The Chinese "Animal Zodiac"

DEFINITION:

THE EGO and THE SELF. While we certainly DO have 'personality' in our youth, it is not until we realize (sometime in our thirty-to-fourty-year age-level) that what we called 'personality' in our youth was REALLY nothing but EGOTISM.. given us at birth by our Natal Astrology placements.. that we begin to look DEEPER than that, and eventually discover a "more True" part of ourselves. That part is THIS "STRAND" OF IDENTITY-STUFF, from the Chinese 'animal zodiac.'

As we make this 'discovery' we normally "recognize" it as something we have been vaguely longing-for and striving-toward at times throughout our earlier years; but now (our youthful Egotism having worn-out both it's welcome and it's credibility,) we FINALLY change our self-opinion into THIS "NEW" yet really quite 'eternally-original' PERSONALITY.

The SELF PHASE of Individualization normally follows after the Anima/Animus Phase has been integrated into our personalities.. usually somewhere around thirty to fourty years of age. During this Phase, we discover not only who we are as a non-egocentric, spiritualized personality, but also the several inner symbols which denote that in Dreams and other Inner Processes. These powerful Symbols are called TOTEMS and recognized by virtually all ancient cultures as how "spirit" (the Universal Mind) "speaks our name" to us. We have at least one Totemic Symbol (usually an animal or bird of some sort) that is CRUCIAL to SELF-understanding. After you study the following Self Phase of Individualization, you may want to click-on TOTEMIC SYMBOLS to see if you can identify your own Inner Self-Symbols.

Meanwhile, the Self Phase personality itself is quite easy to study using the following Chinese Astrology system. Discovered by the Metaphysicians of ancient China, this 60-part Cycle is composed of twelve "Year-Signs" plus one of five "Element-Signs;" and together these tidbits of Wisdom explain one's ADULT PERSONALITY after all the Ego-definitions of youth have been worked-through. Use the table below to locate your Self when your Ego is ready for some HELP!

USE WHATEVER YOUR CULTURE CONSIDERS "NEW YEAR'S DAY" TO LOCATE THE BEGINNING-DATES FOR THE YEAR-SIGNS

WOOD
1924 = Rat
1925 = Ox

FIRE
1926 = Tiger
1927 = Rabbit

EARTH
1928 = Dragon
1929 = Snake

METAL
1930 = Horse
1931 = Sheep

WATER
1932 = Monkey
1933 = Rooster

WOOD
1934 = Dog
1935 = Boar

FIRE
1936 = Rat
1937 = Ox

EARTH
1938 = Tiger
1939 = Rabbit

METAL
1940 = Dragon
1941 = Snake

WATER
1942 = Horse
1943 = Sheep

WOOD
1944 = Monkey
1945 = Rooster

FIRE
1946 = Dog
1947 = Boar
EARTH
1948 = Rat
1949 = Ox

METAL
1950 = Tiger
1951 = Rabbit

WATER
1952 = Dragon
1953 = Snake

WOOD
1954 = Horse
1955 = Sheep

FIRE
1956 = Monkey
1957 = Rooster

EARTH
1958 = Dog
1959 = Boar

METAL
1960 = Rat
1961 = Ox

WATER
1962 = Tiger
1963 = Rabbit

WOOD
1964 = Dragon
1965 = Snake

FIRE
1966 = Horse
1967 = Sheep

EARTH
1968 = Monkey
1969 = Rooster

METAL
1970 = Dog
1971 = Boar
WATER
1972 = Rat
1973 = Ox

WOOD
1974 = Tiger
1975 = Rabbit

FIRE
1976 = Dragon
1977 = Snake

EARTH
1978 = Horse
1979 = Sheep

METAL
1980 = Monkey
1981 = Rooster

WATER
1982 = Dog
1983 = Boar

WOOD
1984 = Rat
1985 = Ox

FIRE
1986 = Tiger
1987 = Rabbit

EARTH
1988 = Dragon
1989 = Snake

METAL
1990 = Horse
1991 = Sheep

WATER
1992 = Monkey
1993 = Rooster

WOOD
1994 = Dog
1995 = Boar
FIRE
1996 = Rat
1997 = Ox

EARTH
1998 = Tiger
1999 = Rabbit

METAL
2000 = Dragon
2001 = Snake

WATER
2002 = Horse
2003 = Sheep

WOOD
2004 = Monkey
2005 = Rooster

FIRE
2006 = Dog
2007 = Boar

EARTH
2008 = Rat
2009 = Ox

METAL
2010 = Tiger
2011 = Rabbit

WATER
2012 = Dragon
2013 = Snake

WOOD
2014 = Horse
2015 = Sheep

FIRE
2016 = Monkey
2017 = Rooster

EARTH
2018 = Dog
2019 = Boar
METAL
2020 = Rat
2021 = Ox

WATER
2022 = Tiger
2023 = Rabbit

WOOD
2024 = Dragon
2025 = Snake

FIRE
2026 = Horse
2027 = Sheep

EARTH
2028 = Monkey
2029 = Rooster

METAL
2030 = Dog
2031 = Boar

WATER
2032 = Rat
2033 = Ox

WOOD
2034 = Tiger
2035 = Rabbit

FIRE
2036 = Dragon
2037 = Snake

EARTH
2038 = Horse
2039 = Sheep

METAL
2040 = Monkey
2941 = Rooster

WATER
2042 = Dog
2043 = Boar

THE FIVE ELEMENTS

Metal

Makes one fond of everything STRONG, DURABLE, BRIGHT, CLEAN and "HONORABLE." Metal-year people (like society itself during Metal Years) tend toward the PRACTICAL, and are happiest wherever Efficiency is most possible.


Water

Makes one fond of everything GENTLE, FLOWING, SYMPATHETIC, SOOTHING and "RESPONSIVE." Water-year people (and all of society, during Water Years) tend toward the EMOTIONAL, and are happiest where Supportive Emotions "flow."


Wood

Makes one fond of everything NATURAL, SIMPLE, DIRECT, HONEST, HOMEY, "RUSTIC" and LIVED-IN. Wood-year people (and societies during Wood Years) tend toward the PHILOSOPHIC, and are happiest wherever Love and Harmony are 'growing.'


Fire

Makes one fond of everything PASSIONATE, IDEALISTIC, ENTHUSIASTIC, DRAMATIC, "INTENSE" and BRILLIANT. Fire-year people (and all of society in Fire Years) tend toward the PROGRESSIVE, and are happiest wherever Genius' Lamp is BURNING.


Earth

Makes one fond of everything "HIDDEN," SAFE, SECURE, STABLE, CAREFULLY-BUILT, "WARM" and EROTIC. Earth-year people (and society during Earth Years) tend toward the PRODUCTIVE, and are happiest where Life is being CULTIVATED wisely.


THE TWELVE YEAR-SIGNS


Aries: "THE YEAR OF THE RAT"

Named for the ancient Greek God Of War, this is the Sign of PERSONAL AGGRESSION.. though War is only one manifestation of that potential. Other forms of Arien activity include engineering, design, invention and pioneering. As the first Sign of the zodiac, Aries is the cosmic 'child' of Astrology; and can be found wherever youth, energy and the willingness to TRY SOMETHING NEW is needed. Strongly focused on THE SELF and it's needs, Aries relegates all decisions to PERSONAL PREFERENCE; if Aries wants it, Aries does it!

Called "the RAT" in Chinese Astrology, Aries is an Adventurer with a child's fresh attitude toward life.. though anything that tries to block the Arien Intentions soon learns why WAR is considered the specialty of the Sign! The western Astrological symbol of Aries is THE RAM.. who is quite happy to butt his head against ANY obstacle until he WINS; that is the style and temperment of this forceful and daring Sign. It should be noted that the Rat is one of the "hoarders" of the Chinese Zodiac; saving-up for a rainy day is part of their nature. Though free-handed with friends in need, Aries is very aware of Security.. and makes sure the old Rat Hole is both SAFE and WELL-STOCKED.


Taurus: "THE YEAR OF THE OX"

Meaning "the Bull," Taurus is the Sign of THE OX to both western and Chinese Astrology. Apparently the whole world agrees on one thing.. which is that the Ox Is STRONG (AND Stubborn!) "Bull-headed" is a well-worn term for Taureans, though it must also be said in their defense that this stubborn streak only comes out when they are defending their Private Pasture. Taureans have a long-accepted Way Of Doing Things; as long as that is respected, and you don't try to force them to do things they did not PLAN to do, they are genuinely placid, gentle and hard-working people. Try to force them in any way, and a head-down Charge is likely!

The special skill and interest of Taureans is WORK of the right kind; the Ox pulls the Plow, treads the grain and carries the produce to market; Taurus is intimately connected to Food Production as an industry, though anyplace where Strength and Stubborn Will are needed may likely have a few Taureans on the scene. Wildly FERTILE, the Ox is a natural Parent.. and tends to be an understanding and patient one at that.. though it is really Sex that the Ox sets-out after, they DO tend to accept the 'consequences' with placid serenity, afterwards. It is also a trait of this Sign that the Ox is deeply Philosophic in outlook; most Taureans have studied the ancient Philosophies well-enough to have a Fitting Quote for every occasion!


Gemini: "THE YEAR OF THE TIGER"

The Sign of Gemini is named for "THE TWINS," originally Castor and Pollux from Greek myth.. a pair of Wrestlers who could individually only be defeated by their own Twin! That BEGINS to explain this rather enigmatic Sign.. for all Geminis tend toward a Partnership arrangement in life, though ONLY with the "right" Partner (and even then, NEVER "peacefully!".. for Gemini simply MUST "Wrestle" with their Partner.) Perhaps the best way of getting a grasp on Gemini is to mention that it's name in Chinese Astrology is THE TIGER.. that huge, wrestless king of the jungle who spends it's time planning-out it's next Hunt while seeming to 'nap' in the shade. That is how it is with Gemini personalities; they are ALWAYS in two places at once.. one Physically, the OTHER in Spirit.

Gemini is the Sign of BUSINESS in general, and all Gemini natives are good at it. Instinctively competitive and goal-oriented, the Gemini Tiger-Twins specializes at planning and Strategy, and can be found wherever those skills are needed; politics, research-and-development, administration and sales all appeal to Geminian skills of Hunting The Prey. When well-fed and well-exercised by day, the Tiger enjoys purring to their Partner (once they have wrestled them into submission,) though even then, they will be planning-out Tomorrow's HUNT!


Cancer: "THE YEAR OF THE RABBIT"

Meaning "the Crab," the word Cancer has gotten a bad name of late (a disease was named for it, which Cancereans did not ask-for OR deserve.) It was named "The Crab" because this is the Sign of THE HOME.. and crabs carry theirs on their own back! In China, Cancer is called "The RABBIT," another animal which loves and depends on having a safe Home to hide from predators in. In both case, however, the real Spirit of the Sign is WARM AND COZY FAMILY LIFE, embodied.. for that is what this Sign does BEST. "As prolific as Rabbits" is a popular way of describing the sex-life of this Sign; for Cancerians are VERY fond of EVERYTHING that goes on in the burrow (especially by night!)

Strongly associated with Literature (Cancerians LOVE books!,) this Sign is devoted to PRESERVING THE PAST for future generations to enjoy. Whether this is done through journalism, social services, the fine arts or some other Past-oriented career, the Rabbit-Crab personality will find SOME way to NURTURE, for that is it's most precious service to anyone or anything they Love.


Leo: "THE YEAR OF THE DRAGON"

Meaning "THE LION," Leo is the western Astrology Sign of The King Of Beasts, and that is all you need to know about a Leo; bow (at least a LITTLE) when you first encounter them every morning, pay them at least A LITTLE "Tribute" now and again, and try to imply "Yes, Your Majesty" in your tone of speech toward them.. and Leos will defend you as a Worthy Citizen and a person of Excellent Taste and Good Sense! Fail in your duty, and the Lion MAY Roar a few times at you.. but more likely, they will simply stalk proudly away and pay you no mind again. The King simply will NOT endure "lack of proper respect."

Those who wish to know the deeper side of Leo (and they DO have one!,) should know that this slinky, proud Sign is called "The Dragon" in Chinese Astrology; that huge, magical mythic creature who can lay waste to everything around it with a single breath, gathers up Jewels plundered from far and near to sleep on, and who is more than just a little bit vain. All of that would be merely amusing were it not for the fact that ONLY THE DRAGON CAN REALLY MAKE A NATION (or any OTHER gathering of people) "NOBLE" AND PROSPEROUS; for The Dragon truly IS a Monarch, and it's words can make one a Lord or Lady of the Court.

Leo the Dragon-King rules Public Relations, Advertizing, Theatre, Modeling and all other professions where The Right Example can make the world "obey" by merely POSING for the adoring masses.. for that is the way it IS with Lions and Dragons alike. In-between Royal Audiences, Leos must be careful of the rich foods, drink and other Extravagances they are prone to (and SOMEBODY ELSE had better handle the checkbook!, for Leo has no sense at all with money;) but those are not "faults".. merely the Way It IS when you are Royal.


Virgo: "THE YEAR OF THE SNAKE"

Virgo means "the Virgin," and implies a form of purity most of us lose fairly early-on; maybe THAT is why they make us a bit self-conscious. Oh, one may absolutely KNOW FOR CERTAIN that a particular Virgo is no longer all THAT pure, but you will never be able to convince THEM of that; for Virgoans are PERMANENTLY 'pure,' and there is nothing anybody can do to sully them. Chinese Astrology calls Virgo "The Snake," not only because the Snake can crawl around in holes in the ground without ever getting dirty, but also because the Snake is a bit of a Hypnotist. Many small creatures simply "freeze" when the Snake looks at them; much the same way Virgoans can make YOU feel at bit 'on the spot' with their glance. No; they are NOT intending to eat you!.. only looking back at you with the simple purity-of-intent of A CHILD. That is after all what 'virgin' REALLY means; a youth still pure of heart.

Like the Snakes coiled around the Caduceus (or winged staff) of Mercury which is used as a symbol of Medicine (which Virgo rules) this Sign is expert at slithering-into secret parts of people, and emerging with the Truth about them. That is why Snakes have a special relationship with Healing the world over. Virgo specializes at Healthcare, Psychology and Sanitation as well as all of the Logical Sciences; for Virgoans are profoundly Analytical in their way of thought. Virgoan Logic is not a cold or calculating thing, but a warmly Human way of trying to UNDERSTAND and HELP everyone they meet. Perhaps that is the best summary of their Nature, in the end; Virgo HEALS.


Libra: "THE YEAR OF THE HORSE"

Meaning "The Balance-Scales," Libra is the Sign of Harmonious Balance. While many other Signs can be happy with one-sided arrangements, Libra simply cannot ENDURE the idea of one side getting the better of the other. Perhaps that is why Libra is associated with Justice and all other Fair Trade professions which regulate and maintain Harmonious Balance in society. Called "The Horse" by Chinese Astrology, Librans truly ARE "Herd Animals," and simply MUST have a social Herd in order to be happy; left to themselves, a Libran will sink into despair and solitary sadness.. but a new Circle of Friends will brighten them up in an INSTANT.

The real clue to Libran psychology is ROLE-PLAY. Like the Horse, Librans have a strong need to "act-out" their feelings in a social setting.. and you will normally find them out dining, dancing, sipping a glassful decorously with other Nice Specimens as often as possible; for Libra takes JOY from the Social Role itself and simply MUST get into the Herd and Mingle. Naturally, Libra governs such professions as Diplomacy, Acting and all other Performance-Arts.. as well as Public Relations and Broadcasting. But BEWARE THE TIPPED SCALE! When Libra goes "out of Balance" or the Horse goes Mad from nervous tension (something Libra is prone to,) a VERY unhappy and UN-harmonious result can occur.. and you may wish you had never met this Lovely yet powerful Sign.


Scorpio: "THE YEAR OF THE SHEEP"

Scorpius is Latin for Scorpion, and anyone who lives in any of the world's great deserts know what THAT means: a nocturnal, secretive and potentially deadly thing that you do NOT want anywhere near you! On first contact, many Scorpios stir exactly those feelings.. but one more is also always there, which the scorpion does NOT have; Scorpio is the Sign of SEXUALITY as well as life-and-death-struggles. That may surprise you at first, but consider for a moment what sex really is; two people struggling to share personal pleasure, as a consequence of which a new Life may be conceived. So, even though Scorpio IS a bit frighteningly-intense, it also SEDUCES.. and few of us are immune to that 'sting!'

To better understand this Sign you should consider it's Chinese Astrology equivalent; The SHEEP, Ram or (as our Order prefers to name it,) THE UNICORN. All of those animals are summed-up in the Chinese word meaning "Great Horned One," and (since Chinese makes no distinction between Sheep and Goats) ANY Great Horned One is SCORPIO; the Sign of Aggression, Life-And-Death Struggle and SEXUAL PROWESS. But, of them all, the Unicorn is the only Great Horned One which ALSO implies the sort of 'holy purity' and Mystical Wisdom for which this Sign is famous. Scorpio is in fact the most misunderstood Sign of Astrology precisely because it IS a Sacred Mystery.

Scorpio governs all professions which struggle with Death for the benefit of the living; Surgery, the Military, Police, Fire Departments, Criminal Investigation, Funeral Services, Psychoanalysis and Spiritual Philosophy to name but a few.. though it is not so much the 'field' they are in as it is the Power they wield within it, that Scorpio specializes at. Look for them wherever Sacred Mysteries must be served, and where Death can be averted through heroic Struggle.. and then, once the sun has set, look ANY PLACE where sexual passions are being stirred to a fever pitch.


Sagittarius: "YEAR OF THE MONKEY"

The Sign of "THE ARCHER" depicts Chiron, the King of the Centaurs.. taking aim with his bow and arrow; and if you know your Greek Mythology you know that Chiron was the wise SAGE who taught the Greeks their Sciences, Philosophy and Medical Arts.. though you may NOT know that he was also the co-ruler of Olympus along with Zeus. In fact, Zeus ruled "publicly" from the top of Olympus, while Chiron ruled "mystically" or in secret, from his cave hidden in the woods. That is a perfect picture of the Sagittarian native; seldom found in the limelight, yet ALWAYS relied-upon for their special skills performed alone in their hidden Library, Den or "lair."

The symbol from Chinese Astrology for this Sign is THE MONKEY; that cleverest of animals who symbolizes LEARNING BY MIMICRY.. the Sagittarian specialty. Very clever and inventive with their hands as well as their minds, Sagittarian Monkey-people excel at Education, Engineering and other hands-on trades, athletics and all other forms of Recreation (for the Monkey is irrepressibly PLAYFUL.) Often also found in advertizing, government and "special-interest groups," Sagittarius is the great 'Propagandist' of society.. and their skill at swaying people through their words is part of the "sage-hood" of their Sign.. though sincere belief in what they are doing and saying is ALWAYS there, or the Sage will have no part of it.


Capricorn: "YEAR OF THE ROOSTER"

The Capricornus is a mythical creature who is half fish and half goat, and who pulls the chariot of Poseidon (Neptune) the Lord Of the Sea. To understand this strong, hardy and very Reliable creature, you need to understand what that means; Poseidon is the "god" of INSPIRATION (symbolized by the Sea and it's fishes,) so all Capricorns MUST (in order to be healthy and happy) serve SOMETHING Inspiring that they truly BELIEVE IN. Whether that be the Family, Government, Church, Philosophy or "the Social Good," Capricorns specialize at doing the WORK of getting Inspiration DELIVERED.

In Chinese Astrology, this is the Sign of THE ROOSTER (or Cock;) that rather pushy, forceful fellow who Crows every morning and tells us all that it is time to get Up and Busy. It is the Rooster's Job to Inspire us, and he does it EVERY DAY without fail.. and you and I had best not fail to OBEY! Capricorns are virtually ALWAYS connected with some form of Authority Structure.. for they deeply NEED to both Know what Matters and SERVE that as well.


Aquarius: "THE YEAR OF THE DOG"

Aquarius means "THE WATER-BEARER," and depicts someone pouring water onto the ground to help plants grow. Water is the 'essence of Life' and Aquarius specializes at pouring-out whatever is ESSENTIAL to the lives they touch; from a few well-chosen words of advice to LOTS of words of friendly encouragement, a shoulder-rub when needed or a few spare bucks for those down on their luck, Aquarius simply cannot HELP Helping Life Grow. The symbol in Chinese Astrology for Aquarius is THE DOG.. and every tree-trunk and fire hydrant on earth knows that the Dog Waters, too! But Man's Best Friend is far more famous for it's most familiar service; BEING THERE TO PAL AROUND WITH. In short, this is the Sign of FRIENDSHIP.

Like any good Dog, Aquarians are expert at Communicating; they instinctively sing along with every song they hear (Aquarians are innately musical and often quite brilliantly talented,) and they are prone to howl at the moon (especially if they feel a bit Lonely.. the only real "problem in life" ANY Aquarian ever has.) Friendship is the very Water of Life itself to this Sign; and plenty of friends and happy places to gather together for a good time is really all they value in life. That they are also brilliant thinkers with a natural skill at electronics, engineering, invention and other technical fields, merely makes the Watering-Dog that much MORE enjoyable to know.


Pisces: "THE YEAR OF THE BOAR"

Meaning "THE FISHES" in Latin, this is the Sign of those who live in The Sea (the symbol of Inspiration;) Pisceans are by birth Native to Inspired Thinking, and THAT is their Home. Chinese Astrology calls Pisces THE BOAR.. not because they are 'boring' but because (like the pig or boar itself) all Pisceans are capable of eating "garbage" and turning that into a set of healthy Hams; Pisceans are the natural 'Alchemists' of humankind.. taking-in all of the things the rest of humanity considers poisonous, and THRIVING on it. They do this not to prove themselves clever, but to BLESS OTHERS by removing bad things from the world.

Alchemy (the transformation of "base" or bad stuff into "noble" or healthy stuff,) is one way of wording the Piscean specialty; another word for it is MAGIC.. for all Pisceans have the ability to perform Magic for other people. That Magic is really a matter of FAITH.. for it takes the Faith of the Boar to restore the courage and healthy attitudes of those who have been injured or passed-by in life. This Spiritual Healing is so natural to the Piscean Magician that they may not realize how valuable they really are to society; the Sign is prone to depression, loss-of-hope and despair (symbolized by the western Astrology Sign.. one fish swimming UP to New Happiness, one swimming DOWN to despair.) All Piscean natives need someone to trust-in, who can help THEM with a little Magic of their own.

Naturally talented at Writing, Poetry, the Arts and other Inspirational fields (including Mystical Philosophy and Healing,) Pisceans are often found in the fields of Healthcare, Counseling, the Ministry and Mystical Orders.. though the only real requirement for them is that wherever they are, they MUST be able to help others overcome despair (so they TOO can survive the pull of their only real 'enemy,' loss of FAITH.)



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