Chinese Zodiac (with Elements)
According to one legend, in the sixth century B.C. Buddha invited all the animals in creation to a race, only twelve showed up: the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Lam, Monkey, Cock, Dog, and Pig, and according to their places in the race, Buddha had given them each a number starting with the Rat who was the winner of the race.
This legend, of course, is by far the least credible of all explanations of the origin of the Chinese zodiac. Because the "twelve earthly branches" which correspond with the zodiac, was already in existence as early as the Zhou era, long before the advent of Buddhism. A parallel decimal set of symbols called "ten heavenly stems", corresponding with yin-yang dualism and the five elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, water) was in existence in the Shang dynasty as the stems were part of Shang rulers' names. The Zodiac, or the "twelve earthly branches" is probably deviced together with the ten heavenly stems.
As a duodecimal numeral system, the twelve earthly branches is probably evidence for trade between early tribes that later contributed to the Chinese civilization on the one hand, and the Mesopotamian civilization, which perfected duodecimal arithmetics, on the other.
The Chinese zodiac, though not entirely identical with the Greek zodiac, nonetheless shares with it the duodecimal system and the idea of using animals as numerical symbols. This is a hint for the triangular relations between early Chinese, Mesopotamian and Greek cultures.
When the Bulgars, an early Turkic tribe within the Hun tribal federation that invaded Europe at the end of the Roman Empire, brought with them the very same Chinese zodiac. This is a probability that the Chinese zodiac is of northern Chinese origin, commonly shared among Altaic and northern Chinese tribes.
However, nowadays the Thai and Tibetans use the same zodiac with slight modification, probably due to millennia of contact with the Chinese civilization.
According to Chinese folklore, this sign can be quite complex and people who are born under this Chinese sign possess strong leadership skills and are intelligent, charismatic, artistic, charming, persuasive, attractive, generous to loved ones, and ambitious. On the negative side, rats can be exploitive, dangerous, dreamy, deviant, selfish, cunning, psychotic (rats tend towards mental instability), lustful, stubborn, manipulative, frail, and vain. Rats are said to get along well with "monkeys" and "dragons," and to get along poorly with "horses".
Rats are a symbol of good luck and wealth. They are clever and intelligent. This sign is very ambitious and strong-willed, and they are keen and unapologetic promoters of their own agendas, which often include money and power. Rats are naturally charming, seductive, and persuasive. They are energetic and versatile and can usually find their way around obstacles, and adapt to various environments easily. A rat's natural charm and sharp demeanor make it an appealing friend for almost anyone. The Rat likes to know who is on its side and will treat its most loyal friends with an extra measure of protection and generosity. However, they also have long memories and will rarely forgive or forget an enemy. Rats are strongly family oriented. Although they are often hoarders and can be miserly, they also are very generous to their family and friends. Rats have a great capability for accumulating and holding on to items of value.
A valuable lesson for Rats is to learn to consider others below themselves, at least sometimes, and to avoid forcing their ideas onto others. Rats are fair in their dealings and do not expect the same from others in return, and can be deeply affronted if they feel they have been deceived or that their trust has been abused. Sometimes they set their targets too low, whether in relationship to their friends or in their career, but as the years pass they will become more idealistic and tolerant. If they can develop their sense of self and realize it leaves room for others in their life as well, Rats can find true happiness.
In middle age, if everything goes smoothly, Rats will be able to achieve their life goals. Traditionally, Rats should avoid Horses, but they can usually find their best friends and love interests in Monkeys, Oxen, and Dragons.
Ideal jobs for rats include detective, spy, artist, musician, writer, lawyer, broker, politician, psychiatrist, pathologist, and crime laboratory scientist.
The Ox is the sign of prosperity through fortitude and hard work. This powerful sign is a born leader, being quite dependable and possessing an innate ability to achieve great things. As one might guess, such people are dependable, calm, and modest. Like their animal namesake, the Ox is unswervingly patient, tireless in their work, and capable of enduring any amount of hardship without complaint.
The Ox person needs peace and quiet to work through his/her ideas, and when he/she has set his/her mind on something it is hard for him/her to be convinced otherwise. The Ox person has a very logical mind and is extremely systematic in whatever he/she does, even without imagination. These people speak little but are extremely intelligent. When necessary, they are articulate and eloquent.
The Ox is not extravagant, and the thought of living off credit cards or being in debt makes him/her nervous. The possibility of taking a serious risk could cause the Ox sleepless nights.
Ox people are truthful and sincere, and the idea of wheeling and dealing in a competitive world is distasteful to them. They are rarely driven by the prospect of financial gain. These people are always welcome because of their honesty and patience. They have many friends, who appreciate the fact that the Ox people are wary of new trends, although every now and then they can be encouraged to try something new.
It is important to remember that the Ox people are sociable and relaxed when they feel secure, but occasionally a dark cloud looms over such people and they engage all the trials of the whole world and seek solutions for them.
Tiger people are difficult to resist, for they are magnetic characters and their natural air of authority confers a certain prestige on them. They are tempestuous yet calm, warm-hearted yet fearsome, courageous in the face of danger yet yielding and soft in mysterious, unexpected places. They enjoy life full of challenges and unexpected events, like visiting unusual places and meeting interesting outstanding people. Other people in their area are easily attracted by the tiger's enthusiasm and course of life. Tigers find pleasure in the unpredictable, and while other people would rather make a backward step, they are not afraid to explore the new and unusual. But it is not that simple to interest the Tiger. What they really need is first-hand experience. Usually open and frank, these people are likely to withdraw and can be aggressive when trapped. As soon as the Tiger has regained their sense of security their confidence also returns, enabling them to set out once more. These people usually tend to trust their instincts, though there is another side of their personality, which assesses situations thoughtfully before they launch any actions. Their friends usually secretly admire their determination and optimism, though sometimes may find it complicated to share the Tiger's enthusiasm and can be pushed away and left behind. In spite of the fact that Tigers can be courageous and generous friends, if they are not able to achieve what they want, they can be inflexible and self-centered. So if your friend was born in the year of the Tiger, there will be highs and lows in your friendship, but the friendship itself will remain firm.
Ideal jobs for tigers include entrepreneur, military officer, politician, musician, writer, poet, artist, theater director, stockbroker, athlete, film star, trade union leader, company director, stunt person, explorer, and teacher.
People born in the Year of the Rabbit often make ideal diplomats or politicians. A Rabbit person has grace, culture and beautiful manners. Although Rabbit people get on well with everyone, at heart they are basically reserved creatures, and are only really happy when they are engrossed in some sort of scholarly or intellectual activity. They are just too sensitive for the world around them. They are not able to thrive in a competitive or aggressive environment, and it makes them anxious if someone forces them to take risks. Their inner world is simply too delicate for unsettled or unpredictable situations, and they tend to create a peaceful and comfortable atmosphere on a hunch. This character trait makes them very hospitable and attentive people, who take care of those around.
The average Rabbit person emphasizes the importance of small details. They pay attention to everything from colour, design and furniture to food and conversation. And only when they are sure that everything has been arranged as they wish can these people relax and have fun.
Person born in the year of Rabbit often lead a conservative lifestyle where one of the most important things is their security. This quality has a negative side also: opting for safety over risk, they may miss good opportunities. This does not imply that these people are frivolous or irresponsible, for when they truly believe in something, they are serious, perseverant and capable.
Calm as they are, it is not easy to provoke Rabbit people. They are sentimental and compassionate. They can be moved by the personal problems you share with them.
The Dragon is omnipotent. He is flamboyant, attractive and full of vitality and strength. In China, the Dragon is the sign of the Emperor of China or the male element Yang. The Dragon is the symbol of power and wealth.
It would be right to say that people born in the year of the dragon have a natural charisma and are certainly gifted with power and luck. It is unlikely for them to escape unnoticed from a party or to take a second place in a competition. The dragon person has an active mind and shows an unfeigned interest in the world around him/her. This person is also self-confident enough to know how to create a necessary impression. Because they are larger than life themselves, dragon people like to do everything on a grand scale. They are egotistical and ambitious, almost to the point of megalomania, and will stop at nothing to get what they want. A person born in this year wears the crown of destiny, and is capable of great achievements if he or she knows how to harness his or her tremendous energy, intelligence and talent. While these people enjoy being the centre of attention, they also have a brave and charitable side to their personality. If a dragon's friend faces a problem or dilemma, he or she will be there to offer help, and when others leave the field of battle the dragon takes a step forward to solve the problem with authority and dignity. Dragons set a high standard of actions for themselves as well as for other people and are surprised when others cannot cope with a task; they are so carried away by the process that they fail to see other people's weaknesses.
Ideal jobs for dragons include managing director, salesperson, advertising executive, barrister, film producer, architect, astronaut, artist, film star, and war correspondent.
The person born in the year of snake is perhaps the wisest and most enigmatic of all. He/she can become a philosopher, a theologian, a political lizard or a wily financier. Such a person is a thinker who also likes to live well. The snake-person loves books, music, clothes, and fine food; but with all their fondness for the good things in life, their innate elegance gives them a dislike for frivolities and foolish talk.
Snake-persons like communicating and like interesting conversations; if the conversation becomes repetitive their attention may soon wander. It is almost impossible to fix their attention for long talking about every day habits. They prefer to focus on new, interesting and evolutionary ideas in general.
These people have a special talent that enables them to judge situations correctly. They are alert to new possibilities: when they have an idea of what to do and how to do it, they will pursue it persistently and energetically. In Chinese astrology it is believed that they are self-confident and willing to listen to someone else's opinion, but don't necessarily take it 'on board'. Refusing to listen to constructive advice, they may be prone to getting into needless trouble.
Although it is difficult for such people to take advice, they are patient with others when it comes to giving a helping hand, and their ability to look at a problem from a variety of angles is extremely useful. When faced with a dilemma, snake people, as a rule, act with speed and conviction, since they believe intensely in what they are doing and rarely waste time or energy on projects lacking in good potential.
The horse personality is often willing to give as well as expecting a lot of liberty. These people are extremely independent and confident. The horse person is very quick-witted, inquisitive and determined, it is right in there with you before you have had a chance to finish what you are saying: he's on to the thought in your mind even before you've expressed it. In general, these people are gifted. But in truth they are often more cunning than intelligent - and they surely know that. They adore being the centre of everyone's attention, but they prefer to be recognized for their skills and are easily flattered. On the other hand these people have an honesty and genuine warmth which attracts lots of people and helps them make new friends. People as a rule confide in a horse person because he/she is sincerely interested in their thoughts and feelings and is able to help with both wise words and an action, but there is a small problem about it - the horse person is so excited by new discoveries that it is difficult for them to keep a secret. This is not something that arises out of malice or revenge - sometimes they just cannot help themselves.
It is easy to inspire such a person by new ideas and he/she tends to act on them without delay, carried away by the excitement of the moment. But it is also important to remember that there is a danger for a horse person to be too impulsive and it may cause some problems in the future. And if they do not see the result of their efforts, it is rather natural for them to turn their attention to a new project and head off once again, brimming with new ideas. The horse person is always ready to offer good advice and can be very persuasive, but his/her confident and carefree approach hides inner doubts. Those who know such a person will recognize this, and offer the support and reassurance he/she needs.
Horses should beware of the Rat, as any relationship with this sign is said to be extremely trying for the horse. Of all relationships between Chinese zodiac signs, a relationship between a rat and a horse is said to be the worst (this relationship from a historical point of view, climaxed or was at it's worst at the height of World War II, when Germany governed primarily by the sign of the rat threatened the destruction of the Jews (Israel, which is governed primarily by the horse). The rat is way too calculating, dictatorial and possessive for the free-spirited and independent horse. A relationship with a rat can potentially break down the horse's free-spirit and cause rage in the rat - as neither will be willing to yield to the other. However, horses get along great with Tigers and Dogs.
Possible professions for people that are born on the year of the horse are that of an intelligence agent, a writer or novelist, an actor or a model.
The Sheep, or Goat, oddly enough, is thought to be the most feminine sign of the zodiac, perhaps because this is a very creative sign. The Sheep is artistically talented and has a great sense of fashion. Chances are that this type will prefer to be a designer or painter, or go into the kind of profession where he/she can make the most of his/her gift for creating beautiful things.
These people are considerate creatures - they think before acting, and try not to hurt anyone's feelings. If it ever happens that the Sheep person causes unforeseen problems, it is very likely that he/she will step forward to rectify the situation. This side of their character helps them maintain a healthy social life as well as enabling them to deal with life's ups and downs.
Sympathy is very important to these people as is the approval of people they respect. However, they sometimes require too much attention and impose too much on those who are close to them.
Sometimes they are too sensitive for the real world; they often misinterpret situations. People born in this year are insecure. They need to feel loved and protected. They are easily drawn into complex predicaments. This being, so, they usually shy away from confrontation, pull back when faced with heavy decision-making situations, and blatantly refuse to take an unpopular stand in a conflict.
The Monkey is the most versatile sign of the Chinese zodiac. Such people are often inventors, plotters, entertainers and the creative geniuses behind anything ingenious, including mischief. They have natural quick-wittedness which enables them to understand what is happening and then make a right decision. Even during a conversation a person born in this year is aware of what is going on around him/her, and then makes a mental note of who said what and stores it away for future reference. In general, with their agile minds and multiple talents, monkey type of people can master any subject. They are reliable and honest people so that any secret is safe in their hands. These people are also honest in their dealings. Monkey people are very good at problem-solving. Wherever you are, whoever you may be, if you've got a problem pick up the phone and dial-a-Monkey. Monkeys know how to listen closely and work out solutions at the same time.
Although these people are trustworthy and unlikely to hurt someone out of spite, they would never let people escape if they have behaved badly or damaged monkey's reputation. Their stamina and determination to achieve their main goals can make these people appear vain or manipulative. It means that monkey type of people should be careful so not to damage their friendships. It is important to remember for this type of people that it would be wiser sometimes not to pursue their goals and simply let things pass.
Monkeys have flexible principles and serene self-confidence so they are completely content; but they usually manage to complicate the lives of others. After yet another plan or project has gone wrong, they are seldom there to help clean up the disorder and confusion that they leave in their wake. Monkeys can handle that too; with their charm and persuasiveness they can make people believe that just knowing them is a privilege!
When it comes to the opposite sex, it is a privilege for the monkey zodiac; this is because of their great socializing abilities and attractiveness. Although not all monkeys have the attraction potential, when there's a handsome and beautiful monkey, its something that is the fairest and rare.
People born in the year of the Rooster are usually very observant. They are brave, resilient, sexy, and tenacious but can also be quite self-absorbed, pretentious, and overly romantic. Most of the time, they are very accurate and precise with their observation.
These people certainly love to find themselves in the spotlight, they love entertaining friends and adore meeting new people, and even unexpected and uncertain circumstances are not a barrier for them.
It is almost impossible to find someone born in this year looking dowdy or untidy. The fact is that these people are usually the best dressed and groomed of all other people. They are actively interested in clothes, colours, and accessories, and are usually very critical of their own appearance as well as of the appearance of those around them. People born in the year of the Rooster like to be noticed and flattered. Such a person might dress a little flashily with this in mind, but in his heart, he/she is completely conservative. Roosters always appear attractive and beautifully turned out. They are sociable and love to receive attention. Others may criticize them for being exhibitionists but the fact that they are compassionate, wise, and have a brave nature which comes to the fore when others need their help, makes up that deficiency.
It is difficult for these people to accept advice because of their strong independent spirit. These people are often confident in their own judgements and choices. There are times when these people may be too straight-forward which can cause some problems in relationships with others. So it would be wise sometimes not to express their opinions in order to keep the peace.
The Dog is the most likeable sign of the Chinese zodiac. Like his animal namesake, he is loyal with a capital "L". He is the one who people are most likely to turn to when they need help. The dog person will come through every time. That is because he/she is sensitive to others and empathizes with them, particularly if someone has suffered an injustice; he/she reacts quickly with the same feeling as though he/she had been personally offended. Friends know that they can rely upon their Dog friend to keep a promise or remain cool in a crisis.
Dog types are honest, intelligent and straightforward. They will take on any responsibility that is given to them and you can be sure that they will do their job well.
People born in this year tend to be easily upset and shocked more often than the other signs.
The dog is loyal, unselfish, and idealistic. They can sometimes be worriers and overly critical. Dogs go best with tigers and horses. Their secret friends are other dogs, tigers, horses and rabbits. Dogs get along worst with Dragons, whom they perceive as arrogant and all flash with no substance.
The Pig type is usually an honest, straightforward and patient person. He/she is a modest, shy character who prefers to work quietly behind the scenes. When others dispare, he/she is often there to offer support. This type of person is reserved with those they do not know too well, but as time passes and they gain confidence, those around them may discover a lively and warm-hearted person behind that mask of aloofness. Despite those born in the year of pig having a wide circle of friends and acquaintances, they have few close friends who understand them and share their inner thoughts and feelings. It is easy to put trust in pig type; he/she won't let you down and will never even attempt to do so. Such people simply want to do everything right according to social norms.
It is important to remember that these people are not vengeful creatures. If someone tries to take advantage of him/her, the pig type tend to withdraw to reflect on the problem and protect themselves. All they need in such situations is a little time to find a constructive way to respond. The people of the pig type are conservative creatures of habit. They dislike being made to travel too far from familiar surroundings, unless it is a trip to the country. They love nature and are never happier than when they are out somewhere, far from the city.
There is a tolerant and peaceful side to their character. Such people are never afraid to allow others their freedom of expression; they do not want to cause arguments and if there is any way to avoid arguing, they will probably take this option. They are not weak, however, and if the situation forces them to fight these people will rise to the occasion, whether it is to defend themselves or those close to them. People of the Pig type are the most admired by others.