In Chinese Astrology every year is associated primarily with one of the twelve animal signs of the lunar
zodiac, but also with one of the 5 elements. The year beginning on the 7 February 2008 and lasting until 25 January 2009 is
the year of the Earth Rat.
The Rat is the first sign of
the zodiac, so this year marks the beginning of a new cycle, and as such considerable change and upheaval is indicated.
People born in the year of
the Rat tend to be very ambitious and strong willed. They are natural leaders and can often be pioneers in their field. Rat
years are a great time for inventions and with the Rats associations with wealth and the addition of the element of Earth
this could be a great year for new environmentally friendly technologies.
People of this sign are very
practical and hard-working, highly organized and meticulous in their work. They are very adaptable and can find gain in any
situation. They are great self-promoters and are not ashamed or embarrassed about talking themselves up. Although charismatic
and well liked Rats tend to prefer a small circle of very close friends whom they trust completely.
Rats have a strong control over their emotions, and can use this to control others who do not have this skill. This is one
of the things that makes them great leaders, but it can also lead to them playing mind games and being rather cold and manipulative.
The ambition of the Rat can make them quite aggressive, and the negative traits of the Rat can include being quick tempered,
intolerant and judgemental. Rats can be uptight, perfectionist and pedantic, but this can be tackled if they learn
how to relax. They do tend to become more mellow and tolerant with age.
Tradition says that Rats often
carry a heavy Karma from past lives, and that this can lead to hardship or to feelings of guilt and lack of self-worth. Although
Rats will often be wealthy and successful they will have to work harder than most for what they get in life.
Rats are advised to guard against
hedonism and self-destructive habits which can easily lead to their downfall.
Rats are considered to be compatible
with Monkeys, Dragons, and Oxen, but incompatible with Horses.