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Chinese Zodiac 

The Chinese Zodiac is said to be more than 2,000 years old, emerging from the Han Dynasty. The Chinese Zodiac differs from Western Astrology in that it is divided into twelve cycles, years depicted by animals, instead of months, as shown in the Western Horoscopes.



There is a legend that claims on New Year’s Day Buddha invited all the animals to join him; however, only twelve arrived.  As a reward for their attendance, Buddha promised to name each year after them, based on their arrival, beginning with the Rat. The Ox was said to be the first animal to arrive, but the Rat sat on his back, jumped off upon arrival, and as result was first.

Chinese Astrology is primarily known because of the animals that represent each sign and the year with which they are associated. However, very little credence is given to the fact that the elements and other properties are part of the Chinese Zodiac and are therefore very important when calculating one’s Zodiac. Without taking this fact into consideration, it is not possible to garner a complete and accurate analysis or forecast of oneself, only a very basic interpretation.   

At the same time in the West, when translating the Chinese Zodiac, it was not taken into consideration that besides the animals associated with the year, there are also inner animals assigned by the month and secret animals assigned by the hour. The animal assigned to a person by year depicts how that person presents themselves to the world and how the world views that person.


During translation of the Chinese Zodiac into English, because many of the symbols, were perhaps difficult to understand, some of the animals depicted in English could possibly have several meanings that don’t actually exist in Chinese tradition.  For instance, a rat could be a mouse, a pig maybe a boar or a ram, or an ox a cow.  Plus, to keep things simple and interesting for those wanting to learn more about the Chinese Zodiac, it was easier to provide a simple, basic translation so everyone could participate in finding out more about their animal counterpart and characteristics. 

FengShui practitioners, when evaluating space and energy alignment in a person's home, often use the Chinese Zodiac. This practice enables the practitioner to determine the best way to bring peace, harmony, and balance to their client’s environment, as well as helping the client to achieve their highest potential.

The Chinese Zodiac is fun, unique, and exciting, providing just as much information about self personality traits and purposes in life as is revealed in Western Astrology. It is yet another tool to help each person achieve happiness and fulfillment in reaching their goals.

© 2011   Lilith Dove

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