Chinese astrology is almost 2,000 years old. Evidence of Chinese astrology history has been found during excavations of the Oracle bones. These bones have various kinds of inscriptions on them. These inscriptions were used to predict the future of a person and sometimes even of an entire geographical area.
Chinese astrology does not use the position of the stars to predict the future. It is heavily dependent on the twelve zodiac symbols, which in turn are based on twelve different animals. Each animal is symbolic of a particular characteristic that shape a person's character and personality. There are many legends and stories related to Chinese astrology history. The most popular legend is about a race between the twelve animals. According to a popular version of the story, Emperor Jade wanted to decide the animals that should report to him. To decide the ranking of the twelve animals, he decided to arrange a race among them. All the animals used various methods to gain the first position in the race. However, the rat was the cleverest and managed to reach the end point before others. Thus, he comes first in all the Chinese zodiacs. The remaining animals are placed in the zodiac according to their position in the race. Rat is followed by Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Ram, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. According to another version, the animals stood in a random order after the completion of the race. Chinese astrology history is full of many legends and stories. Most of these stories are related to Emperor Jade, who was the king of the heaven or Lord Buddha.
According to Chinese astrology the year of a person's birth does not decide his future or character. That aspect is dependent on the 60-year cycle of the zodiacs, which is shared by the twelve animals. However, the Chinese astrology is not based on the twelve animals only. It is also based on the ten heavenly stems and twelve earthly branches. According to ancient Chinese astrology a person's future is defined by the position of the main five planets at the time of his birth. These planets are Venus, Jupiter, Mercury, Mars and Saturn. Each planet stands for a particular element. They are as follows, Venus-Metal, Jupiter-Wood, Mercury-Water, Mars-Fire and Saturn-Earth. As per Chinese astrology history it was the movement of the planet Jupiter that decided the placement of all the twelve animal zodiacs. A combination of the planets and the animal zodiacs creates the 60-year cycle of the Chinese astrology. Therefore, according to Chinese astrology two people born on the same date in two consecutive years will not share their zodiacs. In fact, their zodiacs will be placed in different cycles according to the two cycles of the zodiacs and the planets interacting with each other.
Chinese astrology history is vast and spread over many centuries. It is also interwoven with folklore and legends. As a result it is difficult to figure out the pattern of its growth. However, its present day and most popular form consists of all the twelve zodiacs and their individual characteristics.