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What will the Year of the Water Tiger bring?

By Felix Lee

The tiger is actually a popular animal in China. The magnificent feline predator symbolizes strength, vitality, risk-taking and adventure. Just twelve years ago, when the last year of the tiger was welcomed, millions of Chinese people associated the zodiac sign with new beginnings, openness and strength. This summed up the mood of 2010 nicely. It was the year of the Expo in Shanghai, two years after the successful Summer Olympics in Beijing, the West had to deal with the aftermath of the financial crisis, and China came out on top.

China has indeed gained strength since then. But joy is now accompanied by more complex feelings than in the Tiger year of 2010. State and party leader Xi Jinping has assumed power in the meantime – and is showing himself to be stronger than many of the Chinese rulers before him.

Part of the Tiger’s discredit is now directly related to his policies. Xi had declared war on corruption shortly after the beginning of his term in 2012. Since then, he has made excessive use of the metaphor that his sweeping anti-corruption campaign would not only fight “flies” but also “tigers”. What he meant by this was that he would not only prosecute ordinary civil servants, but high-ranking party cadres and wealthy entrepreneurs as well.

Hundreds of thousands of party members, some estimate as many as a million, have since been arrested, including top cadres such as the once-powerful security chief Zhou Yongkang, who certainly exercised his power arbitrarily and was open to bribery. But Xi also went after individuals who were simply not to his political liking. So the joy among some is rather mixed when 1.5 billion Chinese people around the world greet the New Year of the Tiger on February 1st. Some now associate the tiger with fear and terror.

But traditional astrology also attributes two other aspects to the tiger. The tiger is number three in the zodiac after the rat and the buffalo in the twelve-year cycle. Those born in the year of the Tiger (i.e. 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, or 2010) are considered to be assertive, courageous, and adventurous. Tigers are also said to have a sense of intuition and an inclination to face challenges. Characteristics that are associated with a real tiger. But tigers are also considered belligerent, wild-tempered, capricious, and unpredictable. Furthermore, tigers are loners. This hardly makes “tigers” pleasant company. Congenial contemporaries are “tigers” thus in and for itself not. The tiger year could turn out to be turbulent, wild even. This does not bode well for the year – if it were not for an additional element.

The harmonic effect of water

Each zodiac sign is associated with one of five elements: Metal, Wood, Water, Fire, and Earth. The year 2022 meets the element of water. And water soothes. It makes the transitions between events smooth and harmonious. Water is also flexible, not overly emotional, and purifies. The element water soothes the tiger, so to speak.

In and of itself, 2022 would be a year of conflict, possibly even war, says Hong Kong feng shui master Raymond Lo, one of five astrologers worldwide to be awarded the title of “Grand Master” by the International Feng Shui Association (IFSA). “But it appears the water Tiger year will be more positive and productive.” The need for a “healing year after the disastrous COVID-19 pandemic which caused so much disruptions in the past two years” is great, Lo says. So might the Ukraine crisis be steered into more peaceful channels after all? And could the Taiwan conflict lose its intensity in 2022? We can only hope.

Those born in the year of the Tiger will be able to advance important projects in 2022. The Year of the Tiger demands a lot of effort, but this will be rewarded accordingly. Those looking to change their career, for example, have excellent chances in 2022.

But according to astrologers, other zodiac signs are also wise to stick to the lucky charms that the zodiac sign of the Tiger will bring. Colors that promise good luck in the tiger year are blue, gray, white, and orange.

And the tigers themselves? The own year of the zodiac is by no means a year of luck. In the so-called Benming-Nian 本命年, according to Chinese astrology, the god of old age might feel offended. To ward off bad luck, anyone who happens to be in their animal year should wear something red throughout the year. That is why many Chinese wear a red ribbon around their wrist. A pair of red underpants also does the trick.

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