The Tiger in the Year of the Metal Ox 2021

Tiger pic by @elliespinelli

Tiger Pic by @elliespinelli

Who is a Tiger?

Years:         1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010.
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. I 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.

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 he is 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 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 serious misunderstandings; 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.

Metal is generally considered to represent logical thought, authority and competition. The Tiger is 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 © 2021

The Tiger in 2021

You’re beyond the shock and awe. Now it’s time to refine the emotional lessons of 2020 and reprioritize. Will you do it or are you just biding your time until you can pounce in 2022? Your good luck in the Metal Ox year might spur that kind of decision, but we all need to pull together now.

I am a patient boy.

I wait I wait I wait.

My time is like water down a drain. 

Everybody’s moving

Everybody’s moving

Everybody’s moving, moving, moving, moving

Please don’t leave me to remain

Recorded by Fugazi in 1989 (Earth Snake Year)

In this Metal Ox year, the Tiger’s every action is magnified and comes back quickly. It will be a year that you will never forget. That might be exactly what you need if you want to change. Stop trying to cut to the front of the line. Learn to wait your turn. Your timing is even more important than usual.

If the Tiger is your day pillar, in relationship there may be the unwelcome realization that you and your partner don’t currently share the same definition of commitment. This may be another area where masculine Tigers have some catching up to do, or find out that their lack of commitment is now reciprocated.

I could be wrong about that if you are clear about what committing means to you as an action word. At the very least, be honest and open about what you expect – again and again. In 2021 Tigers will question their commitment to almost everything, if only because they want to clear the decks for what they can already see is coming.

Tigers would probably like to just skip over 2021. Maybe you’re worn out due to delayed gratification, but the year will pass more quickly than you think. There may not be much time to rest when you realize you are in a process of reinventing yourself. Who do you want to be in 2022? Where do you want to be?

As is natural in the transformative process, there will be some losses and perhaps even some loneliness. If that’s the case, know that it will be due to your own choices. Everyone knows you’re not afraid to make the difficult ones. Sometimes your lack of fear gets in the way of your intentions so be careful with that.

There’s a constant demand for you to remove the small obstacles that will come up in 2021. Consider whether your attention is making mountains out of molehills instead of finding solutions. Go after the bigger problems. Break those down.

Tigers are the opportunists when it comes to money this year and even though there could be some financial losses, the proportion of your wealth could mean your loss is not the same blow for you as for others. You’ll want to consider that. In 2021, some Tigers might see the yin earth of the Ox as an opportunity for a lasting source of wealth. This would be something like a perpetual paycheck. Is there such a thing?

The risk for Tiger in an Ox year is that as the Tiger creates more wealth, they may not consider that the Earth gets broken into smaller and smaller bits. Tigers who take their expansion as the highest priority may not realize how their behavior could become a self-harm. Paradoxically, it’s the over strong Tiger kind of energy that may be driving environmental damage such as deforestation. It’s the nature of the more balanced Tiger, who knows when they are being self-destructive, to fight back against that.

Tune into your emotional intelligence and put your acquisitional side to work on environmental and human issues. If you are a Tiger whose attitude is “I got mine”, you’re probably not reading this anyway. If you are, get a clue.

February         Things that are hard (impossible?) to forget. Not necessarily bad.

March             A possibly expensive relationship, especially for Fire Tiger.

June                 Move to change your perspective.

July                  Making money off of people’s value conflicts?

August             End what was already over

October           Go home. Seek attention.

November       Your personal beginning of 2022.

Tigers to Watch

1962 Water Tiger: Keir Starmer, Chris Christie

1974 Wood Tiger: Katie Porter (US Representative CA 45th District) tears up “business as usual”.

©Stephanie J Stewart 2020

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© Richard Ashworth 2021