In Chinese astrology the Chinese zodiac is made up of a cycle of 12 years, and each year is a different animal. The 12 animals are: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster (male hen), Dog and Boar (wild pig). The Chinese zodiac starts at the beginning of the New Year – around the end of January or the beginning of February.The day of the New Year changes because the Chinese use a lunar calendar – it depends on the moon. In 2007 the Chinese New Year is 18th February, in 2008 it’s 7th February.
There is also a cycle of five elements, and each year is a different element. The five elements are: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Therefore it’s possible to be a Wood Rat, or Wood Horse or a Metal Rat or Metal Horse. The whole cycle of animals and elements takes 60 years.
In Chinese astrology your horoscope is a description of what’s going to happen to you in the future, based on the year when you were born. Your personality also depends on your animal and element.
People born under the year of the Dog usually have lots of friends because the Dog is one of the most popular animals. Dog people are honest, intelligent and fair. Dog people are also good listeners, they are very generous and are happy to help others. Of course they are also faithful. On the other hand they can sometimes be unfriendly and aggressive. They can worry a lot. They get along with Horses and Tigers but not Dragons.
The last Fire Dog year was 2006 so Fire Dogs are either babies or 60 years old. Fire Dogs are natural leaders. They often have lots of admirers and an interesting personality. They can also be very aggressive.
In Western astrology the zodiac is made up of a cycle of 12 star signs. The sky is divided into twelve equal parts and each part has a sign made from the stars. In the past the path of the sun went from one star sign to another but because the stars move this is no longer true. Each star sign is 30 or 31 days long and the cycle is one year. The zodiac starts on the March (or Spring) equinox, usually March 20 or 21 – it depends on the sun. This is the day when, on the equator, the sun and night are the same length. The 12 star signs are: Aries the ram (a male sheep), Taurus the bull, Gemini, Cancer the crab, Leo the lion, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio the scorpion, Sagittarius, Capricorn the goat, Aquarius and Pisces the fish. Cancerians are born between 21st June and 23rd July.
There are also four elements, and each element has three star signs. The four elements are: Fire (Aries, Leo and Sagittarius), Earth (Taurus, Virgo and Capricorn), Air (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) and Water (Cancer, Scorpio and Pisces). This never changes, for example Gemini is always Air and Taurus is always Earth. I
n Western astrology your horoscope is a description of what’s going to happen to you in the future, based on the position of the stars and the planets when you were born. Your personality also depends on your star sign.
People born under the sign of Cancer (21st June to 22nd July) are usually kind and romantic. When they trust people they can be very faithful. On the other hand Cancerians are not always easy to understand and can sometimes be difficult to be with. They can be sweet one minute and then angry the next. They are often moody. Cancerians are often good journalists, writers or politicians. They are very fond of food and eat a lot. They get along with Scorpions and Capricorns.
1 Which statement is true for you?
- I always read my horoscope and believe what is said.
- I read my horoscope but just for fun.
- I never read my horoscope – it’s all nonsense!
2. Fill in the table below
|Chinese astrology||Western astrology|
|The zodiac is a cycle of 12 ________.||The zodiac is a cycle of 12 ________.|
|Each animal is about ________long.||Each animal is about ________long.|
|There are ________elements.||There are ________elements.|
|The zodiac starts ________or ________,||The zodiac starts ________or ________,|
|it depends on ________.||it depends on ________.|
|Your personality depends on ________.||Your personality depends on ________.|
|but they can also be:
||but they can also be:
|They get on well with
||They get on well with
3. Are the following statements true or false?
- Both Chinese and Western astrology have animal signs.
- There is only one animal sign which is the same for both.
- There are two elements which are the same for both.
- The horoscopes for both depend on when you were born.
- Cancerians and Fire Dogs have very different personalities.
- Fire Dogs are 45 years old.
- Cancerians are born in November.