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Using TheChinese Zodiac

Updated on February 24, 2012

There are many different means of uncovering your horoscope using the Chinese Zodiac. There are regional or local variations in addition to the more common methods used by astrologers. Two popular methods used are:

1. The Ming Shu or Circle of Animals

2. The Tzu P’ing based on the Pillars of Destiny

The Ming Shu

This is the most recognized method of Chinese Astrology. It is simple. You use a Chinese Zodiac chart (available in most books and online sources about Chinese Astrology).You find the year of your birth. You then note the animal that is said to rule this year. If you were born in 1952 or your child is born in 2012, the Zodiac animal is a Dragon. To take it a step further, you can locate the element associated with the particular year. In the case of 1952 and 2012, it is water.

Care must be taken, however, if your birthday falls in January or early February. Since the Chinese New Year is a moveable feast, if you are born early in the month of January, you may not be the same animal as those born later in the year. For instance, in 1998, the New Year began on January 28. The following year, it started on February 16. As a result, those born between from January 28, 1998 until February 16, 1999 were Earth Tigers. Those born afterwards were Earth Hares. If you were born prior to January 23, 2012, you are not a Water Dragon but a Metal Hare.

Relying solely on the Ming Shu to provide you with accurate data is comparable in the Western tradition to knowing you were born under a certain sign. Most people are aware they are an Aquarian or Libra or even a Scorpio. In both cases, unless you explore the significance of what your sign or animal means and go beyond the surface platitudes, you are not utilizing the system to its full potential.

Tzu P’ing

This method is a more precise form of astrological calculation. It is used to provide a more in depth astrological prediction. In fact, it can reveal the following:

· The luck portion given at birth

· The type of events or projects in which you would prove successful

· Your professional calling or career

· Your emotional strengths and weaknesses

· Your physical strengths and weaknesses

· Your personal appearance

The Tzu P’ing is usually cast at birth and is very popular in both rural and urban China. The method is based on the Ssu Chu (Four Pillars of Destiny). It involves the casting of the eight characters of the ba tze. The astrologer derives these from your birth date. Specifically, he or she looks at the year, month, day and hour of your entrance into the world. Interpreting this information together with the 10-year Fate Cycles, the astrologer arrives at a personality profile and arranges into a chronology of your life.


There are different ways to cast your horoscope using the Chinese Zodiac. While simply using the Ming Shu is the most common and well-known, there are other methods. These explore in greater depth the significance and impact of your specific birth date. It is possible using these other methods, including the Tzu P’ing and/or considering the position of the Moon in relationship to the star clusters, to plot a more in depth personal profile.


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    • profile image

      Diane Ward 

      6 years ago

      very interesting


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