How to Find Your Chinese Element: A Guide to discovering your Element in the Chinese zodiac

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How to Find Your Chinese Element: A Guide to discovering your Element in the Chinese zodiac

The Chinese zodiac, also known as Shengxiao, is based on a twelve-year cycle where each year is associated with an animal sign. But did you know that there is also a Chinese element that corresponds to each animal sign in the zodiac? Understanding your Chinese element can provide valuable insights into your personality traits, strengths, weaknesses, and even compatibility with others. In this guide, we will explore how to find your Chinese element and how it impacts your life.

What are the Chinese Elements?

The Chinese zodiac is composed of five elements: Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These elements are believed to be the building blocks of the universe and play a significant role in Chinese philosophy, medicine, astrology, and traditional feng shui. Each element is associated with certain qualities, colors, directions, and seasons, which in turn influence the characteristics of individuals born under that element.

The Five Chinese Elements:

Element Symbol Associated Qualities
Wood Wood Element Symbol Growth, flexibility, adaptability
Fire Fire Element Symbol Passion, enthusiasm, leadership
Earth Earth Element Symbol Stability, practicality, patience
Metal Metal Element Symbol Determination, organization, discipline
Water Water Element Symbol Intuition, wisdom, flexibility

How to Determine Your Chinese Element

Now that you have an overview of the Chinese elements, you might be wondering how to find your specific element within the Chinese zodiac. The Chinese zodiac is based on a twelve-year cycle, with each year assigned to one of the twelve animal signs. To determine your Chinese element, you will need to know your birth year and associate it with both the animal sign and the corresponding element.

Step 1: Identify Your Animal Sign

Each animal sign corresponds to a specific year in the Chinese zodiac. Here is a list of the twelve animal signs and their respective birth years:

  1. Rat: 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972, 1960
  2. Ox: 2021, 2009, 1997, 1985, 1973, 1961
  3. Tiger: 2022, 2010, 1998, 1986, 1974, 1962
  4. Rabbit: 2023, 2011, 1999, 1987, 1975, 1963
  5. Dragon: 2024, 2012, 2000, 1988, 1976, 1964
  6. Snake: 2025, 2013, 2001, 1989, 1977, 1965
  7. Horse: 2026, 2014, 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966
  8. Goat: 2027, 2015, 2003, 1991, 1979, 1967
  9. Monkey: 2028, 2016, 2004, 1992, 1980, 1968
  10. Rooster: 2029, 2017, 2005, 1993, 1981, 1969
  11. Dog: 2030, 2018, 2006, 1994, 1982, 1970
  12. Pig: 2031, 2019, 2007, 1995, 1983, 1971

Identify your birth year and note down the corresponding animal sign. For example, if you were born in 1990, your Chinese zodiac animal sign would be the Horse.

Step 2: Determine Your Element

Now that you know your animal sign, you can find your corresponding Chinese element. The Chinese zodiac follows a five-element cycle that repeats itself every 60 years. To determine your element, you need to know the last number of your birth year and associate it with the corresponding element.

Year Last Digit Element
0, 1 Metal
2, 3 Water
4, 5 Wood
6, 7 Fire
8, 9 Earth

Using the example of being born in 1990, the last digit of the year is 0, which corresponds to the Metal element. Therefore, if you were born in 1990, your Chinese element is Metal.

What Does Your Chinese Element Say About You?

Once you know your Chinese element, you can delve into its specific qualities and how they shape your personality. Each element has distinct characteristics that influence your behavior, strengths, weaknesses, and even compatibility with others.


If your element is Wood, you are known for your adaptability, growth-oriented mindset, and ambitious nature. You possess the ability to envision and plan for the future, often taking on leadership roles. However, you may sometimes struggle with impatience and vulnerability to stress.


Fire element individuals are passionate, charismatic, and confident. You have a natural ability to inspire and motivate others, making you an excellent leader. Your enthusiasm and ambition drive you towards success, but be mindful of being too impulsive or impatient at times.


Those with an Earth element are generally reliable, practical, and nurturing. You have a strong sense of responsibility and excel in creating a sense of stability and harmony in your relationships. However, you may have a tendency to be overly cautious or stubborn, needing to find a balance between flexibility and rigidity.


Metal element individuals are known for their determination, organization, and discipline. You have a natural drive for success and possess a strong work ethic. Your attention to detail and ability to plan make you an excellent problem solver. However, be aware of being too critical or inflexible at times.


If your element is Water, you are intuitive, wise, and adaptable. You have a deep understanding of emotions and often excel in creative and artistic endeavors. Your ability to go with the flow and embrace change allows you to find solutions in challenging situations. However, be cautious of being too sensitive or indecisive at times.

Compatibility and Combinations

Understanding your Chinese element can also provide insights into compatibility with others. Certain elements naturally complement each other, while others may face challenges. Here are some general compatibility guidelines:

  • Wood is compatible with Water and Earth but can clash with Metal and Fire.
  • Fire gets along well with Wood and Earth but may face challenges with Water and Metal.
  • Earth is compatible with Fire and Metal but may have difficulties with Wood and Water.
  • Metal pairs well with Earth and Water, but may clash with Wood and Fire.
  • Water is compatible with Metal and Wood but may face challenges with Fire and Earth.

However, keep in mind that Chinese zodiac compatibility is multifaceted and involves more than just the elements. It is influenced by other factors, such as animal signs, yin and yang energies, and even the specific birthdate and time.

Final Thoughts

Discovering your Chinese element can be an exciting journey into understanding yourself and your interactions with others. By identifying your element, you gain valuable insights into your strengths, weaknesses, and compatibility. Remember, while the Chinese zodiac can provide guidance, it is essential to embrace your unique qualities and use them to create a fulfilling life.

Take the time to explore your Chinese element and its influences on your life. Embrace the wisdom of the ancient Chinese zodiac and use it as a tool for personal growth and self-awareness.

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How to Find Your Chinese Element: A Guide to discovering your Element in the Chinese zodiac