PHASES/BRANCHES/ANIMAL EQUIVALENTS

The following are the correspondences for what are called, at times, the ‘human equivalents’ for the ten stems and the twelve earthly branches. This is especially to be seen in the first table. The ten stems are the five traditional elements with their yin and yang counterparts. The twelve branches are more commonly known as the animal signs, although what they actually describe are the twelve phases of a complete cycle. The animal signs are of a late construct, relatively, in Chinese astrology, and should be seen as a convenient and populist way of remembering what are actually phases of a cycle.

BRANCH

PHASE

STEM EQUIVALENT

DESCRIPTION

ANIMAL

I

Commencement

yin water

Birth

Rat

II

Closure

yin earth, yin water, yin metal

Childhood

Ox

III

Establishing

Yang Water, Yang Fire, Yang Earth

Adolescence

Tiger

IV

Dividing

yin wood

Adulthood

Rabbit

V

Filling

yin wood, Yang Earth, yin water

Prime

Dragon

VI

Equating

Yang Fire, Yang Earth, Yang Metal

Decline

Snake

VII

Fixing

yin fire, yin earth

Aging

Horse

VIII

Regulating

yin water, yin earth, yin fire

Death

Sheep

IX

Breaking

Yang Earth, Yang Metal, Yang Water

Dormancy

Monkey

X

Danger

yin metal

Void

Rooster

XI

Protecting

yin metal, Yang Earth, yin fire

Embryo

Dog

XII

Receiving

Yang Water, Yang Wood

Pregnancy

Pig

The Natural Pairs

I, II

III, XII

IV, XI

V, X

VI, IX

VII, VIII

The Powerful Trios

I, V, IX (North)

III, VII, IX (South)

IV, VIII, XII (East)

II, VI, X (West)

Water

Fire

Wood

Metal

The Clashes

I, VII

II, VIII

III, IX

IV, X

V, XI

VI, XII

The Contrasting Trios

I, II, XII (North)

VI, VII, IX (South)

III, IV, V (East)

IX, X, XI (West)

Water

Fire

Wood

Metal