The interaction between heavenly stems and earthly branches is used in the ancient system of forecasting to predict macrocosmic influences and their impact on weather patterns and human health in a particular year.
The new energetic year of Wood Dragon (甲辰, Jia Chen) starts on 4th February 2024. This date also marks the beginning of Li Chun (beginning of Spring) - the first of the 24 solar terms and also a spring festival. This is the date which determines when the new year’s energies will start influencing the weather and the human health in 2024.
As you may know Chinese New Year is celebrated on 10th January in 2024 according to Lunar calendar. This is different from the Li Chun date of 4th February, which is calculated using position of the Sun rather than the Moon. Before looking closer at the stems and branches, it must be noted that 2024 is a “double blind” year, which is considered extremely inauspicious. Blind year is the one which starts after Li Chun festival and double blind is the one which ends before the next year’s spring festival and 2024 is exactly like that: it finishes on 29th January 2025, which is before the Li Chun festival date.
So what does the year of Wood Dragon bring us in terms of weather patterns and human health?
The year of Wood Dragon is a Yang year, which means that the energy manifestation is likely to be that of excess. Dragon years bring cold and damp, so expect abnormally cold weather in the first half of the year (until the end of July / early August) and rain and floods in the second half.
The cold weather in the first half of the year will affect human health by manifesting dry retching, sadness, sneezes, uncontrollable yawning, restlessness, forgetfulness and, in extreme cases, angina. The second half of the year will bring rain and humidity and people are likely to have conditions of oedema, stomach fullness, numbness, stiffness and abscess lesions. For cold and damp conditions, from Chinese medicine perspective, the treatments should utilise bitter and warming herbs to dry damp and dispel cold.
This is a general outlook for the year concerning weather patterns and prevailing health issues, that are likely to be noticed by doctors. Your personal forecast would depend on your own strengths and weaknesses and elemental balance - get in touch if you would like to know more.