The 12 Chinese Animals

Create Harmony in your Daily Life through Ancient Chinese Wisdom

Master Zhongxian Wu

* Silver Medal Winner in the 2010 BOTYA Awards Body, Mind and Spirit Category *

The Chinese horoscope holds the key to a better understanding of self and others, and to living a life of harmony.

Not just the year of birth, but also the month, day and hour have significance in true Chinese astrology. Master Zhongxian Wu explains how to find your power animal symbols, and how to learn from their wisdom. By fully understanding what each animal signifies, and how they relate to the major hexagrams of the Yijing, he shows that they can help you to find inner peace and live in harmony with family, friends, the wider community, and with nature. Using the wisdom of the twelve animal symbols as a guide, you will learn how to better understand your personality, and make choices that profoundly influence your health, relationships, career, and finances, allowing you to live up to your greatest potential.

Making the wisdom of the twelve Chinese animals accessible to the Western reader for the first time in its relationship with the Yijing, this book will be an illuminating read for anyone interested in understanding themselves and their life patterns better, Chinese astrology, and the Yijing.

Contents

Acknowledgments. Introduction: The Wisdom of 12. I. Numerological Meanings of 12. II. Chinese Astrology and 12 Animal Symbols. III. Eight Trigrams, 12 Tidal Hexagrams, and the Cycle of Nature. The Beginning: Finding Your Animals. The Animals. 1. Rat and Fu (Rebirth). 2. Ox and Lin (Deliver). 3. Tiger and Tai (Balance). 4. Rabbit and DaZhuang (Prosper). 5. Dragon and Guai (Transform). 6. Snake and Qian (Strengthen). 7. Horse and Gou (Copulate). 8. Goat and Dun (Retreat). 9. Monkey and Pi (Break). 10. Rooster and Guan (Observe). 11. Dog and Bo (Peel). 12. Pig and Kun (Flow). Afterword: Living in Harmony.

Reviews

'A fascinating and enjoyable read. I can thoroughly recommend this book an excellent introduction to the ancient Chinese art of astrology and divination.'

- Eternal Spirit

'This book offers a way to understand and experience ancient wisdom and mysticism in order to live a harmonious and joyful life. It is an excellent text book! I love the last passage - "My life is in my hands and not controlled by Fate." In order to capitalize on this truth, we all need teachers. Master Wu's book says to me, We all can achieve true autonomy, living in harmony by understanding the ancient teachings of interpersonal and intrapersonal connection with the celestial and terrestrial movements. I highly recommend this book for searchers and practitioners of the Dao.'

- Dr. Alex Feng PhD, OMD, LAc, Founder Zhi Dao Guan, The Taoist Center, Oakland, CA

'Master Wu's new book is most accessible to those who are interested in acquiring this ancient Chinese wisdom. His widely acknowledged lineage from various schools of Qigong, martial and philosophical traditions serves him well in this very special, handsomely produced little gem of a book. I highly recommend it!'

- Chungliang Al Huang, founder-president of Living Tao Foundation and author of Embrace Tiger, Return to Mountain and The Chinese Book of Animal Powers

'Master Zhongxian Wu has made a complex Eastern topic accessible to the Western reader. Far beyond other sources, this book helps you understand your destiny as described by the 12 animal symbols of Yijing wisdom, helping you reach your personal potential. It helps you accurately determine your yearly, monthly and even hourly animal symbol and explains how each can affect your health, relationship, career, and finances. Master Wu writes "Life is Magic"... and this book helps you understand it.'

- Steve Rhodes, editor of Qi: The Journal of Traditional Eastern Health and Medicine (Qi Journal)

'I highly recommend this book... I enjoyed turning every page... I would even buy this book just to leave it on my coffee table, sure in the knowledge that some of my friends would be interested and drawn in by the quality this book exhibits.'

- UK Tai Chi

'First impressions are of a beautifully presented hardcover book that anyone with an interest in horoscopes or Chinese culture would be delighted to receive as a gift. But this book is not just decorative, it offers many new insights into the 12 animals of Chinese astrology... So in one book we have both a coffee table book and a serious explanation of Chinese astrology, and Master Wu's personality shines through. Well worth considering.'

- Tai Chi Finder

'In his new book on the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac, Wu Zhongxian has given us an authentic, no hocus-pocus view of this ancient Chinese system of astrology, which in Chinese tradition fits hand-and-glove with the Yijing ('Book of Change'). And since Wu's previous book revealed the essence of the Yijing, we now have the whole story on Chinese astrology and divination, clear as a bell. I highly recommend this book to all serious students and readers in the field of classical Chinese culture.'

- Daniel Reid, author of The Tao of Health, Sex & Longevity and My Journey in Mystic China

'In our secret Kabbalah teachings we deal with 12 permutations of the divine name governing the year. I find that when I also look at Master Wu's 12 gates that I understand our own tradition so much better. I recommend his book wholeheartedly.'

- Rabbi Zalman Schachter-Shalomi, co-author of Jewish With Feeling

'What does the average Westerner know of Chinese astrology? For most, the abbreviated version printed on the paper placements of many Chinese restaurants is all the knowledge one can claim. What a shame, because the twelve animal signs of the Chinese zodiac represent a complex and fascinating approach to greater self-awareness... In his newest of nine books, Master Zhongxian Wu, a teacher of Qigong and martial arts, explains some of the principles behind the twelve Chinese animal signs... To better understand the spiritual implications of each animal sign, Wu provides the reader with a taste of the Yijing system, an ancient text composed of 64 hexagrams, each of which is a union of two trigrams. By examining particular hexagrams, one can learn something of the original ideas associated with each animal... With so little information on this ancient system of awareness and divinity available to the English-speaking world, The 12 Chinese Animals should be of particular interest to those practicing Qigong, or studying the teachings of Yijing, and will be both accessible and of interest to those curious about astrology, China, or seeking inner peace through meditation.'

- ForeWord Reviews

'For many American readers, contact with the 12 totem animals of the Chinese zodiac is limited to a brief and superficial entry on a place mat, but there is naturally much more to this ancient tradition than that. Wu (Seeking the Spirit of the Book of Change), a teacher of Qigong, has written a brief but effective treatment of the animal symbols of the zodiac in the Chinese system, outlining their relationship to the hexagrams of the I Ching. Wu's book is richly illustrated, includes ceremonies for each symbol, and offers guides to finding your own symbol (it's more complex than you thought).'

- Library Journal

'Finally, a practical guide to understanding the symbolism of the Chinese Zodiac. Master Wu artfully blends animal archetypes and Daoist symbols into a concise manual. With the grace of a master calligrapher Master Wu "paints" a simple image of each animal but with many layers of meaning. His work is a refreshing break from other child-like resources on the zodiac and a welcome addition to the libraries of those who study Daoism. Especially creative is the relationship of each animal to the corresponding trigrams of the Yi Jing. Master Wu's enjoyment for life is evident in this book.'

- Christina J Barea, DP, MMQ, author of Qigong Illustrated

'I liked that not only was information and advice given for each animal--such as personality, health, relationships, career, finance, color and good--but there was also a special meditation for each one, including visualization and hand mudra. The connection with a specific hexagram from the Yijing was also welcome. This is the first time I have seen this and it brings much deeper and richer meaning to understanding your animal sign and how it affects your life.'

- The Empty Vessel: The Journal of Daoist Philosophy and Practice

Author information

Master Zhongxian Wu, a lifelong Daoist practitioner, is the lineage holder of four different schools of Qigong and martial arts. Since 1988, Master Wu has instructed thousands of students, both Eastern and Western, in his unique and professionally designed courses and training programs. He has authored 12 books (five in Chinese) on Chinese wisdom traditions. Along with his wife, Dr. Karin Taylor Wu, he founded Blue Willow World Healing Center and QinJian Akademin to preserve and promote the classical Chinese arts throughout Europe, North America and China.