Your Guide to the 12 Chinese Zodiac Signs

12 Chinese zodiac signs

If you’re interested in all aspects of astrology and how it impacts our lives, you’ve probably heard of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs. But have you ever really examined what the signs mean and how they work? 

The Chinese zodiac is much different than Tropical astrology and Sidereal astrology. It can be a little overwhelming to understand how a whole new system works and what each of the symbols means. If you’re new to Chinese astrology and are wondering what your Chinese zodiac is, keep reading! 

What is the Chinese Zodiac? 

With Tropical and Sidereal astrology, astrologists divide the same categories but in different ways. In Tropical astrology, they use the same measurements each year, so the dates for each astrological sign remain the same. In Sidereal astrology, the line moves backward one degree every 72 years. 

In Chinese zodiac, the different assignments are divided 12 ways and given an animal representation. We’ll talk more about the animals later. 

It’s important to note that Chinese zodiac also differs from more mainstream astrology because it uses five elements instead of four. The four elements of the Chinese zodiac are fire, wood, water, metal, and earth. 

The Chinese zodiac cycle doesn’t take place over a single year. It takes 12 full years to complete the cycle. Everyone born in a specific year will have an animal and an element assigned to them. 

The Chinese new year is determined by a special calendar called the lunisolar calendar. Because of this, it falls on a different Gregorian calendar date each year. 

12 Chinese Zodiac Signs 

Now that you know more about what the Chinese zodiac is and why it’s different than Tropical astrology, let’s take a look at the different Chinese zodiac signs and what they mean. 


The rat is first up in the Chinese zodiac lineup. The main characteristics of the rat sign is the need to collect and save things. They are good with money and tend to be very organized. 

If you are given a gift from a friend who is a rat, it means that they think very highly of you. 

Rats tend to not enjoy being praised or recognized for good deeds. They have a deep connection to the people around them and can sense when they’re upset. 


2021 is the year of the Ox. People born in the Ox year are known to work hard and have a deep sense of responsibility. They persevere through even the hardest times at work. 

Ox aren’t known for being romantic in the traditional sense. But they are steadfast and loyal and have the patience of a saint. They tend to be quiet and unemotional. 

When they do show their emotions, it’s typically in an eruption that can push others away.


Tigers tend to have high self esteem. They’re very independent and driven towards their own gains. They have high self esteem and love to lead and protect people. 

They have a strong sense of right and wrong. They also hate losing arguments. 

Their biggest downfall is their recklessness. They tend to leap into things without looking and sometimes will fall instead of succeed. They always get back up again, though! 


Rabbits are polite, gentle, and quiet souls. They have incredible patience and they take their love extremely seriously. They have a lot of intelligence and tend to let their attention to detail lead them into career success. 

It’s difficult to get a rabbit to fall in love with you. They are patient and let their hearts gyide then. But once you’ve earned their love and trust, they’ll love you with all the gentle tenderness that they can muster. 


Dragons have big hearts with a big drive for adventure. They love to be romantic and surprise people with mystery. It can be difficult to understand them because they have a mysterious personality. 

Dragons tend to seem indifferent to the plights of other people. They don’t worry about the same things that the other signs worry about. 

It takes a lot to motivate a dragon to do something their heart isn’t into. But when they find a task they want to do, they’re ambitious and will see it through to the end. 


Snakes are idealists. They have an outward personal that may seem cold but on the inside they are full of warmth and enthusiasm. 

They are very jealous and don’t want to share their things or the people who are closest to them. They’re smart and don’t like to feel like they don’t understand their friends. 

A snake’s greatest downfall is laziness. 


Horses have a deep sense of pride and don’t ever want to surrender. They exude positivity and good energy and let that carry them through their tasks. 

They love freedom of expression but don’t like to keep their attention focused in one place for too long. 


Goats have pure, kind hearts. They hate to argue and feel like they’ve hurt someone. They do keep their opinions close to their chest. 

They have a drive to fulfill their passions and use their kindness and softness to persuade others. 


Monkeys like to do things based on how interested they are in them. They only put their full effort into something that they care about. 

They are full of energy and curiosity. They value their relationships with children so much that they tend to spoil them a little! 


Roosters are highly empathetic. They can feel and sense what other people think. 

Roosters are cunning but they make great friends. They love art and creation when they’re in their free time but they prefer more planned out careers personally. 


Dogs have a deeply rooted sense of justice as well. They are loyal and friendly and valued as hard, dependable workers. 

They never break rules unless they think they are unjust. Their ideal goal is to live with their families in a quiet, respectful life. 


Pigs are logical thinkers who know how to fix any problem that comes their way. They may not be great at communication, but they make up for that because they find ways to provide for their loved ones. 

They lose their tempers easily and can be difficult to get close to, but they always come around at the end of the day.

Get Trusted Chinese Zodiac Readings

Now you have a general understanding about what the 12 Chinese zodiac signs are. But completely understanding any zodiac takes a lot more than a single guide. If you want to understand what your sign means, especially when combined with your element, you want to talk to a trusted expert. 

If you’re looking to understand your Chinese zodiac sign better, we can help! Browse through some of our most trusted zodiac psychics and give one of them a call today. 

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