Zodiac Signs

Who Is Your Astro Twin in The Chinese Zodiac?

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When we refer to “the” zodiac, many of us don’t realize we are speaking of a mostly Western astrological system. Although what we call “the” zodiac originated in Middle Eastern countries such as Mesopotamia and spread to India, the modern system of revolving months and symbols that starts with Aries and ends with Pisces was perfected in ancient Greece, the cradle of Western Civilization.

What’s far less known is that the Far East has its own astrological system that is generally referred to as the “Chinese zodiac.”

The twelve Chinese (or, if you prefer, Eastern) zodiac signs are, in order: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

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Many Westerners’ first exposure to the Chinese zodiac comes from eating at Chinese restaurants where paper placemats explain the system while you’re tapping your fingers on the table and waiting for your egg rolls and wonton soup.

Although it originated in China, this astrological system spread throughout other Far Eastern countries such as Japan, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Singapore. Non-Chinese traditions will often swap out some animals for others. For example, Koreans use a Sheep instead of a Goat, whereas the Vietnamese replace the Rabbit with a Cat and a Water Buffalo for the Ox.

Differences Between the Western and Chinese (or Eastern) Zodiac

While the Western zodiac is arranged around a revolving cycle of 12 months, the Chinese zodiac is arranged around a repeating cycle of 12 birth years.

The Western zodiac uses the solar calendar and begins with Aries, the sign that launches along with the Spring Equinox. The Chinese zodiac uses the lunar calendar, in which the New Year starts at the second new moon after the Winter Solstice.

All of the Chinese zodiac signs are based on animals, whereas only seven of the Western zodiac signs are symbolized by animals (Ram, Bull, Crab, Lion, Scorpion, Goat, and Fish).

Western signs are arranged according to four elements: Fire, Air, Earth, and Water. Eastern signs correspond to five elements. They share Fire, Earth and Water with the Western signs but swap out Air for Metal and Wood.

Although Chinese astrology is based on observations of the lunar calendar, its signs are not tied to specific astral constellations as in Western astrology. Instead, the animals are derived from an ancient myth about a “Great Race” across a river in which the twelve animals either try to outsmart one another or cooperate to get to the other riverbank.

Similarities Between the Western and Chinese Zodiac

Just like the Western zodiac, your Chinese zodiac sign is believed to influence your overall personality and compatibility with others.

Each Western sign has a twin or a mirror in the East, and experts in both Western and Chinese astrology generally agree as to which one this is. The correlations are based on their ruling planets. They are also organized around Jupiter’s placement during each of the twelve years in the Chinese cycle: For example, Jupiter usually spends the Year of the Rat in Sagittarius, the Year of the Ox in Capricorn, etc.

Mind you, this list merely matches up the personality traits of Western zodiac signs with the comparable Chinese zodiac sign. Since the Chinese calendar is different from the Western calendar, and considering the fact that the West uses months while the East uses years, the signs don’t always match up neatly. If you’d like to find your actual sign in the Chinese zodiac, you can go here and enter your birth date.

Whew, that was a long introduction! Without further ado (the egg rolls and wonton soup are on their way), here is your “Zodiac Twin” in the Chinese Zodiac…

Aries: The Dragon

Ruling planet: Mars, domain of warriors.

During the Great Race, the Dragon used its ample reserves of strength to help weaker animals cross the river. Just like Aries the Ram, the dragon is an extroverted born leader. They are strong-willed and love being the center of attention, which is the main reason they aided other animals in their quest across the water—what, you think it’s because they’re compassionate? No, it’s because they wanted people to think they’re compassionate. Just like Aries, the Dragon is driven more by being admired than by actually being considerate.

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Taurus: The Snake

Ruling planet: Venus, the misty orb that presides over of luxury and sensual indulgence.

In the Great Race’s last moments, the sneaky snake came out of nowhere to surprise the Horse and beat it across the river. Like Taurus the Bull, the Chinese Snake is wise, stoic, stubborn, and cautious. They also enjoy the pleasures of the flesh, which is why snakes are often used in erotic symbolism. But you don’t want to cross them—if you do, the Bull will gore you and the Snake will bite you.

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Gemini: The Horse

Ruling planet: Mercury, the home of brainy communicators.

The Horse depended too much on its own strength and not enough on its intellect during the Great Race and lost out to the conniving snake at the very end. The Horse would do well to take a lesson from its Astro Twin Gemini, who relies more on wit and charisma than on brute strength. Together, though, they’d make a perfect match—an ideal combo of brains and brawn.

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Cancer: The Goat

Ruling celestial body: The Moon, which guides strong emotions and abiding maternal instincts.

In the Great Race, the Goat traveled along with the Monkey and Rooster on a raft that the Rooster had found. To the Goat, cruising on the raft was the next-best thing to curling up at home. Both the Goat and Crab are homebodies who thrive on coziness and comfort. And they are both extremely sensitive—which means that each can seem over-sensitive and even, ahem, “crabby” to others.

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Leo: The Monkey

Ruling celestial body: The Sun, source of all planetary life and vitality.

To cross the river in the Great Race, the Monkey hitched a ride with along with the Goat on a raft that the Rooster had found. Like Leo the Lion, the Monkey is outgoing, strong-willed, and confident to the point where it can be a little off-putting. Both signs can come off egotistical but don’t seem to care—which is exactly how an egomaniac would respond to being called egotistical. Both signs are a bit manipulative, with the main difference being that Leo persuades with actions, while the monkey gets their way with words.

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Virgo: The Rooster

Ruling planet: Mercury, which guides communication skills.

In the Great Race, the Rooster found a raft and sailed along with shipmates the Goat and Monkey across to the other side. This exemplifies the fact that, just like its Astro Twin the Virgin, the Rooster is responsible, trustworthy, practical, and detail-oriented. Just as you can depend on the Rooster to crow at the crack of dawn every morning, you can count on Virgo to be fair and honest with you in all your dealings. The main personality difference is that the Rooster is slightly more extroverted than the shyer Virgo.

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Libra: The Dog

Ruling planet: Venus, with a focus on beauty and love rather than Taurus and its fixation on sensual indulgence.

In the Great Race, the Dog came in next to last because they decided to spend their time bathing in the river rather than competing to win the race. Like Libra, the Dog is fair-minded and seeks justice, balance, and harmony. And neither sign can stand to be alone for very long. If the Dog gets lonely, all they have to do is give you the “puppy eyes,” and they’ve made a friend for life. Admit it—you can’t resist those puppy eyes.

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Scorpio: The Pig

Ruling planet: Pluto, that tiny and remote planet that controls destruction and eventual rebirth.

In the Great Race, the Pig came in last because, in keeping with its namesake, it paused to eat during the competition. The Pig is a little more outgoing and positive than the dark and mysterious Scorpion. Both signs are charismatic and, despite its unattractive namesake, the Pig is regarded as a sexual dynamo. Both signs are also secretive. Neither the Pig nor the Scorpion ever fully reveals themselves and prefers to leave you guessing.

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Sagittarius: The Rat

Ruling planet: Jupiter, the giant orb that oversees good fortune and curiosity.

In the Great Race, the rat mostly cruised along blissfully as it rode atop the Ox—then but at the last minute, the conniving rodent leapt over the Ox’s head onto the riverbank to win the race. Like Sagittarius, the Rat is a natural-born explorer bursting with enthusiasm, curiosity, and maybe a touch of impulsivity. They make the perfect travel partner who will get you to your destination despite the odds or how disoriented you feel. But just like the Rat did in the Great Race, they may insist on reaching the finish line first.

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Capricorn: The Ox

Ruling planet: Saturn, which makes them practical, serious, stable, dependable, and organized.

In the Great Race, the cooperative Ox let other animals ride on its strong back across the river. The Ox finds its perfect complement in Capricorn the Goat, who is likewise goal-oriented and hard-headed. Neither sign has much patience for fools or tolerance for drama. They seem introverted, but only because they are very selective in whom they choose to reveal their heart. But once they decide you’re worth it, they’ll let you ride on their back anywhere you want to go.

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Aquarius: The Tiger

Ruling planet: Uranus, which governs unconventional thinking and naturally leads to an inborn and lifelong rebellious streak.

In the Great Race, the Tiger used its strong inner resolve to swim alone across the river. Aquarius and the Tiger are probably the most open-minded and independent of all the signs in both the Western and Eastern astrological traditions. They have what others might call an “authority problem,” although they prefer to frame it as the virtue of independence instead. Even though both 0ccasionally need their “alone time,” they are motivated by larger topics of social justice and harmony.

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Pisces: The Rabbit

Ruling planet: Neptune, which guides dreams, imagination, magic, whimsy, and even a dash of flakiness.

The Rabbit, not known as a strong swimmer, relied on its cleverness to cross the river during the Great Race, hopping from one floating object to another to reach its goal. Both the Rabbit and its Astro Twin Pisces are a bundle of raw emotions and vulnerability. The main difference—no offense intended to the Pisceans reading this—is that rabbits are much cuddlier than fish.

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