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Korean astrology


Astrology originated in ancient Babylonia and spread from there to China, India, and the West, where different but related traditions grew up. The earliest known horoscope incorporating the principles of mature astrology dates from 409 BC. In the 2nd century AD, the astronomer Claudius Ptolemy prefaced his Tetrabiblos with a defense of astrology that proved influential. After the fall of the Roman Empire, astrology declined in the Latin west but flourished in the hands of the conquerors the Eastern Empire.

In the 12th century, astrology began to prosper in Western Europe. By the end of the 17th century, however, astrology was considered a pseudoscience by almost all learned people. Not only was it opposed to the Christian doctrines of divine intervention and human free will, but also the acceptance of a greatly expanded, Sun-centered universe raised doubt about whether the heavens were created to direct changes on Earth.

Although astrology has persisted to the present day, enjoying greater popularity in some countries than in others, it has never attracted more than an occasional scientist to its ranks since the 17th century. Periods of resurgence may correspond with times of uncertainty, especially when science and technology seem unable to provide acceptable solutions to pressing problems and when many people seem to seek a more mystical and spiritual mode of understanding the world. Many contemporary works of astrology use the terminology of recent psychological theories.

The astrological column in a newspaper today is generally based on the sign of the Zodiac in which the sun was located when a person was born. A simplified form of astrology, it implied that, all people born under the same sign anywhere in the world at any time, share common characteristics and that their daily activities should be so guided. A more individual analysis is possible when casting a horoscope by noting the relationships of the Sun, Moon, planets, and signs of the Zodiac to the time and place of one's birth.

The twelve parts of the Western Zodiac are believed to control the destiny of those born on a day assigned to each part: Aries (the ram), \Taurus (the bull), Gemini (the twins), Cancer (the crab), Leo (the lion), Virgo (the virgin), Libra (the scales), Scorpio (the scorpion), Sagittarius (the archer), Capricorn (the goat), Aquarius (the water carrier), and Pisces (the fishes).


The Korean zodiac consists of a 12-year cycle in which each year is represented by an animal. Associated with each animal are certain characteristics. Like the Chinese zodiac on which it is based, the Korean zodiac follows the lunar calendar.

The year in which a person was born determines his or her animal zodiac sign, and sometimes, depending on one's sex, certain signs are considered more auspicious or inauspicious. Traditionally, Koreans believed that the characteristics ascribed to one's sign predetermined one's personality and destiny. Even today, the zodiac signs are considered important factors not only in foretelling one's fortune or fate in life but also in assessing the compatibility of prospective marriage partners.

In the oriental region, especially in Korea, there is a lot of ways to predict one's fate or future. Among them, the fundamental and most general method is the way called "tee.” It also consists of twelve symbols-all symbols are animals reflect some ancient thoughts in Shamanism (called kut in Korean), and twelve animal totems (ship e gung or hwang-do-dae): the rat, bull, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, lamb, monkey, cock, pig, and the dog.

The legend of how and why these animals became the totems vary, but the story goes generally something like this:
One day, Buddha decided to choose twelve animals and make them signs of man's character and destiny. He informed all animals over the world of his decision. Buddha told all animals, "The first twelve of you to arrive at the finish line by tomorrow noon may be one of the symbols"; so all the animals went to sleep early for a race the next day. 
About 3:00 a.m., the ox awoke and thought, "I am very slow, so if I want to be chosen to be one of the symbols, I have to start sooner." Therefore, he started first when other animals were still sleeping. However, the rat awoke when the ox passed and the rat thought, “I am very small and cannot run as fast as the larger animals, so, if I start with other animals, I will not be fast enough to be one of the twelve symbols." Therefore, he decided to start with the ox and rode secretly on the ox's back. Not knowing this, the ox slowly walked toward the finish line. 
In the morning, the rest of the animals awoke and found that the ox and rat were already gone, so they did their best to catch up. As the ox neared the finish line, he thought, "Wow, I am first." Soon after ox finished his thoughts, the rat jumped from the Ox's head and shouted, "Sorry friend, but I am first, and you are second."
Although the ox was disappointed, he walked faster because he saw the other animals followed him. At last, he passed the finish line and he took the second position. The remaining ten positions distributed to animals were the tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, ram, monkey, rooster, pig, and dog.
Another version says that:
When Buddha died, people gathered in sorrow at his deathbed. Twelve animals, also in mourning, came, and for their devotion to Buddha, people honored them by naming the years after them according to the order in which they arrived. Thus, the animal years are the rat, ox, tiger, hare, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig.
However, compared to the western astrology, those animals are assigned to each year, not each part of days. Therefore, every twelve years, people can meet their year. All the ways to predict one's fate or future in Korea are based on two concepts: yang and um. Yang expresses generally active, bright, positive, while um expresses passive, dark, negative, and female. People think the combination is very important and excess of either yang or um is bad.

These two concepts are contained in all Korean ways to predict and foretell one's future such as saju, tojungbigyul, and tee. Saju is very complicated so few of general public can understand it completely. Generally, a symbol is assigned to each year, month, day, and time of one's birth, this then predicts one's fate through the combination of those four symbols. Tee is very easy to understand since it is based on the basic nature of a person.


In tee, you compare the animal totem you were born under with the current year. After finding what is predicted, you take actions and conduct yourself in ways that would be beneficial and in harmony with the universe. All things in the Korean universal philosophy are affected mainly by two forces: Um and yang. Um expresses things that are generally passive, dark, cool, negative, and female. Yang expresses things that are generally active, bright, positive, hot, and male. All the ways to predict one's fate or future in Korea are based on these two concepts. Asians believe the balance of these two forces is very important.

The animal forces or totems are expressions of um and yang. All animal totems are good so there are no bad signs to be born under. If one understands how to stay in balance with um and yang, he or she can make the best of any situation.

For example, people born under the rabbit totem during the year of the ox may have many obstacles and hazards to overcome during the year. Rabbits may try to do many things, but more than likely they will accomplish very little. During this year, they should be patient and meditate before doing anything. This is not necessarily bad since the people born under the rabbit totem may plan to avoid potential problems

Another way tee is applied in Korea is with relationships. Just as certain animal totems are compatible and others not, certain people may be compatible. Understanding the various personality types can help you with your relationships with other people. For example, people born under the tiger totem, are usually active, but may also be aggressive. People born under the ox totem are loyal but may also be stubborn. Understanding personality types and the basic nature of each person may help you be more successful with human relations.

The Korean zodiac is the same as used by the Chinese. As in the western system of astrology, there are 12 signs of the Korean zodiac. Unlike the western system, your sign is based on which year rather than which month you were born, though the exact day and time of your birth are also carefully considered in charting your astrological path. Fortunetellers are common in Korea. Making use of astrology, palmistry, and face reading, fortune tellers claim they can accurately predict the future.

Animal signs

Described below are the characteristics of the animal signs of the Korean zodiac. Find your sign and determine whether the characteristics associated with that sign fit your own.

Year of the Rat: 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020. People born in the Year of the Rat are cheerful, resourceful, and thrifty. Bright and sociable, they are often very successful in business or politics. Although they guard their own secrets, they love to gossip about others. They can be generous at times, but their generosity extends only to those closest to them. Their compatible signs are Dragon, Monkey, and Ox.

Year of the Ox: 1913, 1925, 1037, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021. People born in the Year of the Ox are hardworking, dependable, and down-to-earth. They are also methodical, quiet, and patient but are known for their fierce temper and stubbornness as well. Their most compatible signs are Snake, Rat, and Rooster.

Year of the Tiger: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022. People born in the Year of the Tiger are courageous, sincere, and affectionate. They also have a tendency to be suspicious, quick-tempered, and unpredictable. They inspire great respect in people but often come into conflict with elders or those in authority. Their practicality makes them good businesspeople. The horse is their most compatible sign. Other compatible signs are Dragon, Pig, and Dog.

Year of the Rabbit: 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011, 2023. People born in the Year of the Rabbit are virtuous, considerate, lucky, and easily moved by the problems and misfortunes of others. They are also known for their excellent taste. Being naturally cautious, they make good businesspeople. Their compatible signs are Snake, Monkey, and Horse.

Year of the Dragon: 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012, 2024. People born in the Year of the Dragon are energetic, humorous, capable, and idealistic. Their decisiveness can at times make them seem overconfident, but they do inspire confidence and trust. They are also quite excitable, short-tempered, and stubborn. Their compatible signs are Monkey, Rat, and Rooster.

Year of the Snake: 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013, 2025. People born in the Year of the Snake possess great wisdom as well as charming personality. However, they also tend to be vain, selfish, and even a bit stingy. Lucky in financial matters, they seldom have to worry about money. At times, they are moved to help those who are less fortunate. Their compatible signs are Ox, Rooster, and Dragon.

Year of the Horse: 1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014, 2026. People born in the Year of Horse are cheerful, active, and popular. They generally do not worry, and they adapt easily to different situations. They also tend to be fickle and overly talkative. Their ability to quickly analyze situations and handle business matters makes them good bankers and businesspeople. Their compatible signs are Tiger and Dog.

Year of the Sheep: 1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015, 2027. People born in the Year of the Sheep are gentle, compassionate, and often shy. They are also pessimistic and easily confused. Although they are born worriers, they are also quick to forget about their troubles. Their luck frequently brings them good fortune as people leave them money in their wills. Their compatible signs are Horse, Pig, and Rabbit.

Year of the Monkey: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016, 2028. People born in the Year of the Monkey are quick-witted, versatile, and unique. They are good at making decisions but tend to look down on others. Their ambitious drive often brings them wealth and fame. They are born innovators and also make good linguists. Their compatible signs are Dragon and Rat.

Year of the Rooster: 1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017, 2029. People born in the Year of the Rooster are often misunderstood. They are seemingly aggressive, self-assured, and even reckless, but are true conservatives at heart. They generally tend to promise more than they can give. They love to travel and to try different lifestyles. They tend to have a moody disposition, and their fortunes, like their moods, swing high and low. Their compatible signs are Snake, Dragon, and Ox.

Year of the Dog: 1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018, 2030. People born in the Year of the Dog are intelligent and organized. They have a great sense of humor and are known for their loyalty and feeling of responsibility. They are also secretive and somewhat selfish and stubborn. Their honesty and fairness make them good judges. Their compatible signs are Horse, Tiger, Rabbit, and Pig.

Year of the Pig: 1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019. People born in the Year of the Pig are courageous, loyal, and thoughtful. They also have a great thirst for knowledge. Quick-tempered and introverted, they have a hard time making friends, but their friendships are lasting. Sometimes they tend to be too honest for their own good. Not good at business, they are more suited to literature and the arts. Their compatible signs are Rabbit, Sheep, Dog, and Dragon.

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