Chinese Zodiac

While the astrology and horoscopes of the west look at the time of a person's birth in any given year, Chinese astrology places significance on the year itself. The Chinese zodiac is a 60 year cycle, containing five sub-cycles of twelve years, in which each consecutive year has its own animal symbol and horoscope.

 2016 Chinese Zodiac - Year of the Monkey

As the Year of the Goat makes way for the Year of the Monkey we have a very different energy in play. The Goat was a passive year and as a Yin year was also passive in nature, while the Monkey comes along to shake things up and make us feel alive, bringing his ‘can do’ Yang energy with him. Not only that, but we have the Year of the Fire Monkey, the first in 60 years. The Monkey comes along, just when we need it most.

The Monkey is the ninth animal in the Chinese cycle and the closest to us. Of all the animals in the Chinese cycle the Monkey is one in which we can see ourselves and therefore he has an almost human quality about him that we can all relate to.

In Chinese Astrology the Monkey is the inventor, the innovator, the motivator and the improviser. He’s smart, quick witted, able to think on his feet and he’s also a charmer, a tricker and a bit of a prankster. What rubs off on us during the Year of the Monkey is his intelligence, quick wit and innovativeness. While the Monkey doesn’t have much control over what does and doesn’t happen to you, he has a lot of control over how you handle it. In the Year of the Goat the tendency, when trouble came along, was to stick your head in the sand until it went away, with the Goat wanting to get back to its grazing. Yet with the Monkey, as life happens you will find that you’re able to think on your feet, find creative solutions and that you actually start to thrive on the mental stimulation. This is what makes the Year of the Monkey a year where we will all suddenly feel alive, because he wakes us up intellectually. No challenge will be too great and no obstacle as high as it might otherwise have seemed. A lot of things will shrink down to size as the Monkey comes along.

However, no one Year is all good or all bad and while the Goat would rather graze its way through the year, it allowed you to consider things more deeply and get a better understanding of things. The downside to the Monkey, is that by thinking on your feet and through quicksilver thinking you don’t have time to dwell on things, so you might miss some of the details. You might rush through things failing to pay attention to others or how that might impact them. It’s not that the Monkey makes us more arrogant and more that we can often get so caught up in creative solutions, that you might not think about how they might impact others. So, a little diplomacy may be required.

Another downside is that the Monkey, who is articulate and can think on its feet, will always know what to say and when to say it, even if at times he may encourage you to be a little too economical with the truth. Tall tales and bending the truth could happen without realising, but again simply being aware is all that’s required.

What the Monkey does is speak to our creativity, bringing out even the most latent of artistic, musical or any other kind of talent. If you’re a writer you’ll do some of your best work during the Year of the Monkey and if you’re in any of the performing arts this is your year.

The Monkey brings with him a high level of versatility and you’ll find that you can turn your hand to anything and if you don’t know something, a few minutes with Dr Google and soon you’ll be up to speed. No matter what you’re dealing with, whether at work, within your relationships or any other aspect of life, you’re able to get your head around what’s required, find innovative solutions and brain storm things. Imagine a world where everyone on the planet is being influenced by the Monkey and you have a mixed blessing. While you’re smarter, more articulate and more innovative, so too is everyone else and with this comes a warning against playing mind games. Focus on using Monkey energy to your advantage, rather than to gain an advantage over anyone else.

Key to working with the Year of the Monkey is thinking like a Monkey. He’s crazy smart, insanely intelligent and a lateral thinker. The Monkey will go for the easiest way out of a tricky situation every time and can’t think why you would want to do things the hard way. If there’s a short cut the Monkey will find it, but it’s your job to channel this in a way that doesn’t mean you cut too many corners, for often it’s the journey itself that teaches us the most.

All in all you’ve reached one of the best years, a year where challenges are going to seem less daunting, obstacles less intimidating and every problem simply a solution waiting to be found. Above all it’s time to have some fun, for there is nothing the Monkey loves better than to play, with a bit of monkeying around good for most of us. Better have a bowl of bananas handy, for you’ll need to stock up on some brain food during this dynamic, exciting and fast paced year.

 About Chinese Astrology

People are often referred to by their zodiac animals, so babies born this year will be Rats and expected to have personalities to match.

Legend has it that it was originally Buddha who gave the sequence of years to the dozen animals who attended the farewell meeting he called before he left the earth.

In each of its years, the animals of the Chinese zodiac have an association with one of the five elements of metal, water, wood, fire or earth. Once they have all gone through these five elements, the 60 year cycle is complete, and starts again. The elements also affect the individuals born in their years. But their basic personality traits of the animals remain the same. Here is a run down of the twelve zodiac animals and their characteristics.

From all this, you can see that Chinese Zodiac is not a predictive art as it is for western practitioners. Instead it is an art that is interpretive and philosophical. It is perhaps a way to help us understand ourselves, our partners, and all the other people in both our work and social lives.

Western Astrology is very different from Chinese astrology. Chinese Zodiac is arguably the most developed and the most followed branch of astrology in the world. The portion of Chinese astrology that the Western world is most familiar with is the Chinese Horoscopes.
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