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By: Woodrow Davon McClam

The development of Chinese astrology is tied to that of astronomy, which came to flourish during the Han Dynasty (2nd century BC to 2nd century AD). This science was first used as a method of telling ones future by the way the stars and planets were aligned for that year, the date of the persons birth, and their Zodiac sign. The lunisolar calendar: Which goes by the phases of the moon and the seasons of the solar year.

Chinese astrologers identified 5 major planets by the elements that they believed were associated with them.
Venus= Metal Jupiter= Wood Mercury= Water Mars= Fire Saturn= Earth

Animal Signs
Chinese astrology has 12 primary animal signs which are the

Unlike the Western civilizations, which change zodiac signs each month, the Chinese have one sign for an entire year.

It is not just given the name of an animal, the sign is a combination of one of the 5 major elements along with the animal. The element changes the same way that the animal signs do, year to year. When either cycle is completed they simply repeat themselves. I was born in 1989. That was the year of the Earth Snake.

There are 60 different zodiac signs which means it would take 60 years to complete a true cycle.

Zodiac Chart
If you take a look at this chart you can see that it takes 12 years for a cycle to repeat. It is seen that this holds true for each of the zodiac signs. Yet the signs would still differ because the planetary or elemental cycle would not be the same.

To summarize, the initial intentions of Chinese astrology was to broaden the societies philosophical perspectives by opening their eyes to the possibility that ones future and fate could be determined by what is seen in space. But instead, an elaborate science was discovered different from any seen before it. It is also seen that Chinese astrology has more preference to the planets instead of the stars in the Western Civilization. Western references a lot to constellations when identifying zodiac signs. It is seen that Chinese astrology is only concerned about the alignments with the 5 major planets.