Everyone knows about Western Astrology. If you ask someone what star sign they are, they’ll be able to tell you in an instant. However, if you ask them what animal year they were born in, 90% of them wouldn’t have a clue. Chinese astrology has a close relation with Chinese philosophy (theory of the three harmonies: heaven, earth, and water), and uses the principles of yin and yang and concepts that are not found in Western astrology.

While Western Astrology is based around the monthly moon cycle, Chinese Astrology goes by a slightly different cycle. Chinese Astrology is represented by twelve animals, one for each year within a twelve year cycle.

You may be wondering how twelve animals managed to become part of Chinese Astrology. Well, there are several variations surrounding this tale but the most popular is as follows:

The Jade Emperor summoned all the animals in the universe to partake in a race with the first 12 animals becoming the order in the Chinese zodiac. He asked the Rat to spread the word. However, being the trickster the Rat was, he informed the other animals but told them the wrong start date and he himself started a day earlier. Eventually, the twelve animals who partook in the race arrived and the order of the zodiac was complete.

Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Chicken, Dog and Pig

In my previous page, I mentioned that the each zodiac year is represented by each of the five Chinese elements – Water, Fire, Earth, Wood and Metal. You can find more information about it here.

In Chinese astrology the animal signs assigned by year represent how others perceive you or how you present yourself. It is a common misconception that the animals assigned by year are the only signs, and many Western descriptions of Chinese astrology draw solely on this system. In fact, there are also animal signs assigned by month (called “inner animals”), by day (called “true animals”) and hours (called “secret animals”).

What about me? Where do I stand in Chinese Astrology? I’m a Wood Rabbit, born in the hour of the Dragon (between 7am and 9am) on the day and month of the Monkey (Sunday and August respectively).

Want to know where you stand? Find out more here!