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Chinese astrology is derived from traditional astronomy and calendars. Unlike other forms of astrology, Chinese astrology does not calculate or use the positions of the sun, moon and planets at the time of birth.
Chinese astrology is recorded as being first used in the Han Dynasty (between 200 BC to 200 AD). Closely aligned with theory of the three harmonies (heaven, earth and water) which support Chinese philosophy, these have been merged with certain Western based teachings including the 10 Celestial stems, the lunar calendar (covering the moon and sun calendars) and the 12 Earthly Branches of Life.
According to Chinese Astrology, the year of your birth bears no relation to your spirit age. The year of birth indicates only a certain “phase” or aspect of a sixty-year cycle of time. There are a number of ways to classify Chinese age – the 10 Heavenly Stems, the Twelve Animals and Twelve Early Branches.
The precise history of the twelve animal system remains shaded in secret and theory. Some say that the then Jade King was tired having nothing to do in his Celestial Palace. He did not see what was happening down on Earth. The Jade King decided that he wanted to see some beautiful animals that inhabited the ground, so he sent a message to his friends to collect twelve animals. His chief counsel first sent an invitation to the Rat, telling him to also bring the Cat. The Rat being jealous prevented the Cat from actually receiving the invitation from the Jade King.
The Jade King sent further invitations to the Ox, the Rabbit, the Tiger, the Dragon, the Snake, the Horse, the Monkey, the Ram, the Rooster and the Dog, demanding they attend the palace the following day. When the 12 animals arrived in front of the king, he found that they numbered only eleven, instead of twelve as the King had demanded. The King sent his friend down to Earth to retrieve a twelfth animal. The friend met a man carrying a Pig, and he swiftly bought it and delivered it to the Jade King.
The 12 animals stood in front of the Jade King. The Rat, being the smallest, jumped on the Ox’s back and started playing the flute. The Jade King was delighted by this display. The King gave the Rat first place. The Ox was given second place for its good sportsmanship, and third was given to the courageous Tiger. Fourth place was awarded to The Rabbit, the fifth to the Dragon, the Snake sixth, the Horse seventh, the eighth position to the Ram, the Monkey ninth, the tenth position to the Rooster and the Dog was awarded the eleventh position. Lastly, the Pig was awarded twelfth place. At the end of the ceremony, the Cat (who missed the King’s invitation) pleaded for him to reconsider. The Cat was told it was too late by the Jade King.”
|Zodiac||Animal||Recent Years||Personality Traits|
|Rat||1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020||Quick-witted, resourceful, versatile, kind|
|Ox||1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021||Diligent, dependable, strong, determined|
|Tiger||1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022||Brave, confident, competitive|
|Rabbit||1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023||Quiet, elegant, kind, responsible|
|Dragon||1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024||Confident, intelligent, enthusiastic|
|Snake||1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025||Enigmatic, intelligent, wise|
|Horse||1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026||Animated, active, energetic|
|Goat||1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027||Calm, gentle, sympathetic|
|Monkey||1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028||Sharp, smart, curiosity|
|Rooster||1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029||Observant, hardworking, courageous|
|Dog||1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030||Lovely, honest, prudent|
|Pig||1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019, 2031||Compassionate, generous, diligent|
The date and time of one’s birth are the keys. This is the same in both western and Chinese horoscope. The difference lies in the ways of marking the time of birth. The Chinese lunar calendar is based on the combination of 10 Heavenly Stems (Tian Gan) and 12 Earthly Branches (Di Zhi), two basic groups of terms of ancient Chinese astronomy and astrology, which work together in a fixed order to mark years, months, days, and hours. Hereunder are some interesting technical terms.
1. 12 Earthly Branches: 12 terms in one-to-one correspondence with 12 zodiac animals – Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Shen, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
2. 10 Heavenly Stems: Jia, Yi, Bing, Ding, Wu, Ji, Geng, Xin, Ren, Gui.
The 10 Heavenly Stems match the 12 Earthly Branches in a 60-pair cycle to mark years, months, and days, e.g. July 1st 2020 in Gregorian calendar is the Yi Si Day of Ren Wu Month in Gen Zi Year of the Rat.
3. Yin Yang: Yin means feminine and negative, while Yang means masculine and positive. They are profound terms in ancient Chinese philosophy. Their simple connection with zodiac animals are: Yang applies to Rat, Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, and Dog, while Yin goes to Ox, Rabbit, Snake, Sheep, Rooster, and Pig.
4. Five Elements: Ancient Chinese believed that all things in the world, including the zodiac animals, belonged to five categories – Metal (Monkey, Rooster), Wood (Tiger, Rabbit), Water (Rat, Pig), Fire (Snake, Horse), and Earth (Ox, Dragon, Sheep, Dog).
5. 12 Shi Chen: 12 two-hour periods form a day, with each called a Shi Chen and marked by one of the 12 Earthly Branches and its corresponding zodiac animal, e.g. 23:00 – 00:59 is called Zi Hour and represented by the Rat.
The 12 animals connect to people’s birth dates and time, with interactions from the above five perspectives, affecting people’s personalities, compatibilities, and fortune in the future.
The compatibilities of the zodiac animals are mainly based on the Five Elements they belong to – Metal (Monkey, Rooster), Wood (Tiger, Rabbit), Water (Rat, Pig), Fire (Snake, Horse), and Earth (Ox, Dragon, Sheep, Dog).
The traditional Chinese astrology indicates that the Five Elements are in a balanced generating cycle: Fire burns things to ash and Earth; Earth bears Metal inside; Metal turns into liquid (Water) in high temperature; Water nourishes Wood; Wood feeds Fire. Therefore some zodiac animals with agreeable elements can perfectly support and promote each other when they stay together, while some would stay in peace and tacit agreement; however some restrict or even harm each other when they meet.
See the illustrations below, or use our testing tool to check the compatibility for you and your partner!
|Zodiac Animal||Best Match||Worst Match|
|Rat||Ox, Dragon, Monkey||Horse, Rooster|
|Ox||Rat, Snake, Rooster||Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Sheep|
|Tiger||Dragon, Horse, Pig||Ox, Tiger, Snake, Monkey|
|Rabbit||Sheep, Monkey, Dog, Pig||Snake, Rooster|
|Dragon||Rooster, Rat, Monkey||Ox, Sheep, Dog|
|Snake||Dragon, Rooster||Tiger, Rabbit, Snake, Sheep, Pig|
|Horse||Tiger, Sheep, Rabbit||Rat, Ox, Rooster, Horse|
|Goat||Horse, Rabbit, Pig||Ox, Tiger, Dog|
|Monkey||Ox, Rabbit||Tiger, Pig|
|Rooster||Ox, Snake||Rat, Rabbit, Horse, Rooster, Dog|
|Dog||Rabbit||Dragon, Sheep, Rooster|
|Pig||Tiger, Rabbit, Sheep||Snake, Monkey|
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