Chinese Astrology has come down thru the centuries and has been used as a predictive tool for the Chinese. I've been told that the Chinese don't use it as an indicator of personality as we use western astrology.
The Chinese ascribe each year to an animal. 1999 is the Year of the Cat/Rabbit, and the Year 2000 will be the Year of the Dragon. 1900 came in in the Year of the Rat. It has been written that when the Buddha called these animals the Rat came first, then the Ox, etc. There are 12 animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Cat/Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep/Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, Boar/Pig.
When I was introduced to Chinese Astrology I dismissed it because I thought how could the tendencies of an animal be significant for everyone born during that year? I came to discover there is an animal for the month you were born, the day you were born, and ....as I was writing my book, I researched it until I discovered the correlation to the minute you were born.
This becomes your animal totem. The animal for the year of your birth becomes the broad base of a pyramid totem. Everyone born in the year you were are dealing with the same issues. Then, everyone born in the month you were are healing that energy as a group by using the energies of the animal which is the archetypal animal for the month you were born. So, if you are a Virgo, born in 1942, you are a Horse with Snake/Virgo as your month animal.
So, all Virgos born in 1942 would be healing their Horse energy for the year by implenting their Snake energy. But that's a generality. How does one start to define themselves thru the animals???
The Chinese have a "Time of Day" Wheel which is used in the 5 element system - of which acpuncture is based upon. This wheel is separated into 12 segments, much like the astrology wheel in the west is divided into 12 signs, Aries, Taurus, etc. In acupuncture, each organ of the body is assigned to one of these segments, in 2 hour increments, starting at odd numbered hours - 1-3 am, 3-5 am, etc. These organs (10 organs and two processes, Triple Warmer and Circulation-Sex) resonate to different emotions. When an experience occurs, good or bad, it goes to the organ which holds it. Liver is being autonomous and free or being stifled and repressed. Kidney is Fear vs. Peace, etc.
In Chinese Astrology there is also a wheel, whereby each of the 12 animals is designated to a certain time of the day, at the same odd numbered intervals. There is an archetypal animal for each meridian/organ of the body.
The Hour we are born, becomes significant then, to see which animal and which organ is most sensitive. It also places the animal wheel on the astrology wheel. It shows us which organ takes most of our experiences, which emotions are the most prominent in our life, and what organ needs to be concentrated upon to keep healthy, to aid the rest in being healthy.
So then, the year and month are the animals, organs and emotions which thousands of people who are born in any given year are trying to heal. When it gets to the hour, then it shows who we are in this totem, and how individually we are going to bring this energy, hopefully, into harmony.
As I was writing "Chinese Power Animals" due to be released by Samuel Weiser Publishers in the spring of 2000, it occurred to me that as this kept refining and refining itself, getting more and more specific to the indivdual, then the minute we are born is going to be even more incisive.
In working with this energy, I found that the minute we are born comes in 10 minute increments and shows us our "Achilles' Heel". The animal and organ/meridian at that time shows us the emotions which can be our downfall and need to be balanced and healed. It often shows our personal illnesses and emotional patterns we need to heal in this lifetime.
At this time, including the day we are born got a bit cumbersome, so I didn't concentrate on it, but for those schooled in Chinese Astrology you can also add this to your totem.
The book will show you the personality tendencies of each sign, and the makeup of your parents, mate(s), children, and other assorted relatives and associates based on your animal of the hour you were born. It will also show the illnesses you are more susceptible to and which organs you need to keep healthy....it's usually the things you are drawn to most that you shouldn't eat, etc. For instance, those born in the hour of the Snake - 9-11 am, the organ/meridian is the Spleen, and born then you shouldn't eat a lot of sugar (this would relate to a lesser degree to the Year and Month you were born)...but those born between 9-11 am are more inclined to eat sugar to assuage their wounds.
It will also show you the personality of your mate. In Chinese Astrology, they say you shouldn't get involved with anyone of the opposite sign on the wheel. And by the year you were born this probably works. But according to the Hour you were born which represents you most specifically, that's exactly who you do marry. Because in placing the Animal wheel over the western Astrology wheel, the person who shows up in the 7th house, which opposes the first house of Self, is the person/animal who is going to show you your shadow issues. It also represents the energy of your mother's mother, your father's father, and your second child. Sometimes it's very simplistic. If you have the Rat, for instance, in your 7th house of mate, many times s/he is a Rat. But, most often s/he will express the energy of the Rat to you in your relationship, because it would be somewhere prominent in their chart in relation to you.
For instance, in my chart, the 10th house and Father is in the Sheep section of the Animal wheel, while in my mother's chart, he shows up in her 7th house of mate as a Dog. To me, he has exhibited these Sheep qualities, while to her, he has been the Dog, mirroring to her her subconscious shadow stuff.
Chinese Astrology, then, does not just show you one animal for the year you were born. It becomes a complex "science" like western astrology to show our strengths and weaknesses, our potential, and the patterns of our lives. Combined with western astrology it becomes a vital tool to tap into the vibrations for healing. I use it in my hynotherapy practice as well as astrology readings, and clients are amazed at how quickly we can zero in on issues knowing the emotions of the dis-eased organ and where and when things occurred to set this pattern in motion.
To receive an introductory 30 minute chart delineating your 4 animal totem along with your sun, moon and rising sign, please go to