The Tiger in the Year of the Water Rabbit 2023

Tiger Pic by @elliespinelli

Who is a Tiger?

Years:         1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022.
Month*:      February
Hour:          03.00-05.00am

Day:            you’ll need a Chinese Calendar.

* Caution: the start of the Chinese Month of the Tiger falls on the 4th or 5th, depending on the year. We can let you know this too.

What is a Tiger?
Because the Tiger is generally considered yang Wood but actually consists of three different elements, he is an especially versatile predator. There is nothing wrong with being a predator of course, except that it can imply a very rigid view of the world. Tigers often don’t play well with others, not because their egos are in the way (unlike the Dragon, the Pig, the Rooster or the Horse) but because for them, work and play are very distinct activities. They can up to a point frolic with other Tigers but broadly every alliance is focused on an outcome. It’s no coincidence that 1974 Tiger Victoria Beckham is the Spice Girl who never looked back; she simply moved on. Tigers are directed.

The Tiger never forgets. For the unbalanced Tiger no slight, insult or rejection can be allowed to go unredressed.. He may wait a lifetime but he will get his revenge. Earth Tiger Joseph Stalin typified this approach to life as Leon Trotsky was able to confirm the hard way. On the other hand the balanced Tiger will always repay a debt and will go out of his way to acknowledge assistance.

The typical qualities of yang Wood are sharp eyes, a strong will and swift movement. The Tiger stalks his prey silently and pounces when they are ready. He can wait days as long as he is not hungry. A needy Tiger is very dangerous. Never scorn the Tiger.

The Tiger will often have a fresh view of things which makes him the eyes of the team he makes up with the Horse and the Dog. The Horse is front of house, the Dog the keeper of records and the Tiger the hit man.

In terms of human relations the Tiger may be the most yang of the animals; that is assertive, aspirational, swift, sharp and unsubtle. The earth he inherits from his predecessor in the Zodiac the Ox, is turned miraculously from yin to yang when he receives it. The unbalanced Tiger knows no mercy and expects none. And in this he has altered the dogma he receives from the Ox – do as you would be done by – into a personal code. This alteration can amount to perversion and make for misunderstanding; the unconscious Tiger probably knows himself less well than any other animal. His ruthlessness which he can wear as a badge of honour, is often simply a failure to open up to interdependence with others. Of all insults “dependent” is the deepest for the Tiger. He will not depend. This makes relationship an act of will. With a true act of will, the Tiger forms the most enduring relationships. If it is not truly a choice but a resigned agreement to bend himself out of shape, all around him will distort also. Sometimes the truly unconscious Tiger thinks this reflects a merciless world in which he has been clever in getting his revenge in first. This logic doesn’t work and the smarter Tiger knows this.

But even the smartest Tiger is not in the clear because the corollary of foregoing revenge appears to be falling on her sword. This is a mistake too. Most of us prefer not to live by the law of the jungle but then most of us are not as well-equipped for it. The Tiger in this as in many other ways is a leader and visionary even when he doesnt know quite where he’s going. Paul Atreides as played by Timothee Chalumet in Dune is just such a leader.

Metal is generally considered to represent logical thought, authority and competition. The Tiger is yang Wood, elementally the opposite of Metal; the wooden Tiger likes to think of himself as logical but instinctive (or even automatic) is a better description. Generally he can only make use of Metal early on in life or at the inception of a process. After that he can deceive himself that he knows what to do and that he is beyond advice. Her chief adversaries are the (yang Metal) Monkey whose frivolity he can’t stand and the Snake who won’t offer him a static target.

The really unbalanced Tiger (yang Wood day stem for instance born in February) considers himself bold and resolute but truly is hanging onto past (mother) stuff that ought to have been completed. The admission of this would affront his pride and he is unlikely to do it.

Richard Bandler (himself a notoriously ruthless 1950 Tiger) the Godfather of Neuro-Linguistic Programming, used to say that the person with the most flexible behaviour has control. The Tiger is the yangest woodenest of the animals. He is so flexible that he can be completely immovable. In a sales situation – paired with the Rabbit in the so-called House of Progress# – the Rabbit opens the sale with sheer charm but the Tiger closes it.

This can be his role in the alliance with the Monkey, Pig and Snake sometimes called The Four Terminals#: the Monkey sells the traveller a ticket, the Pig may offer to accompany him and the Snake can enchant with tales of exotic locations but the Tiger is liable to snarl and send the traveller on his way. Without the Tiger in the ba zi this combination can lack edge, implying restricted movement.

A tender father and an implacable father-in-law, a good leader but an erratic motivator, at his worst, the keynote of the Tiger is an uneasy combination between a long memory and a short fuse. At his best he is the sort of leader you would gladly die for. Take short-lived (and deeply respected) Labour Leader John Smith as an example perhaps. At worst she’ll do the job for you.

Richard Ashworth © 2023

Dethroned – for now: Tiger in 2023    tiger               

Moving on from pole position can be a jarring experience. This may be very much so for the imperious Tiger. Gip Sat is not a helpful Star, indicating delays, blockages and foiled plans. Tigers are pretty insistent, generally it’s their way or the highway but sometimes when rocked on their heels they can be adamant that theirs is the only alternative while unsure what that might actually amount to.

This year is not about money – of which there’ll be quite enough – it’s about the power that’s coming. Broadly you’re underpowered this year. Expect delays and attrition, transport may not take you where you want to go, friends may not be onside and you may for many purposes be out of the picture. Health is variable but whatever ails you is a lesser threat than it was in 2022. If dry seek Water. 2024 is when power is at your fingertips. 2023 is when you make that certain.

The successful Tiger is versatile and flexible. When one path trails off, they find another: in 2023 look to the South and West for support. 2024 is a big year for you, bringing close or to completion goals you have been pursuing a long time. It’s not in the bag yet and this year is critical. You will know from results by June whether you can pull it off. Avoid manipulation and trust your charisma, honesty is not a luxury. Be aware of envy and be its master.

Like last year your greatest challenges fall in the late summer. August is the month both of the Hungry Ghosts and the Monkey. The Monkey is as aggressive in their own way as you can be; Metal to your Wood, Yang and therefore challenge to your Yang; South West to your North East; birthing rather than concluding. That will be a hard month, a making or breaking. Decide now which it will be. That’s all that’s required.

Appealing for fair play is too late now but asking for help may bring some – out of enlightened self-interest. 2023 is very much a year for getting the ducks in a row. Sometimes that may take all the energy you have but if you have chosen the objective, it’s worth all that.

If you are among the Tigers who have gone for a quieter life, the turbulence of this year may be inconvenient. Withdrawal is a choice too, it may be time to get back in the saddle. 

Lesson:                  Knowing when to get back on the horse

Best Months:       February, June, October, November.

Worst Months:    May, August

Theme:                  Right is not might

Hexagram:          39 Qien Great Difficulty.

Health: ☹              Wealth:   =        Relationship: ☹ 


This forecast is prepared by comparing your own Chinese year Animal with the Water Rabbit of 2023.  Your Year Animal is just one of the four that make up your Ba Zi or Four Pillars of Destiny. A fully-drafted ba zi can indicate possible futures and probable pasts as well as moments of decision. Knowing these moments can heal and prevent heartbreak as well make success and happiness more easily achievable. What is a ba zi? 

 © Richard Ashworth 2023


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© Richard Ashworth 2023