An Introduction to Chinese Astrology

Most of us, especially in the USA, have been to a Chinese restaurant at least once that has placemats showing the twelve signs of their Zodiac. All you have look for is the year you were born. My granddaughter bought me a used book called “The Little Giant Encyclopedia of the Zodiac.” Reading I found out that the date of your birth is just as important to know your Chinese sign as it is to know your tropical zodiac sign. 

The Chinese Zodiac is represented by twelve different animals, that repeat in order throughout a 12-year cycle. This is also how the name of the current year of the Chinese Calendar year. The names of the 12 animals 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.

Once you know your zodiac sign then it is time to find out if you are a Yin or a Yang person, this is not based on if you are a male or female when doing a Chinese Zodiac reading it is based on what your animal sign is. Next, you can find out the elemental group you belong to. In China, the elements are Metal, Fire, Wood, Earth, and Water.

I will go into more detail about each of the different aspects of how to do a Chinese zodiac reading. The Next Topic will be the Chinese Zodiac Calendar. 

Here is a hypothetic, simplified reading for Jane Smith: She was born on October 31, 1954

In 1954 the dates for that year started on Feb 3, 1954, and ended on Jan 23, 1955, making Ms. Smith a Horse which is a Yang person and her element is Fire.

As I said, in the beginning, I will go through each part of a Chinese Zodiac reading in its own post.

Chinese Astrology Overview

Chinese Zodiac Signs

The Chinese zodiac, also known as the Sheng xiao in Chinese, relates each year to an animal and its alleged traits, according to a 12-year cycle. Besides China and Taiwan, it has wide following in several East Asian countries. The main focus of this page is to study the Chinese zodiac signs and what do they stand for.

The Chinese zodiac bears several similarities to the Western zodiac. In both, the time cycles are divided into 12 parts, with each part labeled with the names of animals. Each of these Chinese zodiac signs, like its western counterpart, is widely connected with a culture of influence of a person’s relationship to the cycle, according to their personality and events in their life. However, there are certain major differences between the Chinese zodiac horoscope and the western. The Chinese zodiac has the 12-part cycle divided into years rather than months. Some of the zodiac signs in the Western forms are not represented by animals, for example the inanimate balance scale “Libra”.

The Chinese zodiac signs of twelve animals stand for twelve different types of personality. The Chinese zodiac year traditionally starts with the sign of the Rat. Given below are the twelve Chinese zodiac signs in order and their characteristics:

To read about the characteristics and other information on this topic go to: