Chinese Zodiac Signs

Chinese Zodiac Signs

Learning About Chinese Zodiac Signs

Chinese Zodiac Signs and Their Meanings

Chinese zodiac signs are based on the year you were born. The Chinese believe the animal ruling one’s birth year has a profound influence on personality, and destiny. The saying is: “This animal hides in your heart.”

Unlike Western astrology, Chinese astrology does not look directly at the heavenly constellations or planets to predict one’s destiny.

Instead, Chinese astrology deals with divining sciences of wuxing or the five elements (earth, fire, water, metal, wood), Yin and Yang, Chi, and the cycles of time.

Legend has it that inception of Chinese zodiac signs began when the Buddha beckoned all the animals to bid him farewell before his departure from the Earth. Only twelve arrived at his summoning, and so these twelve creatures were given a place of honor in a year being named after each. Thus, the Chinese zodiac runs through a 12 year cycle, featuring each of the Buddha’s honored critters.

Chinese zodiac signs can offer extraordinary insight into the human psyche. What’s more, these signs open up an expansive view into our personality traits. Granted, each sign’s description is a broad stroke. There are fine details within each of us that may not be addressed, or some details about our sign may seem contrary to truth. That’s why it’s important not to hold zodiac signs as gospel. All of us are unique. We cannot permit to be pegged into a single zodiac definition. Nonetheless, Chinese zodiac signs can certainly illuminate aspects of ourselves we may have otherwise overlooked.

You can determine your animal sign by referring to the year you were born and matching it up with the corresponding animal in the chart below.

Years Corresponding to Chinese Zodiac Signs

Rat:  1900 1912  1924  1936  1948  1960  1972  1984  1996  2008  2020

Ox:  1901  1913  1925  1937  1949  1961  1973  1985  1997  2009  2021

Tiger:  1902  1914  1926  1938  1950  1962  1974  1986  1998  2010  2022

Rabbit:  1903  1915  1927  1939  1951  1963  1975  1987  1999  2011  2023

Dragon:  1904  1916  1928  1940  1952  1964  1976  1988  2000  2012  2024

Snake:  1905  1917  1929  1941  1953  1965  1977  1989  2001  2013  2025

Horse:  1906  1918  1930  1942  1954  1966  1978  1990  2002  2014  2026

Sheep/Goat:  1907  1919  1931  1943  1955  1967  1979  1991  2003  2015  2027

Monkey:  1908  1920  1932  1944  1956  1968  1980  1992  2004  2016  2028

Rooster:  1909  1921  1933  1945  1957  1969  1981  1993  2005  2017  2029

Dog:  1910  1922  1934  1946  1958  1970  1982  1994  2006  2018  2030

Boar/Pig:  1911  1923  1935  1947  1959  1971  1983  1995  2007  2019  2031

“Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.”

~Confucius

Chinese Zodiac Sign Meanings

Below are the Chinese Zodiac signs, and the characteristics that correspond to each one. Additionally, you will find signs compatible with yours and the Chinese element that influences your zodiac sign. Please note, each sign has a link to more information about this particular animal’s symbolism. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy this summary on Chinese zodiac sign meanings.

Rat
Element: Water
Partners well with: Dragon and Monkey
Characteristics: Intelligent, adaptable, quick-witted, charming, artistic, sociable.
Ox
Element: Earth
Partners well with: Snake and Rooster
Characteristics: Loyal, reliable, thorough, strong, reasonable, steady, determined
Bull Symbolic Meaning here.
Tiger
Element: Wood
Partners well with: Horse and Dog
Characteristics: Enthusiastic, courageous, ambitious, leadership, confidence, charismatic
Click here for more Chinese symbolic meanings for Tiger.
Rabbit
Element: Wood
Partners well with: Sheep and Boar
Characteristics: Trustworthy, empathic, modest, diplomatic, sincere, sociable, caretakers, sensitive.
More on Rabbit meanings here.
Dragon
Element: Earth
Partners well with: Rat and Monkey
Characteristics: Lucky, flexible, eccentric, imaginative, artistic, spiritual, charismatic
More on Chinese Dragon Symbolism here.
Snake
Element: Fire
Partners well with: Rooster and Ox
Characteristics: Philosophical, organized, intelligent, intuitive, elegant, attentive, decisive
Symbolism of Snake here.
Horse
Element: Fire
Partners well with: Dog and Tiger
Characteristics: Adaptable, loyal, courageous, ambitious, intelligent, adventurous, strong
See also Horse symbolic meanings.
Goat/Sheep
Element: Earth
Partners well with: Boar and Rabbit
Characteristics: Tasteful, crafty, warm, elegant, charming, intuitive, sensitive, calm
See also Goat symbolic meanings.
Monkey
Element: Metal
Partners well with: Dragon and Rat
Characteristics: Quick-witted, charming, lucky, adaptable, bright, versatile, lively, smart. More on Monkey symbolism here. See also Monkey symbolic meanings.
Rooster
Element: Metal
Partners well with: Snake and Ox
Characteristics: Honest, energetic, intelligent, flamboyant, flexible, diverse, confident. For more information on Rooster Symbol meanings, click here.
Dog
Element: Earth
Partners well with: Tiger and Horse
Characteristics: Loyal, sociable, courageous, diligent, steady, lively, adaptable, smart For more information on Dog Symbol meanings, click here.
Pig/Boar
Element: Water
Partners well with: Sheep and Rabbit
Characteristics: Honorable, philanthropic, determined, optimistic, sincere, sociable For more information on Boar Symbol meanings, click here.
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I hope you enjoyed this perspective on Chinese zodiac signs. Learning about different symbol and sign meanings from different cultures gives us a broader understanding of the world we live in. Are these zodiac sign meanings 100% accurate? As with any pseudo-science, there are variables in meanings. Zodiac sign meanings are a great way to round-out personality types. But it’s important to remember there is a lot that makes us whole humans. Life-experience, training, childhood upbringing, etc. Mix all these ingredients together, and add a dash of zodiac sign spice, and you’ve got a great insight into personality types.

If you liked this article, be sure to check out more pages on Chinese meanings, zodiac meanings and more via the links on this page.

Thanks for reading, and have fun exploring!

Brightly,

Avia

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An Important Note About Signs, Symbols and Their Meanings

Signs and symbols cultivate their meanings according to culture, context, passage of time, and mass societal opinion. What’s cool and highly important is that signs and symbols earn their most powerful meanings from our own personal perspectives.

This website strives to provide you with the best, time-honored information when defining signs and symbols. However, in the final analysis, “Beauty (and symbolism) is in the eye of the beholder.”

Having said that, it’s in our best interest to invest the time to do personal research on symbolic events happening to us. This website is just one perspective in an ocean of variety and diversity in the realm of symbolism. So dive in! There is a whole universe of deeper meanings to explore! You can start your research by clicking on the links at the end or to the side of this page. Odds are good I’ve got a follow-up article about this symbolic topic. ?

As always, thanks for your willingness to learn more about the language of symbolism. It’s a language that is universal and everywhere. It’s super-groovy to travel with you on your symbolic path, and maybe offer a little translation along the way. Thanks for reading and exploring!