Master Zhongxian Wu's book is actually a wonderful introduction to Chinese Astrology (although the title does not give an indication of this). If you have ever had an interest in Chinese Astrology, I recommend this guide. Many of the websites that I have visited give you a simplified overview of basic Chinese animal symbols. This book gives a brief history of Chinese wisdom and philosophy and is intended to give westerners information concerning some of the history of Chinese Wisdom of 12, an overview of ancient cultural beliefs and how their shamans determined the numerological meanings of 12, Chinese Astrology and the 12 animal symbols. Obviously, the subject is very complex and takes a great deal of time to master. This book is an introductory guide to the correct way to determine your Chinese Astrological symbols and how use the information to help improve your life. There is a great deal of information introduced in the opening chapters that I had to read several times. It is interesting reading (it is not a large book, but packed with a great deal of information in the various chapters). After the first chapters covering historical information and what some of the various symbols mean in relation to the universe and the cycle of nature (this is provided to help you understand how the 12 Animal symbols can help give you insight into your personality and how to make better choices to improve your life), Master Wu then presents an excellent section on how to find your correct animal symbols. Most information given in the US concerning Chinese Astrology is incorrect because they base the information on the Chinese Lunar calendar which starts on the Chinese New Year. That method generally mentions only one animal symbol, where in fact you actually have three. A yearly animal symbol (what the general method refers to), a monthly animal symbol and an hourly animal symbol. Depending on the date and time of your birth, all three may be completely different. The Chinese calendar is actually a lunisolar calendar. Master Wu provides several helpful animal symbol index tables for the yearly, monthly and hourly animal symbols. After looking up your signs, you can then read the corresponding chapter with information about the animal, differentiations for yearly, monthly and hourly aspects, along with overviews for personality, health, relationships, career, finance, color and food. If you enjoy meditation, there are sections provided for meditative prayers and photos of postures to use. This section is the heart of the book and the most helpful. It is designed to help you gain insight into yourself. It is not preachy or condescending and I enjoyed the sections on how ancient shamans learned to associate the Wisdom of 12 with the Cycles of Nature.
Chapter are:Introduction: the Wisdom of 12, Numerological meanings of 12, Chinese Astrology and 12 Animal Symbols, Eight Trigrams, 12 Tidal Hexagrams and the Cycle of Nature
The Beginning: Finding Your Animals, Rat and Fu, Ox and Lin, Tiger and Tai, Rabbit and DaZhuang, Dragon and Guai, Snake and Qian, Horse and Gou, Goat and Dun, Monkey and Pi, Rooster and Guan, Dog and Bo, Pig and Kun.
Afterward:Living in Harmony
If you would like to learn about the real meaning of Chinese Astrology, the Cycle of Nature and basics of Chinese philosophy of living in harmony, this book is an excellent introduction.