Eight stars arranged in a ' V' might seem to resemble the head of a bull with its horns.

Stars arranged in a ' C' might suggest first a bow, and then an archer.

The Zodiac’s popularity in Japan peaked during the Edo Era (1600-1868 AD), by which time each of the 12 animals were commonly associated with one of eight Buddhist patron protector deities (four guarding the four cardinal directions and four guarding the four semi-directions; the latter four are each associated with two animals, thus covering all 12 animals). The shrine is the still-popular Zeniarai Benzaiten Shrine 銭洗弁財天宇賀福神社 in Kamakura, which is especially popular and reportedly most effective for worshippers on snake days. Some days, like the snake day of the twelve month in the old lunar calendar, are considered unlucky.

astrological dating chart-40

China’s Zodiac system grew more elaborate and complex over the centuries, but its importance in China ensured its acceptance elsewhere, and thus it greatly influenced and colored the subsequent development of Buddhist traditions throughout Asia. In the list below, we show the Ennichi 縁日 (literally "related day" or "day of connection" and translated as “holy day”) for other deities.

In China, where Buddhism was introduced in the 1st & 2nd centuries AD, the 12 Zodiac animals became associated with Buddhism’s 12 Heavenly Generals as early as the Sui Dynasty (581-618). To determine your exact animal sign and Buddhist patron based on the Chinese lunar calendar, see below lunar chart. Ennichi are thus days with special significance to one particular deity.

In Japan, the lunar calendar was abandoned in 1872 in favor of the solar, but even today many temples and shrines continue to use lunar dating for important festivals and events.

In the lunar calendar, the new moon (1st of the month), the half-moon of the first quarter (7th or 8th), the full moon (15th), and the half-moon of the last-quarter (22nd or 23rd), are considered sacred days and known as Today, however, the situation is more complicated, for the lunar calendar is used by some locations, while the solar calendar is used by others.

The Chinese Zodiac differs in many crucial respects from the Western Zodiac, and the two should not be confused.

The former is based on a lunar year and five 12-year sub-cycles, while the latter revolves around a 12-month solar year.

The moon went through its phases twelve times [per year] while the sun traveled through the constellations once.

In other words, there are twelve months to the year and the sun spent one month in each of twelve constellations.

They form patterns that do not change, night after night and year after year.

Shepherds and farmers, in prehistoric days, studied these patterns because they served as a calendar.

Most scholars believe the Chinese Zodiac originated well before the Historical Buddha’s birth in India (who was born around 500 BC).