In ancient China, the studies of feng shui were deeply intertwined with the other Taoist modalities such as astrology, face reading, and Chinese medicine. Feng shui and astrology were two of the first practices that were commonly applied, even before medicine, because they were the least invasive. The two come from the same ocean of wisdom and are intended to be used in tandem. Even now, experienced feng shui practitioners use astrology as part of the feng shui environmental analysis. The qi (life force energy) of your space is not separate from your own personal energy, while also being intrinsically connected to the qi of the cosmos.
Unlike Western zodiac signs, which are traditionally designated based on your birth month, Chinese zodiac signs are specific to the year of your birth. The Chinese zodiac (also known as shengxiao), is a repeating 12-year cycle where each year is represented by an animal and its qualities. Learn below how to determine your Chinese zodiac sign, which can help inform your feng shui options, give context to your personality traits, and more.
Feng Shui Astrology
Depending on the type of feng shui practiced and the practitioner’s preference, there are different systems of astrology that can be used in conjunction with feng shui. The main variations in astrology include the Four Pillars (also known as BaZi), the Eight Mansions, and the Nine Star Ki. These modalities all use a person's birth year as a starting point but incorporate slightly different details (such as a person's sex, birth time, and more) to help a feng shui practitioner get a complete look at one's astrological profile.
Depending on the type of information you're seeking, a practitioner may rely on one astrological variation over another. For instance, the Eight Mansions method is particularly informative when it comes to home design and decor, while Nine Star Ki is most centered on personality traits, and the Four Pillars comes closest to "fortune-telling."
The Four Pillars
Many people are familiar with the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, which are actually part of the Four Pillars system of astrology. The most simplistic take on the Chinese zodiac assigns an animal to a birth year, but what most people don’t know is that there is actually a zodiac animal sign connected to your month, day, and hour of birth. This is why the system is called the Four Pillars—you have four pillars (or animal energies) connected to your natal birth information. By calculating your four animal energies (which are very easy to determine based on charts that outline specific months, dates, and years), you'll learn more about various characteristics and personality archetypes that can be interpreted to reveal your destiny.
The Eight Mansions
The Eight Mansions are a form of Chinese numerology also known as Kua numbers. This modality assigns numbers to both your birth year and sex, adding these numbers together and reducing them down until just one remains. These numbers are often calculated and used by feng shui practitioners (typically those that follow the Classical and Flying Stars schools) to determine where you should decorate or put important areas of your home (think: your bedroom or front door), as well as your compatibility with other people.
Nine Star Ki
Nine Star Ki is yet another astrological system that utilizes your birthdate to determine details about your personality and strengths. According to Nine Star Ki theory, a person is assigned three stars when they're born and these stars provide you with characteristics, just like the symbols in other astrological systems do. In Nine Star Ki theory, the first star is determined by your birth year and represents your essence; the second star is determined by your birth month and represents your childhood and physical characteristics; the third star is a result of your first and second number and represents how you're perceived by the world. To the average person, calculating your Nine Star Ki number can be fairly complicated, so there are several online calculators you can use to determine yours.
Zodiac Signs and Charts
There are 12 zodiac animal signs that cycle, year by year. The animals are the rat, ox (or cow), tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram (also called goat or sheep), monkey, rooster, dog, and pig (or boar). Each year corresponds to one of the twelve zodiac animals, so there is a twelve-year cycle called the Twelve Earthly (or Terrestrial) Branches.
In addition to the Twelve Earthly Branches, the Four Pillars system also takes into account the Taoist five elements (earth, metal, water, wood, and fire), which are called the Ten Heavenly Stems. Each of the Twelve Earthly Branches also cycles through the Ten Heavenly Stems, creating a 60-year astrological cycle.
Chinese Zodiac Signs by Month
Use the birth chart below to see what Chinese Zodiac animal connects to your month of birth, in line with one of the Four Pillars.
|Zodiac Animal Sign||Month||Chinese Name||Characteristics|
|Rat||Dec 6 to Jan 5||Zi||Clever and adaptable|
|Ox (or Cow)||Jan 6 to Feb 3||Chou||Dependable and hard-working|
|Tiger||Feb 4 to Mar 5||Yin||Impulsive and playful|
|Rabbit||Mar 6 to Apr 5||Mao||Sensitive and kind|
|Dragon||Apr 6 to May 5||Chen||Majestic and demanding|
|Snake||May 6 to June 5||Si||Wise and grounded|
|Horse||June 6 to July 5||Wu||Energetic and cheerful|
|Ram (Goat or Sheep)||July 6 to Aug 5||Wei||Gentle and balanced|
|Monkey||Aug 6 to Sept 5||Shen||Fun-loving and charming|
|Rooster||Sept 6 to Oct 5||You||Proud and talkative|
|Dog||Oct 6 to Nov 5||Xu||Well-liked and loyal|
|Pig (or Boar)||Nov 6 to Dec 5||Hai||Honest and diplomatic|
What are the five elements in Feng Shui?
The five elements are based on nature and are earth, water, fire, metal, and wood.
Why is it called the Four Pillars system?
It is known as the Four Pillars system of astrology as it is connected to the Chinese zodiac animal of the year of your birth and includes the month, day, and hour you were born.
How does the Chinese zodiac change?
The Chinese zodiac changes yearly. There are 12 animals that depict the 12-year cycle. Each year is represented by a different animal.