Written in the stars: What the year of the Rabbit means for your Chinese zodiac


Megan Dang | Daily Trojan

Admittedly, I don’t know much about Chinese zodiacs other than the baseless superiority I felt when I learned that I’m a Snake, while most people in my grade are Horses. The combination of a devious snake and the mysterious scorpion representing my Western zodiac only added to that superiority, but it was purely based on vibes. This column has only focused on Western astrology so far, but I decided to dive into the Chinese zodiac this time. 

Sunday marked the beginning of the Year of the Rabbit, specifically the Yin Water Rabbit. In a Yin year, it is best to be open-minded and go with the flow. The best opportunities may arise at unexpected times, so take off your blinders and realize that the goal you’re striving for may not be the only option. 

While last year’s Yang Water energy represents vast, rapid-flowing bodies of water, Yin Water represents slow-moving, smaller bodies of water and rain. It encourages us to be more reflective and calm than last year. However, it’s best not to be stuck in the past, or you could find yourself in a stagnant position.

In Chinese astrology, the Rabbit symbolizes a gentle, peaceful and hopeful energy. This is in contrast to the previous year of the Tiger, which symbolizes strength and bravery. 

Similarly to Western astrology, there’s twelve Chinese zodiac signs: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Pig. However, signs change each year — starting on the new moon that occurs between Jan. 21 and Feb. 22 — rather than each month. It’s said that people resemble the animal that they were born under. For example, horses are athletically-inclined and dogs are extremely loyal and social. 

In one Chinese myth, the origin of the zodiac order was a race that the Jade Emperor called for on his birthday among animals in the city. The order of the finishes lines up with the order of the zodiac, with the rat coming in first, ox in second and so on. 

Chinese astrology also cycles through elements and yin and yang forms of the animal. Each element rules for two consecutive years, and because there are five elements it repeats in a 10 year cycle. The yin and yang forms alternate every year. The differences in each cycle’s length cause the same combination of form, element and animal to only repeat every 60 years. Thus, the next time it will be the year of the Yin Water Rabbit is 2083. 

After sifting through digital Chinese astrology resources, I compiled everything you need to know as we enter the year of the Water Rabbit, with a focus on signs that represent those between the ages of 17 and 24. 

Rooster – 2005

Roosters put on a strong front, similar to the dominant energy of the animal, but that’s all it is. They need validation from those around them, and are usually perfectionists. This year, roosters will make strides in their love life but be unhappy with their work progress, though that may be because of their perfectionistic tendencies. Be prepared for change, but it may not be all bad. 

Monkey – 2004

Much like the stereotypically goofy nature of the animal, Monkeys are lighthearted and silly but intelligent. They are ambitious and usually end up being very successful in their careers. Monkeys can easily turn their intelligence into arrogance if they aren’t careful. 2023 is set to be a year of great fortune for Monkeys, but, similarly to roosters, they may struggle with their career. They will have a magnetic energy that should serve them well in their love lives in the coming months.

Goat – 2003

Goats are known to be selfless and nearly always put others over themselves, oftentimes to a fault. They have an affinity for wholesome activities, such as caring for animals and spending time in nature. They like to observe more than take charge, and are very persevering. This year will be a stable one for Goats, finding success in their work. Chances are looking high for a promotion, but don’t expect many changes in love life. 

Horse – 2002

Energy defines Horses, and they prioritize receiving this energy through the activities they enjoy. They likely have a knack for being studious and athletic and don’t shy away from chasing after what they believe in. This year will be full of turbulence for Horses. In the workplace, they may feel undervalued and overworked. Love will be on their side, as long as they take chances and put themselves out there. Health will also be prosperous.

Snake – 2001

Snakes aren’t ones for remaining on the surface. They like to dig deep, both in their passions and in conversations. They are grounding characters and are good at thinking rationally under pressure. The Year of the Rabbit will be an overwhelmingly positive one for Snakes. They may be presented with challenges at their jobs, but nothing major. This year is the perfect time for Snakes to tune into their creative energy, it may be good for them to try a new creative hobby as a form of release. 

Dragon – 2000

Dragons are determined, charismatic and powerful. They are often inherently lucky and talented, but are also huge perfectionists. In contrast to Snakes, the year of the Water Rabbit will be very difficult for Dragons — particularly in love. They may feel isolated, so they’ll have to make sure to put themselves out there to avoid amplifying this feeling. Their career, while it won’t necessarily thrive, will be steady and there shouldn’t be any major issues. 

Rabbit – 1999

Kindness and spontaneity are hallmark characteristics of Rabbits. They are quietly confident, making them quite the dark horse (or Rabbit, in this case). When the calendar enters a year of the animal one is born under, it tends to be a year of high-fluctuating luck. Both the good and bad moments will stand out for Rabbits in this year of the Water Rabbit. In particular, Rabbits may experience difficulties in health and wealth. But, with hard work and high energy, they could experience major career changes that will affect them for the next twelve-year cycle. 

Jenna Peterson is junior writing about anything and everything astrology related. She is also the managing editor of  the Daily Trojan.