The origin of the Chinese signs of the zodiac is a mystery. According to some sources, Chinese Astrology originated around 1000 B.C., other sources state they come from Buddha. There is a legend about Buddha that says that at the end of his life, Buddha called for all animals to appear before him. He rewarded their loyal service by giving every animal the reign over one lunar year. Every lunar year was named after the animal and would be characterised by its qualities. The twelve animals would form the Chinese wheel. They reflect the cosmos.
There are twelve animals, in an order running from Rat to Pig. Every year there is a new animal. These 12 animals already give a good description of the different types of personalities. Most people do not however belong completely to one type but rather have the characteristics of several animals. This is because every person is made up of three animals:
- One animal for the year of birth.
- One animal for the month in which you were born .
- One animal for the exact time of birth, also known as the ascendant animal.
The year animal represents your behaviour.
The month animal is the same as in western astrology and plays an important part in how we form a personality and how we establish relationships.
The inner animal is derived from the exact time of birth and says something about the way you are inside.
In Chinese Astrology it is believed that we are not supposed to become a certain animal, but that we should be the qualities of the animals. The animals represent the content of our soul. The characteristics of the animals are those qualities, which we have to learn to master in our life's journey.