An Introduction to Chinese Astrology


Chinese astrology has been in practice in china and in some other parts of Asia for thousands of years and even now it continues to fascinate many. According to some practitioners of this art, the organs of Chinese astrology have been lost in the mists of time. However, according to others, Chinese astrology dates back to the year 2637 B.C. when the then Chinese emperor Hand Ti introduced the first cycle of this zodiac in the 61st year of his reign. A complete cycle of Chinese zodiac consists of 60 years. This cycle of 60 years is made up of five smaller cycles of 12 years each. Twelve animal signs are allotted to each of these twelve years which constitute the smaller cycle of the Chinese Zodiac.

No one quite knows how these animal signs acquired their names. However legend has lot that lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him when it was time for him to depart from this earth. However, only 12 animals came to bid him farewell. In gratuities lord Buddha named a year after each one of the animals ion the order in which they had arrived. The order in which they appeared was:

Chinese Zodiac Signs or 12 Animal:
1. Rat:
How to recognize the Rat: The first and foremost characteristic of the Rat is that he is a charmer. He could be forthright and honest, but even that will be in such a disarming manner that the other party will find itself at a disadvantage Read More.
2. Ox:
3. Tige:
4. Rabbit:
5. Dragon:
6. Snake:
7. Horse:
8. Sheep:
9. Monkey:
10. Rooster:
11. Dog:
12. Boar:
Thus we have the 12 animal’s signs in Chinese astrology as is generally known today. The names of these animal signs of the Chinese Zodiac are sometimes mentioned differently in different books available of Chinese astrology. In some books the Ox is referred to as the Bull or the Buffalo, the Rabbit as the hare of Car, the Sheep as the Goat and the Boar as the Pig. Chinese astrologers believe that the animal ruling the year in which a person in born exercises a profound influence on him. It is said that this is the animal which hides in the heart of the person and therefore he inherits the personality of that animal.

As a consequence, those born in the year of the Dog would be loyal and faithful, those born in the year of the Snake would be enchanting, cold and ruthless and so on these twelve signs are divided into positive and negative or what may also be called active and passive stems. The Rat, Tiger, Dragon,. Horse, Monkey, and Dog belong to the positive stem while the Ox, Rabbit, Snake, Sheep, Rooster and Boar belong to the negative stem.

For the purpose of the complete 60 year cycle, each of these twelve animal signs is combined with the five elements known as:

Wood, fire, earth, metal and water.

According to legend wood is ruled by the planet Jupiter;

Fire by Mars; Earth by Saturn; Metal by7 Venus and water by Mercury. These elements are said to have a strengthening or moderating influence on the animal sign. A fundamental part of Chinese astrology is the interrelationship amongst the five basic elements. These are divided into controlling and conducive inter-relationships.