The Chinese astrological cycle begins with the year of the Rat; consequently those born within this category like to be first, pioneers, at the forefront of the action. Because of this, they tend to see themselves as a cut above the others. Restless and inquisitive, those born under the influence of the Rat are active, both physically and mentally, and tend to lead busy lives. Challenge is essential to them for they love the thrill of living dangerously, adapting easily to different environments and surviving against all odds. With clairvoyance, intuition, perspicacity and an eye for detail, Rats are formidable problem solvers, finding workable solutions to the knottiest problems. Traveling is one of their favorite pastimes. They have a natural talent for the arts, specifically writing.
The Rat possesses attributes ranging from charming and humorous to honest and meticulous. The Chinese say those born in these years make good and wise advisers, yet they can never decide for themselves and change direction constantly. However, Rats at times hunger for power and money, leading some to be gamblers and others to be manipulative or petty. Their greed can lead them into a destructive trap. They should avoid the negative traits of being sly, secretive, critical and judgmental of others. Another problem is that they can worry and fret endlessly, especially about their health, which creates internal stress. To combat this, Rats need space and understanding, love and companionship.
Rats are best known for their charm and intelligence, which often wins admiration wherever they go. Blessed with a sharp wit, they possess a marvelous sense of humor, which makes them stimulating and amusing company to have around. Generally extroverted, they may well be described as opportunists for they prefer to live off their wits rather than labor long and hard to earn their daily bread.
The Rat has a great appetite and appreciates fine cuisine, loving all types of good food, fine wines, baked goods and gourmet meals. Although he may not be patient enough to prepare these great meals himself, he does enjoy dining at all the latest restaurants.
Rats should have a happy childhood and a carefree youth. However, the second part of their lives may be stormy and problematical. They may be prone to lose money in a bad business deal or their happiness in an unfortunate love affair. The third part of their lives will be comfortable, and their old age as peaceful as could be wished.
It is important to note whether the Rat was born in the summer or the winter of the year. In summer the lofts and granaries are full, but in winter the Rat will be obliged to go out and forage for food, and must watch out for the traps set along the way. In human terms, this could mean the risk of prison or an accidental death.
Rats are able to control their feelings and will generally present a cool facade to the outside world, regardless of whatever volcanic emotions they may be feeling inside. But these are passionate creatures whose feelings can be deeply stirred and though able to control them as a rule, when the volcano does erupt, watch out! Perhaps one of their faults is their inability to actually talk about their feelings to those they love, and consequently they tend to repress them — thus adding to the volcanic pressure. As well as being deeply passionate they are sensual creatures who simply exude sexuality and who greatly enjoy all forms of physical stimulation.
Rats’ romantic lives are very quiet, provided that they take care not to interact with the Horse or Rooster. In particular, it is catastrophic for a male Rat to marry a female Fire Horse. They should be wary of those born in the Year of the Tiger; although a light social bond may be enjoyable, a deeper relationship may prove problematic. Rats have excellent relationships and much happiness with the Dragon, Monkey and Ox born.
January is the month of the Rat. The time of the Rat is from 11:00 p.m. to 12:59 a.m.; their direction of orientation is the north. The Rat’s color is light blue.