -- it's worth the wait. (See below for their general page on individuals born in Dragon years.)
http://www.hkta.org/gallery/interactive.html: [1/2/12: dead link -- Wayback Machine has spidered it but contents remain "empty." I'm keeping my comments because I'm hoping that one day this one will re-surface.]
These are terrific "interactive" animated stories on Asian & European Dragons -- the eight little "chapters" each take a few minutes to load, but they're worth the wait (you can choose versions with or without sound).  [This site is double-linked on my Dragons & Serpents page].

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Chinese Lunar New Year:
People Born in a Dragon Year
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Jade Dragon
From a 1,000  year old Song  Dynasty jade artifact collection
[see directly above and below]

http://web.archive.org/web/20071021045741/http://thejadetrade.com/ian/p22h.html:
     [1/26/09: dead link but Web Archive saved it with illustrations intact]
[Sidebar 1/26/09]:This is a very handsome site and I am sorry to see that its owner has let it vanish (I tried emailing him today but even the email address is gone). It's a relief to know that it's still temporarily available on Web Archive with its wonderful jade images. I hope it will remain there safely.
[Original annotation]: Here again the focus is on the personalities of those born in each of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs. In addition to a survey of characteristics of each sign, there is also a jade animal representing each sign -- these come from a 1,000  year old Song Dynasty jade artifact collection of the 12 Zodiac Animals. The photos of these jade pieces are large and detailed -- many are really quite lovely.  [Note: for those interested in jade, click on Chronological History and you'll find a treasure trove of beautifully illustrated pages (including maps) of jade art from Chinese dynasties from Neolithic times through the Qing Dynasty.]

[Updated for 2012]:  Here is the entry for people born in a Dragon Year:

DRAGON People are balls of fire! They are full of vitality and love of life. Always on the run, they drag their faithful band of admirers behind them. DRAGON People are egotistical, eccentric, demanding, and giving. They are proud, direct, and loaded with high ideals, which they always try to live up to. Having a zeal for life, they want to live it on a grand scale. They have the potential for accomplishing many great things as long as they don't get too far ahead of themselves. When DRAGON People do something, good or bad, you can be certain their deeds do not go unnoticed! Dragons are always making the news. It is next to impossible to win an argument with Dragon people. They intimidate anyone who challenges them. Once you arouse their anger, they keep after you for a very long time. DRAGON People are extremely loyal to friends and family.
http://www.holymtn.com/astrology/dragon.htm
This is from the Holy Mountain Tea Trading Company in San Francisco, one of my favorite sources for Chinese astrological information. Here are some excerpts from their always insightful comments, this time on Dragon people:
Force and power are the symbols attributed to the Dragon. There is a decidedly exotic air about Dragon people, especially among the women, who fairly exude sexuality. Indeed, whether male or female, Dragons are libidinous and score quite a hit with the opposite sex.

To the Chinese, the Dragon is born in the most desirable year, blessed by the gods and goddesses in heaven. Possessing magical powers, the versatile Dragon is capable of soaring to the highest heavenly heights or diving to the depths of the sea. On one hand shrewd, healthy and full of vitality, the Dragon also possesses a mystical side, intuitive, artistic and strangely lucky. However, Dragons can plunge pretty low, becoming irritable, stubborn and impetuous. The Dragon's mystical allure may become a bit too other worldly, making him or her difficult to get close to. A Dragon's unsatisfactory love life may lead to a string of loves and marriages. Believing themselves invincible, Dragons must beware of excesses, for with their uncommon strength, they can harm themselves, or "scorch their wings"....

...Another difficulty for the Dragon is that life experiences are very intense. There are no casual friendships for Dragon; every interaction is a continuation of heavy pastlife karma that must be resolved now, as if ten lifetimes were being lived out in the current incarnation.... Dragons may devote themselves to a great cause or work, and if so, they will see it through to the end. This talent work two ways, as they can be equally devoted to a bad cause and equally successful in it. Dragons can't help but win!....

Since Dragons are not prone to marrying young, many committed bachelors and spinsters are born under the influence of this sign; truthfully, the Dragon may be happier alone. In any partnership Dragon folk will first and foremost seek an intellectual rapport, because these people get as much of a charge from mental stimulation as they do from having sex....

...May is the month of the Dragon. The time of the Dragon is from 7:00 a.m. to 8:59 a.m.; their direction of orientation is east-southeast. The Dragon's color is aquamarine....

http://www.chinese-astrology.arollo.com/dragon.html
[Updated for 2012]: This is "Astro-Chinese" -- a simple-looking little site that I enjoy.  Here is how it introduces the Year of the Dragon:
The impressive Dragon descends upon us all with an almighty bang, and everything this year will be done on a grand scale, fortunes as well as disasters. Think big, think grand, think with magnanimity – for the Dragon despises anything little or petty, and be prepared to be astounded by the force of what can take place this exhilarating year.
This site is the only one I've found that showcases and explains personality differences between the five various elemental modalities of each animal. Thus, for dragons, we have:
THE FIVE TYPES OF DRAGONS

The Metal Dragon: 1940,2000: “ The Iron-Willed Dragon”
This forceful Dragon is a warrior in every sense. He fights for his cause with integrity, dignity and truthfulness, regarding his beliefs with fanatical intensity. An action man, he wastes to time with those he deems unworthy, concentrating his efforts in enlisting the company of those he feels are on the same level as he, morally, socially and mentally. But if they if they disagree with his will, this Dragon does not hesitate to go off on his own, feeling perfectly capable of defeating whatever needs to be defeated with his one- man army.

The Water Dragon: 1952: “The Liberal Dragon”
Softened by the water element, this Dragon is less selfish, more patient and less likely to hold grudges. He believes that everybody is entitled to his opinion, and can put aside his ego for the greater good. Wise in business, he has brilliant timing and an eye for opportunity which he rarely lets pass him by. With a knack for marketing his dazzling ideas and negotiating it to his advantage, he uses patience (seldom seen in Dragons) to see things through to success.
The Wood Dragon: 1904, 1964: “ The Innovative Dragon”
This creative Dragon is an explorer by nature, always coming up with ground-breaking thoughts and ideas. He enjoys investigating these concepts to the fullest, investigating the eternal how’s, why’s, the cause and effects. Nonetheless, he possesses the ability and the drive to put these original ideas into action, using diplomacy and an astute sense for business.
The Fire Dragon: 1916, 1976: “The Ambitious Dragon”
Driven, competitive and with a tremendous desire for success, this Dragon demands the a lot from everyone (and we mean everyone). She frequently comes across as pushy and dictatorial, with an air of superiority that scares people into thinking she expects them to get down and do fifty push-ups at the snap of her fingers. Despite her righteous and over-zealous way of imposing her will on others, inside she is a generous and truthful humanitarian. If she could learn to communicate more humbly and less brutally, she has the strength of character to build empires and lead nations.

The Earth Dragon: 1928, 1988: “The Dignified Dragon"
The aristocrat of Dragons, he keeps his poise and refuses to go down to levels he feels is beneath him. More stable, solid and self-controlled than his fellow hot-headed Dragons, he tends to reflect and organize his thoughts before acting upon them. He has a wide variety of interests, and an even larger circle of friends and admirers.

As you can see, each of the above comes with a brief but nicely expanded description.  Then there is a succinct, breezy section on compatibilities with other signs.  There are also lists of artistic, scientific, showbiz, musical, political & royal dragons, etc. All in all, a charming little page.

http://www.findyourfate.com/chineseastro/dragon.htm
[Updated for 2011]:  This is another site focusing on personalities determined by the Chinese zodiac.  Each zodiac sign is given its own page (with a search engine at the top for other signs).  About the Dragon, here are some excerpts:
                  ... Dragons are a tenacious Sign who knows exactly what it wants and is determined to get it.
Dragons possess a certain natural, charming charisma that ensures they always remain the center of attention in social situations.

Dragons are considered to be very lucky in relationships.Their friends and partners are always keen to hear what the dragon has to say....

Emotionally, the dragons cannot digest failure.They make  hue and cry over defeat and can't accept it with grace.

Power is what the Dragon wants and truly believes it deserves. They always crave for the role of leader....knowing instinctively what needs to be done to stay on top.

It would be in the interests of Dragons if they absorb the principles of flexibility, compassion and tolerance. Being high and mighty can serve to inspire others, but it also keeps Dragons from living their lives to the fullest.

Chinese Zodiac Horoscopes [Provided courtesy of Suzanne White and Master Rao]
[Updated for 2012]:  This site looks at Chinese Zodiac Animals with good, often detailed data not found elsewhere but you have to navigate through 8 individual horoscope-style categories (click on these along the blue bar near top of page for love, finances, etc). This is a difficult site to navigate if you're looking for the rest of the zodiac but in 2009, one link on the Wood Ox page finally took me to the full zodiac (depicted by too "cute" animals).  It should not have been this hard to find the main page but the site is still worth a look.  For example, here's the entry for Dragons:
Brief Description: Dragons are witty, enthusiastic, popular, intelligent and gifted yet are also perfectionists.

Positive Traits: vibrant, magnanimous, charismatic, principled, self-sufficient, discriminating, compelling, sentimental, accomplished, noble-hearted, healthy and prodigiously shrewd.

Negative Traits: bombastic, dissatisfied, ruthless, demanding, opinionated, mawkish, egocentric, defensive, power-mad, foolhardy, willful and pompous.

General Description of All Dragons: The key to the Dragon personality is that Dragons are the free spirits of the Zodiac. Conformation is a Dragon's curse. Rules and regulations are made for other people. Restrictions blow out the creative spark that is ready to flame into life. Dragons must be free and uninhibited. The Dragon is a beautiful creature, colorful and flamboyant. An extroverted bundle of energy, gifted and utterly irrepressible, everything Dragons do is on a grand scale - big ideas, ornate gestures, extreme ambitions. However, this behavior is natural and isn't meant for show. Because they are confident, fearless in the face of challenge, they are almost inevitably successful. Dragons usually make it to the top. However, Dragon people be aware of their natures. Too much enthusiasm can leave them tired and unfulfilled. Even though they are willing to aid when necessary, their pride can often impede them from accepting the same kind of help from others. Dragons' generous personalities give them the ability to attract friends, but they can be rather solitary people at heart. A Dragon's self-sufficiency can mean that he or she has no need for close bonds with other people.

http://www.chiff.com/a/chinese-horoscopes.htm
[Updated for 2012]: In 2008, this little page focused very nicely on what each individual sign could expect in the Rat Year.  I found the simplicity of taking that single focus appealing (sometimes, a more global approach can overwhelm a reader).  Since 2009, however, the format has changed. I prefer 2008's approach but the site is still worth a look.  I still like the sensible disclaimer at the end:
Remember, whatever the omens portend, for better or worse, you are the final master of your own fate.

These ideas are provided for your enjoyment and amusement and are not meant to take the place of your own good sense.

http://www.squidoo.com/2012yearofthedragon
[Updated for 2012]: Zany, witty, often shallow, sometimes unexpectedly deep, this odd site provides just about anything you ever wanted to know about the dragon from a zillion perspectives.  It seems to go on forever with its goofy graphics, video clips (e.g. Puff, the Magic Dragon), and silliness.  But it's entertaining and great fun to explore!!
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OTHER RELEVANT
MythingLinks PAGES:

General Data on Lunar New Year

New 1/11/12: Dragon & Tiger in Chinese Starlore, Constellations, & Zodiac

New 1/17/12: The Dragon in Art, Literature, & Culture

The Rabbit in Art, Literature, & Culture Launched 22-23 January 2011, 12:30am

The Tiger in Art, Literature, & Culture: 3 January 2010 (launched 29 January 2010; updated 16 January 2011)

The Ox in Art, Literature, & Culture: 25 January 2009

Pigs in History, Religion, Culture, & Art:
[This is one of my new January 2007 pages with general information
but also great material on ancient China's pigs and pig-dragons.]

NOTE:
2011-2012 Year of the Metal Rabbit is now at: Lunar Archives: MetalRabbit
2010-2011 Year of the Metal Tiger is now at: Lunar Archives: MetalTiger
2009-2010 Year of the Earth Ox is now at: Lunar Archives: EarthOx
2008-2009 Year of the Earth Rat is now at: Lunar Archives: EarthRat
 2007-2008 Year of the Fire Pig is now at: Lunar Archives: FirePig
 2006-2007 Year of the Fire Dog is now at: Lunar Archives: FireDog
2005-2006 Year of the Wood Rooster is now at: Lunar Archives: Wood Rooster
 2004-2005 Year of the Wood Monkey is now at: Lunar Archives: Wood Monkey
 2003-2004 Year of the Water Goat is now at: Lunar Archives: Water Goat
2002-2003 Year of the Water Horse is now at: Lunar Archives: Water Horse
2001-2002 Year of the Metal Snake page is now at: Lunar Archives: Metal Snake
 2000-2001 Year of the Metal Dragon page is now at:Lunar Archives: Metal Dragon

To the ASIA menu-page

To Common Themes: Time
(Calendars, Millennial Issues, etc)

To Common Themes: Star Lore & Astrology

To Current Winter Greetings & Lore page

To the Imbolc page

To the Annual Springtide Greetings page

© 2000-2012 Kathleen Jenks, Ph.D.

Metal Dragon page, the first in this Myth*ing Links series,  begun 17 January 2000;
page annotated and published 24 January 2000.

Latest Updates:
26 January 2000; 2 February 2000; 3 April 2000.
17 January 2001: gave this page a new URL -- I'm retaining the other one for all current Lunar New Year pages;
no links have been updated here -- all still work but some already refer to the Snake Year instead of the Dragon.
10 November 2001: removed a link that no longer offers appropriate data.
3 May 2011: in header, added "Metal" to Dragon (this was my first Lunar New Year page
& I hadn't yet started adding the elements to the animals for each year).
I've leaving the page's URL unchanged (i.e., no "metal" in it) to avoid a mess of further changes.

Note to me, 3 May 2011: I updated a few things here. This will be the first year for which I've already done the beastie -- so this means keeping what's relevant here but also adding new links I've found over the past decade -- i.e., replace these with updated versions where necessary, keep all the rest, and layer-in rest of the current additions from previous years. It might be a bit tricky and I haven't figured out a classy way to do it yet. ::sigh::  I'm leaving this note because I doubt I'll remember this by next December/January!  Keep the same art as it continues the water theme perfectly.
1 January 2012, 3-6am: began updating this 2000  page for 2012, which means deleting files moved in 2001 to the "General Lunar New Year"  page.  They'll still remain on the 2000 Metal Dragon page but not on this 2012 Water Dragon page.  Later, same day, from 12:30-6:30pm, found new images and grokked Master Lo's lengthy website.
2nd and 3rd January 2012: spent most of both days groking and updating sites, finding new art, etc, etc.  These Lunar New Year pages require immense concentration because of all their many details and pitfalls.
7 January 2012, 6:20pm: archived Rabbit Year and launched this Dragon Year.
8 January 2012, 10:55pm: spent the day updating Common Themes East & West: Dragons & Serpents -- added link at top of this page.  It will also work for next year's Serpent Year.
17 January 2012, 7:45pm: added new Dragon Art page (was "pending" until today) & also 1/11/12's Dragon/Tiger Starlore, Zodiac, etc page.


..
"Dragon" in Chinese Calligraphy

Note:
With 4 decades of experience, Dr. Jenks is available worldwide, by telephone, if you are interested in exploring your earlier reincarnations:
.Explore Your Karmic Roots..
...See: Testimonials
"With memory, with the reflection of an echo,
a gate opens both ways.  We can circle time...."
                                      [Michael Ondaatje: Divisadero]
..
You might also wish to consider: Interspecies Past Lives
In Genesis, Noah was directed to rescue all species against a time of growing danger. We are again in such a time.  Yet each of us is already a Noah's Ark filled with countless, unsuspected, interspecies lifetimes.  This means we can be far more than sorrowing observers of animal exploitation and extinction.  We can reconnect with our own secret wisdom, our own animal cunning, and join together to protect all species....

And finally, Green World Oracle Readings

Many blessings in the Year of the Dragon!