Chinese New Year Zodiac Chart Components

Celebrate the New Year!
Celebrate the New Year!

Most people don't know it, but there is so much more to the Chinese New Year zodiac chart than their astrological animal signs. Learn about the individual components and how they can influence your life.

The Chinese New Year Zodiac Chart Layout

Some people know the Chinese astrological sign they were born under, but when studied more closely, the Chinese New Year zodiac chart reveals the very essence of a person's natural characteristics. The chart is actually circular, and that circle is divided into three main parts:

The Outer Ring

This thin ring contains the five elements:

  • Fire
  • Metal
  • Water
  • Wood
  • Earth

The Middle Ring

This ring contains the twelve Chinese astrological signs:

  • Pig
  • Rat
  • Ox
  • Tiger
  • Rabbit
  • Dragon
  • Snake
  • Horse
  • Goat
  • Monkey
  • Rooster
  • Dog

The Inner Circle

The inner circle of a Chinese New Year zodiac chart is divided into 12 parts. Each part is either black or white. White represents sunlight and masculine Yang energy, while the black represents moonlight and feminine Yin energy.

Examining the Elements

The five elements in the Chinese zodiac chart are interrelated with one another and can be either productive, often referred to as an affinity relationship, or destructive, often referred to as an enmity relationship.

Productive (Affinity) Relationships

  • Water and wood: Water helps wood to grow.
  • Wood and fire: Wood needs fire to burn and provide heat.
  • Fire and Earth: Fire produces ash and dust, which are considered Earth elements. It is easier to think of the concept in terms of forest regrowth after a fire. The fire destroys the vegetation, creating ash. This ash is extremely nutrient rich, so when it rains, these nutrients are absorbed by the earth and new vegetation grows much more quickly than what is considered normal.
  • Earth and metal: Earth forms metal.
  • Metal and water: Metal holds water.

Destructive (Enmity) Relationships

  • Water and fire: Water puts out fire and the heat from a fire evaporates water.
  • Wood and Earth: Wood breaks the Earth and earth covers and buries wood.
  • Fire and metal: Fire can destroy metal by melting it, but the fire may not be hot enough to melt the metal and it can go out before the metal is completely melted.
  • Earth and water: Earth absorbs water and water can cover the Earth.
  • Metal and wood: Metal cuts and destroys wood, though wood can dull the metal before it is destroyed.

More About Yin and Yang

Not only is each astrological sign in the Chinese New Year zodiac chart ruled by an element, they are also ruled by either Yin or Yang. There are "Yin" years and "Yang" years for each Chinese zodiac astrological sign. The 12 signs of the Chinese zodiac are assigned one of the five elements and are either Yin or Yang in nature. The zodiac symbol that represents the Yin of an element will portray personality characteristics that are more subtle and subdued, while the Yang of an element will portray characteristics that are more pronounced and at times, aggressive.

To make this concept a little easier to remember, Yin years are even and Yang years are odd.

Naturally Yang Signs

  • Rat:1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996 and 2008.
  • Tiger: 1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 and 2010.
  • Dragon: 1904, 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 and 2012.
  • Horse: 1906, 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002 and 2014.
  • Monkey: 1908, 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004 and 2016.
  • Dog: 1910, 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006 and 2018.

Naturally Yin Signs

  • Ox: 1901, 1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997 and 2009.
  • Rabbit: 1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011.
  • Snake: 1905, 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001 and 2013.
  • Sheep: 1907, 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003 and 2015.
  • Rooster: 1909, 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005 and 1917.
  • Pig: 1911, 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007 and 2019.

Tying All the Info Together

The Yin, Yang and element of your personal Chinese zodiac chart animal is dependent upon the year in which you were born, but even if two people share the same Chinese astrological sign, it does not necessarily mean that they are compatible when the elements come into play. To help explain further, here are a few examples.

Example One

A person born in 1938 and a person born in 1974, are both Tiger's, but the person born in 1938 is an Earth Tiger and the person born in 1974 is a Wood Tiger. Although this Tiger/Tiger relationship is not by itself destructive, the fact that it is an Earth/Wood relationship can make things because Earth and wood have the ability to destroy one another. In this example, the Yin and Yang do not come into play in this relationship because the Tiger is a naturally Yin zodiac animal.

Example Two

A person born after February 6, 1970 is a Metal Dog and a person born after February 19, 1939 is an Earth Rabbit. This relationship is considered a positive or affinity relationship because Earth helps to shape and form metal. For this example Yin and Yang do come into play, but the Yin Dog and the Yang Rabbit work to balance each other out because this is a productive relationship.

Visit the website in order to find out the element related to your Chinese zodiac sign as it relates specifically to the day and year in which you were born.

In the end, all of the components of the Chinese zodiac chart combine to influence every individual's personality. You can use this information to guide you through relationships with family, romantic interests and even your supervisor at work. Use this ancient Chinese wisdom to affect your own destiny.

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Chinese New Year Zodiac Chart Components