The 12 Animal Signs of the Chinese Zodiac

The Five Elements and their Characteristics

By Gilbert Dadia

The Chinese Zodiac is ruled by 12 animal signs which according to Chinese legend and mythology started when the Jade Emperor (The Emperor in Heaven according to Chinese folklore) summoned all the animals in the kingdom to his palace and decreed that the twelve who would arrive first would be designated as calendar signs. The animal signs that were included in the calendar and their order of arrival are as follows: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

chinese astrology year of the horse 2014

People born in the year of a particular animal sign is said to inherit or possess the particular traits of that animal of the Chinese Zodiac. These signs are also governed by the Five Elements that are the universal foundation of everything in the universe and natural phenomena. The Five Elements are metal, wood, water, fire and earth. They usually interact with one another either to bring about, nourish or destroy each other. Example fire melts metal, metal chops wood; water prevents fire and so on. And, on the other end, wood feeds fire, earth absorbs water; earth bears metal and so on.

The Five Elements have their own characteristics that influence a sign:

  • Wood- For Kindness. It states your fate in life, lowliness or nobleness.
  • Fire- For Decorum. It states your strength or softness.
  • Metal- For Righteousness. It states your life span and longevity.
  • Water- For Wisdom. It states your talent, agile mind and accuracy.
  • Earth- For Honesty. It states your status and growth of everything.

Whatever your Chinese zodiac sign is, for sure there will come a time that you will either have a good or bad year according to Chinese astrology. Take it with a grain of salt, you can follow Fengshui advice or you can do with best of whatever comes in a particular year.