by Dr Mao Shing Ni
Welcome to 2022, the Chinese Year of the Tiger!
The I Ching is as relevant today as it was at its publication eight millennia ago.
The I Ching has been a wise advisor and I have been a personal beneficiary of its
counsel which is why I urge readers of my annual forecasts to review all my
previous years’ predictions to confirm the timeless wisdom of the I Ching.
In my 2022 forecast, you will find a general prediction of changes in the world and
how they may affect you personally. If you are interested to know specific steps
to take in each area of your life, I will reveal them in greater detail at the annual
college of Tao retreat which will take place this year from April 27-May 1. For
more information or to register, visit collegeoftao.org.
To have a deeper understanding of this year’s energetic dynamics, I would
suggest that you learn about the Five Elements as well as discover which is your
element. Go to TaoStar.com and take the quiz to determine your elemental
The 2022 Year of the Tiger is influenced by the elements of Water and Wood.
Water and Wood are two elements that are in harmony—Water nourishes Wood,
enabling its germination and growth. When the elements of the year are in
harmony, the general state reflects balance and congruence. The Wood Element
is the mother of the Fire Element which engenders warmth, excitement, and
positive energy. 2022 is likely to be a year of healing and recovery from the
pandemic that paralyzed and caused so much despair throughout the world.
However, the energetic expression of Tiger is that of aggression, and the Water
Element, when uncontrolled, can lead to impulsive, unpredictable, and violent
action. Like the recent tsunami generated from the undersea volcanic eruption
near Tonga in the South Pacific, the surface of the Water appears smooth until
the hidden Fire beneath erupts and creates tidal waves.
Therefore, despite the general desire to let down our guard, especially after over
two years of Covid fatigue, be on the lookout for the Sabretooth tiger lurking in
the bushes. The potential for political conflict remains great within the US and
geopolitically with Russia and China. However, 2022 is generally positive with life
starting to get back to “normal” along with the rebuilding of the economy and the
Let’s revisit for a moment my last year’s forecast. In January 2021, for example, I
forecasted economically “…with Metal and Earth as reigning elements in 2021, we
are expecting a bumpy ride in the economy and the stock market. As long as the
Feds continue to print money, keep interest rates low, and stimulus checks
continue to arrive, the economy and the stock market will continue on their
upward trend. However, since the Fire Element is missing this year, it’s
challenging to find optimism to support the unbound rise and any hiccups, such
as a rise in interest rates, unemployment, evictions and foreclosures, social
unrest, and wars, that can spread like a contagion and hammer the fragile hope
that people hold on to.”
In January 2022, technically still part of a Year of the Ox until the Year of the Tiger
begins on February 1, the stock market officially entered correction territory. For
example, on January 24, 2022, both the DOW and the S&P 500 lost more than 10%
each from their highs, while the technology-heavy NASDAQ was down 18% and
the Russell 2000 index was down 20.3% from their respective highs. Want to
know what to do this year to protect your financial health? Read more in the
Financial Health section of this forecast.
The most important objectives for 2022 are to:
• Safely navigate the reopening of the world from COVID-19
• Restore and reinforce health and wellbeing
• Repair the economy and recapitalize financial safety net
• Bridge the ideological divide and reconnect with the
• Promote and foster inner and outer peace and joy
It will take enlightened leadership to reopen the world without endangering both
population health and the fragile recovery of the economy. One by one,
governments of the world are slowly coming around to embracing Covid as an
endemic virus, rather than a pandemic—learning to live with an acceptable level
of Covid circulating within their populations, similar to the flu virus.
As a society, we need to pivot the healthcare system from disease-care to a
preventive-health model so we can avoid future health catastrophes. Individually,
we are responsible for our own health. By working on disease prevention and
promoting wellbeing, even if we do get sick from time to time we will have the
power to heal and restore. Read more in my Physical and Mental Health sections.
On the macro-economic front, the Feds will raise interest rates to cool inflationary
pressures which will have an adverse impact on digital currency and the stock
and bond markets, as well as temper the rise in real estate. Despite these
changes, individuals can shield themselves from the gyrations of the markets by
implementing solid financial discipline. Read more in the Financial Health
Covid-19 was not only a pandemic it was also a relationship wrecker as political
ideology divided not only nations but also family members and close friendships.
It’s time to put that behind and reconnect with those you care for despite your
disagreements. After all, a healthy relationship does not mean agreement on all
things—divergent perspectives are useful and at times may even be life-altering.
Read more in the Relationship Health section.
It’s also time to let go of fear and anxiety and work on peace, harmony, and
happiness within yourself and those around you. Work on what you can control—
your diet and lifestyle, what you say and think, how you spend, save, and invest
your money, and practice meditation to increase your awareness of the subtle
aspects of your wellbeing. I invite you to sign up for my meditation course that
starts in March at CollegeOfTao.org.
It’s not only useful but imperative to heed the advice of the I Ching, the ancient
oracle, so that we can avoid needless pitfalls and maximize positivity in all five
areas of our lives: physical, emotional, relationships, finances, and career/work in
Keep reading to find out more specific steps you can take for the upcoming Year
of the Tiger!
Pay special attention to the vulnerabilities of the corresponding Wood Element
organs—Liver, Gall Bladder, and the nervous system as well as those of the
Water Element organs—the Kidneys, Adrenals, and the reproductive system.
Nervous System—Liver and Gall Bladder
In Western medicine, the liver and gall bladder are considered to be merely the
filters and recyclers of the body, ridding toxins, breaking down old cells such as
red blood cells, and producing bile to digest fats. However, in Chinese medicine
these organs are recognized as having to do more than simply filter and recycle;
in Chinese medicine, the Liver has an intimate association with one’s emotional
According to the mind-body connection of Chinese medicine, when one’s
emotions—anger, frustration, depression, and helplessness are suppressed—the
Liver’s health becomes impacted which in turn, leads to dysfunction to the
nervous system, raising blood pressure, exerting pressure on the heart, and
increasing inflammation throughout the body. The end result of sustained Liver
imbalance can include stroke, heart attack, diabetes, joint and tendon pain, and
the development of tumors and cysts.
The physiological fact that normally liver breaks down cortisol and
epinephrine/adrenalin means that if it fails to do its job adequately, over time the
corresponding rise in the stress hormones levels in the body will definitively lead
to hypertension, heart disease, elevated blood sugar, and inflammation in soft
tissue and joints and even cancer.
• Eat more leafy green veggies and drink lemon in hot water first
thing in the morning to aid Liver/Gall Bladder
health. Download here
• Periodic cleanse and detoxify to aid the Liver and Gall Bladder
in their function of clearing toxins and unwanted substances
from the body. Try the at-home Detox Kit every quarter at each
equinox and solstice.
• Practice Liver cleansing qi gong meditation daily to release
pent-up anger, frustration, and unhappiness. Download here.
• Take herbs like dandelion greens, chrysanthemum, and
peppermint, ingredients found in the Wood Element
formula, to support Liver/Gall Bladder health and keep your
nervous system calm
Reproductive System—Kidneys, Bladder, and the Adrenals
In Western medicine, these are disparate systems that don’t seem to be
connected. The reproductive system includes the ovaries and uterus in women
and the testes in men, as well as sex hormones such as estrogen, progesterone,
luteinizing hormone, testosterone that regulates the baby-making process. In
western medicine, the kidneys and bladder merely filter the blood and eliminate
toxins through the urine and adrenal gland, and the adrenals produce hormones
like cortisol and adrenalin for survival. However, Chinese medicine’s
understanding of the function of these organs goes beyond the surface.
According to the mind-body connection of Chinese medicine, the Kidney-Adrenal
function as a signaling system when fear and the feeling of uncertainty
predominate, it negatively affects reproduction and causes the onset of rapid
aging process that may lead to infertility, premature menopause in women,
erectile dysfunction in men, anemia, heart failure, fainting spells, lower back and
knee pain and weakness, frequent urination, and fatigue.
Let us examine physiology to understand how these connections work. Kidneys
do not merely filter the blood but they also regulate electrolyte balance, hence
affecting blood pressure and urinary frequency. They also produce red blood
cells via the release of erythropoietin (EPO) which signals bone marrow to
produce blood. Kidney disease often leads to anemia, weakness, and fatigue not
to mention a decline in organ function and an increase in aging.
The Adrenal glands on the other hand release stress hormones when a person
perceives danger—fear, fright, and uncertainty, which shuts down the
reproductive process in order to ensure survival—pregnant women can’t easily
climb trees or run away quickly from predators! As for men, forget erection when
you’ve got a Sabretooth tiger on your tail! Over time the effect of stress
hormones in your body causes inflammation, blood pressure, cholesterol, and a
rise in blood sugar resulting in an increased risk of stroke, diabetes, heart
disease, cancer, and infertility!
• Eat foods that fortify the Kidney-Adrenal organ network such
as beans such as black beans, legumes such as peanuts, nuts
such as walnuts, and seeds such as hemp seeds all of which
are high in omega 3 fatty acids that combat inflammation as
well as lignans that contain phytosterols that support healthy
• Do daily squats and strength training to increase growth
hormone production which benefits Kidney function.
• Get plenty of rest and relaxation. Be sure to sleep eight hours
each night. If you have trouble getting quality rest, try Sleep
• Take adaptogenic herbs like Schisandra berry, wild yam, and
Solomon’s seal in the Water Element formula to support
Kidney-Adrenal health and keep your endocrine system
• Practice guided meditation to prevent fear and anxiety from
triggering your Adrenals from releasing bad-for-your-health
The Wood Element is associated with anger and the feeling of being “stuck”
while the Water Element is marked by fear and uncertainty. It’s a wonder that
2022, with political polarization and tension at its highest ever, frustration over
the back and forth of Covid lockdown policies, and fear created by constant
media bombardment with negative messages, we can manage to keep our sanity
at all! Work on tempering your anger, get back into the flow and release the fear
that you may have accumulated from the challenging events of the past two
• Maintain a perspective of cycles—all phenomena are
temporary, and change is always around the corner.
• Learn to adapt to changes. Those who succeed thrive, and
those who don’t perish. Nothing stays bad forever—just as
good times will also give way to troubled times.
• Master the Laws of Change. Sign up for my online Taoist
meditation course which includes the study of the I Ching and
learn how to use the wisdom of the I Ching forecast to guide
you to anticipate and be better prepared for the changes in
The energetic dynamics of 2022 involve the Water and Wood Elements; Water is
nourishing and yielding while Wood is pushing and accomplishing. For the most
part, the two elements are harmonious, such as Wood drawing from Water to
continue its growth and upward trajectory. Just as when two people are in a
symbiotic relationship, one is a natural leader, and the other is a follower and
nurturer; there is a natural give and take in the relationship.
However, in relationship interactions when Wood becomes too aggressive and
the other party is also similarly demanding and unyielding, sparks will fly, and
conflicts will inevitably arise. When one is in a haste to get things done, he will
assuredly ruffle feathers unless he is mindful of his strong personality so he will
stop pushing so hard.
• Cultivate the flexibility of the Water element in dealing with
• Seek to fulfill the other person’s needs first with lovingkindness before advocating for yourself. In this way, you’ll
preserve peace and harmony with those you love and care for.
To learn more about relationship strategies according to your Five Element
personality, both you and the other person should take the element quiz to
discover the attributes of both of your elements, and also read my book, Live
Your Ultimate Life to improve your relationships with others with different
As we embark on the beginning of the third year of Covid, the jobs market
continues to be in turmoil. The “great resignation” took many people out of the
workforce and the rapid spread of the Omicron variant led to shortages in staffing
at every business. Taking a pause may actually be a good thing in that it allows
people to re-evaluate their career choices or trajectory.
In a Tiger year, people will feel more empowered to make career changes and to
take bold steps toward their dream job. The Water Element represents movement
therefore there will be plentiful opportunities in transportation industries
including the movement of people and goods from one place to another.
Therefore, industries associated with travel, shipping, and logistics will thrive.
Similarly, the Wood Element represents building, construction, and forestry.
There will be opportunities in design, construction, hospitality, and outdoor
recreation. This is the year when people will take to travel and the great outdoors
in a big way to fulfill pent-up demand caused by two years of lockdown. Wood
contains the seeds of Fire so entertainment and the arts will prosper, as will the
fashion and beauty industry.
Now that you’ve decided to quit your job and explore new fields, there are tons of
choices. Maybe you want to do something that allows you to work from home? Or
perhaps you’re tired of being glued to Zoom and want a job that takes you
outdoors? Or better yet, maybe you want your new job to be about traveling to
far-flung places in the world? So, what is your ultimate calling? Have a hard time
deciding? Here are some suggestions for you to consider.
• First, know your gifts—who you are is key to unlocking your
life’s purpose and setting you on a path to actualizing your
life. Knowing your core element will help you harness your
strengths and leverage them in a direction that aligns with
your ultimate life purpose. It all begins with taking the element
quiz if you haven’t already done so.
• Be honest with yourself; don’t take a job just because it’s
easy. You spend a third of your life working so you’d better
think about what and how you would like to spend your life.
Ideally, whatever choice you end up making will include
personal growth opportunities.
• Identify the field that you care most care and are passionate
about, and then apply your core element strength to the work
that best expresses who you are.
• Take my online e-course on Ultimate Career & Work Health to
discover what you are meant to do on this journey.
With Water and Wood as reigning elements in 2022, we are entering a year of
overall optimism notwithstanding the Fed’s attempt to tame inflation by raising
interest rates. With nurturing Water, Wood is able to continue its growth and with
the eventual opening of the world from Covid, consumer discretionary spending
will rise for everything from travel to hospitality, fashion to entertainment, and in
the restaurant industry. Similarly, Wood and Water energy bode well for
construction, transportation, textile, industrials, and manufacturing.
On the subject of the greening of the world, 2022 will go down as the beginning of
heavy competition for renewable energy, electric cars, and consumer products.
Could this be the year that tree farms gain ground as a credible carbon offset?
There will be winners and losers but at the end of the day, the trend generally
bodes well for the environment although recycling of batteries, old solar panels,
and the like will create new environmental challenges as well as opportunities for
Regarding personal financial health, it’s important to have a savings and
investment plan and to practice restraint in a up and down market. For example,
the stock market entered correction territory on January 24, 2022, both the DOW
and S&P500 lost more than 10% each from their highs; the technology-heavy
NASDAQ was down 18% and the Russell 2000 index was down 20.3% from their
highs. What should you do, if anything, to protect your hard-earned money and
Despite the corrections the only constant in the market is change. In 2022 there
will be headwinds for sure. However, understanding the elemental alchemy at
work this year you’ll discover favorable and unfavorable industries. Here are my
own strategies that I’ve put in place. You should always do your homework and
not blindly follow my personal financial moves and work with a financial
professional to assess your risk tolerance and adjust your investment portfolio
• Have at least 6 months of living expenses in savings. Do not
touch this rainy-day fund.
• Generally, I execute my financial adjustments a month before
the start of the next Chinese New Year cycle which in 2022
begins on February 1. Therefore, make financial moves by the
end of each year.
• Sold off industries related to last year’s Metal and Earth
Elements which included metals, industrial materials, auto,
banking, digital currency, mining, and technology.
• Repositioned my portfolio to prepare to buy during dips and
corrections in consumer discretionary industries associated
with 2022’s Wood and Water Elements i.e. travel, hospitality,
dining, fashion, and entertainment. This also includes home
construction and improvements, shipping, transportation, and
• Raised cash to take advantage of market corrections that
create undervalued opportunities. Money is made not when
you sell, but when you buy at the right price.
• Never speculate. Investing is not gambling. If you want to
gamble, go to Vegas and be prepared to lose money. Don’t
follow the herd lest you are willing to be trampled—look what
happened with meme stocks—when the music stops someone
always ends up holding the bag.
• Saving and investing is like cultivation—through steady and
consistent effort, resisting greed and taking profits at a preset
gain, reinvesting dividends to enjoy the power of
compounding, know the company and industry you are
investing in by talking with experts and doing your research
and finally, invest for the long term otherwise don’t put your
money in the stock market.
If you want to get your finance house in order, I suggest that you sign up for my
online Ultimate Financial Health e-course.
The world will breathe a sigh of relief in 2022 as the Covid pandemic recedes into the
periodic ebbs and flows of an endemic. There will be more optimism and continued
economic growth, albeit uneven due to inflationary pressures and rising interest rates.
More effort will be made toward peaceful resolutions and harmonious co-existence
among people and politics. However, in an unpredictably aggressive tiger year, one
should brace for unexpected conflicts and turmoil.
Take care of your Liver and Kidney health by cleansing and fortifying, avoid getting
emotionally “stuck,” cultivate flexibility in relationships with others, move more, get out
in nature, see the world, but guard against exhausting yourself. Do a career checkup to
see if yours is aligned with your life purpose, take care of your financial health, be happy
and grateful for what you have and share your extras with other less fortunate.
May you live long, live strong, and live happy!