Maybe you've heard that 2017 is the year of the rooster, but what does that mean, exactly? Well, the Chinese zodiac is based on a 12-year cycle, with a different animal representing each year. According to Chinese folklore, the order of the zodiac was determined by an interspecies race; first place went to a rat who hitched a ride on an ox's back and then jumped ahead to the finish line at the last second (rude), while a pig who stopped mid-competition to look for snacks came in last. (Pig, we respect you for finishing that race on your own terms.)
It's believed that the animal ruling your birth year has a profound influence on the way you present yourself to others. But that's just the first layer of the Chinese astrology system; there are also animals assigned to your birth month ("inner animals," or who you think you are), day ("true animals," or who you really are), and hour ("secret animals," or who you wish you could be). Together, this little menagerie makes up your birth chart.
So, Who Are You Then?