With the Year of the Earth Rat approaching, numerous articles predicting one's fortune in the new year are readily available, in print and online. Due to space constraints, these articles provide an overview of the year by assigning everyone to one of 12 Chinese zodiac animals. While there are undeniable truths in these predictions, the casual reader should be aware that they are not entirely accurate as they do not take into account the full astrological data of one's birth. The Pat Chee or Eight Characters assigns a specific element and a zodiac animal for one's birth hour, day, month and year to provide a complete picture. Also known as the Four Pillars of Destiny, these charts are used by astrologers not only to predict one's fortune through the years, but also to assess compatibility between individuals in marriage and business partnerships. In this system, the main governing factor is not the year of birth, but the day. Hence, it is incorrect to assume that all those born in the Year of the Horse will have a bad year in 2008. Similarly, it is unwise to declare that everyone with the rat as their zodiac sign will have a great year. Indeed, to have a reliable picture of your fortune for the new year, it's best to consult an experienced astrologer.