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Eight Buddhist Patrons of 12 Zodiac Signs

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Eight Buddhist Patrons of 12 Zodiac Signs. There are eight Buddhist deities who protect the 12 Zodiac signs, with each deity protecting one (or two) Zodiac animals. This grouping of eight probably originated in China. It gained great popularity in Japan during the Edo Era (1603 - 1867 AD), and is based in part on the four compass directions and four semi-directions. Each Zodiac animal also represents one year in a 12-year cycle, a day in a twelve-day cycle, and a two-hour period in each day. The day, for example, starts at twelve midnight, and corresponds to the Rat. Every two hours, it moves to the next zodiac animal, with twelve noon associated with the Horse. When it comes to compass directions, the Rat signifies due north, and every 30 degrees clockwise it moves to the next zodiac animal.

CAVEAT: The Chinese lunar calendar was traditionally used to determine your Zodiac animal sign. However, the below list is based on the modern Gregorian calendar. People born in mid-January to mid-February of each year may have a different animal sign in the lunar calendar versus the Gregorian calendar.

ZODIAC ORIGINS. The Zodiac originated in China centuries before the birth of Buddhism. Based on Chinese cosmology and divination, the Zodiac grew more elaborate over time. It was used to count years, months, days and hours, to forecast the future, to tell fortunes, and to determine personality types based on one's animal birth year. Its importance in China ensured its acceptance elsewhere, and for many centuries the Zodiac served as the preeminent calendar of Asia. Many Buddhist traditions in China and Japan were influenced by Zodiac concepts -- e.g., notions about auspicious or inauspicious times. Even now, in modern China and Japan, temples and shrines perform many of their services and festivals on specific Zodiac days.

JAPANESE NAMES
Buddhist Guardian Based on Zodiac Year of Birth

Zodiac Sign
& Direction

Buddhist
Patron / Guardian

Year
of Birth

Rat, N

Kannon Bodhisattva

1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Ox, NE

Kokūzō Bodhisattva

1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Tiger, NE

Kokūzō Bodhisattva

1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Rabbit, E

Monju Bodhisattva

1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Dragon, SE

Fugen Bodhisattva

1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Snake, SE

Fugen Bodhisattva

1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Horse, S

Seishi Bodhisattva

1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Sheep, SW

Dainichi Buddha

1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Monkey, SW

Dainichi Buddha

1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Rooster, W

Fudō Myō-ō

1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Dog, NW

Amida Buddha

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Boar, NW

Amida Buddha

1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019


CHINESE NAMES
Buddhist Guardian Based on Zodiac Year of Birth

Zodiac Sign
& Direction

Buddhist
Patron / Guardian

Year
of Birth

Rat, N

Guānyīn

1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Ox, NE

Xūkōng zàng

1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Tiger, NE

Xūkōng zàng

1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Rabbit, E

Wén shū

1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Dragon, SE

Pǔxián

1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Snake, SE

Pǔxián

1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Horse, S

Shìzhì

1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Sheep, SW

Dàrì Rúlái

1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Monkey, SW

Dàrì Rúlái

1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Rooster, W

Bù Dòng

1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Dog, NW

Āmítuó Fó

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Boar, NW

Āmítuó Fó

1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019


SANSKRIT NAMES
Buddhist Guardian Based on Zodiac Year of Birth

Zodiac Sign
& Direction

Buddhist
Patron / Guardian

Year
of Birth

Rat, N

Avalokitêśvara

1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Ox, NE

Akasagarbha

1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Tiger, NE

Akasagarbha

1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Rabbit, E

Manjusri

1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Dragon, SE

Samantabhadra

1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Snake, SE

Samantabhadra

1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Horse, S

Mahasthamaprapta

1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Sheep, SW

Mahāvairocana

1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Monkey, SW

Mahāvairocana

1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Rooster, W

Acala Vidyaraja

1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Dog, NW

Amitābha अमिताभ

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Boar, NW

Amitābha अमिताभ

1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019


KOREAN NAMES
Buddhist Guardian Based on Zodiac Year of Birth

Zodiac Sign
& Direction

Buddhist
Patron / Guardian

Year
of Birth

Rat, N

Kwanŭm 관음

1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Ox, NE

Hŏkong chang 허공장

1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Tiger, NE

Hŏkong chang 허공장

1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Rabbit, E

Munsu 문수

1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Dragon, SE

Bohyeon / Pohyŏn / 보현

1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Snake, SE

Bohyeon / Pohyŏn / 보현

1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Horse, S

Seji 세지

1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Sheep, SW

Daeil / Taeil / 대일

1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Monkey, SW

Daeil / Taeil / 대일

1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Rooster, W

Budong / Pudong / 부동

1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Dog, NW

Amita / Amit'a / 아미타

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Boar, NW

Amita / Amit'a / 아미타

1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019


TIBETAN NAMES
Buddhist Guardian Based on Zodiac Year of Birth

Zodiac Sign
& Direction

Buddhist
Patron / Guardian

Year
of Birth

Rat, N

Chen re zi, Chenresig

1912, 1924, 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008

Ox, NE

Nam kai nying po

1913, 1925, 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009

Tiger, NE

Nam kai nying po

1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Rabbit, E

Jam pal, Jam-dpal

1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Dragon, SE

Kun tu zang po

1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

Snake, SE

Kun tu zang po

1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

Horse, S

Unknown

1918, 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Sheep, SW

Nang par nang dze

1919, 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Monkey, SW

Nang par nang dze

1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Rooster, W

Mi yo wa, lha khro bo

1921, 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

Dog, NW

Ö-pa-me, Od dpag med

1922, 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Boar, NW

Ö-pa-me, Od dpag med

1923, 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019


Source

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