Year of the Tiger: What 2022 Has in Store for You

I was interviewed for Reader’s Digest magazine. And yes, I did launch my business in a Tiger year.

Year of the Tiger: What 2022 Has in Store for You

Taylor MarkarianUpdated: Dec. 22, 2021


Some Chinese zodiac signs will benefit greatly from taking risks in 2022’s year of the Water Tiger—others won’t.

It was a Tiger year when Susan Levitt decided to make the leap from working at an architectural firm to working as a full-time astrologer and tarot card reader. “People kept asking me, ‘Read my cards!’” she recalls. “Could I even make a living doing something like that? I thought, It’s a Tiger year: Go for it!” That was in 1986, a Fire element year. There are five zodiac elements in Chinese astrology, and while the upcoming year of the Tiger, 2022, will be a Water element year, that same sense of passion, urgency, and boldness applies.

According to Levitt, author of Taoist Astrology: A Handbook of the Authentic Chinese Tradition, Tiger years such as 2022 are all about going big or going home. This is markedly different from 2021’s year of the Metal Ox, which was all about steady progress, pragmatism, and hard work. When the Lunar New Year kicks off on February 1—the second new moon after the winter solstice—it will usher in a time of intense emotions and big decisions. That’s because the Chinese zodiac sign of Tiger is known for its power, daring, and penchant for doing everything on a grand scale. Here’s what you should know going into 2022, the year of the Tiger. While you’re at it, learn which Chinese New Year traditions will help you start the year on the right note.

Tiger zodiac personality traits

Tigers are regal, impressive, and ferocious creatures. They are also stealthy and determined hunters. The Tiger zodiac personality reflects all of these traits. People of this Chinese zodiac sign are portraits in courage and leadership. They like doing things their own way, and once they set a goal for themselves, they will do anything to make it happen. However, there are some drawbacks to their incredible zest for life. “Tiger’s negative traits are a tendency to be impulsive, rebellious, and quick tempered,” Levitt says. “When Tiger throws a tantrum, this anger can spread to innocent bystanders.” Tiger years, therefore, can be very explosive times.

How 2022’s year of the Tiger will affect you

As with all Chinese zodiac signs, Tiger years occur every 12 years. (Previous Tiger years include 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, and 2010.) Because there are five Chinese zodiac elements—Fire, Earth, Metal, Water, and Wood—a Water Tiger year occurs every 60 years. The last one was in 1962, and now 2022 will be a Water Tiger year once again. So, what does that mean for you?

Tigers are quick to action, so in 2022, be prepared for situations to change on a dime. According to Levitt, “Tempers flare, drama and excitement reign, and crazy dreams can become reality.” This can apply to personal relationships, career developments, and, on a larger scale, political unrest or social revolution. While there can be great boons that come out of a Tiger year and some zodiac signs may experience wonderful luck, others can easily get burned. There is no middle ground in the year of the Tiger.

This is especially true for Tigers themselves. According to legend, one’s Chinese zodiac birth year (Ben Ming Nian) can be extremely unlucky for them. However, this isn’t always ominous—if Tigers can overcome the challenges presented to them in these years, they can still accomplish great things. So while some Tigers may find disaster in 2022, others could very well see their risk-taking pay off. For her part, Levitt thinks that “tigers will be empowered by their year,” although she does warn them to “refrain from overspending or being overly generous with gifts.”

Wondering what Western astrology has to say about 2022? We found out and devised the best New Year’s resolutions for each zodiac sign based on that info.

What the Water element means

This year will also be a Water element year. Out of all of the Chinese zodiac elements, Water has the greatest connection to emotions. “Water [is connected to] sensitivity, creativity, being impressionable,” Levitt explains. But don’t forget: Water is also an extremely powerful natural force. “It’s the strongest element—even stronger than fire—because it can go around any obstacle in its path and not lose its essential nature.” I was interviewed by Taylor for Reader’s Digest magazine:

Since 2022 will be the year of the Water Tiger, it will be a time of very strong, wild emotions. “For some people, that’s liberating,” Levitt says, “and they should take the risk. You always wanted to be a chef? Learn to cook this year. You always wanted to be a writer? Take that writing class.” Sometimes, however, emotional extremes can mean chaos, and some of the negative attributes that come with the Water element can be fear and indecisiveness. These are things each sign will have to contend with and overcome in 2022. While you’re at it, learn what the zodiac elements in Western astrology mean, too.

The most compatible zodiac signs

The Chinese zodiac signs most compatible with Tiger—and, thus, most likely to have a good year—are Horse, Dog, and Pig. People with these signs will be most receptive to the year of the Tiger’s creative, wild, and intense energy. Horse’s liveliness, Dog’s idealism, and Pig’s courage all vibe well with Tiger. These are the signs that will most likely be rewarded for taking risks and see great fortune in everything from finance to travel to love as a result.

The least compatible zodiac signs

Unfortunately, Rat, Ox, Snake, and Monkey tend not to be comfortable with Tiger energy. Rat is cautious and methodical, but careful plans don’t always amount to much in a fast-paced, unpredictable Tiger year. Similarly, Ox is very pragmatic and routine oriented. Although Oxes may see some fun now that their own zodiac year is behind them, “Tiger energy can bring unexpected problems,” Levitt explains, “so stay the course and be diligent and conscientious in your work.” Snake’s reserved nature is at odds with the boldness of Tiger, so quiet meditation may bring more rewards. (Although, Tiger’s artistic creativity may also inspire this sign.) Finally, attention-hungry Monkey will not enjoy the fact that everyone will seem to want to do things their own way in 2022. In the end, while it may benefit others from risk-taking this year, the same cannot be said for this group, who should probably lie low for the most part.

The middle-of-the-road zodiac signs

Dragon and Rooster should fare pretty well in 2022’s year of the Tiger. Both of these signs appreciate and share Tiger’s enthusiasm and boldness; however, Dragon may encounter some power struggles, and Rooster will likely need to find a way to “not get swept up in Tiger year passions,” as Levitt puts it. Sheep should also do well, especially since Tiger energy will make them more sociable. However, Sheep cannot always keep up with Tiger and must make time for rest. Similarly, the gentle Rabbit will find excitement this year, but may be overwhelmed at times. Levitt advises that Rabbit people tie up loose ends before their year comes in 2023.

Lucky times of the year for each sign

Eating lucky Chinese New Year foods and organizing your home according to the principles of feng shui will only get you so far. Scroll down to find your Chinese zodiac sign, based on your birth year, and find out which months will provide the most opportunities for success in 2022.


Birth years: 1936, 1948, 1960, 1972, 1984, 1996, 2008, 2020

According to Levitt, the best months for Rat people in 2022 will be April and August, though winter will be their best season. Water Rat people born in 1972 and Wood Rat people born in 1984 will fare best. (In the Chinese five-element theory, the Water element nurtures the Wood element.)


Birth years: 1937, 1949, 1961, 1973, 1985, 1997, 2009, 2021

Ox people born during the Tiger month of February or during Tiger hours (3 a.m. to 5 a.m.) will have an easier time adapting to the ups and downs of a Tiger year. Water Oxes born in 1973 and Wood Oxes born in 1985 will fare best. In 2022, the best months for Oxes will be May and September, and their best season will be winter.


Birth years: 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010

Autumn will be the best season for Tiger people. Water Tigers born in 1962 and Wood Tigers born in 1974 will have the most luck.


Birth years: 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999, 2011

Spring will the most favorable season for Rabbits in 2022, with March and July being the luckiest months. Water Rabbits of 1963 and Wood Rabbits of 1975 will fare best.


Birth years: 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000, 2012

April, August, and December will be the most fortunate months for Dragons. Those born in 1952 (a Water year) and 1964 (a Wood year) will have the most success.


Birth years: 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001, 2013

It may not be your year, but Water Snakes born in 1953 and Wood Snakes born in 1965 may have the best shot of making it out relatively unscathed. Overall, the best months for Snakes in 2022 are May and September, and their best season will be spring.


Birth years: 1930, 1942, 1954, 1966, 1978, 1990, 2002, 2014

Horse will do best in the summer months this year. Levitt says that Water Horse people born in 2002 and 1942, as well as Wood Horse people born in 1954 and 2014, will be the most fortunate.

Sheep (or Goat)

Birth years: 1931, 1943, 1955, 1967, 1979, 1991, 2003, 2015

Like Horse, your lucky season will also be summer. Water Sheep born in 2003 and 1943 and Wood Sheep born in 2015 and 1955 will have especially good years.


Birth years: 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016

Most Monkey people won’t love 2022, but Water Monkey people born in 1992 and Wood Monkey people born in 2004 and 1944 could have better fortune than others. In 2022, your best months will be April, August, and December, and your best season will be summer.


Birth years: 1933, 1945, 1957, 1969, 1981, 1993, 2005, 2017

According to Levitt, Water Roosters born in 1993 and 1933 and Wood Roosters born in 2005 and 1945 will have the most luck this year. Their best months will be May and September, and their best season will be autumn.


Birth years: 1934, 1946, 1958, 1970, 1982, 1994, 2006, 2018

Water Dog people of 1982 and Wood Dog people of 1994 and 1934 will do well this year. Luck will be on your side in February, June, and October, as well as generally in the autumn months.


Birth years: 1935, 1947, 1959, 1971, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2019

Autumn and winter will be the most opportune times for people of the Pig sign. Water Pigs born in 1983 and Wood Pigs born in 1995 and 1935 will feel especially empowered in 2022. For more of a boost and to maximize your potential, surround yourself with your Western zodiac sign’s power colors.

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