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Cat’s ‘Tail’ & the Story of the 12 Animal Zodiac


FengShuiHF pngTHE 12 ANIMAL ZODIAC is the most well known systems of Chinese astrology. In the form that most of us know, it is not as accurate as other systems of Chinese astrology such as BaZi (also known as the Four Pillars of destiny) or Zi Wei Dou Shu (also known as Purple Star Astrology).

The 12 Animal Zodiac attempts to reveal a person’s character, relationship, potential and luck thorough a person’s life by taking only the year of birth into the calculation.

This is unlike Ba Zi or Zi Wei which takes a person’s year, month, date and time of birth into38181_cit_fruits_basket_-_twelve_animals_-_isnt_it_sad_kyo-1- the computation. Readings done by skilled practitioners show the systems to be astonishingly accurate and they are the systems of choice used by destiny counselors to provide advice to their clients.

The Animals Came in One by One

But have you wondered why the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig were selected and in that order? Or why the cat was not selected?

There are many versions of the story but here is a version that I like. Of course this is not a true story but it helps us to remember the characteristics of some of the animals and also explains why the cat was not included!

An ancient sage wanted to select 12 animals to form the zodiac. He wanted to be fair and he sent a message out to all the animals to gather as a certain spot on a certain date. The first 12 animals to arrive would be selected and the zodiac arranged in their order of arrival.

The Rat and the Cat made a Pact

catratThe rat and the cat made an agreement to wake each other up early the next day to start the journey. The cunning rat however did not do that but started out on the journey much earlier hoping to be included in the zodiac.

The ox realizing that he is slower than many of the other animals, decided to start the journey the night before and walk all night to reach his  destination.

On the designated day the animals started arriving. Ox was the first to reach the vicinity and thought he would be the first animal on the zodiac. However unknown to the ox, the rat was actually riding on the ox’s back the entire journey. And just before the ox reached the designated spot the rat jumped over the ox and took the first spot. And this is why the rat is in first place ahead of the ox followed by the other animals.

And There You Have It

This is also the reason why the Rat is described as intelligent and cunning while the Ox is hardworking and persistent.

The Cat never forgave the Rat, became mortal enemies and has been after it ever since! And this is the story of the 12 Animal Zodiac.

spring_dividerHenry Fong is a Feng  Shui Consultant.  Apart from offering professional Feng Shui consulting services for residential and commercial properties, he also writes as a columnist for theSun newspaper. If you wish to have your house Feng Shui-ed , contact him at or on Facebook at Henry Fong Feng Shui. Henry Fong is also an expert at Face Reading and will offer his insights in a soon-to-start column on Livingmsia.


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