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Chinese Astrology and their elements

According to Chinese legend, the twelve animals quarreled one day as to who was to head the cycle of years. The gods were asked to decide and they held a contest; whoever was to reach the opposite bank of the river would be first, and the rest of the animals would receive their years according to their finish.

All the twelve animals gathered at the river bank and jumped in. Unknown to the ox, the rat had jumped upon his back. As the ox was about to jump ashore, the rat jumped off the ox's back, and won the race. The pig, who was very lazy, ended up last. That is why the rat is the first year of the animal cycle, the ox second, and the pig last.

The Chinese animal signs are a 12-year cycle used for dating the years. They represent a cyclical concept of time, rather than the Western linear concept of time. In the Chinese calendar, the beginning of the year falls somewhere between late January and early February. The Chinese have adopted the Western calendar since 1911, but the lunar calendar is still used for festive occasions such as the Chinese New Year. Many Chinese calendars will print both the solar dates and the Chinese lunar dates.

A cultural sidelight of the animal signs in Chinese folklore is that horoscopes have developed around the animal signs, much like monthly horoscopes in the West have been developed for the different moon signs, Pisces, Aries, etc. For example, a Chinese horoscope may predict that a person born in the Year of the Horse would be, cheerful, popular, and loves to compliment others. These horoscopes are amusing, but not regarded seriously by the Chinese people.

Chinese Astrology is said by some scholars to be the oldest horoscope system in the world. However if you trace Western Astrology back to its Middle East roots, both types are likely to have been born in their current recognizable form around 3000 years BC, however they stem from entirely different beginnings as well as traditions and parts of the world.

The 12 animals are further flavored by the pervading element of that particular year (elements also revolve as a separate cycle). It is said that Buddha is responsible for the 12 animals as they were the only ones who came to bid him farewell into the next life.

Chinese Astrology is concerned with nature and its traits, the signs progress year by year, whereas Western Astrology cycles monthly. The consideration of Yin and Yang is a very great influence upon this subject, Yin being passive, female and receptive while Yang is aggressive, male and exploratory. The various permutations of these two essential forces in nature, places, organizations, events and humanity and the quest to achieve balance so that both operate together in harmony rather than opposing or canceling each other out are an essentially Oriental viewpoint and quest, they form the basis of many Far Eastern traditions and other influences in Chinese Society such as Feng Shui.

The 12 Animal Signs are : Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit (or Cat), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The animal ruling year in which you were born has a profound influence on your life.

As the Chinese say, This is the animal that hides in your heart.
There are five elements; Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, each adding a nuance of almost tactile character to the animal sign. Chinese Astrology is based on the Chinese calendar year of your birth or the year of an event. There are also many more nuances involving the month and day.

Predict your future with Chinese Astrology

Astrology is often related to predictions; but it is more than that, in fact, it is a science of planets through which one can gain knowledge about himself and the environment he or she lives in. Well, astrology is divided into many streams and Chinese astrology is one of the most significant as well as followed science. One can define Chinese astrology as divination of the future from the Chinese calendar, which is based on astronomy, and ancient Chinese philosophy. In particular, it is based on the age-old sexagenary cycle of sixty years that have been documented since the time of the Shang Dynasty till date.

This basic cycle has been constructed from two cycles, such as the 10 heavenly stems, i.e. the five elements in their yin and yang forms and the 12 earthly branches, or the 12-year cycle of animals referred to as the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese animal zodiac operates on a cycle of the moon in a month and hours of the day. This zodiac refers to a pure calendrical cycle. In this there are equivalent constellations like those of the occidental zodiac. In ancient times there were astrologers who watched the sky for heavenly symbols and then would predict the future. The predictions ware done on many things like the state, but this was a quite different practice of divination from the popular present-day methods.

In fact, these ancient astronomers related five major planets by the names of the element they were associated with. The planet Venus corresponds to metal particularly with gold; Jupiter to wood; Mercury to water; Mars to fire and Saturn to earth. According to Chinese astrology, a person's destiny can be determined by the position these planets, along with the positions of the sun, moon, comet and the person's time of birth and zodiac sign.
One's fate and destiny are predicted by birth date and birth hours, and the system is still used in modern day Chinese astrology to predict fortune. The 28 Chinese constellations are very different from the 88 western constellations. For example, the big bear or Ursa Major is known as dou; the belt of Orion is known as shen, or the happiness, fortune, longevity trio of demigods. The seven northern constellations are referred to as xúanwu. Xuan Wu is also known as the spirit of the northern sky or the spirit of water in Taoism belief.

In addition to astrological readings of the heavenly bodies, in Chinese astrology, the stars in the sky form the basis of various folk tales. The other important significant things of Chinese astrology are the lunisolar calendar, the sixty year calendar, agricultural calendar and five elements like wood, fire, earth, metal and water. In fact, Chinese astrology has animal symbols unlike conventional zodiac signs, such as rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, dog, rooster and boar. Therefore, these elements form an important part of Chinese astrology. In fact, it is said that if one of these elements go missing then the horoscope will be of no significance. Hence, while preparing a horoscope one has to keep all the things in mind for a prosperous fortune

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