“There is a devil there is no doubt, but is he trying to get into us or trying to get out?”
~ Tsem Rinpoche
The Dragon and the Five Elements
By Tsem Rinpoche, 2010
The Dragon: A Wood Sign
The Dragon sign is of the Wood element. Generally, Wood bestows an expansive, open characteristic to people born with this element. They find it easy to get along well with others, especially in a group context and bring good, energising vibes to any situation. They are compassionate people, who look for ways to help others and bring justice.
Many Chinese believe that life will be more exciting when a Dragon is born into their family. If there are three Dragons within the family, they believe that they are blessed with incredible luck and prosperity. There may be some truth in their belief. Those born in the year of the Dragon have irrepressible energy, blinding determination and incredible self-confidence. They excel in all that they set their minds to and continuously raise their standards as they age. You will not see a Dragon depending on others; they pride themselves on being self-reliant and independent. They don’t fare well being bound by people, places or even the laws of the land.
The Metal Dragon – 1940, 2000
The Metal Dragon is the most strong-willed among all Dragons. These Dragons possess all the qualities to achieve great success: enthusiasm, unwavering confidence and intense determination.
The Metal element only serves to strengthen the already powerful Dragon. They are born leaders who are very expressive, and at times may be unknowingly critical. They are unfazed by challenges and will never give failure a thought. Intensely driven to accomplish big things in life, they have a rigid “zero-tolerance” rule for laziness and playfulness, which applies to themselves and others.
Despite the fact that they are whole-heartedly content on working on their own, they will attract a legion of followers. They have the courage of a general leading his army into war, and hence followers naturally feel convinced with every word the Metal Dragon utters. After all, with a Metal Dragon, victorious success is the only option.
Their words can either make it or break it. They are able to persuade non-believers into passionate fighters. However, they will not fare well in situations which require some level of diplomatic skills. Disagree with what he has to say? He’ll march off with his head up on his own solitary way. Tough and bright, they will compete with all their might!
The Metal Dragon’s intention and speech may at times conflict with each other. He says what he means and means what he says – but it may not necessarily be words that are kind or constructive. Being consciously aware of the feelings of those around him will help him create fewer enemies.
The Water Dragon – 1952, 2012
The calmness and coolness of Water pacifies the naturally aggressive Dragon. This attribute will provide the Dragon with clarity and balance making them good negotiators and diplomats. Unlike the Fire Dragon, they are able to take time out to think and plan their next move wisely.
The secret to their success lays in their ability to be humorous when necessary, hardworking when necessary and to bite their tongue when necessary. They are able to control their emotions and thoughts providing them the composure and stability the other Dragons lack.
Passionate, opportunistic and progressive, they will not feel defeated even when they fall flat on the ground or if a door is slammed in their face. To them, it’s part of the growing process that everyone must go through – they are no different so there is nothing to be ashamed of!
They believe in a slow-and-steady approach, as opposed to the Metal Dragon who charges towards a goal. They are patient enough to know that good things come to those who wait. Don’t mistake their patience for inertness or passiveness. Just remember, who won the race: the rabbit or the tortoise?
The Water element will also make him expansive, open and gentle with others. The Water Dragon enjoys company, cooperativeness and sharing.
They are never reluctant to share their ideas with others but by their openness, they have the tendency to over-stretch themselves. They will need to set their limits and not spread themselves too thin.
The Wood Dragon – 1904, 1964
The Wood Dragon is characterized by his uncanny ability to attract fortune and luck in spite of his often peculiar choices. Wood Dragons possess a natural curiosity towards everything and are unafraid to explore the unexplored. They have the fearlessness of an imperial Dragon and the ego of [a benevolent priest.]
Unaffected by what others say, coupled with their creativeness and innovativeness, they have what it takes to be the revolutionary developers necessary for society’s growth. They are able to generate a dominating force within anything they set their minds to. They are original, innovative thinkers and doers – they enjoy intellectual stimulation more than to strive for corporate success. Success to them falls not within society’s definition; they may be successful in life, but perhaps not in their career.
They are non-confrontational and it is uncommon for the Wood Dragon to be on anyone’s hate list. Although they are unaffected by what others say, they will avoid stepping on anyone’s toes – why cause trouble when harmony is a viable option? However, his naturally curious nature will also mean that he has a tendency to overanalyse things to a point that exasperates everyone else around him. Don’t forget that he is still a Dragon and has a naturally large ego that must always look out for itself and what will be most advantageous to him.
The Wood Dragon’s differing perspective on life will take them down an unpredictable path so they need to be more open to the advice and opinions of others. Before embarking in a particular direction, they may want to consider their long-term priorities: is money or passion more important?
The Fire Dragon – 1916, 1976
The Fire element strengthens the naturally fiery Dragon. They breathe power and ambition, and are unsurprisingly the most competitive of all Dragons. They have intense energy and place high expectations in all areas of their life: love, career, self-development etc.
As self-cultivated perfectionists, they become an unstoppable force due to their high intelligence. They have the Midas Touch and will succeed in whatever they do. If they choose to be, they have the potential to become great leaders. This is especially so if they are able to subdue their temper and energy-exhausting pace. Others may mistake their overzealous and powerful approach towards leadership to be dictator-like! The Fire Dragon demands as much from others as he demands from himself. Their emotions have a tendency to control their actions, and at times they may react recklessly causing them to accumulate plenty to regret.
However, although they may shoot fire at others, they in actual fact place great care towards others’ well-being. They will be the first to donate towards a charitable cause and the first to uncover the truth on behalf of the wrongly accused.
With their vibrant charisma and larger-than-life personality, it’s no doubt that most Fire Dragons become celebrities.
The Fire Dragon must learn to curb both his impulsiveness and tendency to rely only on his own judgment. He needs to understand that powerful as he is, not everyone can match his might. He could learn to be more patient, forgiving and open to hearing what others have to say before reacting on a whim.
The Earth Dragon – 1928, 1988
The Earth element allows the Dragon to be more grounded, level-headed and stable. Their friendships are long-term commitments, and they tend to be more sociable than other Dragons. However, despite the fact that they are naturally liked by everyone – peers and teachers, colleagues and employers – they have the tendency to remain impersonal, mostly because they are more concerned with creating realistic, practical outcomes than indulging in fanciful ideas.
Their innate talents can be developed and enhanced due to their patient and hardworking nature. As self-motivators, they constantly have the need for personal improvement even if the external world does not call for it. This causes them to be contemplators, who like to spend plenty of time in introspection.
Their need for logic and common sense sees many Earth Dragons maturing into morally-sound and well-rounded individuals. They have clear objectives in life that are realized due to their business acumen, flexibility and creativity. With their reasonable, level-headed approach to goals and their naturally generous nature, they are able to generate wealth as easily as they are able to obtain support for their work. Then, once they have what they need, they have the skill of churning everything to its greatest potential. This Dragon is especially resourceful and broad-thinking, producing benefits for the greater good.
It’s not unusual for Earth Dragons to receive accolades within their profession.
The Earth Dragon is quick to snap back when their integrity and dignity are criticised. Disembarking from their high horses would help create more admirers and long-term support, which the Earth Dragon secretly desires. He also tends to overspend on many reckless, impulse buys. Curbing his expenditure will create less waste and build more financial stability.
“If you say you don’t have money to help a animal shelter, why then do you have money to buy meat?”
~ Tsem Rinpoche
“If being me offends you, maybe I’m not the problem.”
~ Tsem Rinpoche
“You think you can choose your life? What an ego trip!”
~ Lama Yeshe