July 15, 2024
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tiger myth and magic

Tiger Myth and Magic

2022: Year of the Black Water Tiger

Tyger, tyger burning bright

In the forests of the night

What immortal hand or eye

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Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

–William Blake

True Tiger Tales

First of all, how about we take a quick look at the real, living tiger? For a start where does the name come from?

The modern word comes from the Old English tigras (plural), also in part from Old French tigre “tiger” (mid-12c.), and they both from Latin tigris “tiger,” from Greek tigris, possibly from an Iranian source akin to Old Persian tigra- “sharp, pointed,” like an arrow in reference to its springing on its prey.

The scientific name, Panthera Tigris, is thought to have various origins but is most likely from the Indian language, in which “panther” refers to the yellow and white coloring of the tiger.

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There are 2 main subspecies of tigers but two main groupings: the Asian continental tigers and the island tigers. The largest cat in the world is the Amur tiger, and the smallest of the tigers is the Sumatran tiger.

This Via World Wildlife Organization

Since 2017, IUCN has recognized two tiger subspecies, commonly referred to as the continental tiger and the Sunda Island tiger. All remaining island tigers are found only in Sumatra, with tigers in Java and Bali now extinct. These are popularly known as Sumatran tigers. The continental tigers currently include the Bengal, Malayan, Indochinese, and Amur (Siberian) tiger populations, while the Caspian tiger is extinct in the wild. The South China tiger is believed to be functionally extinct.

However, wild tiger numbers are rising again after a century in decline. Based on the best available information, wild tiger numbers are rising again after a century in decline in India, Nepal, Bhutan, Russia, and China. An estimated 3,900 tigers remain in the wild (a TINY number) but much more work needs to be done to secure the future of the tiger in the wild. In some areas including much of Southeast Asia, tigers are still in crisis and declining in number.

The tiger is honored in mythology throughout all its ranges in Asia and is a wonder and a treasure to the entire world. The Goddess of Compassion, Kuan Yin, must surely be mourning. She who hears the cries of the world will surely hear the cries of the dying tiger.

For Buddhists the tiger represents spiritual struggle, finding one’s own inner light in dark and dangerous times. The tiger hunts alone by night and will travel great distances, combining stealth with power.  This year of the Water tiger reminds us that the tiger is an excellent swimmer and the mother tiger is devoted to her cubs

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To the Samurai of Japan, the tiger was a natural emblem of courage.

Hindu goddess Durga, (Sanskrit: “the Inaccessible”) principal form of the threefold Goddess, also known as Devi and Shakti, is depicted as a warrior going into battle riding a tiger, Damon. Shown here slaying a demon buffalo (Source Wiki).

Goddess Durga going into battle riding a tiger
Source: Wikipedia

North of Mumbai harvested crops are donated in honor of the tiger, where it is seen as a symbol of life and regeneration.

The Astrology: The Water Tiger 2022

Tiger Years: 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022.

This is a Year of the Black Water Tiger in Chinese astrology.  but the first astrological day of the Tiger year is on February 4, 2022, not to be confused with the day of the Chinese New Year, Tuesday, February 1 and the celebrations finish with the Lantern Festival on February 15th, 2022.

The start of Tiger month marks the first month of spring when the sun enters the 315th degree in the tropical zodiac. 

Each Chinese zodiac sign is associated with one of five elements.

  • Wood: creativity, imagination
  • Fire: passion, adventure
  • Metal: persistence, ambition
  • Water: agility, eloquence
  • Earth: patience, stability

Why a black tiger? Chinese astrology links colors with the elements, and black is the color for water.

The Water Tiger symbolizes something moving in as well as on the Water. This could mean ships and boats for example and by extension, river or marine fishing, overseas trade and shipping, and pleasure cruising.

This imagery could be also read as a fertility sign, something that grows in water could mean water crops or even a baby growing within the womb. There could be far-reaching discussions and decisions this year, for instance, to encourage or support a rise in the birth rate in China to offset the economic challenges of an aging population.

On the other hand, water is connected to danger in the I-Ching. Add this to the courage of the Tiger, for which we could also read potential aggression, then the Water Tiger of 2022 implies a need for caution while suggesting a year of growth, development, challenge, creation, planning with a need to be well-prepared.

It could predict significant maritime events this year. Possibly too, because it is about the movement of water or movement in or on water, and following the underwater volcanic eruption near Tonga, the water tiger could mean further significant underwater seismic events or tsunamis.

Personal Astrology

A baby born in 2022 but before February 4 is therefore born in a Year of the Ox, patient, wise, hardworking, often with technical skills or creative or artistic gifts, and devoted to family.

Of course, whatever the animal sign, everyone is different and unique. These words represent only the archetype of a person born in a Tiger Year.  Just as with the western zodiac signs, we are dealing with archetypes, meaning something that is considered a very typical example of someone born under this legendary classification. 

But the signs in western astrology change every month and come round every year. Aquarius comes round every February in western or tropical astrology, but a Tiger year comes round only once every twelve years.

People born in a Tiger year are typically characterized in Chinese astrology as confident, in tune with their instincts, knowing the best times to act, and when to stay still.  They may, for all their confidence, present a quiet appearance, and may catch people by surprise, who did not realize they were there but it is rare for the tiger to be caught surprised or unprepared,

Tiger year people, even in leadership roles, still like their privacy, and will often choose to alone or by night.

The Tiger is sensitive, tactile, and charismatic which may draw them into the healing or psychic arts for which they may have a natural talent. Change may be a challenge for the Tiger as for everybody, but their self-control, their talent for observation, and their gift of good timing stand them in good stead.

The Water Tiger: 1966 and 2022

These Tigers are curious and independent-minded but tend to have very good interpersonal relationships compared with other Tigers who can struggle with other people at close quarters, and in consequence, sometimes experience loneliness. They are more family-oriented and like quiet and peaceful family life. Though they are outwardly confident, they may be more prone to indecision than other tigers. These Tigers tend to keep family and work clearly divided, and try to never take work home. They often don’t say much but in general, are known for being considerate and sympathetic to their loved ones.

Water Tigers are as ambitious as other tigers but need a happy home life to thrive professionally, and they tend to be resistant to listening to advice and learning from others, which can work against them and hold them back if they are stubborn.

General Outlook for the Tiger in 2022

In Chinese astrology, our own zodiac year is not considered particularly lucky.  So in a Tiger year, the Tiger-born person may be at a slight disadvantage compared with other signs. This is nothing to worry about. It just means that we are aware of this possibility, and work in ways that make the most of it, surfing that wave. Life is for living. Treat this as being for your reference purposes only.

Career and Money

Tigers’ careers will move steadily upwards in 2022 but will be wise not to rock the boat. Avoid confrontations and involvement in workplace gossip or office politics. They can expect to be promoted if they keep a proactive attitude at work. It’s not an ideal year for a big career change, and any high-risk investments should be avoided.


Tigers may experience a few extra stresses this year, affecting mood or sleep. Relaxed family time is not a luxury but a necessity.


For single Tigers Finding the right partner this year may be difficult. Chinese astrologers advise that the mid-Autumn may be one promising window of potential for meeting someone who is right for you. 

Tigers who are already attached, their partners may complain that work is intruding too much on home life  Being more available, small trips, and talking to their partners more will help smooth over difficulties this year.