Watercolor by Gretchen Del Rio. Used by permission.

Some background on white tigers

A mysterious white tiger of the Ba people

My last name is White and I am a metal tiger in Chinese Astrology.  That's the tiger of the west and its color is white.  So I am a White tiger practicing Eastern medicine in the West.  I was also born in the autumn, which is the metal season associated with the color white, gray or clear.

Of course that's a vast oversimplification, like saying I'm a Libra.  Just as there is profound and plottable complexity in a Western astrological chart, so there is in Chinese Astrology.  There are 12 animals in the Chinese Zodiac that rotate through a yearly cycle.  Each animal partakes of a different phase or element every time it comes around.  So while I may be a metal tiger, someone born 12 years after me would be a water tiger. Metal tigers only occur every 60 years - 5 elements x 12 animals .  There is a whole lot more to it, depending on the time of birth and other influences.  For more information, see this site: www.travelchinaguide.com/intro/social_customs/zodiac/

Tiger symbology

Tigers have many associations in both Eastern and Western tradition. 

There is an instruction to hold an acupuncture needle, it should be with calm and focused determinations, "like holding a tiger by the tail over a great abyss."  The tiger is often depicted as yin to the dragon's yang nature.  

To be continued.............