top of page
  • sarahalemilac

2022: The Year of the Water Tiger

This year, the lunar new year fell on February 1st, 2022 and it marked the start of the Year of the Yang Water Tiger.

So what does that mean?

For those who may not know, the lunar calendar includes 12 auspicious animals, representing the Chinese zodiacs. While there are many stories, one fun legend tells the story of how the Chinese started keeping track of the passage of time by naming the years after different animals. Within the Chinese zodiac, there are 12 animals that gathered together for a race in the countryside. Each of the animals carried traits (both positive and negative) that helped them to advance in the race. The animals came through the finish line in this order: rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, goat, monkey, rooster, dog and pig.

So each year, the lunar new year cycles through these 12 animals in a 12-year pattern. This year, 2022, marks the Year of the Tiger. The next year of the tiger will not happen again until 12 years from now. Last year was the Year of the Metal Ox.

Which brings me to another point: not only does the new year include one of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals, but it also utilizes one of what we refer to as five elements, of which there is water, wood, fire, earth and metal. Just like the 12 signs, the elements also move in a cycle, starting with water. As last year was metal, the last of the five elements, this year represents the cycle starting again with water. Rebirth, renewal, refresh, rejuvenate.

Putting the elements and the signs together, we have the Year of the Water Tiger this Year.

What does that mean for us?

Well, let’s back track real quick with last year - the year of the metal ox for 2021. Last year, being metal and the ox, was what we call a yin year. Yin in Chinese medicine means inward or downward, quiet, heavy, dark, etc. It’s a time for going inwards and persevering with your own projects. If we look back at 2021, we can see that it was definitely a year where we all did go inward. Hello, pandemic. We really didn’t have a choice but to stay inside and work on our own projects, whether that was focusing on our health or on new or current businesses.

2021 was a heavy burdened yin metal year; metal being a yin element. Think of the heaviness of metal. However, from the metal comes water. Metal holds and condenses to create water.

However, this year is a YANG year. Yang is outward, expansive, dynamic, active. Something that I think a lot of us could really appreciate after essentially being on lockdown for a few years now! Well, at least for those of us who are more ‘yang’ in character!

So last year as was 2009, were years of the ox. The ox was a fitting symbol for tough times when it takes a lot of hard work to just survive. So it’s not surprising that ox years found an economy reeling from a pandemic and another one dealing with the Great Recession. In my business in those years, knowing I’d need to be an ox, my team and I worked extra hard, and we survived and thrived

So again, this year we have the water - emotions, inspiration, renewal, creativity and flexibility or adaptability (think of how water is able to adapt - it goes around obstacles NOT through) and the YANG tiger, with the animal being strong and fearsome in character, the year promises to be a highly prosperous one, where ambitions are high and goals are within reach. So much more vibrant and about renewal and refreshing. According to tradition, the traits of each year’s animal foretell both the characteristics of people born in that year and trends for the coming year. Tiger years are particularly auspicious. After all, what do you think of when you think of a tiger? You think of strength, boldness, fearlessness, dominance

So how do we utilize the characteristics of the Water and the Tiger to maximize our year?

To best optimize the year, in terms of the Chinese new year, you have to embrace the qualities of this year’s element and animal. For 2022, be flexible and creative like the water to help you achieve your goals. Look for inspiration to help fuel you forward.

In addition to embracing the qualities of water, we also need to embrace the qualities of the tiger. We’ve been hibernating. So again, time to actively go after our goals. Take that water inspiration and be bold. Feng Shui expert Sharon Rusk said that this is a year of Luck Restored. So take calculated, but not rash, risks.

Again, this year is about renewal and transformation. Like the tiger, know your prey (your goal), be organized and focused (last year’s metal energy), stay flexible and inspired (water) and go for it (the fire). In particular, it is a really good year for professional goals and relationships.

So if you have goals that you have been thinking about, this is the year to go after it. Make a plan and continue to follow through on it, being open to adapting when necessary. Again 2022 is the year in which new and original ideas are likely to materialize successfully.

Here are some things to look out for:

Opportunities. Especially in a time when many of your competitors may be weakened or frightened, are there openings that you can exploit? Tigers are courageous.

Team building. We’re currently in the most significant shift in the workplace in my lifetime. We’ve got the rise of remote work, labor shortages, the Great Resignation and early retirements. This is the time for new thinking about your team and how to motivate and retain them.

New product development. In a year of creativity, are there new products or services that you can introduce with significant financial potential? Tiger years are perfect for innovation.

Impulsiveness. Be careful! The downside of all that tiger courage is that you may jump into things without thinking them through. Be bold, but be smart.

Seeking equity and justice. Tigers are known for their desire for fairness. How can you bring more fairness into your business, life, and community?

Melissa: This is some great advice for ourselves. What do you think that 2022 will hold for the world in general this year?

So while the water tiger is outward and energetic, it can potentially also mean a hectic in addition to energetic period this year. Some things we might have already already seen with multiple types of severe weather and political contention globally already since January. While the tiger has many admirable qualities, the tiger is also synonymous with tensions, struggles and rebellions So think of resurgence of wars for the control of resources (hello, Russia and Ukraine whatever your political inklings).

Of course, even with certain hectic happenings, we do have the yang water element to add with the character of the tiger which can reinforce the capacities of listening and adaptation. Think, observe, and analysis. Also, for this year, expect the innovation and inspiration of the water element with the ambition of the tiger leading to the emergence of new technologies and major advancements in medical research and psychology.

So how can we personally maximize what the year of the water tiger can bring?

For this year in particular, we have four main lucky colors that you can utilize as colors in your house or on your person: blue, green, red and yellow or gold. Blue is the color associated with the water element. Blue will be great to utilize for negotiations, job interviews and communication; green to adapt to a new job, a new place to live or a new start in general, red for romantic meetings and yellow for the acquisition of real estate or the transmission of wealth.

In terms of feng shui, this is a good year for careers. Think of dark blues an reds, with water, glass mirrors and items of your career’s particular craft to be added to your home and workspace. Work on cultivating passion this year.

“Lucky” food to eat during the Chinese new year festival:

Every food in China represents something, and symbolism is associated with every traditional dish eaten for the Lunar Year. These are the most important Chinese New Year Foods and their meanings:

1. Dumplings

2. Spring Rolls

3. Niangao

4. Sweet Rice Balls

5. Noodles

6. Fish

7. Steamed Chicken

8. Fruit and Vegetables

9. Fa Gao

Feel free to watch a live video at to hear about the Year of the Water Tiger as well as some recommendations for maximizing your health this winter, so that you can roar into the spring!

Hope you enjoyed reading this and Happy Lunar New Year to you; may it be a prosperous one.

23 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page