Taoist Astrology


A Handbook of the Authentic Chinese Tradition

By Susan Levitt with Jean Tang

Taoist Astrology by Susan Levitt

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Published by Destiny Books
an imprint of Inner Traditions

ISBN 089281606-6
216 pages

When I did astrology charts for relationships, the couple’s Chinese animal signs and elements truly indicated their compatibility. Astrology clients were so interested in their Chinese animal signs that I wrote a short pamphlet to include with their relationship charts. This pamphlet became the book Taoist Astrology

Taoist Astrology in Czech

The animal stories, from clever Rat to generous Pig, show how animal traits mirror human traits. Each animal relates to one of the five Taoist elements Fire, Earth, Metal, Water and Wood. How the animal signs and elements interact shows your life gifts and challenges, and what occurs in your life over time. And indicates relationship compatibility!

Taoist Astrology was published in 1997, and was the first Chinese Four Pillars (BaZi) book in English. The Four Pillars are the animal sign for your birth yearmonthday, and hour.  

I’m grateful that hundreds of readers share with me that this book is accurate for them, and that they had fun looking up the animal signs of their friends, family, and visitors. Taoist Astrology is published in many languages. In the Czech translation, my surname was changed to Levittova, adding Ova for a female. Yet Jean’s surname was still Tang, not Tangova. 


 RAVE REVIEWS for Taoist Astrology

“Clear, thorough, and beautifully written, this book will satisfy anyone form the beginner to the most accomplished scholar.”
– Seann Xenja, feng shui consultant and educator

“A lucid and penetrating foray into the mysteries of Taoist natural science. The material is presented with a dynamic animism that breathes such life into the characters that they virtually leap from the page. Levitt and Tang have clearly created the reference standard for anyone interested in the profound study of Asian astrology, medicine, and psychology.”
– John Mini, Chinese medicine practitioner and licensed acupuncturist

“The art and practice of Chinese astrology, or Ming Shu – ‘the reckoning of fate’ – is believed to date from the year 2637 B.C,. when the famous Yellow Emperor, Huang Ti, first introduced a calendar based on cycles of the Moon. Now, San Francisco astrologer Susan Levitt and Chinese historian Jean Tang introduce you to this ancient Asian astro-art in a new book called Taoist Astrology: A Handbook of the Authentic Chinese Tradition. (ISBN 0-89281-606-6.)

Discover which of the Twelve Earthly Branches and Five Elements are yours, (see page 21) and how to cultivate deep relationships with varying birth-year animal and rising signs plus a crash course in Chinese cultural history. I agree with fellow Feng Shui educator Seann Xenja on the back cover blurb of this birthday book that it is ‘…clear, thorough, and beautifully written,’ and ‘…will satisfy anyone from the beginner to the most accomplished scholar.” These remarkable women bring the stars down to earth.”
– Dennis Fairchild, FENG SHUI JOURNAL, Winter 1997/98



“Ancient Chinese priests of Taoism studied nature to make sense of the world, domesticating animals and observing their traits. Over centuries, they developed a system of 12 animals for a 12-year cycle that became the lunar calendar in Chinese astrology.

The rising sign, next in importance to the sun sign, suggests physical appearance and how we present ourselves to the world. In Western astrology, this is the sign ascending the horizon at the moment of birth, but the Taoist rising sign is determined by a two-hour period into which one is born, each of which is ruled by another animal.

The 12 branches or animals of Taoist astrology are structured by elements of fire, earth, metal, water, and wood, compared to fire, earth, air, and water in the Western philosophy, and are associated with traditional yin or yang. The years form into 60-year cycles and therefore 60 unique sign combinations, each with distinct strengths and weaknesses to be studied. Certain years are assigned certain colors in addition to their animal ruler, so that one’s birth year might that of red rat, purple ox, or green dragon.

This handbook, equally simple to use for the novice astrologer or the expert, provides a uniquely fascinating study of each of the 12 Taoist animal signs and each of the five 12-year cycles (color/animal) that comprise the 60-year cycle. The type of personality associated with each of the 12 animal years is explored in depth. Potential for relationships and interactions with each of the other animals jump vividly from the pages, ringing bells time after time as we read about a spouse, boss, friend, or neighbor. The authors also provide a thumbnail sketch of the kinds of activities, fortune, stresses, and general circumstances each coming year will bring to each of the animal branches.

To the experienced Western astrologer, the Taoist tradition provides additional insight into the ancient system of divination, greatly expanding the realm of expertise. Taoist Astrology is a must on the well-rounded astrological bookshelf.”
– Ruth Segner, New Age Retailer, January/February 1998