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Chinese astrology is one of the oldest astrological systems that is still in current practice. Unlike the Western astrology system, Chinese astrology is not based off of the individual months that comprise a full year, but is instead based off of a twelve year lunar cycle. Each year is assigned a specific animal or creature that corresponds to the time in the lunar cycle. These creatures were chosen by the ancient Buddha on his death bed, and are the rat, the ox, the tiger, the rabbit, the dragon, the snake, the horse, the goat, the monkey, the rooster, the dog and the pig. Each creature signifies a different meaning and your particular sign can be very revealing to your true inner being. Your sign can also dictate how others view you in relation to their own signs.

History of Chinese Astrology

The birth of Chinese astrology is closely linked to the discovery of astronomical science. Both came about in roughly the 2nd century BC during the Han Dynasty. It served, and still currently serves, as a complex system of mapping one's ultimate destiny and spiritual being based on his or her birth year. Other factors can be taken into consideration to create an even deeper insight to one's being such as birth date and birth time.

Because Chinese astrology is astronomy-based, you can find more specific details of your fate and fortune beyond the twelve basic zodiac creatures. For example, every person belongs to one of the five major planets. These planets are: Venus (element: metal, animal: the white tiger), Jupiter (element: wood, animal: azure dragon), Saturn (element: earth, animal: yellow dragon), Mercury (element: water, animal: black tortoise), and Mars (element: fire, animal: vermilion bird). These five phrases and elements are part of the Wu Xing philosophy that is said to dictate how you relate to the people, environment, and nature that surrounds you.

What You Should Know About Chinese Astrology

The following list describes the traits and elemental types that are typically associated with each sign. Once you have discovered your own sign, you can refer to this list to find greater meaning to your inner being:

Year of the Rat: The Rat is an earthly symbol and follows the motto of "I rule."

Year of the Ox: The Ox is a water based symbol and follows the motto of "I persevere."

Year of the Tiger: The Tiger is a wood based symbol and follows the motto of "I win."

Year of the Rabbit: The Rabbit is an earthly symbol and follows the motto of "I retreat."

Year of the Dragon: The Dragon is an earthly symbol and follows the motto of "I reign."

Year of the Snake: The Snake is a fire based symbol and follows the motto of "I feel."

Year of the Horse: The Horse is a fire based symbol and follows the motto of "I control."

Year of the Ram: The Ram is a fire based symbol and follows the motto of "I depend."

Year of the Monkey: The Monkey is a metal based symbol and follows the motto of "I entertain."

Year of the Rooster: The Rooster is a metal based symbol and follows the motto of "I know."

Year of the Dog: The Dog is a metal based symbol and follows the motto of "I worry."

Year of the Pig: The Pig is a water based symbol and follows the motto of "I preserve."

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