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The Truth behind the Animals in Chinese Astrology

Updated on March 4, 2014

So what's hiding in your heart?

I'm sure you've had a quick look at Chinese Astrology before, just for curiosity or simple fun.

However, the usual descriptions for the creatures of the twelve Chinese signs isn't the whole truth. No one likes to be told of the the negative aspects which have been thrown your way by the chance accident of your birth year. That's why pretty, sweet and flattering words are said.

Now, find the real story about these zodiac signs. Judge for yourself if your astrological animal is really you.

What's the real story behind the animal which hides in your heart?

Astrologie Dresden

What the Traditionalists say

Legend tells that the Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from earth but only twelve came to bid him farewell and, as a reward, he named a year after each one in the order in which they arrived.

Tradition says that the animal ruling the year in which a person is born has a profound influence on personality - the Animal that Hides in your Heart.

Let's check this out.


Rats, as a whole, get bad press but things are different in the world of Chinese astrology. Forget those fiends who carried the bubonic plague to your ancestors, the Chinese rat-person is charming, witty, honest and overall good company. On the negative side, you can be a trifle greedy and there's that unfortunate trait of desperately wanting power.

But take this full-on, don't feel down if you're a rat-person. Tell yourself that you're not a power-seeker, you have ambition!. OK, you're an opportunist, so what's wrong with that? Plus, as a Rat, you should be able to accumulate wealth and to spend it however you wish. Make every effort to be successful and go easy on the gambling.

Remember, a Rat is rarely short of admirers.

Rat Years : 1912 - 1924 - 1936 - ,1948 - 1960 - 1972 - 1984 - 1996, - 2008 - 2020


Gifts for the Clever Rat

Get Rich Cheating: The Crooked Path to Easy Street
Get Rich Cheating: The Crooked Path to Easy Street

The perfect book for the Rat. Any rodent will love to be seen out and about on the streets and cafes with this book carelessly on display.

In fact, the real point of reading it, is to be seen reading it. Just like a Rat

Sterling Silver and Honey Amber Very Small Mouse Pin
Sterling Silver and Honey Amber Very Small Mouse Pin

If the rat still seems a tad unpopular with you, go for the mouse instead. Same, same.


Ulysses was a Rat
You've heard of Ulysses in the Trojan War and how he advised the Greek army to build that wooden horse, but here's something I know you've entirely overlooked. Ulysses was a Rat!


What would the world do without an intelligent, patient, kindly, hardworking ox like you?

What do you care if someone calls you rigid or slow, live up to your motto "The old ox plows a straight furrow".

You know that you're a hard worker so don't worry, good things come through hard work. When someone calls you stubborn, tell them that you're traditional. When they accuse you of being hide-bound and a stick-in-the-mud, respond straight back and let them know you're dependable. Keep calm, but of course you'll keep calm, you're an Ox!

You can be entrusted with positions of authority and responsibility. Take pride in that. Stand tall

Ox Year - 1913 - 1925 - 1937 - 1949 - 1961 - 1973, -1985, -1997 - 2009 - 2021

Random Words

Standing Tall makes a True Ox. No Bull!

Stock Market Bull Standing Tall Sculpture - Bronze Finish Statue
Stock Market Bull Standing Tall Sculpture - Bronze Finish Statue

'From the strength of an ox cometh abundant harvests'.

Go for it, get out there and make hay whether the sun is shining or not.



So you're a Tiger? Show it off, tell the world! Roar! You're a natural leader, full of self assurance, courage and lots of passion about whatever you set your heart on. A little short-tempered maybe, but we can call that unpredictable, even dynamic.

Your tendency to be impulsive could do with a little self-control, and perhaps your vivacity can go over the top, but that's a lot better than being dull and dreary.

A Tiger symbolises power and daring. That's you all over. No matter what anyone says, you command awe and respect. In truth, you arouse every emotion there is to be found in people - except indifference.

Tiger Years - 1914 - 1926 - 1938, - 1950 - 1962, - 1974 - 1986 - 1998, - 2010 - 2022

Tao Yinp>

The Eye of the Tiger

O-stone Wishing Bead Necklace Series Yellow Tiger Eye Pendant Grounding Stone Protection Best Selling
O-stone Wishing Bead Necklace Series Yellow Tiger Eye Pendant Grounding Stone Protection Best Selling

Show your Tiger essence in this stunning crystal Tiger Eye. Rein in your too-wild passions and ground yourself with true tigerish understanding.


Gift Ideas for Tiger Lovers
What you need is a tiger on your bed, on your chair and on your wall. Decorate your whole home with fabulous tiger posters, and you can even wear a tiger on ...

White Tiger Plush Toys
Are you a Tiger? Get yourself a warm plush reminder of your noble attributes with a winsome white tiger..


Hello there you peace-loving little rabbit! I do so admire your impeccable manners and general all-round graciousness.

All those other animals can march around shouting out how good they are but you, you're the most fortunate of them all. You are the emblem of longevity.

Your soft speech and graceful manner show all the desirable traits of a successful diplomat in any sphere. You're intelligent when it comes to business as long as it doesn't interfere with your dedicated pursuit of a beautiful life. Let's be truthful - you're lazy and hate being told so. Better watch out for those mood changes too, they make it easy for you to run away from reality.

Don't like being called a Rabbit? Not macho enough for you? Call yourself a Hare.

Rabbit Years - 1915 - 1927 - 1939 - 1951 - 1963 - 1975 - 1987 - 1999, - 2011, - 2023 - 2036

Design Farm

Gifts for the discerning Rabbit

Sculptural Gardens Rabbit Garden Statuary
Sculptural Gardens Rabbit Garden Statuary

Display your totemic animal proudly. Put this raunchy rabbit out the front, on your doorstep or on a shelf in your living room


Easter in Ancient Times
Easter began in an ancient celebration from our past, a celebration originally belonging to an almost forgotten goddess. Her name was Ostara. You will recog...


Pride. Did someone say 'pride'? The word was designed just for you, oh mighty Dragon!

You are the magnificent Dragon of mythical folklore and you never cease to enchant the world. You're not just intuitive, artistic and attractive, but shrewd as well. It's extremely hard to pull the wool over your eyes!

Everyone admires your vitality and self assurance. That's because you're so bright (in more ways than one) and you can be really successful when you put your energy toward anything.

It's the aristocrat in you that demands those high standards, and your inner sense of perfection intimidates those who dare challenge you. But oh, your temper! Why can't you just curb it once in a while? Surely, just once, you could stop being so irritable with your fellow humans just because they don't share your passion!

Dragon Years - 1916 - 1928 - 1940 - 1952, - 1964 - 1976 - 1988, - 2000, - 2012, - 2024

Mythology wikia

Only the Best for the Mighty Dragon

YTC Summit Gothic Red Pentagram Star Dragon Pendant Necklace Jewelry Accessory
YTC Summit Gothic Red Pentagram Star Dragon Pendant Necklace Jewelry Accessory

All the power of your Dragon personality out there for the world to see. Impress your minions!


The Secret Life of Dragons
In the world of fabulous creatures, the dragon is unique. No other beastie has appeared in such a rich variety of forms nor in so many places. Are they mythi...


Did you know that the most beautiful women and attractive men tend to be born under the Sign of the Snake?

I'm sure you did because the Snake is wise and understanding, the deepest thinker of all the creatures of Chinese Astrology. This explains why you're so naturally charming in personality and elegant in dress,.

You can be fortunate in wealth, and many a Snake turns out to be a cunning financier or political wizard. Let your true self run free! Don't let your tendency to mysticism hold you back from your natural place in the world. Go on, indulge your philosophical bent and gratify your love of good food. Keep up your enjoyment of music and theatre, you will always gravitate toward all the finer things in life.

One small thing, beware of becoming too self-indulgent, Oh sorry, that's a silly thing to say to a Snake. You're self-indulgent through and through.

Snake Years 1917 - 1929 - 1941 - 1953 - 1965 - 1977 - 1989 - 2001 - 2013 - 2025

Stunning Snake Gifts

Safari Ltd Incredible Creatures Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake
Safari Ltd Incredible Creatures Eastern Diamondback Rattlesnake

For your home. Let your guests know the inner you - the Snake!



It's easy to spot the Horse person. .A cheerful soul, warm and appealing, with a lively wit, no wonder you're so popular. How we all love your perception, and can listen to you for hours. Luckily, you're very talkative.

At heart you're an adventurer, even though you're a solid, reliable support and a source of strength to those around you. You're self-reliant of course, even though others insist on being dependent on you.

It's your energy and vivacity that draws your admirers to you. Be careful of being too impetuous, others can fall in love with the Horse without realising you're being affectionate, not seeking a life partner.

Keep up your exercise routine, both physical and mental. You need it! And, please, always stay so open-minded, the world needs more treasures like you. But you have to stop your natural qualities sliding down into complacency, you're good at being complacent (not a nice trait at all) and many a Horse has wasted their good talents on self congratulation.

Horse Years - 1918 - 1930 - 1942 - 1954 - 1966. - 1978 - 1990 - 2002 - 2014 - 2026

Best Gift for the Horse

Trendy Black Leather Wrap Bracelet with Crystal Studded Horse Tack Clasp
Trendy Black Leather Wrap Bracelet with Crystal Studded Horse Tack Clasp

Black leather with crystals. Happy, hilarious and really, really horsey. How did you live without this bracelet before?


Pegasus - Tales of the Ancient Greeks
Pegasus, the white winged horse, is the result of a close encounter between Medusa the Gorgon, and Poseidon the dishonourable God of the Sea.. When Perseus ...

Bucephalos the Bad Tempered in Tales from History
Was there ever a horse like Bucephalos? This magnificent creature, the war horse of Alexander the Great, carried his owner across the known world from victor...


Oh my, the most feminine sign of the Chinese zodiac! Wonderful for women and mightily magnificent for men (revealing the feminine side is a great asset in the modern world).

As the Sheep, you're the Good Samaritan of the cycle, known to everyone for your gentle, generous and compassionate soul.

You're usually mild-mannered and can be mistaken for a shy one, but that's because your emotions are so strong and can, at times, overcome your normally sensible streak. Don't be withdrawn, it can lead only to pessimism. Come now, you're far too intelligent for that!

Be careful of becoming undisciplined and irresponsible, you've got away with this before because of your fantastic luck, try to rein in your wandering mind a bit.

Your best quality is the ability to forgive others. Let's hope they forgive you for your irresponsible habits.

Sheep Years - 1919 - 1931 - 1943 - 1955 - 1967 - 1979 - 1991 - 2003, - 2015

Misis PB

Every Home Should Have One

Enesco Home Grown from Cauliflower Sheep Figurine 3 in
Enesco Home Grown from Cauliflower Sheep Figurine 3 in

Irresistible! Just like you.

Put this little sheep in a central position for everyone to admire. Then you can tell them about your wonderfully appealing Sheep Soul


Shrek the Sheep
Shrek the Sheep is a real hero Feathered, furred or finned, the fire of freedom burns in every breast. Even a sheep will hear the Call of the Wild and, toss...


Alright Monkey, calm down. We know that you're the leader of the Chinese zodiac when it comes to talent and wealth, but you don't have to let it make you so egotistical. You don't have to be selfish either!

Your astrological sign is that of the inventor, so invent some nicer manners for yourself. Thank you.

Stick with those talents you have of being able to solve puzzles and problems (the more intricate, the better) and revel in your good memory.

Remind yourself that you're lively and witty, stay away from any creeping deviousness and reinforce your innovative flexibility. This is no trouble for a fast learner like yourself.

You can be successful at whatever you want to do, no challenge is too great for the Monkey, so stick with your good points - if you can find time from your selfishness to put your mind to those good points.

Monkey Years - 1920 - 1932 - 1944 - 1956 - 1968 - 1980 - 1992 - 2004 - 2016

Sky dancing

The delightful Monkey classic

Monkey: Folk Novel of China
Monkey: Folk Novel of China

Where Monkey Magic started! Shows the Monkey's absurd arrogance but clearly underlines the wit and intelligence involved.



Why is the Rooster so misunderstood? I put it down to old-fashioned jealousy, the attractive, beautiful Rooster is so socially popular that other types can be lured into envy.

Who can blame them? The talented, confident and highly dramatic Rooster person has the vivacity and popularity that so many people would love to have.

But there's a twist in the Rooster's tail. At first glance you see supreme self-assurance and even a fair amount of confident aggression but, inside, the Rooster hides a big streak of old-fashioned values. So all that attention-seeking eccentricity hides a conservative heart.

Roosters excel at careers in the public eye but, oh, they do love to argue!

Please pull back your overbearing, preening manners, you Rooster! Stop talking for a moment and listen. We all know you have outstanding qualities to crow about but, come on, give it a rest occasionally.

Rooster Years - 1921 - 1933 - 1945 - 1957 - 1969 - 1981 - 1993 - 2005 - 2017

A Rooster Gift

Achim Home Furnishings Braided Rug, 20-Inch by 30-Inch, Rooster
Achim Home Furnishings Braided Rug, 20-Inch by 30-Inch, Rooster

The Rooster is not used to being walked on, but this beautiful braided rug would please the most finicky bird



Yes, yes, everybody loves a dog. (Almost everybody).

This is because dogs are ardently loyal and loving to their friends, unwavering in their affections. Others could say that the Dog is a faithful slob and never has an original thought, blindly following the leader.

Be that as it may, the Dog person is as honest as the day is long, if you overlook a certain amount of self-interest. Nothing wrong with self-interest, don't get defensive, you always tend to get a little jumpy despite your outer calm. Stay animated and happy, you're excellent at that.

You have a glib tongue, very handy for getting your own way before anyone notices, and this is a practical and realistic approach to get you through life without too much drama.

Dog Years - 1922 - 1934 - 1946 - 1958 - 1970 - 1982 - 1994 - 2006 - 2018

Diamonds for the Dog

Sterling Silver Diamond Accent Dog Paw Pendant Necklace, 18"
Sterling Silver Diamond Accent Dog Paw Pendant Necklace, 18"

Reward your inner Dog with this lovely territorial marking.

Show off that Dog personality! Do not ask for whom the Dog barks ....


Inspector Rex
For a dog, Rex has brains, good looks and charm. He may nor be a cat but he's a hero of mine. From his ealiest days, Rex was a star. As a mere pup, he was s...


The last creature, legend tells us, to turn up when summoned was the Pig. Let's not beat around the bush, this is typical Pig behaviour, laziness is the order of the day.

The Pig is content to enjoy total relaxation, so don't let yourself be interrupted by friends who want to do things. It's true that you could do more in the way of becoming independent, but there's nothing wrong with a solid, earthy streak of sloth. Go on, wallow in it, it's your birthright!

When you're born in the Year of the Pig you're honest and frank. (Too much trouble to be otherwise). You have a calm appearance and strong heart, but patience is something you really should learn. Or not, it's up to you.

Some people may say that you're unsociable. Luckily, when they become your friends (if anyone can stay around long enough to be a friend), these same people will find your virtues of tolerance and fidelity invaluable. Try a little harder, Pig.

Pig Years - 1923 - 1935 - 1947 - 1959 - 1971 - 1983 - 1995 - 2007 - 2019

Gift for the Pig

Knight Pet Wild Boar Latex Toy with Sound
Knight Pet Wild Boar Latex Toy with Sound

Don't feel much like a pig? Be a boar instead!

A great little talking point over dinner


What's your Chinese Animal Sign?

Whch one are you?

See results

Are you a mixture of the lot?

12 Animals Chinese Astrology Horoscope Tibetan Tibet Silver Totem Bangle Cuff Bracelet
12 Animals Chinese Astrology Horoscope Tibetan Tibet Silver Totem Bangle Cuff Bracelet

Get all twelve of the animals in Chinese Astrology in a Tibetan silver bangle


Are you like your Chinese Animal?

How much are you like these descriptions?

See results

Well then, is this you?

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    Post Comment
    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      @ItayaLightbourne: You and I have the same personality Itayasdesigns.

    • Lady Lorelei profile image

      Lorelei Cohen 

      5 years ago from Canada

      Excellent character descriptions on the Chinese zodiac. I have but one thing to say, "Woof".

    • ItayaLightbourne profile image

      Itaya Lightbourne 

      7 years ago from Topeka, KS

      Yeup! Born year of the dog and that's me big time! Lovely article. :)

    • delia-delia profile image


      9 years ago

      Great lens and subject! interestingly enough I'm a Horse, it happens to be my favorite animal and a big part of my life...a ~"Squid Angel Blessing"~


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