Stories from the Heart

Happy Lunar New Year :: Year of the Water Tiger

elementals elements lunar new year new moon spirit animal water element Jan 28, 2022
Year of the Water Tiger 2022

The Lunar New Year falls on February 1st this year. Each year the date is different as it tracks the lunar calendar, which is based on the monthly cycles of the Moon's phases. [What we know as our traditional New Year follows the cycle of the Sun, or the Gregorian calendar, and always falls on January 1st.]

In Chinese astrology, this Lunar New Year heralds in the Water Tiger. 


Year of the Water Tiger :: Chinese astrological perspective

 According to Chinese astrology, people are born into a Tiger year every 12 years (e.g. 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022). Those born in these years may exhibit traits of the Tiger, and the Tiger energy will also impact world events. The Chinese zodiac also cycles through 5 elemental types (water, wood, fire, earth, and metal). This lunar year is represented by the element of water.

Tigers are considered to be courageous, ambitious, extremely generous, and seekers of justice. They represent both masculine energy (leaping fearlessly into new situations) and the feminine energy (gracefully landing on their feet). 

Here is a bit more about the Chinese astrology interpretation.

  • According to Chinese astrology practitioner Tiffany Lin, those born during the year of the Tiger live to seek adventure. They also have an insatiable desire for knowledge and power. "Tigers are fiercely independent, aggressive, and can cover a lot of territories, which means they need a lot of space physically and energetically," Lin says.
  • A feng shui educator and Chinese astrology expert Anjie Cho says this about Tigers: "They're dynamic and unpredictable and always pushing against the boundaries. There's also this energy of being self-centered because tigers are solitary animals." 

In terms of water tigers, they are known to look before they leap, are tribe-oriented, and care deeply about their interpersonal relationships. Their intention is to do right by everyone, not just themselves. 


Year of the Water Tiger :: Shamanic perspective

From a shamanic perspective, one doesn't have to be born in a Tiger year, or water year, to share in the gifts and medicine imparted by the animal spirit and elemental. We can all draw from and call down the energies of the water tiger, which will last into the next Lunar New Year in 2023.

I've had tiger as one of my helping spirits for a few years. What is beautiful about my tiger ally is the confidence in which she carries herself. I ask her to join me, be with me, when am taking a big step towards a new endeavor, voyaging into the unknown, or even entering a potentially challenging zoom call.

When tiger walks alongside me, she walks in a very steady and fluid movement. Her whole being undulates in a rhythm only known to her. Her head is held high. She is alert yet also present. She cannot be rushed, she cannot be made to feel small, and she certainly will not, cannot, and must not, stray off her path.

And the spirit of water! Those of us living in the Southwest are so happy to have our lunar year represented by this element. Those of us living in flood-prone or heavy snow  areas will feel some wariness. I seek comfort in these lines from my morning invocation:

I honor & acknowledge the elemental spirits: water, fire, earth, air, sacred space. I ask for a balancing of these elements inside of me, and in the world around me.

The spirit of the water element will play a larger and larger energetic role in our lives to harmonize the ferocity of unchecked fire. Even without the physical presence of water, we can welcome and commune with its spirit whenever we feel called to. The spirit of water embraces us with her vastness, replenishes our juiciness, carries us in the direction of our dreams, and fills up our empty spaces with compassion. 


How to align yourself with the Year of the Tiger

Affirmations! A dear friend recently reminded me about the power of affirmations (even if they are SNL style). Affirmations can help reprogram our subconscious mind, working behind the scenes to change the negative and self-limiting thoughts and beliefs we have.

These affirmations are a wonderful way to kick-off the Lunar New Year. 

  • I am generous with my birth, soul, and spirit clans
  • I express swift & courageous ferocity for injustices I witness in the world around me
  • I fill my injured places with the abundance blessings of water spirits
  • I rejoice in my independent nature and desires
  • I fearlessly leap into the rivers of love
  • I harness my tremendous physical and inner strength in all situations 

And lastly, here are a couple of coloring pages to be with the start of this magical year. 


May you stride with courage this year!! 

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