The Year of the Ox: The History, Meaning & Power

Share the Love!

Shutterstock licensed image:  

The Year of the Ox: The History, Meaning & Power

Every 12 years, we experience a Year of the Ox in the Chinese Zodiac. Most recently, we rode the rollercoaster of the year 2021, and the next time we see the Ox will be in 2033. You might have heard about years marked by animals in the past, but what does it all mean?

Coming to understand the history, symbolism, and ultimate power of the animals that stretch across the 12-year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac can help you come to understand yourself and the Universe so much better. Armed with this new tool and information, you can better delve into self-reflection, spiritual development, and rebirth!

The Origin Of The Chinese Zodiac

As early as the 14th century, the Chinese used a celestial calendar and celebrated the New Year. The Chinese lunar calendar is the oldest structured example of the zodiac animals used in conjunction with years passing. However, the Chinese Zodiac itself is so ancient that we can’t pinpoint its origin exactly!

However, there is a legend of the Great Race, which tells the story of the Chinese Zodiac’s beginnings. The Jade Emperor commanded all the animals to race across a river in the story.

The first 12 animals to make it to the other side would have years named after them, and they would appear in the order that they placed in the race. According to the legend, the Ox would have been first if it weren’t for the cunning of the Rat, which hid in the Ox’s ear and jumped out across the finish line as soon as the Ox made it to the other side.

When it comes to archeological evidence, signs of the 12 animals in the zodiac first appeared around the 5th century B.C. during the Zhan Guo period. It wasn’t until the Han Dynasty between 206 B.C. and 9 A.D. that the zodiac was officially identified. It was not until the late 500s A.D. that the animals were used to identify people born in their corresponding years. The North Zhou Dynasty was officially in power when the zodiac animals became popular!

We now know that Chinese Zodiac uses animals and elements to mark time passing. Partnered with the lunar calendar, the Zodiac uses animals to mark years, days, and hours in 12 segments each.

Overall, the Zodiac spans 60-year cycles with different combinations of animals and elements to uniquely identify them.

Why An Ox?

The Chinese Zodiac consists of animals significant to China’s culture and history. Each animal was chosen intentionally as being helpful, majestic, and powerful in the people’s eyes.

The animals are always cycled through in the same order, starting with the Rat. Following are the Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog, and finally, the Pig.

As a result, if your birth year lands within the second year of the Chinese lunar calendar cycle, you are marked by the Ox.

So why did the Chinese choose to honor the Ox so highly? Oxen have been an essential part of the Chinese’s ability to farm, transport go

ods, and build a powerful military throughout history. For farming, they are strong, sturdy animals that can move heavy materials, graze and provide milk.

They are low-maintenance, providing great help without needing rewards or anything in return.

On the back of the Ox, Chinese agricultural success and history stand tall. As a result, the Ox is highly revered and often used to compliment others, such as “You are very like an Ox!”

What Happens in the Year of the Ox?

Many predictions are told by seers using the elements and animals, including the year ahead, the people born in those years, and guidance such as for relationships and financial success. Though highly revering each animal in their zodiac calendar, the Chinese have never denied the existence of negative forces and flaws.

Each animal in the zodiac has positive and negative traits that help those born in their years better understand themselves and what awaits them.

One might guess being an Ox in the current year of the Ox (also known as your natal year) is a great thing, but it’s quite the opposite! Chinese astrology says that Tai Sui, otherwise known as the “God of the Year,” works to make the natal year of that person unlucky for them.

Tai Sui can be found as a constellation connected in opposition with the planet Jupiter and draws on the unstable energy of the planet.

Using the knowledge of Tai Sui and the characteristics of the Ox, fortune tellers have formulated horoscopes. For those born an Ox, seers have predicted turmoil and strain in love and finances during natal years. Each year has exceptions, however.

In 2021, for example, those marked by the Ox might find some good fortune in their career even if the overall situation was still mainly negative. Which element is combined with the animal during that year can help bring insights to the nuances of those lucky and unlucky events.

If you are born in the Year of the Ox and are entering your natal year, fortune tellers warn that attempts at success beyond self-development are risky. Rejection in love and missteps in your career can lead to turmoil for you. Instead, focus on your wellbeing and take steps to balance your inner self.

What Are The Chinese Zodiac Elements?

Each year, the animals also cycle through five elements. The Chinese Zodiac includes water, metal, earth, fire, and wood. In 2021, the Year of the Ox was also metal, giving the personality of the Ox nuances of popularity among friends and hardworking, active work ethics.

If you are Wood Ox, you’re probably restless and headstrong. If you’re a Fire Ox, you might be practical but narrow-minded.

If you’re an Earth Ox, you could be honest and responsible. If you’re a Water Ox, you might be ambitious and have excellent observational skills.

Using both your animal and water signs, you can begin to explore yourself further and better respond to relationships and situations in the future!

What Does It Mean to Be Born in the Year of the Ox?

Born in the Year of the Ox? A few set things according to the Chinese Zodiac are good and bad luck for you. Your lucky numbers, for example, are 1 and 4, and your lucky colors are white, yellow, and green. You can also have particular affinities to tulips and peach blossoms and to north and south directions.

You also have compatible and incompatible signs! You should stick close to people with Rat, Snake, and Rooster signs, as they are most likely to work well with you.

Lesser compatible signs are the Tiger, Horse, Goat, and Monkey, so you might want to proceed with caution when entering relationships with these signs.

Like the Ox, those with the Ox sign usually enjoy a long and healthy life. They are also best suited for hard work requiring close attention to detail, like agriculture, engineering, carpentry, or politics.

The Chinese recommend wearing red throughout your natal year to avoid some of the bad luck that might come!


In all things astrological, please realize that these aspects are only suggestions to help you better delve into self-reflection and ease some stress. You are far more powerful than you realize.

The blueprints that astrology suggests are not hard and fast rules. It might also be that you have other influences in your life that might greatly enhance your ability to receive what you desire.

To improve your vibration, luck, and happiness, spend time chanting Sanskrit mantras and love-filled sutras.

Pray for others and the Universe prays for you.

If you’re looking for more tools to delve into self-reflection, you can try out my personality cards or look into my FREE YOURSELF course. It’s wonderful.


You are a beautiful Living Being filled with light and love, born from stardust. You are unlimited potential in every direction. With a focus on discipline, virtue, and your own goodness, you can become as expanded and liberated as you desire. 


There is no “Other.” There is only you experiencing yourself.

Share the Love!