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The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese Zodiac

Rachel Clare
By Rachel Clare
September 28, 2022
The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese Zodiac
The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese Zodiac
TL;DRYou may have wondered which Chinese zodiac signs are compatible or about zodiac chinese compatibility more generally. Perhaps you are starting a new relationship and considering the Chinese zodiac best matches. Well, the four triangles of affinity are a handy guide to explain which signs share similar traits and how they interact with one another.

What is the Chinese Zodiac? 

The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese Zodiac

Both Chinese and Western astrology consists of 12 different zodiac signs that ascribe different traits and qualities onto those born within them. However, Western astrology was formed in relation to the Earth’s year-long orbit around the sun, meaning each zodiac sign lasts for roughly one month at a time. For Chinese astrology, the passing of the Chinese New Year marks the beginning of a new zodiac sign, of which is represented by 12 different animals important in traditional Chinese culture. Due to this structure, those born in the same Chinese calendrical year share the same zodiac animal sign. These animal zodiac signs are believed to be instrumental in shaping not only our personality, but also our luck, fate and other events that may occur in our lives. There is a large emphasis on destiny in Chinese culture and the zodiac animals play a large role in influencing it. With that said, the 12 animals of the Chinese zodiac include the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. 

The Four Triangles of Affinity

The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese Zodiac

After learning your chinese animal sign, you may be interested in learning about which other signs you are most and least compatible with. One way to begin looking at this field is by grasping the concept of the four triangles of affinity. The 12 zodiac animals are all divided into four equal groups named the competitors, thinkers, predators and diplomats and are grouped according to their fundamental qualities, thinking patterns and energy. While successful compatibility between animals across different groups is still very much possible, the three animals within each triad have a particularly harmonious, balanced and often romantic affinity for each other. These three animals are also likely to share similar interests, outlooks on life and feel similarly towards the same people. Of course, arguments and clashes aren’t immune from these groups, but their relationships are incredibly strong, stable and meaningful.

The Competitors: Rat, Monkey, Dragon

The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese Zodiac

The first of the four triangles of affinity consists of active signs. These three signs are the most ambitious, driven and performance focused signs of the zodiac. As they share similar personality traits and hold many of the same values, they are more likely to forge strong and successful partnerships. The characteristics that bind the Rat, Monkey and Dragon include drive, a sharp mind, and natural leadership skills. They take initiative and are constantly thinking about how they can reach their next goal. Known as the trailblazers of the Chinese zodiac, it is believed that they carve the path for the following animals - they set the bar high and show ‘slower’ signs what is needed to be done in order to achieve great success. As such, these restless signs can feel stuck in a rut pretty quick when life slows down. These calmer periods can really take their toll on this trio and affect their self-worth. In short, when not achieving, these signs wonder what worth they have. With this in mind, this Triad is known for its impatience and quick temper. They need to learn to take their time and appreciate the beauty of life as it can be unhealthy to view value purely in terms of material gains and success.

Rat

The Rat is an overlooked creature, quietly outsmarting his enemies using intellect and stealth. While cunning and scrappy for sure, people of this sign are fiercely independent and have a sense of streetsmart stronger than most. They are used to being knocked down by ill-intentioned individuals, but will always have the strength and drive to rise back above. 

Monkey

Flighty, fickle and erratic, the Monkey will always keep you on your toes. They mostly operate in extreme polarity, showing either intense loyalty and kindness or act cruel and driven by revenge. That said, they give what they receive, so think wisely about how you treat these individuals - they will take what they are given and run a mile with it. 

Dragon

Dragons are idealistic, optimistic and forever in daydream land. They have a self-confidence that reaps them many successes and they have a wonderful ability to revel in the little things in life. However, their whimsical, energetic energy can grow tiresome for the more grounded signs at times. 

The Thinkers: Ox, Snake, Rooster (Thinkers)

The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese Zodiac

The Ox, Snake and Rooster are united in their stoic character. They are the most impenetrable, stable and level-headed trio in the zodiac. Their greatest ability is their emotional control, as, unlike the impulsive competitors triangle, they use logic and reason to work through feelings that may arise. They look for answers to difficult situations and keep their emotions contained until the dust has settled. Due to their remarkably even-temper, they are popular people and often adopt the role of advisor. In fact, some of the soundest advice comes from the mouths of Oxs, Snakes and Roosters. That said, this particular trio are guilty of burying their emotions to the point of detachment. While they are loving, loyal and caring with their family, they need to sit with and experience the emotions that they are constantly running from. Doing this is healthy and cathartic and would have a positive knock-on effect in many other areas of their lives. 

Ox

The Ox is the optime of slow and steady wins the race. They aren’t extravagant or showy people, but have a quiet confidence that gets them very far. Ox people are also incredibly caring, making major sacrifices to help those they love. They do, however, need to make sure to prioritize their own wellbeing from time to time as you can only provide support to others when you are looking after your own needs.

Snake

Snakes are loving and loyal to those in their close circles but can be incredibly sneaky and conniving with those on the outside. They also have a desire for comfort and luxury but don’t always show the level of drive necessary to turn dreams into reality. So, while Snakes aren’t known to be full of grit, they have no problem charming others and performing well socially.

Rooster

The Rooster is perceptive and astute, being able to read things about people that most others - including themselves - cannot. With this innate gift, Rooster people are able to connect with people on a far deeper level, making them feel heard and appreciated. This gift is wonderful, but the Rooster must remember to use it for good intentions only and not to get what they want from people.

The Protectors Triangle: Horse, Dog, Tiger

The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese Zodiac

The third triangle of affinity consists of the protectors; the Horse, Dog and Tiger. These creatures are characterized by their humanitarian streak as they are the most compassionate and charitable signs in the zodiac. Forming close connections with all people, regardless of sex, race, class or religion, comes naturally to these three - they are constantly seeking to better their own understanding of others’ experiences and hope to encourage everyone else to do the same. Arguably naive in their ambitions to better the world, this trio forms elaborate plans to fight injustice and help those in need. These plans may be idealistic or unorthodox, but the key takeaway is that their intentions are honest and noble. Alongside these traits, the protectors view the world in its bigger-picture; mundane, frivolous issues are simply background noise to these three as their minds are forever critiquing society’s broader systems of injustice. They ask why the world is the way it is and what can be done to improve it.

Horse

The powerful, stoic Horse is a true friend to all. They possess a quiet authority and a calm persona that many find irresistible to be around. Also, with their natural leadership, they find themselves taking on the role of agony aunt in their social circles. People flock to them to feel their comforting energy and to hear solid advice when life gets a little out of control.

Dog

Those born under the Dog exhibit many of the qualities that we already love so dearly in our own four-legged companions. They are kind, loyal and utterly devoted to those they love, making them wonderful friends and partners. However, the Dog’s strengths can become its vice if not careful - they must learn to stand up for themselves in order to prevent others from walking over them. Despite this, the Dog has a bite and can defend itself fiercely when push comes to shove.

Tiger

Tiger individuals are powerful, driven and assertive. They are strong-willed and principled, forming their own opinions and sticking by them proudly. Due to this innate self-confidence, Tiger people are able to command a lot of respect from their peers. This authority comes naturally though, as these decisive people do not have to coerce or bully others into following their demands. However, Tigers must learn to not let their ego get the better of them.

The Diplomats: Goat, Pig, Rabbit (Diplomats)

The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese Zodiac

The Fourth and final triangle of affinity consists of the diplomats; the Goat, Pig and Rabbit. Diplomats are characterized by their soft personalities, sympathetic touch and emotionality. They are deeply empathetic beings who hold genuine concern for others’ wellbeing. While they may share similar traits to the protectors, these signs are far less pioneering on a macro-scale. They are far more subtle and introspective, making positive change in smaller, more intimate ways. In fact, the diplomats are often considered the three signs most in touch with their spirituality, viewing the world as only one part of a much more expansive picture. These three are also highly dependent on the authority of the more powerful signs, as they fare far better when following instructions than in a leadership role themselves. However, unsurprisingly, this triad needs to watch out for malice and ill-intentioned people. Their inclinstination to see the best in everyone is easily taken advantage of and can put them at risk. 

Goat

The Goat’s biggest limitation is its own self-confidence. All of the potential is there, but having the drive to make leaps and bounds does not come naturally to this unassuming creature. The Goat thrives in familiar, structured environments though, as these environments are where they have access to their loved ones’ support most readily. They are sensitive souls, sure, but under the right conditions, they can really make something of themselves.

Pig

As one may expect, the Pig is often too preoccupied with comfort and self care to win awards or reach for the stars. While laziness is definitely the Pig’s fatal flaw, these people do show the rest of the zodiac that life isn’t to be taken too seriously. Sometimes we neglect to look after ourselves, and as such, turning to the Pig and practicing his version of self-love is not to be sniffed at.

Rabbit

Kind, sweet and youthful are all terms often associated with the Rabbit. These people are optimistic and soft-souled, seeing the good in everyone. However, the Rabbit needs to stay alert for predators; not everyone is good natured which is a cruel reality that the Rabbit needs to learn. 

The Circle of Conflict

The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese Zodiac

Just as the twelve animal zodiac signs have their most compatible matches, they similarly have ‘unfriendly’ signs that they are more likely to clash with. One way to spot these obvious incompatibilities is by looking at the order of the signs in the zodiac wheel. The animals that sit directly opposite one another have the greatest friction and are therefore the pairings most doomed to fail. For example, the Tiger sits opposite to the Monkey, meaning these two are likely to face strife when in each other’s company. However, it is important to note that signs that do not sit opposite from each other, nor sit in the same triangle of affinity, have varying levels of compatibility influenced more by situational factors. 

Compatibility in the Chinese zodiac can be complicated, but looking at the four triangles of affinity is a quick and easy way to categorize the signs into harmonious groups. Each triangle possesses its own energy, traits and outlook on life, so knowing which triangle you and your loved ones are a part of can provide some interesting insight into their character. So, are you a competitor, thinker, protector or diplomat?

Do you still want to know more about the Year of the Tiger in Chinese astrology? There are many resources at Mysticsense that can guide you with your learning and provide insight for any other questions you may have. Get started learning more about Chinese astrology at Mysticsense today!


The Four Triangles of Affinity in the Chinese ZodiacAbout the Author: Rachel Clare is a Writer and Brand Ambassador at Mysticsense.com. She specializes in spiritual content, astrological guidance and providing advice for businesses across the globe.

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