Western Astrology Vs Chinese Astrology

When it comes to understanding the ancient art of divination, two systems stand out – Western astrology and Chinese astrology. These astrological traditions have captivated people around the world, providing insights into our lives and the universe we inhabit. In this article, we delve into the astrological comparison between Western astrology and Chinese astrology, exploring the differences in zodiac signs, calendar systems, elements, and modes. Let’s explore the intriguing contrast between these celestial beliefs and embark on a journey through the vast world of astrological traditions.

Key Takeaways:

  • Western astrology and Chinese astrology are distinct systems of divination based on the date and time of birth.
  • While both systems share similarities in their use of symbols and signs, they differ in terms of zodiac signs, calendar systems, elements, and modes.
  • Chinese astrology recognizes five elements, while Western astrology identifies four elements.
  • Chinese astrology follows the lunar calendar, while Western astrology uses a solar calendar.
  • Both systems provide deeper insights into a person’s traits and characteristics by considering more than just the birth year or month.

Origins of the Signs

In the world of astrology, the origins of zodiac signs are rooted in ancient myths and celestial observations. Let’s explore how both Chinese astrology and Western astrology have given rise to their distinctive signs.

Chinese Zodiac Myth:

The Chinese zodiac signs have their origins in a captivating myth about a great race orchestrated by the Jade Emperor. According to the legend, the Emperor invited twelve animals to participate in a race, and the order in which they finished determined their place in the zodiac. Each animal represents a specific year in the twelve-year cycle, and their characteristics are believed to influence the lives of those born under their signs.

Western Astrology and Constellations:

In contrast, Western astrology derives its zodiac signs from the positions of constellations relative to the Earth. The constellations themselves were named after figures from Greek mythology. Over centuries, astronomers mapped the night sky, identifying twelve key constellations that corresponded to specific time periods throughout the year. These constellations became associated with the Western zodiac signs we know today.

While the Chinese zodiac and Western astrology differ in their origins and approach, both systems offer unique and intriguing insights into personality traits, compatibility, and cosmic influences.

The 12 Signs

Both Western astrology and Chinese astrology have 12 signs. While some signs may appear similar on the surface, such as the Ox in Chinese astrology and the Taurus in Western astrology, each system has its own unique characteristics and interpretations for each sign.

In Chinese astrology, the 12 signs are represented by animals: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig. These signs are believed to have different personality traits and influences on individuals born under them.

Similarly, Western astrology also has 12 signs, known as the zodiac signs, each representing a specific period of the year. The signs in Western astrology are Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, and Pisces. Each sign is associated with unique qualities and characteristics.

Although there may be similarities between certain signs in both systems, such as the Ox and Taurus, the interpretations, symbolism, and personality traits associated with each sign vary. It is important to consider the specific traditions, beliefs, and cultural contexts in which these astrological systems developed to fully understand and appreciate their differences.

Chinese zodiac signs and Western astrology signs

Zodiac Months — Another Similarity

One intriguing similarity between the Chinese zodiac and the Western zodiac is the overlap of zodiac signs and months. In both systems, zodiac signs are associated with specific months, creating a connection between astrological symbolism and the annual calendar.

In Chinese astrology, zodiac animals were assigned to lunar months on the traditional Chinese solar calendar. Each zodiac animal represents a particular year, and its influence extends throughout the corresponding month. This means that individuals born in a specific Chinese zodiac month share common traits and characteristics associated with their zodiac animal.

In Western astrology, zodiac signs are linked to specific months based on the Earth’s orbit around the sun. Each zodiac sign corresponds to a period of approximately 30 days, during which individuals born under that sign share certain astrological traits.

The overlap of zodiac signs and months provides an interesting point of comparison between Chinese and Western astrology. While the Chinese zodiac focuses on lunar months and the Western zodiac utilizes the solar calendar, both systems acknowledge the significance of time in shaping an individual’s astrological profile.

As we explore the fascinating world of astrology, it becomes clear that these ancient traditions continue to captivate and enlighten us with their unique insights into human personality and destiny.

More Than Just Your Birth Year or Month

When it comes to astrology, there’s more to uncover than just your birth year or month. Both Chinese and Western astrology delve deeper into the cosmic influences that shape our lives.

In Chinese astrology, the fate of an individual is determined by four pillars: their birth year, birth month, birth day, and birth hour. These pillars serve as the foundation for understanding a person’s characteristics, strengths, and weaknesses. By analyzing the interplay between these pillars, astrologers can provide a comprehensive picture of an individual’s destiny.

On the other hand, Western astrology focuses on the celestial alignments of constellations, planets, and stars to create a birth chart. This birth chart provides insight into an individual’s personality traits, talents, and life path. By examining the positioning of celestial bodies at the time of birth, astrologers can uncover valuable information about a person’s potential and purpose.

While the Chinese astrology pillars and Western astrology planets utilize different methods, they share a common goal: to provide a deeper understanding of the individual beyond their birth year or month. By considering a wider range of factors, both systems offer unique insights into our personalities, relationships, and life trajectories.

So, if you’ve ever wondered why you possess certain qualities or face particular challenges, exploring the intricacies of Chinese and Western astrology can offer valuable guidance and self-discovery.

Chinese astrology pillars

Lunar, But Mostly Solar

Chinese astrology primarily follows the lunar calendar, which is based on the cycles of the Moon. This ancient calendar system dates back thousands of years in Chinese culture and plays a significant role in determining auspicious dates, festivals, and holidays. It is closely intertwined with Chinese traditions and beliefs.

On the other hand, Western astrology relies on the Earth’s orbit around the sun, known as the solar calendar. This calendar system, widely used in the Western world, divides the year into 12 months, with each month corresponding to a specific zodiac sign. The Western astrological calendar follows the movements of the sun and the solar year, providing a unique perspective on astrological interpretations.

Despite the predominant use of the solar calendar in Western astrology, both Chinese and Western astrologers recognize the impact of lunar phases on the interpretation of horoscopes. The New Moon, when the Moon is invisible to the naked eye, signifies new beginnings and fresh opportunities. It is a time for setting intentions and starting new ventures.

The Full Moon, on the other hand, represents culmination and completion. It is a time of heightened emotions and increased energy. Many people believe that the Full Moon has a powerful influence on human behavior and emotions.

The concept of solar terms is also significant in both Chinese and Western astrology. In Chinese astrology, the solar terms divide the year into 24 equal segments, each lasting around 15 days. These solar terms mark important changes in nature and are closely associated with seasonal events. They provide astrologers with additional insights into a person’s character and destiny.

Involving the Elements

In Chinese astrology, the five elements play a significant role in understanding a person’s personality traits and influencing forces in their life. These elements are fire, earth, metal, water, and wood. Each element is associated with specific characteristics and qualities, providing a deeper understanding of an individual’s psychological features.

On the other hand, Western astrology identifies four elements that are linked to the psychological features of the zodiac signs. These elements are fire, earth, air, and water. Each element represents different aspects of a person’s personality, shaping their emotional and intellectual characteristics.

Chinese astrology elements

Your Chinese Zodiac Year Is Bad Luck!

In Chinese astrology, there is an intriguing belief that when your zodiac year comes around, it brings bad luck. This belief stems from the notion that it offends the god of age. This concept, however, is unique to Chinese astrology and is not present in Western astrology, where one’s birth month or zodiac sign is not considered to bring about any negative effects.

This belief about the unlucky nature of one’s Chinese zodiac year has a significant cultural impact. Many people in China take precautions during their zodiac year, such as wearing red and engaging in various rituals to ward off misfortune. It is considered important to navigate this period with care and avoid unnecessary risks.

Despite the belief in the potential for bad luck during one’s zodiac year, it is essential to remember that Chinese astrology provides a comprehensive system for understanding personality traits, compatibility, and life events. It is a fascinating and intricate aspect of Chinese culture that brings joy, guidance, and a deeper appreciation of the world around us.

Time frame

Chinese astrology operates on a time frame of 12-year cycles, with each year corresponding to a specific zodiac sign. This means that every 12 years, the zodiac sign repeats. It is believed that the characteristics and traits associated with each sign influence those born during that particular year.

On the other hand, Western astrology follows a 12-month cycle, with each zodiac sign associated with a specific month. This means that individuals born in the same month, regardless of the year, are said to share similar astrological traits and qualities.

So, while Chinese astrology focuses on the year of birth to determine characteristics, Western astrology considers the month of birth as the defining factor. This distinction between year and month is an interesting contrast between the two systems and offers different perspectives on how astrological influences manifest in individuals’ lives.


Both Chinese astrology and Western astrology use symbols to represent their zodiac signs. In Chinese astrology, the icons are based on the 12 animals that were believed to have won the race in the zodiac myth. These animals include the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.

Chinese zodiac icons

In Western astrology, the constellations in the sky are associated with different zodiac signs, each represented by its own symbol. These symbols include the Ram for Aries, the Bull for Taurus, the Twins for Gemini, the Crab for Cancer, the Lion for Leo, the Virgin for Virgo, the Scales for Libra, the Scorpion for Scorpio, the Archer for Sagittarius, the Goat for Capricorn, the Water Bearer for Aquarius, and the Fish for Pisces.

Lunar vs. solar calendars

Chinese astrology and Western astrology use different calendar systems to interpret celestial influences. Chinese astrology follows the lunar calendar, while Western astrology relies on the solar calendar.

In the Chinese lunar calendar, each month begins with a New Moon and lasts for approximately 29 days. This means that the months in the Chinese zodiac may not align perfectly with the months in the Western zodiac, which are based on the Earth’s orbit around the sun.

On the other hand, Western astrology assigns specific dates to each zodiac sign based on the solar calendar. The solar calendar is synchronized with the Earth’s orbit around the sun, making it more closely aligned with the changing seasons and the traditional 12-month calendar. This allows Western astrology to directly correlate zodiac signs with specific months.

Both lunar and solar calendars have their own significance in astrology. The Chinese lunar calendar takes into account the moon phases, which are believed to influence energy and behavior patterns. In Western astrology, the emphasis is on the position of the Earth in relation to the sun, which determines the zodiac sign associated with a particular date.

The elements

In Chinese astrology, the five elements – fire, earth, metal, water, and wood – are believed to represent different motivating forces in life. Each element carries its own symbolic meaning and influences the traits and characteristics of individuals born under specific zodiac signs. Fire signifies passion, enthusiasm, and creativity, while earth represents stability, practicality, and nurturing traits. Metal is associated with determination, intelligence, and precision, while water embodies emotion, adaptability, and intuition. Wood symbolizes growth, flexibility, and optimism. These elements provide a deeper understanding of one’s personality traits and offer meaningful insights into their lives.

Western astrology, on the other hand, identifies four elements – fire, earth, air, and water – which are linked to the psychological features of the zodiac signs. Fire signs, including Aries, Leo, and Sagittarius, are known for their enthusiasm, confidence, and dynamic nature. Earth signs, such as Taurus, Virgo, and Capricorn, exemplify practicality, reliability, and groundedness. Air signs, like Gemini, Libra, and Aquarius, are characterized by their intellect, sociability, and communication skills. Water signs, including Cancer, Scorpio, and Pisces, embody emotional sensitivity, intuition, and compassion. These elements play a significant role in shaping the personality traits and behavioral patterns of individuals in Western astrology.

The symbolic meanings attributed to the elements in both Chinese and Western astrology provide a comprehensive framework for understanding personality characteristics and life experiences. By exploring the elements associated with their zodiac signs, individuals can gain valuable insights into their strengths, weaknesses, and potentials. Understanding the symbolic meanings of the elements adds depth and richness to astrological interpretations, allowing individuals to navigate their lives with a greater sense of self-awareness and purpose.

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About the Author: Sophia Chen

Sophia Chen, a revered expert in the Chinese Zodiac, infuses ancient wisdom into modern contexts at Destiny Horoscope. Her profound knowledge of Eastern astrology and its intricate symbols offers readers a unique perspective on their life paths and destinies.