We've listed some of the main differences, to make things a little easier to understand. In both systems, there are the same number of signs: In Chinese astrology , the 12 signs are derived from a myth that when God was developing a calendar, all creatures on Earth were summoned to participate in a race. The first 12 to cross the line were awarded signs in the Chinese zodiac.
Chinese vs. Western Astrology: What Are the Differences?
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. 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.
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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. After the danger and adventures faced by the Tiger, the Rabbit is a sign that knows how to enjoy the little things. Not to say that this sign lacks ambition, but it tends to look for wealth and prestige rather than more grand plans of heroism or world domination. The Rabbit succeeds thanks to his good manners, thoughtfulness and subtlety. He needs a home away from the concerns of the world, where he can spend quality time reading his books, listening to his music and taking it easy.
Rabbits are quite the gourmets, in a general sense. This is an ideal sign for collectors. People generally like the Rabbit, who stays out of their business and has an innate poise. However, Rabbits can sometimes be supercilious, too conservative, and intellectually pretentious. They can easily become dilettantes. Rabbits enjoy mystery, and have themselves a mysterious enigmatic quality.
The Dragon is a sign full of vitality, independence, and the wish to challenge itself. Dragons have their own ideas about the world, and their own code of honor, and live according to them no matter what anyone says. They are honest, hardworking and loyal but are not interested in regular jobs or a regular life: their rather grand imagination propels them to find adventures and challenges to exert themselves; they are bored by mundane goals.
Dragons are good communicators and can easily make friends and influence people, but are very independent and will go their own way.
They are idealists, and their goal is to transform the world to fit their ideal. They will often be successful thanks to their insight, willingness to take risks, and capacity for work, but they can be excessively confident, too high and mighty, and unwilling to compromise. The Snake is venerated in Chinese astrology as the sign of beauty and wisdom.
The Snake is elegant, poised and has an innate sense of measure and moderation. He possesses a sharp critical mind and a keen eye for detail, and is not easily fooled. He wonders about the world, questioning conventional wisdom, and has a philosophical vein. Not fond of great exertions of force, the Snake achieves goals little by little, using strategy, technique and compromise. His ambitions are high but mundane in nature: he wants a good career and seeks the luxuries money can buy.
However, the Snake is known for a certain tendency to become possessive and manipulative. The Snake finds success thanks to its clear mind, acute perception, and patience, but can be vengeful, vain and lazy. The Horse is hyperactive, popular, sexy, classy, and a very fast thinker. Always looking for new adventures, friendly, posessing many talents, the Horse is the original cool guy.
The Horse likes being the first at the finish line, he is quite competitive, just for the pleasure of exerting himself fully. He can be a driven workaholic, provided his job can keep him on his toes; otherwise he will soon leave to seek new challenges. The Horse enjoys social occasions, and thanks to his good looks, wit and eloquence, is generally the life of the party and very popular with the opposite sex.
He was not made for the careful consideration of subtleties, but for exploring new terrain and galloping with energy. The Chinese horoscope says the Horse is the only sign that can take several paths at once, but is capable of leaving everything for love. The Goat is the artist of the Horoscope. Although the Goat is fragile and often feels threatened and misunderstood, he can gather great force from his strong belief in his internal vision.
In fact, the Goat can have difficulties to adapt to changes in his environment, and can disregard signs of danger. The Goat is a sweet and imaginative companion, and probably operates best by association with someone who can relieve him of the pain of dealing with the world and its conventions.
Money is much appreciated as a buyer of freedom, and Goats can be capitalists even if they swear they will never wear a tie. The Monkey is the game player of the Horoscope. He never quite believes what he sees, and likes trying different strategies to solve problems. A very original thinker, his opinions are multifaceted and unconventional. With this goes certain mischievous maliciousness. Monkeys have extremely flexible and sharp minds, and can solve problems that appear intractable.
The Monkey would like to believe, but his curiosity makes him always wonder and question, and generally lose faith. Though very active, the Monkey disdains routine. Anyway he can get away with that thanks to his persuasiveness, flexibility, and his ability to turn arguments around. The Monkey can be indolent, dishonest and manipulative. The Rooster is the teacher of the Horoscope. He has an original mind, is a quick thinker, and has a very good eye for detail.
He is also organized, obsessively clean, and very concerned with appearance, especially its own. A dynamic sign, he likes to keep himself busy and is a multitasker. In fact he likes to think out loud and show his originality and logic thought. He can be quite the exhibitionist, and is generally popular and well regarded. However, his incessant advice and criticism, and a certain bossiness, make the Rooster hard to take at times. Also, he tends to lose the big picture because of his attention to detail.
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