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Chinese Zodiac: Year of the Fire Pig

Updated on February 20, 2007

Year of the Golden Pig or Fire Boar

Intro to Chinese Astrology

The Chinese Zodiac has been watered down since its westward journey, and somewhere in between the eastern shores to our very coast a part of history was lost. As a continuing student in international affairs and cultures, the chinese mythologies and legends are amoung my favorite subjects. So the purpose of this article is to enlighten and entertain, in hopes that you take this info and share it with others, that way a part of history stays alive. Thank you, The Curmudgeon


There is actually a reason for this order of animals ( 12 Year Cycle ) and began with oral tales that later transcended into works of literature. One of the most popular legends begins with a race to determain the order in which the animal participants can report to the Jade Emperor ( The Heavenly Godfather -- chinese version of Zeus ). Here is the story summary, since the text is too long and written in either Mandarin or Cartonese ( primary languages of china ), but do notice that the personality traits of each are woven into the race...Enjoy:

The cat and the rat were the worst swimmers in the animal kingdom. Although bad swimmers, they were both intelligent. They decided that the best and fastest way to cross the river was to hop on the back of the ox. The ox, being a naïve and good-natured animal, agreed to carry them across. However, overcome with a fierce competitiveness, the rat decided that in order to win, it must do something and promptly pushed the cat into the river. Because of this, the cat has never forgiven the rat, and hates the water as well. After the ox had crossed the river, the Rat jumped ahead and reached the shore first, and it claimed first place in the competition.

Following closely behind was the strong Ox, and it was named the 2nd animal in the zodiac. After the ox, came the Tiger, panting, while explaining to the Emperor just how difficult it was to cross the river with the heavy currents pushing it downstream all the time. But with powerful strength, it made to shore and was named the 3rd animal in the cycle.

Suddenly, from a distance came a thumping sound, and the Rabbit arrived. It explained how it crossed the river: by jumping from one stone to another in a nimble fashion. Halfway through, it almost lost the race but the rabbit was lucky enough to grab hold of a floating log that later washed him to shore. For that, it became the 4th animal in the zodiac cycle. Coming in 5th place was the Dragon, flying and belching fire into the air. Of course, the Emperor was deeply curious as to why a strong and flying creature such as the dragon should fail to reach first. The mighty dragon explained that he had to stop and make rain to help all the people and creatures of the earth, and therefore he was held back a little. Then, on his way to the finish line, he saw a little helpless rabbit clinging on to a log so he did a good deed and gave a puff of breath to the poor creature so that it could land on the shore. The Emperor was very pleased with the actions of the dragon, and he was added into the zodiac cycle. As soon as he had done so, a galloping sound was heard, and the horse appeared. Hidden on the horse's hoof is the snake, whose sudden appearance gave the horse a fright, thus making it fall back and gave the Snake 6th spot whilst the Horse took the 7th.

Not long after that, a little distance away, the ram, monkey and rooster came to the shore. These three creatures helped each other to get to where they are. The rooster spotted a raft, and took the other two animals with it. Together, the ram and the monkey cleared the weeds, tugged and pulled and finally got the raft to the shore. Because of their combined efforts, the Emperor was very pleased and promptly named the Ram as the 8th creature, the Monkey as the 9th, and the Rooster the 10th.

The 11th animal is the Dog. His explanation for being late-although he was supposed to be the best swimmer amongst the rest-was that he needed a good bath after a long spell, and the fresh water from the river was too big a temptation. For that, he almost didn't make it to finish line. Just as the Emperor was about to call it a day, an oink and squeal was heard from a little pig. The pig got hungry during the race, promptly stopped for a feast and then fell asleep. After the nap, the Pig continued the race and was named the 12th and last animal of the zodiac cycle. The cat finished too late (thirteenth) to win any place in the calendar, and vowed to be the enemy of the rat forevermore.

How to Figure your Animal?

Brief Intro:

Traditional East Asian cultures divided their calendars into a 24 solar terms based on the degree longitude ( 0 - 360 ) of the sun. This can make translation of the exact year inception and end very difficult to cipher, yet usually begins on February 4th and ends on the 18th of the next year.

Your Animal:

This is actually pretty easy to figure, it only requires simple math and you can learn your animal without me listing over centuries worth of the same 12 animals. I'll start by listing one 12 year cycles, keeping in mind the above Feb.4 - Feb.18, then you will only have to subtract your birht year by the first listed year( 1900 ):

Rat : 1900 -- Feb.4 - Feb 18

Ox: 1901 -- ( To simplify, All of the cycles follow the above )

Tiger: 1902

Rabbit / Hare: 1903

Dragon: 1904

Snake: 1905

Horse: 1906

Sheep / Ram: 1907

Monkey: 1908

Rooster: 1909

Dog: 1910

Pig / Boar: 1911

  • [ Ex. Your birhtday is March 2, 1981 : You take 1981 and subtract it by 1900; 1981 - 1900 = 81: Then proceed to divide this by 12 ( because the Cycle ) this equals 6.75 ... If your answer has a decimal then proceed to: multiply the 6 times 12 = 72: Then subtract 72 from your original year 81; 81 - 72 = 9 ...The 9th animal is the Monkey but since your birthday is after Feb.18 then you would proceed to be a Rooster, if before the 18th then a Monkey ]

This is only one way of course, another longer method would be to continue the list, for instance, 1912 would start over as the Rat...1913 Ox, 1914 Tiger...

This may look confusing but it's really not and once you input your birth year in place of these Calculations you'll see just how easy it is...don't forget to add your Element ( located at the end of the next section ).

What the Year Spells For You...


Rat: Will feel encouraged to achieve its dreams

After a somewhat difficult time in the Fire Dog year, you will move up on the social ladder. It is a year where you will feel encouraged to fulfill your dreams and the people around you will support you more than ever in doing so. It's worth investing the time to both cultivate new contacts and strengthen ties with old ones. People will recognize you for who you really are in the Golden Pig year. Enjoy the company of others. Open yourself up to recreational and professional traveling, as both will fuel your channels of creativity and inspiration. Staying disciplined will require some focus. Whether you're focused on something as big as a client interaction, or as small as a menial task, paying attention to the details will bring you financial rewards.

Ox: Take advantage of talents and use them against others

After a year of walking on eggshells, you can shine in the Year of the Pig. Take advantage of your talents and use them to perform better than others in your field. Promotion will be your reward for being confident. Open yourself to new beginnings and new information, and your eagerness to learn and grow will be honored by your manager and you will receive more responsibilities and financial benefits. In this year of pleasure, make sure you get plenty of beauty rest and eat a balanced diet. Stay calm on an emotional level, especially in your romantic life. Small fights can lead to big ruptures, and engagements can be put off by being irrational while making marriage plans. Even if your social life is busy, make enough time for your true love. Also, keep your accounts in order and don't use too much of your savings account for little pleasures.

Tiger: Long term dreams should be taken with action

As the Pig is Tiger's secret friend, you can expect a fantastic year full of possibilities. Carefulness will be important, especially in business. Impulsive adventures will not pay off for you. Any long-term dream you've had can finally manifest, but you need to take action and share it with people. Romance can happen at any time this year, but your odds are better while traveling. Friends will pop in all the time, so make sure your fridge is full of delicious food. Accounting mistakes are likely to happen -- make sure you, or your accountant, look over everything twice. Stay on the ground as much as possible. Be especially careful with risky water adventures -- make sure there is always someone with you when surfing, sailing or diving.

Rabbit: Everything attempted with Professional life will go well

In the Pig year, the Rabbit can finally expect popularity and recognition after long years of hard work. Everything you bring to your professional life will not only do well, but will spark a new trend. You have the Midas touch. Your career will explode, bringing you new levels of success and wealth. Everyone around you will look to you as a source of knowledge and inspiration. Just make sure you keep everything in balance -- since so many people will want to be with you, you will need to take time out for yourself on a regular basis. This is also the year to make over your body: you can lose all the weight you want, you can change your hair -- whatever you do, people will just love it. Your charm will be unique and your talents seen by more people than you can imagine.

Dragon: Time to be inventive and connect with new projects

After the difficult Dog year, you feel like spring is back. Excitement and adventure will be the main themes in your professional life. This is the time to be inventive and connect with new projects. Your career will bring you great success, and you will attain a position of brilliance and authority. All of your efforts will bring forth prosperity, and the income you always dreamt of is at your fingertips. The catch? You'll need to travel if you want to make it happen. Just don't let your newly-acquired freedom and inspiration get to your head. Stay humble and never arrogant in your connections with others. Enjoy your social life to the fullest. In the spring or summer, a great romance can appear in your life, even if you aren't looking for it. Spread your Dragon wings and feel the warm wind carry you to the next level of your existence.

Snake: Not a year for major changes unless friends and family all agree

The Golden Pig year is not the easiest year for you. You will feel the need to work extra hard. You can have success, but it will require more effort. Stick with what you know; stay at familiar places and spend time with the people you love and have confidence in. It is not the year for big changes unless your friends and family all agree it is a good next step for you. You'd be better off relying on their opinions, because your judgment is not very clear. Be careful with new financial investments -- stay with the old stocks and bonds that you've already bought into. This is a year where you may be tempted to punish yourself for your mistakes. Just be more compassionate to yourself. Also, don't get too close to fires. Inflammation, diabetes and kidney problems could be part of your health issues in this Pig year. If you can avoid rushing through things, everything will turn out great at the end of this stressful year.

Horse: Overall, it should be a good financial year

In this Pig year, you'll feel that certain months are going as planned, while other months it may seem like the whole world is against you. You will have mixed feelings at the end of the year about your accomplishments. But financially, it will be a great year overall if you make sure you manage your money well and don't spent it on extravagant and strange objects or travel. Make sure you regularly take breaks, because your body and spirit are tired after years of too much work. Your professional networking will be outstanding and your social life will be busy and joyful. You will experience more international recognition if you open yourself to it. Just try to keep everything in balance: family and business, body and spirit, time for others and time for you, and you will have a great year.

Goat: In Professional life, special talents will not go unrecognized

In order to make your goals a reality, you'll need to put the past behind you. Focus on the next steps, maintain your level of confidence, and all of your desires will come to fruition. In your professional life, your special talents will be rewarded and promotions are in sight. Your income will improve this year, but don't invest in ventures with an uncertain outcome. Single sheep/goats are the most asked out on the romantic marketplace, and in the pig year you can either find your true love or rekindle an old one. Try to just have fun; this year is about celebration, romance and fame. Be yourself and that will good enough -- everything you say or do will be followed by those around you. You are a symbol of success, so enjoy your time in the limelight.

Monkey: Many problems and stressful situations will arise

The Monkey doesn't feel at ease in this Pig year. Many problems and stressful situations will arise. Don't feel like you need to solve them all by yourself. Negative outcomes will be minimal if you think of creative solutions. Things are very much black and white so let others handle your affairs. Just do your own thing, and keep having courage and strength -- all the difficulties will ultimately pass. When you change jobs, contracts or relationships, take care of all the details -- problems will pop up if you haven't prepared everything correctly. Take more time off this year than you have previously ... your body will be happy to have the extra rest. Get regular check-ups at the doctor, and remember that yoga or qi qong will make a huge difference in your energy level.

Rooster: Take a retreat and discover wildest dreams

Do you know what you want to do with your life? If you don't, take a retreat and discover your wildest dreams. When you have found your true purpose, go for it full-force. Positive changes in your career can come suddenly and fast. It is possible you will need to study extra hard or go back to school for several months. Your income will experience positive changes as long as you pay attention to how much you're spending. Your days of staying at home are over; you are on everyone's invitation list this year. Wealth opportunities are opening up for you, and may even come from your friends. Your luck is definitely changing in the Pig year. Enjoy your good fortune and help others reach their goals. You don't have to do things alone, but if you want to have a team, you'll need to support the other members' visions and dreams, too.

Dog: Gain power and control over life, finances and business

You've felt out of control in the last few years, but in this Pig year you gain power and control over your life, finances and business. You will finally attract the success you deserve. As your outgoing flow of money last year was larger than the incoming flow, you fear the same will happen now. You'll be pleasantly surprised as new career and investment opportunities present themselves and more responsibilities will be given to you. Your social life will be full of surprises, especially on your birthday. Old friends will come back into your life, and new friendships will begin as well -- most likely through creative ventures or channels. Dance and use your voice to find inspiration. Your romantic life will be based on trust and confidence; just don't forget to compliment your partner.

Pig: Will encounter many frustrations and obstacles while trying to achieve goals

The Pig does not always have the best luck in the Year of the Pig. You can encounter many frustrations and obstacles while trying to accomplish your goals. Don't be too hard on yourself, though, or you may create too much stress in your body that could lead to infections or illness. Drink a lot of water to strengthen your kidneys and reduce the amount of sugar in your diet. On the bright side, the stars are shining brightly on both your love life and social life. As the Golden Pig, you'll feel attractive and in your element at parties and meetings with like-minded people. You have the energy and enthusiasm to make all your dreams come true. Budgeting will help you focus on what is really important. Your spiritual side will emerge, but living in a monastery is definitely too extreme for you.

What are Elemental Modifiers???

About Element Modifiers:

The cycles of years that are in use nowadays are derived from the age-old sexagenary cycle of 60 days that has been documented at least since the time of the Shang Dynasty. This basic cycle has been constructed from two cycles: the 10 heavenly stems and the 12 earthly branches, and this has later been applied to years instead of days.

There is a binary cycle, which enlarges the cycle to a cycle of 10 (seen below). Even years are yang, odd years are yin. The cycle proceeds as follows:

  • If the year ends in 0 it is Yang Fire.
  • If the year ends in 1 it is Yin Fire.
  • If the year ends in 2 it is Yang Water.
  • If the year ends in 3 it is Yin Water.
  • If the year ends in 4 it is Yang Wood.
  • If the year ends in 5 it is Yin Wood.
  • If the year ends in 6 it is Yang Metal.
  • If the year ends in 7 it is Yin Metal.
  • If the year ends in 8 it is Yang Earth.
  • If the year ends in 9 it is Yin Earth.

Note however, that the cycle follows the same Chinese Lunar calendar as the Animal signs, not the Western year. So, for example, if a person was born in January 1970, his or her element would still be Yin Earth, not Yang Metal. Since the zodiac animal cycle of 12 is divisible by two, every zodiac sign can only occur in either yin or yang: the dragon is always yang, the snake is always yin, etc. This combination creates a 60-year cycle, starting with Wood Rat and ending with Water Pig. The current cycle began in the year (as shown in "Table of the lunar calendar and zodiac" below).

The Yin or Yang is broken down into Five Elements (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth) on top of the cycle of animals. These are Modifiers and afflict the characteristics of each of the 12 animal signs. Each element has features that apply to both years and the animals. Each of the 12 animals are governed by an element plus a Yin Yang Direction. They are divided into 4 groups.

The balance of yin and yang and the five elements in a person's make-up has a major bearing on what is beneficial and effective for them in terms of Feng Shui form of geomancy.

This is because each element is linked to a particular direction and season ( Sun Alignment ), and their different kinds of Qi or life force.


  • The West
  • Autumn
  • The Planet Venus
  • The Color White
  • Respiratory system & Lungs
  • Determined, Self-reliant
  • Unyielding, Strong
  • Persistent, Forceful
  • Emocation, Suicidal, pleasure
  • Reserved, Needs Personal Space

'Governs' Monkey, Rooster, Dog


  • The East
  • Spring
  • The Planet Jupiter
  • The Color Green
  • Liver and gallbladder
  • Generous, Warm
  • Persuasive, Co-operative
  • Seeks to Expand and Grow
  • Idealistic, Ethical
  • Enthusiastic, Seeks to Explore

'Governs' Tiger, Rabbit, Snake


  • The North
  • Winter
  • The Planet Mercury
  • The Color Black
  • Skeletal/Excretory System & Lungs
  • Diplomatic, Charming
  • Intuitive, Compassionate
  • Communication, Intellectual
  • Sensitivity, Creative
  • Flexible, Compliant

'Governs' Pig, Rat, Goat


  • The South
  • Summer
  • The Planet Mars
  • The Color Red
  • Circulatory system & Heart
  • Dynamic, Energetic
  • Passion, Enterprise
  • Adventurous, Restless
  • Competitive, Leadership Skills
  • Strong, Single-minded

'Governs' Ox, Horse, Dragon


  • Center
  • Three Enclosures, Change of seasons
  • The Planet Saturn
  • The Color Yellow
  • Digestive system, Spleen and stomach
  • Patient, Prudent
  • Stable, Reliable
  • Hard-working, Ambitious
  • Disciplined, Logical
  • Service and Duty to Others

'Governs' Dragon, Dog, Rat, and Ox. It is the central balance of the elements and can lend qualities to all 12 animals as well.

Element Relationships:

As you might know all the elements share a relationship to each other, this is due to Yin and Yang, and creates an even larger cycle to our Chinese Zodiac.

Generating Relationships:

  • wood feeds fire;
  • fire creates earth (ash);
  • earth bears metal;
  • metal collects water and
  • water nourishes wood.

Overcoming Relationships:

  • wood parts earth;
  • earth absorbs water;
  • water quenches fire;
  • fire melts metal and
  • metal chops wood.

Be Sure To Check Back:

I have about Ten More Pages to cipher and post on if this interest you be sure to bookmark the page.

Also any feedback is greatly appreciated...let me know if this was useful ;-)


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    • profile image


      8 years ago

      never had a great deal knowledge on that, but liked the way you stocked info, they are interesting and pursuing. nice hub to share!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      i thought i am a rat but when i search i found out that i am under the pig animal this could be? thanks for sharing your knowledge in astrologu

    • Chi Flat Iron profile image

      Chi Flat Iron 

      11 years ago

      What do you know, I am a Dog! Thanks for this resource. Great explanation.

    • Chi Flat Iron profile image

      Chi Flat Iron 

      11 years ago

      What do you know, I am a Dog! Thanks for this resource. Great explanation.

    • Fitter profile image


      11 years ago

      Always believe in horoscopes if they are good enough :)

    • Colpitts7 profile image


      11 years ago from Inwood

      Thanks much.

    • Natashabassett profile image


      11 years ago from Hayward

      Thanks for all this detail. Mine describes me to a T!

    • spacebull profile image


      11 years ago from Space

      These Chinese signs were always fun, it's interesting for me to take a look at this from an anthropological angle. Thanks.

    • profile image

      Bart Hugo 

      11 years ago

      This is Okay, But it would be nice if you could post a paragraph of how eastern and western astrology is different and similar. Like a venn diagram or something.




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