In China, dragons are the bearers of the seasons. In the spring the popular green dragon Gou-Mang brings joy and happiness from the east. In the autumn his twin brother the brown dragon Ru-Shou comes from the west.
And as this the Autumn Equinox, I have chosen Ru-Shou as The Bad Witch's God of the Week.
However, unlike his brother, Ru-Shou is not usually welcomed by the people of China. In fact, he is avoided because his arrival is believed to bring messages of bad luck from the Sky God Tai Yi and even herald disasters. According to some legends, Ru-Shou is also the God of Punishment so anyone who has done something they shouldn't have has particular reason to keep out of this dragon's way.
Yet others would say this poor dragon has an undeserved reputation. According to The Songs of the South: An Ancient Chinese Anthology of Poems by Qu Yuan and Other Poets Ru Shou's name means "plenteous harvest" and he is a guardian spirit of the west. Although he heralds the autumn, the autumn can bring good things as well as bad.
So today at sunset - the time Ru Shou is said to arrive - spare a thought for this much-maligned dragon. If he has a message for you then listen. If he does warn of bad luck, then you can perhaps learn how to avoid it or at least be better prepared. On the other hand, his message may be about an abundant harvest that you have earned.
One should always be willing to reap what one sows.
The Chinese Dragon in the picture above is available from online store Pagan Magic and costs £9.99.
The Songs of the South: An Ancient Chinese Anthology of Poems by Qu Yuan and Other Poets (Penguin Classics)