|Chinese Astrology Characteristics
Are you a Pig, a Dog or perhaps even a Rat? Determining your Chinese
astrological sign begins with the year of your birth, but that doesn't
tell the entire story of who you are, what you're like and what destiny
holds in store for you. Let's take a closer look at the other components
that unite to make you unique.
Your Birth Year Animal Sign
Chinese astrology operates on the concept of twelve animal signs and
five elements that pair up on a rotating basis to form a complete sixty
year cycle. Each animal of the Chinese zodiac represents specific years
within this sixty year cycle, and each carries distinct characteristics
that influence the personalities of people born within a given year.
For example, if you happen to have been born between January 25, 1963
and February 12, 1964, you would belong to the Rabbit zodiac sign. As
such, you would have a tendency to be quiet yet confident and care a great
deal about others. You might feel quite sensitive to what goes on in the
world around you, and also display a certain level of creativity.
Your birth year zodiac sign is considered your outer animal, the way
the world perceives you.
Now, let's talk about the elements. According to the Chinese
astrological system, there are five elements that also contribute certain
extra characteristics that add more dimension to your personality.
Basic characteristics of each element include:
* Water: Strong communication skills and intuition
* Wood: Strong nurturing instincts coupled with imagination and
* Fire: Passionate by nature, intelligent and also ready to spring into
* Metal: Very dependable and useful to have around, especially in a
* Earth: Very grounded and reliable; a balanced personality
Using our previous example of a Rabbit born between 1963 and 1964, the
element assigned to that year in the sixty year cycle was Water, making
these people Water Rabbits. The Water element intensifies the Rabbit's
ability to communicate, as well as his powers of intuition. Pair these
characteristics with Rabbit's caring nature and you have a good listener
who is very understanding of other people's issues.
Yin and Yang Animals
In addition to the basic characteristics of each sign, colored by the
influence of an element, every Chinese astrological sign is further
governed by an energy force that is either Yin or Yang. Yang is male
energy and closely associated with the sun, while Yin energy is distinctly
feminine and associated with the moon. Together, these two forces complete
each other and bring balance to the universe.
People born in odd years are Yin, and people born in even years are
Yang. For this reason two Water Rabbits can still have slightly different
natures depending on whether their birth date falls in 1963 or 1964.
Monthly and Hourly Animal Signs
Stay with us, we're not finished yet. In addition to all we've learned
above, your Chinese astrological characteristics are also influenced by
the month and hour in which you were born. The following chart shows how
each month and certain hours of the day are also ruled by a particular
animal sign that contributes it's own characteristics to your overall
Chinese Astrological Signs by Month and Hour Sign Month Hours
Ox January 1:00 a.m. to 3:00 a.m.
Tiger February 3:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m.
Rabbit March 5:00 a.m. to 7:00 a.m.
Dragon April 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Snake May 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
Horse June 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Sheep July 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Monkey August 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Rooster September 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Dog October 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Pig November 9:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Rat December 11:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
If you happen to be born on the exact hour that marks the cusp between
two signs, you could drawn on characteristics from both. Note that the
zodiac sign attributed to the month you were born represents your inner
animal, the way you perceive yourself. The zodiac sign of your birth hour
represents the qualities you secretly aspire to develop.
The Big Picture
As you can see, there really is so much more to your Chinese astrology
characteristics than your basic animal zodiac sign. When you consider all
of the possible combinations, there are over 8,640 unique horoscope
personalities possible. Color that combination with your own life
experience, and there really is no one exactly like you!
Love Regardless of being unmarried, the honey is transporting or the
married friend, this year on love road peach blossom bright presently, the
reason is the fleeting time one's horoscope presents one ˇ§the red mythical
birdˇ¨ the star. ˇ§the red mythical birdˇ¨ the star moves, unmarried you will
meet the ideal companion in this year, will form the happy couple with
great speed. The honey transports the men and women, the love life is very
satisfied gratifyingly, the partial tiger person will conclude the
predestined match in the Year of the Ox, the part continues the pleasure
which will enjoy the racket to tow. Married you, grow day by day with
spouse's sentiment, but must pay attention with other opposite sexes
maintains the suitable distance, in order to avoid stirs up the spouse to
Health Although the fleeting time has one ˇ§unluckilyˇ¨ star to affect
you, but has not gotten sick the star to arrive at the harassment luckily,
therefore looks like all year round, because except that the enterprise
does not one's liking but accidentally feels depressed outside, no matter
the old person perhaps the young people, the health is approximately good,
if can reduce the senseless pressure, avoids nonessential worrying, then
the body and the energetic condition are more ideal.
Animals of the Chinese Astrology
Chinese Astrology 1 Animals as Symbols
Explain to the students that they will be learning about how animals
can be used as symbols. Show them the pictures of the animals, birds, and
insects you have collected from books or magazines. Ask the students what
characteristics come to mind when they see each animal. For example, a
bear might seem very powerful, a puppy playful, a deer graceful, and so
forth. Mention a few common similes, such as "busy as a bee," "wise as an
owl," and "sly as a fox." Ask the students to think of other animals that
seem closely connected with descriptive phrases. Write the names of the
animals you have discussed so far on the board, followed by the adjectives
linked with them. Tell the students that the animals are often used as
symbols for particular human traits. Refer to examples you have already
discussed. Tell them that a picture of a bear can simply represent power
or being tough. So it is a symbol for power. A picture of an owl can
represent wisdom. It is a symbol of wisdom. (Of course, in reality, birds
are not particularly wise!) Now go back to the original animal pictures.
As you hold up each one, call upon individual students to name a trait
often associated with it.
Chinese Astrology 2 The 12 Animals of the Chinese Zodiac and How They
Tell the students that animals are used as symbols in the Chinese
calendar. Explain how the calendar is divided into 12-year cycles, each
year being associated with a certain animals. Ask if they have any ideas
of what the animals might be. Remind them that the Chinese would choose
animals that lived in their country and with which they were familiar.
This would eliminate such creatures as giraffes and hippopotami. After the
students have made a few guesses, tell them that the first two in the list
are the rat and the ox and that they are about to learn why this is so.
Then navigate to the EDSITEment-reviewed website The Chinese Zodiac and
read aloud the story of how the 12 zodiac animals were chosen. Explain
that this is one of many versions of this particular tale of origins.
Remind the students of the warm-up, mentioning that animals are often
used as symbols. Write the names of rat, cat, and ox on the chalkboard (or
whiteboard). Then, referring to the story, ask what words (adjectives)
could be used to describe each of these three animals. Write them down
after the names of the animals. Have the students explain why they chose
the words they did. For example, the rat is clever because it figured out
how to trick the cat and the ox. Ask what each animal symbolizes. After
the answers are given, tell the students that in the next Chinese
Astrology they will learn about the other 10 animals of the Chinese
Chinese Astrology 3 What do the Zodiac Animals Symbolize?
Hand out the copies of the pictures of the zodiac animals from Twilight
Zone's Chinese Horoscope and the horoscope chart from Chinese Horoscope
Signs and Their Corresponding Years. Use the animal names on top of the
chart to identify the zodiac creatures in the picture. Explain that, like
the cat, rat, and ox, each of these animals is a symbol. Brainstorm with
the students until they can come up with several adjectives to describe
each of the 12 animals in the picture. Now hand out copies of the chart
(provided in pdf format). Write the three categories on the board as well.
Have the students write down one positive and negative trait for each
animal listed on their charts. Do the same on your chart on the board.
Now look up the traditional descriptions of the zodiac animals. Begin
at the Chinese Zodiac available through EDSITEment-reviewed Asia Source.
Click on "Haskell by the Month," then on "February," then on "Chinese New
Year." Call upon different students to read aloud the description of each
animal. Discuss these descriptions. Note the comical images of the
animals. Now go to "Chinese Astrology: An Ancient viewpoint on temperament
and personality". Click "What is Chinese Astrology?" Then click "Zodiac
Sign Beanie Babies." Discuss the descriptions of the animals with the
students. Ask them if they think the traits assigned to them seem
appropriate or not. Click on each picture as you progress to make the
figure larger. Now go to Go to the "Chinese Astrology" page at. Click on
the specific animals. Read aloud the excerpts you have previously
selected. Have the students look closely at the photographs of the
animals. Point out that the 12 animals are portrayed somewhat differently
at each of the three websites visited so far during this Chinese
Astrology. (They're comical in the first, soft and cuddly in the second,
and realistic in the third.) Ask the students which type of pictures they
prefer and why. Draw their attention to the Chinese character, which
represents the name of the animal at the end of each description. Explain
that Chinese writing is very different than our own. Now go to Zodiac
Fortunes and have different students read aloud this final group of
Comment upon the similarities of the various descriptions that have
been read as well as the differences. Then return to the chart you started
at the beginning of the Chinese Astrology. Have the students suggest which
traits (positive and negative) should be added. When this task is done,
call upon different students to read aloud the information about each
zodiac animal as it has been defined by the class.
Now have the students compare and contrast the characteristics of the
animals on the list. For example, ask them which animals seem the most
athletic, which seem more thoughtful or imaginative. Ask them if all the
animals are real. (Only the dragon is not.) Try arranging the animals in
groups according to whether they are farm animals, wild animals, or
animals you might have at home. Some, such as the rat and rabbit, would
fit into more than one category. Ask if there are other ways the animals
can be compared. When you finish this activity, tell the students to keep
their charts in a safe place for the next Chinese Astrology.
Chinese Astrology 4 What Sign Are You?
Review the chart made in Chinese Astrology 3. Then tell the students
that they will learn more about the animal linked with the year of their
birth. There will most likely be two animals represented in the class,
given the span of birth dates. Consult the Chinese horoscope chart
downloaded from "Twilight Zone's Chinese Horoscope" to determine which
animals apply. Click on those animals. Call on students (born in the
appropriate year) to read the descriptions aloud. Discuss how these traits
do or don't apply to members of the class. Ask for examples, i.e., someone
might described as creative, someone else as talkative. Remind the
students that all people have many facets to their personalities. Remind
the students that astrology is not a science but rather an amusing
pastime, and that the interest in the animals of the zodiac adds another
dimension to Chinese culture. Return to the sites visited in Chinese
Astrology 3 and read again about the animal(s) associated with your class.
Continue the discussion of how these traits do or don't seem appropriate.
Now that the students are well versed in the traits associated with
their zodiac animal, have them make acrostics on large sheets of paper.
Ask them to write the letters of their first names with bright markers in
a column from the top to the bottom of a sheet of paper. Then have them
write several adjectives or descriptive phrases after each letter. The
adjective or the first word of the phrase must start with that letter.
Examples of possible descriptions include the following: Loves to draw,
Never gives up, A good friend, Extremely strong, etc. Students might also
include a small drawing of their zodiac animal in one corner of the paper.
When the acrostics are completed, you can display them on a bulletin