Understanding Modern Chinese Astrology

Understanding Modern Chinese Astrology
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Do you think you understand Astrology, perhaps western, Vedic, or the Chinese system? The Chinese astrology system is at least 700 years old and perhaps much older.

Based on the lunar calendar, Chinese astrology is similar to other forms of astrology, in that it is related to the positions of the stars and planets for each of the twelve signs of the zodiac. The Chinese astrology system uses the persons birthdate to assign an animal and is based on the Chinese calendar.

The Twelve Chinese Signs are:


Characteristics: in contrast to our normal beliefs these zodiac rats are sweet, charming, and attractive to the opposite sex. But despite outside appearances, they are restless and this may show in the form of agitation and aggressiveness. Rats are commonly smart with their money, and love to pounce on an opportunity. They are also very generous to their friends. They love people and large gatherings and always like to have others around, (party rats?). They choose to get involved in many social circles, have numerous interest and like to be involved in everything possible. They are often good communicators, writers and speakers, and success comes easily to them, but sometimes at the expense of others.


Oxen characteristics are usually calm on the surface, but they can have hidden tempers. They are hard workers and are determined to the point of stubbornness. (sounds like this matches the animal) Ox are honorable and dependable signs. They are trustworthy, and steady people that choose to follow a straight path. They are not as outgoing as others and often choose work over play, they have a lackluster social life. Ox are simple and perhaps somewhat gullible creatures at heart and can fall victim to scams, sales pitches, and bad romance. When matched with a partner they are mostly truthful and loyal and although they may not be one to surprise you they will always be there when you need them.


Tigers are energetic and unpredictable, they possess a wild side that often has them at the center of attention. They have little fear to speak their mind and are constantly looking for the next adventure or opportunity. Tigers are passionate about what they believe in. They are usually generous and honest and willing to fight for their cause. they are emotional and impulsive, although they often find romance, restlessness, recklessness and other behaviors like jealousy, may lead them to struggle with their relationships.


Characteristics: Rabbits are gracious and gentle. They love the quiet life and peaceful things in life. Rabbits often choose more intimate and small gatherings rather than large parties or big events. Their sensitive nature can lead to lack of accomplishments, moodiness, and solitude. Among friends and in groups rabbits are great at keeping the peace. Although rabbits are quiet on the outside on the inside rabbits are busy watching, keeping track of details and using their intuition. They are often very likeable, adaptable and make friends easily. While they are cautious, they are also inviting and fun to be around once they feel safe.


Dragons are full of life, and always want to live life to the fullest. They are perfectionists and are extremely demanding of both themselves and others. They intimidate those who disagree with them, using their fire energy they are a strong with a powerful presence. Dragons are good to their friends, once a friend is accepted they are both protective and loyal of them. Dragons can also be stubborn, opinionated, and choose to see things from only their perspective. They believe themselves to be strong and loveable creatures who strive to motivate others to live up to their standards.


Snakes are mysterious, mystical, and slinky characters, Although they possess a larger range of personalities, they are often charming to the opposite sex. They are graceful, diversified and like the finer things in life. They are often private people who tend to look inward for their self-esteem, and are very superstitious about everything. Snakes can be generous, big personalities who like to have money and luxurious things. They are often jealous with lovers, and can harbor emotions that result in troubled relationships.


Horses are generally friendly. They love being the center of attention, and will keep others entertained by their quick wit and great personality. Horses can be unreliable, indecisive and can change their mind when the next best thing comes along, they will often have many short-lived romances and friendships. They seem less effected by this than others and may even enjoy the change. Horses lead lives full of adventure and love to travel. They don’t like being tied down, and enjoy spending time outdoors. Horses can take on more than they can handle and can be impatient with others whom they perceive as moving too slowly.


Sheep are peaceful people. They empathize with others, are compassionate and are easy to talk to. They don’t like to be rushed, and often break if pressured. They do not like aggressive behaviors, harsh words or pushy people. Sheep choose to take it easy, and are best persuaded by being led gently. While they are passive, they are also patient, and generally they eventually get their way. They always remember their friends and families and give very thoughtful gifts. Sheep are conscientious and pay close attention to what others think. they are not the best with money and often spend without thinking.


Characteristics: Monkeys are brilliant, intuitive and clever. They are hands-on problem solvers, and possess a great deal of self-confidence. They enjoy succeeding at difficult tasks, and don’t need to be talked into attempting one. Their intelligent nature, outgoing personalities, and confidence can create distance in relationships as other see them as egotistical and self centered. The source of their success is their great memory. They are hard workers, and don’t care too much what others think of them, as a result they may not have many friends. Although their success does attract people to them, they are off to the next thing before giving too much time to those around them


Roosters are romantics. They are perfectionists and dreamers at the same time. Good with analyzing the details, they always love a challenge, especially if at first glance it looks impossible. They take great pride in knowing the details of a subject that interests them. Rooster make good speakers representatives and are also great debaters. They have a hard time accepting defeat and never admit to being wrong. They may tend to step in and try to solve other peoples problems, whether or not they have any idea what’s going on. They like to stay busy, and will work for whatever comes their way


Dogs are friendly and are always up front about their feelings. They are very family-oriented and are extremely loyal to their friends. They will fight for a cause they feel is just. They are not comfortable around extravagant wealth, and prefer a loving home regardless of social status. Once you befriend a dog, they will be by your side for life. They are monogamous, and tend to choose their lovers wisely. They work hard and play hard, and know when it is appropriate to be doing one or the other. They are good providers to those they love.


Pigs love a social life. They have many friends, and tend to stay out of heated discussions and all kinds of debates. It’s not that they don’t have an opinion; they simply love to party and don’t want to risk ruining the fun. They are good listeners, but are sometimes gullible and can be taken advantage of easily. This can sometimes hurt them in relationships. They are trustworthy and dependable, and stick by their friends. They are generous to those they care about.

The Five Elements

There is another layer to Chinese astrology that is less well known than the Chinese signs. Chinese astrologers use a 60 year cycle, made up of five sets of the twelve signs. The five repetitions of the signs each correspond to a different element, adding more intricacy to the animal.

The five elements are Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, and Earth.

In Chinese astrology, the elements are part of a cycle; one is not higher or better than another. In fact, they have a cyclical relationship, both in positive and negative ways, so that:

Water makes Wood
Wood makes Fire
Fire makes Earth
Earth makes Metal
Metal makes Water


Water destroys Fire
Fire destroys Metal
Metal destroys Wood
Wood destroys Earth
Earth destroys Water

In addition, they can be openly aggressive and hostile:

Water resists Fire
Fire resists Metal
Metal resists Wood
Wood resists Earth
Earth resists Water

So now you know the basics of Chinese Astrology.

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