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Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, The

Product no.: 0-06-273731-7
20th anniversary of Lau's authoritative classic on the Chinese Zodiac.

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Publisher's Synopsis

The Chinese lunar calendar is the longest chronological record in history, dating from 2637 B.C. when the first cycle of the zodiac was introduced. One complete cycle takes 60 years and is made up of five simple cycles of 12 years each. The 78th cycle started on February 1984, and will end on February 2044. Twelve animals were assigned to each of the 12 years when, according to legend, the Lord Buddha summoned all the animals to come to him before he departed from Earth.

Only twelve animals came to bid him farewell. As a reward he named a year after each one in the order that it arrived. First came the Rat, then the Ox, the Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Sheep, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar. Thus, we have the twelve animal signs of today. The animal ruling the year in which you were born exercises a profound influence on your life.

Discover which of the twelve animal signs you are and how the animal that hides in your heart influences your outlook on life and your relationships with others. Look to the future and learn how you are likely to fare in each of the years well into the millennium. Read the personality profiles of East and West combinations, as well as the chapter on the 144 marriage combinations to see the relationships between the twelve lunar signs.

Now in its 6th edition, Handbook remains the definitive work on this fascinating subject, artfully combining the Eastern lunar calendar with Western solar-based astrology.


The Rat Personality

"Remarkably easy to get along with, hard working and thrifty, he will be generous only to those he is inordinately fond of, so if you get an expensive gift from him, you know he holds you in high esteem. Yet, in spite of his penny-pinching ways, the Rat will never be found wanting for admirers as he emits such fantastic appeal.

On the surface, some Rats may appear reserved, even placid, but they are never as quiet as they may seem. Something is always going on inside that sharp mind. Actually, the Rat is easily agitated but able to maintain self-control, which explains why he is so popular and has such a multitude of friends.

The Rat person is usually a bright, fun-loving and sociable character. Occasionally, you may come across a supercritical or grouchy, fault-finding one. But on the whole, he enjoys parties and other large gatherings. He will endeavor to join exclusive clubs and as a rule can be found in a close circle of friends or fellow conspirators. He is very outgoing and likes getting involved. How else is he going to be in the thick of things and amass all that information he has about everyone?

The Rat really cherishes his friends, associates and family relations; at times he gets hopelessly tangled in other people's affairs because he cannot easily rid himself of strong emotional attachments once he makes them. His capacity to love can only be overruled by his shrewdness and love of money.

A Rat boss may demonstrate great concern about whether his employees are getting enough exercise or eating a balanced diet. In his heart, he sincerely cares about their welfare; he will visit them when they are sick and make their problems his problems. Yet when it comes to giving them that well-deserved raise, he will hedge and be a little stingy. A lot of arm twisting and collective bargaining is needed when it comes to parting a Rat from his money.

The Rat lady may continually amaze you by being a model of frugality. She is forever distributing old clothes, recycling toys, buying or selling secondhand items, and stretching meals, leftovers and the budget until the family could scream. However, she may not care to apply these same penny-pinching standards when dealing with her precious offspring. If her children know how to get around her, she will find it hard to deny them anything. Rat people are rarely tightwads where their loved ones are concerned. Strange how every time a Rat mother cuts a cake, her child will get the largest slice, no matter whose birthday it is. Rat females are also voted most likely to recycle a Christmas gift, which gives new meaning to the saying: What goes around, comes around.

Rats are by nature decidedly clannish. Maybe there is some truth about safety in numbers. The Rat never worries about having another mouth to feed and will allow his relatives, in-laws and friends to stick around his house and live off him. Why? Because the crafty Rat will always find something for them to do to earn their keep. Laggards, professional bums and freeloaders will all get put to work swiftly in his household. Charity has its limits. Trust the efficient and practical Rat.

The Rat native keeps his own secrets well but he can be an expert at weeding other people's gardens. He has few qualms about using vital confidential information or capitalizing on the mistakes of others. Trust him to investigate stock tips and follow through on privileged information. What do you mean, insider trading? That couldn't possibly apply to him. After all, one certainly cannot expect the Rat to ignore opportunity's knock, especially when his ear is glued to the door so much of the time! A wink, a nod, or the tiniest move of an eyebrow is all you need to signal the Rat that something's afoot. He will track it all the way to its source.

As much as the Rat likes to camouflage or hide his feelings, one can always tell when he is upset. He becomes edgy, curt and impertinent. Some may even become absolute nags. Inefficiency, idleness, waste and tardiness go against his active and industrious nature and cause him to harp at the subject of his displeasure until things are done right. The Rat loves to run the show and everyone and everything had better look sharp under his stewardship."


Theodora Lau is the author of numerous books, including the best-selling Handbook of Chinese Horoscopes, in which author, calligrapher, and illustrator Kenneth Lau's work was also featured.

Theodora's books have been translated into over 17 languages and have introduced many topics of Chinese culture to readers all over the world.

Author Lau, Theodora
Book Type Oversized Paperback
Page Count 422 pp.
Publisher HarperCollins 2000
Browse these categories as well: Chinese Astrology, Noteworthy Releases 2000

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