Chinese astrology is based on the old-fashioned astronomy and calendars. The development of Chinese’s fortune telling is tied to that of astronomy that came to flourish during the period of the Han Dynasty (1406-256 BC). Chinese fortune telling is one of the oldest forms of Astrology; the genesis of naming the years after animals are unknown. The significance of Chinese horoscope is that an individual’s birth year is mere sufficed to know about one’s future rather than one’s age.
The foremost circle of Chinese Zodiac was propounded in the year 2637 B.C. by the Chinese Emperor Huang Ti. In the Chinese astrological method, large 60 year cycle is profoundly significant. With origins tracing back to 2637 BC, Chinese-based astrology can predict some amazing information about one’s lifestyle, character and emotional make-up.
The inception of the Chinese horoscope signs can be attributed to the popular belief that Lord Buddha (c563-c. 483 B.C) once upon a time beckoned all of the animals to give him farewell ahead of his departure from the earth. However, only 12 animals turned up for the meeting convened by Lord Buddha.
As an exhibition of thanks to those who congregated, he named each year after the animals according to the order in which they were present: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dog, pig, horse, sheep, dragon and snake etc. As per the order determined by Lord Buddha, Chinese New Year occurs on different dates, from the middle of January to the middle of February.
Each of these 12 animal signs reflects five elements – Wood, Fire, Metal, Water and Earth. Though each animal sign recurs once in 12 years, the exclusive combination of the Sign and Element takes place once in 60 years. These twelve animal signs, in turn are divided into four groups of three.
Among these groups, Group one comprises Rat, Monkey and Dragon. The second group contains animals like Ox, Snake and Rooster whereas the third group is complete with Tiger, Horse and Dog. The last (fourth) group is ridden with Rabbit, Sheep and Pig.
During the regime of Han, well-signified elements of traditional Chinese culture – theory of the five elements such as Heaven, Confucian morality and Earth, the Ying-Yang Philosophy were combined to formalize the philosophical beliefs of Chinese medicine, astrology, divination and alchemy.
Chinese zodiac signs enable us to comprehend and obtain the missing energies that each of us has in our lives. Chinese Zodiac signs have been used for a very long period of time as a way of dating ages in a 12-year cycle of the Chinese calendar. These zodiac signs are interlinked with the Chinese culture so much so that the animal signs have found way their way into stories and folklore. These signs produced different personality characteristics that are represented by each animal.