When we hear the word “zodiac”, the Western, traditional one will most likely come to mind. It seems that we pay only secondary attention to the Chinese horoscope calendar and its zodiac signs. And unfairly so! China’s horoscope has every right to be considered when planning the important activities in your life: it is much older than the classic zodiac, offers a lot of insights on your own and other people’s characters, behavior patterns and compatibility, and lets you in on how your year will likely go. Unlike what many people think, the Chinese signs offer much more than just knowing which animal rules your year of birth. Here is a comprehensive guide on how to use the Chinese horoscope calendar and use it to your advantage.
A Quick Guide to the Chinese Astrology Calendar
It is hard to say when exactly China’s zodiac was created, but it is likely a tradition that was born about 2000 years ago, from the times of the Xia dynasty and the first calendars of the region. Not many people know that the Asian zodiac system is a reflection of the philosophic and religious concept of Yin and Yang that appeared in the 3rd century BC. Yin and Yang teach us that everything in the universe has an opposite (day-night, female-male etc.), and that everything contains a part of its opposite in itself. Yin and Yang also tell us that every period of life will end sooner or later, being replaced by the opposite period. Yin is associated with female, passive, cold, old, poor, soft, while Yang is about masculine, white, young, rich, hard, active energies. Every year in this system is dominated by either Yin or Yang aspects, and the respective energies can tell you which activities you can be more successful at.
What’s more, Yin and Yang philosophy says that there are the 5 essential elements that rule the life on earth. The periods of their dominance come one after the other and influence each other in positive, negative or neutral ways. The elements are metal, water, wood, fire, and earth. According to the zodiac’ philosophy, these elements rule the times of the year (metal, for example, is dominant in autumn, wood – in spring, water – winter, fire – summer, and earth – end of summer), and also each year goes under its element. Each element rules every 2 years, because each element can be manifested in its Yin or Yang form, and it has to be both.
Now, you have probably heard about the fact that each year is dominated by a certain animal. Each of the 12 animals has its own character, its strong and week sides, and if you were born in the “year of rule” of a pig or a goat, you will inherit this animal’s features.
While the Western zodiac is based on the movement of the Sun, the Chinese astrology relies on the Moon, and hence the years are not astronomical, but lunar. This means that a typical year of the Asian horoscope will start in February of March, and not the 1st of January. For example, we are currently in the year of the Dog which started on the 16th of February 2018 and will end on the 4th of February 2019. The element of the current year is Earth in its Yang aspect. The next year, the year of the Pig, will also be dominated by the Earth element, but in its Yin form.
What Can Your Chinese Zodiac Say About You?
It is easy to see that this zodiac system has much more to offer than just the animal. Every year, thus, has the following characteristics:
- its main aspect (Yin or Yang);
- its dominant element (metal, earth, fire, wood or water);
- and its ruling animal.
Since all animals and elements interact with each other, the Eastern horoscope offers a huge amount of useful information about many aspects of life which you can use to plan your year:
- First of all, it is important to know which year you were born in. It will tell you a lot about your personality, your life’s primary goals, your weaknesses and what you need to be careful about. Your year will have a Yin or Yang as a dominant aspect, the element and the animal, and all of these elements will create a unique you.
Let’s say, for example, that you were born 17 of April 1990. It means that you were born in the year of Metal Horse in its Yang aspect. The Yang element will indicate that you will have a male-like character, you will be active and dominant in every life sphere, you will like warm weather and the bright part of the day, and you will likely be a provider, one who earns their living and procures things themselves. The metal aspect will say that your happiest time will be autumn, and that your healing color is white; your life’s goal is to enrich the world that you came into and correct other people’s and your own flaws, and your greatest value is most likely justice and fairness. And the fact that you are a horse gives you an infinite amount of information, much more than can be described here: from hating routine jobs and deadlines to enjoying being the center of attention. If you are wondering “what sign am I in the Chinese horoscope?”, explore your year of birth here and read more about your element. I guarantee that you will find out a lot of useful information about yourself that you will be able to apply in your everyday life.
- To determine how your current year and the years to come will go, you need to compare your element and animal of birth to the current year’s ones. Based on animal and element compatibility, your year may go either way. There are general tendencies for every animal in a certain animal’s year. For example, if you are a Horse, and now it is a Dog’s year, it will always be a good year for academia, knowledge and self-development. However, every particular year brings something new to every zodiac sign. To know what expects you in 2018, find your Chinese horoscope and plan your year accordingly. Also, knowing your own ruling element and personal traits, you can choose the best strategy for each time of the year (metal signs are the most active in autumn, while wood – in spring etc.).
- The horoscope of China can also tell you which people are good or bad for you in business or personal relationships. According to the Asian astrology, elements have a controlling and supporting influence on each other. The animals also have more or less favorable combinations. If we look at this table, your relationships with the other signs will likely be like this:
CHINESE ZODIAC SIGNS COMPATIBILITY
Don’t forget to take into account the compatibility of your and your partner’s elements. For example, I am a Metal Horse and my partner is a Wood Horse (born 1978). Based on the above table and this element compatibility chart, our relationship can be very good, as we share a lot of common traits, but I can have a hindering influence on him. So, I need to balance that by giving him more freedom and the right to say what he has to say in order to have a more harmonious relationship with him.
- Combine your Eastern zodiac with the Western zodiac sign. Every Eastern sign’s key characteristics are either made stronger or weaker by their European zodiac sign. An Aries Horse is not the same as the Scorpio Horse, while the first one is active, selfish and impatient, and the latter is more self-reflective, calm and considerate of others. It is thus very wise to take into account both signs in order to know more about yourself and your business partners, friends and lovers.
- Know your ascendant. The ascendant is just as important in the zodiac of China as it is in the classic one. An ascendant is the zodiac sign that was rising at the time of your birth. The ascendant can give you some additional character traits and soften the ones of your sign if they are negative. An ascendant is believed to give additional help to its owner based on the strong sides of the sign that it represents. For example, if you are a Horse, and your ascendant is a Snake, the Horse will make you stubborn, selfish, active and careless, while the ascendant will make you thoughtful and intuitive, thus softening your distinctive Horse features.
To conclude, the more you read and research into the Chinese zodiac signs and dates, the more its deep meaning and wisdom makes sense. It is a very useful tool to plan your big life goals and decide which people to collaborate with and how. The Chinese think of it as “becoming” the right sign at the right moment to get the best out of life, and I believe Western people could benefit from this approach.