Happy Chinese New Year of the Sheep……or is it the Goat?
By: Brad Kronen
A horse is a horse of course, of course says 2014’s Year of the Horse, but on this New Year’s Day, which Chinese Zodiacal animal has been assigned to 2015?
Some say 2015 is the Year of the Sheep.
Others say it’s the upcoming Year of the Goat.
And still others say 2015 is most certainly the Year of the Ram.
And to each I say, Everyone’s a winner!….kind of.
The problem apparently goes back over 2,000 years to China’s Han Dynasty which took place between the years 206 BC and 220 AD. The 12 year cycle of the Chinese Zodiac is believed to have emerged sometime during the Han Dynasty. 2015 is attributed to the ancient Mandarin symbol of the “Yang” and the Yang was first seen etched on animal bones used for divination purposes.
Technically, the Yang symbol is interpreted from ancient times as “an animal with two horns and a pointy face”.
A category which confusingly sheep, goats, and rams all fall under.
In my upcoming book about Astrology and Relationships entitled “Love in the Stars” soon to be released by Llewellyn Worldwide, I took a few extra steps in researching when a Ram person, otherwise known as an Aries, dates a Goat person, aka a Capricorn, since I wasn’t exactly sure what separates the sheep from the goats.
For non-farming folk, the results may both surprise and shock you.
Ironically, sheep and goats look quite similar and are very often hard to differentiate just by their physicalities. Only by observing their behavior patterns and core genetics can one see just how much these two creatures do not biologically m-a-a-a-a-a-a-tch (sorry, couldn’t help myself).
Astrology plays a key role with both clove footed beasts, right down to their genus categorization. A sheep is biologically housed within the species, Ovas Aries, a goat within Capra Hircus. Although both are members of the antelope family, the ties which bind these two animals are muted compared to their core deviations.
A Ram is a male sheep. A Goat refers to a male or female version of such. All Goats have horns, only some types of Rams do. When Rams fight, they butt heads, head on. When Goats attack, they charge at their opponent’s backside or hind legs. Goats have beards, Rams do not. Mountainous Rams live in rocky terrain which borders grass and clover rich meadows. Mountainous Goats live in the highest rocky terrains known to any mammal and will eat whatever they are able to forage at those stratospheric heights.
Now here’s the real horn curler, the biggest difference between a Ram and a Goat? The number of chromosomes each animal has at their genetic core.
The Ram’s Ovas Aries species has 54 chromosomes, whereas The Goat’s Capra Hircus species has 60.
In biological summation, The Ram is a simple creature by nature, The Goat, far more complex.
The Chinese Sheep vs. the Chinese Goat
Admittedly, sheep bleat, I mean, beat goats in the fluffily cute, “aren’t they adorable” competition, but Chinese astrologers choose the Goat over the Sheep hands down. Why?
Despite the male sheep sign of Aries the Ram being known as the “leadership sign” in Western astrology, the Chinese view the sheep as a weak willed animal that couldn’t re-direct a bunch of lambs from playing follow the leader straight to the chopping block.
Speaking of chopping and eating…..
In China, the Goat is considered to be quite special since it was only one of six species of animal eaten during ancient times and only by the rich and powerful.
So no matter how you chop things up, 2015 is both the Year of the Sheep AND the Goat.
In any pointily faced case, I suggest we all charge ahead by locking horns with this upcoming year, head on.
Happy New Year!