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year of the tiger

text: Claudio Cannistrà

February 1, 2022

2022, the year of the Water Tiger

How the Chinese calendar originated and what it tells us about the year to come and those born under this sign

Our western zodiac is made up of 12 signs, which follow each other from month to month, while the Chinese zodiac presents us with 12 animals, which change from year to year, starting from the New Moon that forms between late January and early February.

Legend has it that the Buddha, before leaving this world and entering Nirvana, called all the animals to himself. However, only twelve came forward: Rat, Ox, Tiger, Rabbit, Dragon, Snake, Horse, Goat, Monkey, Rooster, Dog and Boar, which came last. As a reward, the Buddha gave them the government of each year following the order in which they came. This is how the Chinese Calendar was born, which is actually older than this Buddhist legend, because it starts from 2637 BC, when Emperor Huang Ti introduced the first zodiac cycle. 

Chinese Zodiac


The Western calendar, based on the movement of the Sun, is perhaps easier to follow, but the Chinese lunar calendar, that is based on the Lunations, is more precise in recording the changes of the seasons. Chinese farmers use it to know the most favorable days for sowing or harvesting, to predict weather conditions and predict rainfall. The calendar also guides us in our daily lives: choosing the most propitious day to get a haircut, starting the construction of a house, getting married, etc.; precisely because it is the phases and positions of the Moon in the various signs that offer such information.

The Moon, moving quickly in the sky, is better suited to mark time and is, in fact, a measurement system used since prehistoric times. The first day of each month begins with the New Moon, which corresponds to the moment of conjunction between the Moon and the Sun (New Moon). Also, in the absence of the week, it is customary to divide the month into decades. The first of the year begins with the first mid-winter New Moon, when the Sun and Moon are in conjunction in the sign of Aquarius. This year the Chinese New Year occurred on February 1 and we entered the Year of the Tiger, which will last until January 21, 2023. There have been Tiger years 1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998 and 2010


But in addition to an animal sign, each year of birth belongs to an Element. In the Western philosophical tradition the constituent Elements of the universe are four (Fire, Earth, Air and Water), in the Chinese zodiac we find five, which follow each other every two years in the following order: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire, Earth. Each biennium is ruled by the same Element, which must be combined with the animal sign. The year of the Tiger 2022 is characterized by the Water Element and already this detail tells us that we can expect floods or inundations; moreover, to find a similar combination we must go back to 1962.


But we come to those born under the Tiger, which show a rebellious and independent character, intolerant of any constraint. Those born under this sign possess good strength and a certain magnetism, which drags others. When they are convinced of an idea or a project, they throw themselves into it with enthusiasm and without sparing any energy. They don't like, however, subordinate positions at work, which can create problems for them. They are better suited to a free profession, because they tend to demand obedience from others rather than give it. Their affections are marked by passion and jealousy. Women, in particular, are charming and radiant, true masters of the house, able to combine domestic and social life.

However, specifically, the addition of the Water Element softens the character, making it more malleable. The Water Tiger has excellent communication skills and understanding, almost at the level of a true mediumistic intuition; she has an open mind to new experiences and has great receptivity. The only weak point is that she must strive to be more constructive and not to exhaust her projects only on an imaginative level.


For the world astrology, a year with this combination is full of changes, almost "explosive" in some ways; certainly not quiet, for the possibility of riots and tensions. Therefore, a worsening of some of the problems that afflict our planet, especially the social and climatic ones, cannot be excluded. It is however an energetic year, suitable for bold transformations, even if controversial, during which little can be done by diplomacy. Among the famous people belonging to the combination Water Tiger we find Niccolò Paganini, Demi Moore, Jodie Foster, Tom Cruise and among the Florentines Piero Pelù and Elena Sofia Ricci.

Piero pelù (ph. MARCO LANZA) and elena sofia ricci

In reality, the Chinese astrological system is more complicated, because it is necessary to take into account not only the animal that governs the year and the Element coupled to it, but also the Yang and Yin principles, which alternate every year and of course the time of birth, which gives rise to a sort of Ascendant, as in the classical horoscope.  Without forgetting that to investigate more deeply the personality it is then possible to couple the Chinese sign with those of our western astrology!

Claudio Cannistrà
, enrolled in the Professional Register of Astrologers, is specialized in Astrocartography, a field that studies the energies of places. Advisor of the Library/Foundation Bozzano-De Boni of Bologna, which deals with psychic research, is also Director of the Spanish magazine Spica. Since 2020 he participates, as a regular guest, on Teleromagna in the series of transmissions of the program "Places & Mysteries".


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