Born During A Tiger Year? Here's What It Means + How To Thrive
The Chinese zodiac is split into 12 signs, with Tigers third in line after the Rat and the Ox. Those born during Tiger years are known for their fierceness, and Tiger years themselves often have a similar feel. Here, we're diving into the year of the Tiger, plus everything to know about those born during this year.
The Chinese zodiac.
In Chinese astrology, the entire year falls under one of the 12 signs, as opposed to in Western astrology, which has 12 zodiac seasons that all sit within one year. For example, the upcoming Chinese calendar year (starting on February 1, 2022) will be a Tiger year followed by a Rabbit year in 2023, and so on.
Each of the signs is associated with different qualities, strengths, and weaknesses, and they're also further divided by their element, as well as where they fall in the yin-versus-yang spectrum.
The years of the Tiger.
Here are the dates of past and future Tiger years, including their element:
- February 13, 1926, to February 1, 1927 (Fire Tiger)
- January 31, 1938, to February 18, 1939 (Earth Tiger)
- February 17, 1950, to February 5, 1951 (Metal Tiger)
- February 5, 1962, to January 24, 1963 (Water Tiger)
- January 23, 1974, to February 10, 1975 (Wood Tiger)
- February 9, 1986, to January 28, 1987 (Fire Tiger)
- January 28, 1998, to February 15, 1999 (Earth Tiger)
- February 14, 2010, to February 2, 2011 (Metal Tiger)
- February 1, 2022, to January 21, 2023 (Water Tiger)
- January 19, 2034, to February 7, 2035 (Wood Tiger)
Year of the Tiger personality.
According to Chinese astrology practitioner Tiffany Lin, those born during the year of the Tiger live to seek adventure. They also have an insatiable desire for knowledge and power.
"They are bold pioneers," Lin explains, adding that Tigers are also analytical, practical yet ambitious, restless—and a bit reckless.
You can think of them as the apex predator of the 12 Chinese zodiac animals. "Intent with their eyes on their prey or the prize, they'll do whatever they can to conquer," Lin explains.
Tigers also always want to be the best, taking great pride in their accomplishments and competency. "Tigers are fiercely independent, aggressive, and can cover a lot of territories, which means they need a lot of space physically and energetically," Lin says.
And as feng shui educator and Chinese astrology expert Anjie Cho tells mbg, Tigers have a lot of big and active energy, "They're dynamic and unpredictable and always pushing against the boundaries. There's also this energy of being self-centered because tigers are solitary animals," she adds.
- Risk takers
Water, metal, earth, fire & wood Tiger signs.
Metal Tigers (1950, 2010):
Those born during a Metal Tiger year are known to be active, aggressive, passionate, and magnetic, according to Lin.
"Like metal, [those born under this Tiger year] want to project a glamorous image of themselves. The combination of Metal and Tiger produces a person who is direct, unorthodox, stubborn, drastic in their behavior," they note, adding Metal Tigers flourish in competitive environments.
And as Cho notes, these folks are also protective and refined. "Think of a tiger in metal armor—that's really intense," she explains. "Metal is also connected to the mouth, so someone born in the Metal Tiger year may be more communicative," she adds.
Water Tigers (1962, 2022):
In the case of Water Tigers, Cho notes these people are supported and content, with a sense of connection to others and the world. "Water really supports a Tiger, because Tiger has Wood as its main element," she adds.
As Lin explains, Water Tigers are also known for being more open-minded and honest, always seeking new ideas and experiences. "The Water element combined with Tiger personality gives them a calmer nature. They are excellent judges of the truth and more intuitively perceptive about the feelings of others," Lin adds.
Wood Tigers (1974, 2034):
Wood is already the main element associated with Tigers, so the double wood energy of a Tiger born in a Wood year makes for someone who is very active and adept at getting things done. As Cho notes, the Tiger is at home in the Wood element.
These people tend to be more friendly, community and group-oriented, generous, and charming, Lin explains, adding, "Wood Tigers attract many friends and supporters and have a talent for bringing different types of people together."
Fire Tigers (1986, 2046):
Just by their name, you can imagine what a Fire Tiger might be like. Fiery, of course, as well as passionate and lively. As Lin says, these people can find it hard to contain their enthusiasm, adding that Fire Tigers are also "super independent and unconventional."
Cho says you can tell a Fire Tiger by the sparkle in their eye and their passionate nature, with Lin adding these folks are constantly seeking ways to channel their boundless energy and ideas into action.
Earth Tiger (1938, 1998):
And last but not least, Earth Tigers are the quieter, "chiller" Tiger in the Chinese Zodiac. According to Cho, while they might take things slower than other Tigers, that grounding is needed to support their active energy. As Lin explains, the Earth element "steadies this type of Tiger by giving them a longer attention span," resulting in a quieter and more responsible nature.
"Out of all tigers, they are the realists—more of a worrier than a daredevil. Still, they're very driven and self-motivated, like all Tigers," Lin adds.
How to thrive as a Tiger.
In your relationships:
According to both Cho and Lin, Tigers are most compatible with Horses, Dogs, and Pigs. As Lin explains, "They relate well with each other and are always honest, open, and motivated by idealism," adding, "If you are a Tiger and want to find your best friends, [...] find yourself some Horse and Dog friends."
As far as incompatibility, Tigers may have some difficulty getting along with Monkeys. "If you meet a Monkey and are generally irritated by their ways of being, see what characteristics they have that you can learn and grow from," Lin says.
Generally speaking, though, Tigers are loyal in their relationships but can also become possessive and jealous. As such, Lin says it's important for Tigers to check that jealousy and let their partner know when they need reassurance. Tigers also appreciate plenty of space and freedom within their relationships.
Because Tigers can be so solitary, Cho adds that it's a good idea for them to ask themselves if they're being too solitary, or inversely, if they need some alone time in the name of self-care.
In your career & finances:
As Lin explains, the internal motivation for Tigers is self-mastery and cultivation. As such, it's important these people remember what their priorities and values are, as they relate to work.
"The Tiger must learn to channel their energy and excessive enthusiasm to accomplish their goals," Lin notes, adding Tigers won't be enthusiastic in careers where they're no longer learning or picking up skills.
These folks can also have a "volatile" relationship with money, spending, and saving, according to Lin, who says their ability to be financially successful lies with their ability to persevere against their impatience for quick and fast results. It's also important they set solid financial goals and outline strategies to achieve them.
"Overall," Lin explains, "Tigers trust in their own divine luck and charisma to see them through. When their eyes are on the prize, they can really accomplish anything they set out to do."
In your health:
The impulsive nature of Tigers can sometimes work against them, which is why Lin says it's important they "root down and focus on being calm and centered as a way to counteract any impulsive tendencies."
Tigers may also bite off more than they can chew in the health realm, so they would do well to assess things clearly from the get-go. "Get grounded. Practice meditation. Do movement-based exercises for the root chakra to ground into this earthly reality," Lin suggests, adding not to make too many big decisions unless you've properly assessed the whole situation. "Remember your intentions as well as your limitations," they add.
The bottom line.
Those born during the Year of the Tiger are high-energy, hardworking, and fierce folks who love experiencing all the things life has to offer. While they may have a tendency toward self-absorption (Tigers do live alone, after all), these people make loyal friends and take pride in their capacity for knowledge and accomplishment.
Sarah Regan is a Spirituality & Relationships Editor, a registered yoga instructor, and an avid astrologer and tarot reader. She received her bachelor's in broadcasting and mass communication from State University of New York at Oswego, and lives in Buffalo, New York.