Chinese astrology is said to be the oldest horoscope system in the world. The foundation of Chinese astrology is Yin/Yang, the 12 animals and the 5 elements. The consideration of Yin and Yang is a very great influence upon this subject, Yin being passive, female and receptive while Yang is aggressive, male and exploratory. Chinese Astrology is concerned with nature and its traits, the signs progress year by year whereas Western Astrology cycles monthly. Unlike Western astrology, Chinese astrology has nothing to do with Planets and their actions
Chinese Astrology and the order of the twelve animals that define it was determined thousands of years ago by Lord Buddha himself. According to ancient scripts, Buddha realised that the Chinese nation needed a reorganisation. So on the occasion of the Chinese New Year (which occurs on different dates from mid-January to mid-February), Buddha called upon the entire animal kingdom for a meeting. But only twelve animals (rat, buffalo, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and boar) showed up for this meeting.
Buddha then honoured them in the order of their arrival by endowing upon them with a year of their own. From then on, each successive year of the Chinese calendar bore that character of the animal that gave it a name and so, those born in specific animal years are marked by the nature of their natal animal.
Yet, all people born in the same animal are not the same literally and do differ from each other in certain aspects. These differences are determined by the various elements of Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. Each of these elements distinguishes one person of the same animal from the other.