Astrologers' Community  

Go Back   Astrologers' Community > General Astrology > Chinese Astrology

Chinese Astrology 本板块使用英语讨论中国占星术。This forum will hold discussion on Chinese Astrology in English language.


Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Unread 04-20-2011, 12:31 PM
eric1981's Avatar
eric1981 eric1981 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: GZ,China
Posts: 43
Send a message via MSN to eric1981
About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

Does it ever bother you that the Chinese zodiac signs have multiple alternatives/alias?

For example:

Ram,Sheep,Goat
Ox,Bull,Cattle
Rat,Mouse
Rabbit,Hare
Pig,Hog

Do you think it annoying and confusing?Has anyone ever thought of launching a campaign to settle this issue?

Reply With Quote
  #2  
Unread 04-20-2011, 05:49 PM
Mark's Avatar
Mark Mark is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Georgia, US
Posts: 1,428
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

I don't know about all of them, but many of those aliases come from regular use over a large area by many people for a long time. For instance, the Chinese Rat is known as the Mouse in Vietnam. All over Asia, there are people using slight variations of the Chinese system, which ends up providing multiple names for the same thing. If you could study the Chinese system in a vacuum, it would look a lot simpler.
__________________
http://www.twelvestaralmanac.com/
Free Astrological Tools, Calculators, and Ephemerides
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Unread 04-21-2011, 01:36 AM
eric1981's Avatar
eric1981 eric1981 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: GZ,China
Posts: 43
Send a message via MSN to eric1981
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

Thanks Mark.
I AM from China.And I know exactly how those names shake up - pretty much as you stated.What I thought was that they are really confusing - especially for the new comers.
And I am curious why no body bother to bring it up.Your thoughts?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Unread 04-21-2011, 03:03 AM
26Degree 26Degree is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 119
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

The 12 animals have no real association of any sort with those actual 12 "units" (which are represented by the same characters as the 12 Chinese hours and 12 lunar months). In the ancient China a lot of people from the general public were illiterate, so an animal was assigned to each of the 12 as some sort of a visual/memory aid. You can in fact call them whatever you like.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Unread 04-21-2011, 03:27 AM
eric1981's Avatar
eric1981 eric1981 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: GZ,China
Posts: 43
Send a message via MSN to eric1981
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

Quote:
Originally Posted by 26Degree View Post
The 12 animals have no real association of any sort with those actual 12 "units" (which are represented by the same characters as the 12 Chinese hours and 12 lunar months). In the ancient China a lot of people from the general public were illiterate, so an animal was assigned to each of the 12 as some sort of a visual/memory aid. You can in fact call them whatever you like.
Yes I can.
But that is still confusing,right?
It is specially annoying when I was creating this tool.If in a same document,you see both Ram and Sheep,Hare and Rabbit,wouldn't that be bothering?

And I don't agree with you about the "illiterate" explanation.All Astrology systems use animals or popular gods/goddesses for their zodiac sign.Does that mean they are all illiterate?And did you mean the zodiac signs were created because people were illiterate?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Unread 04-21-2011, 03:50 AM
26Degree 26Degree is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2011
Posts: 119
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric1981 View Post
Yes I can.
But that is still confusing,right?
It is specially annoying when I was creating this tool.If in a same document,you see both Ram and Sheep,Hare and Rabbit,wouldn't that be bothering?

And I don't agree with you about the "illiterate" explanation.All Astrology systems use animals or popular gods/goddesses for their zodiac sign.Does that mean they are all illiterate?And did you mean the zodiac signs were created because people were illiterate?
Please re-read my last post, I think you have misunderstood my point.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Unread 04-21-2011, 04:41 AM
dr. farr dr. farr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: los angeles california
Posts: 12,474
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

In his historical study Derek Walters has traced the introduction of the Animal Zodiac into Chinese astrology in the period from the 1st to 6th century AD, being introduced from Northwestern China. However, dozens of animals were assigned (and still are) to things like Lunar Mansions, or the 4 great divisions of the sky, and other categories of what we would refer to as various Chinese "astrological" calculations and categories.
The "original" calculating method (regarding indications of celestial/macrocosmic trends and influences) was the 10 celestial stems/12 earthly branches method* which has been dated by scholars to between 2 and 3,000 BC: each stem and branch had a symbol (original Chinese character) to depict it, but these were not the later "Animal Zodiac" with which stem and branch computation eventually became united in the early centuries of the Current Era...



*I have always been intrigued by these numbers-12, 10, regarding stem/branch celestial calculations; because they did not arise in any connection whatsoever with Western astrology (or cosmology), yet the 12 branches cause me to wonder about the 12 signs (of the Western, and the later Chinese Animal, zodiacs) and the 10 stems cause me to wonder about the 10 planets of our solar system (Sun, Moon, other traditional 5 planets, and the 3 outers)...but I have not come to any conclusions (even anywhere close to any) in my speculations regarding the stems and branches...

Last edited by dr. farr; 04-21-2011 at 04:44 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Unread 04-21-2011, 05:22 AM
eric1981's Avatar
eric1981 eric1981 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: GZ,China
Posts: 43
Send a message via MSN to eric1981
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. farr View Post
*I have always been intrigued by these numbers-12, 10, regarding stem/branch celestial calculations; because they did not arise in any connection whatsoever with Western astrology (or cosmology), yet the 12 branches cause me to wonder about the 12 signs (of the Western, and the later Chinese Animal, zodiacs) and the 10 stems cause me to wonder about the 10 planets of our solar system (Sun, Moon, other traditional 5 planets, and the 3 outers)
They are the same numbers that intrigued me too!

The 12 Earthly Branches,or Dizhi in Chinese,are comparatively easier to explain:we have 12 months.When people were used to the cycle of 12,they tend to make other stuff based on this.But this is the farthest I can go for now.

As to the 10 Stems,or Tiangan in Chinese,I can only say it is a coincidence?
Or can I say it is the human mind-set to think and organize things that fit into previous patterns?The 9 planets and 1 star only came out very lately.And currently I have heard talks about adding more and reducing some...
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Unread 04-21-2011, 07:00 PM
Mark's Avatar
Mark Mark is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Georgia, US
Posts: 1,428
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

According to some reading I did yesterday, some other name problems happened due to translation when waves of foreigners arrived. Some Westerners had a Chinese "water buffalo" sign for a while, even though there were no water buffalo in China. So, variations like "rabbit" and "hare" were probably multiplied because of translation, especially given that these two mean the same thing. It's difficult to discuss because there was no single time of change for the Chinese zodiac. It was a work in progress for many centuries and what we have of it today is the product of constant change by many people over long periods of time.

My understanding of the 10 Heavenly Stems is that there are two occurrences of five elements, given in specific order. The easiest explanation for this is the fact that people have 10 fingers and 10 toes. We in the West use the base-10 Arabic numbering system and the Heavenly Stems seem to be similar. They aren't meant to be used as numbers for mathematics, but they do preserve an order of operations that is said to exist in nature.

One thing I find quite interesting is the fact that the Chinese have five elements and Western cultures have four. In usage, the conflict is easily resolved. In the West, each element is given a direction (N, S, E, W). In China, only four elements are given directions. The earth element of the Chinese system (sometimes called "soil") is placed in the centre. The West has nothing in the centre, meaning that both systems have one element assigned to each of four directions. It seems that the Chinese wood element corresponds to the earth element in the West. If this is so, then the Chinese metal element probably corresponds to the Western air element. The West has nothing that corresponds to the Chinese earth element and that is why the Western compass has nothing in the centre. It may be worthy of note that some Indian Buddhist systems have five elements and name the one in the centre "void."
__________________
http://www.twelvestaralmanac.com/
Free Astrological Tools, Calculators, and Ephemerides
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Unread 04-22-2011, 04:13 AM
dr. farr dr. farr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: los angeles california
Posts: 12,474
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

Originally (Plato, etc) we in the West also had 5 elements: the 5th element being "ether" (these 5 elements are still an essential consideration in Western esotericism and alchemy) The Indian system also has the 5 tattwas (air, fire, water, earth and ether), and in the tridosha (3 element) model, Vata is actually a combination of the elements air and aether, and Kapha is a combination of water and earth. Certain sources which I have largely followed, in making equivalences between Eastern and Western element models, have assigned air to the element Wood, and ether to the Metal element: I have worked with these elemental allocations relative to nature remedy therapeutics, and it seems to work pretty well; however, this is a very complex issue (attempting equivalences) and although I follow the air/Wood, ether/Metal correspondences, I certainly don't try to pretend that these are the "true" equivalents! The matter is still wide open!
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Unread 04-22-2011, 04:26 AM
eric1981's Avatar
eric1981 eric1981 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: GZ,China
Posts: 43
Send a message via MSN to eric1981
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

Agree with mark.
My previsous study told me that in some other Asian countries,such as Thailand and Vietnam,there are 12 animal zodiac signs.And similar story happens there too.For example,the Dragon was replaced by Naga,the local Dragon King of Thailand.So in fact,Naga is Dragon.And in Vietnam,Hare was replaced by Cat.And the story is very funny.The full name of Hare is Mao Hare,wherein Mao is one of the 12 Earthly branches and sounds like Cat in Chinese.Simple and funny,right?

The 10 Heavenly Stems,Tiangan,do have something related to Five elements.But the exact origin is still unknown.And mark's guess may be right.

The 5th element may comes from the philosophy of that the ancient Chinese people thought the earth is flat,and they are in the center of it.(Or the Five element may be the result of that philosophy?)
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Unread 04-22-2011, 04:33 AM
dr. farr dr. farr is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: los angeles california
Posts: 12,474
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

Another interesting point relative to the 5 elements is that both in Chinese elemental philosophy and in the concepts of the ancient Western alchemists, Fire element had 2 different qualities: the typical "burning fire" qualities, and another type of Fire element called "Magisterial Fire" (which latter was considered operative in part of the summer months in old China) The ramifications of "Magisterial Fire" were particularly elaborated in Classical Chinese Medical philosophy and practice.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Unread 04-22-2011, 06:53 AM
eric1981's Avatar
eric1981 eric1981 is offline
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: GZ,China
Posts: 43
Send a message via MSN to eric1981
Re: About Chinese Zodiac Sign Names

Quote:
Originally Posted by dr. farr View Post
Another interesting point relative to the 5 elements is that both in Chinese elemental philosophy and in the concepts of the ancient Western alchemists, Fire element had 2 different qualities: the typical "burning fire" qualities, and another type of Fire element called "Magisterial Fire" (which latter was considered operative in part of the summer months in old China) The ramifications of "Magisterial Fire" were particularly elaborated in Classical Chinese Medical philosophy and practice.
The Chinese medicine and medical philosophy indeed has a great impact on Chinese philosophy and even daily life.Or maybe they are inter-woven?
Five element theory,Yin and Yang,I Ching,Earthly branches and Celestial stems,China philosophy,Chinese medicine,etc,they are all interwoven and complicated.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
chinese, names, sign, zodiac

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
5 or 6+ planets in the same sign? JayM Aspects & configurations 18 11-05-2018 01:50 PM
Significance of the Ruler of a House danieycc Read My Chart 13 04-20-2009 01:56 AM
Chinese Astrology, Seasons. Months, Days duan Other Astrology 5 08-27-2008 05:02 PM
Planets in my chart 0WinN0 Aspects & configurations 10 03-17-2007 03:26 AM
Confused StelliumGoat Aspects & configurations 3 03-13-2007 03:09 AM



All times are GMT. The time now is 12:42 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright 2005-2018, AstrologyWeekly.com. Boards' structure and all posts are property of AstrologyWeekly.com and their respective creators. No part of the messages sent on these boards may be copied without their owners' explicit consent.