Know Your Chinese Sign

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Chinese Compatibility

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Chinese Astrology

Chinese astrology is a complex subject. There is much more to it than the twelve animal signs that you often see on placemats in a Chinese restaurant. Some of the other influences that come into play are the Five Elements and the yin/yang duality. You also need to understand something about Chinese philosophy and thought in order to really understand how to apply Chinese astrology to your life.

Animal Signs

First, there are the twelve animal signs, one for each year in a twelve-year cycle: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. 2008 is the Year of the Rat; 2009 is the Year of the Ox; 2010 is the Year of the Tiger; 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit (Hare); 2012 is the Year of the Dragon. Each sign has its own personality characteristics.

Yin and Yang

you must consider the concepts of yin and yang. In the Chinese worldview, everything is either yin or yang. Yin represents passive, cold, feminine, yielding, dark energy. Yang represents active, hot, masculine, aggressive, light energy.
It is important to remember that yin and yang each contain the seed of the other. Everything is seen to go in cycles. If you start with yin, it will grow and grow until it reaches fruition, at which point the seed of yang appears. The energy then slowly turns more and more toward yang, until the yang energy reaches its peak. Then the yang energy wanes and the yin energy starts to grow again.
Yin and yang will be used along with the Five Elements in the 60-year cycle of Chinese astrology.

The Five Elements

five elements
The traditional Five Elements of nature are used in various ways in China, including medicine, astrology, and feng shui. The elements are Water, Wood, Fire, Earth, and Metal.

Wood years are solid years characterized by self confidence, goodwill, and high moral standards. People born in these years make good leaders as they can envision projects on a grand scale. Being fair and honest, they are able to make sound decisions as they manage the work of others. These decisions are accepted warmly by their employees as they are able to win the trust of those around them. The downfall of the wood years is that their self-confidence and willingness to take on work can cause them to take on too much, thus spreading themselves too thin and burning out early.

The Fire years can be brilliant, dynamic, and inspirational and moves one towards the far spectrum of their sign. Like fire, people born in this year are warm and appealing. These people possess the qualities of great leaders, aggressive, motivated, and emotional. They have the ability to motivate others through their flair. Through their motivational speeches, they are able to get things done. This strong desire they possess can cause them to be impatient, selfish, and even violent when their wishes are not fulfilled. As in the element itself, these people can become dangerous if they fail to control their energy and focus it in a positive direction.

The good Earth brings about the practical side of one's sign. People born in Earth years tend to be more responsible and thus are very reliable. Being the engineering type, they are able to deduce logical solutions to a variety of problem types. Their reliable nature makes them a good candidate for tasks that require coordination, adherence to procedure or administration. Earth can lead to a lack of creativity and imagination as these people often find themselves overly grounded in practicality

Metal years bring out the ambition, intensity, and rigidity within the sign. As metal is the coldest of the elements, people born in the metal years tend to be more self reliant as they rarely look to others to solve their problems. In fact, they usually resent interference or unsolicited advice. The element metal is often referred to as gold in Chinese philosophy, thus indicating that metal years are indicative of wealth and business. This coupled with their ambition and taste for the finer things in life, makes them difficult to deter, once their goals have been decided upon. This can often be their downfall though as they are unnecessarily stubborn and opinionated. Relationships can be difficult and sometimes end because others do not wish to follow their demands.

Water years are characterized by flexibility and fluidity. People born in these years often make good communicators and possess the ability to influence the thoughts of others. As they are highly skilled in this area, they are often able to sway others without coming across as nagging or pushy. Unlike the metal types, they are able to utilize others effectively to accomplish their goals.