While we often think of rats as pests, the fact that this creature is one of the zodiac signs in Chinese astrology shows that it is revered to a certain extent in oriental culture.
The rat (子) is the first of 12 zodiac signs and is also associated with the rat hours of 2300 to 0100, and with the eleventh of the Chinese lunar-solar calendar.
It has a strong association with wisdom and signals new beginnings. And related to the Fu (復) hexagram, and the Kan trigram.
The earthly branch that represents it is Zi (子) which can be translated to mean son, master, love and seed.
The element is yang water (陽水) and is associated with winter solstice, which refers to the middle period of winter season in December and January.
With regards to body parts, it can represent the kidneys and gallbladder.
On the compass, it sits on the north direction in the range of 352.5° – 7.5°.
It is ranked first among the 12 zodiacs, fundamentally associated with yang water element, and related to winter season and the month of December.
Charming, compassionate, outspoken, highly adaptable, idealistic, attractive, gifted, adventurous, open-minded, entrepreneurial.
Obsessive, fickle-minded, defensive, gossipy, gullible, opinionated, stubborn, short attention span, shrewd.
People who are born in the year if the Rat tend to be intelligent, optimistic, intuitive, hardworking and assertive. And sometimes get overly self-centered.
They are fun to be around partly because of their natural charm and sense of humor.
While often stylish and refined, they can get very talkative when put together with certain types of personalities. And often get carried away by revealing too much information than they should.
An inner shrewdness can sometimes make them susceptible to greed to serve their self-interest.
It is generally said that a rat born in the daytime will be less capable of reaching his or her full potential.
Those born at night will reap the best of the cosmic energy. This is not to be confused with the early and late rat hours of birth.
Even though those born in rat years don’t generally stray, their devotion to a loved one can often lead to possessiveness and obsessiveness.
So while being a partner to one can receive reciprocal love, having one infatuated with you while you don’t feel the same way can be a troublesome affair.
Because they tend to be outspoken and wear their hearts on their sleeves, they can open themselves up to attacks by revealing too much about themselves and their vulnerabilities.
Thus, they tend to have much more emotional and romantic experiences compared to others.
Women love to fantasize about perfect relationships and compare reality with their ideals.
Relationships with others
More details on relationships with other zodiacs can be found here.
Rat personalities are career-minded and relentless by nature.
Sometimes this ambitiousness can lead to relationships being destroyed as they smash barriers standing in their way of success.
However, behind the facade of confidence lies a vulnerable emotional make-up. The root of this is not down to their fear of failure, but how people will perceive them from failure.
This also serves as the driver of motivation for their push to succeed.
Male rats have a tendency to find jobs in the service industry, while female tend to be involved in hospitality, entertainment, and industries related to water.
5 elemental rats
While the rat year arrives once every 12 years, each of the 5 elements take turns to influence the rat each year.
This means that it takes 60 years for a full cycle to complete. And then the cycle repeats itself.
Wood rat (1924, 1984)
The wood rat is shrewd, insightful, charming, and an excellent communicator. However, people born in this year can be insecure.
The wood element is associated with creativity, making such an individual inclined towards beauty and elegance in creative work. He or she would find the most happiness in life when allowed the freedom to pursue interests in creative work such as designing, writing, or even artwork.
They appear relaxed and self-assured most of the time, but can hide that hint of insecurity and self-doubt very well until triggered. Upon that, passion can cause them to explode with aggressive outbursts.
Fire rat (1936, 1996)
The fire rat is fiery, quick-witted, with strong beliefs and values. This makes them a formidable opponent as they fully believe in the actions they take. However, they need to be in constant motion as they easily get bored.
A natural leader and advocate for change, the fire rat as a clear picture of justice, righteousness, moral compass and principles.
However, they can be impatient when their ideals are not met or when others cannot provide an answer they are seeking.
Earth rat (1948, 2008)
The earth rat tends to be driven by material ideals and their actions are mostly attributed to reasons concerning money and wealth. They tend to marry young out of ideals and regret later.
It’s absolutely appropriate to call them practical thinkers as pragmatism drives their behavior.
Because of this, their interactions with others can often be deemed as shrewd, cunning or crafty.
A big weakness is that practicality can sometimes be based on too much information that cannot be easily digested. This means that earth rats can often take too much time to make decisions and as a result fail to capitalize on great opportunities.
This is why successful business people who are earth rat zodiacs usually have partners who are able to complement their strengths.
Metal rat (1960, 2020)
The metal rat is a perfectionist and have very high odds of picking up narcissistic behavior and habits. They also tend to be stingy with money especially when running a business.
Straight-talking and action-takers, metal rat personalities can often get frustrated with others who cannot give them a straight answer. This lack of tolerance can even trigger verbal abuse hurled on others.
Emotional vulnerabilities tend to induce jealousy easily. This makes them vulnerable to being perceived as eccentric and moody.
Water rat (1972)
The water rat is a deep-thinker and visionary who don’t just commands respect, but demands it as well. They have a sweet tongue and more than capable of talking their way out of trouble.
Coupled with above average listening skills, they can be a real force to be reckoned with should one become your adversary.
Calm and self-collected, they are usually benevolent and driven by a helpful nature.
While such personality normally attract followers, their sense of conflict avoidance can often attract others with bad intentions to take advantage of them.
Another weakness is their opinionated nature can sometimes get them into unpredictable trouble.
Fortunes during Chinese zodiac years
In deeper Chinese astrology, Bazi is used for destiny analysis. It incorporates the zodiac years as well.
Feng shui can then be applied to enhance good luck or suppress bad luck.
Here are the general fortunes for rats in other animal years.
Rat in rat year
This is a good time period to start a business as the rat would enjoy almost unparalleled success in their own year.
It would also be a good time to take on life endeavors or achieve certain milestones during the year.
Obstacles will be eliminated on the road to life goals and happiness ensues.
However, this does not mean that they should be reckless in their dealings as that can mean disaster no matter how lucky you are.
Pay attention to the grand duke of jupiter and appease it.
Respiratory health conditions and allergies can arise if not enough care is taken on prevention.
Rat in ox year
This is a year of hard work for survival.
Opportunities for promotions or getting a leg up in life will be few and far between.
It is a time to stay low and keep afloat so that when really good opportunities arrive, the rate is ready to take advantage of it.
However, if one can keep a low profile and quietly do his job competently, there is still a chance for good fortune.
A good year for romance.
Rat in tiger year
It is a year for financial prudence. Investments should be meticulously investigated. Walk away when things just don’t seem right.
One can look forward to direct wealth luck, but not in the area of indirect wealth like windfalls. The most probable time for unlikely windfall is late in the year when winter arrives.
Be careful of scandals.
Rat in rabbit year
While the previous year is about retaining balance, this year is one for getting into position to strike.
Expect competition from all walks of life as they attempt to challenge and outdo you in various aspects of life.
One needs to learn fast in order to maintain a ready-to-strike position for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities.
Planning is absolutely essential for things to go well this year in terms of career progression and investments.
Potentially a turbulent year for relationships.
Rat in dragon year
This is a year when one experiences a turnaround of luck towards the better.
A person born in the year of the rat will find some success in the dragon year. However, they are not going to be home runs.
Do not carelessly make big investments when there is no track record of success.
Building relationships this year might lead to big wealth opportunities in the future.
Be wary of limb injuries in the middle and late period of the year.
Rat in snake year
While many consider the snake as a secret friend of the rat in the zodiac, it don’t necessarily mean the same in this instance.
Snakes like to have rats for lunch. And this is a suiting metaphor for the potentially stressful year ahead.
It is not a good year to try and be too clever and get ahead of yourself.
One would be faced with obstacles throughout the year. Conflicts can also arise when you least expected.
Romance is in the air.
Rat in horse year
The horse year is a subjective one for rats.
Those who have enjoyed good fortune from previous years will continue to do so. While those who suffered bad luck will continue to do so in a turbulent as well.
This can be a difficult year in terms of money for those riding on bad fortune.
One needs to think on his feet to go through the year unscathed.
Whatever the circumstances, take note of the grand duke. It might be beneficial to act more like a mouse this year to garner less attention and avoid disruptions.
Rat in goat year
Enough questions about whether this animal is a goat, ram, sheep or deer. As long as we know what it refers to in the horoscope and the meanings associated with it, it’s fine.
Creative rats will prosper in this year and maybe even attain a higher level of creativity.
Those who are not creative will find themselves enjoying a stable year of progression.
At the horizon, the sun will be rising instead of setting.
The peak period of good fortune would be in spring. Things would either stay that way or go downhill from there.
Rat in monkey year
The monkey is an ally of the rat and rats can expect a year of comfort and success.
The probability of unexpected success of windfalls is high.
With opportunities aplenty, it would be wise to carefully consider what to get involved in to avoid making the wrong business and investment choices.
Job-hopping is not recommended this year.
Rat in rooster year
This is a year of self-reflection.
Conflict can arise on the small scale and big scale.
However, the chances for romance is high.
Success in financial matters will be at it’s highest point in spring and summer. So don’t delay any exit strategies until after summer.
Rat in dog year
With the slight bobble in the previous year, this is a year where the rat surges ahead in life.
It is in the rat’s best interest to maximize success this year as this is generally a very lucky year.
Business problems and career barriers disappear. One would find time to concentrate on making the most of this particular year.
It would be about time you set yourself free from relationships that you just don’t see a future with.
Rat in pig year
The pig year is another one that brings good fortune to the rat.
One might find that he or she is well appreciated by others at home and at work.
Not only will there be sustain success enjoyed, but it will also be a good year to let loose and have fun.
It would be a good time to consider making investments that reap rewards in the long term.