Tuesday 9 February 2016

Dragon’s General Predictions for the Year of the Monkey- 2016

Dragon’s General Predictions for the Year of the Monkey- 2016

The Chinese New Year of the Fire Monkey began on February 8, 2016, on the second New Moon after the Solstice. The Monkey is the 9th animal in the 12 Chinese zodiac signs. Predictions for the year are made in accordance with the characteristics of the animal that rules the year. For instance, the main attributes of the Monkey are intelligence, wit and inventiveness. Monkeys have irrepressible curiosity and creative energy; they are certainly playful and youthful in nature with minds free from any inhibitions and guilt. They are also problem solvers, working within a group while simultaneously demonstrating an independent streak associated with all achievers. Being a sly and opportunistic tactician, they tend to be untrustworthy. Though worshiped to some extent by the Buddhists, the Monkey is generally regarded as the emblem of trickery: for the youthfulness of the Monkey conceals the unscrupulous adolescent, and the eccentric nature can suddenly turn into unlawfulness. Henceforth, this year will reward individual effort and those who place their trust in the group or collective might face disappointment.

From a Feng Shui point of view, the Fire Monkey Years have both Metal and Water elements. Metal is linked to gold. Water is associated with the characteristics of wisdom and danger; with this in mind we can safely predict that there will be a certainty of volatility within the financial markets.

On the whole 2016 will see a big slide in the world economy. The global economic situation will be dreadful, as lots of companies will go bankrupt. Postponement of crucial financial decisions is therefore recommended. The year will be marked with unpredictable changes and, or, sudden stimulus. Even though the Year of Monkey will be an energetic, optimistic and progressive year with potential growth in real-estate, finances and politics, there will also be unpleasant side effects of uncertainty and the prevalent undercurrent of deceit dogging the year. Be warned that many businesses will apply the shrewdest angle and structure their transactions for the greatest gain. Problems abound, politically, financially, professionally, domestically or emotionally, nothing should be taken for granted. 

The Monkey is alert, smart, wily and devious and so outwitting the Monkey will be one way to assure a good return on financial investments. Keep in mind that metal is also connected to the Wind and that implies quick change. The positive and negative characteristics of the Monkey meanwhile translate into “anything is possible” in 2016.

Those looking to grow families or resolve questions of the heart shouldn't wait. The Year of the Monkey favors falling in love and is also considered a good year for procreating. Babies born at this time will be regarded as very hardworking and lucky.

Some may even profess that there’s little point in being prepared, as the influence of the Monkey puts everything into flux. All the same, careful planning and prudence have always been a good rule of thumb, where possible, when bearing in mind finances, career, and social endeavors this year. Increased communication, humor and wit will, meanwhile, help resolve the stress of these times. 

On the individual level it is best to move forward, make strides, and embrace what may lie ahead. The Year of the Monkey 2016 is a time for risky business, and herein lays the seeds of unplanned success. Run with ideas, embrace the change, be creative and don’t look back. The Year of the Monkey is a particularly auspicious time for new inventions and taking risks. It’s a year where agile, inventive minds, sheer guts and bravado will win out in the end. Only be on the lookout for deceptions. Those who can persevere and outsmart the trickster Monkey will succeed, sure enough, but those who are dull or slow witted, who can’t handle the stress, will go down.

Naturally with so much ambiguity in this year one needs to incorporate some form of regular physical activity (such as workouts, swimming, yoga, water aerobics, dance, martial arts, team sports, tennis or long walks), adopt a sound diet and a healthy lifestyle. After all, the body was designed to move and stress should to be burned off.

Chinese New Year's Day Taboos

(Things to avoid on Chinese New Year)

-Avoid using knives and scissors on the first day of the Chinese New Year. Put them away and out of sight. It’s self explanatory really; besides the possibility of accidents that would lead to inauspicious things, it also means cutting your wealth.

­- No Killing things: Blood is considered an ill omen which will cause misfortunes such as a knife wound, or a bloody disaster.

- Do not vacuum or use the broom: If you sweep on this day then your wealth will be swept away too.

­-Money should not be lent on New Year’s Day, and all debts should be paid prior to New Year’s Eve. If there is someone who owes you money, do not go to his or her home to demand it or you’ll bring misfortune on yourself and your luck will suffer the rest of the year.

-An empty rice jar or a depleted supply is considered to be an ill omen.

-No Porridge for breakfast; as it is considered poor people’s food, therefore is a bad omen for the start the year.

-Hair must not be washed on the first day of the lunar year. In the Chinese language, hair has the same pronunciation and character as 'fa' in facai , which means ’to become wealthy’. Therefore, it would mean, “washing one’s fortune away”.

-Avoid washing clothes on the first and second day, because these two days are celebrated as the birthday of Shuishen (the Water God).

- Wearing threadbare items can cause more bad luck for the year.

- White or black clothes are barred, as these two colours are traditionally associated with mourning.

-Do not give gifts of clocks, watches, scissors or pears at New Year’s as they all have a bad meaning.

-If possible avoid taking any medicine on the first day of the lunar year, for it means one will need it for the whole year.

-A woman may not leave her house; otherwise she will be plagued with bad luck for the entire coming year. A married daughter is not allowed to visit the house of her parents, as this is believed to bring bad luck to the parents, causing economic hardship for the family.

- No crying children- The cry of a child is believed to bring bad luck to the family, so parents do their best to keep children as happy as possible.

-Having your pocket picked is believed to portend your whole wealth being stolen in the coming year.

-Traditionally its best to stay up late on New Year’s Eve to welcome the New Year, and then to make noise and let off firecrackers and fireworks to scare off inauspicious spirits and Nian, the New Year monster.

Some important people born in the Year of the Monkey

Leonardo da Vinci, Federico Fellini, Pope John Paul II, Harry S. Truman, Eleanor Roosevelt, John Milton, Paul Gauguin, Lyndon B. Johnson, Nelson Rockefeller, Charles Dickens, Arthur Hailey, Queen Sirkit of Thailand, Amadeo Modigliani, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Julio Iglesias, Danny De Vito, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Jacques Tati, Salvador Allende, Simone de Beauvoir, Gustav Mahler, Annie Oakley, Charlie Parker, Howard Cosell, Isaac Stern, Macauley Culkin, Aubrey Beardsley,Fran├žois Truffaut, Elizabeth Taylor,Joan Crawford, Bette Davis, Mel Gibson, James Stewart, Omar Sharif, Anouk Aimee, Peter O’Toole, Louis Malle and Little Richard.

Have a Healthy, Happy and Prosperous New Year.

Note: The next post will be the predictions for all animal horoscopes for the Year of the Monkey, 2016


Friday 31 July 2015

The Blue Moon Dragon

The Blue Moon Dragon

Once upon a time on an enchanted island far, far away there was a mighty Blue Dragon, the last of his kind, who inhabited a majestic mountain cave.
 Long before he was born a meteorite crashed into this Planet and devastated the entire island, causing a massive extinction of many species including the antediluvian Dragon Kingdom.  The Dragon Queen, with her gift of premonition, foresaw this cataclysm.  When her warning fell on deaf ears, she arranged to have both of her precious blue and green eggs stored with the necessary provisions deep in the caverns of a mighty mountain.  No one could have imagined that the scale of devastation and upheaval would be so vast and far-reaching; hence they all perished leaving the land barren for many centuries to come. Meanwhile of the two eggs carefully stored in the depths of the mighty cave only one had survived to hatch. The blue dragon therefore was born into a lonely existence and grew up fending for himself.  Eventually the land recovered and other life-forms began to thrive in this rich, pristine environment.
The blue dragon, now grown larger still, with his giant wings often soared through the skies in search of food, longing to find evidence of other dragons.

During his searches when earthquakes, landslides or other such catastrophes unearthed the remnants of the ancient Dragon civilization he discovered vast stores of knowledge that revealed the cosmic secrets of the universe and the gateway to the many other worlds that lay beyond the mystical sea surrounding his world. Unfortunately he also came to realize that he was alone, and would be alone forever, as the Age of Dragons had come to an end.   Rage and sorrow took hold of him and the explosive energy he unleashed very nearly destroyed the island once again.

He regained his senses just in time.  Coming to grips with reality, he settled down and searched the surviving stores of knowledge, assimilating this vast information in gradual segments.  Meanwhile he’d already learned purely by accident that close proximity to the sun always helped to regenerate him. Proximity to the moon pacified his senses and, by the same token, he discovered the joys of meditative serenity.

As he grew in maturity, possessing more knowledge now, he ventured through the doorways to other existing worlds. On these many excursions, he discovered other lands over the mystic seas, realms that were populated by strange flora and creatures.  Further and further he went searching for adventure or, perhaps, a likely companion.  He was innately overcautious and concealed his presence well.  By this time he’d acquired many mystical powers. Beside that of concealment, he was now able to shape-shift into other living forms, however large or small.  This made him bolder as he integrated into still stranger circumstances, such as those of the two-legged human creatures.  He mingled among them learning their complex structures of dialogue, barter, social etiquette and their varied rules of governance.  He found that, with practice, he could maintain his disguise for longer and longer periods, but never longer than a span of one night. His concealment was also more effective at night, for sunshine was too invigorating for him to constrain his powers.
Once at dusk while flying over a well fortified powerful kingdom a strange sound wafted to his ears and, looking down, he spotted well manicured lawns and gardens with carefully structured pools and bridges. He’d never seen so fine a garden and so he swooped silently down and, as soon as his feet touched a branch, he transformed himself into a songbird.

It was a fine summer’s twilight with a light breeze that invited all beings into the outdoors.  A group of people were laughing and chattering, advancing towards the tree he was perched on.  He withdrew to the cover of thicker foliage to observe unheeded the small entourage now setting up a picnic down below.  The one among them standing to the side was particularly appealing.  For one thing she had flawless white porcelain skin and was finely dressed. Her cascading golden hair was carefully managed with brilliant gems that gleamed like many stars in the full moonlight. She held a bouquet of flowers to her bosom so fragrant that it wooed his senses. The others, like fluttering butterflies, rallied around her attempting to make her jovial and content. This somewhat amused the Dragon and he watched their behavior and hers without tiring of it for the entire length of their gathering.  When they prepared to leave he at once made himself invisible and followed after.  His curiosity led him all the way back to her quarters but, seeing that they all went to bed, he reluctantly took his leave, flying out the open window.  But at least he knew where this interesting creature dwelled, and he promised himself to return the next nightfall.

At first he was content watching her from afar in disguise but, bit by bit, he became smitten with her strange but sweet ways.  By then he understood more of the ways of humans and how he might win her affections.  Fortunately, she valued her time alone and often would send her attendants away on some fool’s errand just to gain some solitary, quiet moments by herself. Often she managed to sneak away at the conclusion of dinner to spend a tranquil period in the library. At other times she contrived to spend a few moments outside among the beds of flowers, leaning her back to a tree in contemplative repose. It was on one such occasion when the Blue Dragon decided at long last to approach her. But first he transformed himself into a human male. He’d seen certain illustrations in poetry books, specific figures that she expressed some interest in, therefore he fashioned himself into a mixture of those features she liked best:  a youth of similar age, rather handsome and dressed in fineries.  He even picked a name for himself:  Blue Moon. He knew enough of propriety not to manifest in her private quarters for fear of causing fright, so he waited for an opportunity when she snuck away into the garden to spend time in solitude.

Their first meeting was somewhat awkward and still caused her a fright. But he soon talked his way out of it and won her confidence with his charm and wit. In time, during many more clandestine encounters, as they discovered they had the same zest for life and innocent fondness for adventure, they grew much more attached to each other.  Of course all during the exchange they’d maintained the strictest propriety and observed proper decorum, thus nothing untoward or improper transpired between the two. This platonic love however had grown from bud to blossom soon possessing both their heart and soul.  Eventually when the Blue Dragon revealed his true form to her, he was delighted to find it made no difference to her.  Meanwhile he was now free to share some of the joys of being a dragon.

Often on her insistence, she was whisked away into the clouds riding on his back and saw the world as she never could have done without him.  Once, while resting on a strange high meadow by a spring, he reached forward and gently clasped her hand and looked questioningly deep into her eyes. No words were necessary, she simply nodded her assent and from that moment on they were bonded forever.

With a shy smile he drew a small packet from his robe, wrapped in a blue cloth that shimmered as if with the light of many stars. When she opened it she saw it was a figurine of a songbird.
Blue Moon explained its meaning, “It is made from the stones of the Moon, where I stay when I want to be close to you, and it is shaped like the songbird I became when I observed you and your attendants in the courtyard that first evening. Keep it to remind yourself of me, and my eternal love for you.”
“I shall cherish it forever. “  She kissed the bird’s beak then reached forward to lovingly hold his hand.

Unfortunately all good things must come to an end.  One stormy night their closely guarded secret was discovered by a jealous attendant and, when promptly brought to the attention of His Majesty, his fury knew no bounds.  He had three sons but only one daughter and now his darling daughter had being sullied by this, this dastardly intruder.

Immediately, a trap was devised to capture this brazen interloper.  When the opportunity struck armed guards descended on him.  The Blue Dragon could have transformed himself into his true form and incinerated them all, but he was far too concerned for the Princess’ well being, so he allowed himself be captured and brought in chains before his Majesty.
The King was in a murderous mood, and could not be reasoned with.  Despite severe beating and torture the truth could not be attained, yet a most heinous, ruthless punishment was pronounced upon the presumed culprit.   Badly bruised, bleeding profusely with many ribs and bones broken (for in this form he was as vulnerable as any human was) Blue Moon was dragged outside by his chains for the administration of his harsh punishment.  As soon as he was outside of the audience hall he was able to use his skills and simply vanished into thin air.

The poor guards unfortunately were made to suffer for days for their failure. Meanwhile the Princess was confined to new quarters high up in a tower and this time, placed under close scrutiny. She was assumed to have been put under an evil spell by the sorcerer Blue Moon, as he had named himself.  As a virtual prisoner for well over a year she was never allowed a moment’s peace in all that time, nor was she left for a single moment alone.  The attending Priests and palace doctors came to and fro, at first keeping her heavily sedated then gradually endowing her with small portions of added liberties. She was eventually allowed to return to her more luxurious former quarters as she pretended to being cured from the paranormal malady. Despite all their persuasive methods and ingested medicinal concoctions however, deep within her soul and heart she’d maintained the seeds of affections for her beloved Blue Moon.  At times when things grew unbearable she drew strength from her memories of times shared with him.  This source of happiness, the like of which she’d never known, was, after all, inexhaustible.  So long as she drew breath she knew she could never forsake him for he, her first true love, was already an inseparable part of her being.


Three nights hence would be the second full moon, also known as the Blue Moon.  Theirs was a superstitious nation, so many candles were lit and the residual smoke from the burning of incense imbued with scent crafted to scare away evil, permeated the air till dawn. Meanwhile, the Priests beat drums and held prayer sessions and sacrifices to appease the wandering evil spirits of the Blue Moon.
As soon as dusk fell, confident in their measures to rid the Palace of the least evil, exhausted from vigorous day’s activities, all denizens of the Palace and city had fallen into deep slumber peacefully tucked under warm quilts in their beds.  Complete silence prevailed throughout the Palace and the land.
At stroke of midnight the Princess suddenly awoke with a start.  She had sensed movement in the room. True enough there he was, the handsome young man was now turning away from the window to smile at her. How fortunate that she had left the window ajar.

“Please do not be frightened?” He approached her hesitantly. “I’m sorry I’ve disturbed you. “ He bit the corner of his lip to constrain the bursting emotions of rage and sorrow.  “You’ve endured such hardship on my account…I meant to come earlier, but…”
“It is I who should beg your forgiveness.” She interjected and, eyes brimming with tears, she shook her head in dismay. “They’ve treated you so abominably. And I, oh I felt so helpless to do anything about it!”
In truth, she’d done her best to sway them.  In the beginning she’d even attempted to enlist her mother’s by help appealing to her compassion and when that yielded not result, tried to reason with a father hell bent on revenge. It was all to no avail. Instead, all her efforts had gained was to further convince His Majesty of her possession by the evil Blue Moon entity and the necessity of harsher measures and prolonged incarceration.
“It grieves me to say this, but I’ve come to bid you farewell. I will not forget you, ever.” Blue Moon turned to hide the emerging tears.

Rushing over she grabbed his arm and in a sobbing voice pleaded, “Please don’t go.  But, if you must, I want to go with you, wherever that may be!”

He smiled and, cupping her face, looked deep into her eyes. “I’ve come to love you so very much. “ He leaned over and gently planted a kiss on her forehead.  “Know this, regardless of any future outcome; you are now and forever will be my one and only mate.”

His face grew grim and he nodded. “However, I should have known there was so little, perhaps no chance at all, for us. I’m sorry; this is the way it must be for now. “He turned to go, then stopped, and after a thoughtful pause, drew from his finger a ring. He then took off his shiny blue cloak and presented both of them to her.
“One thing I have learned is that there are infinite possibilities to this universe and that nothing in it can be deemed impossible.  Out of my deep regard and affection for you, I offer you the freedom to choose. Conceal this ring well and guard our shared secret.  Wear this garment when the Blue Moon manifests and remember that I love you from afar.  If, at the conclusion of your life span, you still have same affections for me, put on this ring on your forefinger and don the blue cloak.  On that night I give you my solemn pledge that I will return and from that day hence, we shall be eternally together.”

He then transformed into a song-bird and flew out the window.

Wiping her tears, she folded the garment carefully and placed it in the drawer of her night table but she sought a more secure location to hide the ring. As it so happened there was a stone encased in loose mortar in a dark corner of the room behind some furniture.  She’d discovered it when she was a child and concealed her most prized possessions there. It also contained the moon rock he had sculpted to resemble a bird.  Opening this niche she placed this prized possession alongside her others. Then, though overcome with fatigue, when she went back to her bed and laid down, she was too emotionally overwrought to sleep. 

Upon waking the following morning she immediately doubted the last night’s series of events as well as her brief encounter with the Blue Moon spirit. Seizing the first available opportunity, she checked the drawer. True enough there was a strange blue garment folded in there, but it was not gleaming or as extraordinary as she recalled. Later still she fetched the ring from its hiding place and carefully examined it; running her fingers absently over the strange inscription underneath.  She next brought out the moonstone bird and, caressing it, kissed its beak before placing it back. 
The garment, despite its apparent simplicity, was still treasured by her. Each Blue moon when everyone retired for the night she would, without fail, quietly don the blue garment and sit by the window waiting for her beloved to return. But he never did. As a small consolation she would feel his presence and warm embrace as she sat while the garment basking under the moon’s rays brilliantly glistened and came to life with countless dancing stars.

She was eventually forced to marry a Prince whose kingdom’s alliance was a political necessity. In time she bore three children. Her life in that other kingdom seemed surreal as she functioned within the parameters of acceptable behavior for the wife of a Crown Prince who then became a King. 

During these years, she never wavered once from her initial promise to her true beloved and wore the blue cloak every Blue Moon.  She kept this secret well hidden from all, even her children. Her warmongering husband the King eventually met his demise during one of his campaigns. After the elaborate funeral, the widowed Queen was allowed to return to the Palace in her homeland after her son, the Crown Prince, took the reins of power.

Eventually old age claimed the dowager Queen but by then her two other children had been married off to suitable diplomatic advantage and were living elsewhere. On this night of her final Blue Moon she asked her close confident to fetch the plain blue cloak for her and help her don it. In tears the other did as she was bid and, complying with her wishes, left her Majesty alone.  With some difficulty she retrieved the ring from its hiding place where it had lain for the many years since she had married. Finally the former Princess, now a dowager Queen, placed it on her fore-finger. Going over she sat by the window to await her beloved’s return.

This time he did come. He looked the same as before, not a day older.  Her inhibition soon melted away when he reached forward and kissed her on the mouth, gently breathing his magical dragon’s breath into her parted lips.  Instantly she was transformed into her young, vigorous, beautiful self. Better than her young self though, for she was now an immortal.

“Are you ready?” He asked lovingly.
“I’ve been ready all my life.” She smiled back at him.
He reached his hand to hold hers and muttered a spell.

Instantly she was transformed into a colorful songbird. 

“I have so much to share, so much to teach you!”  He elatedly laughed.
And then, with Blue Dragon leading the way, they flew together through the open window.
The following morning, when the chief attendant entered the Dowager Queen’s quarters to awaken Her Grace, there was no trace of either Her Majesty or the blue garment.

The End.

Sunday 14 June 2015

Drogon Saves the Day

Drogon Saves the Day

Dragons in general hold a special fascination for many people and in testament to this are the many illustrations, movies and books about them. After all Dragons with their strength and mystical prowess, represent might and majesty. 

Games of Thrones is no exception, Dragons here were believed to be intrinsically tied to magic and the seasons of the world. And that is why; as the power of magic dwindled, the winters grew colder, necessitating the existence of the Ice wall to fend off the attacks of the White-walkers, Wildlings and other races that live beyond the Wall.

Different from the Eastern Dragons, more like European ones, these Dragons are scaled, reptilian creatures, with two legs and two wings. They use their wings as forelegs like those that bats do. 

The dragon’s scales are somewhat, but not entirely, impervious to flame. Nevertheless they do protect the vulnerable flesh and musculature underneath. As a Dragon ages it scales harden and thicken affording them more protection from the hottest fire and flames. 

Naturally they have sharp teeth and claws, leathery wings and long necks and tails, with spiny crests running down their backs. 

Great heat emanates from Dragon’s bodies and their breath can emerge as a hot flame which they use to cook their meat before eating. 

Dragons would grow throughout their lives, but their age or how long they live is a matter for conjecture. As hatch-lings they are the size of a cat but continued to grow to gigantic size. 

Legend had it that the oldest and largest Targaryen Dragon, known as Balerion, lived about 200 years and was believed capable to swallow a mammoth whole. Now accordingly the dragons in this story had existed only on the continents of Westros and Essos but had been extinct for over one hundred and fifty years. Until that is, Daenerys Targaryen received their eggs as wedding gift and later still managed to hatch three of tiny dragons. 

This brings me to the method of reproduction: Dragons according to Maester Aemon are “but now one and now the other, as changeable as flame”, meaning their sex was supposed to be interchangeable depending on the circumstance. Being reptilian-like creature they have no external sex organs, therefore it’s difficult to determine their gender. It’s reasonable to believe, however, that the female dragons would be the ones that laid the eggs. The last Targaryen dragon that died during the reign of King Aegon III, was referred to as female, presumably because it left behind several eggs. 

To put it succinctly; in ages past it was believed that the dragons had once populated most of the known world. Then something happened and most was gone. Some five thousand years ago Dragons were discovered by the Valyrians in the Fourteen Flames, the ring of volcanoes on the Valyrian peninsula. The Valyrians mastered the art of raising dragons and used them as weapons of war to carve out a massive empire. After the Doom of Valyria, the only dragons known to have survived were five dragons on Dragonstone. The dragons that belonged Targaryens, brought from Valyria when they went into exile. Four of the dragons brought from Valyria eventually died on Dragonstone, leaving only Balerion. However, the other dragons left eggs behind, and from these Vhagar and Meraxes were hatched. 

Since Dragons are capable of forming strong attachments to the humans who raise them and have a reasonably high level of animal intelligence, they can be trained to serve as battle mounts and receive vocal commands. 

Dragons are said to be capricious in nature. 

Dragons bend easier to their rider's will after they have been fed and their stomach is full. 

Targaryens had to train their dragons to keep them from laying waste to everything around them. They used Balerion, Vhagar, and Meraxes to conquer and forge the Seven Kingdoms. The rest, as they say, is history.

In Game of Thrones Emilia Clarke is cast as Daenerys Targaryen, the Mother of Dragons. From the three eggs, given to her as a wedding present, the audience has, with eager anticipation, followed the three Dragon’s journey from hatch-ling to the current season. 

In Season five, Episode 9, we cheered loudly when Drogon barbecues the Sons of the Harpy and saves Daenerys from a fate worse than death. Of course it helped that these former slave owners, now carrying out a terrorist campaign to reclaim the right to buy and sell human beings, are so profoundly disdained.

Below is that magnificent moment of rescue and flight: 

Enjoy these pictures also from this scene:

The End.