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Discover the secrets of Classical Feng Shui! My book “Feng Shui: Do You See What I See?” is an introduction and guide to practicing Classical Feng Shui. Learn to see, analyze, create, and choose auspicious properties and homes with classical Feng Shui methodology. Download here:
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A Simple and Broad Stroked Insight To Chinese Astrology

12 zodiac animals chinese astrology with book of learning image

When it comes to understanding the ancient principles of Chinese Astrology, there are a number of core ideas that oftentimes will make Westerners scratch their heads and question the truth of it all.

This was certainly true for me when I began my Chinese Astrology studies 30 years ago. At that time, I had already been a student of Western Astrology for 10 years, and was aware of the insights astrology could give, but I struggled to make sense of it all. It was Chinese Astrology and the concept of Heaven, Earth and Man (the Cosmic Trinity) that helped me put into perspective the questions “Why are we here?”, “Do we have past lives?” and “What is the purpose of my life?”

Destiny, according to traditional Chinese Philosophy, is seen as a harmonious interplay between Heaven (Tian), Earth (Di) and Man (Ren). Heaven governs the broad aspects of destiny, including major life events and overall life path. Earth embodies the physical world and its natural elements and contributes to destiny through the environment and circumstances, and Man, given free will and conscious choices, plays a pivotal role in influencing one’s destiny through personal actions and decisions.

In Chinese Astrology, it is believed that with our first breath, we are all stamped with in an imprint of energy that, much like our DNA, determines personality characteristics, intelligence, and more. This energy blueprint has its own unique interchange with the energies of the time and space.

Indeed yes, everyone born in a particular year will have their life indelibly stamped with the energies of that year, but also will have their individual destinies determined by the month, day and hour of their birth. The timing of your very first breath all tells the probabilities of your life story.

But if everything is determined by that first breath, does that mean you do not have free will in your life to choose your own path? Yes, of course you do, but just like an orange can’t wish itself into a watermelon, neither can you change your inherent blueprint in this lifetime.

Of course, Chinese Astrology is much more complex than to limit its perspective on one’s life by this “first breath” factor alone.

And, given the diversity of human nature and fortunes, it would seem illogical at first glance that a system based on the 5 elements (Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth), Yin and Yang and their interactions could paint a picture of your life. But the truth is it does. We are beings of energy, and while we can’t change our birth chart, we can learn to work with it and we can learn to choose actions and behaviours that are in flow and harmony with time.

Yes, there is more complexity to Chinese Astrology than I can illustrate in this post, but essentially it has a perspective that is attuned to the influences that shape and create our life.

It has taught me that life becomes magical when you are shown who you are, know your strengths and weaknesses, and then work with the cycles of time to align yourself to life’s cycles.

We all have different seasons of growth and rest, and when you know who you are and what cycle you are in – life becomes easier to manage.

In Chinese Astrology, one of the tools of understanding oneself is to study the 12 Animals. I must qualify first that this is a very simplified look at the study. There are many factors to consider when looking at the whole picture of yourself. To study in depth, we look at the animal representing different bodies of Qi and how together with combinations and interactions creates a complex and comprehensive picture of our lives.

But that in depth look and study is for a later day…

For today, here’s a brief look at the general qualities of the different signs.

The animals of the Chinese Zodiac in order of appearance on the calendar are Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

Rat: Represents Yin Water: Positive Qualities: Quick witted, adaptable, charming, sociable, intelligent. Often gifted in math, music, and business. Curiously often a collector, someone who loves a party and is often up in the late night. Negative Qualities: sly, inconsistent, promiscuous, careless.

Ox: Represents Moist Yin Earth, Yin Water and Yin Metal: Positive Qualities: reliability, perseverance, loyalty, intelligence, thorough. Oxen make good partners, but they are rarely leaders, preferring the role of support. Negative Qualities: Stubborn, lack of charisma, misanthropy.

Tiger: Represents Yang Wood, Yang Fire and Yang Earth: Positive Qualities: Ambitious, charisma, confident, courageous, dedicated, often makes a good leader and warrior. Negative Qualities: Aggressive, ruthless, indifferent to others’ opinions.

Rabbit: Represents Yin Wood: Positive Qualities: Sociable, diplomatic, sincere, empathic, modest, kind, often in the healing field, diplomats. Negative Qualities: over cautious, insecure, moody, shrewd, and complaining.

Dragon: Represents Yang Earth, Yin Wood and Yin Water: Positive Qualities: Idealist, perfectionist, charismatic, flexible, lucky, generous, flamboyant, makes a good political or religious leader. Negative Qualities: Idealism extreme, lack of realism, temper when plans go wrong, procrastinates.

Snake: Represents Yang Fire, Yang Metal and Yang Earth: Positive Qualities: Intelligent, intuitive, Indecisive, elegant, attentive to details, philosophical, organizers, writer. Negative Qualities: Overly attentive to details, miserly, devious, manipulative.

Horse: Represents Yin Fire and Yin Earth: Positive Qualities: Adventurous, courageous, charismatic, ambitious, sociable, intelligent, loyal, travellers. Negative Qualities: Restless, impatient, self-centred, reckless.

Goat /Sheep: Represents Dry Yin Earth, Yin Fire and Yin Wood: Positive Qualities: Elegant, charming, sensitive, loyal, excellent craftsmen. Negative Qualities: Indecisive, cautious, subservient, limited outlook.

Monkey: Represents Yang Metal, Yang Water, and Yang Earth: Positive Qualities: Witty, curious, lively, intelligent, charming, adaptable, needs someone to guide them to reach their potential. Negative Qualities: Frivolous, arrogant, mischievous, unreliable.

Rooster: Represents Yin Metal: Positive Qualities: Energetic, intelligent, flexible, flamboyant, outspoken, reliable. Negative Qualities: Overly concerned about appearance, aggressive, direct, impatient.

Dog: Represents Yang Earth, Yin Fire and Yin Metal: Positive Qualities: Loyal, intelligent, courageous, sociable, supporters but not necessarily leaders. Negative Qualities: Aggressive, unpredictable, overly conservative.

Pig: Represents Yang Water and Yang Wood: Positive Qualities: Sincere, tolerant, sociable, cheerful, determined, optimistic, honourable, content. Negative Qualities: Lacks assertiveness, and overthinks, resulting in procrastination.

I have a new BaZi Mastery Immersion Class starting in Nov. 2023. Class size is limited to 12 new students and there are currently 5 spots left. My approach is that limited class sizes allows for time to work with you individually to support you as needed.

The class will run from November 9th until the end of Feb where we meet twice a week via Zoom for 2 hours. Classes are recorded for those that cannot attend live. There will be a 2 week break at Xmas. If you would like to know more, here is the link or please feel free to send an email to

Peace and Light,

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