What's Your Chinese Zodiac Sign and Feng Shui Birth Element?

Your animal and element can guide your design choices

Chinese zodiac signs scroll

View Stock/Getty Images

Your feng shui birth element and Chinese zodiac animal sign can influence specific tendencies of your personality. Each of the 12 animal signs and five elements is associated with a year of the Chinese calendar. The Chinese calendar does not start on Jan. 1 as the Western calendar does. Instead, Chinese New Year (Lunar New Year) falls on the second new moon of the year. So if you were born in January or February, you must check where the date fell in your birth year, as your sign and element might be of the prior Western calendar year.

Feng Shui Birth Elements

Each of the elements is dominant for two years, and with five elements the cycle repeats every 10 years. This is referred to as the 10 stems or 10 heavenly stems.

The last digit of your lunar birth year determines your element:

  • Metal: Birth years ending in 0 or 1
  • Water: Birth years ending in 2 or 3
  • Wood: Birth years ending in 4 or 5
  • Fire: Birth years ending in 6 or 7
  • Earth: Birth years ending in 8 or 9

Knowing your birth element can help you create the best feng shui for your home or office. It can guide the decor colors, items, and areas you should emphasize and minimize. For example, if you were born in a fire element year, you should use shades of red and yellow (fire colors) while minimizing white, gray, green, and brown (metal and wood colors). You also should emphasize the fireplace and decorate with candles while avoiding metal decor.

Chinese Zodiac Animal Signs

The 12 Chinese zodiac animal signs change each lunar year. Your birth zodiac animal is said to guide your personality traits and influence your compatibility with certain people. In feng shui, the birth animal also can affect the aspects of a dwelling to emphasize and minimize.

Here are the Chinese zodiac animal signs for birthdays between 1940 and 2021:

  • Rat: 2/10/48 to 1/28/49, 1/28/60 to 2/14/61, 2/15/72 to 2/2/73, 2/2/84 to 2/19/85, 2/19/96 to 2/6/97, 2/7/08 to 1/25/09, 1/25/20 to 2/11/21
  • Ox: 1/29/49 to 2/16/50, 2/15/61 to 2/4/62, 2/3/73 to 1/22/74, 2/20/85 to 2/8/86, 2/7/97 to 1/27/98, 1/26/09 to 2/13/10
  • Tiger: 2/17/50 to 2/5/51, 2/5/62 to 1/24/63, 1/23/74 to 2/10/75, 2/9/86 to 1/28/87, 1/28/98 to 2/15/99, 2/14/10 to 2/2/11
  • Rabbit: 2/6/51 to 1/26/52, 1/25/63 to 2/12/64, 2/11/75 to 1/30/76, 1/29/87 to 2/16/88, 2/16/99 to 2/4/00, 2/3/11 to 1/22/12
  • Dragon: 2/8/40 to 1/26/41, 1/27/52 to 2/13/53, 2/13/64 to 2/1/65, 1/31/76 to 2/17/77, 2/17/88 to 2/5/89, 2/5/00 to 1/23/01, 1/23/12 to 2/9/13
  • Snake: 1/27/41 to 2/14/42, 2/14/53 to 2/2/54, 2/2/65 to 1/20/66, 2/18/77 to 2/6/78, 2/6/89 to 1/26/90, 1/24/01 to 2/11/02, 2/10/13 to 1/30/14
  • Horse: 2/15/42 to 2/4/43, 2/3/54 to 1/23/55, 1/21/66 to 2/8/67, 2/7/78 to 1/27/79, 1/27/90 to 2/14/91, 2/12/02 to 1/31/03, 1/31/14 to 2/18/15
  • Goat: 2/5/43 to 1/24/44, 1/24/55 to 2/11/56, 2/9/67 to 1/29/68, 1/28/79 to 2/15/80, 2/15/91 to 2/3/92, 2/1/03 to 1/21/04, 2/19/15 to 2/7/16
  • Monkey: 1/25/44 to 2/12/45, 2/12/56 to 1/30/57, 1/30/68 to 2/16/69, 2/16/80 to 2/4/81, 2/4/92 to 1/22/93, 1/22/04 to 2/8/05, 2/8/16 to 1/27/17
  • Rooster: 2/13/45 to 2/1/46, 1/31/57 to 2/17/58, 2/17/69 to 2/5/70, 2/5/81 to 1/24/82, 1/23/93 to 2/9/94, 2/9/05 to 1/28/06, 1/28/17 to 2/15/18
  • Dog: 2/2/46 to 1/21/47, 2/18/58 to 2/7/59, 2/6/70 to 1/26/71, 1/25/82 to 2/12/83, 2/10/94 to 1/30/95, 1/29/06 to 2/17/07, 2/16/18 to 2/4/19
  • Pig: 1/22/47 to 2/9/48, 2/8/59 to 1/27/60, 1/27/71 to 2/14/72, 2/13/83 to 2/1/84, 1/31/95 to 2/18/96, 2/18/07 to 2/6/08, 2/5/19 to 1/24/20

When paired together, the feng shui elements and zodiac animal signs result in a 60-year cycle called the sexagenary system. The cycle is considered to start with rat and wood, which last occurred in 1984, meaning that cycle will stretch to 2043.