Straight from YLS vaults, please read up on the Asian Jungleland Mascots essays - added just a few years back!


JUNGLE {our world of animals}
Humanity's quest for discovery can begin with those creatures we associate with....
THE RAT, as water and fishes splash in ~ then all lay witness to joy.
As the other three categories found their final candidate to enjoy, here the 'fish' grouping does as well. Our negative and feminine mascot has the reputation in Asian circles of being ambitious and sincere.
A main contemplation for scientific astrologers is why did both Asians and Europeans pick 12 houses? There's no answer for it; only 2 criteria are present that satisfy my acceptance range of both programs ~ likely loads of trial and error had to take place inside each fascinating discipline! First, recurring personality types that lead to stronger bonding IS present! Fire/Earth/Air/Water signs match up three times in American astrology, and Asians lumped four groups of mascots:
Pig/Sheep/Rabbit; Dog/Horse/Tiger; Rooster/Snake/Ox; and Monkey/Dragon/Rat.
A very important instillation of trust is developed! All rambling signs wouldn't attract the audience for sharing of any common ties; along this trust factor the second objective basis for acceptance is both cycle forward. Like a good cook that prepares the ingredients for the next shift's customers, our smarter forefathers and mothers took the time to display results for all future generations! We can believe that the important factor isn't how they split up the pie; as well, the actual signs designated don't stand for anything too 'earthshattering' [giving proof none will ever be better than the rest]! After Pisces always comes another run with Aries; and, when the Rat year finishes we return to the Pig!
Rat years will be 12 years + and - the following Rat years: 1948; 1960; 1972; 1984; 1996; and 2008. As for the mascots assigned by Asian allotment: any kind of Rat found anywhere on Earth. For our Jungleland considerations we'll add: salt and fresh water finfishes, not prior mentioned - due extreme adaptations {ties with Water, and complete cycle of life around it}; manatee [content to not be visible, like Rats; whole life cycle in water]; krills, planktons, and dinoflagellates {microscopic, to large animal version krill - look like shrimp; belong to Rat family because of ambiguity - content to stay hidden and satisfied about Water}.
Mood and scene, inside a Rat year: picture a lighthouse, on a foggy morning; in the distance we think we see a pirate ship heading to sea - as the foghorns blast their warning. Looking about you see many others, a bit disoriented over the melee.  As well as bidding farewell to those dear pirate friends {sea and Water lovers, just like you}, suddenly several of you break out in a song!
'Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum!', becomes an anthem of the day; but, when you look around again everyone already left.....
A Rat year can be difficult. Being feminine lots of your time may seem to revolve around what could happen tomorrow; for a second there was a city vision ~ people about at times give you joy, but we never know when that loud siren will screech by.
Pondering the jungle, here's one sign that feels the vibes over all the rest. Just picture that underwater world, where a wrong turn could lead you into the mouth of a larger fish! Does this grab the being of our Rat friend?? Nope; as long as those friends return for the lunchtime squid and linguine pie you know there's a chance that they'll be singing again!
A bit more romantic than usual, and likely to find folks investing some extra bucks, a Rat year keeps us motivated to save for the finer things in life! Families usually reunite, and throw numerous cookouts; even if they fought a few years back, it now is clear those big sharks may swim in close ~ so we should make amends and do some backyard singing.
Personality, and character, of a Rat:  over other elements, Water not only stays around family more, it becomes quite attached; acts of kindness with the Rat shall never go unrewarded.
The main draw is an "in" or "out" status; if the family considers you a large contributor then our Rat will continually open doors for you. Water will always be the element that fools you; and, if it freezes up without your taking note the fool here will be you. An analyst stays built into every Water person, but the Rat makes a UNIVERSAL case out of it! Because a sneaky crevice near the ocean floor carries that large predator, the resourceful Rat will always attempt to stockpile good things and times. So, before they drain the bank account to scoop up the last four hot tubs on sale it is necessary to carry forth with a massive study!
Sensitivity is abundant for the Rat; analysis fits these people well, because most have inner gauges for particular skills. Be it a keen sense of smell, for fishes, or the ability to live in Water or on land like a Rat, decisions rarely get done hastily.
To live with, or date, the Rat: you'll sure have lots of the family recipes; and, stories of distant relatives and years gone by will enchant (or deafen) the ears!
Regular people likely will get too put off with the barrage. Criticism from every distant relative stays common for years to just be friendly with a Rat; if you date the President of a big company at least they'll likely throw some nice bonuses at you....
On the other hand, if you really loved Wizard of Oz and your friend/lover did too, rest assured an old collection of memorabilia is hidden somewhere safe! Nobody on this planet has better stashes and hideaways! Should you be in good with the family, as well,  you might just waltz around town someday with the wicked witch's original broomstick!