The Chinese Lunar New Year is the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2600BC, when the Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first cycle of the zodiac. Like the Western calendar, The Chinese Lunar Calendar is a yearly one, with the start of the lunar year being based on the cycles of the moon. Therefore, because of this cyclical dating, the beginning of the year can fall anywhere between late January and the middle of February. This year it falls on February 12th. A complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five cycles of 12 years each.
The Chinese Lunar Calendar names each of the twelve years after an animal. Legend has it that the Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from earth. Only twelve came to bid him farewell and as a reward he named a year after each one in the order they arrived. The Chinese believe the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality, saying: "This is the animal that hides in your heart."
Rat 1924 1936 1948 1960 1972 1984 1996 2008
Ox 1925 1937 1949 1961 1973 1985 1997 2009
Tiger 1926 1938 1950 1962 1974 1986 1998 2010
Rabbit 1927 1939 1951 1963 1975 1987 1999 2011
Dragon 1928 1940 1952 1964 1976 1988 2000 2012
Snake 1929 1941 1953 1965 1977 1989 2001 2013
Horse 1930 1942 1954 1966 1978 1990 2002 2014
Sheep 1931 1943 1955 1967 1979 1991 2003 2015
Monkey 1932 1944 1956 1968 1980 1992 2004 2016
Rooster 1933 1945 1957 1969 1981 1993 2005 2017
Dog 1934 1946 1958 1970 1982 1994 2006 2018
Pig 1935 1947 1959 1971 1983 1995 2007 2019
Contrary to its rather negative reputation in the West, the Pig of Chinese Astrology may be the most generous and honorable Sign of the Zodiac. Pigs are nice to a fault and possess impeccable manners and taste. They have so much of the perfectionist in them that others may be inclined to perceive them as snobs, but this is a misconception. Pigs are simply possessed of a truly luxurious nature, one that delights in finery and riches (in surroundings, food, lovemaking and otherwise). This Sign believes in the best qualities of mankind and certainly doesn't consider itself to be superior. Pigs also care a great deal about friends and family and work hard to keep everyone in their life happy. Helping others is a true pleasure for the Pig, who feels best when everyone else is smiling.
A Pig with no one around to appreciate its giving nature is a sad sight. Pigs are so magnanimous they can appear almost saintly; this can lead some less-than-well-intentioned souls to stomp all over this Sign, and the bad news is, the Pig will take the blows! Pigs make great companions in part because of their refusal to see the more negative or base qualities in a partner, but that rose-colored view can lead to this Sign's allowing itself to be taken advantage of. Contrary to their seemingly benign dispositions, however, Pigs can be quite venomous in response to being crossed by a lover, friend or business partner.
Pigs are highly intelligent creatures, forever studying, playing and probing in their quest for greater knowledge. They can be misinterpreted as being lazy, however, due to their love of reveling in the good stuff; this Sign could happily spend hours on end making love, napping, taking a long bubble bath or dallying over an incredible spread of rich foods. Pigs tend to make wonderful life partners due to their hearts of gold and their love of family. Even so, Pigs can be rather exclusive, choosing to spend time with those who will appreciate them most and ignore the rest of the populace. Pigs would do well to realize that there's more to life than being needed. When they open up their world to a diverse group of people, they will truly bloom.
The Rooster is the strutting peacock of the Chinese Zodiac! These quick thinkers are practical and resourceful, preferring to stick to what is tried and true rather than taking messy, unnecessary risks. Roosters are keenly observant. It's hard to slip anything past a Rooster, since they seem to have eyes in the backs of their heads! This quality can lead others to think the Rooster is psychic, but that's not generally the case; instead, this Sign enjoys a keen attention to detail that makes it a whiz at anything requiring close analysis. Roosters make great lawyers, brain surgeons and accountants, to name a few of this Sign's possible occupations. Above all else, the Rooster is very straightforward and rewards others' honesty in kind.
Roosters aren't shifty or cagey and have no interest in hiding behind a facade. They are the proverbial open book, telling the truth and keeping their word. If you show your hand, the Rooster will respect you for it. This kind of trusting behavior can tempt tricksters to pull a fast one on the Rooster, but that would be a bad move! Remember, this Sign doesn't indulge in flights of fancy and keeps those eyes wide open at all times.
Roosters tend to be perfectionists and expect to be in control, especially over their appearance. Primping and posing for the Rooster can go on forever! Being noticed and admired is an aphrodisiac for Roosters, and they can go a long time on a few kind words. Roosters also adore being out on the town, especially if they're in the company of adoring friends. The Rooster will also be the best-dressed one of the bunch -- style counts with this Sign, regardless of the cost.
Roosters also expect to be in control of their surroundings, including whoever happens to be in those surroundings. Roosters keep an impeccably neat house and expect their lovers, housemates and family members to maintain the same high standards of dress and conduct as they do. This can cause problems with other, more relaxed types who just want to be accepted as is. The Rooster needs the right partner, one who understands this Sign's basically conservative nature. With the right person, the Rooster can be the most loyal, trusting and supportive mate around, one who bends over backward to please its loved ones. Some Signs may just end up feeling hen-pecked, however.
Roosters need to learn to value their heart and soul as much as their good looks. Their excellent people skills and sharp minds are qualities that others will appreciate as much as a pretty face. This Sign would also do well to learn to adopt the philosophy of live and let live; perhaps an appeal to the Rooster's logic -- that it's inefficient to waste time nagging others -- will help this Sign learn to let others be whomever and however they are.
Daydreaming all afternoon sounds heavenly to the Sheep. This creative, esoteric Sign needs plenty of time alone in which to feed its Muse. Sheep are generally most comfortable in their own minds (which other, more linear-thinking Signs may have trouble deciphering). This Sign makes a great craftsperson or artisan, or perhaps a teacher of New Age studies -- any occupation that allows its mind the full range of freedom. Sheep tend not to be very well-organized, precluding many more dry business endeavours. In fact, Sheep tend not to be very materialistic in general, finding plenty of riches in their own imagination. However, especially when in love, the Sheep can be quite a lavish gift-giver.
Perhaps it's that artistic temperament that so often causes Sheep to feel insecure, but the result is that these high-strung creatures need to feel loved and admired lest they start worrying incessantly. For this reason, Sheep tend to have a hard time with romance; anyone who couples up with a Sheep must know, this Sign has a sensitive streak a mile wide and can be subject to bouts of anxiety over seemingly inconsequential things. Sheep need plenty of love, support and open reassurance from their lovers. If a relationship is marked by conflict, the Sheep will often pull away -- either physically or simply by retreating into the safe haven of its imagination.
If the romance is going well, however, Sheep won't hesitate to tell their partner what they need -- and they can be quite insistent about it! This Sign will definitely return the favor, however; the Sheep has a luxurious side that delights in indulging a lover's every wish. Appearances are also important to the Sheep, which may explain why these folks can spend hours primping and posing.
Sheep would be well-served by learning to relax and let others run the show from time to time. Once they can be certain that their friends and lovers won't be gone when the Sheep returns from its daydreams, life will be a field of daisies.
Diplomatic and popular, the Snake has the sensual art of seduction down. This Sign is an interesting mix of gregariousness paired with introversion, intuitive reasoning paired with savvy business skills. Snakes are considered to be lucky with money and will generally have more than enough to live life to the fullest, regardless of how important it considers money to be; this may be due to the fact that Snakes tend to be rather tight with cash. They're not stingy, they're simply more mentally than physically active. Snakes tend to hang back a bit in order to analyse a situation before jumping into it. Their charming, seductive quality actually belies a rather retiring nature; this Sign is perfectly happy to spend the whole day curled up with a good book and, thus, can be mislabeled as being lazy.
The Snake is somewhat insecure deep down and tend to be a rather jealous, possessive lover, behaviour that can end up alienating loved ones. Despite these less-than-stellar tendencies, however, the Snake often proves irresistible and is a generous, loving partner. Slightly dangerous and disarmingly smart, the Snake's philosophical and intuitive mind generally supersedes logic in favour of feelings and instinct. Snakes will rely on their own gut reactions and intuitions before turning to others for suggestions. This makes this Sign a great hand in any business venture, possessing the caution and smarts needed to get ahead.
Snakes are hard workers (when they see good reason to be!) and are possessed of a keen intelligence. Snakes have incredible follow-through, once they get going, and they expect the same from others. Thus, their co workers and employees had best stay on their toes, lest they anger the Snake and suffer its poisonous bite!
In general, of course, Snakes are generous and genteel, charming and appealing. Snakes must try to learn humility and to develop a stronger sense of self. Once Snakes realize that confidence comes from within, they will finally be comfortable in their own skin.
Timid and attractive, the Rabbits of the Chinese Zodiac tend to act more like bunnies, whether they like it or not! This Sign is extremely popular and has a wide circle of family and friends. Its compassionate nature leads it to be very protective of those it holds dear, but where romance is concerned, the Rabbit's sentimentality can lead it to idealize relationships. The sweet, sensitive Rabbit often ends up giving more of itself to a partner than is realistic or healthy. The good news is, when this Sign goes off-balance, the Rabbit's core group of friends and its stable home life help bring it back to centre.
The Rabbit is a rather delicate Sign that needs a solid base in order to thrive. Lacking close, supportive friends and family, the Rabbit might just break down in tears at the first sign of conflict. Emotional upsets in this Sign's life can even lead to physical illnesses. Rabbits dislike arguments and other conflict and will try anything to avoid a fight; this results in something of a pushover nature. Rabbits can also lapse into pessimism and may seem stuck in life -- often to mask their insecure natures. Rabbits tend to move through life's lessons at their own, rather contemplative pace; it's a waste of time to become exasperated with this Sign's seeming disinterest in facing its problems and conquering them.
With the right partner -- meaning someone whose high principles won't allow it to take advantage of this sensitive, giving Sign -- the Rabbit can make an incredibly loving and protective partner or family member. Rabbits love to entertain at home and always make sure their house is comfortable and tastefully-furnished. What Rabbits need most is a stronger sense of self-worth and the security that comes with it. Their discerning natures, coupled with some hard-won assertiveness, will help these happy creatures go far.
The Ox of Chinese Astrology is no bull in a china shop. Steadfast and solid, this powerful Sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. Oxen tend to be plodding and methodical; they approach projects in the step-by-step manner that serves them best, and they never lose sight of their goal. They are tireless workers who are detail-oriented and believe in doing things right the first time.
The world may perceive Oxen as being far too serious or incapable of loosening up. This sturdy sort is less than social by nature and tends to become introverted in a crowd. To make things worse, they can't be bothered with what other people think and prefer to do what makes them feel best. Behind that calm facade, though, lives an Ox who can feel hurt, lonely and unable to connect with others. Friends and family are a great source of comfort to this beast, even if they don't always understand what makes the Ox tick. As a lover, friend, family member or housemate, the Ox makes a wonderfully strong, tender and affectionate companion who is protective and always reliable.
Out in the world, though, Oxen tend to be stubborn, dogmatic, my-way-or-the-highway kind of people who have no concept of when to back down. Oxen don't care to be pushed, especially since they think they're the good guys of the Chinese Zodiac. There is some truth to that theory, since the Ox is smart, trustworthy, caring and honourable. If you need honest, steady and unbiased advice, call on the Ox.
A good lesson for mighty Oxen is to strive to overcome a judgmental nature that keeps them from getting close to others. If they can learn to value their own good qualities, they'll have more room in their hearts to invite others in.
In the West, the Dog is man's best friend, but in Chinese Astrology this Sign is a little more unpredictable than that. Dogs are loyal, faithful and honest and always stick to their firm codes of ethics. However, this Sign has trouble trusting others. It's generally quite trustworthy itself -- except for the occasional little white lies the Dog tells in order to make things go more smoothly. The Dog makes a wonderful, discreet and loyal friend (despite any white lies) and is an excellent listener. This Sign tends to root for the underdog and its keen sense of right and wrong makes it duty-bound to the core. The Dog's mantra seems to be, Live right, look out for the little people and fight injustice whenever possible.
Dogs can also be rather dogmatic, too. They don't go in for light social banter; instead, they go straight for home, expostulating on the topics that are most important to them. At these times the Dog's narrow-minded or stubborn side can become apparent; this Sign has trouble staying light and calm when an important issue is at stake. This Sign can also be very temperamental; mood swings characterize its emotional life and often the Dog needs to run off to be alone in order to recuperate. Part of the problem is the result of this Sign's load of irrational fears that turn into niggling anxieties that turn into hurt feelings and occasional grouchiness. This sensitive Sign needs to warm up to others over time and gradually learn to trust them. Without that trust as a foundation, Dogs can be judgmental and coarse.
The Dog's discerning nature does make it an excellent business person, one who can turn that picky, guarded nature into a keen sense of the truth of another's motives. Where love is concerned, Dogs often have a tough time finding the right match. They can be so anxious and overwrought in the romance dance that they'll stress their partner to the max! In any forum, this Sign is happiest when able to be quite physically active; at home or at work, the Dog will always be constructing something new or cleaning something up in order to make things better. Dogs need to work on controlling their irrational worries and would also be well-served to relax their mile-high standards, which can sometimes wind up alienating the ones they love.
The spunky Monkey is the original party animal! Charming and energetic, Monkeys crave fun, activity and stimulation. They truly know how to have a good time and can often be seen swinging from one group of friends to another, attracting a motley crew in the process. Always upbeat, they are considered minor celebrities in their circle thanks to their sparkling wit and that rapier-sharp mind. Perhaps surprisingly, Monkeys are also good listeners and tackle complicated situations with ease. This Sign's natural curiosity lends it the desire to become knowledgeable on a broad range of topics. Monkeys have a show-off side that loves nothing more than to dazzle their pals with all they know.
The Monkey tends to be rather accident-prone due to a certain lack of very high morals. This Sign's first interest is pursuing its own pleasure; this is not a malicious interest, it's just the way the Monkey is. However, this kind of carefree self-involvement can lead to all kinds of scrapes. In love, the Monkey makes a fun, exciting lover -- but one that may have the potential to stray romantically. The good news is, the Monkey’s glib manner and witty repartee can often get this Sign out of a scrape. Perhaps not everyone will be won over by the Monkey -- but do you think the Monkey really cares? The Monkey's world, full of devil-may-care energy and revelry, isn't for everyone. Remember, though, it's not that this Sign is mean; it might just be a bit too curious for its own good. Monkeys often feel the need to try everything at least once, which can make for a merry-go-round of relationships.
The Monkey's love of self-indulgence can also lead to other types of trouble. This Sign may have limited self-control concerning food, alcohol and other pleasurable activities. It's party time all the time for the Monkey, yet when it leads to a monster hangover or a shattered heart (generally someone else's, not theirs), this Sign might actually show a touch of remorse. They won't flat-out admit the error of their ways, but at least they'll pull back and try to tone things down -- for a while.
Monkeys must try to learn to think of others ahead of themselves, at least some of the time. This Sign's world will be more complete once it realizes the world doesn't revolve around it.
Thank goodness for open spaces, because the Horse needs plenty of room to roam! Energetic, good with money and very fond of travel, Horses are the nomads of the Chinese Zodiac, roaming from one place or project to the next. All of this Sign's incessant activity and searching may be to satisfy a deep-rooted desire to fit in. Paradoxically, Horses feel a simultaneous yearning for independence and freedom.
Horses crave love and intimacy, which is a double-edged sword since it often leads them to feel trapped. Love connections tend to come easily to Horses, since they exude the kind of raw sex appeal that is a magnet to others. This Sign tends to come on very strong in the beginning of the relationship, having an almost innate sense of romance and seduction. Horses are seducers in general; check out any A-list party and you're bound to find the Horse in attendance. This Sign possesses a sharp wit and a scintillating presence; it really knows how to work a crowd. Surprisingly, Horses tend to feel a bit inferior to their peers, a misconception that causes them to drift from group to group out of an irrational fear of being exposed as a fraud.
An impatient streak can lead Horses to be less than sensitive to others' needs. These colts would rather take a situation firmly in hand as opposed to waiting for others to weigh in or come to terms with it. The lone wolf inside the Horse can at times push others away, but this also makes this Sign stronger and is a key to its success. Horses are self-reliant and, though they might lose interest fast in a tedious, nine-to-five day job, are willing to do the work necessary to get ahead.
Horses tend not to look much at the big picture; instead they just follow their whims, which can result in a trail of prematurely ended relationships, jobs, projects and so on. This Sign really knows how to motivate others, though, and get a lot accomplished. Once they find some peace within themselves, they can curb their wandering tendencies and learn to appreciate what's in their own backyard.
The Dragon is one of the most powerful and lucky Signs of the Chinese Zodiac. Its warm heart makes the Dragon's brash, fiery energy far more palatable. This is a giving, intelligent and tenacious Sign that knows exactly what it wants and is determined to get it. Dragons possess a certain natural, charming charisma that ensures they can always influence their peers and often find themselves the center of attention in social situations. This Sign is truly blessed, too; Dragons are considered to be very lucky in love! The Dragon's friends are always keen to hear what this firebrand has to say and when it comes to dispensing advice, the Dragon has the floor.
Its ego can get in the Dragon's way, but even so, this larger-than-life creature has a knack for initiating projects and keeping the troops motivated. According to Dragons, it's their natural born right to lead the way -- because who else could do it so surely and so well? As lucky as they are, Dragons have a good chance of achieving considerable material wealth during their lifetimes, although it isn't mere money that's this Sign's main motivation. Power is what the Dragon wants and truly believes it deserves. Dragons are quite the opportunists, forever searching for ways in which to consolidate their considerable power. Contrary to all this strength and fire, a weakened Dragon is a sad sack, a creature that refuses to take defeat with even a modicum of grace.
The role of leader is the only one the Dragon wants, the better from which to give orders and be king of the hill. They make solid leaders, too, knowing instinctively what needs to be done to stay on top. Crossing the Dragon is never a good idea -- this beast can singe! A valuable life lesson for this clever creature would be to absorb the principles of flexibility, compassion and tolerance. Being high and mighty can serve to inspire others, but it also keeps Dragons from living their lives to the fullest. If Dragons can learn to balance their quest for success with an appreciation for the little things, their life will be more than worthwhile.
Though the Western rat is reviled as little more than a bottom-dwelling disease carrier, this animal is viewed much differently in the East. The Eastern rat is revered for its quick wits and its ability to accrue and hold on to items of value; rats are considered a symbol of good luck and wealth in both China and Japan. Clever and quick-witted, the Rat of the Chinese Zodiac is utterly disarming to boot. Possessed of excellent taste, this Sign flaunts its style at every turn. Its natural charm and sharp, funny demeanor make it an appealing friend for almost anyone. The Rat likes to know who is on its side and will treat its most loyal friends with an extra measure of protection and generosity.
Behind that sweet smile, though, Rats are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas. This Sign is motivated by its own interests, which often include money; greed can become a problem if the Rat isn't careful to keep its priorities straight. This Sign's natural powers of charm and persuasion can definitely come in handy! Although they are often hoarders, Rats can be very generous to those in their pack, namely friends and family members who have proven their loyalty. Others might perceive them as quick-tempered and sharp-tongued, but never boorish. Verbal jousting is a great pleasure for the Rat, a Sign that everyone around will quickly learn either to love or to hate.
Rats enjoy being on the outside looking in, as the outside affords a view into the inner workings of a system or situation. The Rat's keen mind always seeks out new knowledge, to be stored away for future use. This ever-curious Sign also welcomes challenges as a way to stay sharp. If boredom sets in the Rat is no fun at all, but that isn't likely; this Sign knows how to keep itself entertained.
A valuable lesson for Rats is to learn to consider others above themselves, at least sometimes. If they can develop their sense of self and realize it leaves room for others in their life as well, Rats could find true happiness.
Tigers may not be the king of the jungle, but these striped cats are no softies! Magnetic and self-possessed, Tigers are born leaders. They have an air of authority that prompts others to fall in line, which is exactly how they like it. Although they are magnetically charming and fun to be around, Tigers like to go it alone sometimes too. A Tiger's main interest is in following its ambitions -- and maintaining control.
Tigers are courageous beyond compare and generally come out ahead in battle, be it in the boardroom or the bedroom. Seduction is one area where the Tiger is definitely king! Noble and warm-hearted, Tigers have a natural, raw appeal that's extremely attractive to other Signs. They're not just about attraction, though; ever on the side of right, Tigers will fight the good fight to the bitter end if the cause is worthy. Opponents are wise to fear this feline.
A bit of caution is a good thing around Tigers, since they can pounce without warning. They experience mood swings and often feel things more intensely than others, the latter quality being both good and bad. They can react poorly under stress and are prone to emotional outbursts. This Sign's bristling sensitivity can send friend and foe running for cover.
A lesson that Tigers would be well-served to learn is moderation in all things. Once these cats can find their centre and direct their considerable energies toward worthwhile endeavours (as opposed to racing through life), they will accomplish much.
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There is an inn, a merry old inn beneath an old grey hill, And there they brew a beer so brown that the Man in the Moon himself came down one night to drink his fill - sign under the Prancing Pony Inn - LOTR
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