Eastern Astrology

Chinese (or Eastern) astrology is based on a combination of calendars and traditional astronomy. The Chinese Zodiac and astrology started flourishing from the 2nd century BC until the 2nd century AD, during the Han Dynasty. Chinese philosophy is very closely related to Chinese astrology. This is based upon the three-harmony theory of water, earth and heaven. There are many principles of Chinese philosophy and astrology that are not a part of Western astrology including yin and yang, the Wu Xing teachings, the 12 earthly branches, the 10 Celestial stems, the calculation based on the day, month and year of shichen, and the lunisolar calendar. This consists of both the sun and moon calendars.

During the Zhou dynasty from 1046 BC through 256 BC, Chinese astrology was expanded. The Han period emphasized the most familiar elements regarding the Chinese culture. This was when the formalization of the Chinese principles of astrology, divination, alchemy and medicine took place. The concept of Wu Xing involves the five classical planets. Jupiter stands for Wood, or the Azure Dragon, Saturn is Earth, or the Yellow Dragon, Mercury is Water, or the Black Tortoise, Venus is Metal, or the White Tiger, and Mars is Fire, or the Vermilion Bird.
chinese zodiac signs

According to Eastern astrology, the destiny of an individual can be seen in the positioning of the major planets during their birth. The position of the comets, Moon and Sun during the time they were born, and their zodiac sign are also considered an influence. The twelve-year cycle of Chinese zodiac signs was determined by traditional Chinese astrology, and the orbit of Jupiter. The Chinese astrologers tracked Jupiter’s orbit around the sun, and this celestial circle was then divided into twelve sections. Each section was rounded into a full year, and this was the basis for the Chinese zodiac. The constellation of Sheti is still associated with the planet Jupiter.

The Chinese believe a person’s destiny and fate can be foretold based on their birthday, the season in which they were born, and the hour they were born. This is referred to as Zi Wei Dou Shu, pinyin and Purple Star Astrology. This remains the basis for current Chinese astrology and fortune telling. The Chinese have 28 constellations, and they are completely different from what is found in the Western constellations. Big Bear is called Dou by the Chinese, the belt of Orion is referred to as Shen, or the trio of demigods, Longevity, Fortune and Happiness. The Chinese call the northern sky’s spirit Xuan Wu, and the Taoism belief calls it the Spirit of Water.

The heavenly bodies have numerous different astrological readings. Many fairy tales are based on the stars in the Eastern sky. An excellent example is the story of the Summer Triangle. This encompasses a trio consisting of Deneb, the tai bai fairy, Vega, the weaving maiden fairy, and Altair, the cowherd. According to the story, the silvery river, or the Milky Way separated the two forbidden lovers. According to the Chinese calendar, during the seventh day of the seventh month, a bridge is created across the silvery river by the birds. The two stars present on both sides of Altair represent the two sons, and they are carried by the cowherd as they cross the bridge for a reunion with Vega, the son’s fairy mother. The chaperone is Deneb, the tai bai fairy, and she watches over the two immortal lovers.

Breaking Down the 12 Chinese Zodiac

The Chinese Zodiac represents a twelve-year cycle, and is called the Sheng Xiao. Every year within the calendar is associated with the sign of an animal. The signs are the rabbit, tiger, ox, rat, pig, dog, rooster, monkey, sheep, horse, snake and dragon. These Chinese zodiac signs are based on the lunar calendar. Each sign has different characteristics and traits as listed below.
  1. The Rat is sociable, charming, artistic, intelligent, quick-witted and adaptable. This is the water element.
  2. The Ox is reliable, loyal, reasonable, strong, determined, thorough and steady. This is the Earth element.
  3. The Tiger is ambitious, enthusiastic, confident, courageous, charismatic and a leader. This is the wood element.
  4. The Rabbit is empathic, sincere, trustworthy, sociable, modest, sensitive, diplomatic and a caretaker. This is the wood element.
  5. The Dragon is imaginative, flexible, lucky, artistic, eccentric, charismatic and spiritual. This is the earth element.
  6. The Snake is organized, elegant, philosophical, attentive, intelligent, decisive and intuitive. This is the fire element.
  7. The Horse is loyal, intelligent, adaptable, adventurous, courageous, strong and ambitious. This is the fire element.
  8. The Sheep is warm, tasteful, calm, crafty, charming, elegant, sensitive and intuitive. This is the Earth element.
  9. The Monkey is versatile, quick-witted, bright, lucky, lively, charming, smart and adaptable. This is the Metal element.
  10. The Rooster is energetic, flamboyant, diverse, honest, intelligent, flexible and confident. This is the Metal element.
  11. The Dog is loyal, courageous, steady, adaptable, sociable, diligent, lively and smart. This is the Earth element.
  12. The Pig is honorable, determined, sincere, philanthropic, optimistic and sociable. This is the Water element.