As the ancient Chinese observed the heavens, they mapped
it with a completely different grid than that imposed by their
contemporaries in the Mediterranean Basin and created a very
different astrology. Most Westerners have encountered this
very different astrology in the designation of each year with the
name of an animal, a frequently used motif in Chinese pop art.
Chinese astrology gives primary consideration to the movement
of the moon through its 28-day orbit around the Earth.
Each day is considered a different mansion, and the 28 mansions
are grouped into four sets corresponding to the four
phases of the moon. Detailed charts provide the data on which
mansion the moon is in on any given day. Particular meanings
are assigned to each of the 28 mansions that are grouped thusly
The Green Dragon of Spring
1. The Horn
2. The Neck
3. The Base
4. The Room
5. The Heart
6. The Tail
7. The Basket
The Black Tortoise of Winter (new moon)
8. The Ladle
9. The Ox-Boy
10. The Maiden
11. The Void
12. The Rooftop
13. The House
14. The Wall
The White Tiger of Autumn
16. The Mound
17. The Stomach
18. The Pleiades
19. The Net
20. The Beak
The Red Bird of Summer (full moon)
Chinese Astrology Encyclopedia of Occultism & Parapsychology 5th Ed.
22. The Well
24. The Willow
25. The Bird
26. The Bow
27. The Wings
28. The Carriage.
Chinese astrology in general has two goals the prediction
of the future, and the determination of auspicious days upon
which to initiate a particular enterprise (especially to marry or
to begin a new business endeavor). For example, the Pleiades
is an unfortunate day to marry or initiate any family activity,
while the next day is a good day. The Mound is a good day for
initiating construction projects such as building a new house.
The visible planets (Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, and Saturn)
are associated with the five basic elements as discerned by
ancient Chinese thought (water, metal, fire, wood, and earth).
They are analogous to the four elements of ancient Greek
thought (earth, air, fire, and water). Characteristics assigned to
the various planets have some likenesses to Western astrology,
but important differences as well. For example, Venus, the feminine
planet in the West, is a very masculine planet in China.
The 12 signs that lend their names to each year in the Chinese
calendar appear to be an addition to Chinese astrology,
possibly from lands to the West. They derive from the observation
of the 12-year period that it requires for the planet Jupiter
to complete its orbit. Each year is associated with an animal
(rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey,
cock, dog, and pig). In Chinese thought, animals such as the
rat, snake, and pig do not have the negative association that
dominates in the West.
As with all things Chinese, Chinese astrology received the
attention of Westerners beginning with President Nixons
opening of a new positive phase of United States-Chinese relations
in the 1970s. Among the first attempts to create an interest
in Chinese astrology was made by psychic Daniel Logan in
a 1972 book. In the intervening years a selection of books delineating
the Chinese system has appeared. However, Chinese
astrology has not become established in the West in the manner
of other Chinese practices such as acupuncture, tai chi, or
macrobiotics. It is primarily practiced in Chinese ethnic communities.
Unlike Vedic astrology, the Chinese system is too
different for the dominant astrology of the West that has been
in a significant growth phase.
Logan, Daniel. Your Eastern Star Oriental Astrology, Reincarnation,
and the Future. New York William Morrow and Co.,
Walters, Derek. Interpreting the Revelations of the Celestial Messengers.
Wellingborough, UK Aquarian Press, 1987.
. The Chinese Astrology Workbook How to Calculate and
Interpret Chinese Horoscopes. Wellingborough, UK Aquarian