Chinese astrology - Wikipedia
Chinese astrology (占星術 pinyin: zhàn xīng shù; 星學 pinyin: xīngxúe ; 七政四餘 pinyin: qī zhèng sì yú; and 果老星宗 pinyin: gǔo lǎo xīng zōng) is related to the Chinese calendar, particularly its 12-year cycle of animals (aka Chinese Zodiac), and the fortune-telling aspects according to movement of heavenly bodies across the Chinese constellations in the sky.
The ancient Chinese astronomers called the five major planets by the names of the Five Elements. Venus is Metal (gold); Jupiter is Wood; Mercury is Water; Mars is Fire; Saturn is Earth. The position of the five planets, the sun, the moon and comets in the sky and the Chinese zodiac sign at the time a person was born determine the destiny of a person's life according to the Chinese astrology. A laborious system of computing one's fate and destiny based on one birthday and birth hours (known as 紫微斗數) is still used regularly in modern day Chinese astrology. The twenty-eight Chinese constellations (宿 xìu) are quite different from the eighty-eight Western constellations. For example, the big dipper (Ursa Major) is known as 斗 dǒu; the belt of Orion is known as 參 shen, or the "Happiness, Fortune, Longevity" trio of demigods. The seven northern constellations are referred to as xúanwǔ (玄武). Xuan Wu is also known as the spirit of the northern sky or the spirit of Water in Taoism belief.
In addition to astrological readings of the heavenly bodies, the stars in the sky form the basis of many fairy tales. For example, the Summer Triangle is the trio of the cowherd (Altair), the spinster maid fairy (Vega) and the "tai bai" fairy (Deneb). The two forbidden lovers were separated by the silvery river (the Milky Way). Each year on the seventh day of the seventh month in the Chinese calendar, the birds form a bridge across the Milky Way. The cowherd carries their two sons (the two stars on each side of Altair) across the bridge to reunite with their fairy mother. The tai bai fairy acts as the chaperone of these two immortal lovers. See Qi Xi for more versions of this story.
The 12 Zodiac animal signs (生肖 shengxiao) are, in order, the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep (or goat), monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. There are many legends to explain the beginning of the zodiac (see Origins of the Chinese Zodiac). One of the most popular reads, in summarized form, as follows:
Another popular legend has it that a race was used to decide the animals to report to the Jade Emperor:
Some versions of the tale say that the cattle nominated a water buffalo to represent them because he was more proficient at water. The trade was acceptable because both animals are members of the family of bovids.
Another expands the race; the route ran through a forest, over ranges of plains and grasslands, and along a stream, before finally crossing a lake to the destination town.
Yet another variation tells of two different races. The first involved all the animals, in two divisions to avoid the fast animals dominating the top, and the top six in each division would "make the cut" for a second round, which would then determine the order of placement of the animals in the zodiac. This format is rather like the one that the National Football League uses to determine its playoff teams (six from each conference).
Interestingly the cat -- but not the rabbit -- does make the Vietnamese Zodiac (see below).
There is also a cycle of the Five Elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal (Gold), Water) on top of the cycle of animals. A person's year sign can be a gold dragon, a wood rooster etc. In ancient match-making practice in China, couples were brought together according to their compatible signs. For example, it is believed that dog and dog don't get along, but dog and pig do; a water dog supports a wood pig but dominates a fire pig in their relationship because water benefits wood, but controls fire according to the Chinese five elements' interaction.
The elements are also associated with colours, the traditional correspondence being green to Wood, red to Fire, brown to Earth, white to Metal, and black to Water. Some websites denote the years by the colour and zodiac sign (as opposed to animal sign and element). See . (Notice the title "Green (Wooden) Chicken Year".)
The elements are combined with the binary Yin Yang cycle, which enlarges the element cyle to a cycle of ten. Even years are yang, odd years are yin. Since the zodiac animal cycle of 12 is divisible by two, every zodiac can only occur in either yin or yang: the dragon is always yang, the snake is always yin, etc. This combination creates a 60-year cycle, starting with Wood Rat and ending with Water Pig. The current cycle began in the year 1984.
There are some newer astrological texts which follow the Chinese Agricultural Calendar (the jie qi), and thus place the changeover of zodiac signs at the solar term li chun (beginning of Spring), at solar longitude 315 degrees. (See Chinese calendar)
The Chinese zodiac signs are used by cultures other than Chinese also. For one example, they often appear on Japanese New Year's cards. The United States Postal Service and those of several other countries issue a "Year of the ???" postage stamp each year to honor this Chinese heritage. However, those unfamiliar with the use of the Chinese lunar calendar usually just assume that the signs switch over on Jan 1 of each year. Those who are serious about the fortune telling aspect of the signs can consult a table, such as the one below.
|1900 Jan 31||1901 Feb 18||1960 Jan 28||1961 Feb 14||金 Metal||鼠 rat|
|1901 Feb 19||1902 Feb 07||1961 Feb 15||1962 Feb 04||金 Metal||牛 ox|
|1902 Feb 08||1903 Jan 28||1962 Feb 05||1963 Jan 24||水 Water||虎 tiger|
|1903 Jan 29||1904 Feb 15||1963 Jan 25||1964 Feb 12||水 Water||兔 rabbit|
|1904 Feb 16||1905 Feb 03||1964 Feb 13||1965 Feb 01||木 Wood||龍 dragon|
|1905 Feb 04||1906 Jan 24||1965 Feb 02||1966 Jan 20||木 Wood||蛇 snake|
|1906 Jan 25||1907 Feb 12||1966 Jan 21||1967 Feb 08||火 Fire||馬 horse|
|1907 Feb 13||1908 Feb 01||1967 Feb 09||1968 Jan 29||火 Fire||羊 goat|
|1908 Feb 02||1909 Jan 21||1968 Jan 30||1969 Feb 16||土 Earth||猴 monkey|
|1909 Jan 22||1901 Feb 09||1969 Feb 17||1970 Feb 05||土 Earth||雞 rooster|
|1910 Feb 10||1911 Jan 29||1970 Feb 06||1971 Jan 26||金 Metal||狗 dog|
|1911 Jan 30||1912 Feb 17||1971 Jan 27||1972 Feb 14||金 Metal||豬 pig|
|1912 Feb 18||1913 Feb 05||1972 Feb 15||1973 Feb 02||水 Water||鼠 rat|
|1913 Feb 06||1914 Jan 25||1973 Feb 03||1974 Jan 22||水 Water||牛 ox|
|1914 Jan 26||1915 Feb 13||1974 Jan 23||1975 Feb 10||木 Wood||虎 tiger|
|1915 Feb 14||1916 Feb 02||1975 Feb 11||1976 Jan 30||木 Wood||兔 rabbit|
|1916 Feb 03||1917 Jan 22||1976 Jan 31||1977 Feb 17||火 Fire||龍 dragon|
|1917 Jan 23||1918 Feb 10||1977 Feb 18||1978 Feb 06||火 Fire||蛇 snake|
|1918 Feb 11||1919 Jan 31||1978 Feb 07||1979 Jan 27||土 Earth||馬 horse|
|1919 Feb 01||1920 Feb 19||1979 Jan 28||1980 Feb 15||土 Earth||羊 goat|
|1920 Feb 20||1921 Feb 07||1980 Feb 16||1981 Feb 04||金 Metal||猴 monkey|
|1921 Feb 08||1922 Jan 27||1981 Feb 05||1982 Jan 24||金 Metal||雞 rooster|
|1922 Jan 28||1923 Feb 15||1982 Jan 25||1983 Feb 12||水 Water||狗 dog|
|1923 Feb 16||1924 Feb 04||1983 Feb 13||1984 Feb 01||水 Water||豬 pig|
|1924 Feb 05||1925 Jan 24||1984 Feb 02||1985 Feb 19||木 Wood||鼠 rat|
|1925 Jan 25||1926 Feb 12||1985 Feb 20||1986 Feb 08||木 Wood||牛 ox|
|1926 Feb 13||1927 Feb 01||1986 Feb 09||1987 Jan 28||火 Fire||虎 tiger|
|1927 Feb 02||1928 Jan 22||1987 Jan 29||1988 Feb 16||火 Fire||兔 rabbit|
|1928 Jan 23||1929 Feb 09||1988 Feb 17||1989 Feb 05||土 Earth||龍 dragon|
|1929 Feb 10||1930 Jan 29||1989 Feb 06||1990 Jan 26||土 Earth||蛇 snake|
|1930 Jan 30||1931 Feb 16||1990 Jan 27||1991 Feb 14||金 Metal||馬 horse|
|1931 Feb 17||1932 Feb 05||1991 Feb 15||1992 Feb 03||金 Metal||羊 goat|
|1932 Feb 06||1933 Jan 25||1992 Feb 04||1993 Jan 22||水 Water||猴 monkey|
|1933 Jan 26||1934 Feb 13||1993 Jan 23||1994 Feb 09||水 Water||雞 rooster|
|1934 Feb 14||1935 Feb 03||1994 Feb 10||1995 Jan 30||木 Wood||狗 dog|
|1935 Feb 04||1936 Jan 23||1995 Jan 31||1996 Feb 18||木 Wood||豬 pig|
|1936 Jan 24||1937 Feb 10||1996 Feb 19||1997 Feb 06||火 Fire||鼠 rat|
|1937 Feb 11||1938 Jan 30||1997 Feb 07||1998 Jan 27||火 Fire||牛 ox|
|1938 Jan 31||1939 Feb 18||1998 Jan 28||1999 Feb 15||土 Earth||虎 tiger|
|1939 Feb 19||1940 Feb 07||1999 Feb 16||2000 Feb 04||土 Earth||兔 rabbit|
|1940 Feb 08||1941 Jan 26||2000 Feb 05||2001 Jan 23||金 Metal||龍 dragon|
|1941 Jan 27||1942 Feb 14||2001 Jan 24||2002 Feb 11||金 Metal||蛇 snake|
|1942 Feb 15||1943 Feb 04||2002 Feb 12||2003 Jan 31||水 Water||馬 horse|
|1943 Feb 05||1944 Jan 24||2003 Feb 01||2004 Jan 21||水 Water||羊 goat|
|1944 Jan 25||1945 Feb 12||2004 Jan 22||2005 Feb 8||木 Wood||猴 monkey|
|1945 Feb 13||1946 Feb 01||2005 Feb 9||2006 Jan 28||木 Wood||雞 rooster|
|1946 Feb 02||1947 Jan 21||2006 Jan 29||2007 Feb 17||火 Fire||狗 dog|
|1947 Jan 22||1948 Feb 09||2007 Feb 18||2008 Feb 6||火 Fire||豬 pig|
|1948 Feb 10||1949 Jan 28||2008 Feb 7||2009 Jan 25||土 Earth||鼠 rat|
|1949 Jan 29||1950 Feb 16||2009 Jan 26||2010 Feb 23||土 Earth||牛 ox|
|1950 Feb 17||1951 Feb 05||2010 Feb 24||2011 Feb 2||金 Metal||虎 tiger|
|1951 Feb 06||1952 Jan 26||2011 Feb 3||2012 Jan 22||金 Metal||兔 rabbit|
|1952 Jan 27||1953 Feb 13||2012 Jan 23||2013 Feb 9||水 Water||龍 dragon|
|1953 Feb 14||1954 Feb 02||2013 Feb 10||2014 Jan 30||水 Water||蛇 snake|
|1954 Feb 03||1955 Jan 23||2014 Jan 31||2015 Feb 18||木 Wood||馬 horse|
|1955 Jan 24||1956 Feb 11||2015 Feb 19||2016 Feb 7||木 Wood||羊 goat|
|1956 Feb 12||1957 Jan 30||2016 Feb 8||2017 Jan 27||火 Fire||猴 monkey|
|1957 Jan 31||1958 Feb 17||2017 Jan 28||2018 Feb 15||火 Fire||雞 rooster|
|1958 Feb 18||1959 Feb 07||2018 Feb 16||2019 Feb 4||土 Earth||狗 dog|
|1959 Feb 08||1960 Jan 27||2019 Feb 5||2020 Jan 24||土 Earth||豬 pig|
The Chinese zodiac is also used in some other Asian countries that have been under the cultural influence of China. However, some of the animals in the Zodiac may differ by country.
For example, the Vietnamese zodiac is identical to Chinese zodiac except the fourth animal is the cat not the rabbit, while the Japanese zodiac includes the wild boar instead of the pig. Also, the Japanese use Gregorian calendar, i.e., 1 January, as the beginning of the zodiac sign.
The Thai Zodiac does not differ from the Chinese zodiac.
In addition to years, the Chinese zodiac is also traditionally used to label times of day, with each sign corresponding to a "large-hour" or shichen (時辰), which is a two-hour period
The following hours are in Beijing local time (UTC+8).
⇒ The Imperial Astrologer - Esoteric Astrology in the Light of Ancient Chinese Knowledge
⇑ Chinese Calendar - History and Traditions
2021-11-18, 2255👍, 0💬
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