Lunar years don’t line up neatly with our Gregorian calendar, but it will be the Year of the Dragon from this weekend until sometime between late January and late February in 2025, with the exact date determined by the timing of the second new moon after the next winter solstice.
The dragon is my sign: this Year of the Dragon will be the seventh I’ve seen, counting my kick-off in 1952. The underlying mythology of zodiacs does not speak to me, but a 12-year cycle does offer a different template for thinking about my life in a longer chunk of time than a season or a year. My default for that long view has always been to go by decades (perhaps a side-effect of Canada having gone metric just before the start of my third dragon cycle).
Ah, I remember how much energy I had
in my twenties.
Or was it my thirties?
Clearly, my seventies will be the “Or-was-it?” decade.
Zodiac cycles don’t offer me as neat a way to reference them as my decades do, likely because I have never felt the need to remember things according to which of my six zodiac cycles I was in at the time. Nonetheless, as the dragon comes around again it reminds me of the grand sweep of life’s cycles, overlapping though they may have been, like my years of schooling which were smeared across my years of child-raising in the peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwich that was my twenties. Or was it my thirties?
Anyway, in the general messiness of life, almost any familiar pattern can be comforting, anchoring me to what has been and inviting me to what may yet be.