With the Chinese Lunar New Year fast approaching, you've likely been hearing a lot about the year of the dog, which is the 11th animal in the Chinese zodiac. But, what's the significance of the year of the dog? If you're unsure what this canine astrological sign actually means, here are all of the need-to-know detes. Unlike the cosmic zodiac you're familiar with, the Chinese zodiac determines your sign based on your birth year versus your birth month, according to the website China Highlights. But, just like in the cosmic zodiac, other variables play into how your sign affects you.
While things like planetary positions at the time of your birth influence your cosmic zodiac sign, the year you were born in an animal sign in Chinese astrology (rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog, and pig) determines one of five elements: earth, fire, water, wood, fire, and metal. The year of the dog, the 11th sign in the Chinese zodiac, begins on the Chinese Lunar New Year on Feb. 16, 2018 and lasts until Feb. 4, 2019. If you were born in 1982 you are a water dog. If you were born in 1994 you are a wood dog, and if you were born in 2006 you are a fire dog. Babies born in 2018 are earth dogs.
Similar to planetary influences, like mercury retrograde, the year of the dog affects everyone — not just dogs. However non dogs actually have it better under the year of the earth in 2018 than their canine counterparts. "It’s generally believed to be bad luck if the zodiac animal of the current year is the same as the year you were born in. So people born in the prior dog years should be especially careful, warns Mak Ling-ling, a prominent Hong Kong feng shui master," Quartz Media reported.
Basically, 2018 is going to be an uphill battle for dogs, and everything you seek out or try to achieve — whether it be career advancement, love, health, or wealth — will not come without a lot of frustration and hard work, China Highlights noted. The good news is that, much like their namesake, dogs are persistent AF. So, if you get up each time you're knocked down, you can still come out as top dog, but not without a few battle scars.
If your intentions are pure, you'll have an easier time than self-centered dogs, according to the website Dog Time. "Endeavors that are based on greed and individual drive will likely be rejected. Familial relationships will be of importance during this year. It’s also a good time to make lifestyle changes, such as quitting smoking or starting a new business, though it may also be a time filled with short periods of loneliness or melancholy."
So, if you do get the year-of-the-dog blues, it's totally normal. For non dogs, Horoscope.com reported that because 2018 is the year of the earth dog, most other sings will enjoy a more grounded and stable year. "Where last year may have had you scrambling to keep up with all the opportunities coming your way, this year you get to settle into one or more of them, and start feeling confident and at ease."
If you're not sure which animal sign you are in the Chinese zodiac, you can use this China Highlights astrology calculator to find out, and get the full 2018 forecast for your animal. I am a snake, and China Highlights predicted a very lucky year for snakes until October, which is when things will start to get dark and twisty — just in time for my birthday (sigh).
For other signs, Horoscope.com noted that the earth element in the year of the dog will help rabbits find some much needed comfort, while dragons, goats, and roosters may feel like they're swimming upstream. This is a sign to slow down. If you ignore the earth dog's wisdom, the universe will likely make you pay attention by introducing illness or another obstacle, so it's better to make the decision to chill out on your own.
The dog's qualities of loyalty will help the horse, tiger, and ox find stable and fulfilling relationships. Snakes and monkeys might experience a few hard knocks, but these are lessons that need to be learned so there's no avoiding them. Whether your forecast predicts easy living, or a rough ride upon a wave of uncertainty, setting clear intentions is the most important thing you can do to set yourself up for success in the year of the dog.
"If you're considering what you want to do during the year of the earth dog, think about what you're building," Horoscope.com advised. "From a new home to a solid career to a committed relationship and family, [make sure] you've got all the bases covered." After all, it's definitely a dog-eat-dog world out there, and one thing is clear — determined dogs will get all of the treats.