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Chinese Name: Shu
Fixed Element: Water
Western Sign: Sagittarius
Lucky Number: 11
Years: 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2009, 2021
THE YEAR OF THE RAT
A year of opportunity and great bounty, in which fortunes can easily be made. A time to make long-term investments. Ventures begun this year will be successful; however, it is important to avoid taking unnecessary chances or risks. Success this year depends on being prudent and discriminating; then all will go well.
THE RAT PERSONALITY
Rats are known to be hard-working and thrifty, shrewd and very adroit at handling and hanging on to their money. Alert and level-headed, they are gifted with foresight, keen intuition, and fine business acumen that is matched equally by their instinct for self-preservation. The Rat's craftiness is proverbial in China, and they always check out the terrain, marking the possible dangers and escape routes, before entering into any deal or transaction.
Although tight with their money, Rats are genuinely caring souls who do not take their relationships lightly. They are true sentimentalists who cherish their families, friends, and associates, and are prone to get entangled in others' affairs because of their strong emotional attachments. Although quiet and reserved on the surface, they are actually easily agitated and full of nervous energy, which they are able to contain, since they are not lacking in self-control. What irritates them the most is idleness and waste of time and resources, as waste in any form is contrary to their own industrious natures.
Rats are highly adaptable survivors with an innate sense of danger. They are also adept at recognizing and seizing opportunity, with little or no reservations about using confidential information or taking advantage of another's weaknesses or mistakes. They perform very well under pressure, and are often at their best when faced with a crisis.
Theirs is a charming, bright, outgoing, and highly sociable personality. They have a forthright and honest manner and enjoy parties and large gatherings. They have a remarkable eye for detail, an excellent memory, and are highly inquisitive and very good at gathering information from and about others, although they are expert guardians of their own secrets. Rats are said to make fine detectives and writers. Raymond Chandler, William Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, Charlotte Brontë, Jules Verne, Truman Capote, and James Baldwin all were born in the Year of the Rat.
The female Rat will be a paragon of thrift and frugality, forever recycling old clothes, making meals from leftovers, and stretching the family budget. However, as a mother, she finds it virtually impossible to deny her children anything. Rats of both sexes are superb homemakers and doting parents.
The time of day in which he or she is born plays a vital role in the Rat's life. A Rat born in the night will lead a more hectic life (the night being the time of rodent activity and feeding) than one born during the calm hours of daylight.
When negative, Rats can be terrible gossips and busybodies. Their greatest pitfalls will be their avarice and ambition, wanting too much too soon.
The Rat will be primarily attracted to people of the Dragon and Monkey years. Equally compatible with the Rat are people born in the years of the Ox and the Snake, as well as those born in the years of the Tiger, Dog, Boar, or Rat. Rats will come into conflict with those born in the Year of the Horse, and should avoid marrying a Rooster. A marriage with a Sheep is also ill advised.
Rat children will talk early and have very charming dispositions. He or she is very affectionate and loving, likes to eat, and loves group activities. They reveal their calculating natures very early in life. With other children, they are either nurturing or dominating. It will also be very hard to cheat them out of getting their fair share—if not the biggest portion—of the pie. They are extremely possessive of parents and friends, and can be prone to jealousy when they feel they are not being given enough attention. Rat children are avid readers, and demonstrate an uncommon precocity with the written and spoken word.
THE FIVE TYPES OF RATS
These are intensely emotional and idealistic Rats, although not as romantic as Rats of other elements. Vivid in speech and action, they advance themselves by moving among the rich and powerful. They love drama and can be both sensualists and moralists at the same time. Like all Rats, they love money but will not hoard it, as they know they can always make more. They are wise investors and most likely athletically inclined.
Water Rat—1912, 1972
These Rats are very traditional and conservative in their outlook and behavior. They have excellent insight and are skilled communicators, but may not be discriminating about whom they talk to. They are, on the other hand, calculating and shrewd, and know how to please those in a position to aid and advance them. They are very concerned with the acquisition of knowledge and higher education, and will be adept at expressing themselves via the written word.
Wood Rat—1924, 1984
Progressive and executive types of Rat who know what they want and how to get it. Security is important to them, as are their principles. Good communicators, they exude self-confidence and practical know-how and readily find support for their ventures.
Fire Rat—1936, 1996
Generous and adventurous types of Rat who are dynamic in their outlook and given to the performance of gallant and altruistic acts. Energetic and idealistic, they are independent and very competitive and do not like to feel constricted. They follow the dictates of their hearts, and their fortunes can be mercurial if they are too impulsive or impatient.
Earth Rat—1948, 2008
These practical and realistic types of Rat will mature early and are very thorough in their work. Happiness and contentment are found in order, discipline, security, and purpose. They are very concerned with their reputations and public standing. They base their actions on the tried and true, rarely taking any chances, as a result of which their fortunes increase slowly but steadily. On the negative side, they can be prone to stinginess.
INFLUENCE OF TIME OF BIRTH
The Hours of the Rat—11 P.M. to 1 A.M.
A combination that makes for a "pure" sign—a double Rat. A good writer with a charming personality who may also be somewhat egotistical.
The Hours of the Ox—1 A.M. to 3 A.M.
A very serious and plodding and cautious Rat who nonetheless still possesses the Rat's charm and appeal.
The Hours of the Tiger—3 A.M. to 5 A.M.
An aggressive overachiever who may have an imperious manner. The generous and restless Tiger will be in constant conflict with the Rat's thrifty ways.
The Hours of the Rabbit—5 A.M. to 7 A.M.
An astute, watchful, calculating, mild-mannered, and soft-spoken Rat who will be difficult to get around or defeat.
The Hours of the Dragon—7 A.M. to 9 A.M.
The Dragon's willful determination combined with the Rat's talent for making money will make this individual very successful in business. He or she will be expansive and generous, sometimes excessively so.
The Hours of the Snake—9 A.M. to 11 A.M.
A sly and charming Rat, with all of the Snake's quiet allure, sex appeal, and instinct for hidden dangers.
The Hours of the Horse—11 A.M. to 1 P.M.
A more daring Rat. The Horse's capriciousness may cause him or her to lead a dramatic and turbulent life in business as well as in love.
The Hours of the Sheep—1 P.M. to 3 P.M.
This combination is prone to be sentimental. Both signs are brilliant opportunists and expert at currying favors from those in power.
The Hours of the Monkey—3 P.M. to 5 P.M.
A less sentimental Rat with a brilliant sense of humor. An extremely enterprising combination of acute business acumen and wiliness.
The Hours of the Rooster—5 P.M. to 7 P.M.
Very intelligent and capable, but prone to be vainglorious.
The Hours of the Dog—7 P.M. to 9 P.M.
The Rat's need to accumulate wealth is in direct opposition to the Dog's humanitarian desire for openness and fair-mindedness. However, this combination can produce a writer who is a keen and authoritative social critic.
The Hours of the Boar—9 P.M. to 11 P.M.
A Rat who is greatly inhibited by the Boar's moral reluctance to take advantage of every opportunity.
THE RAT'S PROSPECTS IN COMING YEARS
The Year of the Boar—2007
Excessive demands are made on the Rat's time and money, and business progress is slow. Illnesses could develop complications, and there is the possibility of the loss of money or belongings. A time for the Rat to be on guard and consolidate.
The Year of the Rat—2008
Naturally, a very prosperous year, that will be marked by promotions, achievement, and unexpected gains.
The Year of the Ox—2009
A year filled with more than the usual burdens and responsibilities, but there are indirect benefits gleaned from the good fortune of others.
The Year of the Tiger—2010
Not a good year for any speculative venture. The Rat may be forced to act against better judgment, and there is the possibility of the loss of a family member or close associate.
The Year of the Rabbit—2011
Although this is a calm and quiet year, the Rat must be careful with money. He or she will make new contacts in business, and there is the possibility of adding new members to the family.
The Year of the Dragon—2012
A most auspicious year for the Rat, with excellent prospects in both business and romance.
The Year of the Snake—2013
Illness or financial loss could cast a pall over the first half of this year, but the Rat's luck will return as the year draws to a close.
The Year of the Horse—2014
This is a difficult year, as the Horse stands in direct opposition to the Rat. The Rat could become entangled in lawsuits or be forced into debt if he or she is not careful, and their love lives could also suffer.
The Year of the Sheep—2015
Opportunities present themselves to the Rat this year. The Rat is able to realize some financial success or career gains, although these will involve a certain degree of change or upheaval if they are to be implemented.
The Year of the Monkey—2016
A good year with no serious troubles. The Rat should assiduously refrain from breaking any friendships or partnerships in the Monkey year, as the future repercussions will prove unavoidable.
The Year of the Rooster—2017
All sorts of celebrations are in store for the Rat this year—new partnerships, marriage, business success. A hectic but very good year in which Rats must be careful to avoid injury, as they will be distracted by their busy schedules.
The Year of the Dog—2018
Bad luck comes in threes this year, and the Rat may be unable to act in any way to influence the outcome.
SOME FAMOUS RATS
Louis Armstrong, Lauren Bacall, James Baldwin, Marlon Brando, Charlotte Brontë, Truman Capote, Jimmy Carter, Raymond Chandler, Prince Charles, Maurice Chevalier, Aaron Copland, Doris Day, Gerard Depardieu, Richard Dreyfuss, Keir Dullea, Albert Finney, Jane Fonda, Clarke Gable, Dennis Hopper, Pope John Paul II, Philip Kaufman, Gene Kelly, Machiko Kyo, T. E. Lawrence (Lawrence of Arabia), Henry Mancini, Lee Marvin, Harpo Marx, Thom Mount, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Sidney Poitier, Jackson Pollock, Juliette Prowse, Yves St. Laurent, George Sand, Rod Serling, William Shakespeare, Leo Tolstoy, Spencer Tracy, Jules Verne.
Chinese Name: Niú
Fixed Element: Water
Western Sign: Capricorn
Color: Dark blue
Birthstone: Lapis lazuli
Lucky number: 1
Years of the Ox: 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021
THE YEAR OF THE OX
A year in which success can only be achieved through diligence and conscientious effort, while politics and diplomacy are treated with indifference at best. The conservative Ox favors discipline and traditional ways. Conflicts can arise as a result of miscommunication and inflexibility or stubbornness. Gains will be made this year, but only through conventional methods and not without hard work.
THE OX PERSONALITY
A person born in the Year of the Ox will be calm, reliable, and patient. While they are often stubborn and biased, they are also resolute and fearless. They are traditional and methodical and adhere to fixed patterns of thought and behavior. This makes them appear predictable and unimaginative. The sturdy and dutiful Oxen do not rely on luck or guile. Their accomplishments are all the result of sheer tenacity and plodding and systematic determination. They possess a quiet dignity and a strong moral sense, and are generally respected and liked for their honesty, rectitude, and lack of pretension. They are super-self-reliant, loath to ask others for help, and never resort to unfair means to attain their goals. They build things to last, including their families, and will work diligently to ensure the continued survival and prosperity of their offspring. As providers and heads of their households, their word is law, and they will not tolerate insolence or rebellion, although they are extremely proud of their families and care for them a great deal. The government of the People's Republic of China was established in 1949, the Year of the Earth Ox. Since then China has progressed slowly and steadily through hard work and dedication to her people, while at the same time dissidence, questioning, and protest have been met with authoritarian intolerance. Mao Tse-tung, a Snake, achieved victory in the Year of the Ox; Ox and Snake are found together in the Triangle of Affinity.
An Ox born during the day will be more aggressive and active than one born at night, while a winter Ox will have a harder life than one born in the summer.
Oxen have strong constitutions and are rarely sick. They are proud and uncompromising and disdainful of weakness. When negative, they can lack compassion and be unapproachable, rigid, and narrow-minded.
Oxen can be naive and awkward in matters of the heart. Their practical, down-to-earth nature has little sense of the refinements of romance and seduction, and they cannot fully understand the snares and enticements of love. Because of their traditional ways, both Ox men and women will insist on long courtships. Both are slow to open up and reveal their true feelings, but once committed they are steadfast and responsible.
Ox women, like all Oxen, are practical, no-nonsense types who run their households according to a strict regimen and see to it that all tasks are performed thoroughly and dutifully. They may not be particularly demonstrative with their affections, but they make ideal partners: honest, reliable, and hardworking.
Oxen have long and detailed memories and can nurture grievances for many years. A wounded Ox can become sullen and morose, and one who has suffered disappointment in love may become a brooding and solitary soul and withdraw into his or her work as a defense against ever being hurt again. On the other hand, they will insist on always settling their accounts. No debts will be left unpaid or favors unrewarded. There will be no great verbal displays—words mean little to the practical Ox; it's action that counts.
Because of their legendary patience, Oxen are slow to anger, but when they do get angry, watch out. They are charging bulls—or buffalo—impossible to reckon with or withstand. Do not try to be a matador; you'll only get gored. Simply keep out of their way until they have calmed down.
The resplendent and flamboyant Rooster makes the best mate for the Ox, filling their lives with color and light. They both have a high regard for authority, efficiency, and duty. The serene and prudent Snake and the indefatigable and sympathetic Rat make equally good partners, and love the Ox for his or her sturdiness and reliability. Another Ox, Rabbit, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, and Boar will also be compatible. An Ox will experience bitter clashes with the rebellious Tiger and the fickle Sheep, and the Dog may find them dull, slow, humorless, and set in their ways.
Ox children are characteristically stoic and tough. They are inclined to talk late, use physical means to settle their arguments, and be adamant about the preservation of their privacy. These children welcome discipline and fixed routines, which gives them a much-needed sense of security. Having a taciturn and serious nature, they do not readily show their feelings, nor are they inclined to joke around. They are extremely naive about the ways of the world and in this regard require the advice and protection of their elders. They have remarkable patience and perseverance, and are reliable and responsible.
Excerpted from Simple Chinese Astrology by DAMIAN SHARP. Copyright © 2006 Damian Sharp. Excerpted by permission of Red Wheel/Weiser LLC.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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Foreword by Suzanne White
The Fascinating World of Chinese Astrology
one The Rat
two The Ox
three The Tiger
four The Rabbit
five The Dragon
six The Snake
seven The Horse
eight The Sheep
nine The Monkey
ten The Rooster
eleven The Dog
twelve The Boar
General Outlook 2007—2020
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