To many Westerners, Eastern people appear more in tune with nature, although no single reason fully explains why this should be. However, it is possible to identify this fact by looking at how Eastern astrology has evolved and in particular the links to nature as reflected by the use of animal star signs in preference to celestial formations used by the west. This more natural comparison allows individuals to more easily identify with the specific traits and characteristics associated with an animal that lives on Planet Earth. Except the dragon although there is reason to suspect that large lizards could have been considered as dragons. Certainly the Chinese respect of the mythical dragon may possess some basis relating to an actual creature that became extinct many thousands of years ago.
The choice for eastern astrology signs to be based in the animal kingdom is explained with different tales depending on which eastern country is of particular interest. The animal star signs relevant to Chinese astrology are recorded as being decided by the Jade Emperor who ruled the sky. Eastern people of the period would have likened the heavenly ruler with those equivalent dynastic emperors found on Earth. The twelve animal star signs are, as the story goes, the most interesting animals found by the Jade Emperor’s servant. However, more realistically the concept of using animals in order to categorize star signs was possibly the most convenient method by which eastern people could be steered to associate themselves with characteristics common in the animals chosen.
Eastern astrology signs using Chinese astrology begin with the rat followed by the ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Each animal star sign represents a year of birth rather than the western star signs which equate to months of birth. In addition the Chinese astrological system recognizes and separates animal signs by sixty years for example an individual born in 1950 would be categorized with a Tiger star sign linking to the element Metal, they would therefore be a Metal Tiger provided certain characteristics. The next time a Metal Tiger is able to be born is in 2010. Separating individual star signs and elements in this way reflected the life expectancy of eastern people pre 500 BC.