Until yesterday, I wasn’t aware that the Chinese zodiac was a 60 year cycle. I was researching Chinese astrology when I discovered this. I’d already known about the 12 animal signs for consecutive years and I thought that 12 years was the complete cycle. Now I know better.
Because you have to add the five elements of metal, water, wood, fire and earth to the mix, it takes 60 years for the same element to be attached to one of the years of a particular animal. We are now in the year of the Earth Rat and the next time this will occur it will be 2068.
People born in these years will have the characteristics of the Rat – be witty, imaginative, curious, observant, energetic, talkative, charming, sometimes aggressive. However the earth element means they will be even more ambitious and want positions of importance. In their private lives they’ll demand unconditional love from their partners.
Chinese astrology does not predict the future. It really advises us of what to expect from ourselves and others, so that we can guard against traits that might be harmful and be more understanding in our dealings with others.
And perhaps it could be helpful when dreaming up characters for my stories.