new age spirituality

The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes

The Complete Guide to Chinese Astrology

Chinese Astrology

Chinese Zodiac Calendar

Enter your birthdate to find your Chinese sign and element

Date:    Month:    Year:    

China, like the West, has looked to the stars for knowledge and inspiration for millennia. However, Chinese astrology is very different to its western counterpart. However, like the western zodiac, Chinese astrology offers another facet to that most valuable knowledge of all, ie that of the self.

According to the Chinese astrology the position of the five planets, the sun, the moon and comets in the sky and the Chinese zodiac sign at the time a person was born determine the destiny of a person's life.

The ancient Chinese astronomers called the five major planets by the names of the Five Elements. Venus is Metal (gold); Jupiter is Wood; Mercury is Water; Mars is Fire; Saturn is Earth.

The twelve zodiac animal signs are, in order, the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep (or goat), monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.

There is also a cycle of the Five Elements - Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal (Gold), Water - on top of the cycle of animals. A person's year sign can be a gold dragon, a wood rooster etc.

In ancient match-making practice in China, couples were brought together according to their compatible signs. For example, it is believed that dog and dog don't get along, but dog and pig do; a water dog supports a wood pig but dominates a fire pig in their relationship because water benefits wood, but controls fire according to the Chinese five elements' interaction.

The elements are also associated with colours, the traditional correspondence being green to Wood, red to Fire, brown to Earth, white to Metal, and black to Water.

The elements are combined with the binary Yin Yang cycle, which enlarges the element cyle to a cycle of ten. Even years are yang, odd years are yin. Since the zodiac animal cycle of 12 is divisible by two, every zodiac can only occur in either yin or yang: the dragon is always yang, the snake is always yin, etc. This combination creates a 60-year cycle, starting with Wood Rat and ending with Water Pig.

Since the (traditional) Chinese zodiac follows the (lunisolar) Chinese calendar, the switch over date for the zodiac signs is the Chinese New Year, not January 1 as in the Gregorian calendar. Therefore, a person that was born in January or early February may have the sign of the previous year.

The 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs and theirs characteristics

Rat: Charming, creative, ambitious, generous (especially to loved ones), acquisitive, quick-tempered.

Ox: Natural leaders, inspire confidence in others, reliable, stubborn.

Tiger: Sensitive, emotional, deep-thinking, qualities of leadership, rebellious, quick-tempered.

Rabbit: Well-mannered, reserved, kind, thoughtful, peace-loving, sentimental.

Dragon: Idealistic, perfectionist, eccentric, demanding, brave, aggressive.

Snake: Calm, philosophical, wise, romantic, intuitive, self-reliant, fickle.

Horse: Independent, intelligent, perceptive, cheerful, talkative, selfish.

Sheep: Artistic, shy, compassionate, pessimistic, undiplomatic.

Monkey: Witty, intelligent, inventive, attractive personality, fast learner, egotistical.

Rooster: Hard-working, decisive, eccentric, outspoken, boastful.

Dog: Loyal, honest, trustworthy, stubborn, selfish, sharp-tongued.

Pig: Courageous, peace-loving, honest, tolerant, naive, self-indulgent.

Further information

Recommended reading

Chinese Astrology: Forecast Your Future from Your Chinese Horoscope Man-Ho Kwok. How does your Chinese animal sign influence your life? How does your lunar date of birth affect your fortune? Find out the answers to these questions - and more - in this easy-to-follow guide to this fascinating ancient art.

Encyclopedia of Chinese astrology Tri Lam. Includes traditional Chinese horoscope, I Ching, palmistry, sky chart, Feng Shui and face reading. This book will help you to understand your personality and guide you toward a brighter future.

The New Chinese Astrology Suzanne White. world-famous astrologer and best-selling author Suzanne White demystifies the formerly complicated study of the Chinese Zodiac. The easy-to-read reference guide describes each animal sign's individual characteristics, special capabilities, and particular health problems, and explains how the five Chinese elements affect it.

The New Astrology: A Unique Synthesis of the World's Two Great Astrological Systems: The Chinese and Western Suzanne White. In this startling and provocative thesis Suzanne White combines the astrological systems of the traditional Chinese (terrestrial) with that of the Occident (celestial).

More Chinese Astrology books

Web resources

Chinese Zodiac Calendar Signs descriptions of the twelve Chinese signs.

Chinese Zodiac Page from the San Francisco Chinese Cultural Center

Master Rao's Chinese Astrology designed to make Chinese astrology and Western astrology known to everyone and to make everyone profit by them.

Twilight Zone's Chinese Horoscope "the most comprehensive" information on Chinese Horoscope and Chinese Astrology.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chinese astrology".