Legend has it that the Buddha called all his animals to him before entering Nirvana to take good care before he finally left Earth. At his call were the first Rat, Bull, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. In the order of their arrival, the Chinese zodiac years were formed. In fact, the Rat had the mission to spread this call with the Rooster. The rooster was active during the day and the rat was running at night. The rooster, with the zeal to collect as many animals as possible, delayed and reached the tenth. The rat with a lot of practical sense and imagination run around, asking the animals to back it to move faster, so they want to conserve their energy. The horse, full of temper, the fastest of them, refused to take it back for free, in fact out of pride, not accepting to tell someone what to do, but especially when to do. The rat considered Cal from that moment selfish and reckless, and the Horse understood that the Rat was smart but manipulative and pretentious. Since then, they have remained enemies.
Without being discouraged, the Rat went to Bou, who, though heavily but with a good heart, led him back, and, more than that, full of the sense of duty, Boul arrived before the meeting, being the first to arrive. This is why the Buddha announced that he would reward him and honor him to call him the first sign of the cycle. The rat quickly ascended on the back of the Boului and claimed that privilege. The ox did not protest, appreciating the work that he had put forward, so Buddha rightly gave the grateful Goblin the first place and the leadership of the zodiac. Thus, the Rat obtained free transport and the most honorable place. If you are interested to learn more about the new chinese year 2018 you can visit this chinese astrology site : http://www.thechinesezodiac.org/horoscope-2018/
This is a legend and it seems that this zodiac was used in China only in the 9th century.
The astrological system represented by the twelve animals is a partial one that emphasizes the personality profile rather than the prediction of destiny. The Chinese say the year we were born is the animal that is hiding in our hearts.
For the system to be complete, it is used in conjunction with the Four Poles of Destiny. It is one of the most serious and profound methods used to predict the month, year, and phases favorable to any person.
The five elements
The Chinese attach great importance to the five fundamental elements that come into the composition of the universe: metal, water, wood, fire and earth. They are interdependent, influencing each other.
They are also used in astrology, defining important features.
The metal element gives a tough, inflexible, self-confident, stubborn character, under its sign are people who do not get overwhelmed by problems but who can operate the changes and transformations they want. The metal corresponds to the sense of hearing, and between the organs of the body, the lungs.
The water element works incessantly and silently, the people under its influence, being able to erode the rocks. There are people who want to infiltrate not to dominate, which are flexible and malleable, but in the extreme indecisive. The water corresponds to the sense of the vase, and between the kidney organs.
The wood element puts great value on ethics, under his sign are expansive and generous people, who have a team spirit, with a high moral outfit, good performers, constantly progressing. Weakness consists in taking too many tasks, scattering resources in too many directions. The wood has a sense of smell and the liver between the organs.
The fire element gives leading, determined and secure personalities on them. Under the sign of fire are dynamic, enterprising, road-opening people. They attract with the warmth and shine they emanate, but they can also become destructive by impulsiveness. The fire corresponds to the tactile sense and the specific organ is the heart.
The earth element is characterized by work, practical sense, organization and objectivity. Under the sign of the earth are people who work seriously and methodically, indicated to organize, who do nothing without a good reason. The Earth has a sense of taste and the associated organ is the spleen.
Cycles of the Chinese zodiac
In this way each sign can have one of five characteristics: metal, water, wood, fire or earth. For example, it is Metal Rat, Water Rat, Wood Rat, Fire Rat and Earth Rat, depending on the year of birth.
So besides the 12 types given by the 12 animals, there are 5 different types given by the specific element, resulting in 60 different typologies.
In short, this type of zodiac has a full 60-year cycle with subcylinders of 12 years. From a subtle point of view, we can say that at the age of 12 it is considered the end of childhood, passing to adolescence, then at the age of 24 is the beginning of maturity, as at 36 the majority.