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 on of the first to arrive at the Heavenly Palace on the day when the animals where being chosen.

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

The ox was indeed the first to arrive at the palace; so early that the doors of the palace were still closed. The ox waited expectantly outside while the gates where 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 words, and consequently the cunning rat became the first animal sign.


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 direful not to force your ideas on others; a little consideration is needed to 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 should an unexpected difficulty arise. You are can be 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 has been abused. Sometimes you set your targets too high, whether in relationship to your friends or in you career, but as the years pass you should become more realistic and tolerant.

You can be open and gregarious in company and are a welcome addition to any party. You are intelligent in conversation, can detect the humour 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. You are sometimes a hypocrite, because it may be self serving to be so.  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.

RAT YEARS: Positive Elements
(1900, 1912, 1924, 1936, 1948,
1960, 1972, 1984, 1996. 2008)


You are 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 you commitment is not returned, resentment will soon creep in.

You need to be completely involved and cared for.  You want to be part of you 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, you can be over-critical when more patience or 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 shop keeping. You would also make a good publisher, writer, musician or outdoor pursuits instructor.

mundane everyday life
alarm clocks
rigid timetables
red tape
cheap imitations
having nothing to do
doing without
any kind of failure
being isolated

oddities and the unusual
being the first to explore new places
underground passages
unearthing solutions
taking a gamble
good-quality wordly possessions
Famous Rats:

Alan Alda, Dave Allen, Ursula Andress, Charles Aznavour, Lauren Bacall, Shirley Bassey, Jeremy Beadle, Kenneth Branagh, Marlon Brando, Charlotte Bronte, Chris de Burgh, George Bush, Jimmy Carter, Dick Cavett, Maurice Chevalier, Barbara Dickson, Noel Edmonds, Ben Elton, Albert Finney, Clark Gable, Al Gore,thomas Hardy, Mata Hari, Vaclav Havel, Charlton Heston, Dennis Hopper, Englebert Humperdinck, Jeremy Irons, Glenda Jackson, Jean-Michel Jarre, Gene Kelly, Kris Kristofferson, Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber, Lulu, Richard Nixon, Sean Penn, The Queen Mother, Vanesssa Redgrave, Burt Reynolds, Jonathon Ross, Emma Samms, William Shakespeare, Tommy Steele, Donna Summer, Spencer Tracey, the Price of Wales, George Washington, Dennis Waterman, Kim Wilde, the Duke of York.

Rats will need to be on their guard this year as they may be forced to act against their wishes. Speculation would be ill-advised, rather, this is a time for serious reflection but on the whole, it will be a fair year with plenty of travel on the cards
Summoning Spirit
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