The 12 Animal Signs of the Chinese Zodiac

Harry Fozzard   |   August 27, 2021

The Chinese Zodiac, or Shengxiao in Chinese, is the complementary Eastern representation of what is known as the astrological signs in the West. It is believed that the year of birth and the animal sign associated to it represents the character and traits of an individual, and it has been used by the ancient Chinese to determine how a person should be guided.

The Chinese zodiac animal signs are further broken in to 4 animal trines that best represent or characterize how each attack a given problem and how they provide solutions to challenges. The first trine consists of the Rat, Dragon and Monkey, an individual who falls under these signs is characterized to be powerful and intense, and that they are either capable of pure goodness or destructive evil. They can be destined to be notable leaders in every field they may seek and they are usually easily frustrated with restraints but they are highly capable of bending the rules and would usually take you by surprise.

The first animal trine is intelligent, magnanimous, charismatic, charming, authoritative, confident, artistic, and eloquent. Their extreme behaviors can result to tyranny, prejudice, deception, ruthlessness and vindictiveness.

The second animal trine is represented by the Ox, Snake, and Rooster. These signs offer the nobility of a good heart and possessing wisdom. Individuals under these signs are natural leaders and are better natured than the first trine, since they plan before they act and have the patience to endure trials and hardships and slowly reach their destination. They are geniuses in the art of meticulous planning and are highly philosophical people.

The third trine is composed of the animal signs Tiger, Horse, and Dog; they are characterized to be humanitarian and have great respect for true affection. They are often times idealistic and impulsive and have the ability and will to follow what their heart desires. They are both a follower and a leader and they are not easily fooled.

The fourth animal trine consists of the Rabbit, Sheep, Cat and Pig. They usually look for the beauty of our existence. They possess the calmer nature in contrast to the 9 other signs. They are usually caring, unique, and self sacrificing, obliging, sensible, creative, empathic, tactful and prudent, although they can also manifest obnoxious behavior when warranted.

The animal zodiac signs are guided by individual elements and represent specific traits and qualities. The Rat, whose element is water, is forthright, intense, sensitive, intellectual, and can be openly manipulative, vindictive, self-destructive, ruthless and overambitious. The Ox, with the element water is highly dependable, calm, methodical, conventional and hardworking, although some would manifest a more erratic behavior; they are generally modest and resolute individuals.

The Tiger, whose element is wood, likened to its feline prowess, can be unpredictable, rebellious, colorful, passionate, daring and impulsive, but they are sincere, affectionate and generous when confronted with honesty and compassion. The Rabbit, protected by the element wood, manifests kindness, sensitivity, amiable personality, a cautious and thorough approach to challenges and tasks, but some might be moody and selfish. The Dragon’s element is wood; they are usually noble, proud, dignified and astounding. The highly intellectual attribute of the Dragon can be used for both good and evil. The Snake, whose element is fire, is considered graceful and soft spoken, responsible and purposeful to get the things that he wants in life, while an extreme opposite of this good nature can be distrustful, self-doubting and suffocating to other people.

The Horse, with the element fire, is characterized by its cheerfulness, quick wit, earthy and perceptive but sometimes gullible personality. The Ram, with the element of fire, is sincere, mild-mannered, compassionate, understanding and generous but they can be overly passive and timid at times, that makes it difficult to communicate with them. The Rooster, with the element of metal, is usually the organized, confident, critical and the perfectionist in the group. They do away with drama and settle for a more scientific approach to processing things.

The Monkey, with the element of metal, is characterized by intelligence, ingenuity and craftiness which at times posses a threat and they are usually considered egotistical, manipulative and arrogant. The Dog, whose element is metal, is honest, loyal and straightforward about their wishes. Treat them with respect and affection and they will offer their life for you.

The Pig, with the element water, is the sociable and sturdy character among the animal zodiac signs, they are both naïve and trusting and they can be hardworking or over-reliant to others for support.

All of these animals in the Chinese zodiac possess a sociable side and a tolerable attitude. The interplay of these animal signs of Chinese zodiac in the culture of Shenzhen and other cities in China, has been proven to be effective to the elderly especially when they are deciding the future of their next generation.

Photo Source: Zhougong Xingzuo

For Further Reading:

Origin of Chinese Zodiac Signs and the Twelve Animal Signs

Looking Back at China Traditional Wedding

The Transformation of the Traditional Chinese Woman

Other Related Topics:

Chinese Culture about Rabbit

A date with fate

2011 Wedding Show at The Ritz-Carlton, Shenzhen