In Western astrology, the astrological symbols are based on the constellations. The popular names of the zodiac are their Latin names, although there are some who prefer to refer to signs using their English names. There are twelve zodiac signs in the Western horoscope namely: Aries – the Ram, Taurus – the Bulls, Gemini – the Twins, Cancer – the Crab, Leo – the Lion, Virgo – the Virgin, Libra – the Scales, Scorpio – the Scorpion, Sagittarius – the Archer, Capricorn – the Sea-Goat, Aquarius – the Water Carrier and Pisces – the Two Fish. These twelve signs are divided into the four elements: fire, earth, air and water. These are also divided into groups of four with the three qualities: cardinal, fixed and mutable.
Compared with the Western astrology, the Chinese astrology does not use the constellations as reference. The Chinese astrology uses the twelve animal signs to represent the twelve years for the Chinese zodiac. The first year is the year of the Rat. It is followed by the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep (may also be Ram or Goat), Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and Pig.
The way that Chinese animal signs are being arranged has several legends. Many of these legends involve the story of the banquet hosted by the Jade emperor in which all of the animals of the kingdom are invited. It was said that the animals had to race to the banquet; however, the rat used some trickery to reach the banquet ahead of the other animals. Because of the rat’s deception, the cat was unable to make it to the banquet.