Many years ago, when the Buddha called for the animals to assemble before him, twelve showed up.
These twelve animals (rat, monkey, dog, goat, rabbit, dragon, snake, rooster, horse, tiger, ox, and pig) were immortalized as the Chinese horoscope signs.
I always wondered why only twelve animals are ever mentioned as being in attendance. A summons from a God sounds like a very unwise thing to ignore. Probably the twelve moons of the year meant that only the first twelve to arrive got the job. Or maybe the others just didn't pass the auditions.
The Chinese horoscope calendar is far more interesting than the Western; everyone born in the same year is ruled by the same Animal sign and the animal, together with stars and other heavenly symbols, influences events throughout the year.Therefore, everyone born in the year of the Rooster has the same official birthday. This is very practical since it cuts down on the cost of parties.
A Chinese New year celebration is a lot of fun; San Francisco's was the most elaborate one I've attended but any city with a large Chinese population will have partying in the streets, the eating of dim sum and the giving of money in red envelopes, celebrating the new year.
I was born in the year of the Fire Rooster, which was not, on the whole, a good thing. Generally I find the Chinese horoscope more encouraging than that of my Western sign, Virgo; but the Rooster and Virgo are the two fussiest signs in the respective zodiacs.
I don't appear to have too many Rooster traits.
I am not neat.
I am not perfectionist, or incapable of showing emotion.
Mr. Spock must have been a Rooster. Sherlock Holmes definitely was.
The top career choice for a Rooster should be Nursing or working for a spy agency. One of my horoscopes actually said that.
I have a lot of respect for Nurses but never wanted to be one; and I have no desire to poke into anyone else's business so I'd be a lousy spy.
But, as the Witch said in SNOW WHITE, "There may be an antidote."
The hour and day of birth also are ruled by animals and minerals, so timing in the Chinese calendar DOES count for something.
So I ran my birthdate and time and latitude and longitude through a Chinese horoscope calculator (they can be found online, of course.) The results were ambiguous. I have never been able to figure out what Fire Rooster with Green Sheep meant, other than the possibility of a horrible mixup on the farm; but the Hour in which I was born certainly seems to have had an influence on my personality.
I was born in the hour of the Boar, or Pig. This made me very depressed. But the Pig didn't sound so bad after I'd read a bit about its generous and noble qualities. The heavenly Pig loves luxury and socializing, is generous to a fault, and is not overly worried about everything that the Rooster finds important. The signs are near-exact temperamental opposites.
The Rooster/Pig combination makes me a very intellectual, detail-oriented aesthete who is also a real party animal.
Works for me.
Gung Hay Fat Choi!