I recently discovered that I am not who I thought I was. What I mean is, I am no longer a Sagittarius. I am now an Ophiuchus, which is the 13th. constellation which was left out of the original Babylonian zodiac because they wanted 12 signs to coordinate with 12 months. All my life I have read the horoscope for Sagittarius and wondered how it could have so little to do with my personality and my life, so I am not entirely disappointed to be something else now.
But I am still a Dragon in the shengxiao, or Chinese zodiac.
Maybe you’ve seen a Chinese zodiac calculator printed on a paper placemat at a Chinese restaurant. People are assigned an animal sign based on the year in which they were born. Dragons were born in 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, and so on. (I will let you guess which of those years I was born). Because I am a dragon I am intelligent, hard working, enthusiastic, and confident. Dragons have some negative characteristics, too, but I prefer to remain discreet about those.
Zodiac hashioki are made in sets of twelve. The examples shown here are from two different sets. One set — the modern looking flat pebble shapes – I purchased as a set. The other set I purchased in pieces over time from different vendors. Both sets were made in Japan; even though it’s the Chinese zodiac, it’s still popular in Japan.
I am married to a man who is a Rabbit. Honestly, this is not how I would describe him. My husband and I are alike in many ways, and undoubtedly more alike most dragons and rabbits. According to some sites I consulted on the Web, I should have married a man who was a Pig, meaning either 5 years older than me or 7 years younger. I think it’s interesting that Chinese zodiac wisdom believes there should be a considerable age difference between spouses. The truth of the matter is my family would never forgiven me if I had married a pig.
Our three children include a Tiger, a Monkey, and another Dragon. Is the child who is a Dragon more like her Dragon mother than the other two? Ehhhhh…. not really.
There are eight Chinese zodiac signs that are not represented in my immediate family. They are, along with a one outstanding quality associated with them, as follows:
Rat (wisdom), Ox or Cow (industrious), Horse (forging ahead),
Goat or Ram (unity), Rooster (being constant),
Dog (fidelity), and Pig or Boar (amiability). All of these pairings seem rather arbitrary, except for the last one: Snake (flexibility).
While I respect tradition, it seems to me that the zodiac is in dire need of an update. Part of the problem is that most people can no longer identify all these animals; the other fact is that modern, urban man simply doesn’t relate to animal characteristics. So I think we need a new zodiac based on another model. Suggestions?