The Chinese zodiac, or Sheng Xiao, is a system of divination based on a twelve-year cycle, with each year corresponding to a different animal sign. The signs are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.
Chinese Zodiac: the legend of its origin
According to Chinese legend, the order of the signs was determined by the order in which the animals arrived at a meeting called by the Jade Emperor, who wanted to name a year after each of them.
The animal sign that corresponds to a person’s year of birth is said to influence his or her personality and destiny. For example, those born in the Year of the Rat are said to be resourceful, while those born in the Year of the Ox are said to be strong and hardworking.
Chinese culture and people consider it a general guide to know a person’s personality tendency. Although many people may find Chinese Horoscope entertaining, it is not a scientific method to predict people’s future, it is a way to look for some general characteristics of people by the year of their birth. And of course, it should not be used to judge or label someone.
How the Chinese Zodiac works: the 12 animals
Each of the twelve animals of the Chinese zodiac is associated with certain personality traits and characteristics. Here is a brief summary of some of the common traits associated with each animal:
- Rat: cunning, resourceful and ambitious.
- Ox: hard-working, reliable and persistent.
- Tiger: fearless, confident and independent.
- Rabbit: sincere, kind-hearted and elegant
- Dragon: energetic, ambitious, and self-confident.
- Snake: wise, discreet and mysterious
- Horse: optimistic, independent and quick-thinking
- Sheep: kind, compassionate and artistic
- Monkey: intelligent, curious and versatile
- Rooster: hard-working, disciplined and practical
- Dog: honest, loyal and reliable
- Pig: honest, tolerant and sincere
It is important to note that, as with the astrological signs, people may possess a combination of these traits, and that individual personality and experiences also influence the configuration of their characteristics.
In addition to the animal sign, the Chinese zodiac also takes into account the five elements: metal, water, wood, fire and earth, as well as yin and yang. Each animal sign is associated with one of the elements and one of the yin-yang polarities.
Therefore, the year of the animal is not the only factor affecting people’s destiny or personality, the month, day and even the time of birth play an important role.
How the Chinese zodiac works: the 5 elements
As mentioned, in addition to the twelve animal signs, the Chinese zodiac also takes into account the five elements: metal, water, wood, fire and earth.
These elements are believed to profoundly influence people’s personality and destiny. Each animal sign is associated with one of the five elements, and it is believed that the characteristics of the elements complement and enhance the traits of the corresponding animal.
Here are some of the common characteristics associated with each of the five elements:
- Metal: strength, determination and precision
- Water: adaptability, flexibility and intelligence
- Wood: creativity, intuition and growth
- Fire: passion, enthusiasm and courage
- Earth: stability, reliability and practicality
It is also important to note that, in Chinese astrology, the five elements also interact with each other and are associated with different cycles of growth and balance. Each element is related to another in a cycle of generation and control. Wood controls Earth, Earth controls Water, Water controls Fire, Fire controls Metal and Metal controls Wood.
As with the animal signs, people can possess a combination of the characteristics associated with the different elements, and again it is just an idea to learn more about our own selves and the people around us.