And it’s not just any old dragon, it’s the year of the Yang Wood Dragon. Chinese Medicine expert Katie Brindle gives her predictions

With Chinese New Year upon us next week, we’re ushering out the Year of the Rabbit and welcoming the Year of the Dragon. Although the Chinese Lunar New Year is celebrated on 10 February, the Dragon Year itself starts on 4 February.

And the energy couldn’t be more different. In 2023, the Yin Water Rabbit set the energetic tone for a time of nurturing, introspection, tolerance and social connection (as well as a little fear), as Chinese medicine expert Katie Brindle outlined for us in her Year of the Rabbit 2023 Predictions this time last year. Now, says Katie, the Yang Wood Dragon will “encourage us to tap into our leadership qualities, creativity and decisiveness. Influenced by the Wood element in Chinese medicine which symbolizes growth and adaptability, this year is about pursuing ambitions with resilience and clarity, promising new opportunities and rejuvenation.”

What on earth is a Yang Wood Dragon? Each Chinese astrological year is defined by one of 12 zodiac animals with their own personality (dragon, pig, ram, snake, horse etc - see below to find your birth year animal). And it’s also defined by its quality (either yin or yang) and its elemental energy (wood, fire, earth, metal, water). So each time an animal year comes around it is different depending on what else it is combined with. In the case of the Yang Wood Dragon that means:

Yang: dynamic, decisive action, forward momentum

Wood: resilience, encourages action and physical activity, inspiring us to pursue passions and make positive life changes

Dragon: a symbol of auspiciousness, authority and honour, embodying power, strength and wisdom, personal growth

For 2024 the powerful combination of yang, wood and dragon gives us the energy to transform, renew and reinvent, so long as, like the undulating dragon puppets that we see at Chinese New Year celebrations, we remain fluid and flexible. “The essence of the Dragon year is like an ever-changing wave,” says Katie. “This suggests that success comes from trusting intuition, exploring new possibilities and adapting to change. Flexibility is key, both as a safeguard and a stepping stone to grasping unexpected opportunities and facing challenges with poise and assurance – a time for growth, opportunity and navigating change with confidence.”

This may be the year that you try something out of your comfort zone and take calculated risks, says Katie, emboldened by Dragon energy! “Throughout the year, we are encouraged to use the Dragon's attributes to embrace change, cultivate meaningful relationships and maintain authenticity so that our charisma may shine, attracting prosperity and abundance. The Yang Wood Dragon's influence makes this year an ideal time for initiating new ventures, rooted in creativity and confidence and offers a unique opportunity to grow, innovate and transform, embodying the Dragon's spirited and forward-moving energy.”

The Yang Wood Dragon also places a significant emphasis on communication, relationships, community and environmental consciousness. It is a year that favours creativity in business, especially sustainable ventures and suggests substantial global shifts in politics and finance.

Financially, the focus is on strategic, long-term investments, with an inclination towards companies promoting nature and equality.

 In personal terms, this year promotes authenticity, emotional expression and sustainable practices in fashion and lifestyle, reflecting the themes of serenity, renewal and creativity.

Overall, the year of the Yang Wood Dragon is a transformative time for strength, vitality and growth. This year encourages embracing change with confidence and bravery, pursuing dreams with creativity and being mindful of health and emotional wellbeing. The Dragon symbolises a deep connection with the rhythm of life and nature, urging us to make wise choices and embrace opportunities for personal and professional development. 

Key to navigating this year is balancing the vibrant Yang Wood energy with inner harmony practices, such as meditation and qigong, to maintain health.

Watch Katie’s online masterclass all about what the Chinese New Year of the Dragon has in store.

What the year of the Yang Wood Dragon has in store for your Chinese zodiac sign, by Chinese medicine expert Katie Brindle

Rat: a year of prosperity and vibrant transformation

Birth years: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

In the inspirational year of the Yang Wood Dragon, 2024 promises to be a time of boundless opportunities for those born under the sign of the Rat. This year, you are encouraged to embrace change with your innate agility and enthusiasm, paving the way for growth and success in various facets of life. Prioritise balance and mindfulness for your health, engaging in practices such as meditation or qigong and maintaining a simple, seasonal and nourishing diet. Career-wise, expect significant advancements and entrepreneurial triumphs. Financially, prudent planning is key to navigating the year smoothly. Relationships will flourish, with deeper connections in existing partnerships and exciting romantic prospects for singles. Your social and family life will be enriched with joyous interactions and the strengthening of bonds. Embrace this year as a period of heightened vitality and creativity, an auspicious time for major life changes such as marriage or starting new ventures. 2024 is a year for the Rat to shine in all aspects, a journey of meaningful transformation and adventure, brimming with potential and promise.

Buffalo/Ox: A Year of Steadfast Growth and Grounded Transformation

Birth years: 1913, 1925, 1937,1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
In the year of the Yang Wood Dragon, the Buffalo is set for a potentially life-changing journey, brimming with opportunities for advancement and fulfilment. This is a year to harness your innate effort and positive mindset, making every step intentional towards achieving your goals. Health requires a balanced approach, with a focus on nutrition, gentle exercise and especially mindfulness to fully harness the potential of the year. Career-wise, the Buffalo faces a bright horizon, especially in the sectors of technology, with ambitious, proactive engagement and clear communication being key to success. Financially, wise spending and thoughtful investments, are crucial, so take advice where needed. In love, the Buffalo will find joy and harmony, with singles encountering refreshing connections and those in relationships deepening their bonds. Social life will be enriching, offering opportunities for rekindling old friendships and forming new ones, though mindful communication is advised. Inner stability comes from aligning with the innate earthy aspect of the Dragon, encouraging decisive actions and beneficial collaborations. Embrace the year's inspiration with resilience and determination, navigating changes with your inherent steadiness. Overall, 2024 promises to be a landmark year for the Buffalo, marked by personal growth, wise decisions and nurturing relationships.

Tiger - A Year of Dynamic Success and Passionate Growth

Birth years: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022

In the exhilarating year of the Yang Wood Dragon, 2024 entices the Tiger with a promise of prosperity and growth. This year demands a blend of the Tiger's natural dynamism with a strategic and patient approach. Health-wise, vigilance and a combination of conventional and alternative therapies will ensure robust wellbeing. Professionally, opportunities for recognition and advancement flourish, but proactive engagement is crucial. Financially, the year is promising, though success hinges on careful budgeting and curbing impulsiveness. In love, relationships require dedicated attention; singles have exhilarating prospects but should let connections develop naturally. Socially, the year is vibrant with events and travel, highlighting the importance of balancing social and family commitments. Cultivating inner peace through calming practices and fostering gentle, humble communication will be essential in navigating any challenges the year brings. For the Tiger, 2024 is a year of making calculated decisions, enabling growth and enriching relationships, with a combination of patience and open-mindedness leading to a fulfilling journey of success.

Rabbit: a year of balance, growth and mindful progress

Birth years: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023
The year of the Yang Wood Dragon brings the Rabbit a time of both challenge and opportunity. It is a pivotal year, calling for alertness and motivation. If navigated with a positive attitude and dedication, this year can become a journey of remarkable achievement and personal growth. Health and wellbeing are paramount; the fast-paced nature of the year demanding attention to balanced eating and gentle regular exercise. Career prospects are promising, but success requires extra effort, especially in new projects or potential career changes. Financially, prudence is crucial to avoid risks and ensure stability. Relationships hold the promise of significant milestones for partnered Rabbits and exciting encounters for singles, with clear communication being a key theme throughout the year. Social and family life is set to be lively, offering opportunities for joyous experiences and new learnings. For inner growth, the Rabbit's cautious nature and innate wisdom will be their guide, encouraging stepping out of the comfort zone to allow growth and learning. Overall, 2024 is a year for the Rabbit to embrace growth, make mindful progress and find balance, turning challenges into a rewarding and enriching journey.

Dragon: a year of empowerment and exceptional achievements

Birth years: 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Those born under the Dragon sign are poised for an extraordinary period of empowerment and exceptional achievements during this, the year of the Yang Wood Dragon. This year symbolises a profound period of change and advancement, where your determination and positive outlook will be fundamental to harnessing inspirational opportunities. Health-wise, proactive self-care and wellbeing, including proper nutrition and movement, are essential to maintain energy throughout this bustling year. Professionally, Dragons can expect a luminous path with promotions, recognition, and overall advancement, though attention to detail is crucial. Financially, the year looks promising, with strategic management and wise investments leading to flourishing finances. Relationships are set to progress positively, with committed partnerships strengthening and new, more aligned connections emerging from social networks. Social and family life will be vibrant, offering chances to strengthen bonds and form meaningful connections, balancing professional and personal life. Personal growth and mindfulness are particularly significant, especially for Dragons turning 60 – facing challenges but welcoming astonishing drive to power momentum towards achieving goals. Harnessing creativity and intentional actions will be essential in this overall lucky year. The Dragon should seize new ventures and assert their natural leadership, embodying the might and creativity of their sign. Embracing change and opportunities, while balancing work and personal life, will ride a wave of fortune and growth for a harmonious and very successful year.

Snake: a year of strategic growth and harmonious balance

Birth years: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

In the year of the Yang Wood Dragon, 2024 offers the Snake a vista rich with opportunities for success and personal growth, contingent on maintaining focus and hard work amidst potential distractions. Health and emotional wellbeing are paramount, with mindful self-care through low-impact exercises such as qigong and meditation crucial in managing a demanding schedule. Career prospects are bright, particularly for those established in their fields, although caution is advised in finance and investment roles. Financially, success lies in diligent budgeting and careful decision-making especially when it comes to significant purchases. Relationships and social connections are set to thrive, with dedicated nurturing and openness to new connections in unexpected places highlighted. Balancing social endeavours and family is key, integrating loved ones into all aspects of life. The Snake's inherent qualities are enhanced by the Wood energy of the year, preparing for a shining 2025, the coming Snake year. Overall, 2024 is a transformative period for the Snake, promising a harmonious blend of professional achievement and personal fulfilment through embracing new wisdom and maintaining a balanced approach to life.

Horse: a year of measured progress and heartfelt connections

Birth years: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

The year of the Yang Wood Dragon presents the Horse with a blend of challenges and opportunities, calling for a calm and positive approach to effectively navigate and manage difficulties as they arise. Good health is on the horizon, but maintaining mindful lifestyle habits and self-care practices are essential. Professionally, the year bodes well, though success requires methodical and diligent work, with caution advised in new ventures or career changes. Financially, thorough research and a solid saving plan are advised, especially for younger Horses, to ensure future stability. Relationships are likely to deepen, if the Horse is able to reflect on long-term desires and make necessary adjustments. Social and family life will be enriching, offering much joy but the Horse should also be prepared to seek help when needed. Personal growth is enhanced by the Horse's Fire nature, encouraging them to channel energy into friendly and compassionate interactions. Heartfelt communication will be a strength. For the Horse, 2024 is a year of personal breakthroughs and professional advancements and harnessing the Wood Dragon's vigour for career growth and seeking safe investment opportunities whilst remaining grounded through a supportive social circle, will lead to a successful and fulfilling year. Taking things at a measured pace, focusing on care and attention and relying on friends and family will pave the way for success.

Goat/Ram: a year of creative harmony and steady advancements

Birth years: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

In the year of the Yang Wood Dragon, the Goat faces a prosperous and exciting period, with significant career and financial advancements on the horizon. Embracing the Dragon's guidance is key to tapping into this potential. Health and lifestyle require attention, with a focus on balancing nutritious choices against convenience foods to maintain wellbeing. Professionally, many Goats will find themselves in senior roles or taking on more responsibilities, with recognition and reward likely for their efforts. Financially, the year shines bright, offering increased income opportunities, although prudent planning and careful spending remain essential. Relationships, both romantic and social, are set for smooth sailing with connections deepening, and single Goats finding new partners. The Goat's social and family life will be lively, an ideal time for rekindling friendships and welcoming renewed understanding. Personal growth calls for harnessing the Goat's natural stability and charm, being mindful of stubborn tendencies and staying adaptable through grounding self-care practices. The latter part of the year promises rewards for endurance and steadfastness. In summary, 2024 for the Goat is a year of creativity, harmony and significant advancement, where nurturing relationships, embracing energetic influences and maintaining a balanced approach to life and finances will lead to an enjoyable and successful year.

Monkey: a year of dynamic achievements and harmonious connections

Birth years: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

The Yang Wood Dragon energies of 2024 hold great promise for the Monkey, with potential for significant successes in career, finances and relationships, contingent upon dedicated effort and energy. Health-wise, no major concerns are anticipated, although a mindful approach to preventative self-care and wellbeing is essential for physical and emotional strength during this dynamic year. Career opportunities are exceptionally promising, with progress and advancement likely for those who proactively dedicate time and energy to their work. Financial caution is advised, with shrewd planning and saving recommended to avoid potential financial loss. Relationships are expected to be a highlight, where successfully resolving underlying issues starred. Social and family life should bring joy and a sense of connection, with opportunities to reconnect with old friends and loved ones. Personal growth involves adopting a leadership role whilst maintaining humility and patience and opportunities to share wisdom will arise, maximising luck. For the Monkey, 2024 is a year to showcase intelligence and adaptability, with natural curiosity leading to unexpected ventures and likely career advancement. Strengthening relationships through shared experiences and mutual understanding, embracing changes for personal growth and hard work will yield a profound sense of achievement, setting the stage for continued success in the following year.

Rooster: a year of rewarding opportunities and vibrant connections

Birth years: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

The Yang Wood Dragon year promises to be an eventful and successful period for the Rooster, with luck favouring most of the year. Capitalising on this positivity requires genuine effort towards goals, decisiveness and confidence, leveraging the Rooster's natural passion and drive. Health, self-care, and emotional wellbeing are crucial, necessitating rest, balanced diet and gentle activities such as qigong and meditation to manage stress and maintain clarity. Career-wise, the Rooster can expect new opportunities and advancements, with co-worker support available for those who seek it. Open communication and proactivity are pivotal to career growth. Financially, the year looks positive, with wise utilisation of funds for purchases and investments, although caution and thorough research are advised for any significant expenditures. Relationships will be a highlight, with potential major steps such as moving in together, marriage, or finding a new partner especially through social networking. Social and family life will flourish, offering joyous interactions and mutual support. The Rooster's hard work from the previous year will pay off, with potential managerial promotions and the importance of mindful communication. Flexibility and charm will help navigate the year's surprises. Overall, 2024 is a harmonious blend of personal and professional growth, with the Rooster’s meticulous nature aligning well with the Wood Dragon's energy.

Dog: a year of mindful resilience and personal growth

Birth years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

For the Dog, the year of the Yang Wood Dragon, although daunting, offers opportunity for growth and success through proactive measures and awareness. Health requires prioritising self-care and wellbeing, including mindful diet, movement and rest, with alternative therapies beneficial for pre-existing conditions. Work and career will feel intense but focusing, managing stress and effective communication can lead to advancements and successful career changes. Financial caution is necessary, balancing investments with risks. Relationships offer chances for new or rekindled connections, requiring a stress-free environment and amicable conflict resolution. Social and family life hinges on honest communication, effective budgeting and nurturing home environments. The year challenges the Dog to release old patterns, embrace change and manage spontaneous energy through grounding exercises. It is a time for reflection, growth and inner balance, with patience and resilience key. Maintaining a low profile and avoiding conflicts will ensure a harmonious journey. In summary, 2024 has the potential to be a transformative year for the Dog, demanding mindfulness, resilience and proactive engagement across all life areas, where embracing thoughtful actions and maintaining healthy practices will lead to successful navigation, balance and growth amidst challenges.

Pig: a year of nurturing, resilience and embracing opportunities

Birth years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

For the Pig, the year of the Yang Wood Dragon brings a blend of potential obstacles and opportunities to navigate. Prioritising health through a balanced diet, mindful gentle exercise, meditation and adequate rest and sleep is essential, especially for those with sedentary lifestyles. Professionally, it is a prosperous year, although careful attention to the finer detail in contracts and ensuring safety precautions is advised. Financial prospects look promising with wise money management and cautious financial commitments encouraged. Relationships flourish, with a chance for meaningful connections to be established and social and family life is filled with joy and engagement. Personal development focuses on maturity and endurance, embracing leadership and helping others. In summary, the Pig can have a rewarding year, guided by the Yang Wood Dragon, by prioritising health, being cautious in various aspects of life, valuing relationships and embracing personal growth and joyful experiences.

Find out more about your personal Chinese zodiac with a Ba-Zi (zodiac) reading with Katie Brindle