Comparison of Western and Chinese Zodiac
1. Contrary to common belief, there is a sort of correlation between the twelve animals of Chinese Astrology and the twelve signs of the Western zodiac.
2. Western Astrology is based upon a system which uses the path of the sun through the heavens, as seen from planet Earth. It looks at the constellations which used to lie along this path, now called the Zodiac. It doesn’t matter that the constellations have since moved, the Zodiac is what Western Astrology is based upon.
3. The Chinese system focuses upon the Tzu Wei star (which correlates to the Western Pole Star) and the constellations which relate to the Tzu Wei star.
4. It’s interesting to note that Western Astrology is more concerned with psychological insights and nuances whereas Chinese Astrology is more concerned with specifics. For example, your Chinese Astrologer can very well tell you that you will have two wives or that your marriage will end in divorce or illness and he would more likely than not, mean it literally.
Modern times though, have changed the approach of some of the Chinese Astrologers. These days, they take care not to “release heavenly secrets” of the above nature and adopt some of the Western methods to ‘talk around’ an impending problem and help guide the client away from disaster while protecting heavenly secrets, lest they invite heaven’s wrath upon themselves.
While Western Astrology can’t claim to give absolute, fixed readings, Chinese Astrology can, but Chinese Astrologers know they should not especially when the forecasting of disease, accidents, deaths, and other unpleasant events can’t really help the majority of people.
The Chinese believe in fate but they also believe that fate is tied to one’s character and if one wants to change one’s fate, one has to change one’s character first. Fate can also be changed by acts of compassion and kindness. In this respect, your fate is in your hands. For those who fervently believe that God has a hand in deciding one’s fate, surely it can be argued that even God would look benevolently on those who are compassionate and kind and thus, are good vehicles to do his work for him.
5. One area where I think both Western and Chinese Astrology is similar is when they interprete charts citing the theory of Karma and how this karmic energy affects a person in a present lifetime.
6. In both Western and Chinese Astrology, the future can be seen as ‘mapped out’ if one were to continue along one’s present path. Changing one’s path then, would be literally changing one’s fate.
7. While the Chinese Astrological chart does not have a point for the Ascendant, the animal that rules the time of birth influences the personality and acts like the Ascendant sign.
8. The Moon sign in Chinese Astrology is not arrived at in the same way that it is in Western Astrology. Chinese Moon signs correspond to Western Sun signs but use a Chinese animal sign for the Moon sign and again, this acts like the Moon sign in Western Astrology. Credit must be given to Theodora Lau (The Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes) in which she shares that while looking into the Lunar calendar, she found that it is divided into twenty-four sections which were originally used as a guide for agriculture. In matching the closest dates of these twenty-four sections or stems with the Western calendar, she found that they coincide with the twelve astrological signs of the West. Thus the twelve Chinese animal signs aka Earthly Branches, are also assigned a month in the Lunar calendar. And now, we have Chinese Moon signs just as in Western Astrology.
9. Another similarity between the two systems is the designating of alternate signs as positive and negative stems. Here too similarities abound. For instance, it should be noted that the Yin or Yang only repels the similar negative or positive stem directly opposite its polarity and if one refers to the incompatibility circle, one will see that all the conflicting signs belong to the same stem. Only if the animal signs are directly across from each other is there any repelling action. And the opposite is true for the compatibility triangle. Here, one can see how three positive or negative signs can be harmonious when they are 120 ^ away from one another.
10.While Western Astrology deals with the orbits of real planets and asteriods, Chinese Astrology deals with imaginary stars and systems.
11.Transits in Western Astrology deal with the passage of these real planets and heavenly bodies through the various houses of a chart. Whereas transits in Chinese Astrology deal with what is known as the Big and Small Limits. The Big Limits are ten year periods designated to each Palace that are similar to Progressions and the Small Limits are the year to year transit indications through the Palaces.
Whether Western or Eastern, all forms of Astrology present humans with a picture, a blueprint, if you will, of our current relationship with the cosmic forces which shape and measure life. It’s been said often that Astrology presents humans with the challenging possibility of taking charge of one’s life by providing the tools and leaving us to draw our conclusions. With knowledge, we understand the various influences on our lives better and are better equipped to be masters of our own fates.
It’s also been said that Western Astrology is a Science based on fixed formulas and mathematical calculations. And that only the interpretation of the values are Art-like. Likewise, Chinese Astrology is equally exacting and scientifically evolved and the interpretations are equally considered an art form.
Astrological charts can be used for a life-time of consultations.