All You Need to Know About the Chinese Zodiac Sign and Element
You may have wondered what your Chinese horoscope is? Then come here, our complete guide will teach you all about your destiny and your most striking personality traits! 🙌
As you may know, the Chinese horoscope works differently from the Western horoscope. The former is based on the lunar calendar, while ours is based on the solar calendar. Another major difference is that the Chinese horoscope traditionally assigns one animal per year of birth. According to this model, the animal that corresponds to a year of birth will have a huge influence on a person’s personality and destiny, as if it followed a certain pattern throughout his or her life. ⬆️
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Every personality has its faults and (very) interesting sides. You have surely heard about it despite the rather chaotic situation, the Chinese New Year took place on January 25th. On the occasion of this event and if you followed it well, this year is the year of the Rat. 🐀
Yes, it can grow back at first, but the rat has a lot of qualities, and who knows…you might be one of them. 😁 You can check it out just below. ⏬
It is also important to know that each year is associated with one of the 5 elements that are extremely well known and used in the Chinese tradition. ☯️ It is absolutely necessary that you understand how they work in order to understand lunar astrology! 🌑
1) THE 5 “WUXING” ELEMENTS
We find water, fire, wood, earth and metal. They participate in the balance of the earth since they complement and contain each other. If a link is removed from the chain, the balance is upset and nothing works normally anymore. 😨
Wuxing is said to date back to the Shang Dynasty (1046-1600 B.C.) since the number “5”, used to perform divination rituals, has been found several times carved into bones. However, this is only a theory, nothing proves that at the time the five elements had the same meaning as today, nor that there was really a relationship between them. 🤔
Nevertheless, there was evidence that the sacrifice of oxen, for example, had to be associated with a particular time of the year for it to be promising, and that the “5” was once again associated with rituals. 5️⃣
The use of the 5 elements during this period will be confirmed with the book The Master of Huainan which quotes :
The mastery of the 5 elements will then be presented as being indispensable for governing. The wise man who understands nature is the wise man who will be able to lead his country, heal the sick, improve the quality of life and longevity of the inhabitants. ⛑️ Moreover, the Han dynasty reigned under the emblem of fire. 🔥
Later, the “Wuxing” will be taken up again in the doctrine of Confucius (551-479 BC), Chinese philosopher and highly recognized historical figure and considered as the first “teacher” of China. 👨🏫
We will then talk about Chinese cosmology. This notion will be deeply rooted in the culture of the country to the point of being used in many areas: medicine, acupuncture, spirituality, philosophy, natural sciences, and what interests us most: astrology. 🌝
B) THE OPERATION
In Chinese astrology, the 5 elements are seen as a whole, they form cycles, stages of transformation, destruction and creation. Each sign of the Chinese horoscope governs us, producing energies that influence us throughout our lives.
Concrete example: A person who is born under the sign of wood is influenced by the energy of Yang. This element means that this person will generally be a strong person, on whom we can rely. 💪
To summarize, each person would be influenced by :
🔹His or her astrological sign, one of the 12 animals of the zodiac
🔹One of the 5 elements
🔹An energy, either Yin or Yang ☯️
Are you still following? 😅 It is important to know that there are also cycles that allow the balance of nature and that link each element together. There are 2 types of cycles.
GENERATION CYCLE 🌱
It’s simple. Generation simply means creation through the elements with the following cycle:
Metal → Melted at high temperature becomes water 💧
Water → Water the vegetation and make the trees grow so wood 🌲
Wood → Can be lit for various uses and produce fire 🔥
Fire → Burning plants and becoming ashes that go into the ground 🟤
The earth → Contains many minerals, source of the metal ⚙️
DESTRUCTION CYCLE 💥
It also works the other way around, but more in a relationship of domination:
🔹Metal can slice wood
🔹Wood can draw from the earth
🔹The earth is capable of absorbing water.
🔹Water extinguishes the fire
🔹Fire melts metal
Now that you understand how it works, let’s see in which areas of life Wuxing is used. 🧐
C) THE DOMAINS
The 5 elements are used in many fields to the point of making them models, whether in medicine or combat (Tai Chi) for example. 🥊
IN TRADITIONAL MEDICINE 🩸
In the treatment and diagnosis of patients’ diseases, the 5 phases doctrine plays a fundamental role in Traditional Chinese Medicine. A few examples of this doctrine:
🔹A mother who makes her child sick. The child coughs and produces thick, yellow mucus. This would correspond to a cycle of destruction: the invasion of metal by the earth. Why is this? Mucus is a form of moisture in the body, and moisture belongs to the earth. There is also metal since in Chinese medicine, the lungs, the organs involved in coughing, correspond to this element. 😷
2nd example: a red and painful wound on the skin. Typically, it would be an invasion of metal by fire. Why would this happen? Fire corresponds to the color red and the pain caused by touch corresponds to the color red. The skin is the tissue of the metal. 🗜️
Believe it or not, some people turn to this traditional medicine, and sometimes it works! Herbal medicines and acupuncture points are mainly used. 🌿
IN FIGHTS 👊
Here again, the 5 elements have their usefulness! 👨🏫 In accordance with the generation cycle you saw earlier, the 5 phases of the fight are :
🔹1st stage: The metal symbolizing the contact with the opponent
🔹Step 2: Water to break the distance and get closer to it
🔹Step 3: Wood to block the shots and parry his defense
🔹4th step: The light to rotate and enter its perimeter
🔹Final stage: The land to defeat the enemy 🥊
IN THE KITCHEN 🍳
🔹Fire: corresponds to the red color 🔴, the food that would be good for the health of the heart and brain. Examples: carrots, tomatoes, chili, goji berry, dragon fruit…🐲
🔹Wood: corresponds to the green color 🟢, the food that would be good for the liver, muscles. Examples: wasabi, beans, anything related to fruits and green vegetables.
The earth: corresponds to the yellow color 🟡, the food that would be good for the digestive system. Examples: corn, pumpkin, egg yolk, lemon, orange, honey…
Metal: corresponds to the white color ⚪, the food that would be good for the lungs and skin. Examples: onion, tofu, oat milk, banana, almonds…
Water: corresponds to the black ⚫, the food that would be good for the kidneys and bones. Examples: grapes, tea, soy sauce, black beans…
There are still many other uses, but we wanted to share the most interesting ones with you. Now, let’s see how the Chinese horoscope came into being and how it has evolved. 🤫
2) THE HISTORY OF THE CHINESE ZODIAC
The Chinese zodiac is a continuous cycle of 12 years, where each year corresponds to one of the 12 animals. There are many theories about the origin of these signs. At the time level, the elements of the zodiac would have been identified in the Han Dynasty period discussed above, but really became popular as a Chinese horoscope around 550 AD. 😀
Some myths suggest that it was Emperor Huangdi, China’s first emperor, who invented the lunar calendar with its corresponding cycles.
There are different theories on the appearance of the zodiac. 👹
(A) THE APPEARANCE BY WAY OF TRADE
Some believe that the 12 animals were brought via the “Belt and Road Initiative” a well-known network of trade routes established during the Han Dynasty, along with Buddhism in China. The famous explorer Marco Polo actually crossed these routes and described them in his works.
However, specialists have stated that the Chinese zodiac predates Buddhism, and that it has its origins in Chinese astrology. As for the 12-year cycle, it is believed to be based on the planet Jupiter, a constant planet that returns to the same place in the sky every 12 years! ♃
B) THE CREATION OF BUDDHA
Another legend is that it was Buddha 🕉️ who assigned the twelve animals of the Chinese Horoscope. Of the many guests, only twelve showed up. To reward them, Buddha will assign them a year according to their order of arrival:
🔹Wild boar 🐗
C) THE RIVER RACE
In this myth, the Emperor of Jade is said to have ordered all the animals living on earth to celebrate his birthday with him. He would then have created a rule that all animals would have to participate in a race across the river, and the place of these animals in the Chinese horoscope would be fixed in relation to their position in the race. 🥇
The story goes that upon learning the news of the race, the sleeping cat would have asked the rat to wake him up to go to the race. The rat promised him, but on the morning of the race he left forgetting all about it. 🤷♂️
On reaching the river, the rat came across the ox that was catching its breath and asked him to help cross. Once this was done, he jumped out of the ox’s ear and rushed to the Emperor’s feet, so 1st place for the rat 🥇, 2nd place for the ox 🥈.
The powerful and fast tiger took 3rd place, followed by the agile rabbit who jumped from stone to stone until he reached a piece of wood to cross the river. The Dragon only came in 5th place, as he helped the rabbit to move on his log by creating wind. An honorable action!
The horse galloped relentlessly but only came in 7th place, as the snake slipped under his hoof and crossed the line right in front of him. The sheep, monkey and rooster arrived in 8th, 9th and 10th place respectively on a raft. 🌊
Finally, the dog arrived 11th because it had stopped to wash itself in the river, and the sleeping pig arrived 12th. That’s how the Chinese horoscope was born!
The cat woke up too late and could not participate in the race. Thus, a great hatred developed between him and the rat, responsible for his absence from the zodiac. 🙄
Now that you are familiar with the history of the zodiac, we will see the years that correspond to the Chinese zodiac signs.
3) THE YEARS OF CHINESE ZODIAC SIGNS
A) 2020, YEAR OF THE METAL RAT
We will start with a small case study to make sure you understand the Chinese horoscope which is quite unusual. As you saw above, the year 2020 is marked by the sign of the rat. This animal being the first in the zodiac, it also means that a whole new cycle begins again. 🔄
Don’t panic, you will be able to read the analysis of this sign and all the others in the next section. ⬇️
Why the year of the metal rat? The answer is simple. We arrived at the restart of the cycle, so the 1st year (in this case the year 2020) corresponds to the rat. The 5 elements described above change each year also with thus a cycle of 5 years. This year it is the metal, that is why we speak about the metal rat.
The Chinese horoscope of the rat is associated with this element, which means that the predictions are never really the same.
Last year, it was the year of the ground pig. 🐷
Which horoscope for the year 2020, that of the metal rat?
The rat being the 1st animal of the zodiac, this year will be marked by a revival, and new opportunities that will arise financially, and in love, it will be necessary to seize them at the right time. 🤩 This year will also be a lucky year for all 12 signs of the Chinese horoscope. It’s also a great opportunity to start a business or to invest your money in a long-term project.
It is also a year full of creativity. Many will realize that they have the power to become what they want and that they are the only actors in their lives. 🙏
The element of metal creates water, which corresponds to high productivity for the metal industry, cars, machinery, cosmetics and health. All you have to do is get started! 🤞
You have to follow your ambitions with as much hard work and determination as possible, while never letting yourself be discouraged by the difficulties, and you have a huge chance to succeed!
B) THE YEARS BY SIGN 🀄
With this chart, you can see your Chinese zodiac sign directly in relation to your year of birth.
Ex: If you came into the world in 1998, you are of the sign of the tiger. 🐯 But the zodiac sign is not enough. The part just below will give your exact horoscope according to your date of birth. So concentrate well!
4) ANALYSIS OF CHINESE ZODIAC SIGNS
⚠️ Disclaimer: The “periods” in love symbolize the periods of a couple, from birth to maturity. Good horoscope!
A) LE RAT
SOME FACTS ✔️
The rats in the Chinese horoscope are marked by independence and work hard to achieve their goals. Their greatest traits are honesty and an easy-going personality. Their loyalty to those around them is a great plus. However, this sign is rather narrow-minded, sometimes mean, especially because in their eyes things must be done in their image. Yes, it is “all or nothing”.
🔹1st period: Some of you may have suffered from loneliness or lack of understanding, but things will get better. You will experience strong and solid love. If you are already in a relationship, understanding with your partner will be greatly enhanced! 🥰
🔹2nd period: A harmonious couple life awaits you. However, be careful not to become negligent towards the other.
🔹3rd period : You will understand that life as a couple is a succession of privileged moments, but also difficult moments. Important discussions await you that will strengthen your relationship and your person! 😮
It will be necessary to fight against impulsive spending and avoid incurring additional debt. In short: focus on the essentials!
As a heavy worker, the rat sign can be subject to a certain amount of stress. The solution: don’t forget to rest well and to have an adapted diet!
B) THE Ox
SOME FACTS ✔️
The Ox (or Buffalo) will feel relaxed and comfortable from this year on, and this will have a huge positive impact on his life! Every time he shows confidence and tries to innovate, luck will smile on him. 😄 But if he doesn’t take action to change what’s wrong with his life, luck will turn its back on him.
🔹1st period: He will have the desire to strengthen the ties that unite him to his half, and build a solid relationship. For singles, this is the beginning of a great passion and the future meeting could well lead to a marriage! 👰
🔹2nd period: It will go through big sentimental storms, but harmony with the loved one will also bring great inner peace.
🔹3rd period: The relationship will be balanced, better communication will take place, and everyone will be encouraged to see the positive in every situation. 👐
For steers who have invested money in the financial markets, concerns may arise. Uncertainty about their development will continue for some time, so be careful!
We must continue to improve our health by exercising regularly. You need to rest, but don’t give up anything!
C) THE TIGER
SOME FACTS ✔️
In the Chinese horoscope, the tiger marks prosperity, luck and power. The beginning of the year for him will be particularly promising. It is a noble sign, which commands respect because of its instinctive authority. He likes it when people obey him, he is a natural leader.
Beware: he can be a little too confident at the risk of making a mistake or even causing harm!
🔹1st period: If the lion is already in a couple, his relationship will be marked by sensuality and intellectual complicity. If he is single, the next encounter could become a beautiful story. You have to keep your eyes open 😉
🔹2nd period: The lion’s life as a couple should continue with some difficulties but above all a lot of joy. If he is single, the circumstances should be favorable for a love encounter.
🔹3rd period: Important conflicts will appear. The lion who does not like to be dominated or contradicted will want to express his desire for independence more firmly. That said: After each storm the calm returns. 😌
For people born a lion, earnings in the following trades could drop significantly:
Some people may suffer from colds or respiratory symptoms. It is best to avoid dusty, hot, humid places, rest and drink plenty of nutritious, antioxidant beverages (e.g. tea). 🤒
D) THE RABBIT
SOME FACTS ✔️
For rabbits, this year should be positive overall. But difficulties are to be expected. It’s up to you to see them as an insurmountable obstacle or a challenge! 🤘
The natives of this sign are quite shy by nature, they want to live their life at their own pace, and like relaxing environments. The rabbit is very imaginative, but he is also a pessimistic person. His strong compassion and great sensitivity are widely appreciated.
🔹1st period: The rabbit’s love life will evolve towards a certain sensuality. Nevertheless the rabbit is easily upset in his feelings. A piece of advice: it is necessary to live in the present moment without being too focused on the future!
🔹2nd period: If the soul mate has already been found, this will not prevent candidates from seducing, even if it means upsetting the union. For single people, they have an 80% chance of finding love in the professional sphere. 👔
🔹3rd period: There will be a desire for novelty and change for rabbits in pairs. If the partner does not follow, it could be very tricky! For singles, they will live many non-serious stories until they find true love.
Good times don’t last forever, you have to know how to step aside and let others take over. For entrepreneurs, you have to adapt to the changes and demands of the market if you want to stay the course!
You have to be careful with extreme sports and activities for some people. For others, not exercising at all is a bad idea that can be harmful to their health.
E) THE DRAGON
SOME FACTS ✔️
This is our favorite sign…🤫 The year 2020 of the Chinese horoscope forecasts for the dragons an affirmation of their originality, especially at the professional level, which will be validated by colleagues and superiors! But sometimes the positions they adopt are too radical, one must be more moderate.
The Dragon is dynamic, very intelligent and proud of himself. He is also very perfectionist. However, he can quickly get carried away and is quite stubborn. 😤
🔹1st period: This is a happy period for dragons in couples. For the singles, flirting is at the rendezvous but no will to commit for the moment.
🔹2nd period: The peak of the romantic life in couple will be reached during this period. The other half will understand you and help you a lot in your life. For the single souls, it is not the moment to be shy! 😊
🔹3rd period: For couples, the dragon will make an important decision that will strongly impress his half. For singles, they will reject any form of non-serious relationship. ⛔
We must reduce unnecessary expenses! We must also play our cards because opportunities are fast approaching.
It is important to stay calm in stressful situations. There is time for everything: work, rest, fun, and family.
F) THE SNAKE
SOME FACTS ✔️
The Snake will discover new passions on which he will spend a lot of time. He will especially turn to spirituality. What characterizes him is his irresistible charm and his enigmatic side. He has good manners. But he can be jealous and possessive! 👎
🔹1st period: For some, the birth of a child will mark the realization of many projects. For the lonely hearts, the stars are favorable to a new meeting soon! 🌟
🔹2nd period: The current relationship will be placed under the sign of dynamism and fluidity. The routine may be present, but the snake will do everything to break it. For singles, you will make the most of your period of freedom. 🆓
🔹3rd period: This is the time to live privileged moments and to share with the other. For the single people, they will finally be ready to sacrifice a little of their freedom for a meeting that will change everything…
You need to focus on work performance to get better results! Fines may be imposed this year.
It is necessary to pay more attention to one’s personal health, by worrying too much about the health of one’s loved ones, one forgets one’s own!
G) THE HORSE
SOME FACTS ✔️
Quite disturbing changes could occur. 🤯 If the horses are able to overcome the challenge, it will be good for them. Don’t doubt their abilities!
The Horse is the most independent and financially intelligent sign in the Chinese horoscope. Sometimes he may be tempted to follow the masses, other times he may adopt a rebellious behavior and make decisions that stand out from the crowd.
🔹1st period: There will be a certain desire to enlarge one’s family or to engage in an exciting love project. For singles, they are only interested in long-term projects. 👵
🔹2nd period: A healthy and peaceful relationship is to be expected. The couple will fall into a certain comfortable routine. For singles, a meeting will take place but it will not lead to much. 🤷♂️
🔹3rd period: The couple will lack spicy moments and this could annoy the horse. For the singles, nothing on the horizon. Patience!
There is no need to worry if his income has decreased compared to the previous month. There are ups and downs! It will improve during the year.
A Horse will feel bad if confined to a particular bed or place.
H) THE GOAT (or SHEEP)
SOME FACTS ✔️
The goat is very understanding, gentle and caring. She is compassionate for the mistakes of others and forgives easily. No hard feelings! 🤝 Introverted by nature, this sign is the most anxious and indecisive sign in the Chinese horoscope. For this reason, it will not make any major or significant decisions in its life.
🔹1st period: Ouch, the routine sets in! You have to do everything you can to counter this. Why not plan a trip as a couple? For singles, don’t let yourself get caught up in a relationship that will only cause dissatisfaction because you feel alone: no time to waste with the wrong people!
🔹2nd period: We must try to rekindle the flame in the relationship, as much for couples of one year or several years! 🔥 Singles, it is necessary to live from day to day by taking maximum advantage.
🔹3rd period: The relationship will be relaunched with good communication. For singles, life will be pleasant as it is.
A lot of expenses in the coming month. Some may find it difficult to decline invitations (parties, events) for professional reasons.
Beware of possible car accidents and mountain hikers. 🏔️ Never underestimate every situation at the risk of very serious injuries.
I) THE MONKEY
SOME FACTS ✔️
It will take a lot of sweat and effort to get what the monkey wants. If he does not give in to panic, the obstacles will be crushed. Highly intelligent and innovative, the monkey loves a challenge. He is humorous and loves to be the center of attention. 🤡
🔹1st period: No novelty in love life on the horizon. For singles, they will focus on several targets instead of one. 🏹
🔹2nd period: A meeting that will pique the curiosity of the monkeys will take place. The love life of the couple will light up.
🔹3rd period: Pleasure and passion will characterize this period of couple. It is an opportunity to put the past behind us in relation to the many difficulties encountered. A meeting will take place, and this person will be radically different from you.
A lot of money is going to be earned, but unfortunately a lot of it is going to be spent unnecessarily.
Keep in mind to do regular physical activity and drink lots of water during the day to maintain your body! 🚴
J) THE ROOSTER
SOME FACTS ✔️
The Rooster is of a very great dignity. He likes to debate and be the center of attention. However, he is a bit pretentious. He is very careful about his general appearance: money is not a problem for him! Finally, he is quite dreamy in love. 💌
🔹1st period: A warm and positive atmosphere will be created for people living together as a couple. For singles, a passionate love is not far away!
🔹2nd period: The Rooster tends to exaggerate and to systematically see things in a big way: his love life is no exception. Result: he is not satisfied in his current couple. For singles, there is a risk of not paying attention to a person because they are too self-centered! 😓
🔹3rd period: The alignment of the planets will offer one of the most promising periods of the year for singles. For those in couple, be careful not to put it in danger for ridiculous reasons!
Government policies will impact your budget and quality of life. But it will stabilize!
Health is most important. We need to reduce the stress and anxiety that cause illness, and understand where it comes from.
K) THE DOG
SOME FACTS ✔️
You will have to be patient for the difficulties to come, and tenacious at work. If the challenges are overcome, the Dogs will obtain 2 great qualities: the ability to negotiate and to make difficult choices.
The Dog is very honest, he has a great sense of loyalty and justice. He is a good listener, even if sometimes he can be judgmental and defensive. 🛡️
🔹1st period: The couple will be marked by simplicity and daily joy. If you are alone, it is time to meet someone. 👀
🔹2nd period: Stability and reliability will be the key words of your couple. Otherwise, you have to open your eyes while paying attention to people who are not worth it. ❌
🔹3rd period: You reject the routine, you need more “spice” in your couple. 🌶️ For singles, they may succumb to love at first sight.
There has been a period of crisis, but the storm has not yet passed. You should avoid spending your money on luxury goods if it is not the priority. 💎
If you get sick, you should trust modern medicine and pay attention to your diet! 🥝
L) THE PIG
SOME FACTS ✔️
We finish our Chinese horoscope with the last animal: the pig! Last year was chaotic, but we must learn from bad events and grow from them. One key word characterizes it: simplicity. He is naturally popular, he is a person of confidence. Some people think that he is naive and can be easily fooled, but this is not the case: he is very clever. 🧠
🔹1st period: You will make a good impression at the beginning of your relationship by being an understanding and listening person. If you are single, open your eyes wide, an unexpected encounter is near.
🔹2nd period: The bonds will be strengthened with your partner. If you are single, you will become much more sociable and comfortable! You will also go out a lot. 🚪
🔹3rd period: The couple becomes important: it’s time to make it a priority. Gifts and small attentions will make the difference.
You’ll be involved in family matters, but that’s not necessarily what will make you richest. This is your chance to start your own business!
Do not hesitate to help people in need and reduce your stress level.
Take a look at our new article on the Feng Shui Dragon to learn more about energies!
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We hope you liked this article about The Chinese Zodiac Sign. Please don’t hesitate to give us your impressions in the comments !
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