The first 12 to cross the line were awarded signs in the Chinese zodiac.
Tiger's Personality Analysis by Western Astrology Signs
This differs from Western astrology where the 12 signs are based on constellations' positions relative to the earth. The constellations were named according to Greek mythology. The Chinese zodiac animals were assigned months on the traditional Chinese solar calendar. Each animal sign corresponds with two of the 24 solar terms, for a period similar to a Western zodiac month.
This means that the Western astrological signs and Chinese zodiac months have a half-month overlap , as can be seen in the diagram right. Read more about the Solar Terms here.
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Within the simplified Western astrological framework, signs are divided per month, while the Chinese signs are divided on a year-by-year basis when it comes to popular astrology. This means that in Chinese beliefs, people who were born in the same year have similar traits, as opposed to the Western belief that those born in the same month-long time frame have similar traits.
However, of course, there is more to it. In Western astrology, apart from the constellations, the planets, for example, symbolize basic motivations in the human psyche. Beside the yearly zodiac, Chinese astrology has three other pillars that create your fate, making four pillars in total: birth year, birth month, birth day, and birth hour. When comparing the four pillars to Western astrology , the main difference is that Western astrology focuses on celestial alignment of constellations with planets, stars, the moon, etc.
Chinese Horoscopes: What’s Your Chinese Zodiac Sign?
In the popularly-used Chinese astrology system the lunar calendar , each month begins with a new moon and lasts for 29 or 30 days. The Chinese New Year date and length of a lunar year change by up to a month relative to a solar calendar.
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However, "professional" or conventional Chinese astrology mainly uses the traditional solar calendar when it comes to making predictions and laying out horoscopes. In this method, a year begins on February 4th within a day.
The Western astrological calendar is based on the Earth's orbit around the sun and resulting celestial alignment , which gives every zodiac month a set date within a day , lasting between 29 and 31 days. This is why Western zodiac star signs are also known as sun signs. Chinese astrology places emphasis on the lunar phase at the time of your birth.
The Differences Between the Chinese Zodiac and Western Astrology
There are four moon phases: new moon, waxing moon, full moon, and waning moon. New moon types are those seeking innovative environments, waxing moon people are known for being hard working, full moon types are diplomatic, while waning moon people desire peaceful surroundings.
While still playing a role in sensitive areas, in Western astrology the planets are seen as more important factors. The five elements also correspond to specific colors, hours of the day, compass directions and bodily organs, which inform everything from Chinese medicine to Feng Shui.
The five elements have a symbiotic relationship: Metal generates water; water feeds wood; wood sustains fire; fire makes earth ash ; earth ash creates metal. They also have a destructive manifestation: Fire melts metal; metal cuts wood; wood breaks earth; earth absorbs water; water puts out fire.
Chinese zodiac illustrations by The Grande Dame. Get the Horoscope Guide! October Monthly Horoscope: War and Peace?
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