Tiger, Tiger, burning bright / In the forest of the night
What immortal hand or eye/ Could frame thy fearful symmetry?
– William Blake
I often say that I am like the tiger, beautiful, mysterious, powerful, on the endanger list, in a nutshell, better than everyone else! But seriously, when I observe the Tiger I do so with tremendous respect and a healthy dose of fear. Anyone who crossed path with the Tiger (in dream, dah) will feel in their guts a mix of terror and wonderment. The stillness before the attack is hypnotising, and his striped face and piercing eyes are the last thing you will see. RAWR!
Tiger is native to Asia and his territory drastically shrank since the early part of last century. He is found in Siberia, China, Vietnam, Korea, Indonesia, India and Philippines. He was introduced in Africa for conservation purposes. His natural habitat is the forest, where his stripes and golden orange coat is easily camouflaged. His camouflage ability, agility, rapidity and strength are what make him a terrible predator. He reigns on his territory like a king and the only time he is in contact with his specie is for mating. Baby tigers, born blind, stay with their mother for 2 years before finding a territory of their own. Mature Tigers possess excellent sense of hearing and smelling and can see perfectly in the dark. The Siberian Tiger has the biggest build of all big cats.
In the Chinese tradition, Tiger is the third animal of the zodiac (and my very own sign!). On his forehead lay the Chinese character for KING. He represents the YIN concept, the passive energy, the feminine and night, in opposition with the dragon. However, as the Yin Yang prescribes it, Tiger also bears a part of solar, masculine, active energy, symbolized by the fiery color of his fur. It is why bearer of the Tiger Medicine are people of extremes, of dramatic intensity and are completely passionate or completely detached depending on situation… they have difficulty with balance. This will make them live a complete array of experience, ranging from divine to dangerous. People with the Tiger medicine surrender to their raw will power in order to survive through the worst situations.
When you think about a Tiger, you can picture it in a National Geographic documentary at the peak of its physical and mental strength, eating his prey and basking in the sun like a king… or in the circus ring, without teeth or claws, in chains or performing. Even under these conditions, Tiger seems to shine with dignity and an aura of power that makes you wonder when the attack will occur…