Year Of The Dragon 2024: What It Has In Store For Every Zodiac

Lifestyle Asia asks renowned feng shui expert Patrick Fernandez to provide an insightful look into 2024, including what every zodiac sign can expect this Year of the Dragon. 

The Lunar New Year marks a fresh beginning for those who celebrate it, and many East Asian cultures look to the Chinese zodiac to help them prepare for what’s in store. Zodiac signs are part of an ancient belief system, one that dates back to thousands of years. 

Though some may find it surprising, many people still apply this mystic, intangible system in their daily lives. From curious individuals to prominent companies in banking and real estate, many believe in the wisdom of the stars, seeking the help of feng shui experts like Patrick Lim Fernandez to understand what each year has in store for them. 

A Chinese zodiac wheel with carvings of its 12 animal signs
A Chinese zodiac wheel with carvings of its 12 animal signs/Photo by Jakub Halun via Wikimedia Commons

The Feng Shui Expert

Though he pursued a career in business, Fernandez has been exposed to the world of zodiac signs since he was a young boy due to his family’s long-running feng shui business, the Yin & Yang Shop of Harmony. Their establishment has been around for around 27 years, having started in 1997 at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel before moving to its current location in the New World Makati Hotel. 

Fernandez has spent most of his life learning the ropes from his mother and late sister, and in later years, he eventually dedicated his time to running the family’s shop, incorporating his business acumen and mathematical skills into his daily work. His job consists of several services, including holding traditional ceremonies, media events, and educational talks on feng shui, though it’s client consultations that’ve become his bread and butter. Indeed, Fernandez has advised many individuals in different areas of life like their careers, love lives, financial situation, and health; and now, the seasoned geomancer is offering some insightful advice for readers of Lifestyle Asia this 2024. 

READ ALSO: Embracing Tradition: Chinese New Year’s Gift-Giving Rituals You Should Know

Origins of the Zodiac

The Chinese zodiac is so ancient that it’s often hard to separate the system from the myths it originated from, making them inextricably linked. Though to put it simply, this zodiac is a classification scheme that assigns a particular animal to a person depending on the details of their birth, like the year they were born. According to Fernandez, the most popular legend on the origins of this tradition—and the sequence of the animal signs—is the one involving the Jade Emperor, the ruler of heaven and earth in Chinese belief. 

An ink on silk painting of the Jade Emperor and Heavenly Kings
An ink on silk painting of the Jade Emperor and Heavenly Kings/Photo via Wikimedia Commons

The Emperor wanted to create a proper system for telling the time, and so he held a race involving 12 animals, stating that the order in which they arrive at the finish line will determine their order in his system. Hence, the zodiac came to creation, with the order of first to last being: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. 

A Complex System

Certain years are associated with a particular animal, for example, those born in 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, and so on, with an interval of 12 years for every sign. Of course, there’s a lot more to it: after all, it’s why experts like Fernandez play an important role in keeping the system alive and thriving. 

Apparently, signs are also assigned depending on a person’s month, date, and yes, even time of birth. Then one must factor in the element connected to their birth chart, as well as other aspects of Chinese astrology. As one can imagine, this leads to many unique combinations for every person.

“There are actually 47 billion combinations for someone’s birth chart,” Fernandez tells Lifestyle Asia. So it’s easy to see how Fernandez’s background in analyzing hard data and crunching numbers is indispensable in his feng shui profession. But to keep things simple, because the more detailed readings are best reserved for custom consultations, Fernandez has provided concise and helpful overviews of the year ahead based on a person’s birth year, or just the 12 zodiac signs. 

The Year of the Dragon 2024

Before delving into the 12 zodiac signs in detail, Fernandez discusses what most people can expect from the Year of the Dragon. There are two things that everyone can learn from the mystical and powerful beast, the only mythical creature in the entire zodiac and a symbol of the Chinese emperors for centuries. 

“Nine Dragons” (1997) by Chen Rong
“Nine Dragons” (1997) by Chen Rong/Photo via Wikimedia Commons

These takeaways have something to do with how the dragon in the Chinese zodiac legend could’ve easily won the Jade Emperor’s race, since it has the power to simply glide and fly through the skies. “However, it saw that there was a village in need,” Fernandez explained. “In some stories it was going through a drought, in others it was fire.”

He elaborated: “Mythologically, the dragon is tied to the river or water, so the dragon got water from the sky and it helped the village, making sure it was okay. So only when the village was safe did the dragon continue the race, and that’s why it came in fifth.” 

Maximize Talents, Practice Generosity 

What does this teach those looking to imbibe the mythical beast this year? According to Fernandez, it’s a reminder to firstly maximize one’s strengths or the areas in which they’re skilled at, and secondly, to practice empathy for others while one excels in their chosen path. 

“Be benevolent, be generous, because taking our cue from the dragon, you actually feel more rewarded if you’re able to help others, and not just keep all your talents and strengths to yourself,” Fernandez stated. 

Growth and Compromise

2024 is also what’s called a “Yang Wood Year,” which highlights the importance of growth. To Fernandez, this is a pertinent call in a post-pandemic world. “After the pandemic, we’re now starting to emerge and get back into the groove of things, so now would be a good time to go with this energy of growth: be it personal growth, growth for your business, for your career, etcetera,” he explained. 

However, a more negative aspect of Yang Wood is an unwillingness to compromise, Fernandez added. As such, it’s helpful to note that the year may make it more difficult for people to find common ground, but it’s nothing one can’t overcome. 

What Every Sign Can Expect

Finally, we’ve arrived at what each Chinese zodiac sign can expect in the coming year, as Fernandez highlights the most significant things certain signs should consider in 2024. 


Rat

Years: 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

Those born in the year of the Rat have an opportunity to shine in leadership roles this year, as others will likely seek guidance or advice from them. As such, those with the Rat zodiac sign should spend time finding a leadership style that suits them best—it’s something that will not only benefit them in the present, but also for years to come. 

The Rat
The Rat/Photo from Mixkit

However, Rat signs should be wary of potential misunderstandings or ambiguities in their interpersonal relationships. Luckily, the solution to this is quite simple. “One tip there is just to over-communicate,” Fernandez stated. “If you’re wondering whether you should communicate less or more, this is the year for more.” 

Another thing to watch out for is the injury star, according to Fernandez. This means that Rat signs should avoid distractions or anything that could possibly lead to smaller injuries and accidents. Fernandez shared that the best way to prevent these things from happening is to preempt them physically and symbolically through either a blood test or blood donation shortly after the Lunar New Year celebration, which prevents “further bloodshed.”


Ox: 

Years: 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

The Ox is perhaps the luckiest sign among the 12 when it comes to money this year, according to Fernandez. As such, he recommends Ox signs to invest, as it’s a good time to be “a little bit bolder” and to manage their risks and rewards. It’s also an ideal time for them to diversify their income streams, setting up multiple streams in case of emergencies and for added financial security. 

The Ox
The Ox/Photo from Mixkit

Ox signs who love seeing the world are in luck, as this 2024 is also the perfect time to travel. For this, Fernandez recommends two types of travel: shorter trips just to clear one’s mind for a bit, and longer ones that last for days or weeks where one can have more space to deeply reassess and reflect on their life. 

Trips where one has to cross a body of water are particularly good (and convenient considering the Philippines is an archipelago). For example, Ox signs can travel to their favorite beaches by plane or perhaps go on a scenic boat ride. 


Tiger

Years: 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Those born in the year of the Tiger will also experience plenty of luck when it comes to finance, more specifically financial milestones. So now would be a good time for these signs to plan their goals and set out to achieve them, both in terms of investment and even purchasing new things. 

The Tiger
The Tiger/Photo from Mixkit 

2024 also presents great opportunities for Tiger signs to broaden their perspectives, according to Fernandez. “If you’re given the choice to spend on a new belonging or a new experience, go for the new experiences,” he advised. “This could be spending for a new hobby, traveling to a new place, meeting new people, and so on.” 

However, while they’re out and about gaining new perspectives, Tiger signs should watch out for heightened sensitivity, Fernandez shared. Hence, those born under this sign must try to practice mindfulness to control any agitated feelings, find their center, and prevent themselves from acting out.


Rabbit

Years: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023

This year opens up plenty of opportunities for Rabbit signs to excel in what they choose to do or pursue their goals. “Visualize what success looks like,” Fernandez states. “If you know the outcome you want, vividly imagine how that’s going to feel and work towards it.” 

The Rabbit
The Rabbit/Photo from Mixkit

Rabbit signs may need to be mindful of making small matters bigger than they actually are. They must learn to choose their battles, letting go of the things that they don’t actually want to pursue and exerting their efforts into endeavors that are worthwhile to them. Health may also pose a small concern for those born in the year of the Rabbit, so these signs should do what they can to ensure they eat right, sleep well, manage stress, and the like. 


Dragon

Years: 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024

It’s the Dragon’s year, which means those born with this sign will certainly find the spotlight on them. 2024 will be the best time for Dragon signs to showcase their talents and capabilities. “Show the world what you’re made of and how you can help,” Fernandez explains. 

The Dragon
The Dragon/Photo from Mixkit

This year’s “Elegant Seal Star” will provide Dragon signs with plenty of creative power, which means they’ll have the capability to come up with good, innovative ideas, whether they’re for existing problems or new possibilities. Of course, community plays a big role this year, which means that Dragon signs may find this creative period even more rewarding when they engage with others in their field or experts. 

Though the year is looking to be an intensely productive one for Dragon signs, Fernandez states that they should still be cautious about overexerting themselves amid the frenzied excitement that often occurs when one is at the height of their powers. “Just try to strive for balance in everything you’re doing, like your health, relationships, career, and the like,” Fernandez advises. 


Snake

Years: 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025

Snakes are also in for a more productive year, especially when they work during the day, rather than the evening. Meanwhile, the “Peach Blossom Star” highlights the significance of different relationships in the lives of Snake signs this year, including their professional and personal ones. 

The Snake
The Snake/Photo from Mixkit

Fernandez’s main piece of advice is for Snake signs to familiarize themselves with the various love languages in their relationships; they should try to understand and remember the needs of those around them, so they can provide the right things, actions, or words. For personal relationships, these could be the languages of gift giving or quality time. In professional relationships, this may be figuring out what clients or supervisors require when one deals with them. 

2024 is also a great year for Snake signs to learn new things and absorb information thanks to the “Academic Star.” So endeavors like taking up a master’s degree or honing a certain skill are likely to yield high returns and fantastic results. 


Horse

Years: 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026

Those born under the sign of the Horse will find the space to overcome certain difficult obstacles they’ve been grappling with, and ultimately find great relief in doing so. Fernandez shared that this relief will likely come from the people who help Horse signs. When this happens, those born in the year of the Horse should always remember to express their appreciation, since those who help them give out good qi (life energy), so it’s best to return that same qi and release it onto the world. 

The Horse
The Horse/Photo from Mixkit

“If you can repay them in whatever form is needed, that’s also giving back good qi,” Fernandez explains. “It creates this good cycle of life energy.” Though Horse signs will likely experience the relief they seek this year, they should also practice resiliency and patience. They may find themselves feeling frustrated a lot—even by things that don’t normally perturb them. There may be certain obstacles they’ll still need to overcome, which is why perseverance is integral, as having a defeatist attitude will not be of much help. 


Goat

Years: 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027

There’s a lot of Yin energy for the Goat signs this year, which means a lot of the best things and help they’ll receive will come from the females in their life. These could be a mother or sister figure, or even a female friend or colleague. For Goat signs in business, this may even refer to a female business partner or clients. 

The Goat
The Goat/Photo from Mixkit

2024 is also the year for new, beneficial connections; as such, Goat signs are likely to thrive if they seek new people to bolster their network. However, they should still be careful when interacting with others, as they may find themselves involved in problems they have nothing to do with. Should there be tensions between other parties, it’s best for Goat signs to pick which issues they should tackle—and which they should stay out of. 

“If it’s not your battle to fight, just be neutral,” Fernandez advises. “Help in whatever way you can, but don’t voluntarily try to put yourself in that situation.”


Monkey

Years: 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028

Monkey signs have a “Three Achievement” star this year, so much like Rabbit signs, they’ll be able to do whatever they aspire to. What people born under the Monkey should focus on is self-improvement, which may involve assessing their strengths, weaknesses, and findings as they go about achieving their goals. 

The Monkey
The Monkey/Photo from Mixkit

According to Fernandez, it may be best for Monkey signs to focus on long-term goals, rather than short ones. In other words, seeing the bigger picture will likely lead to a more fruitful year for these signs. Legal issues may arise for Monkey signs though, which means they should try to exercise caution in that area. For those working in any kind of company, this can also apply to issues involving internal policies or rules. 

Fernandez advises Monkey signs to exercise caution when dealing with authority figures so as not to anger them, and to carefully review legal documents like contracts, which will be beneficial in the long run.  


Rooster 

Years: 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029

Roosters are in for a good year from a career and business perspective, according to Fernandez. “The Rooster is actually the friend of the Dragon,” he elaborated. Since Rooster signs are likely going to be busy this 2024, it’s best for them to prioritize their tasks and goals. 

The Rooster
The Rooster/Photo from Mixkit

In this case, Fernandez recommended the Japanese concept of ikigai as a framework. It centers around finding joy in life by doing things that fulfill these requirements: it’s something enjoyable, something one is skilled at, it’s good for the world, and it’s lucrative. “If what you’re doing checks all these boxes, that’s it, just keep doing that for the rest of your life,” Fernandez said. In other words, it’s something that Rooster signs can classify as worth pursuing and prioritizing, especially this year. 

Roosters should also seek mentor figures when trying to achieve their objectives. “Talk to people who have been there and done that, because from that regard, they’ll be able to help guide you and give you this knowledge they’ve garnered through experience,” Fernandez said. 

When it comes to relationships, however, Fernandez warns of an “Illusory Romance Star” for Rooster signs. As the name suggests, there may be relationships (either existing or upcoming) with an illusory or contrived element to them. Things may not always be as they seem, which is why Rooster signs should try to see through the true nature of people’s intentions. 


Dog

Years: 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030

The Dog is what Fernandez referred to as the “conflict animal” of the Dragon, something each sign has. As one might guess, it means that the two signs tend to clash, so this year does pose a few challenges for those who possess the sign of the loyal canine. 

The Dog
The Dog/Photo from Mixkit

Fernandez advised Dog signs to strengthen their qi or life energy during their clash year through good or selfless deeds, like engaging in charity work. He also said that Dog signs should be careful with their personal finances, as they could take a hit from large expenditures. To prevent this, it may be best to focus on investments, rather than purchasing new things. This preempts the money drain in both a real and symbolic way that benefits. 

It’s not all too bad for the Dog signs this year though, as a “Commander Star” indicates that they’ll have good fortune working with and learning from people from all walks of life. 


Pig

Years: 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031

Last, but not the least, is the sign of the Pig. Those born in the year of the Pig can expect a mighty year with the “Emperor Star,” which is great for “expansion” in all kinds of fields, since the emperor rules all. 

The Pig
The Pig/Photo from Mixkit

“If you’re in business or working for a corporation, you can expand your scope,” Fernandez explained, “And if you’re a student, you can actually learn more things than just your major.” Meanwhile, the “Red Chamber Star” will help Pig signs thrive in both their professional and personal relationships. As such, those with this zodiac sign should make it a goal to meet new people this year to expand their connections, much like Goat signs. 

Unfortunately, the “Mischief Star” may cause losses—both big and small—for Pig signs, so they should always make sure to secure their personal belongings, especially when they travel. 


The Chinese Zodiac: A Tool and A Gift 

Perhaps the most fascinating aspect about the Chinese zodiac is its ability to not only stand the test of time, but also adapt to modern needs and lives. Thousands of years have passed, and despite the existence of advanced technology and sciences, many individuals and industry leaders still respect the ancient tradition. It’s proof that the old and new can co-exist and even help each other grow in an ever-changing world. 

Of course, feng shui and the Chinese zodiac will always have their fair share of skeptics. There are people who may call them out for lacking any rationality, and even stripping individuals of their autonomy by promoting a fatalistic outlook on life. Yet at the end of the day, whether one is a strong believer of the tradition, a skeptic, or simply a curious mind, the Chinese zodiac is meant to be a tool—a boon that someone can either ignore or maximize. 

“No person alive, maybe save for Jesus Christ, can really predict what’s going to happen with 100 percent accuracy. That just doesn’t exist,” Fernandez intimates with a laugh. He compares the more cyclical nature of Eastern time with the linear progression of time in Western cultures.

“The closest analogy I have for this is like telling the weather. We know it’s going to be hotter in the summer rather than winter, and so on. If you know how to read these patterns, you’ll know what’s going to happen,” Fernandez continues. 

Freedom to Choose Fortune

“At the end of the day, it’s all about probabilities. It’s your choice if you want to go with it, or seek another path. The nice thing is, you’re still an agent of free will,” Fernandez stated.

As for luck, it’s more than just the energies that surround a person, he shared. In the same vein as “Genius is one percent inspiration and 99 percent perspiration,” the potential fortune of a person can only ever come to fruition if they perform the actions necessary for it to become a reality. 

“That’s what luck is: it’s energy and effort,” Fernandez ended. This year’s Chinese zodiac readings are a call for us to seize the opportunities that await: the question now is, will we answer it? 

Banner photo from Mixkit.

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