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A Simple and Broad Stroked Insight to Chinese Astrology

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.

And that was certainly true for me when I began my Chinese Astrology studies 20 years ago.

But once I learned that Chinese Astrology was a tool to understand and design my destiny, I became fascinated with the subject and was compelled to learn more.

So, like the title of the post says, read on for a simple and broad-stroked insight to Chinese Astrology

Chinese Astrology dictates that with our first breath we are all imprinted with an energy that, much like our DNA, determines personality characteristics, intelligence, and more.

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 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.

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) and Yin and Yang could paint a picture of your life.

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.

If you are interested in learning in depth on Chinese Astrology (also known as BaZi), once a year I teach a 5-day course. Click here for more details.

In Chinese Astrology, one of the tools of understanding one’s self 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 together with Yin and Yang create a complex and comprehensive picture of our lives.

But that in-depth 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 Water: Positive Qualities: Quick-witted, adaptable, charming, sociable, intelligent. 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: Positive Qualities: reliability, perseverance, loyalty, thorough. Oxen make good partners but are rarely leaders in their own right. Negative Qualities: Stubborn, lack of charisma, misanthropy.
Tiger: Represents Yang Wood: 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, trustworthy, often in the healing field, diplomats. Negative Qualities: over-cautious, insecure, moody, shrewd and complaining.
Dragon: Represents Yang Earth: Positive Qualities: Idealist, perfectionist, charismatic, flexible, lucky, generous, flamboyant, makes a good political or religious leader. Negative Qualities: Lack of realism, temper when plans go wrong, lazy.
Snake: Represents Yang Fire: Positive Qualities: Intelligent, intuitive, Indecisive, elegant, attentive to details, philosophical, organizers, writer. Negative Qualities: Miserly, devious, manipulative.
Horse: Represents Yin Fire: Positive Qualities: Adventurous, courageous, charismatic, ambitious, sociable, intelligent, loyal, travellers. Negative Qualities: Restless, impatient, self centred, reckless.
Goat /Sheep: Represents Dry Yin Earth: Positive Qualities: Elegant, charming, sensitive, loyal, excellent craftsmen. Negative Qualities: Indecisive, cautious, subservient, limited outlook.
Monkey: Represents Yang Metal: 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: Positive Qualities: Loyal, intelligent, courageous, sociable, supporters but not necessarily leaders. Negative Qualities: Aggressive, unpredictable, overly conservative.
Pig: Represents Yin Water: Positive Qualities: Sincere, tolerant, sociable, cheerful, determined, optimistic, honourable, content. Negative Qualities: (I’m not sure this is really a negative – but the pig is felt to be more concerned with domestic and local community issues than larger issues).
Chinese Zodiac Chart

(featured image credit: GanMed64)

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