2022: Year of the Yang Water Tiger

Warning: this content is older than 365 days. It may be out of date and no longer relevant.

Year of the Yang Water Tiger

It’s the Lunar New Year, and the coming year is the Yang Water Tiger.

Let’s deconstruct what this means. Every year in the Chinese Zodiac – which is used by many Asian cultures – is characterized by an energy, an element, and an animal.


To be clear, since we’re normally talking data and analytics on my blog, zodiacs and other such things have no causative basis in reality save for self-fulfilling effects. The only quantifiable effects that have been proven are those we generate ourselves, such as beliefs around lucky/unlucky things changing our behaviors, like fertility and birth trends. We cause astrological effects, not the other way around.


So, what’s supposedly in store for 2022 based on East Asian lore?

Yang Water Tiger

We’ll start with the energy first. Each year is either a yin or yang year – contracting or expanding energy, growing or shrinking. As a yang year, this is a year of expanding, growing energy compared to 2021, which was a yin year, a year of contracting energy.

The next part is the element. There are five elements in the wu xing elemental theory – earth, water, metal, fire, and wood. These elements each symbolize something both constructive and destructive. For example, wood energy is growth, like a tree, but can also break up the earth. This year is a water year. Water energy can be nurturing, feeding trees, or it can be incredibly destructive by washing away things in great floods.

Remember that many of these older, shamanic traditions are rooted in our agrarian past. Each of these symbols were our attempts as a people to explain how the world seemed to work, and our best attempt at predicting what was ahead.

The interaction of yang energy and water portends that growing, nurturing energy, as opposed to its more destructive phase of washing everything away.

The final part of this sixty year calendar cycle is the animal. Each of the twelve animals in the zodiac represent and characterize certain attributes and traits. This year is a tiger year. Tigers are exactly what you think of when you think of big, bold, calculating energy. Watching a tiger conveys a duality of purpose; most of the time, they’re sitting and watching carefully (assuming they’re not just taking a nap), and then in the blink of an eye, they pounce into action. They’re symbolic of power and beauty, frightening away evil.

If we take the nurturing, growing water energy combined with the tiger’s fierceness, we end up with a combination that suggests this year is a year of bold action and embracing your power. Conditions are right for growth, for placing bigger bets and taking bigger steps than might be warranted in a year with more destructive energy.

As with all things, you can have too much of a good thing. In these conditions, you can take too big a leap, too bold a gesture. The tiger leaps into action, but rarely foolishly or without lots of observation and calculation first. Make bold choices, but ensure those choices are well-founded.

The Big Picture

Zodiacs are mostly harmless fun as long as you don’t let them rule your decisions. At best, they’re guides, ways to focus your thoughts and consider new angles, new points of view or ideas. They’re not pre-ordained destiny by any means, else human history would be much more prosperous and successful than it has been.

When we think about this yang water tiger energy, we think about consideration and action, watching and pouncing while being in a growing, supportive environment. What things in your life support you? What things in your life nurture and foster your growth? Who in your life is a helping hand up rather than someone pulling you down?

Use the idea behind the yang water tiger to seek out new opportunities, new friends, new ideas, and new fortunes. Be cautious and watch carefully first, then be bold and leap into the opportunities that make the most sense to you.

May you have a happy, healthy, prosperous year of the yang water tiger!

You might also enjoy:

Want to read more like this from Christopher Penn? Get updates here:

subscribe to my newsletter here

AI for Marketers Book
Take my Generative AI for Marketers course!

Analytics for Marketers Discussion Group
Join my Analytics for Marketers Slack Group!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This