The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes

The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes

by Theodora Lau


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780285640467
Publisher: Souvenir Press
Publication date: 10/28/2011
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

THEODORA LAU has authored The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, Best-Loved Chinese Proverbs,
The Chinese Horoscopes Guide to Relationships, and Chinese Horoscopes for Your Child. First
published in 1979, Theodora's book The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes has been translated into over 17 languages and have introduced many topics of Chinese culture to readers all over the world. She was born in
Shanghai and later moved to southern California with her husband, Kenneth Lau, whose calligraphy and woodcut illustrations adorn the pages of the book.
LAURA LAU, Theodora Lau's daughter, lives in Los Angeles.

Read an Excerpt

The First Signof the Lunar Cycle

The Rat

I am the self-proclaimed acquisitor.

I am a link yet I function as

a complete unit.

I aim at encompassing heights

and strike my target,

sure and steady.

Life is one joyous journey for me.

Each search must end with a new quest.

I am progress, exploration and insight.

I am the womb of activity.

I Am the Rat.

If you were born on the day before the start of the lunar year of the Rat, e.g., 27th January 1960, your animal sign is the one before the Rat, the Boar, the twelfth lunar sign.

If you were born on the day after the last day of lunar year of the Rat, e.g., 15th February l961, then your sign is the one after Rat, the Ox, the second lunar sign.

The sign of the Rat rules the two-hour segment of the day from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. This period of time closes the day at midnight as well as heralds in a new day. Persons born during this two-hour segment are said to have the Rat sign as their ascendant and will display many of the characteristics peculiar to this sign and have great affinity for persons born under this sign.

The direction appointed to the Rat is directly north; its season is winter and its principle month, December. The Rat corresponds to the Western astrological sign of Sagittarius which rules winter from November 22nd to December 21st. Water is its fixed element and the Rat has a positive stem or is considered a yang or male sign.

The Rat Personality

The charm and innovative personality of the Rat is legendary. He did not become the first sign of the cycle without good reason. I have woven a tale about how this might have come topass. According to my story, when the Lord Buddha gave out the summons for all the animals to come to him before he departed the Earth, he entrusted the rat with the mission to get the word around. It is entirely possible that the Rooster was also chosen to announce the same message and both did their utmost to reach as many of their fellow beasts as possible. The Rooster worked days and did most of its crowing during the sunlight hours while the Rat worked during the night. In its intense diligence to round up as many animals as possible, the Rooster was delayed and the 10th animal to arrive. After the Rooster came the Dog and lastly, the Boar.

One can imagine the Rat rushing about with the good news. He went from place to place, encouraging all the other animals to meet the Buddha at the appointed time and place. However, being the resourceful and practical animal that it is, the Rat decided to save energy by asking for a ride from other animals since it was tired from running about conveying the Great Sage's invitation. And, he certainly did not want to be late.

Knowing the Horse was the swiftest of the lot, the Rat tried to get a free ride from it. But the temperamental Horse would have none of it. Fiercely independent and proud, the Horse decided that no one could tell it what to do and when to do it. There was plenty of time to trot to the appointment when it was ready. It told the Rat to get a ride somewhere else. From that time on, the Rat and the Horse never got along. The Rat thought the Horse was selfish and thoughtless while the Horse felt that the clever Rat was too manipulative and demanding.

Nonetheless, the Rat was too intelligent to be discouraged for long and used its wits again. This time it approached the sturdy and kind-hearted Ox who was more than happy to carry the little Rat on its back. Furthermore, the dutiful Ox was early for the appointment and therefore the first animal to arrive on the scene. But, when the Lord Buddha said he was going to honor the Ox by naming it the first sign of the lunar cycle, the Rat jumped down from the Ox's back and claimed that privilege. The Ox did not oppose the Rat as it felt the Rat had done more than its fair share by bringing the news to all the animals. So the Buddha justly conferred the esteemed first place and leadership of the lunar cycle to the crafty Rat. This was how the Rat got its free ride and also got to be number one.

The Rat can be forthright, inquisitive and intrusive but always in such a disarmingly honest way that we find ourselves at a disadvantage. It is in business that this sign really excels. I remember seeing a young man in the streets of London one summer promoting some security or time-saving gadget. He presented quite a novel image of himself and his wares, but above all else, everyone noticed the T-shirt he had on. It read: "Be Alert! England needs Lerts!" That sense of humor combined with keen business acumen summarizes the Rat's inborn entrepreneurial sense. Yes, the Rat is always alert to any opportunity for making money.

Remarkably easy to get along with, hard working and thrifty, he will be generous only to those he is inordinately fond of, so if you get an expensive gift from him, you know he holds you in high esteem. Yet, in spite of his penny-pinching ways, the Rat will never be found wanting for admirers as he emits such fantastic appeal.

On the surface, some Rats may appear reserved, even placid, but they are never as quiet as they may seem. Something is always going on inside that sharp mind. Actually, the Rat is easily agitated but able to maintain self-control, which explains why he is so popular and has such a multitude of friends.

The Rat person is usually a bright, fun-loving and sociable character. Occasionally, you may come across a supercritical or grouchy, fault-finding one. But on the whole, he enjoys parties and other large gatherings. He will endeavor to join exclusive clubs and as a rule can be found in a close circle of friends or fellow conspirators. He is very outgoing and likes getting involved. How else is he going to be in the thick of things and amass all that information he has about everyone?

The Rat really cherishes his friends, associates and family relations; at times he gets hopelessly tangled in other people's affairs because he cannot easily rid himself of strong emotional attachments once he makes them. His capacity to love can only be overruled by his shrewdness and love of money.

A Rat boss may demonstrate great concern about whether his employees are getting enough exercise or eating a balanced diet. In his heart, he sincerely cares about their welfare; he will visit them when they are sick and make their problems his problems. Yet when it comes to giving them that well-deserved raise, he will hedge and be a little stingy. A lot of arm twisting and collective bargaining is needed when it comes to parting a Rat from his money.

The Rat lady may continually amaze you by being a model of frugality. She is forever distributing old clothes, recycling toys, buying or selling secondhand items, and stretching meals, leftovers and the budget until the family could scream. However, she may not care to apply these same penny-pinching standards when dealing with her precious offspring. If her children know how to get around her, she will find it hard to deny them anything. Rat people are rarely tightwads where their loved ones are concerned. Strange how every time a Rat mother cuts a cake, her child will get the largest slice, no matter whose birthday it is. Rat females are also voted most likely to recycle a Christmas gift, which gives new meaning to the saying: What goes around, comes around.

Rats are by nature decidedly clannish. Maybe there is some truth about safety in numbers. The Rat never worries about having another mouth to feed and will allow his relatives, in-laws and friends to stick around his house and live off him. Why? Because the crafty Rat will always find something for them to do to earn their keep. Laggards, professional bums and freeloaders will all get put to work swiftly in his household. Charity has its limits. Trust the efficient and practical Rat.

The Rat native keeps his own secrets well but he can be an expert at weeding other people's gardens. He has few qualms about using vital confidential information or capitalizing on the mistakes of others. Trust him to investigate stock tips and follow through on privileged information. What do you mean, insider trading? That couldn't possibly apply to him. After all, one certainly cannot expect the Rat to ignore opportunity's knock, especially when his ear is glued to the door so much of the time! A wink, a nod, or the tiniest move of an eyebrow is all you need to signal the Rat that something's afoot. He will track it all the way to its source.

As much as the Rat likes to camouflage or hide his feelings, one can always tell when he is upset. He becomes edgy, curt and impertinent. Some may even become absolute nags. Inefficiency, idleness, waste and tardiness go against his active and industrious nature and cause him to harp at the subject of his displeasure until things are done right. The Rat loves to run the show and everyone and everything had better look sharp under his stewardship. The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, 4th Edition. Copyright © by Theodora Lau. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
SusanIrene More than 1 year ago
The 7th edition only covers years 2011 to 2014. It is most useful for those years. Every few years I bought the new edition. 2015 and the next few years are not included. Has she stopped updating her editions? Then this is no longer useful to me.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Walks in.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Cages and chains all over.
TheDainty1ne More than 1 year ago
Must have reference for you collection
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WitchdoctorFL More than 1 year ago
Have the previous edition and bought this one for updates on more recent years. Theodora Lau provides remarkable insight to Chinese Astrology which I find to be rather accurate. I prefer her perspective to other books as she presents information very clearly and provides more insight than other books I have looked at. Just gave my copy to a friend and plan to buy another copy because I find the information to be amazingly true. Have to admit, the Chinese have been around a long time, and somehow they have been able to characterize human characteristics very well based on their form of astrology. I find it far more accurate than our american version. It is amazing. If you never looked at Chines Astrology, Theodora Lau is the author you want to provide you with great insight.
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Sihana More than 1 year ago
This book is very interesting. I used it to compare to the birthdays of my family and friends and it is fascinating that the descriptions of the personalities fit everyone exactly. If you want a book to complement western astrology then this book is the one. It has a preface that explains aspects of chinese astrology so you know what the meanings are when you are reading the book. It even has a part at the end that tells you when the best time to get married is for each sign....(I wish I had this book before I had gotten married). I would recommend this book for your leisure time and to put on your coffee table as a good conversation starter.
MaKai More than 1 year ago
I have had to replace my copy of this book several times. My friends love to come over and read it and it has sparked many interesting conversations. I collect books on prognostication and this one is better than most.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
Why do publishers do this? Reprint the same book with a different cover. I am one of those readers who was duped into buying this book a second time. When I realized that it was a reprint of my perfectly good 4th edition, I felt cheated. This is shameless marketing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have many books on this subject & on other subjects similar to this.So many that when I choose a book my main point of interest is detail & the ability to keep me interested.This is one of those books.No matter how much I thought I got out of it the first time I read through it;I get more information out of it the second,third time...etc.There's always something I missed the first time or overlooked,therefore I learn something new each time I pick it up.That is what I constitute as a good book.Something that refreshes my memory or enhances my perception every time I choose to reread it.Which tells me that it was an investment of information as opposed to a waste of my time.I've had this book for a few years & if I ever lost it,I would have to purchase it again because of the value of information & knowledge it shares.
Guest More than 1 year ago
In depth and easy to use. Offers a lot of good information and is quite interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
i recieved this book as a gift. this is the most informative chinese astrology book i have come across. i have had many hours of reading, over and over, its accurate and amusing :)
Guest More than 1 year ago
I was given the third edition of this book as a gift and was amazed by it. I, as a person who believes in the Chinese Zodiac, am impressed by the work of Theodora. I have read many books on the studies of the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac and no one has ever gotten close to the roots and origins as Theodora has.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the best book I've read on Chinese Horoscope. I've had this book for over 10 years and have constantly brought an updated version because all my friends keep borrowing it and keeping it for themselves. The introduction of the book is extremely important. Most people just read their horoscope based on the animal they are under, but not realizing that their are many factors that will influence their personality. It's described in the front of the book. For example, your year, month, hour and even place of birth will influence your personality. You may be born under the year of the Boar, but if your month, hour and place of birth is ruled by the Rat, you will have some personality trait of the Rat. Finding elements of fire, water, wood, earth and metal that influences your personality is also very important. This book describes all of these as part of the introduction of this book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Take a few minutes to read how to use this book and it will be well worth it. Lots of fun and excitement as well as many options to read about yourself and others
Guest More than 1 year ago
Pretty good analysis of the animal signs but it doesn't tie everytthing together. It left me confused. I was disappointed when I read my own animal sign. Not enough like me to be accurate.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The fourth edition of this book has numerous errors and gives you the feeling it was mindlessly compiled from earlier editions. Further, it lacks many of the fundamentals of Chinese Astrology, instead telling the reader that part will be covered in 'an upcoming book' none of which have yet been published. At times the author seems to contradict herself. Undoubtedly, the first edition of this book was much better. Rather than update this book the author would have done the reader a service by publishing the promised books.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've had this book for 5 years & have used it's information in many facets of my life. Quite often I look up my freinds/family/co-workers in the book to read a profile provided. When I share passages, I am confident that each person will confirm the validity of their description. Two useful tools that I use regularly from the book include: the sage advice concerning how I will fair in coming years, and the overall compatablility of sign combinations -not just in love, but moreso with family, friends, co-workers, & aquaintences. I feel I've developed useful insights through the writings. I must add, that Theodora Lau is brilliant in her careful choice of words. She doesn't want to be vague (like a lot of astrology can be) but rather her words are maticulously chosen!