Four Pillars of Destiny for Barack
Birth Date and Time: August 04, 1961 7:00 PM
Your Four Pillars of Destiny reading draws upon a rich tradition and is based on your Year, Month, Day and Time (Chinese hour) of birth. From ancient times, the Chinese have believed that certain parameters of your personality and fate are set at your moment of birth. They are, however, not strict determinists but, rather, believe people can use the information in their charts to improve their lives. Think about how athletic coaches train their teams to exploit their strengths and to find ways to compensate for their weaknesses. That is an example of how you can use the information contained in this report.

The following narrative is divided into three sections. Each contributes valuable information to help you put together the pieces of the puzzle that make up this marvelous individual known as your self. The first looks at your four, Chinese animal signs, the second the elements in your chart, and the third your life cycle.

There are indeed a number of factors that make up your chart. Only by considering them all and forming an overall picture is it possible to accurately understand the complexity of your personality and fate. As you read the following narratives, you will find some of the information is complementary and even contradictory. This helps explain why you act or think differently at various times. Human beings are indeed complicated. To best understand what you are about to read, look for recurring themes and consider the overall matrix being presented rather than focusing on any one comment.

Year Metal Ox
Month Wood Sheep
Day Earth Snake
Hour Wood Dog
Section 1 is an analysis of your Zodiac Signs.

The analysis begins with a look at your year sign, which is the primary sign in Chinese astrology. This sign forms the basis of your personality. It is one of 12 animal signs used in Four Pillars, to include Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig.

In all you have four signs, the other three representing your month, day and hour of birth. The characteristics of these will modify many of the original observations. And, if two of your secondary signs are the same, the sign that appears twice could actually dominate your personality. By the way, the month section includes the impact of your Western sign, as it is month-based. Since the Chinese believe the constellation that rules your day of birth contributes to your personality, it is thus included in the day section.

An important fact to note is that the Chinese astrological cycle is 60 years long, thus yielding that number of signs overall. Each actually consists of two Chinese characters, one for one of the 12 animals and another for each of five elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water, yielding a total of 60 (twelve times five) signs. These are termed combined signs in this report.

This large number of combinations make it possible to learn a great many things about you and your life. Please keep in mind, however, this idea: your chart can only tell you about a particular strength, weakness or potentiality. It is up to you to take advantage of the information, to wisely use your strengths and compensate for weaknesses. Yes, Chinese astrology does outline the parameters of your life, but it is ultimately you who determines your fortune and destiny. And, you can do that better if you are conscious of the roots of your behavior.

Now begin a unique journey into yourself.
Primary (Year) Sign Description
This section has three parts. The first notes some facts about your sign. The second describes your personality, first by stating your salient characteristics, then your preferred means for making decisions, then positive and negative personality traits, and finally the qualities you admire and those you dislike. The third identifies how the element ruling your year of birth modifies the basic personality of your year sign.

The Ox

Basic facts about your year sign

Chinese name for your sign: NIU
Ranking order in the Chinese zodiac: Second
Lunar years of the Ox:
Begin DateEnd DateElement
Direction: Northeast
Season: Winter
Hour ruled by the Ox: 1am -3am
(Note: Chinese astrology “hours” are two hours long, and the new day begins at Western time 11pm.)
Fixed element: Water
(Note: Your fixed element is common to all people of your sign, regardless of the element that rules your year of birth. Its characteristics are incorporated into the description of your year sign.)
Ruling planet: Saturn
Environment: Fields and prairies, anywhere they can be close to
Color(s): Green
Western Sign that corresponds to your Ox year sign: Capricorn
The Ox Personality
Defining characteristics:
Of all the signs, the Ox symbolizes steadiness and strength.

Making Decisions:

To understand how the Ox operates, it is important to know Ox is a Yin and a head sign.

Being a Yin sign person, you are best served by using an indirect or non-aggressive approach to life. Sometimes, however, the Ox does act out of character, giving rise to the phrase, like a bull in a china shop to denote someone using the direct approach in a clumsy manner. You tend to be reactive rather than proactive. This is especially apparent in your conservative outlook and how you almost have to be pushed into change.

As a head sign person, you most often will base decisions on logic rather than emotion. Your approach is cautious and methodical, with practicality usually a prime consideration in their decisions.

Positive Traits:

Composed, confident, hard working, independent, methodical, persevering, reliable, self reliant, solid, tenacious, thorough and tireless.

The Ox combines the qualities (steady, composed and tenacious) of the tortoise in the fabled race with the hare and the legendary Hercules, strength of mind and body, solid throughout. You are capable of tackling the toughest projects.You are also great at the longest ones as well thanks to your perseverance. You continue on towards your goals regardless of the difficulty of the obstacles put in your path, and you never lose focus. Furthermore, you are thorough and methodical, never losing sight of the myriad details involved.Not every Ox is a workaholic, but it is true you are generally thought of as hard working and reliable. You probably have a reputation for being punctual and being at your desk when you are supposed to be. Furthermore, you are diligent and almost always put in a fair days work for a fair days pay.

Yes, you carry out your responsibilities and willingly shoulder the burdens placed upon you. Although you tend to be very independent and self reliant, you nevertheless frequently volunteer to shoulder the burdens of those around you. Of all the Chinese signs, yours is the one most likely to fit the Herculean image of carrying the weight of the world on your shoulders.

Negative Traits:

Authoritarian, cold, dull, materialistic, narrow-minded, overzealous, plodding, predictable, stifling, stubborn, suspicious and unapproachable.

No doubt due your methodical, cautious approach to life, you are occasionally viewed as slow and plodding if not downright dull. You like to find your comfort zone and stay there, making you boringly predictable at times.

Another thing that makes you predictable is you tend to have strong prejudices. You can be obstinate, making it almost impossible for us to get you to change your view on a matter. On the other hand, you can be an overzealous authoritarian who demands that we change ours. And, if we do not, we are likely to be sorry.

There are times it can be stifling to work with you. You are suspicious of changes and new ways of doing things. Sometimes you can be so tradition bound and narrow minded. It is necessary then to approach you cautiously.

And, it is not unusual to find you unapproachable. Regardless of how good hearted you might be it is hard for you to totally escape the Ox's tendency to be cold and materialistic. Sometimes it appears to us that you are more interested in things than people, even when that is not the way it really is.

Likes and Dislikes:

Qualities admired: Inner strength, self-reliance.

Pet peeves: Blocking their path, whining.

Combined (year) Sign, i.e., Element + Sign

Metal Ox
Combining Metal with Ox yields one determined person and one of the strongest signs. You can be like Atlas and carry the weight of the world on those strong Ox shoulders or the bulldozer that knocks down every obstacle. At your worst you can be extremely stubborn and insensitive. You are probably not exactly a diplomat and will have more than your fair share of personality conflicts. On the positive side, your tenacity and sense of responsibility is unmatched.

Secondary (Month, Day and Hour) Sign Descriptions

These signs will not dominate your personality unless you have two or even three of the same kind. Although they are secondary, they are part of what goes into your overall personality and need to be considered. Their effects include magnifying or decreasing the quality of a particular trait and adding one not included in your year sign. The impact of your Western sign is included with the month sign and the constellation that rules your day of birth with your day sign.

The Month Sign – The Sheep

Defining characteristics:

Of all the signs, the Sheep symbolizes altruism and the female persona.

Making Decisions:

To understand how the Sheep operates, it is important to know Sheep is a Yin and a heart sign.

Being a Yin sign person, you are best served by using an indirect or non-aggressive approach to life. You tend to be reactive rather than proactive.

As a heart sign person, you are most comfortable following your heart rather than basing decisions on logic.

Positive Traits:

The affectionate Sheep is one of the warmest, loving and tender people you will know. You are good hearted and genuinely care about others. In general you readily forgive others and rarely hold grudges.

With these qualities it is not surprising you do well in social situations. You are generally friendly and congenial and beautifully tactful in your choice of words. It is not in your nature to willingly hurt anyone with meanness or a sharp tongue.

You are likely to be fashionable and refined, preferring quiet, charming social settings such as a cozy little restaurant or an art museum. Speaking of art, there is a good chance you are an artist yourself, and an even better one that you appreciate the aesthetics of more than one of the performing and, or, visual arts.

Finally, it must be said you are a romantic type. In addition to a propensity for dinner by candlelight, you also long for the pastoral. You like to spend time walking in the garden or driving through the peaceful countryside. And, you probably adore all the squirrels and other cute little animals you find along the way.

Negative Traits:

On the other hand, you are not that adventurous and will make sure those outings are to the most peaceful locations. In truth you can be quite timid and sometimes have difficulty summoning the courage to stand up for your rights or tackling a daunting project. You can be indecisive and vacillate between choices hoping you do not have to make one when the choice is difficult.

Your changeable nature means you can be fickle when it comes to your likes and dislikes. Some people probably see you as unpredictable. At your worst you are capricious when it comes to your responsibilities meaning you are not always that reliable.

And, when things do not go your way, or even just threaten not to go your way, you tend to become moody. This can result in pouting and makes you tense. You are also somewhat of a worrier, which adds to your edginess.

Likes and Dislikes:

Qualities admired: Sensitivity, good taste.

Pet peeves: Being ignored, rudeness.

Wood Sheep
Wood adds confidence to the Sheep which is sometimes lacking in this area. Beware though, Wood also adds an extra element of kindness to an already gentle being. Because of this, you must be more aware of those around you, paying particular heed to a conniving Rat just waiting to take advantage of an easy mark. More often than not, however, your many friends will return your favors and more.

Your Western sign is Leo. That makes you a Leo Ox.

The Ox and Lion are both formidable creatures, but their style is very different. Under the influence of Leo you're likely to be warmer, more humorous, and more dependent on the approval of others than your Ox peers. Unlike them you probably try harder to promote yourself and seek recognition, and your energy is of a more dynamic nature. You tend to act more quickly and with a greater sense of urgency. Leo also enhances your leadership ability, as well as your desire to be seen in the lead. Finally, your attention span is likely to be shorter.

The Day Sign – The Snake

Defining characteristics:

Of all the signs, the Snake symbolizes: depth and mystery.

Making Decisions:

To understand how the Snake operates, it is important to know Snake is a Yin and a head sign.

Being a Yin sign person, you are best served by using an indirect or non-aggressive approach to life. You tend to be reactive rather than proactive.As a head sign person, you are most comfortable basing decisions on logic.

Positive Traits:

Alert, calm, charismatic, cultivated, curious, decisive, intuitive, refined, reflective, soft spoken, tenacious, and wise.

The Snake's many interests and insatiable thirst for knowledge result in an increasingly complex persona. The Snake is a karmic sign, which means they will probably experience many high highs and low lows in their lives. With their wisdom and charisma, which has an almost magical quality, they probably command our respect more than any other sign. Like the Rat and Monkey, Snakes spend a lot of time in their heads, but they are not worriers. Rather, they pass their quiet time in reflection and contemplation. This, together with their love of learning, is what gives them such great depth. Of all the signs of the Chinese zodiac, the Snake is most closely associated with wisdom.

Although the Snake is more than willing to share their knowledge, they have a penchant for secrecy when it comes to their personal lives. This adds an aura of mystery to their already commanding presence. And, what you see is not what you get.

In fact there is always more to learn about the Snake. Just when you think you know the Snake, you find out the Snake has developed a totally new interest. Not only that you discover they have quickly grasped the subject.

It would not, however, be easy to heed that warning. More than any other sign, the Snake knows how to present itself in the most favorable light. They are never flamboyant or ostentatious. Most are fully aware of their karmic status and do not feel a need to impress anybody. But, when the spirit moves them, they will appear as the most dazzling personality on the scene.

Nevertheless, the Snake is basically a live and let live type person. If you treat the Snake right and earn their respect, they will return the favor and add immeasurably to the quality of your life.

Negative Traits:

Demanding, extravagant, fickle, high strung, impatient, indulgent, jealous, lazy, possessive, stingy, suspicious, vengeful.

More than any other sign, the Snake believes in revenge. They do not get mad, but they do get even. Crossing a Snake is a very dangerous move. Though the Snake may not demonstrate any anger upon learning what you have done, that does not mean it has been forgotten or forgiven.

Do not be surprised if the Snake takes what appears to be a personal interest in you. They are happy to learn about your experiences and to have you share their knowledge with them. In turn, you will be totally captivated by their magnificence and hang on their every word. Beware! The Snake's appetite is insatiable. They will tire of you and turn to other interests long before you are ready to end the relationship.

The Snake is basically a private person; so, it is not likely you are going to be continually running into them at social functions. In fact, more often than not they enjoy their own company more than that of other people. They easily lose themselves in their thoughts and derive great pleasure from so doing.

Likes and Dislikes:

Qualities admired: Power and quality itself.

Pet peeves: Crossing or disturbing them

Earth Snake
The Earth Snake is the most practical and subdued member of the Snake family. You can be a shrewd operator in the business world and merit the faith we put in your excellent advice. If you lack some of that typical Snake charisma, you more than make up for it with your keen instincts and high level of success in whatever you do.



The Dog can complicate human relations in that you can become angry quickly and tend to talk too much and stir up trouble.

The Hour Sign – The Dog
Defining characteristics:

Of all the signs, the Dog symbolizes honor and justice.

Making Decisions:

To understand how the Dog operates, it is important to know Dog is a Yang and a head sign.

Being a Yang sign person, you are most effective using a direct, if not aggressive, approach to life. You tend to be proactive. As a head sign person, you are most comfortable basing decisions on logic.

Positive Traits:

The honorable Dog is the sign most likely to speak out about wrongs in the world and to call for justice. You have a strong sense of fair play and are usually forthright and outspoken. This makes you the perfect spokesperson for those who cannot or would not speak up for themselves.

You are most likely a valued member of your family as well as your community. You tend to be very protective of family members and are likely to enjoy celebrating your country's independence day with your family. Loyalty and patriotism are near and dear to your heart. You respect the flag and are moved in your heart when the national anthem is played at a sporting event. Although you are outspoken, you are not one to rail against your country, and you are discreet and can be trusted to hold what we tell you in confidence.

This, plus your sincerity and kindness makes you a most desirable friend. In fact you are almost as concerned and protective of your friends as you are of your family. You are not a materialist but rather one who derives the most pleasure from love and family. Your concern extends to all humanity, and you are altruistic by nature. You prefer to use your material gains to help others.

Your other gentler qualities include the fact that you most often are slow to anger yet quick to recover. You are not one to nag and nitpick.

Rather, you tend to be in control of your emotions. You also have excellent powers of discernment. In other words, you choose your battles carefully. This makes you easy to get along with on a day to day basis and a valued team member at work.

Negative Traits:

The Dog is perhaps the most pessimistic sign in the Chinese zodiac. You have a tendency to look at what is wrong with things or at what you might be lacking. This causes you anxiety and makes you fret excessively, especially during those times when you do not think you are good enough for whatever. When you fail to solve the problems of the world you might become bitter and cynical. When it comes to individual people, you are usually slow to form judgments; however, there often is a narrow mindedness to your way of thinking. You tend to see things in black and white. And, when you make a judgment, you tenaciously cling to your ideas and rarely change your mind.

You are also rather thick skinned; however, you can be extremely suspicious or defensive when a family member or friend is potentially threatened or actually attacked either verbally or physically. Sometimes your anger flares up almost instantaneously and violently as your protective urge moves you to action. On the other hand, your reserved nature can actually be a negative in family matters. You tend to be subdued, not one given to continuous displays of affection. There may however be times when family members require more warmth than you provide.

There is one other way you can inadvertently hurt the people around you. Your sense of justice often causes you to make judgments about others and to criticize their actions or motivations. Furthermore, you sometimes rashly categorize people and put them into little boxes. Having done that, you are not beyond giving severe tongue lashings to those that fall in the wrong box or those in the right box when they step out of line by your reckoning. By nature you are not exactly a diplomatic critic---even when dealing with the ones you most love.

Likes and Dislikes:

Qualities admired: Loyalty, devotion to family.

Pet peeves: Injustice, nosiness.

Wood Dog
The Wood Dog is perhaps the puppy dog of the species. You are more social, less pessimistic, and more generous than other Dog sign people. You're likely to be popular and a respected friend or coworker. Outside your circle of friends, however, your gentle side could result in occasional losses of self confidence and inertia.

Metal Ox
Wood Sheep
Earth Snake
Wood Dog
Section 2 is an analysis of the elements in your chart.
The comments in this section have their basis in Five Element Theory, one of the oldest ideas used in Chinese astrology and a key component as well of Chinese philosophy and medicine. The five elements are associated with the five directions (North, South, East, West and Center) and as such have a 4,000 year history in Chinese thought. In contrast animals have been used as convenient short hand for designating years but not as integral components of horoscopes until very modern times. Even today many traditional astrologers do not even mention animals in their readings!

Simply put the theory states that the energy of the universe manifests itself through five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water. Ideally there is a roughly equal number of each element in a chart, thus signifying balance and harmony. A balanced chart indicates strength. An unbalanced one reveals unusual capability in one or two areas which may or may not be diminished by significant weakness due a lack of one or more elements. The balance of the elements and their positioning in a Chinese chart thus enable the astrologer to tell many things about your personality and life.

The five elements, Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, are always presented in that order. This is said to be a productive or constructive cycle, that is Wood nourishes Fire; Fire nourishes Earth; Earth nourishes Metal, Metal nourishes Water, and Water nourishes Wood, thus continuing the cycle.

The following narrative explains how the elements in your chart reflect your personality and your fate. There are three primary considerations: the number of times each element appears in the chart, their overall balance, and how the natural cycle of the elements corresponds with yours.

Understanding Your Reading

This section consists of two parts. The first gives general information revealing aspects of your personality based on your year sign elements. The second is a detailed analysis of your particular combination of elements.

There are two elements associated with your year sign. This is because each animal sign is known by its own, fixed element as well as the element of its year. Earth, for example, is the year element of 2008. That is a Rat year, and Water is that animal's fixed element. Thus Earth and Water are important elements for someone born in 2008.

Consideration of the mix of elements in your chart best illustrates the importance of looking at the interplay of many factors in drawing conclusions from the data. It is especially significant when there is an abundance or shortage of one or more elements, as this is a primary way of identifying strengths and weaknesses.

Each part of this reading contributes valuable information to help you understand yourself and your fate, but your most revealing insights are likely to come from your identification of recurring themes.

An element-focused analysis provides a unique perspective that cannot be obtained by considering only animal signs. Perhaps the most important lesson you can learn from this section is that understanding the elements in your chart is as important as knowing about your animal signs and complements and completes that knowledge.

Part 1
Year Element: Metal
Year Element Polarity: Yin
Fixed Element of Year Sign: Water
Your year sign is Metal Ox
Your fixed element is Earth
The ability to communicate is one of the primary qualities associated with Water. However, since you’re a passive, Yin sign, you may tend to be introverted. But, it’s possible you can be a forceful and eloquent speaker when the situation calls for it. Water is often connected with creative artistic ability too, so your communications skills could also lead you to activities or hobbies in the performing arts.

Flexibility is another trait common to Water sign people, but this may seem to contradict your Ox reputation for stubbornness! In you, flexibility is likely to manifest itself, even to a fault, in the way you adapt yourself to your environment. You're likely, for example, to go with a natural tendency to shoulder others' burdens.

In spite of your charge-ahead approach, under Water's influence you’re probably not a confrontational person. Water, and you, favor a more indirect approach. You’re more likely to wear down your opponents with persistence, as Water erodes rock or earth. In general you’re probably more of the live and let live type rather than a mover and shaker.

Compared to mountains and forests, land-locked Water is usually unobtrusive, and so is the Ox. You most likely prefer to work in the background rather than the in the spotlight. You may also be the strong, silent type, only using your communication skills selectively. While you could do well when thrown into a leadership role, you generally prefer just being a loyal follower.

Rivers with their streams and tributaries seem to touch just about everywhere. Similarly, you probably have a large network of friends and acquaintances. And, you may be emotionally connected to many of them due to your empathy and emotional feelings.

Water is associated with emotions. As an Ox person, however, your emotionality is usually contained. In other words, you don't readily display your feelings but rather carry them inside. This is a major reason why you are typically incompatible with Sheep-sign people, who require frequent emotional support.

Just as rivers sometimes travel great distances, and Water seems to trickle endlessly after a rain, you probably get around and are comfortable with travel. In the legend that explains the order of the 12 signs, the Ox is one of the first animals to cover the distance to Buddha, thus earning the honor of being the second of the 12 signs.

Finally, Water goes with mental, even psychic abilities. As an Ox, however, you may be more of a doer than a thinker. Nevertheless, you probably have good foresight and decent reasoning abilities. If education is something you strive for, you can do well with your Ox perseverance.

Year element
Your year element is negative Metal. You are likely to be a more reliable, plodding, and emotionally brittle representative of your element.

Primary (year) Element Description
Productive cycle: Earth > Metal > Water > Wood > Fire
Earth enhances Metal, and Metal enhances Water.
Destructive cycle: Fire > Metal > Wood > Water > Fire
Fire weakens Metal and Metal weakens Wood.
Characteristics: Hard and cold
Body Organs: Lungs (primary), Large intestine (secondary)
Sensory Organ:Nose
ColorWhite (also Gold)
Emotions:longing, melancholy, wistfulness
Personality:Unyielding and brutally frank
Vocations:Business, athletics

Approach: Metal is associated with strength and determination. You are comfortable with taking direct action in pursuit of your goals. Furthermore, one of your strengths is that you work hard to complete the projects you start and rarely give up in the face of resistance. You are a fighter, someone who sticks up for their rights and who doesn’t easily back down when challenged.
Positive Traits: Ambitious, confident, determined (purposeful), focused, implacable, influential, intense, interesting, persistent, self reliant, serious, supportive (by lending strength).

The Metal element person is rock solid and epitomizes focused determination. The Metal in your personality manifests itself as steely resolve. Your generally serious attitude and unrelenting focus contribute to your ability to stay with even the lengthiest projects to completion.

These positive qualities contribute significantly to what is likely to be your generally ambitious nature. They also give you leadership potential, which is only heightened by the fact that people tend to be drawn to you because of your fiercely competitive attitude.

Your resilience and drive extend to daily life as well. Little things do not distract you from your mission. Furthermore, you add strength to others, and many people value the support you provide.

On the other hand, you yourself are very self reliant, secure in who you are and your abilities. This gives you the confidence to tackle almost any challenge that comes before you. And, you rarely back down when confronted by direct opposition.
Negative Traits: Coldly impersonal, "heavy" (overly serious), materialistic, melancholic, opinionated, reclusive, rigid, ruthlessly direct, self righteous, stubborn, uncompromising and wistful.

Metal's strengths turn into weaknesses in excess. All too often it's my way or the highway, thanks to your sometimes, uncompromising rigidity. You might be the type that continues heading towards a cliff even when people warn you of danger.

On occasion you may become ruthlessly direct and coldly impersonal; you created The Look. You can be very opinionated and react sharply when someone contradicts you.

There is another time when you have no use for people, that is, when you become downright reclusive. You have another side, which is prone to melancholy. When you indulge your wistful, longing feelings, your self-confidence may just melt away.

Part 2

Your element mix is 63220, very unbalanced. This imbalance means you have one strength to excess, one moderate strength, and one major weakness. Since the strength rating of elements affects your chi (energy/life force) in the various stages of your life, it also means that you will have one very strong, one strong, two average and one weak period in your life.

Wood - You have a high average amount of Wood in your chart. You tend to be good-hearted and creative. Also, you can usually adapt well to change.
Fire - You have a low average amount of Fire in your chart. You may have some charisma and tend to be an active person who is not afraid to act quickly when you see something you want.
Earth - You have an excess of Earth in your chart. You are extremely determined and not afraid to strike out in new directions to improve your situation. Given the large amount of Earth in your chart you tend to be stubborn to the point of obstinacy, thus losing much of the exceptional practicality that normally is associated with strong Earth.
Metal - You have a low average amount of Metal in your chart. You may be determined and competitive but not to any great extent. You could have difficulty finishing what you start.
Water - You have no Water in your chart. You have difficulty with communications skills and are not particularly suited to travel. Lack of Water also means you are shy and reserved.
Wood Fire Earth Metal Water
3 2 6 2 0

Concluding Remarks
People are complex, so it is not surprising that many factors go into making up your chart. You may even have read some comments that appear to be contradictory. You are likely to display some behaviors that are consistent and others that will vary depending on the situation, your mood, or some other factor. This reading focused on your elements, an area that is often overlooked or given less attention than is needed for an accurate picture. Although it is not nor tries to be comprehensive, it provides valuable information you are not likely to get from other readings. Now it's up to you to take this information and use it to help you make the most of your life given the parameters that have been established for you.
   Year: Metal Ox
   Month: Wood Sheep
   Day: Earth Snake
   Hour: Wood Dog
Section 3 details your Life Cycle
Your Life Cycle Reading provides an overview of your whole life from a Chinese astrology perspective. Your reading consists of two parts. The first contains general information to include background, comments about your reading and an overview of your sign.

The second is a look at your life based on your chi (energy) level and the ruling influence at each of the five stages of your life. The stages are Birth, Youth, Maturation, Adulthood and Retirement. The influences are Happiness, Wealth, Opportunity, Recognition and Fate.
1) General information
a. Background
b. About your reading
c. Your Sign Overview
2) Your Life
Detailed analysis of your life base on your chi (energy) level and the ruling influence at each of the five stages of your life:
a. Birth
b. Youth
c. Maturation
d. Adulthood
e. Retirement
f. Concluding remarks
Part 1 --- General Information
The Chinese, during a history that spans about 5,000 years, have displayed a fondness for dividing things into five parts. Notable examples include the five elements (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal and Water) and the cardinal points or directions (East, South, Center, West and North). It is not surprising, then, that they have also divided a person's life into five stages: birth, youth, maturation, adulthood, and retirement.

These stages are defined in terms of their association with education and employment. Birth is the time from conception up to the time an individual begins formal education. Youth coincides with the years of formal education and varies widely among cultures as well as individuals. Maturation begins upon completion of school and lasts until an individual has become fully adapted to the demands of career and, perhaps, raising a family. Adulthood can be said to begin when a person is well on the way to making a career. It is the time of peak earnings capacity. As with Youth there are wide variances in history and among individuals and cultures as to when this stage begins. Retirement, the final stage, begins when career is no longer an important factor in a person's life. This would, then, include a time of part-time employment, for example, consulting, as well as full retirement. It does not, however, include time spent in pursuit of a second career.

The five stages are correlated with the five elements This notion goes back over 2,000 years and is detailed in The Book of the Prince of Huai. Both Chinese astronomy and astrology are intimately connected with farming and the land, as life and the economy of ancient China were based on agriculture. The assignment of the five elements to the seasons can be understood from the perspective of a farmer. Wood is associated with Spring, Fire with Summer, Earth the Middle Season, Metal with Autumn, and Water with Winter. Spring is the time of new growth, hence Wood is natural to the time of Birth. The heat of summer suggests Fire and the dynamism of Youth. An extra season, the middle season, was created to establish a grouping of five. Earth relates to the season crops have grown to maturity and thus the time of Maturation. Implements used to bring in the fall harvest are made of Metal, hence that element. Metal is the time to reap the rewards of education and goes with Adulthood, the time of high earnings potential. Finally, the rainy season occurs in Winter, thus the association with Water. Finally, Water is associated with Retirement and Winter, a time of rest, when fields lie fallow, and the hard work is finished.

Your Reading
This reading contributes valuable information to help you understand and thereby take advantage of what's going on in each of the five stages of your life. It is presented in chronological order, beginning with Birth and ending with Retirement. Many factors go into your chart. And, indeed, there is a lot more to Chinese astrology than simply determining a person is a Dragon or a Horse, reading a few lines, and thinking you’ve learned all there is to know. Even this reading contains only a portion of what Chinese astrology can reveal.

Please keep in mind your chart can only tell you about a particular opportunity or difficulty. It is up to you to take advantage of the insight you gain. You will have to wisely use your strengths and compensate for weaknesses. Likewise, you must make an effort to capitalize on opportune times and to prepare for tough ones.

Now step back and look at your life from a new perspective. Although the year sign is not heavily used in predicting your life cycles, it is worth examining how your sign relates from a general perspective to each of the five stages of life.
Early Years: Generally Ox-sign people do not go out of their way to stir up trouble for other people. Your early years are thus likely to be relatively unremarkable. Your happiness will depend mostly on your environment. You probably don't require a lot of emotional support, so if you receive just a little love and affection from your family you can be happy.

Middle Years: During your middle years, however, your life, especially your love life, could become more problematic. The Ox-lady, for example, is the lady most likely to choose the wrong guy. And the Ox-man is the most most likely to devote himself to work at the expense of family. In fact you could have trouble with interpersonal relations in general.

Late Years: Ox is a strong sign, and you're thus likely to have plenty of inner fortitude. Fate unfortunately works in such a way to give many challenges to test it. The tendency for the Ox, and probably you, is to shoulder others' burdens and to accumulate them throughout life. Your old age could be peaceful if you haven't overdone it.
Part 2 --- The Five Stages of Life
This is a high normal chi period for you. You should have sufficient energy to give you a good start in life and to get your development under way at a level at least equal to that of your peers. Wood rules this stage, which is also under the influence of Wealth. The best way for you to make money is in creative or humanitarian careers. By the way, the combination of Wood and Wealth signifies you are probably not materialistic. Rather, it is things like love, beauty and family that bring you happiness. Your ruling element, Wood, is also the natural element for this stage of life. This is the most favorable possibility. Furthermore, this situation exists at each stage, thus ensuring you benefit from the various forces operating at different times in your life. It can more than make up for a low, element rating.
This is a low normal chi period for you. You may not find it easy to take advantage of opportunities and to deal with problems, but with some effort and a minimally satisfactory environment you can be reasonably successful in your studies and at enjoying your childhood. Your chi level will slightly decrease from that of the previous stage. You may not even notice the change. Going from high to low average should not significantly reduce your ability to make progress towards achieving your goals. Do, however, be prepared to work hard to achieve the most important ones. Fire rules this stage, which is also under the influence of Opportunity. Normally this is an auspicious time for a career change. Here it probably means you make at least one major change in the type of career you plan to pursue.
This is a very strong chi period for you. You are likely to be thought of as more mature than your peers. You should transition smoothly and quickly from Youth to Adulthood. This is very fortunate, as it can jump start your progress in achieving your life's goals. There will be a very noticeable increase in chi from that of your previous stage in life. Dealing with life's challenges will be a lot easier. This is the ideal time to make bold moves and to put forth your best effort to improve yourself. This is likely going to be your strongest time, so take full advantage of it. Earth rules this stage, which is also under the influence of Fate. This is an important time, as Fate indicates a major turning point in which the direction of your life is set for a long time. This is especially significant at Maturation, a time of great change. For you Fate involves acquiring (or losing) land or property. This is a strong indicator given the large amount of Earth in your chart and suggests a positive development.
This is a low normal chi period for you. You may not find it easy to take advantage of opportunities and to deal with problems, but with some effort you can be reasonably successful. You will experience a large decrease in chi from that of your previous stage in life. Your current rating is only low average, so it will feel like life is getting more difficult , and you will, indeed, have to work harder to achieve the same level of success. It is, nevertheless, an average time, thus you still have a good chance to achieve your goals if you're willing to make the needed effort. Metal rules this stage, which is also under the influence of Happiness. For you it is a modest indicator of blessings deriving from material possessions. Money can buy a measure of happiness, and you would do well to pursue a career in which the financial rewards are significant.
This is an extremely low chi period for you. You will find it difficult to take advantage of opportunities and to deal with problems. You will have less energy and not be as active as many of your peers. You will experience a significant decrease in chi from that of your previous stage in life. Your current rating is extremely low. It will feel like life is getting more difficult , and you will, indeed, have to work harder to achieve the same level of success. It is extremely important not to overextend yourself at this time. Focus on what is important and how to compensate for your weakness. Water rules this stage, which is also under the influence of Recognition. Normally this suggests success in academia or as a writer. With your lack of Water, however, this is a very weak indicator. It could even signify you are receiving less respect than you’d like and having a problem with self esteem, which could add an element of regret and, or, unhappiness to your Retirement.
Concluding Remarks
Your elements are unbalanced. As you have read above, you are therefore likely to have one very strong, one high and one low average, and two, weak chi stages in your life. With two, weak stages and only one very strong stage, it is most important you take advantage of your high energy level at that time. You also have to focus on minimizing the negative effects of your low energy stages. How well you achieve your goals in life will thus be a factor of timing and pace. Choose your friends and spouse carefully, as you will probably need their support when times are tough.
Appendix 1 - About Chinese astrology
The roots of Chinese astrology go back thousands of years. Needless to say in the course of millennia a number of different systems have been used. There are two main types, those that rely on birth data alone, and those that use birth data but rely primarily on positioning of stars and planets. Most use the lunar calendar (see appendix 1 for more info on the Chinese calendar) which bases its calculations on the cycles of the moon. That is why Chinese New Year falls on a different date every year. Some Chinese systems use the solar year as Western astrology does. Both, however, make use of Chinese five element theory. The five elements are Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water, always being given in that order. It is said to be a productive cycle, that is Wood produces Fire; Fire produces Earth; Earth produces Metal, Metal produces Water, and Water produces Wood, thus continuing the cycle. The balance of these elements and their positioning in a Chinese chart enable the astrologer to tell many things about a person’s personality and life. As with Western astrology, Chinese astrology has 12 primary signs, Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. There are variations in the names. Some people, for example, use Buffalo for Ox or Boar for Pig. It’s interesting to think about why Chinese astrologers have used these particular animal names. Unfortunately, Chinese astrology is so old that we just don’t have any ancient texts describing the process. Most likely it was done empirically, that is, astrologers looked at human behavior, came up with twelve types (to match their 12 year calendar cycle) and thought about which animal best exemplified each. Chinese animal stereotypes sometimes approximate Western, e.g., the loyal Dog. For the Chinese, however, Rat and Snake do not have the negative connotations characteristic of Western perceptions. In fact, they are two of the most prestigious signs. Already it can be seen there are both similarities (both have 12 basic signs) and differences (solar and lunar calendar) between Chinese and Western astrology. It is important to understand them to avoid confusion. Chinese astrologers base their calculations on the moon and its cycles, that is, on the lunar year. Western astrologers base theirs on the solar year. Thus, Western signs are called sun signs. In Western astrology the month sign, for example, Leo, is the primary influence, while in Chinese astrology it is the year sign. Chinese astrology also has month signs. Chinese months are not named (just numbered) and use the same names as year signs. So, there is such a thing as a Wood Sheep year and a Wood Sheep month. Western signs are usually designated by one word, for example, Aquarius, and change from month to month. Chinese signs are designated by two Chinese characters and change from year to year. One character designates the year’s element and the other its animal sign, for example, Earth Tiger. The Chinese have used both decimal based calendars as in the West as well as a twelve year based calendar. The two are both used simultaneously by Chinese astrologers, thus resulting in the compound signs. Actually, Chinese astrology has four signs, one for the year, the month, the day and the hour of birth. In texts these are often referred to as “the four pillars.” This may sound different, but even here there is a similarity with Western astrology. That system, for example, uses hour signs as well, calling them “ascendants.” If it’s starting to sound like Chinese astrology is complicated, that’s because it is. When you put together the 12 animal signs with the five elements, you get 60 total signs. Then you have to consider that each person has four of these. The practical effect of this is you could be in a high school graduating class of over 8,000 people, all born in the same year, yet no two having exactly the same “four pillars” chart. And, we haven’t even talked about star charts, which use additional factors. Each of us truly is an individual, as no two people on the planet born in the same year have the same Chinese star chart. There is one more very important thing to know about Chinese astrology. Chinese astrologers are not strict determinists. In other words they do not believe a person’s fate is sealed in stone at the moment of birth. What they do believe is that a person’s time and place of birth set parameters, boundaries within which a person has more or less freedom. What happens within these boundaries is influenced not only by “free will” but also by external factors such as financial status of the family, the culture, and the local economy. In one way this is just common sense, not unlike what people in the West already believe. If your adult height is five feet one inch, you’re not likely to be a professional basketball player. If your IQ is less than 100, you’re not likely to be a chemical engineer. There is of course a whole body of Chinese philosophy and culture underlying the precepts and findings of Chinese astrology. The subject of Chinese studies, as fascinating as it is however, is well beyond the scope of this basic introduction. One point worth mentioning, though, is that balance plays a central role in Chinese thought. Even this idea has Western counterparts, Aristotle’s “golden mean” for example. In Chinese thought a star athlete who flunks Algebra is still weak. True strength comes from balance. A strong chart will be balanced in terms of both signs and elements. Ideally a person will have, for example, a mix of strong and gentle signs as well as of elements. And, if a person has a variety of signs as opposed to, say, two Monkey and two Pig signs, so much the better. That means the person has a wider range of capabilities. Much of the above discussion has been about personality and abilities. Originally, however, the primary purpose of Chinese astrology was fortune telling. The focus is usually on what will happen to people in various stages of their lives/a specific duration of time or on what people should do on a particular day or in a certain month or year.
Appendix 2 - The Chinese Calendar
The Chinese calendar differs significantly from the Western calendar. The primary difference is that the months of the Chinese calendar are directly tied to the phases of the moon. These phases, however, do not fit in with the length of the year as measured by the Earth’s revolution around the sun. The Western calendar is fixed in the sense that each New Year begins on solar/Western calendar date January first. Because the Chinese New Year must correlate with a moon phase, it falls as early as January 22nd and as late as February 19th on the Western calendar. This has significant implications for Chinese Astrology. First, however, it’s important to understand the primary difference between Chinese and Western astrology. Chinese astrology focuses on the year sign, and Western astrology focuses on the month sign (Aquarius, Pisces, etc.). Chinese astrology does, however, have month signs. This can be confusing because the month signs have the same name as the year signs. Furthermore, when we say a Chinese sign corresponds to a Western sign, e.g., Ox to Capricorn, we do not mean the person was born in a Capricorn month. Rather, we mean the person’s Chinese year-sign traits roughly correspond to the traits of that Western sign. Adding to the confusion is the fact we can’t know a person’s Western sign simply by knowing the person’s Chinese month sign. For example, a person born on the first day of the seventh month (July 1 in Western terminology) of the Chinese calendar year 1979 was actually born on August 23rd of the Western calendar. Since July 1st is Cancer and August 23 is Leo, it’s easy to see the confusion. As with the months, neither do Chinese and Western years match exactly. Thus, even though we might know a person’s Chinese sign, we still cannot be sure of their year of birth. Conversely, if we know a person’s year of birth, we cannot be sure of their Chinese sign. Let’s say someone was born in 1978 (Chinese year of the Horse) on the Western calendar. They would only be the Horse sign if born after February 6th; since, Chinese New Year was February 7th by the Western calendar. The Chinese Horse year 1978 actually has the Western calendar dates included in the period February 7, 1978 through January 27, 1979. This is especially important when evaluating compatibility. Signs most compatible with the Horse (Tiger and Dog) are not nearly so compatible with the Snake, which is the sign of people born in 1978 but earlier than February 7th on the Western calendar.