12 Chinese Zodiac Signs

The Chinese Zodiac was represented by 12 animals, which correspond to the 12 earthly branches to record the years.12 Chinese Zodiac Signs are rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. As we know, 2022 is the year of the Water Tiger.

According to the sexagenary cycle. 2022 is the “Ren Yin” year. In the chronology of stems and branches, the earthly branch “Yin” matches the “tiger” in the Chinese zodiac, so it is the “Tiger Year”, while the heavenly stem “Ren” belongs to water, it is also the “Water Tiger Year”. 

In addition, the five elements of “wood, fire, earth, metal, and water” correspond to the five colours of “green, red, yellow, white, and black”, so 2022 is also called “the year of the black tiger”.

Tiger Year of 2022

The True Origin of the Twelve Chinese zodiac signs

Many people know the story and legend of the Chinese zodiac animals. Actually, most of the folk stories are based on fiction, not a solid basis. The zodiac is the visual representation of the twelve earthly branches.

The twelve earthly branches were determined by the ancients according to Jupiter. The twelve earthly branches actually originate from the 12-year orbit of Jupiter around the sun. Jupiter revolves around the sun in about 4332.6 days, or about 11.862 years, which was consistent with the 12 earthly branches in Chinese Astrology. So ancient China called it the Tai Sui star, also known as Tai Sui.

Jupiter with 12 Chinese Signs

The twelve earthly branches really represent the relative positional relationship between Jupiter, Earth, and Sun. The zodiac story is just a visual explanation.

The ancients decomposed the laws of motion among Jupiter, the sun and the earth into 12 types, then the person who was born in a certain year on earth and the other who was born in another year would obtain different prime mover life, they have different strength of life and movement of the energies. For example, those born in the year of the Tiger and the year of the Ox would not have the complete same destiny, while those born in the year of the Tiger would have something in common. This is the fundamental reason for the different fates of the twelve zodiac signs.

12 Zodiac Signs and five elements  

The twelve zodiac signs are not directly integrated into the Yin-Yang and Five Elements system, but the twelve earthly branches are applied. 

The twelve earthly branches each have the five elements of yin and yang. For example:
Yin and Mao belong to the wood element, Yin is yang wood, and Mao is yin wood;

Si and Wu belong to the fire element, Wu is yin fire, and Si is yang fire;
Shen and You belong to the metal element, Shen is yang metal, and You is yin metal; 

Hai and Zi belongs to the water element, Hai It is yang water, and Zi is yin water; 

Chen, Xu, Chou and Wei belong to the earth element, Chen and Xu is yang earth, Chou and Wei is yin earth.

Yin-Yang, Five Elements, Heavenly stems and Earthly Branches, Zodiac Sign

The 12 zodiac signs and 12 Double Hours

Since the Han Dynasty, China has divided a day and night into twelve hours according to the time of the rising of the sun and used the twelve earthly branches to record the twelve hours (Double hours). Each hour is equivalent to two hours, such a day and night is what is now called twenty-four hours.

The 12 Zodiac signs, 12 Earthly Branches and 12 Big Hours

In Chinese numerology, the 12 Double Hours are represented by 12 Zodiac animals. 

The 12 Zodiac Signs, 12 Double Hours and 12 Earthly Branches

12 Zodiac Animal12 Earthly Branches12 Double Hours(Shi-Chen)Notes
RatZi (子)23:00 ~ 01:00Mice are most active at this time.
OxChou (丑)01:00 ~ 03:00At this time, the ox is ruminating. It is also said to be when the ox starts ploughing the fields.
TigerYin (寅)03:00 ~ 05:00At this time, tigers wander around for food and are the most ferocious.
RabbitMao (卯)05:00 ~ 07:00At this time, the sun has not yet risen, and the moon is still hanging in the sky. In Chinese folklore, the jade rabbit, also called Moon Rabbit, is busy making medicine on the moon at this time. Rabbits from the earth also began to come out for food.
DragonChen (辰)07:00 ~ 09:00It is a good time for the dragon to rain in Chinese legend.
SnakeSi (巳)09:00 ~ 11:00At this time, the snakes began to come alive.
HorseWu (午)11:00 ~ 13:00In ancient times, wild horses were not tamed by humans. They ran around and neighed at noon, so it’s called “noon horses”.At this time, the yang Qi is strong, and the Yin and Yang are alternated. It’s better to have a rest.
GoatWei (未)13:00 ~ 15:00From this time, the sun begins to set and gradually moves to the west. The goat eats grass at this time. It means the essence of the food is absorbed through the small intestine. it is time for people to rest and enjoy the cool.
MonkeyShen (申)15:00 ~ 17:00There’re several sayings: one is the monkey likes to cry at this time and the monkeys are active, so the monkey paired with Shen Shi; Second, it is said that monkeys are good at stretching and bending to climb trees, and stretching is homophonic with “Shen”; The third is according to the odd and even arrangement of the toes of the zodiac animals. The goat has four toes and the monkey has five toes, so the monkey ranked after the goat.
RoosterYou (酉)17:00 ~ 19:00It is the time when the sun goes down and night falls, and the roosters start to return to their coops.
DogXu (戌)19:00 ~ 21:00At the time of Xu Shi, the dogs began vigil.
PigHai (亥)21:00 ~ 23:00At this time, everything is silent, and the pig is snoring and sleeping.

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