Chinese astrology is an ancient science that has been used to predict the future since time immemorial. It was introduced by the Chinese emperor Huang – Ti around 2673 BC. Over the centuries the Chinese astrology has gained popularity and is now even used by westerners.
The Chinese astrology is based on the Chinese calendar, the Chinese zodiac, the sexagenary cycle and five elements. Each of these has a profound influence on Chinese astrology.
The Chinese calendar is a lunisolar calendar. It is not based on the Gregorian calendar that is followed in the west. Hence a new year begins with the Chinese new year which falls anywhere between mid January and early Feburary. Chinese astrologers follow a sexagenary cycle of 60 years. This cycle has been made using two other cycles namely the 10 heavenly stems and 12 earthly branches. Each cycle is further classified into a yin cycle and a yang cycle.
The Chinese astrology uses five elements -- Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth to make predictions. Interestingly, the Chinese astrologers named the major planets Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Mercury and Saturn by the names of the five elements. Hence, Venus was Metal (gold), Jupiter was Wood, Mercury was Water, Mars was Fire, and Saturn was Earth. These elements acted as modifiers and influenced the Chinese zodiac.
The Chinese zodiac is made up of 12 animals that constitute one calendrical cycle. The animals are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit (or hare),dragon, snake, horse, ram (or goat or sheep), monkey, rooster (or cock or phoenix),dog, pig (or boar). Each animal has its own strength and weakness that has a profound influence on an individual’s personality and behavior as per Chinese astrology.
The Chinese astrology further divides the day into a shichen or a two-hour period. So in a day the 12 animals have an assigned shichen. All these factors make Chinese astrology a very exciting science.