Every culture has its own ways to relate time to categorize personality and human behavior. However, it’s hard to find a system as creative as the Chinese horoscope, which is also known as the zodiac.
The Chinese zodiac is an intricate system which uses 12 different animals to identify calendar years, months, days and hours. Each of the 12 animals exists in its own pillar, or tribe, and each has a unique relationship with the other 11 animal symbols in each facet of the calendar (years, months, days and hours) to explain what makes people tick.
So what are these signs and what do they mean?
Rat:The rat is affiliated with the first trine and has great power and leadership ability. Rats tend to be intelligent, cunning, artistic and charming, though they are also prone to ruthlessness, psychopathic, manipulative and narcissistic behavior. Rats match best with Ox and Monkey and do not match at all with Horse, Rabbit, or Rooster. The most recent Rat years are 1972, 1984, 1996 and 2008, the Rat month is the 11th month (Dec. 7-Jan. 5 on the Western calendar), while the Rat hours are from 11 p.m. to 12:59 a.m. Notable Rats include Eminem, George Washington, and Jeffrey Dahmer.
Ox: Members of the second trine, the Ox tends to be workmanlike, meticulous and thorough in its pursuits. It tends to be very careful and complete in what it does with very little wasted energy, but can be prone to being authoritarian, self-righteous, obsessive-compulsive and extremely stubborn. The Ox matches best with the Rat, Rooster, Pig and Snake and doesn’t match with Horse, Goat or Dog. The most recent Ox years are 1973, 1985, 1997 and 2009, the Ox month is the 12th month (Jan. 6-Feb. 3), while the Ox hours are 1 a.m. to 2:59 a.m. Notable Oxes include Richard Nixon, Napoleon, and Vincent Van Gogh.
Tiger: Members of the third trine, the Tiger is usually passionate about love, dedicated to humanitarian causes, and idealistic. However, this idealism can sometimes turn into moodiness or rebelliousness if their need for love is not met or they feel that they are being betrayed. The Tiger fits best with the Pig, Dog, Rabbit, Horse and Rooster and does not fit at all with the Monkey. The most recent Tiger years are 1974, 1986, 1998 and 2010, the Tiger month is the first month (Feb. 4-March 5) while the Tiger hours are from 3 a.m. to 4:59 a.m. Noteworthy Tigers include Marilyn Monroe, Dwight Eisenhower and Marco Polo.
Rabbit: The Rabbit resides in the fourth trine and typically has good taste and an appreciation of beauty. Rabbits are less prone to emotional outbursts than most signs and while affectionate, also tend to be a bit superficial, insecure and detached from other people at times. The Rabbit fits best with the Dog, Pig, Tiger and Goat and tend to clash with the Rooster and Rats. The most recent Rabbit years are 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011, the Tiger month is the second month (March 6-April 4) while its hours run from 5 a.m. to 6:59 a.m. Noteworthy Tigers include Albert Einstein, Confucius and Orson Welles.
Dragon:The Dragon is in the first trine, so it shares a lot of the Rat’s characteristics of intelligence, charm, leadership along with adding bravery. However, Dragons tend to have a more violent tendency than the Rat and are short-tempered. The Dragon matches up best with the Rooster, Monkey, Rat, Goat and Snake and are a terrible match with the Dog. The most recent Dragon years are 1976, 1988, 2000 and 2012, the Dragon month is the third month (April 5-May 4) while its hours run from 7 a.m. to 8:59 a.m. Noteworthy Dragons include Sigmund Freud, Chuck Norris and Courtney Love.
Snake: As part of the second trine, the Snake tends to be hard-working, wise and capable of sound, rational judgments. However, Snakes are also prone to paranoia, vanity and emotional instability and can be made jealous easily. The Snake matches up best with Monkey, Rooster, Ox and Dragon and does not get along with the Pig at all. The most recent Snake years are 1977, 1989, 2001 and 2013, the Snake month is the fourth month (May 5-June 5) while its hours run from 9 a.m. to 10:59 a.m. Noteworthy Snakes include Charles Darwin, Edgar Allan Poe and Abraham Lincoln.
Horse: The Horse in the third trine and tends to be intelligent, cheerful, popular and quick-witted, though a Horse can tend to use that intelligence and wit to be impulsive, impatient, and can sometimes be hard to work with. The Horse matches up best with Goat, Dog and Tiger while it has conflicts with the Rat and the Ox. We are currently in a Horse year right now, with other recent Horse years being 1978, 1990 and 2002, the Horse month is the fifth month (June 6-July 6) while its hours run from 11 a.m. to 12:59 p.m. Noteworthy Horses include Teddy Roosevelt, Davy Crockett and Rembrandt.
Goat: The Goat is in the fourth trine and tends to be very proud and bossy, but at the same time kind and gentle. Many Goats tend to be doctors, although they are prone to being a bit clumsy and awkward and can give off the wrong impression. The Goat matches with the Horse, Rabbit, Pig and Dragon and tends to conflict with the Ox. Recent Goat years are 1967, 1979, 1991 and 2003, the Goat month is the sixth month (July 7-Aug. 6) while its hours are from 1 p.m. to 2:59 p.m. Some famous Goats include Mark Twain, Orville Wright and Michelangelo.
Monkey: The Monkey is also a first trine character and tends to be very clever and very magnetic, as people are drawn to the Monkey. However, this can also make the Monkey self-absorbed, meddlesome and manipulative. The Monkey matches with the Snake, Rat and Dragon and finds itself at odds with the Tiger. Recent Monkey years are 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, the Monkey month is the seventh month (Aug. 7-Sept. 7) while its hours are from 3 p.m. to 4:59 p.m. Some famous Monkeys include Harry Truman, Tom Hanks and Elizabeth Taylor.
Rooster: The Rooster is in the second trine and tends to be very shrewd and confident in its work, which often makes them seem arrogant and boastful. Roosters tend to be extravagant and industrious, but also fall prey to being obsessive and egotistical at the same time. The Rooster matches with the Dragon, Ox, Tiger, Pig and Snake and wars with the Rabbit and Rat. Recent Rooster years are 1969, 1981, 1993 and 2005, the Rooster month is the eighth month (Sept. 8-Oct. 7) while its hours are from 5 p.m. to 6:59 p.m. Famous Roosters include Groucho Marx and Rudyard Kipling.
Dog: The Dog is in the third trine and tends to be the most loyal and dependable of the symbols. A Dog is typically honest, plays fair and is trustworthy with information. However, the dog can also be judgmental and critical at a moment’s notice as well. The Dog matches with the Rabbit, Tiger, Horse and Pig and has issues with the Dragon and the ox. Recent Dog years are 1970, 1982, 1994 and 2006, the Dog month is the ninth month (Oct. 8-Nov. 6) and its hours run from 7 p.m. to 8:59 p.m. Some famous Dogs include Benjamin Franklin, Socrates and George Gershwin.
Pig: The Pig is in the fourth trine and tends to rise to the challenge, as Pigs like to set lofty goals and usually accomplish them. They also have a lot of courage and have a taste for the finer things, but this materialism, along with a naive nature and a quick temper, can be their downfall. The Pig matches with the Tiger, Rabbit, Rooster, Goat, Ox and Dog and fights with the Snake. Recent pig years are 1971, 1983, 1995 and 2007, the Pig month is the 10th month (Nov. 7-Dec. 6) and its hours run from 9 p.m. to 10:59 p.m. Famous Pigs include Ernest Hemingway and Albert Schweitzer.