Herong's Notes on Astrology and Horoscope - Version 2.11, by Dr. Herong Yang
Chinese Astrology Overview
This section provides an overview of Chinese astrology.
Similar to Western and Indian astrology, Chinese astrology uses the positions of the Sun, the Moon and five major planets at the time of birth to determine a person's destiny.
But in Chinese astrology, positions of celestial bodies are not used directly, but indirectly through complex calculation of the person's date and time based on Chinese traditional calendar.
In Chinese calendar, various calendar elements are counted with a combination of two numbering systems:
12 Earthly Branches are also linked 12 Zodiac Animals - 生肖 (shengxiao): Rat 鼠 (shu), Ox 牛 (niu), Tiger 虎 (hu), Rabbit 兔 (tu), Dragon 龙 (long), Snake 蛇 (she), Horse 马 (ma), Sheep 羊 (yang), Monkey 猴 (hou), Rooster 鸡 (ji), Dog 狗 (gou), Pig 猪 (zhu).
Calendar elements are also associated with Five Elements - 五行 (wuxing): 木 (mu), 火 (huo), 土 (tu), 金 (jin), 水 (shui).
With this calendar numbering system and mapping, a person's birth year, month, day, and time in Chinese calendar can be presented in eight Chinese words called Ba Zi (八字) in Chinese. For example, if someone was born at 23:30 on February 1, 2000, his or her eight words are: 庚辰, 戊寅, 己丑, 甲寅.
A Chinese astrologer can use a person's Eight Words to calculate his or her destiny and provide other predictions.
The picture below is a sample reference table used by Chinese astrologers:
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