2022 – Year of the Yang Water Tiger (Ren Yin) 壬寅

The Tiger is the third of the astrological animals in the Chinese twelve-year cycle but the first sign to usher in the Solar Chinese New Year in February commencing the four seasons. He is best known for the traits of leadership, nobility and authority. In Chinese astrology, he is associated with the beginning of springtime and the pre-dawn hours of 3 – 4:59 AM when he gains strength and momentum. Tiger symbolizes yang masculinity, bravery and dominion over his kingdom. One of earth’s most magnificent creatures, Tiger’s unique natural forehead marking is a stamp bearing the Chinese character for “king.” 

There are five types of Tigers (one for each of the five elements) and 2022’s Water Tiger is poetically known as “the Tiger in the Forest – a vision of a bronze mirror.” This auspicious combination of Water feeding Wood suggests a year of movement, growth and for the most part, harmony. Expectations are generally high in a Tiger year due to its affinity with springtime as nature emerges from the dormancy of winter. The last three years were marked by winter-related energy of stagnation, fear, thrift and loss. But the next phase is expected to be more optimistic and adventurous. We’ve not seen the Water Tiger for 60 years and while 1962 was not always smooth, many modern, progressive ideas and inventions were born during that period and many conflicts resolved by year’s end. 1962 brought us the polio vaccine, telecommunications satellite, the Cuban missile crisis, first earth orbit by an astronaut, the World Food Program and the publication of Rachael Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’, to name a few.  These were passionate, hard fought issues that required viewing the world through a different lens and the courage to act upon them. For that reason, 2022 is expected to be a vibrant, pivotal year.

Despite their size and power, roaming Tigers are masters of agility and can easily adapt to changing circumstances and environments. We will be called upon to do that in 2022. Tiger years often represent a time of dramatic upheavals due to the bold nature of the sign. (It is important to note that two world wars began in Tiger years.) But the Water Tiger of the year is a visionary change agent, patient enough to wait for the perfect timing, then pouncing on his prey quietly and swiftly. For that reason, you can expect to see global and political risks taken this year that, for better or worse, would not have survived 2021’s more conservative Ox year.

As is customary in the parade of Chinese astrological signs, last year’s Metal Ox laid a solid path for the Water Tiger to travel, making his arrival from the deep forest more surefooted and exceptional. Since he is a stealthy traveler who prefers direct action to words, it will be necessary to walk your talk to avoid unforeseen consequences this year. Under the watchful eyes of the Tiger, we can expect to see the physical world and its economies opening and expanding after three years of fearfully moving inward. But they will look different this time around. That is how the five-element cycle works, giving life and breath to one element while exhausting another.

We’ve emerged from two years of cold, restrictive Metal energy and a total absence of Fire, the element that inspires warmth and optimism. That is about to change as the inherent Wood element of the Tiger provides the fuel necessary to light things up. Wood is linked to medicine, herbs, children, academics, creativity and upward movement. Wood is also linked to anger so best not to underestimated the wrath of the Tiger when things get out of hand. Due to his progressive bearing and intelligent objectivity, Water Tiger will likely expose issues regarding global corruption, wealth distribution, civil rights, inequality, healthcare and environmental neglect along with advances in technical and scientific areas that many of us have not conceived of yet. For that reason, it will be good to own your position when it’s time to step up.

The Water Tiger is tenderhearted and fiercely independent – traits that will re-emerge in 2022 due to the spark of Fire in the chart of the year. He is the most courageous of the twelve signs and despite his self-proclaimed dominion over others, one of the most devoted. Water softens the nature of this Tiger, lending a calmer, more reflective vantage from which to view problems, heightened intuition and a critical approach to people and events. The humanitarian Water Tiger is more likely to resolve conflicts than start them, but Yang Water is tumultuous and this Tiger reacts quickly – flowing with and at times against the fast-moving current. Tiger is a risk taker, but don’t throw caution to the wind in 2022. It will be important to know (from your personal chart) if the timing is right for making a move, and in which direction. High-risk speculation is generally not recommended for things are shifting too quickly right now to remain stable for long. Due to the speed at which the Tiger navigates (especially relative to the ponderous Ox of 2021,) accidents are expected to increase this year and political flashpoints likely to flare up around the world. Take precautions when traveling or engaging in risky activities.

The brave, resolute energy of the Water Tiger is necessary to growth and reminds us to step outside our comfort zone. In 2022, the term “great” will precede words like resignation, migration, movement and change because that is what we are supposed to be doing. We’re not out of the woods yet. While there is certainly more optimism in the chart of the year, it will take several more years to reach the upswing toward enlightened Period 9 in 2024. During times of abrupt change, it is best to position yourself to anticipate, not react to sudden corrections. Only then can we fully adapt to the new normal.

This is the time to do your homework by researching alternatives to your career and lifestyle choices in an ever-changing environment. These decisions should be strategic, not impulsive, to be effective. In essence, be the Tiger. Observe, study, wait patiently, then pounce with confidence, grace and precision. Take care of your health, protect the fragile, build upon small successes, and don’t wait for big breakthroughs. Get outside, explore, expect the unexpected and enjoy the journey.

Diane Gallin

Wind and Water Feng Shui Consulting