The Rat

1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

The rat is the first sign of the Chinese Zodiac. Its intrinsic element is water. The compass direction of the rat is between 337.5 degrees to 7.5 degrees. This falls in the direction of north. You will find that this sector of the house occupies an angle of 30 degrees. This sector is said to be the part of the house deemed very lucky for those residents who are born in any of the years of the rat. The years of the rat are listed in the table. These years have not however been adjusted to take account of the lunar New Year. Thus if you were born in any of the above years but during say, the month of January, chances are you do not belong to the rat year but instead to the year prior to the rat year which is the year of the boar. in the same way you could still be a rat if you are born in the January of the following year. To check your date of birth against the lunar calendar please refer to the 100 years lunar calendar at the back of the book.

When the Jade Emperor first chose the animal signs, he worked out two basic criteria. Any animal that wanted to be accepted either had to be of use to humanity or be one of the first to arrive at the Heavenly Palace on the day when the animals were being chosen.

The rat desperately wanted to get in but realized he was of littler use to humanity, so he decided to use ox was noted for reliability and would probably be the first to arrive, so early in the morning on the allocated day he jumped on to the Ox's horn.

The ox was indeed the first to arrive at the palaces early that the doors of the palace were still closed. The ox waited expectantly outside while the gates were slowly opened, then suddenly the rat jumped off and ran between the gates. The ox was furious at being cheated; he had made the effort to arrive early and so complained to the Jade Emperor. The Emperor listened but felt that he could not go against his own word, and consequently the cunning rat became the first animal sign.

Personality of people born in rat year

You are active and intelligent, quick to spot the potential in a situation and skilled at putting your ideas into effect. In unexpected situations you are able to quickly assess both the drawbacks and the possibilities, and while others are wondering what to do you have already taken advantage of the opportunity that lies there. You can be strong-willed and ambitious but be careful not to force your ideas on others; a little consideration will prevent you irritating or alienating friends and colleagues.

In your determination to see projects up and running you can appear to be selfish or stubborn, but you believe in what you are doing and approach it whole- heartedly. You are a good and meticulous organizer and like to be familiar with all the available options if an unexpected difficulty arise. You are fair in your dealings and expect the same from others in return, and can be deeply affronted if you feel you have been deceived or your trust had been abused. Sometimes you set your targets too high, whether in relationship to your friends or in your career, but as the years pass you will become more realistic and tolerant.

You can be open and gregarious in company and are a welcome addition to a party. You are intelligent in conversation, can detect the humor in a situation and are generous with both your compliments and your attention. But if you find yourself in a situation where you feel that you are not being appreciated, a more petty or critical side may emerge. It is important for you to feel secure and you react anxiously when your position is threatened. You want and need to be understood, but others would be wise not to push or corner you, since those born in the year of the Rat jealously guard their privacy.


You are a passionate and attentive partner and are not afraid of revealing the depths of your feelings. You are full of highly charged emotions, particularly at the start of a relationship, but if you feel your commitment is not returned resentment will soon creep in. You need to be completely involved and cared for. you want to be part of your partner's plans and also share their thoughts. You are easily hurt if you feel your partner has left you out in the cold, and in response you can be petty and difficult to handle.

You are likely to pass through many highs and lows in your relationships, which does make them rather fragile. What you need is security, and once you have been reassured, you are attentive and loving. In fact, you can be great company and love to indulge in life's pleasures but you do not like being reprimanded. You know how to charm, and though romantic game playing is not your strong point, you also know how to deal with it. It will take time, but when you find someone who gives you the security and love you need, you will be a faithful partner.


You are energetic and versatile and can usually find your way around obstacles. You are able to adapt to various environments; it is not unusual for someone born in the year of the Rat to be involved in several projects besides their main career. You are attentive to your work, and when you are negotiating terms or handling people you can be clever and discriminating, although others may distrust your motives. You are a good tactician, but try to keep colleagues informed in order to maintain their trust.

If you feel your colleagues are not performing to the standard you expect or are not sharing information understanding might well resolve the situation. Although you are suited to careers involving buying or selling you are advised to concentrate on small scale projects.

You are suited to a career in sales, accountancy or shopping. You would also be a successful publisher, writer, musician or outdoor pursuits instructor

Rat Associations


Water :

In Chinese philosophy the five elements are types of energy that affect all life. It is their interaction that creates change from a global level to a personal level. The rat is associated with the element of water, which works in harmony with the element of wood but is overwhelmed by the element of earth.


Black :

The rat is linked to the colour black, which is traditionally associated with honour and dignity. It can reflect honour towards either family, colleagues or country. Black also represents success in the face of difficulty, and was the colour worn by the first emperor of China after he defeated the Chou dynasty.


Yin :

Yin and yang are the two great cosmic forces which influence and balance all life. Yin is cool, watery and still, a force which becomes stronger as summer wanes and the winter season begins. Although the rat embodies both yin and yang qualities, it is associated with water, which has powerful yin qualities linked to peace and reflection.


North :

Each of the twelve animal signs is matched to a direction of the compass. The rat is linked to northerly direction, which in turn is associated with the late hours of the day and first hours of the morning. The north is traditionally linked to the mid-winter, a time when yin is at its strongest.

Balancing of Energy for People born in Rat year

Those born in the year of the Rat are advised to observe the following :

In the years of the Snake (2001) :

The rat continues with his good fortunes. Add a couple of Fu dogs or Chi Lines to ensure there is no serious loss of money due to your being too trusting. Place a wealth plant and a water feature in the south-west.

In the years of the Horse (2002) :

The rat faces financial difficulties, possibility of lawsuits and family problems. Must have, wind chime, Fu dogs and amulets in the east for protection and to guard against the 5 yellow here this year. Light up the south to appease the Grand Duke with a chandelier here!

In the years of the Sheep (2003) :

The rat's fortunes recover and are poised for growth. Place a three-legged toad or coins to further enhance prosperity and luck.

In the years of the Monkey (2004) :

This is another good year when the rat enjoys continued spate of good fortune. Place Dragon images to enhance the luck.

In the years of Rooster (2005) :

Great year for business. hang wind chimes in the west. Bring in Sau, the God of longevity to protect from fatigue & over working.

In the years of the Dog (2006) :

Not a good year. Need to lie low. This is a year when you require protection. Place bells and wind chimes in the west to keep the 5 yellow under control here. Also bring back the amulets and the tortoise.

In the years of the Boar (2007) :

Again stay cool and lie low.

In the years of the Rat (2008) :

Prosperity, energize the north with water features.

In the years of the Ox (2009) :

A moderately good year. Water in the north will be good but placing image of ox in the north/north-east will be better.

In the year of the Tiger (2010) :

An average year. Travel luck should be improved. Place a conch shell in your living room.

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