Look at astrology as a guide only

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 05 February, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 05 February, 2011, 12:00am

You may have read that in 2011, those born in the years of the sheep, dog and pig will benefit in terms of career, while others born in the year of the rooster will have tough times ahead. But is this necessarily true?

It is difficult to make accurate predictions for everyone belonging to a specific animal sign. People sharing the same year of birth tend to have different birthdays; and even for those sharing a birthday, they may be born in a different hour or location.

The Chinese astrological chart, known as the eight characters, takes into account the element and animal of one's time, day, month and year of birth. There are four elements and four animals that constitute a chart, which makes up eight characters, hence the name. For instance, you may be born in a 'Fire Horse' year, during an 'Earth Dog' month on a 'Water Rat' day in the 'Wood Snake' hour. The characters interact to give an indication of one's personality, family, health and career.

The luck cycles, which refer to five-year periods whereby an element (water, wood, fire, metal or earth) or an animal dominates, also play a role in a person's fortune. If even a pair of fraternal twins have identical eight character charts, their luck cycles will be different on account of their gender. The luck cycle element or animal will interact with the year's element or animal, leading to positive or negative developments for the year.