The Chinese Zodiac differs from the Zodiac of the West. Unlike Western astrology, which follows the cycles of the sun, Chinese Astrology follows the cycles of the moon. A complete cycle of sixty lunar years is made up of five - twelve year cycles. This twelve-year cycle is sometimes called "The Yellow Road of the Sun".
A certain animal represents each year during the Chinese New Year. The twelve animals are: The Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.
Legend tells us that when Buddha lay on his deathbed, he asked the animals of the forest to come and bid him farewell. These 12 were the first to arrive. The cat, as the story goes, is not among the animals because it was napping & could not be bothered to make the journey. Based on the order of their arrival, Buddha gave each animal a year of its own, bestowing the nature and the characteristics of each to those born in that animal year. However, this is only one version of the legend. In certain far Eastern countries, the cat is the astrological symbol instead of the Rabbit. The animal year in which you were born profoundly influences your life. The Chinese say, "This is the animal that hides in your heart".
In addition to the twelve animals of Chinese astrology there are also five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal and water). A Chinese horoscope is divided into interlocking sets of the numbers ten and twelve. (e.g. ten Heavenly Stem signs and twelve Earthly Branch signs). These three systems are used for counting and classifying the years: The Ten Heavenly Stems, The Twelve Earthly Branches and The Twelve Animals. The ancient principle of Yin and Yang (negative and positive forces) is also very much involved in charting a horoscope.
Astrology is an integral part of everyday life in China. A Chinese person always knows his or her animal sign. Life decisions are made according to astrology, especially when seeking guidance about whom to marry and when. It is also to guide as to when to conclude financial agreements, begin journeys, start building a new home, and even where to bury the dead.
To learn more about Chinese Astrology, please refer to the following resources for the animal sign that you were born under and other Chinese Zodiac information.
- Addicted To Astrology
Chinese Astrology signs and their meanings
- Globally syndicated writer and astrologer, Elizabeth Ellis, offers Chinese Astrology signs and their meanings. Elizabeth has been studying astrology for more than 20 years, and practicing it professionally for more than 10 years. Addicted To Astrology is Elizabeth's newest website, and her most important one yet!
- Chinese Astrology & Fengshui - Learn to write the 10 Stems and 12 Branches in Chinese characters.
- Chinese Astrology by Shelly Wu - Authentic Chinese Astrology. Modern interpretations of Ancient Wisdoms since 2637 B.C. A site dedicated to teaching, advice and Q & A, Letters to Shelly Wu.
- Chinese and Western Astrology - Horoscope Sign Compatibility through the combination of Western and Eastern Astrology.
- Chinese Fortune Calendar Online - Chinese Fortune Calendar can tell your Ying-Yang Five Elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, Earth) which are the key to find your lucky times and places. To know your Five Elements is the way to live luckier, wealthier, healthier, happier and longer.
- Geomancy.net Chinese Astrology - Chinese astrologers divide people into 12 basic personality types which are represented by animals. This website is a practical guide revealing the secrets of your personality trait.
- Get a Chinese Name - Get your own Chinese name based on your English name and find out your sign in the Chinese Zodiac!
- Holy Mountain's Chinese Astrology - Information about Chinese horoscope and Asian astrology, and use of symbolism in Chinese Astrology with links to each sign.
- Yellow Dragon - Chinese astrology and fortune telling.