According to chinese legend, when the astrological system was created, thirteen animals argued about who would be the first in the cycle of years

According to Chinese legend, when the astrological system was created, thirteen animals argued about who would be the first in the cycle of years.  The Jade Emperor decided that a contest was the only fair way to settle the matter.  The animals would race across a river and be placed in the cycle in the order that they finished.

The thirteen animals gathered on one side of the river and jumped in. The rat was a poor swimmer and decided that the best way to cross the river was to ride on the ox’s back.  The ox—apparently a little na?ve—let the rat on-board.  As soon as the ox crossed the river, the rat jumped off his back and, in a photo finish, touched the shore first.           

Not far behind was the tiger.  She had a harder time fighting the river’s current than the ox, but was just strong enough to come in third.

The rabbit arrived next, explaining that he planned to cross the river by jumping from one stone to another.  Halfway across, though, the rabbit hopped onto a floating log and almost got swept downstream.  The log somehow washed up on shore.  The dragon flew across the river, and came in fifth.  The Jade Emperor was curious as to why a mighty flying dragon didn’t come in first place.  The dragon explained that she had to stop to make rain for the earth. On the way to the finish line, the dragon saw the rabbit clinging to a log and decided to do a good deed and blow the log to shore.

The horse then came galloping up onto the shore, only to be surprised by the sight of the snake, which had hidden itself, wrapped around the horse’s hoof.  The startled horse fell backwards into the river, allowing the snake to claim the sixth spot, while the horse placed seventh.

The ram, monkey and rooster came ashore together after helping each other across the river.  The rooster spotted a raft at the start of the race and agreed to share it if the others would row them across.  The Jade Emperor placed them in the order they stepped off the raft.

The dog, which was supposed to be the best swimmer of the bunch, came in eleventh place.  He explained that he was so far behind because he hadn’t had a good bath in a while and decided to take one in the river.  The pig, which finished last, also got held up when she got hungry during the race and stopped for lunch and a nap.

The thirteenth animal that started the race was the cat.  She too was also riding on the ox’s back, but the rat pushed her into the river, costing her a spot in the cycle.  This is why cats don’t like rats or water to this very day.

Each animal has a distinct personality, and the animal sign a person is born under is believed to bestow upon them certain traits and characteristics.  And this is what we get.  It is a nice overview of the twelve personality types that can be used to job placement, promotions, managerial qualification.

The Rat:

The rat is active, intelligent and quick to spot a good opportunity but can be petty, nosy and overly critical.

Rat people are notorious for being quick witted.  They usually are slow to make true, lasting friendships but once they do, they guard them closely.  Rats are normally very loyal, loving and charming.  They can hide their aggressive streak and a stubbornness that is hard to match.

Female rats fall in love easily and have a tendency to over indulge their “children”.  They can also be worriers over the smallest details becoming impatient with others who don’t see the possible problems.

Male rats may appear social but are actually very protective of their privacy.  They are slow to open up to their mates and have an independent streak that may exclude them.  It is part of their nature, not a sign of a lack of love.  Male rats actually make exceptional “fathers” although in a no-nonsense fashion.  He is ambitious, has high expectations for those around him and he is willing to help loved ones achieve their goals.

For those born in the year of the rat, the key word is “charm”.  They are highly adaptable and creative, quick-witted, sociable, and intelligent.  Appealing outward personality typically hides a crafty and opportunistic personality.  They tend to be very talkative and are seldom found sitting quietly by themselves.

The Rat is very quick-witted and can accomplish in days what some may take months to do.  They are typically perfectionists and are difficult to work around despite their exceptional talents.          

Rats tend to scrimp and budget carefully when resources are tight, yet spend lavishly when finances are good.  Rats are self-contained and keep problems to themselves.  Although very outgoing, they seldom confide in anyone.  Often talented in abstract subjects such as math and music, they make good planners, especially in business situations as well as the arts.

The Ox:

The ox is quite and steady, logical and persevering but can be stubborn and hot headed.

Ox people often make the best of friends.  They are known to be patient, loyal and very caring.  They can often live up to the old fashioned saying of, “Stubborn as an ox.”  Normally quiet homebodies, they often make excellent spouses.

The female ox loves to be with her family in the comfort of her home.  Favorite activities often include reading quietly, cooking, gardening or crafts.  Down to earth, the female ox is easy going, agreeable but with great organizational skills.  Seldom is the ox a “clothes horse,” instead she prefers simple clothes with little jewelry.

The male ox may take a long time to make up his mind but once he does, he is in for the long haul.  Usually quiet of nature but confident, he is usually happiest puttering around the house.  If your mate is an ox, he will almost assuredly be loyal and faithful.

Those born in these years are typically reliable and dependable.  Ox personalities often rise to positions of authority and make excellent leaders; however they are seldom elected into high official status because of their lack of flair and excitement.

The ox achieves through routine hard work and patience, not that the ox lacks a creative imagination.  They are hard-working and persistent, and can stick to a task longer and harder than others.  They believe in themselves.

Although seldom romantic, the ox is very tender and loving to the few lucky enough to receive such attention.  They are not social or party animals and tend to be quiet when in groups.  People who are around oxen-personalities often misunderstand them, but the ox is patient and caring.  An ox is the best friend you could choose.

In business, the ox often brings prosperity as a result of logical thought and extensive planning.  They are exceptional at hand-crafts or the arts.

The ox has a prime place in Chinese symbolism and appears on the first page of almost every Chinese Almanac.  The ox is a symbol of diligence, perseverance, tenacity and thoroughness.

The Tiger:

The tiger is enthusiastic, positive minded and likes new challenges yet they can be overly aggressive and self-centered.

Tigers are known to be born leaders, not followers. They can show great depths of love or jealousy.  Charismatic, they are usually courageous, fearless fighters but also warm-hearted.

The female tiger is a friendly, outgoing sort but with a streak of ambition that is hard to miss.  She is a born leader, brave and strong.  She enjoys expensive, fashionable clothing and takes pride in her appearance.

The male tiger is also a born leader who thrives on competition.  Often changing jobs as one becomes boring.  Headstrong the male tiger shows his independence from an early age insisting on doing things his way.

Tigers are likely to succeed in sales, personnel management and military careers.  They typically have a strong competitive streak (especially in business dealings) and must be careful not to create enemies during their quest for success.  They are not easily influenced by others.  The tiger’s natural authority is seldom challenged, and they make excellent role models.  They have magnetic personalities and when combined with their confidence, are very difficult to resist.

The Tiger is usually regarded as having male-like tendencies and therefore Chinese tend to distrust women born in the Tiger years, partially because of the power that they can exert.  Tigers are daring fighters and stand up to the bitter end for what they feel believe in.  They are respected by their peers and enemies for their courage and dedication.

Tigers are sensitive, emotional, and capable of great achievements, but have a difficult time understanding the meaning of moderation.  They often approach work with as much ferocity as a good fight.

The tiger is indeed the king of the beasts in China as well as many other countries throughout the world.

The Rabbit:

The rabbit is peaceful, sensitive and detailed oriented but can be too conservative and be aversive to taking risks.

Rabbit people usually hate confrontations or arguments.  They are normally sweet natured people that are hard to provoke with many friends.  Sociable, the rabbit enjoys parties.  They are also born diplomats.

The female rabbit is often emotional and sentimental, easily hurt by criticism.  Style and personal appearance are important though and she will have a flair for decorating.

The male rabbit seldom makes a quick decision.  Although dignified, appearance is as important to the male rabbit as it is to the female.  He is prudent with money and while slow to settle down, but once he does, his is a happy office and “family”.

Rabbits are happiest when with friends and safely inside social circles.  They are often meek and withdrawn among groups of strangers.  They seldom like to argue and enjoy quiet, peaceful lives.  A rabbit is cautious and will weigh the pros and cons from every angle before moving ahead.

A lover of good conversation, reading, and intellectual discussions, the rabbit is sincere and is often s gifted healer, herbalist, or doctor.  Traditionally associated with clear-sightedness, the rabbit is an excellent judge of character and has a certain ability to recognize when others are lying.  A rabbit’s home is typically a beautiful one, and they take great care and expend a lot of energy making it comfortable.  You will find a lot of expensive and precious items in the home of a rabbit.

The Chinese have many strange legends about the rabbit; one of them is that they inhabit the moon, together with three-legged frogs. Another legend has it that the rabbit possesses the secret recipe for the elixir of immortality.

The Dragon:

The dragon is charismatic, lively and confident but can be cocky, too outspoken and easily feel frustrated

Dragons are often very self-assured, gifted and natural leaders.  In fact, they often loose their tempers when their “orders” are not followed.  Full of energy, they are vibrant and flamboyant.

The female dragon is highly attractive to the opposite sex.  She is independent, loves to entertain, she’s trendy and most definitely an extrovert.

The male dragon likes to break the rules.  They are creative and become restless in a “hum-drum” job as they are lovers of the adrenalin rush.  The male dragon is also happy to be a bachelor playing the field.

The dragon is one of the most exotic and flamboyant of all the signs.  Dragons are born leaders and masters of ceremonies.  They are idealists, perfectionists, aggressive and determined.

A person born under the sign of the dragon is usually fashionable and can adopt many different lifestyles.  Using their keen sense of imagination, dragons are forever dreaming up fresh schemes and ideas for new adventures (which are mostly futile). Unfortunately, they often drive their friends crazy with their “wild” schemes that usually lead to nowhere.

On the good side however, dragons are also surrounded by good fortune, which saves them from making major mistakes.  They are well suited to careers in the theatre, or any place that gives them a leading role.

Although they have the potential for making lots of money, they spend it lavishly on their projects.  Dragons are not well suited to growing old and losing power, they lose their temper easily.        

Women who are born under this sign are usually surrounded by admirers and very popular with the opposite sex.  They are seldom disappointed in love.

The Snake:

The snake is active, decisive and judicious but can be easily provoked and dislikes to be proven wrong.

Snakes have magnetic personalities. Charming and sophisticated in a sexy way, they usually have a good sense of humor but can be jealous and overly possessive. The snake seldom lets anyone know what he or she is truly thinking and are known to be secretive.

The female snake is bewitching and sophisticated.  She dresses well with special attention to the tiny details.

The male snake isn’t strong in the communication department.  

The person born in the year of the snake often makes their way to the top of success.  Unlike the dragon however, they are more restrained and refined. They are in no means, pushy, and have a knack for being at the right place at the right time.  They make decisions quickly and firmly.

Because they are intelligent and careful, snake-people make good research scientists, philosophers, detectives, or professors.  They have a very analytical mind, yet seem to have an ability to “sense” a good thing when they see it.

They lean toward elegance and expensiveness.  It is unlikely to find a snake person wearing bold colors and gaudy dress.  In money matters, the snake has good fortune, but is often considered “tight”, except with close friends and loved ones.

The snake and its complementary sign, the dragon, form the “House of Mystery” in Chinese mythology.  The dragon is the gaudy magician; the snake is the contemplative mystic.  The snake is closely associated with plots and counter-plots, scandal and corruption.  The expression “long snake” in Chinese means “intrigue”.  Unlike in America, the traditional Chinese believe it unlucky to kill a snake which enters your house because it could be the bearer of good fortune.

The Horse:

The horse is independent, gregarious and eloquent but can be insecure, impulsive and unable to keep a secret.

Horse people are said to love travel.  They are energetic, intelligent and ambitious.  They can also impatient, hotheaded and egotistical.  They have a great sense of humor and fall in love easily.

The female horse is often the life of the party although just as happy in their warm, comfortable home.   Even though she is dignified, she loves bright, colorful clothes, the female horse enjoys working with her hands and creating crafts.

The male horse can be impulsive and erratic.  Freedom is a top priority so the male horse is often slow to settle down with one woman.   

The Horse personality often varies radically.  It is believed that those born in the years of the horse may be tyrants, revolutionaries, or thieves.  They also have a great capacity to excel.  Others are often in awe of them, worship them, but seldom really understand them.

Horses are good at handling money, but often lose interest in their goals.  Horses are born to race or travel; therefore horse people leave home at a young age, and remain restless throughout their life.  They are impatient, yet quick-witted with a huge ego.  They have a hard time belonging anywhere for long.

Horse people do well in groups and are never short on conversation. Social contact is important to the horse and they often form close relationships with others and will give up anything for a good romance.

The horse represents desires and wishes they are usually associated with males. The ancients deemed the Year of the Horse to have masculine attributes and have strong “yang” forces.

The Goat:

The goat is considerate, gentle and trustworthy but can be overly sensitive, dreamy and slow in making decision.

The goat is often the most creative and artistic of people.  They are charming, well mannered but can at times be lazy.  They are intelligent and hate to be rushed or pressured into anything.  Often moody, they can also be loving and very sensitive.

The female goat is often impractical, happiest at home working creatively with few distractions.  Often volunteering, the female has a gentle nature that is appreciated by others.  Down to earth, the goat is a wonderful mother and loves having large families.

The male goat can be of a fussy nature but he is almost always gentle and kind.  Usually creative by nature, financial success or materialistic goods are seldom of great importance.  The male is a “loving father” who enjoys spending time with his “children”, softhearted and compassionate.  He also has a wide romantic streak.

Goats are regarded as having a strong essence of “Yin”, therefore the most feminine of the animal signs.  They are typically elegant, charming, artistic, and fond of natural items.  Goats often find expression in craftsmanship rather than originality.  They are very conservative and often leave their creative sides unexplored when it comes to career advancements.

Goats are insecure and need to feel loved and needed.  They shy away from confrontation and often follow the crowd instead of standing up for their true beliefs.  They resent being led by others, although they allow it.  This characteristic often leads them to ask for help, and then resist it when it comes.

They study the esoteric, reading books on new-age beliefs, astrology, and fortune-telling.  Because of their indecision, Goats do not usually make good business people. They prefer to use their artistic talents and craftsmanship skills.

Goats are typically very romantic and sensitive.  They are hard to resist with their loving and caring nature, and make excellent spouses.

The Monkey:

The monkey is intelligent, observant and adaptive but can be cunning and manipulative.

Monkeys are clever, creative and often the center of attention.  They are curious sometimes to a fault but have a heightened sense of problem solving ability.

The female monkey is bright and excels easily at anything she puts her mind to.  The glib, quick of tongue the female monkey makes her an excellent salesperson.  Often flirtatious of nature, the female mother does enjoy her family but don’t expect her to give up her social life.

The male monkey is never boring although he becomes bored easily.  A social animal the male monkey isn’t the type for quiet vacations at a mountain cabin.   

Monkeys are never at a loss for words.  They can make the most boring subject seem interesting.  They are extremely inventive, with a quick-wit that none can rival. Their charm and good fortune follow them.

Despite their popularity, monkeys are seldom taken seriously however, and this leads to much frustration.  They project an image of mischief which many find unsettling.

 The monkey personality can do well at almost any type of work, and usually succeed in anything they try.  Their success often makes them arrogant however, and can lead to isolation.  Monkeys are exceptionally good a problem-solving and have a craving for knowledge.

They are one of the most popular and venerated of all Chinese characters.  There are countless stories about the adventures of monkeys.  The monkey of legend has many innate skills, but only put them to good use when under the powerful restraint and skillful guidance of an enlightened one.  They can easily self-destruct when left to their own initiatives.

The Rooster:

The rooster is charming, well groomed and compassionate but can be vain, direct and straight forward.

Roosters are usually forthright people who have no desire to hide their likes or dislikes.  They often like flashy clothes, cars and company.  Roosters are often the types that are jack-of-all-trades but masters of none.  They can be domineering and very difficult to live with but are almost always a devoted partner and good parent.

The female rooster sets high standards for herself and others. Truthful by nature, she finds it hard to lie. She loves nice clothes, diamonds and jewelry.  While social, the female rooster can be just as happy around her own, very organized home.

The male rooster is proud, cheerful and confident in what he does.  While courageous with a good sense of humor, the male rooster isn’t the type to run away during bad times.  The male rooster often sees things as right or wrong with no middle ground.

The rooster is the counterpart of the monkey and represents a “Yin” or feminine quality.  They are often abrasive and aggressive, and are sometimes considered rude.

Roosters are very concerned with their appearance, and can spend many hours standing in front of mirrors.  They often dress a bit too colorful for some tastes, but are usually quite stylish.

Roosters are always busy and can seldom being accused of being a couch potato.  They have many talents and typically succeed in anything that they attempt.  They make good detectives, doctors, nurses, and trouble-shooters.  Rooster personalities have extremely high ideals and have little tolerance for those who don’t.  They often begin many projects at one time to keep busy, but this sometimes leads to family problems, as they have a tendency to ignore those who are closest to them and fail to see any problem with this.

Traditionally, roosters are seen as the embodiment of direct, forceful and forthright behavior.

The Dog:

The dog is honest, courageous and loyal but can be pessimistic, anxious and overly critical.

Dog people are intelligent, caring and loyal.  They are usually honorable, faithful people but can be both a worrier and a nag.

The female dog is by nature a very giving person and a great listener although quiet about her own problems.  Happy and generous to a fault, the female dog makes for a wonderful nurse, counselor, doctor or teacher.  They are devoted mothers who will go to any lengths to protect their young.

The male dog often thinks he knows best even when he doesn’t have a clue as to what is going on.  He is a hard worker, good provider and wise with his money.  Happiest in quiet, peaceful surroundings, the male dog doesn’t need the adrenalin rush to have a good time.  Usually he makes a fine family man.

Dog personalities are honest, faithful, and sincere.  They enjoy helping others. They can easily make friends, and usually have long-lasting friendships.  They are intelligent and are usually good listeners.

The dog is a steady worker who becomes a trusted and valued member of any community.  They are defensive where friends and family are concerned and refuse to listen to warnings when others are in danger.  When truly frightened, dogs react unpredictably.  Their rare displays of intense anger are usually justified however.  They easily forgive and forget.

Dogs are usually very active and like all types of outdoor sports.  

In Chinese astrology, the dog and the pig form the “House of Family”. The dog, being traditionally a protector and guardian of property, represents the materials and wealth of the home, rather than the people within it.

The Pig:

The pig is caring, honest and tolerant but can be naive and easily excited into acting inappropriately.

The pig is often the most trustworthy, loving and caring of all the signs.  While these are admirable traits, it often sets the pig up to be taken advantage of because of their sweet tempers and naivet?.

The female pig is patient, cheerful and outgoing who thrives on peace and quiet.  While they make excellent teachers, designers and such, a career seldom wins out over family.  The female pig is domestic by nature and often spoils her “children”.

The male pig is generous and sincere although he can be stubborn to a fault.  While dependable he doesn’t allow his mate to take him for granted.  An engaging host who enjoys cooking, the male pig is also an excellent “father”.

The last of the twelve astrological signs, the pig is the symbol of completion. Their ambitions are not so much with their current career, but with the benefits that they reap at the end of their careers.  The pig personality looks forward to retirement.  Unlike the animal that Americans think of when they consider a pig, the Chinese consider the pig as one of the most pleasant and productive animals.  They are home-lovers who put a lot of attention toward family matters.  Pigs are models of sincerity, purity, tolerance, and honor.

Pigs simply want to do everything right, and have an unrelenting optimistic attitude.  Pigs are industrious in business as well as home life.  They finish the projects that they begin, and do so with great enthusiasm. In business, they can become extremely successful and usually reap the financial benefits of such accomplishments.

Pigs get along well with almost everyone, and they typically have a large and varied collection of good friends.  Like the monkey, the pig is intellectual character with a great thirst for knowledge.

The pig was such an integral part of the home in China that the Chinese character for “family” consists of the sign for a “roof” over the character for “pig”.

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