The twelve animals of Tibetan astrology according to the Yungdrung Bön texts are the Rat, Elephant, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Horse, Snake, Sheep, Garuda, Monkey, Dog and Pig. Each animal has an associated element for its life-force and a direction which is determined by the life-force element. Not only are these twelve animals associated with a particular year, they are also associated with particular months, days and hours.
For example, 2009 was the year of the Elephant. Therefore, people born during this year would be a Elephant and would have an emphasis of the specific qualities associated with the Elephant. (It is important to remember that this year corresponds with the Tibetan lunar calendar which begins somewhere between February and mid-March each year.) 2009 was also governed by the element of Earth and was a female year. So, people born during this year would be Female Earth Elephants. The element which governs the life-force of the Elephant is Earth and its direction is Northeast. So, if an Elephant person wanted to strengthen their life-force, they would focus upon strengthening the element of Earth internally and externally. Their positive direction is Northeast. So, facing this direction while meditating, doing healing rituals or just relaxing and taking deep breaths is beneficial.
In general, the Elephant is stable, steadfast, and practical. It can express itself well and is rather independent. It prefers to approach things logically and without the cloud of emotion. It is competent and trustworthy, preferring to lead rather than to follow. It values tradition but can be resistant to change, rigid and authoritarian. Although it can have a temper, the elephant is generally patient and loyal.
The Elephant’s soul day is Saturday and the life-force day is Wednesday. These are the best days for beginning new projects and activities that are meant to grow and increase. The obstacle day is Thursday. This day is best for cleansing and letting things go. It is not a favorable day for beginning new things.
Elephant years include: 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, and 2021