The Different Chinese Astrologies
Jon explains the different astrological systems developed in China over the centuries. He offers his thoughts on why he favours the simplicity and directness of I Ching Astrology.
I Ching Astrology predates the more populist Chinese Astrology by some 1,000 years.
I Ching Astrology takes into account the 8 Trigrams of the I Ching and the central position around which they all rotate - known as the T'ai Chi.
This gives a total of 9 Stars.
These Trigrams relate to the compass directions of North, South, East, West, and of the intercardinal directions of North-East, South-East, South-West and North-West.
They also incorporate the symbolism from each of the Trigrams, for example, Mountain, or Wind, or Thunder.
They also include the archetypal family members for each Trigram which include the Father, the Mother, and the six children.
All of these Stars rotate in 9-year cycles, 9-month cycles, and also 9-day cycles.
I Ching Astrology is very good therefore for understanding where we are at any given time and vital for understanding timing. For me, it is very similar to traditional navigation.
I Ching Astrology uses the first day of spring as the beginning of the year, which in most cases is 4 February annually.
Chinese Astrology uses a very different system.
To begin with, the year begins on the new moon, after the winter solstice, and therefore the date is a somewhat moveable feast.
Instead of a cycle of 9, it uses a cycle of 12.
These 12 birth signs are associated with Animals or Branches, as they are known in Chinese Astrology. These include the Rat, the Tiger, the Rabbit, the Dragon, the Snake, etc.
On top of that, these 12 Animals can rule not only a year, but also a month, a day, and even an hour.
There are also five different versions of each of these Animals, drawn from the Five Elements. Therefore, there is an Earth Snake, a Metal Snake, a Water Snake, a Wood Snake and a Fire Snake. You then include all the other 11 animals as well.
Chinese Astrology, rather like I Ching Astrology, has potential for real depth.
In I Ching Astrology there are three Stars, which I call the Birth Star, the Inner Star and the Outer Star, all drawn from the year, month and day of birth.
In Chinese Astrology there are four stars, known as the Four Pillars. These are born out of the year, month, day and hour of birth.
Both systems look at timing.
It is best not to confuse the two systems or to try and use them together in the same calculations.
Both systems of astrology have their merit and indeed their uses.
My passion with I Ching Astrology is because it is much older, it's simpler and it's far easier to understand and use quickly.