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Happy Chinese New Year!


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2022: The Year of the Yang Water Tiger in the Chinese Zodiac Calendar, 2/1/2022-1/23/2023


Following the Chinese calendar that rotates in 60-year cycles based on 12 earthly branches, each represented by an animal year, and five element years — wood, fire, earth, metal and water (the same five elements we work with in Traditional Chinese Medicine) — 2022 is the Year of the Yang Water Tiger. Energetic, vigorous, brave, adventurous are among its keywords. The Year of the Yang Water Tiger starts on February 1st, 2022, the second New Moon after the Winter Solstice.


In 2021, the year of the Yin Metal Ox we were called to be steady and durable. We methodically “plowed through” the pandemic (that started in 2019, the Year of the Yang Metal Rat) like an Ox in the field. Discipline was required: whether that meant developing an effective work-from-home schedule or masking up over and over. It didn’t always feel “disciplined” given that half the time we were in our p.j.s or sweats, but think about it: you got up, trudged over to your ad hoc work station and logged on for another day (with homeschooled kids screaming in the background in some instances, a spouse or partner at a nearby work station, a cat on your lap, or a needy dog begging to go for a walk!). Our discipline was challenged to the max with even more and more “staying at home” during 2021.


We were forced to confront and nurture relationships with so much “together time.” The ruling Yin energy was dominant (substantive), therefore, things felt pretty heavy (the secondary element was Earth – relating to the Ox) much of the time. Nevertheless, most of us remained steadfast and resolute, like the Ox, when we could have gone completely and utterly off the rails. I for one am proud of us: we stayed the course!


Because the Tiger traditionally instills both fear and awe in many cultures, those are the qualities we will also feel as this energy takes over from the Ox on February 1st. We’ll have to be like the Tiger to be successful – powerful and daring! Kind of exciting, no? This will also generate some competition and conflict. Because this year’s element is Water, things will have the capacity to change on a dime in our lives and world, and we need to face these changes with the strength and prowess of a tiger. Water is a very strong natural force that survives by going around any obstacle in its path. We are going to have to be fearless and go with this energy and not let it tow us under. 2022’s secondary element is Wood, as Wood is associated with the Tiger, and because water nourishes wood there will be–thankfully–a lot of resources and growth this year too.


In summary, the Yang Water Tiger will be like a complete 180. Being safe, pragmatic, with our noses to the ground like we were in 2021 won’t work for us in 2022 because we are ready to POUNCE (literally) and seize control over our lives with renewed vigor. This lunar year is more Yang, so there will naturally be more movement (like the Water element). Think strength, vitality, growth. In summary: In 2022, the Year of the Yang Water Tiger, it’s time to “go big or go home!”



Wishing you all the best in 2022,

Maureen McLaughlin, LAc



*Foods to eat for Chinese New Year: Traditionally it is celebrated with spring rolls, dumplings, and noodle dishes. Steamed fish, chicken, and rice cakes are excellent too. The Chinese also celebrate with “hot pot”-- a customized soup. You have the broth ready, and you throw in meat, vegetables, or noodles of your choice along with condiments such as egg, sesame paste, salt, sugar, cilantro and peppers. Here is a sample of the meaning of some of the common New Year’s foods to have fun with:



  • Eggs: big and healthy family

  • Lobster: endless money rolling in

  • Shrimp: fortune and wealth

  • Roasted pig: peace

  • Duck: loyalty

  • Peaches: longevity

  • Tofu: happiness and fortune for the entire family

  • Fish: surplus and wealth



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