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The Year of the Rat in Chinese Astrology

Rachel Clare
By Rachel Clare
November 15, 2022
The Year of the Rat in Chinese Astrology
The Year of the Rat in Chinese Astrology

The Chinese zodiac grasps the imagination, with many of us wanting to know our own Chinese zodiac animal sign and who we are compatible with. So, in this article, learn what the spiritual meaning of Rat is, what personality traits it possesses and what other signs Rat is best matched with. This article will explore:

The intelligent and cunning Rat is the first of the 12 animal signs within the Chinese zodiac and the Rat’s energy imparts certain traits and compatibilities onto those born under its sign. Knowing this, what is the symbolic meaning of the Year of the Rat? What does it mean when we relate it to the Five Elements and What other signs are best suited to the Rat?

What is the ‘Year of the Rat’ in Chinese Astrology?

The Year of the Rat in Chinese Astrology

The Chinese zodiac has existed for over 2000 years and is a repeating astrological cycle composed of 12 symbolic animals. The zodiac cycle is broken down into yearly increments following the passing of every Chinese New Year, meaning a full zodiac circle takes 12 years. Unlike Western astrology, with each zodiac sign lasting roughly one month, everyone born within the same Chinese calendrical year shares a Chinese zodiac animal. These animal zodiac signs are believed to be fundamental in influencing not just our personality, but also our luck, destiny and other events that may occur in our lives. The animals in the Chinese zodiac include the Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. These animal signs are also believed to have natural compatibility with some signs and not others.

When is the Year of the Rat?

The last time it was the Year of the Rat, it was 2020. Before this, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960 and 1948 were all Years of the Rat too. The next time will be 10 years from now, on February 11th, 2032.

Year of the Rat Personality

The Year of the Rat in Chinese Astrology

The Rat leads the Chinese zodiac as the first of the 12 animals. In fact, the Rat’s leading position originates from the tale of the Jade Emperor, who stated that the order of the zodiac would be decided by the order of the animals’ arrival to his party. On the journey, the Rat is said to have deceived the Ox by hopping onto his back and hitching a ride. Upon arrival at the finish line, the Rat then leaped down and surpassed the Ox, taking first place at the party. So, since then, the Rat has taken primary position in the zodiac and is associated with crafty, shrewd and adaptable personality traits. Those born under the year of the Rat are therefore seen to be cunning, intelligent, quick-witted and alert. They are charismatic and can charm their way into success with ease. That said, Just like rats have been used throughout history to detect landmines and fires, zodiac Rats are doers rather than talkers - where they lack in their communication skills, they make up for in their ability to act quickly and decisively. With their loved ones, Rats mean well, but are known to speak their mind and cause offense on occasion. Tact is probably not their strongest quality, but they never go out of their way to be malicious. With strangers though, the Rat has little problem putting themselves first and being opportunistic. For this reason, Rats make very successful entrepreneurs, salespeople and investors. They really are artful and wily beings.

Rat Woman Personality

The Rat woman is powerful and assertive by nature. She is passionate about her interests and is constantly enthusiastic about expanding her knowledge. Money and finances are usually at the forefront of her mind also, as she views life’s luxuries as incredibly important. However, the Rat woman struggles with being alone; she thrives in bustling environments and her social battery never runs flat, so when quieter moments arise, she can struggle to find peace with the slower pace. One reason why the Rat woman struggles in this way is because her mind is constantly whirring - she finds it difficult to shut out negative thought cycles and can find herself feeling low as a result. To combat this, the Rat woman needs to put her energy into where her talents lie as her confidence and sense of self are bound in her ability to perform well. Otherwise, the Rat woman is a keen entrepreneur and an expert when it comes to business negotiation. She can make anyone and everyone feel special and use her charm to secure even the trickiest deals. 

Rat Man Personality

The Rat man is a bold risk taker. He can only truly thrive when under intense pressure and loves the thrill of tight deadlines in the workplace. The Rat man is at his happiest when his actions have important consequences as this is when he performs at his very best. As such, it’s unsurprising that the Rat man is a natural in leadership positions or any other role that requires his authority. While charismatic and popular at work, the Rat man may have a small group of close friends. Others may find him difficult to trust off the bat and choose to keep him at arm’s length while they figure out what he’s all about. Like the quick-thinking rat itself, the Rat man is agile, speedy and incredibly decisive. While some decisions may leave others anxiously pondering, for this man, going with the gut is the key to success; rarely does the Rat man doubt himself. That said, he is generous and caring in nature. His cutthroat business skills may be intimidating in the workplace, but his friends and family see him as a kind and paternal figure. The Rat man will go out of his way to make sure the needs of his loved ones’ are met and will always be there to provide a comforting shoulder to cry on. 

Year of the Rat Compatibility

The Year of the Rat in Chinese Astrology

The animals of the Chinese zodiac all have intricate and unique relationships with one another. The positioning of each animal on the zodiac wheel is important in shaping these relationships, but in the simplest terms, each animal has between two and four highly compatible matches and between two and four incompatible, ‘unfriendly’ matches. For instance, the Rat and the Dragon are known to make a very strong duo, while the Rat and the Rabbit are notoriously dissimilar. 

Rat and Dragon Compatibility

The Rat and the Dragon are united in their bravery and self confidence. They are both inherently driven by success and care little about what it takes to achieve it. Rats and Dragons are also very social and enthusiastic people, meaning they attract plenty of positive attention and are often seen as inspiring to others. In relationships, these two are passionate but are known to speak without thinking. 

Rat and Monkey Compatibility

Both the Rat and the Monkey are intelligent and optimistic. They work well as a team as they are able to bounce their dynamic ideas of one another. However, in a relationship, their compatibility is less straightforward; in some cases, the two will find common ground in their ambitious outlook on life. But in other cases, strife may arise as the two fight for the limelight. If the Rat and Monkey are to be successful they need to practice communicating effectively.

Rat and Pig Compatibility

Pig and Rat compatibility is very strong. Their relationship is characterized by love and affection, with the Tiger offering plenty of encouragement for the Pig's self-doubting ways. When these two signs are together, trust, respect, and devotion prevail, with extra emphasis on a romantic rather than platonic connection. 

Rat and Tiger Compatibility

The Rat and Tiger form a powerful duo. Firstly, where the Tiger lacks in the ability to express themself, the Rat makes up for with their strong communicative abilities. Otherwise, these two are very similar in most other ways; they are driven and ambitious at heart, so are likely to jump into mutual ventures with one another. That said, the Rat and Tiger may find themselves jostling for authority. These two need to learn that leadership can be shared in a relationship.

Rat and Ox Compatibility

The thing with Ox Rat compatibility is that it thrives on account of their differences. These differences are what allows the couple to grow spiritually and work on their respective flaws. For instance, on the one hand, the Ox is a big thinker and takes his time to contemplate before taking action. On the other hand, the Rat is hasty and wastes no time in getting things done. The combination of these two approaches to life is fulfilling and productive for this pair.

Rat and Rabbit Compatibility

A connection between the Rat and Rabbit would be strained to say the least. The two are completely contrasting at their core and would struggle to see the value in each other’s quirks in a relationship. For one, the Rat is brash and quick to react while the Rabbit is passive and highly sensitive. Hurt feelings and misspoken words would likely be the norm for these two.

What are the Year of the Rat Elements?

The Year of the Rat in Chinese Astrology

Another core component of the Chinese zodiac is that each zodiac year falls under one of the Five Chinese Elements; Wood, Earth, Metal, Water and Fire. Traditional Chinese astrology uses the Five Elements to describe interactions within the universe with the belief that each element influences our personality, destiny and fate. As such, while the year in which we were born corresponds with one of 12 animal zodiac signs, we are also ruled by a particular element. For example, this year is the Year of the Tiger but simultaneously the year of Water. This makes 2022 the year of the Water Tiger.

The Year of the Wood Rat

February 2nd, 1984 - February 19th, 1985

The Wood Rat is friendly and sociable by nature and can often be found surrounded by many friends. Making connections with people, from all walks of life, comes naturally to the Wood Rat. They are also some of the most intelligent of all Rats and fare exceedingly well in literary careers, such as journalists or writers. This is because Wood Rats are good with their words and express themselves very well.

The Year of the Fire Rat

February 19th, 1996 - February 6th, 1997

Fire Rats are the most capable and daring of all Rats. They are thrillseekers at heart and constantly striving for the next biggest adventure. But it is due to these fiery traits that mean Fire Rats fear nothing more than restriction. To be told to follow a routine or be constrained by a strict structure is simply their worst nightmare. As such, Fire Rats can be seen to be stubborn and difficult at times, although they make up for this with their excitable, larger-than-life personalities.

The Year of the Earth Rat

February 7th, 2008 - January 25th, 2009

The Earth Rat possesses all of the same core characteristics as the Rat, but is far more thoughtful and deliberate than the rest of his cohort. The Earth Rat takes more time considering his next move as success is so important to him. Climbing the career ladder and accumulating wealth is what keeps the Earth Rat ticking. He makes a reliable, dedicated colleague and a good boss.

The Year of the Metal Rat

January 25th, 2020 - February 11th, 2021

Metal Rats are the most confident of all Rats, but perhaps to their own detriment. Their sense of self-belief is admirable, although possibly not as self-aware as it could be. Due to this, the Metal Rat’s ego is easily bruised and they are prone to taking offense when people challenge their ways. That said, they are incredibly loyal and trustworthy individuals and will jump to the defense of their loved ones.

The Year of the Water Rat

February 15th, 1972 - February 2nd, 1973

The Water Rat is the most emotional and sensitive of all Rats. While still not one of the more emotional animals of the Chinese zodiac, these Rats are more expressive and open than their elemental counterparts. They take pleasure in slowing down and engaging with others, rather than thinking quickly and acting recklessly. 

By now you will know that people born under the different Chinese zodiac signs have certain personality traits corresponding to that animal. Some of the zodiac signs are very compatible but others do not fare as well. If you are curious about whether you are compatible with your partner, friends, family and colleagues, make sure to find out within which Chinese zodiac year they were born!

Do you still want to know more about the Year of the Rat 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!

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