Chinese astrology is one of the three traditions of the modern astrology, the other two being Indian astrology and Western astrology. It basically involves the prediction of the events that are going to take place in the future. These predictions are based on the ancient Chinese philosophy as well as the Chinese calendar, which is based on astronomy. To be more particular and specific, Ancient Chinese astrological traditions have the age-old sexagenary cycle of 60 years as their main base.
The cycle was documented as early as the period of the Shang Dynasty
and can be further subdivided into two cycles. One of the cycles
comprises of the ten heavenly stems, known as the five elements in their
yin and yang forms. The second cycle is made up of twelve earthly
branches, or the twelve-year cycle of animals, known as the Chinese
zodiac. This zodiac also operates on a cycle of months or 'moons' and of
hours of the day. Ancient Chinese astrology refers to a purely
calendrical cycle, without any equivalent constellations.
In the colonial times, astrologers were renowned for making predictions
about the future of the state. For the purpose, they used to watch the
sky and look for heavenly omens. The astronomers identified the five
major planets by the element with which they were related. Virgo was
identified with Metal, Jupiter with Wood, Mercury with Water, Mars with
Fire and Saturn with Earth. The position of the major planets, the Sun,
the Moon and the comets, along with the person's time of birth and
zodiac sign, was and is still used to predict his future.
Chinese Zodiac Signs
As per Chinese astrology, there are twelve animal signs, associated with twelve different personality types. Chinese zodiacal signs are mainly based on the particular year in which the person was born. However, the signs may also be assigned on the basis of month and hours of the day. A full cycle in Chinese astrology comprises of 60 years and is a combination of the twelve animals with each of five possible elements.
Chinese Zodiac History
Almost everyone knows that there are twelve zodiac signs in the Chinese astrology, namely rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep (ram or goat), monkey, rooster, dog, and pig. However, the history of the Chinese zodiac signs, i.e. how they came into existence, is still unknown to the majority. Actually, there is an interesting legend that explains the full story behind the history and origin of the Chinese Zodiac.
Chinese Zodiac Calendar
The Chinese astrological calendar is lunisolar in nature and follows a 60-year cycle. Within this cycle, there are two separate sub-cycles, which interact with one another. The first sub-cycle comprises of the ten heavenly stems, namely the Five Elements in their Yin and Yang forms. These elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. The second sub-cycle comprise of the twelve zodiac animal signs, also known as the Earthly Branches.