Who is a Tiger?
Years: 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010.
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What is a Tiger?
Because the yang wood Tiger is composed of three different elements, he is an especially versatile predator. There is nothing wrong with being a predator – the world needs predators- 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.
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. On the other hand the balanced Tiger will always repay a debt and 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. Which means that since our gifts are generally concealed within our lessons (which are themselves concealed within the heartbreaks and triumphs of the dramas we weave for ourselves) a balanced, awakened Tiger is as open, alert and self-aware as a human being can become without disappearing in a puff of smoke.
That ruthlessness however, which is sometimes worn as a badge of honour, is often simply a failure to open up to interdependence with others. Of all insults “dependent” is the worst 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 this one is not in the clear because the corollary of foregoing revenge appears to be falling on his 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 wooden Tiger likes to think of himself as logical but instinctive (or even automatic) is a better description. 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. The really unbalanced Tiger (yang wood day stem born in February for instance) 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 used to say that the person with the most flexible behaviour has control. The Tiger is the yangest and woodenest of the animals. He is so flexible that he can be completely immovable. 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 may simply snarl and send the traveller on his way. Without the Pig in the ba zi this combination can like the Four Earths (see elsewhere for explanation), be a seriously unhelpful combination, implying restricted movement. It was very common in 2013 and will be again in the Year of the Fire Monkey in 2016. Watch out! Meanwhile the Four Earths that run through 2015 like the letters within a stick of seaside rock, don’t appear to directly involve you. But if you think for that reason, that it leaves you largely untouched, you’re not paying attention.
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 any man would gladly die for.
Tiger in Wood Sheep Year.
Stars include: yum san, mong san.
In the Horse year the Tiger was in poll position. In fact you were a bit overpowering. The danger was that you could be over-egged and over-eager. In point of fact some Tigers’ grip on sanity appeared to loosen a little. You may have been unusually rash which can have made it a harder year than it might have been. The Tiger’s like that; at your worst, hard on everyone but most particularly hard on yourself. But that ruthlessness is often is not that much use to you; you need to pull out of the spin and harness that tremendous self-awareness that you know you possess, For you the Wood Sheep is the year of self-awareness; this year there’s a chance you’ll cease to accept your own excuses. This is your life ie not somebody else’s.
Technically you combine with Horse and Dog in a team that is fuelled by Fire. Being Wood by nature, this calls on your deepest resources; an exhausting exercise. Which is why 2014 has been all too much for many Tigers. This year’s Sheep however brings you both support and expression. You are empowered but no longer flattered. There is a feeling about you of having woken up.
But even the awakened Tiger is easily misunderstood. You believe yourself to be practical and sensible but so often your dreams pass you by because you are being what you think of as realistic. Others might call this “realism” insensitive or even brutal. The Tiger is often what William James called “tough-minded!. As a rule you have little time for the airy-fairy. But guess what? On one level there isn’t anything else. What’s for sure is that there are limits to what you can control and the limit is lower than you think. Too often your “realistic” thinking has actually been a lot less practical than that of those you’d like to call dreamers. In 2015 you have a chance to make your mark. Your dreams may yet be accomplished but not by following a safe path that is going somewhere else. They say you only live once. Who knows? This year you can choose the path that gets your juices going. But you have to choose and to take responsibility for your choice.
Your friend the Horse may be on sabbatical; certainly (s)he will be under a different kind of pressure. So there’s reason to suppose you’ll find company and assistance. Dogs will be making rapid strides and they’ll include you if you let them. Don’t make any more excuses for your dissatisfaction with your life. Take it on. That’s not necessarily easy but it’s the same for everybody.
The Tiger is extraordinarily resilient but sometimes your judgement will fail you; that’s human. You tend to quit with a plausible rationale just when you’re close to the finishing post rather than to soldier on when the going gets tough. In July you’re especially empowered, so when you’re challenged in August as usual, don’t let the setbacks and delays breed self-pity. It’s too easy; you’ve been here before. Above all don’t believe your own stories as to why pulling out just as you break through is the most sensible idea in the world. Hear but don’t heed inner thoughts of defeat
Your closest associate the Pig has his or her own fair share of Wood too. That’s how you understand each other. But the Pig is more versatile, more adaptable . Seek Pigs and emulate them; the likelihood is that you know (and like) a few. They tend also to defend the indefensible but generally don’t believe their own cover stories.
This year many Tigers will make leaps professionally; money is no particular issue. It’s a question of not fooling yourself. Relationship is more likely to be casual than constant and happier for the male than the female Tiger. Health may be mixed; small blockages possibly and a risk of some weight gain. But there is real breakthrough by November if you choose and stick to direction and method.
Finally, the Tiger is a predator and the Sheep is a meat animal. You have been given so much support and it looks like you’ve failed to acknowledge or even notice it. The worst mistake you can make this year is categorising those who help you as saps or that it’s alright for them and so hard for you. Even worse would be to consider your clients as your enemy. This is the reflection of the yum san Star; notice “reflection” rather than “effect. It would be as petulant to attribute your dissatisfaction to untimely stars as to attribute the relative good fortune of others to timely ones. This your life.
”Seek out Sun Tzu’s classic The Art of War; not to follow its precepts but to recognise its deep foolishness which at your worst reflects your own. For foolishness read “cowardice” by the way.
Health: care of bones, ligaments, eyesight.
Money: plentiful but hard-earned.
Relationship: male Tigers get lucky.
Feng Shui: for advance seek the Moon in the North West.
Readers’ Digest Version: all to play for.
Richard Ashworth © 2015