The Chinese Zodiac is divided into 12 different animal signs, each representing a year in the cycle, exhibiting different attributes. If you know the sign for the year you were born, you can use it as a guide to determine the types of people you might be compatible with, whether in love, life or work. The characteristic strengths and weaknesses of each animal can either compliment or undermine each other, depending on how they interact.
To determine the compatibility of each sign, Chinese astrologers often look to the real-life behaviour of that animal. For instance, dragons are mythical creatures, but in Chinese mythology, they are courageous and strong. If you place a dragon together with a monkey or a rat, both of which are small but smart, they will challenge each other intellectually, if not physically; thus, they will make an excellent match. The dog, on the other hand, is too flighty and active and will irritate the dragon.
Chinese astrology places the 12 animals in four trines, based on the way scholars believed the animals thought and behaved. The rabbit, ram and pig are giving and can be easily abused by stronger signs, while the horse, tiger and dog are true individuals, who are always looking for their one true love. The ox, snake and rooster are determined and patient, and are most compatible with one another. The monkey, dragon and rat are fiery and passionate, with their intensity hard to control.
When the animal signs are grouped into trines, you can start to see which are compatible and which aren't. Of course, people's personalities can vary even within the same sign, which is why the Chinese often hire skilled matchmakers to determine compatibility, says psychic reader Joyce Simpson.
One good rule of thumb, though, is to avoid pairings which fall directly across from each other on the zodiac wheel. These are rat and horse, snake and pig, dragon and dog, rabbit and rooster, tiger and monkey, and ox and ram.
Interestingly enough, the cat was originally included in the group with the ram, but was banned from the Zodiac. The cat's cunning qualities, however, can pop up in other signs, such as the pig. According to Simpson, the pig is usually easily dominated. But when given the cat's character, the pig can manipulate some of the other signs such as the snake, ox and rooster. Although this may not always make for a happy pairing, at least the signs will be more evenly matched.
To find your Chinese Zodiac sign, use a zodiac sign calculator like the one at http://www.chinesezodiac.com/calculator.php. When determining your sign, be sure to take into account when the Chinese New Year falls, since it varies. If you were born in January or early February of 1985, you are not an Ox (year 1985) but actually a Rat (year 1984), since Chinese New Year fell on February 20. For more intense analysis, you can even take into account your actual birth day or hour.
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