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January 28, 2022

The Year of the Black Water Tiger

Did you know that one branch of East Asian Medicine is the ancient art of Astrology? It’s a complex tradition rich with mythology and metaphor. We’re lucky to rely on experts who can carry the torch of interpreting the astrological tidings for us, as it’s not something we’re able to cover in the rigorous medical canon of modern East Asian Medicine school. Follow the links below to dig in further to this fascinating system, or read our summary & find some local events to celebrate the Lunar New Year in style!
A red and gold Lunar New Year banner has cartoon depictions of a tiger, clouds, and hanging paper lanterns. It says 'Happy Lunar New Year The Year of the Tiger"

The year of the Metal Ox is coming to a close and the year of the Black Water Tiger will kick off on February 1st with the Lunar New Year. The Ox is a global symbol for steadfastness and diligent hard work. Tigers are also a symbol for strength, but represent a more Yang, dynamic, attractive, and independent energy. They’re known for springing into swift action and are often associated with the energy of the Wood element which is all about growth and forward momentum. They’re bold and known for individuality.

Some of this energy will be tempered by the fact that we will enter a Water year; Water has a steady, Yin, and continuous nature to it. It can help cool the fiery nature of the Tiger. It is also tied to our deepest emotions, sensitivities, and the mysteries of life, so this may represent a year for tapping into these deep waters and being ready to act on the wisdom found there. This may translate to an experience of “fits and starts, intention and action, but also sudden stops and changes,” as Dr. Anna Hsieh Gold, LAc., DACM explained to Well + Good.

The Chinese God of Wealth, Caishen, rides a Black Water Tiger, and as this is the year of the Black Water Tiger, this is an omen of good financial luck for the year to come. Caishen is always celebrated on Lunar New Year & there are Feng Shui traditions that welcome his energy into the home. Learn more about Caishen & the traditions around welcoming his gifts into the home.

Welcome the Energy of the New Year

  • Start a new project: The energy of the Tiger will support new endeavors as long as you’re prepared to be fluid, like Water, and allow things to unfold. Remember when we said the Gregorian calendar New Year is the wrong time to start new projects and set big annual goals? Now is the right time energetically! Just remember to set your goals in a way that makes sense for living with the seasons; wake times, exercise routines, self-cultivation practices, and healthy meals can all fluctuate appropriately with the season. Explore setting goals that peak in the summer when the Qi is abundant.
  • Check Out Your Zodiac: Find out what this year has in store for you by looking up the Fortune for your Chinese Zodiac as written by Astrologer Susan Levitt.
  • Eat Well: Celebrate the New Year deliciously with SF Eater’s Food Guide to the Lunar New Year in the Bay Area.
  • Celebrate Locally: Check out the virtual or in-person events at the Oakland Asian Cultural Center or Oakland Museum of California.
  • Join the Parade: Watch the San Francisco Chinatown Parade on February 19th.
  • Explore Chinatown: Take a self-guided tour of Oakland’s Chinatown by following the map on pages 11 & 12 of our student-made Community Care Zine.

A Deeper Dive for Acupuncturists

CT Holman carries the tradition of his mentor, the recently passed Lillian Pearl Bridges. He says,

“2021, the year of the Yin Metal Ox, brought many challenges. The passing of Lillian Pearl Bridges devastated the Chinese medicine community and beyond. Lillian was my mentor, teacher, and friend and she will be greatly missed by many in the human family. For decades, Lillian offered a prediction for the upcoming years. The Lotus Institute bestowed upon me the honor of carrying on this tradition, by which I am humbled and will do my best to honor her legacy.” Read CT Holman’s thorough Forecast for 2022.

Looking to start your journey into holistic & integrative medicine and curious if AIMC is the right place for you? Take our quiz and explore our Master’s and Doctorate programs, and financial aid options. Attend our next Open House to learn more, and ask questions!

Protect Tigers

PS– Tigers are an endangered species and are illegally hunted. Help protect them & honor their power by donating to TRAFFIC, an organization dedicated to protecting natural biodiversity & supporting sustainable development.

About the Author

White woman with wide brim straw hat on holds a white and brown dog and smiles in front of snowy mount and frozen lake scene on a sunny dayAlly Magill is Licensed Acupuncturist & AIMC graduate with a background in birthwork as a labor and postpartum doula, outdoor education, and the management of thriving community acupuncture clinics. Visit her website to book Acupuncture appointments, Herbal Medicine consults, & Postpartum care.

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