The symbolism of the Panda and the Dragon define the conflict in Hong Kong and China.
Here is insight into the symbolic meanings of both and the lessons to be learned by both the protestors and the Chinese Government as it confronts its shadow. Moreover, there are other agent provocateurs who stir protest and civil disobedience as another aspect of the larger trade war. However, when one looks from multiple levels it is standoff between the desire for democracy (freedom) and totalitarian (control) which is the larger dynamic in play as part of global domination. The engagement is about finding real power. The same situation applied with the British and the Indian people during the time of Gandhi (and other times) where one has to turn inward to find power. This is the Yin/Yang – Masculine/Feminine realigning or what I term ‘recalibration’ of a new earth.
Panda Spirit Animal may be a harbinger of a coming time of liberating abundance. However, remember the importance of pacing. Don’t squander the prosperity all on “wants” – think of needs!
The sweet-spirited Panda looks like a teddy bear, but that doesn’t mean its spiritual aptitudes are all fuzzy and soft. In fact, Panda has a single-minded strength that comes from keeping four paws firmly planted in terra-firma.
Panda Bear energy teaches seekers about the importance of personal territory. Everyone needs a safe haven – a place and space that’s wholly safe and comfortable. The key to keeping that haven is maintaining our spiritual, physical and emotional balance holistically.
Eastern cultures regard Panda as a symbol of peace and good fortune. When Panda appears, you may find your whole outlook on life becoming brighter. The Panda spirit often works on the heart chakra so that you can love more fully, including yourself.
Panda’s mantra could well boil down to: “Your feelings matter. Don’t dismiss them.”
In nature Panda uses its natural awareness to remain tuned into its surrounding. It does not like chaos, so when you work with Panda energy you also have to find that calm center. Being aware of the vibrations around you is different than surrendering to them.
When people come into your space and cause disturbance, Panda counsels: clear that garbage and reclaim your sacred terrain. Those guests that overstay their welcome impact your aura and you have the right to stand your ground. Bear in mind that your needs are important. You must continue to nurture your soul with the same gentle love and support you offer to others.
The dragon Totem:
Among animal spirit guides Dragon is arguably the most ancient and imposing. In the Far East, the Dragon symbolism and meaning is all about the authority of the Emperor (who for a long time in history was the designated “dreamer” for the entire Country). In this setting and many others, Dragon rules the elements and can take whatever form he wishes. Metaphysically, Dragon’s shape-shifting abilities equate to a Shaman’s mastery over the Elements, power to transform into various Animals, and the ability to enter Dreamtime.
In the art of Feng Shui, Dragon represents fortune, authority, growth, luck and development. In Europe these formidable Beings symbolize the ability to rise over circumstance and see things clearly.
Dragon symbolism and meaning also encompasses the primordial natural forces on all planes of existence, longevity and the most earliest of magicks some of which have been lost to time. The never ending battles between knights and Dragons reflect the inner struggle of human kind to come to terms with the Spiritual or Ethereal nature.
There’s a sense of mystery tied to Dragons, which can be the Greater mysteries too. Consider the Loch Ness Monster is, in theory, a water Dragon and protector of the lochs. Local stories also tell of a great air Dragon that lives beneath the Hebrides and comes out on sacred days to survey the standing stones throughout the region. Those who see this creature are considered somehow “Dragon kin.” In this respect Dragon energy connects with that of healing and power stones, as well as the Ancestor realm.
Dragon Spirit Animal
Dragon Spirit is drawn to people of intellect, dignity, contagious enthusiasm and authority. Dragons guide such individuals toward brilliance and, indeed, enlightenment. In this setting your Dragon Spirit Animal teaches you to roar – finding your voice, being heard and truly understood.
Dragon is a rare and powerful Spirit Animal, and you may find yourself quite intimidated by this creature upon initial introductions. There is no question that Dragon is worthy of your respect and honor, but She comes to you with good cause. Figuring out that purpose, however, can prove difficult. Dragon Spirits do not give up secrets easily – it’s part of the challenge. The greater the effort the greater the rewards.
The type of Dragon spirit that you encounter may give you a clue:
- Fire Dragons – bring you lessons of self-mastery, creativity, mental keenness, alchemical transformation and leadership.
- Water Dragons – focus on what drives the ship of your life – be ready to put down unhealthy patterns and sail toward your fate.
- Earth Dragons – stabilizes and provides the key for sustaining your needs.
- Air Dragons – wrap you safely in his/her grasp and flies high. From here you gain greater perspectives personally and globally, untroubled by the winds of change.
- In Asian cultures – wood and metal are included as elements.
- In modern gaming – “elements” such as ice, lightening, and speed are coined ‘elements’ and ascribed as ‘types’ to Dragons.
As in the legends of St. George and St. Margaret of Antioch (both Dragon slayers), Dragons represent the Devil. Spirit Animals always appear with your highest and best good in mind. Sometimes, that highest and best good can mean that you must face and ‘slay’ the Dragon inside yourself (addiction in any form, violence or rage issues, confidence and self-worth challenges, etc.). Or, conversely, the Dragon Spirit Animal may come when it’s time to face and ‘slay’ a ‘Devil’ who is doing harm to you and/or your loved ones, community, hearth and home, pets, etc.
I felt inspiration around Lao Tzu as the Chinese are in a space of hesitation and seeking for answers. They will negotiate a new union which will be different as this union is critical but they must look into the book of changes to determine a positive outcome. I felt to look at the I Ching with this question in mind:
What is china to learn in Hong Kong?
Your reading resulted in the following hexagrams:
Hexagram 8, Seeking Union
Where do you belong?
Is this a good fit?
Do you choose to join?
‘Seeking union, good fortune.
At the origin of oracle consultation,
From the source, ever-flowing constancy.
Not at rest, coming on all sides.
For the latecomer, pitfall.’
To seek union is to search for connection and belonging, discovering how it all fits together and creating a new world out of relationships.
It begins where divination begins: at your very source. Ask yourself why it was important to ask this question; get to know where you’re coming from. When you find the source, you can flow perpetually out from there towards the right choices and connections. Such self- examination is not a mistake; it’s the best way to avoid mistakes. It gives you and your relationships the authenticity of water, which flows together on the earth without changing its nature.
Seeking Union is natural, but not without stress. Singleness of purpose attracts restlessness (from within and without); demands are made on you from all directions at once. Not all the people or all the feelings that appear will be helpful. Yu the Great conquered the Chinese floods through a lifetime of hard toil. When his work was complete and the land was safe, he summoned the lords and spirits to a meeting to found the new world. One of them, Fang Feng, came late; Yu had him executed. To re-create a world of relationships, like Yu, is good fortune. To hesitate and come late, like Fang, is not. The decisive leader has to eliminate the non-committal spirit, the one who procrastinates and isn’t quite sure whether to believe in this new union.
‘Above earth is the stream: Seeking Union.
The ancient kings founded countless cities for relationship with all the feudal lords.’
Seeking Union follows from Hexagram 7, the Army:
‘Crowds naturally have occasion to Seek Union.’
‘A demonstration of seeking union:
The king uses three beaters,
Lets the game in front go.
The city people are not coerced.
Hexagram 2, Earth
How are you being guided?
How can you lend your strength?
From the source, creating success.
The constancy of a mare bears fruit.
A noble one has a direction to go.
At first, confusion. Later, gains a master.
Fruitful in the southwest, gaining partners.
In the northeast, losing partners.
Peaceful constancy brings good fortune.’
Earth is first described in the same words as the Creative Force of Hexagram 1 because they are partners in the flow of creation. Creation unfolds from the original vital energy, creating success with an ongoing exchange between spirit and daily work, flowing through to fruition – in Earth, through the constancy of a mare.
The mare is strong, tireless and incomparably fast, and she is acutely sensitive to the subtlest cues. When you have a mare’s constancy, you will be steadily loyal to the truth, and always alert and responsive to guidance.
The noble one has a direction to go: she is purposeful, she has a destination in mind, but this doesn’t mean she has her route to it already mapped out. And so at first there is confusion: you set out like a pioneer, open to all the possibilities, and find them as many as scattered rice-grains. But later, since you have set yourself in motion, you can receive guidance – you ‘gain a master’.
A master is someone who lights the way. You gain someone or something to be loyal to, where you can find fulfilment in service. Once you have this guiding principle (which may or may not be a person), you begin to follow signs as fluently as the mare.
The Zhou people sought out allies in the southwest before venturing into the northeast to face the Shang. There is a balance to be found between joining with like-minded people and following your own calling alone – but gaining allies comes first. Perhaps your individual sense of purpose emerges more strongly when you’ve learned to work responsively with others, like the mare running with the herd.
And when you can spread your senses out to roam southwest and northeast without limit, you will be peacefully at home in the whole earth.
‘Power of the land: Earth.
A noble one, with generous character, carries all the beings.’
Violence is not The Way. Withdrawal of consent is the gauntlet. The people are learning self determination and self reliance.
Peaceful Union is the olive branch awaiting a noble leader with wisdom.
A Inquiry into the clashes is The Way forward as both must resolve and learn from the conflict. This is how a real union is created. May the Panda and the Dragon unite to recognise union is expansion of infinite possibilities.
This summer’s heat in the city has been unbearable. Its usual subtropical warmth has been further inflamed by tear gas and Molotov cocktails, igniting the Hong Kong air into an inferno that many have no idea how to put out.
September heralds the start of a new season, and with it comes a wave of non-cooperation movements. University students, secondary students, and Hongkongers from all walks of life went on a citywide strike on September 2 and 3. On this day, class boycott activities took place in about 200 secondary schools, according to pro-democracy party Demosisto. More were organised as the week rolled on. Some protesters are also not paying their fares when taking the MTR.
Last Monday, about 4,000 secondary students stood in torrential rain for a class boycott rally at Edinburgh Place in Central. Later that same day, 30,000 people – mostly university and secondary students – attended a school strike assembly at Chinese University.
Representatives from the labour sector also organised a mass gathering at Tamar Park in Admiralty as part of the citywide strike last Monday and Tuesday. Organisers said 40,000 people showed up.
The idea of not cooperating with the government in the hopes of bringing forth change in society is by no means new, and can be dated back to the mid-19th century and American philosopher Henry David Thoreau.
In his essay titled “Resistance to Civil Government”, also known as “Civil Disobedience”, he explained why it was necessary to obey one’s conscience over an unjust law. There, he argued for non-violent means to protest against a government’s actions.
In defiance of the Mexican-American war (1846-1848) and the expansion of slavery in America’s southwest, Thoreau had stopped paying his taxes in 1842 and was later arrested in 1846.
“If 1,000 men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood,” he argued in his essay. “This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution, if any such is possible.”
About 60 years later, Mahatma Gandhi read Thoreau’s essay while he was in South Africa. Later, he acknowledged its influence on his thinking about how to help achieve Indian independence.
After declaring that British rule over India had survived only because of the cooperation of the country’s people, Gandhi staged a series of non-cooperation movements, which included boycotting British goods, burning British items of clothing, and shunning British institutions and government employment.
It was a comprehensive campaign that aimed to cripple British power. The ground rules that Gandhi laid out, however, were to not injure or kill anyone, not even the British people. Even when the opposition used violence, he was adamant that Indians should only express their discontent with peace.
Gandhi was arrested and imprisoned for repeatedly defying the law. One example is when he refused to pay the British salt tax, which was a tax based on a British monopoly on salt production. Despite the violation being regarded as a criminal offence, Gandhi called this form of non-violence satyagraha, meaning “truth-force” or “love-force”.
His attitude later lent strength to the American civil rights movement, as shown when Martin Luther King Jr spoke of Gandhi as the guiding light of their technique of social change.
King was one of the leaders of the famous Montgomery bus boycott (1955-1956). African Americans, who then made up 75 per cent of all bus commuters in Montgomery in the US state of Alabama, stopped taking buses to protest segregated seating. That, King wrote in his book Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story, showed it was possible to resist evil without turning to violence.
Although Thoreau’s idea about civil disobedience is popular, some scholars are sceptical. In an article in American magazine The New Yorker, journalist Kathryn Schulz said there is the problem of fallibility. Thoreau believes that one’s conscience should rule over “unjust laws” – but what if our conscience leads us to do wrong? On what grounds can we prove that our conscience would be more just than the laws?
In a book called The Case Against Thoreau, scholar Vincent Buranelli argued that Thoreau had not considered how his ideas could be executed in reality. If two people both believe firmly that they are in the right, and yet their beliefs are mutually incompatible, who should be trusted? “Antagonism is never worse than when it involves two men, each of whom is convinced that he speaks for goodness and rectitude,” wrote Buranelli.
Hong Kong’s Chief Executive Carrie Lam Cheng Yuet-ngor announced the complete withdrawal of the extradition bill last Wednesday, but the news was not well-received by the public. Most people still believe the establishment of an independent commission of inquiry into the clashes between the police and protesters is as urgent as ever.
More non-cooperation movements have already been planned at the airport and schools this month. At this point, no one can foresee where Hong Kong is heading. Will the disobedience go on indefinitely? Only time, as the cliché goes, will tell.