In addition to not celebrating Valentine’s Day, today I’m excited because today is Chinese New Year. And it’s the year of the Tiger.
Yes, it’s true. I’m a tiger. I’ve alwasy been happy to be Tiger. It pleased me that meek-and-mild me could be associated with something fierce and powerful. I don’t love all the things that are supposed to be true of tigers, and really hope those things don’t describe me. At the same time, there are parts of the description that I don’t embody but which I aspire to.
As always, a little internet searching yields a whole lot of info:
THE YEAR OF THE TIGER — 02/14/2010 – 02/02/2011
2010 is the Year of a Golden Tiger. The Tiger is the third sign in the cycle of Chinese Zodiac. It is a sign of courage. This fearless and fiery fighter is revered by the ancient Chinese as the sign that wards off the three main disasters of a household: fire, thieves and ghosts. On New Year’s day itself, it is beneficial to celebrate, to be happy, to have smiling faces, and to refrain from scowling, quarreling, or criticizing anyone.
The Tiger — The Tiger is one of the most beautiful creatures on the planet, and is feared and revered in equal measure. It features in many Asian cultures as a manifestation of courage, power, passion and royalty. In Feng Shui, it is one of the four celestial animals where it takes its place as the White Tiger. The Tiger symbolizes the female Yin energy as opposed to the Yang male energy of the dragon. Ancient Chinese believe that the markings on the forehead of tigers resemble the Chinese character for “Wang“, or King. In Imperial China, where the dragon is the insignia of the emperors, the tiger is the military emblem of the highest supreme commanders of the army symbolizing fearlessness and victory.¹ The Tiger also represents earth, while the dragon represents Heaven. The powerful and stealth prowess of the Tiger inspire the martial art movements of many Kung-Fu masters.
The Sign of the Tiger — Courageous, active, and self-assured. Optimistic, passionate and independent. Rebellious, dynamic, and unpredictable. Quick tempered but considerate. Affectionate but careless. The Tiger is a natural born leader and symbolizes power, passion and daring.
People born in the Year of the Tiger are generally well liked because of their charming personalities. Often, failing at a given task or being unproductive in his personal or professional life can cause a Tiger to experience a deep depression. Criticism from loved ones can also generate this type of Tiger reaction.
Tigers are fond of competitions. They simply cannot pass up a challenge. They may appear cool and are unpredictable, and it would be unwise to underestimate their reactions. Natural leaders, they have a strong sense of their own dignity. They are intelligent, alert, and farsighted. Good strategists and tacticians, they often have a hidden agenda.² As long as they do not risk their luck too often, and keep their restless nature under control, they will enjoy success and happiness.
People born in the Year of the Tiger are straightforward and uninhibited in nature. They will never give up no matter how frustrated they may become. But, they are also full of suspicion and sometimes will take hasty action.
They must be aware of how they react to and are affected by the consequences of their tempers. They should take it a little easier and learn to pace themselves to keep active longer and to prevent early burnout. They are blessed with flexibility and often recover quickly from illness or pain.
Some people born in the Year of the Tiger are gentle and full of sympathy. They are kind, love babies and anything that arouses their imagination. Others can be stubborn and selfish. Generally speaking, people born in the Year of the Tiger are fond of playing, and full of enthusiasm and sentiment. Some are mercurial. They can laugh happily one moment, and cry the next. They will be optimistic, but at the next they will lose their heart totally.
People born in the Year of the Tiger take pride in being different than others, and generally illustrate their originality best in their homes. Their homes are usually filled with exotic treasures. They are fast learners, need challenge and often work alone. Some tend to change careers more often because they get bored easily. They are natural born leaders and perform best if working towards positions of power and influence. They like to spend money, and also to share it. They can be quite impulsive spenders because they know they can always make more.
It is interesting that their two main features are rashness and hesitation, a pair of contradictions. If they know how to relax and do things according to the situation, they can become quite successful.³
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At work, someone from the hospital’s PR office gave us a bunch of Chinese wall calendars because she noticed a 2009 calendar still up in one of the classrooms. I immediately checked to see what excellent things were in store for me during this tiger year.
Yeah, not so much. This calendar was clearly written by a gloom-and-doom, recessionist-minded, pessimistic astrologer. According to the calendar, I’m a bit of a shady character. My horoscope repeats in four or five different ways that I need to obey the law! What’s that about? But not all the news is bad. I’ve checked other sources and found that a) I should be ready for a year of change, b) I’m going to be particularly dynamic this year, and c) I’ll be really healthy this year as long as I’m careful. I’m also repeatedly informed that I am the master of my own destiny and shouldn’t take any of these predictions too seriously! Excellent. That I can live with!
Happy Year of the Golden Tiger, everyone!
¹ Hmm … think this might explain why the aptitude tests I took in high school said I was sure to become a high-ranking military official?
² Oh dear. If the Morphine Man is reading this, he’s feeling a little frisson of vindication right now.
³ (Taken with some editing from “Online Shop“)