Chinese Astrology

In 2023, get ready for the Year of the Yin Water Rabbit!

Your Chinese sign or animal is determined by the year of your birthday. The only catch is that the ‘year’ in this regard is the year according to the Chinese lunar calendar, rather than according to the western or Gregorian calendar. While there are a number of different dates used to determine Chinese New Year, some associated with the December solstice, others with New Moon in Aquarius, the most widely used date for Chinese New Year, especially as it relates to astrology and Feng Shui, is the mid-way point between the December 20 solstice and the March 21 equinox. This date is usually February 4.

If your birthday is from January 1-February 4, your Chinese animal sign will be the one of the preceding year. In popular Chinese astrology, your animal sign is determined by your year of birth, rather than the month. A more detailed Chinese astrology reading will determine your four main Chinese animals — one for your year, month, day and time of birth. In this feature, we’ll focus on the widely used ‘sign of the year’ format.

Look up your birth year below to determine your Chinese sign. Remember, if your birthday is earlier in the calendar year than February 4, you will need to look up the animal for the year preceding your birth. For example, if you were born on January 10, 1979, you would actually look up the animal ruling in 1978, which is the Chinese year that governs your birthday (it runs from February 4, 1978-February 4, 1979)

Rat: 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

The lively Rat is energetic, restless and creative. Rats are active at night and as a Rat you may be more productive at night rather than during the day. Rats are respected for their quick thinking, open-minded and honest manner. You may benefit from interacting with a practical partner who can help you bring some of your exciting and abundant ideas to fruition. You may struggle with focus or follow through, preferring to always be darting around between projects. If you have the flexibility to create your own schedule at work, you’ll find you excel at being able to work according to your own rhythms, rather than according to the schedules of others. All kinds of communication fields appeal as you have a talent for both speaking and writing, and you may make a great teacher. Travel and learning are wonderful pastimes for you. Others may appreciate your spot-on advice — you can come up with a solution to almost anything and are inherently resourceful.


1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

The Ox is associated with the last month of winter, and the work required to prepare for the growing season ahead. As an Ox, you too are comfortable doing the hard work needed to prepare for future success. You are diligent and stable and others love how reliable you are. You are tolerant with others, though you will be firm about sticking to your own beliefs and ideas. You provide strength and stability to those around you and prefer to create routines you can stick with. Your solid nature can mean you’re sometimes stubborn. Your energy may be contained and you find it easy to focus, as you don’t like to waste time. You may prefer to stick with what you know rather than make changes. Your matter-of-fact approach means you like to deal in the realm of the real world.

Professions that involve land, buildings or being outside may appeal. You may prefer privacy but will likely have a hidden romantic streak. Others love how loyal and fair you are. You have a sense of purpose and stick with things to the end.


1950, 1962, 1974, 1986,1998, 2010

The Tiger’s links to authority, royalty and luxury make this a popular sign. The Tiger is considered to be the animal in charge and is born to lead rather than obey. The Tiger rules the first month of the Chinese year, which is also the first month of spring, and so has a natural skill for leadership. If you are a Tiger, you also have a strong determination to succeed as well as a healthy sense of competitiveness. The Tiger easily attracts admirers and is blessed with charisma. Interesting, quick-witted and lively, a Tiger makes a great conversationalist. Others may follow your lead or look to you for guidance. Having such a strong sense of self and being primed for success means others may at times feel resentful of you. Your desire to be the leader means you may naturally fall into that role. At times you may unwittingly step on others’ toes. Tradition appeals and established careers may be your best fit, though you will enjoy helping others improve their fortunes too. The more diplomacy and tact you can develop, the smoother your rise to a high position will be. Tigers are considered magnetic and irresistible, and respected for the warm and engaging leadership style. Others love your courage and bravery.


1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

The Rabbit is associated with the blossoming energy of fertile spring and represents new life. The Rabbit has special affinity with children and anyone in need of nurturing and protection. The Rabbit is associated with the wood element and can indicate an interest in herbal medicines, or a love of working with plants, flowers or in gardens. If you are a Rabbit you might be drawn to express this caring energy through a healing profession. The strong focus on children may inspire you to make sacrifices on behalf of your children. Rabbits prefer the early morning. You may excel at working through diplomatic channels, or enjoy working quietly in the background. Your understanding of manners and decorum can help you attract favourable attention, and you may be friendly with a wide variety of people. You may be persuasive and will be protective of anyone in your care who appear to be threatened or at risk. A calm, peaceful or tranquil setting, at home and at work, will suit you best.


1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

As the only mythical creature amongst the 12 Chinese animals, there is a magical quality to the Dragon. In Chinese mythology, the dragon was not something to be feared; rather it was respected for its power and ability to bestow riches and rewards. As a dragon, you may have an exotic or otherworldly quality. Theatre and dramatic performances may appeal for the spectacle they provide. Dragons are associated with wealth, but your fortunes may fluctuate or disappear as easily as they arrive, especially if you have a weakness for gambling or speculation, which you should avoid. Excitement follows you almost everywhere, which keeps life fun but can create tension with family or at home. You may thrive on a challenge, or want to live a full or over-the-top life. Others may respect your passionate nature, ambition and confidence. Even though you have an abundance of energy and drive, you will do well when you have a partner — in your personal life or at work — to help guide and focus your talents.


1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Far from being a creature associated with mischief, the snake is revered as a spiritual animal that represents magic and mystery. If you are a Snake, you may be sensuous, graceful and able to glide along effortlessly. As a Snake, having time to sit quietly is one of life’s luxuries, so try to arrange this regularly, like every day if not at least once a week. You may be especially observant, or able to sense when there are secrets or hidden motives. Snakes are vigilant and always watching, never missing the subtext or underlying meaning behind current events. You may excel at information gathering or have great attention to detail. Anything that involves research or investigative work may appeal. You might be budget conscious, but willing to splurge on the occasional luxury. Truth and honesty are important, though you may hold onto what you know and are more likely to be a private person. As a Snake you may be wise or analytical, and others may love your easy-going or intuitive side.


1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

The ancient association of the Horse with midday means the Horse is also connected to the Sun, an inherently masculine symbol. This can bestow gifts of physical strength, a fascination with wanting to move quickly or a desire to outshine others. The Horse is associated with socialising and teamwork. If you are male and a Horse, you may hold traditional views or values about the role of men and women, especially in relationships. If you are female and a horse, you may want to make an equal contribution in all areas of life. The Horse is associated with leadership, which means you may be drawn to the political life, or seek involvement in a community cause or committee. You will also always want to “lead the parade”. You may be stubborn, especially about your personal views. The need to belong, especially to a wider social network, may mean you make choices based on what you think will be most acceptable, however you are loyal and a friend for life. You might be strong-willed, but you are a hard worker and others will appreciate your friendly nature and wit.


1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Associated with the Moon, the sheep is an inherently feminine animal. The Chinese hold that since a flock of sheep is full of ewes, the sheep rules over everything to do with marriage, motherhood and family. If you are a sheep, stability will be important and you may crave companionship. You may be close to your extended family, or have a strong desire to have a family of your own. The trusting and loving nature of the Sheep can sometimes be taken advantage of, so you may need to learn to develop better boundaries or stronger defences. If you are upset or do get hurt, you may let things simmer, especially if you feel resentful, for some time before expressing your feelings. Try to develop confidence to express yourself as soon as you feel upset to avoid outbursts or dramatic choices. Even if you enjoy travel, you may prefer the simple things in life. Others may appreciate your dependable and nurturing nature.


1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

As a Monkey, you are likely good with your hands, but you also have great communication skills and are good with words. Your ability to talk yourself out of anything is second to none and since Monkeys can be mischievous, this is a helpful skill to have. You have a bright mind and sharp wit and can be fun and energetic. You enjoy socialising and may be the life of the party. You are always on the go and like variety. Money may fluctuate for you but you always have a back-up plan. You don’t rest much and instead prefer to swing from project to project or adventure to adventure, just like the Monkey swings between the branches of a tree. You may be restless or impatient, which can create some challenges in your family or home life. Developing patience, especially with others, can help improve relationships. You do look to solve problems and your mental dexterity means you can often conjure up a solution that was out of reach to others. You are eager to learn, but can get swept up in fantasy. As a Monkey you are bright and intelligent. Chinese astrologer and author Shelly Wu says, “The monkey is a wonderful salesperson who can sell sand to the Arabs, and has the most convincing, delightful and humorous personality. Monkeys are so hyper you need a pair of roller skates to keep up with them!”


1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

The rooster is connected to the west and the setting sun and is associated with coming home at the end of the day. As a rooster, you may like to relax and unwind, but try to do so through healing ways, like exercise, rather than with wine. West is linked to metal and coins, showing you may have an affinity with business, commerce and trade. In addition, as the rooster is a yin or feminine sign, you may be especially drawn to fields associated with topics of interest to women. As a Rooster you share some of the success and leadership traits of the Tiger, which can be helpful for getting ahead in business. Roosters are often blessed with intuition, which is a strength in fields where interacting with others is important. You may be direct in your speech, and sometimes talk more than you listen. You may be observant, and are also loyal and trustworthy. You may make a great host or hostess. Others may love how approachable and honest you are, and you may have a colourful personality. Your enthusiasm helps you make a positive impression, especially at work. Education may be important and can help you develop your inherent intelligence.


1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006

As a Dog, you will be loyal and focused on safety and security, especially of your home and loved ones. The Dog is respected for his dutiful nature and his protective qualities. You might prefer a smaller social circle but you are faithful to those in your inner circle. Family celebrations may be especially heart-warming for you as the Dog loves to gather loved ones together. The watchful nature of the Dog may mean you like to maintain your home, and ensure it is physically safe and strong. This can indicate talents in a career connected to building or in real estate. Home ownership may also be important, but you may want to upgrade every few years when possible. Like the Dog who enjoys being outside, you too will benefit from getting out to see the world around you, especially wide-open spaces. As a Dog you are compassionate, faithful and sincere, and others love how supportive you are. Your strong moral compass means you’re always there for friends or family in need. In Chinese astrology, the Dog is considered the most humanitarian and likeable for all signs.


1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007

The Pig is connected to all the positive qualities of family and has the nicest character of the all the signs. A comfortable home will be important to you, and with your warm friendly nature you will always have your door open for friends and loved ones. Contentment and security are important to you if you are a Pig, and you will want your living or work space to be well furnished, not with the latest fashions in mind but to offer maximum comfort. Your industrious nature means you can afford some of life’s little luxuries, but when you’re at home you will want to switch off completely from work. Your sweet, kind and charitable qualities may mean you sometimes get taken advantage of. If you notice that’s a problem, you may need to develop firmer boundaries with any repeated requests for help. As the last sign, the Pig is connected to completion and finishing things off. Starting afresh may take effort, but you are great at following through once you do get started. Your modest manner means others may underestimate your skills. Your helpful nature means you may enjoy getting involved in a local school or community project. Pigs are respected for their sincere, genuine and chivalrous nature and are considered a “rare gem” amongst the signs.

Dean French

Dean French

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