Ever since I was a young girl I've wondered about the differences between Western and Eastern Astrology. My grandpa, who only follows the Western tradition, tells me the predictions of Eastern (Chinese) astrology are about as useful as a Q-tip made of pine cones. My grandma says he only thinks this because he spends too much time near the open paint cans in the garage, and that Chinese astrology is the real way to go.
Frankly, I wouldn't trust either one of them to wipe their own butt properly, let alone take advice from them. So I need your help with two confusing questions; 1) Which of the two competing astrological calendars is the most accurate? And 2) does the law still consider it murder if you kill someone really old and super annoying?
First off, thank you so much for asking this question, without interested people such as you, I would be forced to make up these questions myself, and pretend like strangers are asking them. If you don't mind I'll take them in reverse order.
Yes, it is considered murder, but since no one cares about old people, there probably wont be an investigation, and you'll get off scot free.
Regarding the differences between Western and Chinese astrology, they are as many, and as varied, as David Bowie's hairstyles. So, in the following paragraphs I will highlight both the similarities and differences between the competing philosophies, while attempting not to get distracted by my dog, who currently looks like he wants to pee on my new ottoman.
Lunar Verses Solar Calendars
Chinese Astrology is based on the lunar calendar, which is why eight out of ten Werewolf's prefer Eastern over Western. The Western calendar is organized according to earth's orbit around the sun. Unless you believe the earth is flat, in which case the western calendar is organized around a sun that never rises or sets, but only appears to because of perspective.
Lunar Phases Vs. The Four Elements
Chinese Astrology places great emphasis on the lunar phase of birth. This system of divination links a person's temperament with the phase of the Moon at the time of their birth. There are four types of lunar phase personality:
1) New Moon types have trouble spelling the word "various," but get around it by using the word, "many."
2) Waxing Moon people are smooth and free of body hair, making it easy for them to put on a wet suit.
3) Full Moon types intentionally leave dents in the fruit at the grocery store, and almost never clean their ears.
4) Waning Moon people become less and less interesting the more you get to know them. They usually die alone.
Conversely, Western Astrology identifies personality traits which depend on the four elements, each of which correspond to the four basic functions of the psyche.
1) Fire - People with a strong fire element are either inconsistent or incontinent, I forget which. Either way they can't be trusted alone with the dog.
2) Air - Airy people are gassy and loud. They wave their hands around a lot when they talk, and almost never leave a tip.
3) Water - Those with a strong emphasize toward water are very sensitive types. They tend to cry during prescription drug commercials, and rarely, if ever, flush the toilet.
4) Earth - These are the people you see facing the wrong way in an elevator. Without constant praise from authority figures, they tend to go crazy and become lawyers.
Western traditional sources also take into account a fifth element, the 'Quinta Essentia', which describes the soul or the spiritual being of a person. It stands apart from the other elements and is frequently overlooked because it's Latin, and hard to pronounce. They say it's the most important element, but if you ask me that honor goes to Strontium.
The 12 signs discussed in Chinese Astrology derive from a myth. According to legend, after a heavy night of drinking, God chose to develop a calendar. He summoned all the creatures on Earth to fight it out in a Mr. Turtle pool, filed with lime Jello. The last twelve standing would win a place on the calendar for all eternity. The Rat won by default, because no one wanted to get in a pool with a wet rat. The Dragon came in fifth, just behind the Rabbit, which must have been embarrassing for the Dragon, and a constant source of teasing from his Dragon buddies.
Western Astrology, on the other hand, bases its zodiac signs on the constellations that move throughout the sky in a 12 month period. As an example, the month of July is linked to Cancer because this is when the Crab is directly overhead, or so I'm told. I certainly don't see a crab in the sky, or a bull, or a centaur, or a lion, even when they are pointed out to me. I did once see an elephant fall out the back of a cargo plane, but I don't think that's the same thing.
Aside from being full of shit, Eastern and Western astrology have many things in common. For instance, neither one gives you any information of value. I'd much rather have winning lottery numbers, then to be told I shouldn't be looking for love in a back alley, I know I shouldn't be there, its an addiction. And I wonder how many people were informed that Venus was in retrograde, right before being hit by an ice cream truck? I bet they were pissed off about that one.
Another similarity is, neither version makes it clear how an object in the vicinity of Betelgeuse, can effect the personality of biological entities, many light years away. A book an Astrologer once gave me said something about gravitational influence, but I didn't take it too seriously since it was written in crayon.
Next, both Chinese and Western Zodiac's can be found on paper place matts, in some of the more mediocre restaurants around the world. They usually feature pictures of dragons or stars, and always end up looking like someone blew their nose in them. I wouldn't take what they say too seriously though, any astrologer that can't get published anywhere but Mr. Wang's Noodle House, is probably not worth reading.
The most striking similarity is how no one who extolls the virtues of Chinese or Western Astrology, can explain how the hell it works. They'll dribble out a lot of pseudo physics they read on the back of a cereal box fifteen years ago, but you can tell the whole time they're talking, they're thinking about cheese. And as soon as you show them the holes in their reasoning, they all make the same silly statement, "But I just Know it's true." Oh Yeah! Well I just know it's true that you were a dung beetle in a previous life, and nothing seems to have changed in this one. What do ya' think about that?
So I hope this helps you, Kelly, but if not, I don't think I'm going to loose too much sleep over it. Thanks again for the question and feel free to send another the next time you are confused about something a hippie told you. If I can, I will respond immediately, but it's much more likely I will ignore your email for several months, before finally deleting it along with all the other spam.
Have a nice day.