Chinese astrology is widely believed to be the most evolved and accurate form of horoscope in existence. The art is deeply rooted in classical Chinese philosophy and uses many of the same concepts as Chinese medicine and religion. Whereas western astrology is based on the elliptical solar year and constellations.
Chinese astrology is founded on cycles of years, lunar months, and time of day. According to Chinese astrology, the year, date, and time of day during which an individual was born greatly influences their personality and fortune.
Twelve zodiac animals, also known as terrestrial branches, represent the sixty-year cycle of Chinese years: dog, horse, pig, ox, rat, dragon, tiger, rabbit, snake, sheep, monkey, and rooster. Depending on day of the year and hour of birth, these signs are combined with one of the five elements, or phases, to determine what is favorable to an individual and effective in terms of his or her feng shui (life force). The five elements in Chinese philosophy are wood, fire, metal, water, and earth.
According to Chinese astrology, a person’s entire future can be determined through complex calculations derived from Chinese philosophy, the Chinese calendar, and their relations with the stars, planets, and other heavenly bodies. These calculations are known as the Purple Star system. Given the date and hour of birth, the positions of certain stars are recorded in each of the prescribed sectors of the Chinese astrological chart. The chart as a whole maps an individual’s journey through life.
Each sector, or zone, in the Chinese astrological chart represents a major aspect one’s life. The main structure zone predicts one’s physical appearance, natural talents and abilities, and overall success or failure. The stars’ positions in other sectors foretell relationships, wealth, property and assets, health, career, opportunities for travel, and level of happiness that are predestined at birth. A person’s zodiac animal indicates the individual’s personality and character.
Perhaps the most important factor in Chinese astrology is the concept of yin-yang. Yin-yang describes the diametrically opposed forces that govern and create harmony and equilibrium in the universe. Yin and yang complement each other and are bound together, creating the whole. They are constantly changing places, transforming each other.
Yin and yang are dynamic, yet always equal in relation to one another. Since yin-yang describes all natural phenomena, a person is part of one or the other polarity determined by the year of birth: even Chinese years are yang, odd years are yin. Yang is active, aggressive, focused, passionate, and masculine; associated with creativity, daylight and sun, spring and summer, and the element fire. Yin is passive, receptive, tranquil, negative, and feminine; associated with winter and fall, birth and fertility, night and moon, and the element water.
While Chinese astrology is much more complex than Western astrology, Chinese astrology is based more on philosophy and science. Both contain mystical elements, but the ancient art of divination is far more developed and inveterate in Chinese astrology than in its Western counterpart.