Tag Archives: Chinese Zodiac

What Kind of Rat Are You?

What kind of Rat are you? Wood, Fire, Metal, Water or Earth?

The Rat is one of the 12 animals in the Chinese 12 Animal Zodiac. From a Chinese astrology perspective you can be either a Wood, Water, Fire, Earth or Metal Rat.

Do you know what kind of a Rat you are? Or Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog or Pig?

There is a very simple way to find this out but I will give you a roudabout answer so that you get a better picture.

Heavenly Stems

The basis of Chinese time keeping is the Heavenly Stems (Gan) and Earthly Branches (Zhi). Each of them have an associated polarity and element and in the case of the Earthly Branches they are closely related to the Zodiac Animals. For example the Branch “Zi” is associated with the “Rat”, the Branch “Chou” with the “Ox”, the branch “Yin” with the “Tiger” and so on.

The Stems are combined with the Branches to create a Stem-Branch pair. The golden rule is that only those of the same polarity can combine. For example “Jia” with “Zi” giving “Jia Zi”. Both are yang polarity. Next is “Yi” and “Chou” giving “Yi Chou”, both of which are negative polarity. “Zi” cannot combine with “Chou” because they are of opposite polarity.

Due to this limitation, there are 60 combinations instead of 120!

Earthly Branches

The Stem Branch pair or “Gan Zhi” pairs are use to denote the year, month, day and time. For example the year 1924 is known as the “Jia Zi”. The next year 1925 is “Yi Chou” year and so on. This is repeated every 60 years. Thus 1984 is a “Jia Zi” year. And 2044 is the next “Jia Zi” year.

“Jia” is associated with Wood element. “Zi” with the Rat. Hence 1924 or 1984 are known as Wood Rat year. So is 2044.

There are 10 Heavenly Stems and they are repeated every 10 years. Therefore any year ending with the 4 such as 1924, 1934, 1944, 1954, 1964, 1974. 1984 etc are Wood Years (though the animal sign differs).

The next Stem in the series is “Yi” which is Yin Wood. Therefore 1925 is also a Wood year albeit a Yin Wood one. Again since the Stems are repeated every 10 years, any year ending with a 5 e.g. 1935, 1945, 1955, 1965, 1975 etc is a Yi or Yin Wood year.

What can you infer from the table? If you are born in a year ending with 4, you are a Yang Wood person. If ending with a 5, you are a Yin Wood person, if ending with a 6 you are a Yang Fire person, if ending with a 7, a Yin Fire person and so on.

Please refer to the table for the polarity and element for each of the years.

Sixty Jia Zi

While it is as easy as A, B C it is not too difficult either. Just sing Jia, Yi, Bing, Ding, Wu, Ji, Geng, Ren and Gui!

Click to Download.
Click to Download.

Feng Shui FAQ 5

Ba Zi means the Eight Characters. More specifically it refers to the year, month, day and time of birth. In Chinese time-keeping, each of these components are represented by a Heavenly Stem and an Earth Branch. Two characters multiply by the four component of your birthday and time gives you eight characters.

Ba Zi these days commonly refer to the system of Chinese Astrology developed by Zi Ping over a thousand years ago.

In my practice, I use Zi Wei Dou Shui for destiny and luck analysis. Zi Wei is like Ba Zi. It uses a person’s date and time of birth and delivers the same results as Ba Zi. However the approach is different.

The month before and after the Chinese New Year is an interesting period. You will hear practitioners predicting your luck for the year using your zodiac sign. Have you wonder why some predictions are accurate while others are not. Find out here.

What can I hope to reveal in a Ba Zi or Zi Wei Reading?

ba zi

A lot actually but in practice most of the reading will focus on potential and luck in career and wealth, physical and mental health, relationships with parents, sibling, spouse, children and friend, property, migration and travel.

A reading usually start with lifetime potential. For example, are you blessed with good interpersonal skills or are you awkward to deal with? Will you do better as an employee or run your own business? Which business sector is more suitable for you? Are you physically and mentally fit? What kind of health problems are you likely to face? How is your relationship with your parent and sibling? With spouse and children? Whether you are lightly to stay in one place or move around a lot and whether migration is good for you? People of which Zodiac signs are favorable to you? What you are better house facing directions? These and much more can be gleaned from a Ba Zi chart.

This is usually followed by a reading of your current and next decade (or 10 years) luck. Again the focus is primarily on your career and wealth luck, health, relation and travel luck. While the life time potential reading gives you a overall perspective, the decade luck is more time specific.

For example, let’s say that your lifetime potential says that you have the potential to start and run your own business. The decade luck reading will tell you whether this decade is a good period to do so, or is it better to wait a few year or until the start of the next decade.

Another example is health. Again your lifetime luck says that you are predisposed to a respiratory related ailment. Your decade luck will tell you when it is likely to happen to worsen. Knowing in advance, allows you to take the necessary preventive action such as taking helpful supplements, or a course of exercise to strengthen your respiratory system.

The annual and next year luck reading does the same. It tells you about your current year and next years luck. For example if your wealth luck is very strong this year, your should consider more investment options.

Many practitioners dig much deeper into the chart and are able to tell smaller details such as whether your spouse will come from far or near and from which location based on direction e.g. Penang or Kelantan.

The 12 Animal Zodiac
The 12 Animal Zodiac

For me I do a lot of Feng Shui consulting work and I get the opportunity to collect moving data. I can often predict quite accurately whether my clients will move this year or the next, beginning, middle or end of the year simply by looking at the birth chart. As well as what is likely to happen to the occupants in the months after moving in.

Every year I listen to practitioners talk about my luck for the year based on my Chinese Zodiac. It is not always accurate. Why is this so?

Let me based my explanation on the Zi Wei Dou Shu Chinese astrology system. A person’s luck for a year is dependent on the position of the major stars and the transformation of these stars. It in turn is based on the person’s date and time of birth. Unless we are born on the same date and time, our birth charts are different and so is our luck.

To find out your luck for the year you need a personalized reading.

The predictions that you find in magazines, that you see or hear on Radio and TV are usually derived from your year of birth only i.e. Chinese zodiac sign.

These predictions are based on minor stars that are associated with the year of birth. So while the minor star may say “blood letting incident due to metal objects”, the event may be negated because your major stars has a “helpful person” configuration.

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Click to Download.

Further more, the minor stars give an indication but how it manifest may differ. Taking the above blood letting example, the first thing that comes to mind is getting involved in an accident. However it could be a dental surgery. Or blood donation. Or slashed by someone. And there are many more variations.

In the next segment, I will answer questions related to renovation and moving.

Feng Shui: Frequently Asked Questions 2

In my line of work, in addition to Feng Shui, I do get asked a lot of questions of Chinese astrology. Most are related to the Chinese 12 Animal Zodiac and Ba Zi or the Eight Characters. On the 12 Animal Zodiac side many especially those born in January and February are often confused over their animal sign.

On the Ba Zi side, the most common confusion is over their element. The birth time can also be a real cracker especially if the birth time is very close to on direction on the boundary between two birth hours. Which birth hour should you use to plot your birth chart? Find out how practitioners tackle this problem.

Am I a Cat or a Rat?

The 12 Animal Zodiac
The 12 Animal Zodiac

The Cat is not a member of the Chinese 12 Animal Zodiac. The closest resemblance to the Cat is the Tiger. However the Tiger is a couple of years apart from the Rat and it is unlikely you will mix them up. Confusion can arises between animals of the consecutive Zodiac e.g. between the Rat and the Ox or between the Rooster and the Dog, if you are born in January or February.

Let me explain. The Chinese Lunar New Year does not begin on the 1st Jan. Instead it begins sometime between late January and late February. For example, the Chinese Lunar year began on the 31st Jan in 2014. In the previous year, 2013, it began on the 10 February.

This year 2014 is the year of the Horse. However you are a Horse only if you are born on the 31st January or later. If you are born earlier say on the 28th January 2014, your Chinese Zodiac sign is Snake, the previous animal in the Chinese Zodiac.

To find out your real animal sign, you need to find out the day the Chinese Lunar year began on your year of birth. You can do this by using a 10000 year calendar or one of the tools on the Internet.

My mother tells me that I am Metal element person but now you tell me that I am Wood element. Which one of you is right?

We both are! There is an element associated with your year of birth. For example 2014 is known as the year of the Wood Horse. Your mother is most likely referring to this element (of the year).

Likewise there is an element associated with your day of birth and it is commonly known as the Day Master. The element may or may not be the same as the element of the year.

In the Chinese Astrology system Ba Zi, much of the analysis is done centered around the element of the Day Master. So if you speak to a Chinese astrologer he is most likely refer to this element (of the day).

And that is why you get two different answers.

Is the exact time of birth important in Chinese Astrology?

Most systems of Chinese Astrology such as Ba Zi or Zi Wei Dou Shu, uses your birth hour or “Shi Shen” to draw your birth chart. For example the hours between 11 AM and 1 PM is known as “Zi” hour, the hours between 1 PM and 3 PM as “Chou” hour and so on.

Therefore your birth chart and the subsequent reading is the same whether you are born at 11:28 PM or 12:46 AM. Both the times are within the same birth hour or “Shi Shen”.

The problem comes when you are born at the interval or very close to the interval between two birth hours. For example at 12.58 PM or 1:02 PM. Which do you use? How certain are you that the doctor who delivered you, wrote your birth time correctly. Maybe his watch was fast and you were actually born at 12:58 PM!

The solution is quite simple actually. Print both the charts and figure out which by asking questions and mapping real events to the chart.

When exactly does the Chinese New Year begins?

There are two Chinese Calendars.

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Click to View or Download. Email not required!

The more popular one is the Chinese Lunar Calendar that marks the start of the Chinese New Year. This calendar is based on the moon’s movement and the start date every year varies between late January and late February.

The other Chinese calendar is the Chinese Solar Calendar which is based on the sun’s movement. It is also known as the Farmers Calendar as it was first used to regulate farming activities. Like the Western calendar is has 365 days more or less in a year but unlike the Western calendar it starts on or around the 4th Feb every year. The start of the Chinese Solar year is also known as “Li Cun” of Start of Spring.

Chinese Astrology systems such as the 12 Animal Zodiac and Zi Wei Dou Shu employs the Chinese Lunar Calendar while Ba Zi and Feng Shui systems tend to use the Chinese Solar Calendar.

The Lunar Calendar is also known as the Yin Calendar while the Solar Calendar is also known as the Yang Calendar. Together they are often referred to as the Yin Yang or Luni-solar Calendar.

In the next segment, I will touch on questions related to “Sha” or “killing energy”.