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The Chinese Zodiac Signs and Five Elements

Chinese Zodiac Signs

12 Chinese Zodiac Signs
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12 Chinese Zodiac Signs

Shenxiao,the Chinese Zodiac Signs

The Chinese Zodiac Signs were used to record the years long before written history. While exact year of creation is not clear,it is known that as far as 2000BC, the signs were already used widely in China.

There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac Signs:

RAT,OX,TIGER,HARE
DRAGON,SNAKE,HORSE,RAM
MONKEY,ROOSTER,DOG,PIG

It is created this way in respond to the 12-year cycle of the Earthly Branches (Dizhi in Chinese).Wiki has a story how the sequence was decided,click here:The great race.

The reason why Chinese Zodiac Signs,or Shenxiao (pronounced shienshao ) in Chinese,has the number of 12 is to be found in the existence of the 12 Earthly Branches,which was used to record the year,month,date and time in a day.And because the 12 Shenxiao are more familiar and easy to remember,it is used more often than the 12 Eearthly Branches.

At the end of this article,you may find a useful free tool to calculate your Shenxiao as well as some resources with free online readings.

For reading service of the Chinese Zodiac Signs,you may visit:susanlevitt.com.

Chinese Five Elements

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Source: Wiki

Wuxing,the Chinese 5 elements

The Chinese 5 elements also has a very long history - might be even longer than the Chinese Zodiac Signs.

The Wuxing (pronounced wooshing),meaning five elements,are:

METAL,or jin in Chinese
WOOD,or mu
WATER,or shui
FIRE,or huo
EARTH,or tu

Ancient Chinese people believed that the world was created in those five elements.This is very much similar to other people of the ancient world.And those five elements have a very complicated interactive relationship.

Read more at Wiki:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_Xing

The Wuxing theory is widely used in Fengshui and people's names. Objects' Wuxing are easily tangible.If it is a wood table,it is WOOD;if it is stainless steel fork,it is METAL.Wiki has the explanation,so you can read more at the link above.

People's Wuxing,however,is more complicated.It is calculated by your birth year,month,day and time (precisely in hours).One can write a book for this single subject.

To put it simply,if you were born at 23:20,Mar 6,1992,then you are a WATER person.

Shenxiao and Wuxing

So,are they related?

The quick answer is yes.

But how?

According to Wuxing,everything in the world is made of any of the five elements stated above.So is Shenxiao.

The relationship between Wuxing and Shenxiao can only be fully explained in two steps:

1. Each of the 12 Shenxiao signs belong to its main Wuxing attribution
2. Each of the 12 Shenxiao signs then are tempered by each of the Wuxing

The Wuxing attribution of the Shenxiao signs

Each of the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs (Shenxiao) has their own Wuxing attributions.Here is the detail:

Rat: Water
Ox: Earth
Tiger: Wood
Hare: Wood
Dragon: Earth
Snake: Fire
Horse: Fire
Ram: Earth
Monkey: Metal
Rooster: Metal
Dog: Earth
Pig: Water

Shenxiao and Wuxing combinations

Each of the 12 Shenxiao signs (Chinese Zodiac Signs) is to be coupled with one of the Wuxing Elements (Five Elements),thus making a 60-year cycle (12 x 5).Every 60 years,the cycle starts over again from the first.Note that this combination is only on yearly basis and not hourly (as Shenxiao is also used to record time in a day).

The combination of Shenxiao and Wuxing creates a sub-category for each Shenxiao sign.For example,Rat is to combined with each of the five elements:metal,water,fire,earth,wood.The combination would be:

Metal Rat (born in the year of 1900,1960)
Wood Rat (1924,1984)
Water Rat (1912,1972)
Fire Rat (1936,1996)
Earth Rat (1948,2008).

This sub-category (or sub-Shenxiao) has its own fortunes and readings.That is to say,Metal Rat is different with Wood Rat. And sometimes they can be quite different.

Below is a table that displays the full cycle of 60 sub-Shenxiao and their respective year of birth.

List of Years for Sub-Shenxiao

(click column header to sort results)
Sub-Shenxiao  
Year  
Metal RAT
1900,1960
Metal OX
1901,1961
Water TIGER
1902,1962
Water HARE
1903,1963
Wood DRAGON
1904,1964
Wood SNAKE
1905,1965
Fire HORSE
1906,1966
Fire RAM
1907,1967
Earth MONKEY
1908,1968
Earth ROOSTER
1909,1969
Metal DOG
1910,1970
Metal PIG
1911,1971
Water RAT
1912,1972
Water OX
1913,1973
Wood TIGER
1914,1974
Wood HARE
1915,1975
Fire DRAGON
1916,1976
Fire SNAKE
1917,1977
Earth HORSE
1918,1978
Earth RAM
1919,1979
Metal MONKEY
1920,1980
Metal ROOSTER
1921,1981
Water DOG
1922,1982
Water PIG
1923,1983
Wood RAT
1924,1984
Wood OX
1925,1985
Fire TIGER
1926,1986
Fire HARE
1927,1987
Earth DRAGON
1928,1988
Earth SNAKE
1929,1989
Metal HORSE
1930,1990
Metal RAM
1931,1991
Water MONKEY
1932,1992
Water ROOSTER
1933,1993
Wood DOG
1934,1994
Wood PIG
1935,1995
Fire RAT
1936,1996
Fire OX
1937,1997
Earth TIGER
1938,1998
Earth HARE
1939,1999
Metal DRAGON
1940,2000
Metal SNAKE
1941,2001
Water HORSE
1942,2002
Water RAM
1943,2003
Wood MONKEY
1944,2004
Wood ROOSTER
1945,2005
Fire DOG
1946,2006
Fire PIG
1947,2007
Earth RAT
1948,2008
Earth OX
1949,2009
Metal TIGER
1950,2010
Metal HARE
1951,2011
Water DRAGON
1952,2012
Water SNAKE
1953,2013
Wood HORSE
1954,2014
Wood RAM
1955,2015
Fire MONKEY
1956,2016
Fire ROOSTER
1957,2017
Earth DOG
1958,2018
Earth PIG
1959,2019

 Last updated on April 25, 2011

Useful {5}Funny {4}Awesome {4}Beautiful {2}Interesting {2}

Comments 8 comments

jan 3 years ago

love it, guy. THX.


ava 3 years ago

Chinese zodiac sign is very funny. Each of us has its own zodiac. For expemple,I was born in the year of 1987, belonging to zodiac rabbit.Per 12 years, people belong to the same zodiac, so that people was born in 1999 also belong to zodiac rabbit. This year 2011 is zodiac rabbit year. If people buy some zodiac rabbit item, it can bring you good luck. Color red is lucky color for people belongin to zodiac rabbit.


bonnie 3 years ago

wow, the first time i know about chinese zodiac sign, interesting! got to share with my friends, can you tell me more?


Lilyting profile image

Lilyting 3 years ago from China

woo,you let me more about the Chinese zodiac sign,at the first I make my facebook friend know it ,and then could you tell me where can I but the Chinese zodiac sign ,I do like it so much.


Raffaella Bettini profile image

Raffaella Bettini 3 years ago

I knew I was born in the year of a horse but not that it was metal, thank you.


Eric Zhou profile image

Eric Zhou 3 years ago from GZ,China Hub Author

You are welcome,Raffaella


That Grrl profile image

That Grrl 2 years ago from Barrie, Ontario, Canada Level 2 Commenter

I like Chinese astrology. I'm a Wood Dragon.


Poop 2 years ago

Nice

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