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Chinese Astrology
By Sabrina Liao

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 Chinese Astrology

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Chinese Astrology
By Sabrina Liao
ISBN: 0446609811
Genre: Inspirational & Self-Help

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Chapter Excerpt from: Chinese Astrology , by Sabrina Liao

The Restless Rat
Ranking Order First


Most people probably have a negative impression about the Rat, the number one house pest. However, in Chinese astrology, as the first sign of the twelve, the Rat is viewed as a mixture of many things. He can be as friendly as the lovable Stuart Little, as calculating and intelligent as Jerry in "Tom and Jerry," as devoted and loving to his loved ones as the rats in An American Tail, or as mischievous and mean as in the Mouse Trap.

As mentioned in the introduction, the legend is that the Heavenly God awarded the first twelve animals that crossed the river to be the signs in the zodiac calendar. And it's just common sense that with the Rat's petite size and small feet, there is no way this tiny creature can win the race on its own. But as the story explains, the Rat won the race with its wits and intelligence.

As the first sign among the twelve in the zodiac, the Rat is considered a major sign in Chinese astrology.


You are quite ambitious and were born under the sign of charm and aggressiveness. Born optimistic, you seem to have a solution for everything. Friendship comes to you easily with your sense of humor and energetic attitude toward life.

It is very unlikely to find a Rat sitting quietly doing nothing. Rather, you are always busy and rarely have the luxury of relaxation. And even when you have time to sit down and enjoy a short break, your mind will still be running nonstop, planning your next grand scheme. However, you have the tendency to get bored easily with your projects and when that happens, you will simply shrug your shoulders, pull up another brand-new business plan you have been working on for weeks and yell, "Next" to move on to the next project.

You are very expressive and talkative. You like to go to parties where you can spend quite some time chitchatting with your friends. Lively, sociable, and easy to get along with, it is not a surprise that you meet new friends every day.

However, as friendly and easy to get along with as you are, you are a very private person. The long list of names in your phone book does not mean you take everyone into your circle of friends. Actually, Rat people usually have more acquaintances than real friends. But to those who are close to you, you are a devoted and faithful friend. You revere and cherish them, and they will be treated as your family. However, as talkative and gossipy as you can be sometimes, you never confide in anyone. You are self-contained and often keep problems and secrets to yourself. You are extremely private and discreet when it comes to your own personal life.

On the surface, you might appear discreet or reserved, but if anyone looks deeper, they will find out that you are never as quiet as you may look. Adaptive and flexible, the Rat will survive in any situation. No crisis or defeat will take you down easily, and no challenge is too much for you. You will be successful in whatever you choose to do. And because of this remarkable ability to cope with difficulties, you are especially good at problem solving. You make a good adviser to others but not necessarily to yourself.

As a talented opportunist, you are always looking for opportunities, you are famous for your ambition and hard work. Quick-witted and smart, you know how to make the most of your time efficiently and usually get more accomplished in twenty-four hours than the other people do in as many days.

Sometimes mean, narrow-minded, and unsophisticated in outlook, you are also honest. And, as long as you manage to master your perpetual discontent and your insistence on living for the present moment, you can always make a success of your life.

You are confident and usually have good instincts. These qualities, combined with your stubbornness, mean you prefer to live by your own rules rather by others'. It won't be an easy task to work with Rat people. Why? Simple-because you are also a hundred percent perfectionist.

You have a talent for organization; perhaps this is why you usually make a good businessman or politician. Actually, the Rat seems to be the Scrooge of the Chinese zodiac. You count your dimes carefully and are known for your thrift and greed. Although there is an old Chinese saying that "being thrifty is a virtue," nevertheless, Rat people can appear downright stingy. You do not like to waste or throw anything away. You will be the type of person who will save every extra ketchup packet you collect from Kentucky Fried Chicken and keep every empty bottle after you finish your Evian. However, as frugal as you seem to be, you can be quite generous to yourself or the ones you love. For instance, when you really want something, you can become quite a spender. Andyou are very careful when you lend money to people. Alittle piece of advice to those who plan to borrow money from a Rat-read the contract carefully, or you might be paying three dollars interest for every dollar borrowed.

On the negative side, you are practical but lack courage. Sometimes extravagant and greedy, you are also gullible and can be taken by those less meticulous than you. And because you are a born opportunist and are constantly in search of ways to improve your wealth and lifestyle, if you are not careful you can be led into a mousetrap. Remember, don't let your greed blind you to danger and problems ahead.

Being first in the Chinese zodiac, you seem to be obsessed with being number one. Sometimes, you believe that you are better than others are, so you love to compete and conquer and always try to be the pioneer and the first in action. Your energetic nature tends to cause you to overload with tons of different projects, and this over ambitious side of you can cause you to lose your projects be-cause you have spread yourself too thin.

High-strung, you are clever, curious, and ever alert to your environment. Although you have the innate ability to sense danger, your greed sometimes overcomes your sound judgment and causes you to fall into the same trap over and over again. On the negative side, you like to criticize, nag, and compare. You can turn into a secretive, self-indulgent, and selfish creature when blinded by greed. In fact, most Rat people will probably suffer one major financial blow before they learn their lesson. In general, you must avoid being over ambitious and learn to conquer your greed and quit while you are still ahead.

Rat people are not romantic, but you are sensual and loving. And Rat people can be hard to see through at first glance, because you are very protective of yourself. But it's worth sticking it out with a Rat; ask anyone who has a Rat for a lover, parent, child, or friend. You are very loyal and devoted friend.


The male Rat is aggressive and intelligent. He lives by his wits and seems to have an answer for everything. At the same time he is friendly and easy to get along with, having a wide circle of acquaintances.

He is very determined, and once he sets his mind to something, it is very difficult to persuade him otherwise. He has business acumen and can turn any idea into a business plan. Perhaps this is his talent or his curse, but he is always on the run, looking for new ideas or working on new projects. Never sitting quietly or waiting aimlessly, the male Rat is a man with a mission.

However, he is also known for being over ambitious. His passion for a project comes and goes before other people even have a chance to understand it, and he is always alert for the best opportunities. Constantly trying to do too much too soon, this busy male Rat tends to scatter his energy everywhere before he has any chance to finish one project.

The male Rat is a man with opinions, strongly believes in himself, and does not allow for other opinions when he is in charge. He'll ignore every warning sign he gets. In short, those people who are calculating can fool him because he often takes the bait when he thinks it will be profitable for him. This is probably why many Rat men experience at least one major downfall in their lives- greed and ambition can blind them to reality. Greedy as he sometimes appears, he is nevertheless honest. He earns his profit through his hard work and his intelligence, and never through tricks or cheating.

The Rat man is famous for his charm and wit and he likes to be the pioneer in everything. Sociable and fun, he possesses a good sense of humor and has an active imagination. He is very good with numbers, and this probably is due to his amazing intelligence and acumen in business. He is the type of student who is always the first to shout out the answer in class. When out drinking and dining with friends, the Rat will take the bill and quickly do the math, add the tax, the tips, and find out how much each person needs to pay in just a few seconds. And he actually really enjoys doing this and takes pride in his important role.

This fascination with numbers and talent of quickly calculating the odds in any situation indicates that this Rat man is a born gambler. Although he can be extremely thrifty to the point of being called a Scrooge, he can become almost extravagant under three circumstances. First, if he sees some luxury items he really wants. Second, when he buys gifts for his family and friends. Third, when he is in a casino. Since he is so confident about his talents for numbers, he believes he can beat the odds. So some advice for those close to a Rat man-keep him away from the casino.

He is very talented and intelligent. He is expressive, so all of his friends know about his talents. And, he loves to write down his thoughts and ideas. Several famous writers such as William Shakespeare and Leo Tolstoy were born in the year of the Rat.

In relationships, the Rat man is not really romantic. Don't expect him to shower his lover with flowers and sweet talk. After all, his practical mind will calculate the cost of the flowers and the number of days these flowers will last. Nevertheless, the honest Rat man can be trusted because he will always make his family his priority and will be extremely protective toward his loved ones.


Just like the male Rat, the female Rat is witty and resourceful. A highly intelligent and creative person, the Rat lady can be a successful woman if she chooses to be.

With her excellent people skills, and fun-loving and compassionate personality, she is quite popular. She is fashionable but always elegant with her own style. Her environment is always clean and neat. A Rat woman's office will have her files neatly placed on the desktop, her calendar organized, and her table free of dust. It goes without saying that this Rat lady often manages her house the same way she does at work, which is probably why the Rat woman is considered to be an excellent candidate for a wife.

However, this does not mean the Rat woman is only quiet housewife material. In fact, she can be very business-oriented. She is keen and sharp and will automatically grab an opportunity when she sees one. Direct and honest, she is not afraid to speak her mind; but with her social skills, she knows how to say the right words so she will not offend anyone.

Surprisingly, the female Rat can be a true model of frugality. She certainly knows the virtue of recycling clothes, toys, furniture, and even soap. Again, like Rat men, she can be quite generous to her loved ones. So the children of a Rat woman will have no problem getting expensive toys for Christmas; Rat moms know how to take care of their children and are not stingy about the needs of their family.

Talkative and gossipy, the Rat woman is an inveterate gossip. Never trust your secret with her because she can't keep it long. However, she is very good at keeping her own secrets from others, and it is difficult to see into a Rat woman's mind. She is the kind of person who likes to keep her thoughts and feelings to herself; nevertheless, as a direct person, an angry Rat woman can be spotted even miles away.

The Rat woman is an avid reader, she is a lady who loves to read and can be found wandering around in Barnes and Noble bookstores or surfing Moreover, she is a talented writer herself. At a young age she will learn of the importance of written words and probably be the editor for the high-school newsletter.

In love and relationships, she is tender and sensual. Also the practical Rat keeps her home tidy and organized. She will be a superb, loving mom who spoils her kids with toys, and also a dedicated wife who will follow her husband's career.


Aggressive and ambitious, Rat people are extremely hardworking and do not know how to slow down. Born flexible and adaptive, Rat people can survive in difficult environments.

Always resourceful, Rat people make excellent advisers. They thrive in difficult situations and enjoy solving puzzles. In fact, Rats can usually come up with good solutions in a crisis. They can always count on their minds and wits instead of their physical strengths.

They have busy minds and are always on the run. Self-contained and self-preserved, Rat people can be neurotic about things at work but will behave calmly during a crisis. Rat people feel right at home when working in bureaucratic jobs; they like to stick to routines and disciplines.

As a boss, the Rat is very demanding. It is never easy to work for a Rat boss because they are often perfectionists and can be extremely picky. They are not as generous with compliments as they are with criticisms. However, with their born wits and talents, count on the Rat boss to lead a company out of a crisis.

As a partner, the Rat is extremely ambitious and not as communicative as they appear. Secretive and opinionated, their words are not easy to swallow sometimes because they are also very direct. Nevertheless, you can always count on the Rat partner to manage the finances because no one is more suitable to control the budget than a born Scrooge like the Rat.

As a colleague, the Rat is energetic. Working with a Rat can be a blessing or a curse. After all, anyone can always learn a thing or two when working with this efficient and productive person; however, at the same time, coworkers will be under a lot of pressure because of the Rat's excellent performance.

In general, with their imaginative wit and ambition, the Rat will do well as a financial adviser, writer, or musician. Claude Monet and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart are just two famous Rat people.

Antique dealer
Confidential situations
Financial adviser
Underground work

Antonio Banderas
Cameron Diaz
Claude Monet
Franz Joseph Haydn
Gene Kelly
George Washington
Gwyneth Paltrow
Hugh Grant
Jimmy Carter
Marlon Brando
Prince Charles
Sean Penn
William Shakespeare
Wolfgang Amadeus


The Chinese believe each animal sign is most compatible with signs that are four years apart, and least compatible with the sign that is six years apart. Based on this concept, a circle can be drawn with all signs, locating the Triangle of Affinity and the Circle of Conflict.

Signs, Rating 1-10 and Relationship

Rat with Rat -- 8
A very good match

Putting these two together could be a double pleasure or a double disaster. After all, when two critical nitpickers are paired, they will probably constantly pick on each other. At the beginning, the relationship is passionate, but gradually there will be some friendly competition between them, and this might bring out their argumentative personalities. But don't worry, most of the time, it is a double pleasure for this happy couple. The Rats know how to put their intelligent heads together and make things happen. They see their partner as their best friend and dear lover, and because of their fear of loneliness, they will try to work out any obstacle to make the relationship work. Overall, the female is more critical and the male is more combative, so these two can make a great team.

Rat with Ox -- 8
Lucky you two found each other

Although these two share little in common, this will be an excellent, loving relationship. The Rat and the Ox share mutual love and understanding. The Rat will admire the Ox as a devoted partner, and the Ox will be attracted to this outspoken and intelligent Rat. They will be very sympathetic and compassionate toward each other, and they will enrich each other. Being the aggressive one of the pair, the Rat doesn't seem to mind the slow pace of the serious and diligent Ox. In fact, they can be great not only as lovers but also as partners. Lucky you to find each other.

Rat with Tiger -- 7
In order to succeed both must endure

When they first see each other, it will be love at first sight. The Tiger is attracted to the Rat's charm and liveliness while the Rat finds the Tiger alluring and lovable. But after the first spark of love fades, their relationship will have constant minor skirmishes. Both possess quick tempers and stubborn personalities, and both are too proud to compromise. Nevertheless, this relationship can still succeed, if they both make efforts to endure by communicating and learning to agree on their differences. In general, there is still hope for a long, loving marriage for these two.

Rat with Rabbit -- 6
Nothing too exciting but it might still work

Although there is no major conflict or special attraction between the Rat and the Rabbit, some how, because of their differences, their relationship may not work too well. The Rabbit can be oversensitive while the Rat is over controlling. Both have high expectations of each other and this may cause more problems. This match may not seem to bring out the best in both personalities, but once joined, it will be difficult to separate this pair. Basically, it will be an amicable relationship and, in fact, sometimes these two make better business partners than lovers.

Rat with Dragon -- 9
One of the best-arranged unions

The Rat and the Dragon relationship is probably one of the best of all combinations. The Chinese believe this is the best match for both marriage and partnerships. The Rat will welcome the Dragon's dominance, and the Dragon will admire the Rat's intelligence. Both powerful and aggressive, they can work hand in hand to make things happen. Both self-confident and talented, they will not be threatened by the other. Their mutual admiration and support brings out the best in them. Whatever they do, as long as they do it together, these two will achieve success, happiness, and prosperity. This is an absolutely marvelous combination.

Rat with Snake -- 6
Better be friends than lovers

The Rat and the Snake can forge an interesting friendship together, but when it comes to a romantic relationship, these two have too much conflict and disagreement. Although both are intelligent and ambitious, these two approach life in very different ways. The Snake is a thinker who plans and schemes in detail while the Rat is actually an aggressive doer. They can be attracted to each other at the beginning, but as the infatuation fades, the Snake will pull away from the Rat and keep secrets to him or herself.

Rat with Horse -- 3
No no no-run away now

Being six years apart from the Rat, the Horse happens to be the conflicted opposite of the Rat. It goes without saying that these two are not only incompatible, but they'd better stay away from each other. The self-centered Horse can't understand the kind, sentimental Rat. Although they think opposites attract, the fact is that they see things from to-tally different perspectives. Eventually, the Rat will be craving more security, but the impatient and moody Horse just can't settle. Till the end, the Rat is most likely to be mistreated and suffer from the relationship.

Rat with Sheep -- 5
Probably not a good idea

The Rat and the Sheep can get along just fine, but the peaceful Sheep might find the restless Rat annoying at times. At the same time, the aggressive Rat will find the laid-back Sheep lazy. At first glance, their relationship appears calm, but underneath the surface, there is a cold war going on. Both the Rat and the Sheep are uncomfortable with confrontation and do not know how to re-solve their problems. Nevertheless, their physical attraction is strong, and if they learn how to open up more and talk about their differences, there might be a slight chance for this relationship.

Rat with Monkey -- 9
It will be a fun and loving relationship

These two are highly compatible. Both are sociable party animals; they are bound to have fun and laughter together. This duo has much in common, and mutual interests and talents draw them to each other. They admire each other for their intelligence and creativity and share the same values and attitudes. They are likely to be dining out a lot because they have many friends to hang out with. On the whole, this relationship can be emotional at times, but there will be no dull moments when these two are together. The Rat should learn to accept the Monkey's dominance, and this would be lasting, intriguing, and one of the best relationships.

Rat with Rooster -- 6
Steamy yes but not lasting

When these two first meet, they see fireworks and sparks, but as the steam slowly fades, they will see each other more clearly, and disagreements will start to arise. In this combination, the Rat and Rooster will find themselves in constant debate over leadership. The Rooster can be extremely critical of the Rat, and the sociable Rat will get even with the Rooster by making the Rooster jealous. Eventually, it takes a lot of effort to keep the relationship alive.

Rat with Dog -- 7
Why not

The Rat and the Dog respect each other and can be an amicable couple. After all, they are both responsible and diligent and take their relationship seriously. Sometimes, the Rat might find it difficult to understand the sentimental Dog for the idealistic Dog can be too generous and tend to give money away. The practical Rat will be anxious over the money and try to save as much as possible. In the end, these two will know how to resolve their problems and learn from each other.

Rat with Pig -- 8
This can work-they admire each other

This is a positive relationship. The Rat and the Pig are both sociable and affectionate; they adore and respect each other. They work well as a team and are usually well connected and influential. The couple share the same passion for good food and vacation, and enjoy life as much as they can. The Pig is generous and sometimes has a great appetite for shopping. The Rat, however, is practical and thrifty. So in order to balance the relationship and their bank account, the Rat must take control of the purse and let the Pig charm the rest of the world.

The Rat-the natural element is Water

THE METAL RAT: 1900, 1960, 2020

The Metal Rat possesses both softness from its natural Water element and inflexibility from the Metal element. They are likely to be idealistic and emotional. Metal Rats often appear charming and cheerful, but in reality they are capable of hiding their anger and jealousy.

The Metal Rat enjoys money and doesn't mind spending it on quality goods. This type of Rat likes to impress people with his or her classic taste and well-decorated home. The Metal Rat is generally ambitious and knows how to advance. One downfall is that they tend to be too rigid to creative ideas and are somewhat inflexible. They need to learn to be more open to compromise.

THE WATER RAT: 1852, 1912, 1972

The Water-Water combination endows the Water Rat with diplomacy and calmness. This type of Rat cares about the thinking process and mental awareness. They are usually very acute and observant, always knowing people's likes and dislikes. The Water Rats' understanding and accommodating nature helps them become great fashion de-signers that set the future trends.

The Water Rat is curious by nature and is always seeking knowledge and even higher education. Atypically, they are very sensitive to what others think of them, and sometimes agonize over nothing because of this. They should learn to be more forthcoming and learn to lead sometimes.

THE WOOD RAT: 1864, 1924, 1984

The Wood element brings creativity to the Rat. Wood Rats are mostly artistic and articulate. Driven by their passion to explore, they enjoy researching ideas and finding a good use for anything they come across. The capable Wood Rats know what they want and how they can achieve their goals. No wonder the Wood Rat is also very egotistical. Nevertheless, this type of Rat also learns to compromise and make themselves agreeable because they seek approval from others.

On the negative side, Wood Rats should recognize their limitations so they don't burn the candle at both ends.

THE FIRE RAT: 1876, 1936, 1996

The Fire element brings passion and enthusiasm into the Fire Rat. Often energetic and idealistic, the Fire Rat loves to get involved in all kinds of activities and projects. Open and aggressive by nature, Fire Rats often possess the luck and capacity for success.

Talkative at times, Fire Rats need to watch what they say. They can sometimes be too blunt and require some sense of diplomacy to win the support they need. On the negative side, this type of Rat can be too optimistic, and enthusiastic, which can sometimes lead to failure.

THE EARTH RAT: 1888, 1948, 2008

The combination of Water and Earth elements brings balance into the Earth Rat. Usually maturing early, this type of Rat seeks order, discipline and security. And be-cause of this, they tend to work in one place or job for a long time and refuse to change. They are very practical and diligent, and care a lot about their reputation. Earth Rats are family-oriented and can be very protective toward the ones they love.

On the negative side, their inflexibility can slow down their achievement and ambition, and sometimes, they can be over practical and stingy with money.

Excerpted from Chinese Astrology , by Sabrina Liao . Copyright (c) 2000 by Sabrina Liao . Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company, New York, NY. All rights reserved.

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