By Sabrina Pettis
June 7th, 2011
We must admit. We all are drawn to a specific friend, a specific movie, a specific environment, a specific style, and a specific career. But why? It is common for us to stick to what we know, but how do we learn what we know? Of course, our personalities plays a dominate role in our daily decision-making. Where does personality come from? Some will answer that our personality is based on our upbringing. We are just exact replicas of our parents, but I strongly disagree. Do you find it interesting how to siblings, born in the same household, have completely different personalities? Well, may be this phenomenon is more mysterious then we give credit for. May be our very characteristics are based on the astrological alignments or time. Every culture, including ancient Chinese and ancient Egyptian, have pondered this possibility. And I wish to share with you the very basics of their research. In today’s article, I will start with Chinese astrology.
Chinese Astrology is no different from Egyptian astrology where they determine a child’s characteristics, motives, and demeanor through the annual rotation of the sun. It was even believed that astrological experts can determine your past, present, and future from the exact year, month, day, hour, minute, and second you were born. If that wasn’t specific enough, Chinese astrological experts associate the information of your birth to the five elements: earth, water, fire, wood, and metal to better determine your outcome. It is quite fascinating. The minuscule details play a huge role in making you who you are today.
With all that aside, Chinese Astrology also has a practical yet whimsical element. As I mentioned, a child’s characteristics are determined by the rotation of the sun, or simply put, by the year. Each year is represented by an animal, and these animals were chosen based on ancient Chinese farm life. For example, there is the Horse and the Pig on the astrological calendar (zodiac calendar). The only mythical creature on the calendar is the Dragon, which is based on involved folklore in the Chinese culture. Dragons are believed to be the guardians to the spiritual world, so they deserve a spot on the calendar.
There are twelve animals for the twelve zodiac signs. The Rat represents year one and the Pig represents year twelve. These animal years repeat themselves after year twelve, so year thirteen is the Rat again. Get it? If not, it’ll make more since after I break down the main traits of each animal. First let us read the wise old tale of the twelve zodiac signs.
[I am re-telling the classic folklore story from Sabrina Liao’s version.]
Once upon a time in a world just beginning, there was a heavenly Empress who wished to create a calendar for the humans to track time. The Empress told all the animals of the land that there will be a grand race and the first twelve animals to win will become the years and each human child born under their year will carry their characteristics. The animals where excited. Every single animal from the majestic dragon to the tiny tadpoles lined up to participate in the race.
The Empress said, “You must travel over the mountain and across the river to get to the finish line. There will be a party for the twelve fastest animals.” The Rat was worried.
The Rat took one looked at his little feet and knew he would have a problem climbing the huge mountain, and he expressed his concern with his best friend Cat. Cat also worried. The Ox over heard the Rat and expressed how he has bad eyes. Then, the Rat thought of a plan. He said, “Ox, let Cat and I ride your back. We will be your eyes and together we will cross the finish line.”
The race was about to start. The Empress held her hand in the air. “Ready, Get set, Go!” yelled the Empress while she dropped her hand. All the animals raced to the mountain, except the Dragon. The Dragon told the Empress that he had enough time to change the weather for the party since he can easily fly to the finish line.
Days passed and then months passed. The Rat and the Cat can see the finish line. “It is there. Go Straight, Ox!” said the Rat. Ox jumped in the river and the Rat and the Cat held on tight. While the Ox was swimming against the current, the Rat realized he wanted to be first. So in the moment, he pushed Cat into the river and the Cat screamed as he was carried downstream.
The Ox’s head was underwater and did not see what happened. When the Ox was just about to the cross the finish line, the Rat jumped off his back and claimed first place. The Ox didn’t mind and claimed second place.
Moments later, more animals trickled in. The Dragon came in fifth place after he made the weather sunny for the party, and the gleeful Pig came in last. The party finally began. After about an hour, the Cat appeared soaking wet. The Empress told him he was too late, and fury grew within the Cat. Even today, the Cat and the Rat are sworn enemies.
What’s your sign?
[Summarized from Sabrina Liao’s Chinese Astrology book]
1. Rat People – As you can tell from the story, Rat people are born survivors and a problem-solvers. They’re able to use their intellect for any situation and they usually end up at the top. Rat people can turn competitive and be calculating, but they are still very communal. Their family comes first.
2. Ox People – These are hard-working and reliable people. They are also equip to be born leaders. Ox people do have the tendency to be to be stubborn, but that’s because they know their way is the right way. Though their gentle nature makes for that. Ox people are the type of people you can trust.
3. Tiger People – Fear is not in the Tiger’s vocabulary. Confident and assertive are natural traits for them. This can cause Tiger people to be impatient, but their natural charm allows them to enjoy many rewards. They are very energetic, and fun. Tiger People definitely stand out within a crowd.
4. Rabbit People – One of the luckiest signs in the group and toppled with a compassionate nature. These peace-loving people are accommodating and trustworthy. They can be very passive in the heat of confrontation, but like the Rat, Rabbit People are communal. Also, they love to show off their successes and talents.
5. Dragon People – You know a Dragon Person when you see one. Being the only mythical creature, people born under this sign are blessed with natural appeal. Being the luckiest sign of them all and born perfectionists, Dragon people usually live an extravagant lifestyle to feed their unique style.
6. Snake People – Intelligence is the key attribute for Snake People. They are also deep thinkers and know their decisions are always right. They are also competitive and know how to show off in a way that’s subtle and appreciated.
7. Horse People – These People must live freely. They ride life’s spontaneous events and absorb all of those experiences with passion and charisma. Since they operate through feeling, they can be emotionally detached, but their independence and excitement still make them alluring.
8. Sheep People – Sheep People were born in a dream and will do everything in their power to make that dream come true. As a result, they are extremely creative but can be unreliable with tasks they feel are not of importance to them. Creativity, compassion, and style best sums up their characters.
9. Monkey People – The fun is here! Monkey People are fun loving and highly social. Monkeys are clever and mastered the art of conversation and will prove it to you will long conversations, which can be center around themselves. They are not that lucky, but their optimism and natural charm makes up for that.
10. Rooster People – Rooster People are little peacocks because they love to put on a show and are the most eccentric of all signs. They love to hold extravagant parties with many unique trinkets. Rooster can be frank about their feelings and live their lives in the fast lane. No sleeping for the Rooster.
11. Dog People – Being the most loyal sign in the group, Dog People very caring and helpful to whoever they call family or friends. Dogs are also frank and see the world in black and white. They are best motivated when there is a goal in mind. They will be the first to run and achieve the goal.
12. Pig People – The party has begun! The Pig sign is one of the most social signs in the group. They love people and still caring and considerate. Pig People do tend to indulged too much, but most would say they deserve it. They are honest People who will go out of their way to help you.
This is Chinese Astrology in a nutshell. However, if this philosophy doesn’t work for you, be patient. May be Egyptian philosophy is more fitting with your beliefs.
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