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Chinese Zodiac -- Its Nature and Origins

The Origins

The Chinese zodiac originated from the twelve animals that appeared when the Jade Emperor (Taoist god) summoned all the earth’s animals for an audience with him in heaven. As a token of goodwill for their appearance and obedience, the animals were each accorded the privilege to compose the core of the zodiac. The rankings were decided upon by which animal arrived first in the race to reach heaven. The first animal to finish would have the distinction of being the first animal of the Chinese Zodiac cycle. Supposedly, it was the Ox who crossed the river ahead of the others, but was beaten to the punch by the Rat who rode on his back, who scurried off the moment, they landed the shore.

The Taoist Version

In another story, it is said that it was the Buddha himself who was responsible for the creation of the Chinese Zodiac when he called on the animals of the earth to his deathbed. Furthermore, in also yet another legend, it tells how it was the Rat who opened up the lifeless world and exposed it the life-giving elements to create a living world as we know it. With this, the Rat was recognized for its actions and named the first animal of the zodiac.

The Yin-Yang Version

However, in another story according to the Yin-Yang version, the sequence or ranking of the 12 zodiac animals was based on the respective set of toes or no toes (Ox and Horse have hooves, and zero is an even number) of their lower extremities. Odd numbered toes were assigned the Yang quality and placed in the same numbering order and the even-numbered animals, likewise. Because the Rat had 4 toes up front and 5 toes on the hind, it was given the honor of first ranking.

The Basic Essentials of the Chinese Zodiac

Together with these animal signs, the Chinese zodiac also includes the five elements of the earth, namely, fire, earth, and metal, water, and wood, and Yin-Yang (female-male nature), which is the fundamental and guiding belief of Taoism and Chinese philosophy, to complete the zodiac chart of 12 basic human characteristic traits. With the 12 animals, the birth time, day, and year of a person, their respective inherent and ruling personality traits can be essentially established.

The Chinese Zodiac reflects the dominant animalistic qualities in a person. With the specific year, that someone is born, a corresponding zodiac animal is attributed. People relate their characters to whatever the ruling traits these representative animals have. In all simplicity, the Chinese Zodiac states that people are ruled and influenced by their zodiac symbols and therefore behave according to their nature without much thought to it.


To sum up, a person’s destiny in life: their health, happiness, and fortune can be easily traced, outlined, and even predicted to a great degree of accurateness through a complete and through Chinese Zodiac reading and analysis. Although this might be a true assumption, a greater part of any person’s life and fate can still be changed or altered, because of man’s free will.


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