Differences Between Western and Chinese Astrology

Differences Between Western and Chinese Astrology

Astrology is the belief in planetary influences on a person’s character. Almost every culture has a belief in astrology. Astrology has been written and talked about since Babylonian times. Each culture has their own way of discerning astrological signs and traits. Let’s discuss Western astrology and the Chinese zodiac.

Western Zodiac

The Western astrology consists of 12 sun signs. Each sign inhibits approximately one month, but does not begin and end on the first and last day of each month. Each sign’s influence lasts from approximately the 20th of one month to the 20th/21st of the following month. A person’s sign is derived from the date of their birth. A person born January 1 would be considered a Capricorn, whereas a person born January 23 would be considered an Aquarius.

The twelve signs of the Zodiac are as follows: Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces, and Sagittarius. The twelve sun signs are represented by a symbol and entity as well. The symbols come from the shape that can be made out of the stars during the time of year that corresponds with each specific astrological sign. The shape forms are as follows and are in respective order: goat, water bearer, fish, ram, bull, twins, crab, lion, virgin, justice scales, scorpion and centaur.

In Western astrology the signs are broken up into four elements: earth, fire, air and water. Each sign is then is also divided into masculine (fire and air signs) and feminine (water and earth signs). Each sign is then given one of three qualities: cardinal, mutable and fixed. Experienced astrologers can create a birth chart which takes into consideration the planetary alignments on the day and hour of your birth to obtain a more accurate personality assessment of each individual.

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Chinese Astrology

The Chinese zodiac follows the orbit of Jupiter around the sun which is approximately twelve years. Each zodiac sign lasts for one year and begins on the Chinese New Year. Each year in the twelve year cycle is symbolized by a particular animal: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each year is also associated with an element: wood, fire, earth or metal. As the Chinese culture also incorporates a Yin-Yang philosophy, the years in a twelve year cycle, depending on the last digit will either be Yin or Yang. For example, individuals born March 17, 2012 would be born in the year of the Dragon and their element would be Yang Water.