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History of Chinese Astrology

Gaynor Borade
Chinese astrology has gained a lot of popularity with the renewed interest in the art of Feng Shui. The stream is largely contributed to by readings in astronomy, and the various solar and lunar calendars referred to.
Chinese astrology is part of a philosophy that studies and relates to the harmony of the elements and the environment. This science works along an inter-connected grid between the major planets acknowledged, deliberately bifurcated branches of the earth, celestial stems, and a lunisolar calendar.
The latter is a calendar that is designed around the positions, and affect of the sun and moon on particular days, months, and years. The system developed and passed down for generations is part of an ancient tradition that has defied every timeline. Dating back thousands of human years, this science is now enjoying a resurgence of acceptance and popularity.

The 5 Major Planets

  • Mercury―associated with water and represented by the black tortoise
  • Venus―associated with metal and represented by the white tiger
  • Mars―associated with fire and represented by the vermilion bird
  • Jupiter―associated with wood and represented by the azure dragon
  • Saturn―associated with earth and represented by the yellow dragon

The 12 Animals and Attributes

  • Rat: disciplined, charismatic, over-ambitious
  • Ox: dependable, hardworking, narrow-minded
  • Tiger: unpredictable, passionate, obstinate
  • Rabbit: sensitive, elegant, opportunistic
  • Dragon: stately, noble, prejudiced
  • Snake: mystic, creative, distrustful
  • Horse: popular, perceptive, gullible
  • Ram: sincere, artistic, pessimistic
  • Monkey: motivator, dignified, manipulative
  • Rooster: organized, perfectionist, egotistical
  • Dog: honest, loyal, judgmental
  • Pig: sturdy, trusting, fatalistic

The 10 Year-endings

  • 0 - Yang - metal
  • 1 - Yin - metal
  • 2 - Yang - water
  • 3 - Yin - water
  • 4 - Yang - wood
  • 5 - Yin - wood
  • 6 - Yang - fire
  • 7 - Yin - fire
  • 8 - Yang - earth
  • 9 - Yin - earth
According to this mysterious stream of astronomy, the attempt is made to define or predict destiny on the basis of the position of the major planets, at the time of a person's birth.
The Chinese zodiac signs are studied as twelve 'animal' signs, that again represent different personality traits and attributes. The animal signs are assigned to each year, month, and even days and hours.
A number of 'inner' or 'secret' animals are also considered when applying the science in depth. The lunisolar calendar indicates that the years ending in even numbers are dominated by yang, the odd number endings are ruled by yin.
The Chinese Zodiac commences with the celebrations of the Chinese New Year. The two distinct types of readings depend on birth and position of celestial bodies. In fact, the reason why the Chinese New Year falls on a different day each year is that the lunar calendar follows the fortnightly cycles of the moon.
Chinese astrology is very old, and most of the art has been handed down by word of mouth. In the absence of ancient texts, the only plausible explanation is that the animals connected with each month are empirically associated with human behavior. These animal stereotypes have survived on the basis of the characteristics seen in every human being.
Chinese astrology follows four signs―year, month, day, and hour (of birth). These are the four pillars or ascendants on which Chinese astrology is based. It does not imply that the readings predict fate, it specifies the parameters set by the place and time of birth.
However, it also helps inspect and identify the influence of family and culture on the individual. Chinese philosophy and astrology are fascinating, depending on 'balance' and 'range of capability'.