Chinese Zodiac Signs / Star Signs in Astrology
Chinese Zodiac Signs / Star Signs in Astrology
A direct comparison between the Western horoscope and the Chinese horoscope proves that despite the similarities of both traditions they are also quite different in several basic aspects. For example, the Chinese zodiac is a 12-year cycle in which every zodiac sign reign for a year and not just for a month. The twelve Chinese zodiac signs are also different from those used in Western astrology because they are all animal signs. Another big difference is the general appreciation of astrology among the Chinese, for whom the horoscope has always been an indispensable part of their everyday lives. Hence, it is normal for the Chinese to base family planning, important career moves and other major life decisions on the Chinese horoscope. Furthermore, in Western astrology the sun has the biggest impact on the zodiac signs, whereas Chinese astrology is based on the lunar calendar, which makes the moon the most influential element for the Chinese zodiac signs.
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Influence of the moon
Unlike in Western astrology, the zodiac signs of the Chinese horoscope are not influenced by the sun but by the moon. As a result, the Chinese zodiac cycle is divided in 12 years rather than in 12 months. Every year is dedicated to a different animal sign, each of which symbolizes specific qualities and traits that also attached to the people that are born under these signs. As the Chinese calendar is based on the lunisolar calendar, the Chinese New Year doesn't fall on the 1st of January but on the second new moon after the winter solstice, which happens between the end of January and mid-February and is celebrated for several days.
The Chinese animal signs
Since the twelve Chinese animal or zodiac signs are quite different from the signs used in Western astrology, they are presented in the following in an overview, including a brief characterization of their qualities:
The first Chinese zodiac sign is the Rat. People who are born in the year of the Rat are said to be very witty, clever and sharp. They are also known for their loyalty and their generosity as well as for their sense of humor and their gift for friendship.
Second in line in the Chinese horoscope is the Ox. Due to its attributes, the Ox is a powerful zodiac sign. People born in these years are usually strong, quiet, persistent and sturdy. They work hard but they also tend to be stubborn, serious and lonely.
The third sign of the Chinese zodiac is the Tiger. Tiger people are natural leaders. They are noble, fearless and positively ambitious. At the same time, they are said to be very warmhearted and, which is also quite typical, extremely seductive.
The Tiger is followed by the Rabbit as the forth sign of the Chinese zodiac. People who are born under that sign are very family-oriented and popular among their wide circle of friends. They are also very compassionate, sensitive and honest and tend to avoid conflicts whenever they can.
After that comes the Dragon, which is number five in the Chinese zodiac and is considered to be another very powerful sign. Dragon people are very energetic, warm, charismatic and brave, but they can also be quite egoistic.
The sixth Chinese zodiac sign is the Snake. People born in these years are usually very intelligent and charming. They are extremely detail-oriented and base their decisions on thorough analysis and planning.
Number seven in the Chinese zodiac is the Horse, which stands for an energetic and outgoing personality. Horse people love to be the center of attention and enjoy the company of others very much. They are also known for their intelligence and their great sense of humor.
The next zodiac sign is the Goat, which refers to qualities like creativity, intelligence and reliability. People who are born in the year of the Goat are quite comfortable on their own and need to withdraw from time to time to remain in alignment with themselves and with the world.
Sign number nine in the Chinese horoscope is the Monkey, which is considerably more sociable than his forerunner. Monkey people are smart, honest and positively curious and are known for their versatile and flexible character.
The Rooster is number ten in the Chinese zodiac. People born in these years are said to be very loyal, open and direct and tend to exaggerate in certain situations. They know how to motivate their environment but they themselves need constant appreciation from others to feel good.
After the Rooster comes the Dog, which is the eleventh sign of the Chinese zodiac. The Dog stands for fidelity, empathy, altruism and kindness. Dog people never put themselves first and offer their shoulder to anyone who needs a friend he can lean on.
The last zodiac sign is the Pig, which according to Chinese astrology and Chinese star signs is especially important with regard to family planning. The Chinese believe that a child that is born in the year of the Pig will be a darling of fortune. Hence, the Pig stands for virility, fertility and all kinds of blessings.
The Chinese horoscope in everyday life
As opposed to the Western horoscope, the Chinese horoscope has always played an important role in the lives of the Chinese and of other East Asian nations. Until today people in these countries take the symbolism of the twelve Chinese star signs very seriously and integrate this knowledge in their daily routines and in all of their major and minor decisions. Similar to the Western zodiac signs, some of the Chinese star signs are associated with positive attributes and some with more negative ones. And as each of the Chinese zodiac signs reigns over an entire year, people take that into account when they plan to have a family or want to get married or when they build a house or make an important career move. Originally, the twelve Chinese zodiac signs came into existence after Chinese astrologers had observed the motions of the moon very thoroughly. As they did, they started to count from one full moon to the next and from one new moon to the next, which at some point inspired them to divide the zodiac band into twelve equal segments. For lack of other denominations, these segments were numbered consecutively in the beginning. Later on, they were called Earthly Branches due to their connection with agriculture and eventually received the names of twelve specific earthly animals.