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The Chinese Zodiac Signs and Five Elements
Chinese Zodiac Signs
Shenxiao,the Chinese Zodiac Signs
The Chinese Zodiac Signs were used to record the years long before written history. While exact year of creation is not clear,it is known that as far as 2000BC, the signs were already used widely in China.
There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac Signs:
It is created this way in respond to the 12-year cycle of the Earthly Branches (Dizhi in Chinese).Wiki has a story how the sequence was decided,click here:The great race.
The reason why Chinese Zodiac Signs,or Shenxiao (pronounced shienshao ) in Chinese,has the number of 12 is to be found in the existence of the 12 Earthly Branches,which was used to record the year,month,date and time in a day.And because the 12 Shenxiao are more familiar and easy to remember,it is used more often than the 12 Eearthly Branches.
At the end of this article,you may find a useful free tool to calculate your Shenxiao as well as some resources with free online readings.
For reading service of the Chinese Zodiac Signs,you may visit:susanlevitt.com.
Chinese Five Elements
Wuxing,the Chinese 5 elements
The Chinese 5 elements also has a very long history - might be even longer than the Chinese Zodiac Signs.
The Wuxing (pronounced wooshing),meaning five elements,are:
METAL,or jin in Chinese
Ancient Chinese people believed that the world was created in those five elements.This is very much similar to other people of the ancient world.And those five elements have a very complicated interactive relationship.
Read more at Wiki:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wu_Xing
The Wuxing theory is widely used in Fengshui and people's names. Objects' Wuxing are easily tangible.If it is a wood table,it is WOOD;if it is stainless steel fork,it is METAL.Wiki has the explanation,so you can read more at the link above.
People's Wuxing,however,is more complicated.It is calculated by your birth year,month,day and time (precisely in hours).One can write a book for this single subject.
To put it simply,if you were born at 23:20,Mar 6,1992,then you are a WATER person.
Shenxiao and Wuxing
So,are they related?
The quick answer is yes.
According to Wuxing,everything in the world is made of any of the five elements stated above.So is Shenxiao.
The relationship between Wuxing and Shenxiao can only be fully explained in two steps:
1. Each of the 12 Shenxiao signs belong to its main Wuxing attribution
2. Each of the 12 Shenxiao signs then are tempered by each of the Wuxing
The Wuxing attribution of the Shenxiao signs
Each of the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs (Shenxiao) has their own Wuxing attributions.Here is the detail:
Shenxiao and Wuxing combinations
Each of the 12 Shenxiao signs (Chinese Zodiac Signs) is to be coupled with one of the Wuxing Elements (Five Elements),thus making a 60-year cycle (12 x 5).Every 60 years,the cycle starts over again from the first.Note that this combination is only on yearly basis and not hourly (as Shenxiao is also used to record time in a day).
The combination of Shenxiao and Wuxing creates a sub-category for each Shenxiao sign.For example,Rat is to combined with each of the five elements:metal,water,fire,earth,wood.The combination would be:
Metal Rat (born in the year of 1900,1960)
Wood Rat (1924,1984)
Water Rat (1912,1972)
Fire Rat (1936,1996)
Earth Rat (1948,2008).
This sub-category (or sub-Shenxiao) has its own fortunes and readings.That is to say,Metal Rat is different with Wood Rat. And sometimes they can be quite different.
Below is a table that displays the full cycle of 60 sub-Shenxiao and their respective year of birth.
List of Years for Sub-Shenxiao