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The Knowledge of Chinese Astrology

What is Chinese Astrology?
Chinese astrology is based on the traditional astronomy and calendars. The development of Chinese astrology is tied to that of astronomy, which came to flourish during the Han Dynasty. Chinese astrology has a close relation with Chinese philosophy and uses the principles of yin and yang and concepts that are not found in Western astrology, such as the wu xing teachings, the 10 Celestial stems, the 12 Earthly Branches, the lunisolar calendar, and the time calculation after year, month, day and shichen (時辰).

The Background of Chinese Astrology:
Chinese astrology was elaborated during the Zhou dynasty and flourished during the Han Dynasty. During the Han period the familiar elements of traditional Chinese culture, the Yin-Yang philosophy, Chinese Astrologytheory of the 5 elements, Heaven and Earth, Confucian morality were brought together to formalise the philosophical principles of Chinese medicine and divination, astrology and alchemy. Chinese Astrology is concerned with nature and its traits, the signs progress year by year whereas Western Astrology cycles monthly. The consideration of Yin and Yang is a very great influence upon this subject, Yin being passive, female and receptive while Yang is agressive, male and exploratory.

The various permutations of these 2 essential forces in nature, places, organisations, events and humanity and the quest to achieve balance so that both operate together in harmony rather than opposing or canceling each other out are an essentialy Oriental viewpoint and quest, they form the basis of many Far Eastern traditions and other influences in Chinese Society such as Feng Shui.The 12 Animal Signs are : Rat, Ox, Tiger,Rabbit (or Cat), Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat (or Sheep), Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. The animal ruling year in which you were born has a profound influence on your life.

Five Elements in Chinese Astrology:
Venus—Metal (White Tiger)
Jupiter—Wood (Azure Dragon)
Mercury—Water (Black Tortoise)
Mars—Fire (Vermilion Bird)
Saturn—Earth (Yellow Dragon)

The Yin or Yang is broken down into Five Elementson top of the cycle of animals. These are modifiers and affect the characteristics of each of the 12 animal signs. Thus, each of the 12 animals is governed by an element plus a Yin Yang Direction. The Chinese 'elements', by contrast, were seen as ever changing and moving forces or energy, one translation of xing is simply 'the five changes'. The balance of yin and yang and the five elements in a person's make-up has a major bearing on what is beneficial and effective for them in terms of feng shui, the Chinese form of geomancy. This is because each element is linked to a particular direction and season, and their different kinds of life force.

Lunar Mansions
In Chinese astrology, the importance is situated around the moon's motion through the zodiac rather than the motion of the Sun through the zodiac. The position of the moon for different days is referred to as the "lunar mansion" in Chinese Astrology. The 28 lunar mansions are particularly important for determine which action is most appropriate for a given day. The lunar mansions are divided into 4 groups of 7 in relation to the seasons of the year. The groups are categorized as follows: The Green Dragon of Spring, The Black Tortoise of Winter, The White Tiger of Autumn, The Red Bird of Summer. The 28 lunar mansions constitute the oldest Chinese "zodiac". The Lunar Mansions form the traditional background for all of Chinese Astrology.