The influence of the Chinese Zodiac signs

This week, the Chinese New Year – also called the Lunar New Year – will be celebrated. Do you know your Chinese Zodiac sign? These animals have a complex influence, whether you are a Rabbit, a Dragon, a Horse, or an Ox. Steel yourself with patience, and you might be surprised at what you will discover.

The Chinese Zodiac signs

There are 12 signs in the Chinese zodiac, just like in western astrology. Here they are:

  • The rat
  • The ox
  • The tiger
  • The rabbit
  • The dragon
  • The snake
  • The horse
  • The goat (or sheep)
  • The monkey
  • The rooster
  • The dog
  • The pig

The main difference from western astrology is that each Chinese Zodiac sign spans an entire year, and not a single month. The year 2015 is under the influence of the sign of the Goat, 2016 is the year of the Monkey, 2017 the year of the Rooster, etc.

The Chinese Zodiac sign in the year of your birth has a significant role to play. Your nature and your destiny will be greatly influenced by the characteristics of the “animal” in charge that year.

Each year, one of the signs thus has a strong influence over any event or destiny. You need to find how that influence interacts with your own sign.

Indeed, compatibility is the main focus in Chinese astrology:

  • On the one hand, the Zodiac signs interact with one another.
  • On the other hand, they also depend on the influence of:
  • the 5 fundamental elements: water, earth, metal, wood, and fire.
  • the binary Yin/Yang cycles too: Yin and Yang alternate their dominance every year.

This is a subtle game of compatibility, sympathy and antipathy between all these elements. As such, a Yin Metal Horse year will have a completely different influence from a Yang Fire Horse year, for example.

The Sky Map and the 28 Mansions

Astrologers only rarely focus exclusively on the Zodiac signs to make astrological predictions or calculate a natal chart. For a comprehensive astrological reading, they use a “Sky Map”. It is divided into 28 sectors, or Mansions that have an influence over our lives.

The 12 palaces of the Chinese Zodiac

According to the date, and especially the time of your birth, astrologers can draw the astrological positions of these 28 mansions and divide them according to what is called the 12 palaces of life. They are considered to be the 12 most important aspects of life. As such, they form a complex picture of your natal chart through which every aspect of your existence will be analyzed.

The “12 palaces” are:

  1. Life,
  2. Siblings,
  3. Spouse,
  4. Children,
  5. Wealth,
  6. Health,
  7. Travel,
  8. Friends,
  9. Career,
  10. Property,
  11. Happiness,
  12. Parents.

The 4 Symbols in the Chinese Zodiac

The 28 mansions are divided into 4 areas of 7 constellations each. These 4 areas are collectively known as the “Four Symbols” and each of them symbolizes a guardian deity. As such, we have:

  1. The Azure Dragon of the East: it is tied to power, wealth, and strength, but also to luck.
  2. The Black Tortoise of the North (or Black Turtle): it represents wisdom, immortality, and trust.
  3. The White Tiger of the West: a highly respected mythological creature, the foremost symbol of power (Chinese legends claim that the Tiger, the king of the animals, has magical powers, and that its tail turns white when it reaches 500 years of age).
  4. The Vermillion Bird of the South: associated with the Sun, it is a symbol of liveliness, resurrection, adaptability, and the ability to bounce back and react to any change in life.

As you can see, astrological analysis according to the Chinese Zodiac is quite complex. The influence of the mansions, of the four symbols, of the animal ruling over the year of your birth combine with the influence of the 5 elements and of the animal ruling over the current year.

Author: Michel Mas

"The royal art of the stars” has been a passion of mine since I was a child. I started to study astrology about fifteen years ago. I found astrology to be a very efficient and astonishingly lively instrument to provide us with understanding of the core dynamics of human beings. After offering personalized consultations in my practice for 10 long years, today I write horoscopes and online articles.

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